Review: A lovely new 45 from Detroit funk/hip-hop label Funk Night Records .Rickey Calloway started his music career at the tender age of 13, clowning around in rest periods doing James Brown imitations. It's with the spirit of Brown's backing band The JB's that the Daptone label's house band, The Dap Kings, turn Rickey's vocal track original into a groove led funk set of instrumentals. This version is heavy on the guitar licks with smatterings of bongo percussion, smouldering Hammond organ and punchy brass stabs without the confines of vocals. Highly recommended.
Review: Two of Funk Night Records' most distinctive and innovative acts join forces for two outstanding pieces of psychedelic fiery funk fusion. Estonian duo Misha Panfilov Sound Combo set the bedrock on "Soul Strut". All fuzzy, unkempt and energetic, it sets the scene for Detroit's Coco Buttafli to lay her scorched heart on the line in an almost metal-like style. "Electrifying Woman" takes us even deeper into the psychedelic mindset as the groove is given a swampy, dizzying feeling while Coco spits spoken word with such a savage honesty you can't helped but get sucked into the story. Two of a kind.
Review: Serial alias addict, Kris Holmes returns with a double side of split personality: The Disciples is a rough, bluesy layered piece of slo-mo surf rock where the drums only just keep up and the organs provide heavy soul salvation. "He Spoke" shows Kris on much more of an African inspired trip. Similarly hefty organs power the main groove but there's more uplift in the riff and instrumentation. Insatiable.
Review: A fifth slab of 7" shaped funk live and direct from St. Petersburg arrives with the Great Revivers offering another Funk Night release that will invariably keep themselves busy on the turntables of funk establishments everywhere. Lead cut "Rhino's Walk" should be titled "Rhino's Strut" in truth given the sheer confidence the Revivers display as it progresses along driven by a killer drum break. Flip the Rhino over and Great Revivers are on more of a downbeat funk flex with "Dead Dipping" which is all about that frazzled organ. Big up Frank Raines and the Funk Night crew for this one!
Review: The Great Revivers continue their unassailable 2014 assault on the record boxes of funk selectors everywhere with yet another killer seven for the Funk Night label. Brashly titled "Don't Mess with GR" may be, but this Russian quartet always prefer to let their musicianship do the talking and you can't fault the Great Revivers funk here as three odd minutes of prime dirtiness unfolds driven by a killer drum beat. It's complemented well by the more uptempo jam that is "Hard Way To Go" and lays down a marker for what to expect from the Great Revivers forthcoming album.
Review: Since making their debut in 2014, Russian combo The Great Revivers has become one of Funk Night Records' most reliable acts. They're at it again here, serving up two more slabs of goodness inspired by their obsessions with Hammond-heavy grooves, scorching funk and dusty 1970s library music. A-side "Bar-Hop" sounds like their take on the Meters sound, with attractive Hammond riffs rising above flanged funk guitars, heavy bass, fuzz-soaked brass and a bustling, solo-heavy groove. B-side "The Last" explores similar sonic territory but feels a little more relaxed. This time round, it's the jazzy, flanged guitar solos that take centre stage, with their trademark organs merely acting as an impressive accompaniment.
Review: Multi-instrumentalist Misha Paniflov reignites his "Sound Combo" (a collaborative project with flautist friend Ilja Gussarov) for the fourth time in 2018. As per usual, the Estonian duo offer up two on point cuts on one desirable seven-inch single. A-side "Marathon" is particularly good: a bustling, lo-fi Afro-funk gem rich in Tony Allen style drums, fluorescent flute flourishes, trippy electronics and rasping horns that's as heavy and intoxicating as they come. There's a jaunty dancefloor jazz-meets-'60s dream pop feel to flipside "Who's In Love", which sounds a little like something the Beatles and Harry Nilsson would come up with after heading down to a jazz club while tripping on acid.
Review: Last spotted whipping up groove magic with Amp Fiddler, highly respected Detroit funk collective Will Sessions tag up with another old friend, funk king Rickey Calloway. First spotted with the band on Funk Night Records on "Shake It Up, Shake It Down", they instantly rekindle their vibe with this deep groove JB style excursion. Led by Rickey's commanding spoken world, driven by the band's fluid like motion and just a touch of cosmicity in the production, it's another stone-cold gem from some of the tightest cats in D Town.
Review: The US' Funk Night Records is pushing some serious heat as of late, especially given the fact that it's managing to find some real horsepower amid the contemporary generation of funk and soul - a rarity to be appreciated and recognised, these days. Bishop Smith is joined by The Sensational Disciples band to deliver "Bumps In The Road", a gloriously soulful song that gives new meaning to the term 'raw'; this might well be the most seductive piece of music we have heard this year and, if that sounds like an exaggeration, then you might just have to check it out for yourself. The instrumental, is naturally as wonderful, but the vocals on the A-side have the power to remain imprinted in your mind for days and days. This is very warmly recommended.