Review: For clubbers of a certain age, Patrick Forge remains something of a hero. Ever since the rare groove days of the 1980s, the London record collector turned selector has been turning people on to brilliant, soul, jazz, funk, Latin and Afro music. Here, he offers up another revealing selection of forgotten, slept-on and little-known gems for Japanese label ESP. For those with a passion for positive music, highlights come thick and fast, from the sweet disco-jazz of Pleasure and gospel disco of Aretha Franklin to the rubbery grooves of Angela Bofill, lazy soul of Lava and end-of-night sensuality of Mellaa + Co's "Be Free". Nothing short of essential.
Esther Phillips - "I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me"
Quincy Jones - "Sometin' Special"
Slyvia St James - "So I Say To You"
Slum Village - "Phat Kat"
J Dilla - "Dewitt To Do It"
Review: Founded back in 2009, the ESP DJ Classics series from ESPecial Records has seen label bosses Kyoto Jazz Massive invite the great and good of the broken beat and jazzy house scene to demonstrate the lengths of their digging skills. Patrick Forge, the much missed Domu, Dego and Rainer Truby are amongst the dozen names in the series so far and another legend of the West London scene now joins them in the shape of Kaidi Taitham. An integral part of the London Broken beat scene with a more than slightly overwhelming Discogs to show for it, Taitham uses the invitation from ESP as an opportunity to showcase his finest funk selections, taking in cuts from Quincy Jones, Esther Phillips, Ramsey Lewis Trio and more before ending on a double dose of vintage Dilla. Perfect listening material for the summer nights. .
Vesta Williams - "You Make Me Want To (Love Again)"
Jon Harley - "Peace"
Gap Band - "I Owe It To Myself"
Plush - "I Don't Know (Where Love Comes From)"
LJ Reynolds - "Travellin'"
Madison Avenue - "Hang On"
Review: Having previously compiled volume four of the long running ESP DJ Classics series, veteran nu-jazz/broken beat type Enrico Crivallaro returns to curate volume 12. As with previous installments, we're treated to a typically soft-focus and dewy-eyed selection of jazz, soulful slow jams, Latin grooves and sunny smoochers. Predictably, there's plenty for the crate diggers to get excited about, from the fluid jazz-funk of Ronny Lapaine's "Side By Side" and smooth '80s soul of Genobia's "All of My Love", to the sunshine disco-soul of LJ Reynolds' "Travellin" and twinkling piano jazz of Judy Roberts' "Watercolours".