Review: Timmy Thomas, sometimes known as The Magician, frequently regarded as one of the most sampled men beyond the Brown franchise, he's been referenced by everyone from Drake to Dilla to MC Hammer. Here we find two of his most well known cuts, both taken from his 1972 album, Why Can't We Live Together. There's a wry cosmic sheen weaving and shimmering in the background of the soaking wet Afrofunk groove of "Africano" while the keys of "Why Can't We Live Together" instantly hit with a soul you've heard, felt and loved in so many contexts. Certified classic.
Review: Super rare Arthur Russell business on 45, this seminal Loft anthem enjoys a long-awaited reissue with both versions on show: the female vocal version (remixed by Larry Levan) still writhes and pops with disco charm while the male vocal version takes more of a block party vibe with golden layered harmonies and the percussion positioned right at the front of the mix. An absolutely timeless document; pressed on the right sized wax it was meant to be. Face the music.
Review: Until recently, it was rare to see early Chicago house anthems on seven-inch single. Get Down Records is on a mission to change this and has been pumping out dinky TRAX reissues at a furious rate. Here they serve up a fresh pressing of Frankie Knuckles' most celebrated single: 1987's double A-side "Baby Wants To Ride/Your Love". Really, you should know both by now - they're amongst the most played and written-about house tracks of all time - but if not, check the sound clips. Remarkably, both the sleazy "Baby Wants To Ride" and luscious, rush-inducing house-soul of "Your Love" sound as fresh and inspiring now as they did 31 years ago.
There's Never Been (No One Like You) (short version) (4:26)
There's Never Been (No One Like You) (edit) (4:26)
Review: A stone cold cult classic from the West End vaults, Kenton Nix was one of New York's most prolific producers during the late 70s and throughout the 80s working his magic with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Teena Gardner and Gwen McCrae (among many others). On this rare 1980 solo 45" he teamed up with a young Bobby Youngblood to create an emphatic soul disco powerhouse that clear set the foundations for the wealth of big vocal proto house tracks that followed in its wake. Complete with both versions, this is a rare reissue and isn't likely to hang around for long...
(It's Not The Express) It's The J.B.'s Monaurail (8:16)
Here We Come, Here We Go, Here We Are (4:30)
All Aboard The Soul Funky Train (4:33)
Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself & You Be Yours (9:46)
Taurus, Aires & Leo (6:36)
Things & Do (5:18)
Review: Destination 1975: funk is leaning back limbo style to let disco flourish and the fourth LP from James Brown's clam-tight backing troupe is a fine example of just how the two styles flexed. Still heavy with the tight jams, big breaks and firing horn blow-outs but laced with a little disco shine and orchestration in places, it's a fine snapshot of the 70s headiest musical crossroads. The slippery guitars and slinky bass on "Taurus, Aires & Leo", the far-away jazzy textures of "Transmograpfication" and their own fly response to BT Express "The JB's Monaurail" are just some of the many highlights on this fusion-focused album.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** What can be said about this one that hasn't been before? The classic garage anthem from 1993 by New York City legend Lil' Louie Vega was originally released on Strictly Rhythm and is one you just have to have on wax, ain't it? Engineered by Erick Morillo and featuring the unmistakable looped-up vocals of Barbara Tucker (sampled from "Beautiful People") over its bouncy bassline and swing-fuelled shuffle. It has been remixed countless times over the past two decades, in 2016 even Kanye West used the vocal sample on his hit song "Fade".