Review: Third time around for Keni Burke's 1982 boogie-soul classic "Risin' To The Top", a track that remained such a favourite on the jazz-funk, rare groove and jazz-dance scenes that it was given the remix treatment in 1992. The slick and smooth cut is still capable of sending shivers down the spine, with Burke's impeccable lead vocal rising above rich electric pianos, a killer boogie bassline and the track's famous "give it all you've got" female backing vocals. This time round, the track comes backed by another stone cold classic and DJ favourite, the 1981 12" version of "You're The Best". More up-tempo and synth-heavy, it remains a favourite with both boogie DJs and jazz-funk fans.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Good ole' foot stomping and hand clapping - this true Tony Humphries, Southport and soul collectors favourite finally gets a full single release. "Looking For You" is massive crossover hit from 2005 by American Gospel star Kirk Franklin, who marries Patrice Rushen's "Haven't You Heard" with R&B and hip-hop to produce an uplifting, inspiring and infectious feel good classic. Franklin pilots his ensemble through a joyful song that will have you tapping your feet and clapping your hands in no time - and if put the lyrics and sermon aside, this could be superb dance music, too.
Review: You'll struggle to find a more sumptuous of folk-soul bliss than Jon Lucien's 1973 single "Lady Love". Similar in tone to some of Terry Callier's finest works, it features Lucien delivering a smooth and sultry vocal over twittering flutes, soft-touch acoustic guitars and swirling instrumentation. This timely reissue pairs the full-length 'Rashida" album version with another cut from the same set, "Love Everlasting". This glassy-eyed affair boasts more of a samba shuffle than the better-known A-side, but a similar reliance on evocative orchestration and Lucien's wonderfully delivered lead vocals. In a word: essential.
Review: Previously only available on US promo 45 - these 1973 Afrodisiac-era cuts from The Main Ingredients are well overdue. First up is a beautiful take on the Isley Brothers 1972 classic "Work To Do" (also famed for its Average White Band cover in 1974) while the B is draped in the powerful vocal harmonies and lavish strings of "Instant Love". Proof that sometimes all you need are two ingredients to cook a beautiful feast for the soul.