Review: Originally out in 1985, Peoples Potential Unlimited reissue this soul boogie jam from Uku Kuut (who was born In the Soviet Union, raised in Sweden and now lives in Estonia) featuring Marju Kuut on vocals. On the flip is a mellow instrumental in homage to Uku's home for the past 20 years, now available for the first time on cute 7" vinyl. Top release!
Review: Another essential history lesson here from the Peoples Potential Unlimited camp. "Super Breaker" is an early production by Miami bass legend James McCauley, better known as Maggotron,DJX or Basstech. It was originally released by the super obscure Bound Sound label in 1984, but was quickly forgotten. As one of McCauley's earliest works, it arguably marks the point where electro began to morph into Miami bass. There are vocal and instrumental versions on this must have 7", both featuring a mix of long synth chords, oh-so thick synth bass and a healthy dose of vintage drum machine breaks.
Review: Ubiquity's super-collectable Luv N Haight series continues with immaculate aplomb. Here we find Kon applying his crafty edit knife to Twilight's 1986 soul boogie smoocher "You're In Love". The remix carries the full honey-coated vocals while the dub switches the focus to the groove with subtle flourishes of the vocal. A spotless contempory rework.... And, as the seventh volume, it's fittingly the first in the series to be served on 7". Nice touch.
Review: Late last year Los Angeles-based synth obsessive Nicholas Benedek made his PPU bow with a untitled album filled with untitled tracks, executed with the sort of lo-fi panache that fit the label to a tee. Here Benedek returns to PPU as RX, a rather surprising self-styled 'smog prog' project with LIES artist and LA Club Resources boss Delroy Edwards. Taking shape in a signature PPU 7 inch, both "Strung Out" and "Prescriptions" sound like a fine balance between the hazy boogie of Benedek and the tape degraded grit that's been a hallmark of Edwards work since his emergence on L.I.E.S.
Review: Sporty Cat Dwight Sykes lets loose with a brand new original and super spacy track from last year's album Songs Volume One for the ever excellent Peoples Potential Unlimited!! "If You Want My Love" is straight out of the '80s playbook thanks to its gossamer synths and on-point female rap (that's delivered by his daughter Valerie Sykes). Flip for the filmic synth boogie introspection of "You That I Need". Another must grip 7" from the PPU crew.
Review: Sao Paulo's SELVAGEM drop a masterful double sider for Universal Cave 004. "Tudo Bem" is sunny, soulful AOR bliss. A tribute to a favorite Brazilian musician and an update for contemporary rotation. "Luanda" is hypnotic, psychedelic tropicalia. Truly digging deep, SELVAGEM give Universal Cave a taste of the Forward Deep & Free sounds of Balnearico from Brazil. Balnearico is the fusion of balearic and "balneario," the Portuguese word that is synonymous with beach.
Review: Released in celebration of Expansion's recent re-serving of two of Leon's early 80s albums - Rockin' You Eternally and Leon Ware - here's a delightful 45 that reminds us of his finest solo moments. "Why I Came To California" is a sun-kissed soul boogie groove with big horns and even bigger chorus. "Rockin' You Eternally" (which is, let's face it, one of the smoothest song titles to ever come from the 80s) showcases Leon's softer side. A ballad steeped in sentiment, play this loud enough and everyone in a five mile radius will stop and get smoochy.
Review: London's Soul Brother unit has been out of the picture for a little while, but you can always rest assured that the mythical Putney-based shop will come up with some solid reissue goodness. This time, the gold comes through a resurrection of Bill Harris' material, a legendary jazz trombonist who started his trade way back in the late 1950's. There's two versions of "Am I Hot Am I Cold" here, a short version for the dance, and a long version that delves deeper into the percussion, goes heavier on the drum breaks and lifts the track to higher grounds thanks to those prophetic vocals. A certified jazz-funk monster.
Review: Hawaiian legend Al Nobriga played a vital role in the island's club and chart scene throughout the '70s and early '80s before chasing his dreams to Nashville (and consequently shattering them). Long before the brutal crush of industry reality, he recorded several albums including They're Playing My Music in 1977 of which these two tracks come from: "My Last Disco Song" lives up to its title with it sturdy dancefloor hook and polished sense of funk while "Break Away" shows Al's softer side as we sail on yacht across positively Balearic shores.
Review: Fizzy boogie from Minneapolis circa 1982; Nobody cut through with a raw, energetic sound and countered with soothing, evocative soul that shimmers with their gospel roots. "I Saw You" sits somewhere between Prince and Rick James but polished with super freaky female front vocals, it's wholly unique and backs up the first pressing's pricetag of $500. "Heaven's Love" is the perfect counter with its emphatic harmonies and stately instrumentation. A serious timepiece from AOTN.
Review: A lot of us have to thank Expansions for switching us on to Matlock in the first place, thanks to them unearthing him for their Soulchasers collection way back in the early 90s. Here they return to two of Glenn's finest, silkiest soul diamonds. Written for the romantics, produced for the dancefloor right at the very end of the classic 70s sound, "You Got The Best Of Me" has an upbeat Barry White feel to its delivery and sentiment while "I Can't Forget About You" has a lighter touch and flightier flow. The former previous super-rare on 45, the latter never press to 45 before... Both supreme and timeless.
Welcome To SRM'S Stereo (Test & Sound EFX edition)
Verbal Narration & Sounds (Excerpts) (Flexidisc)
Review: Every time that we get a drop of some new Joaquin Joe Claussel material our ears are automatically attracted in that very same direction. In fact, we've been known to get into trouble for playing his material extensively on our Juno HQ system, because we just hate to see it leave. However, this new material is probably not what you're expecting; rather than a new house EP, Mr Claussel has prepared a nerd's guide to sound testing, described by himself as: "DJ tool for testing, measurement, and calibration of mediocre reproducing stereo sound systems". The elements inside the box are flex-discos, not vinyl, and they are a series of sound, spoken word lyrics, and general FX tricks to either test your system out on, or simply sample and twist-up however you please. It's a collectors piece, and something refreshingly different to support the development of good music in clubs. We love you Joe...
Review: One of 2016's finest funk stories was, without question, when AOTN suddenly dropped this incredible unreleased album by criminally slept-on Jacksonville troupe Fruit. A stunning piece of work, even by Fryer's standards it was a coup-de-grace. Now two of the album's finest, funkiest, sweatiest jams are available on limited 45. Instant floor burners, just like the rest of the album, before the tracks are over you'll feel you and your floor have known them forever.
Review: "Give Me Your Love" was produced by Roy Ayers and James "Jaymz" Bedford in 1981, this digger's delight was the one and only single by American singer Sylvia Striplin. It is an irresistible serving of soulful disco that really captures the spirit of the times. The track has been sampled on numerous occasions, but most famously on the classic track by Junior M.A.F.I.A. (Notorious B.I.G. production) on their song "Get Money" in 1995 and also by Armand Van Helden on "Full Moon" in 2000. On the flip is the sexy and lo-slung "You Can't Turn Me Away" featuring some sexy funk guitar licks and bass beneath Striplin's powerfully seductive vocals.
Review: For the latest volume in their ongoing Brazil 45s series, Mr Bongo has decided to change tack. The two tracks showcased here are from the golden age of Brazilian boogie. On the A-side you'll find Marcos Valle's "A Paraiba Nao E Chicago", a largely overlooked cut from his 1981 full-length Vontade De Rever Voce. While not as instantly as infectious as some of his better-known singles, it's still superb; a breezy, blue-eyed soul cut full of rising horns and sweet Portuguese vocals. On the B-side, you'll find Don Beto's 1978 disco-funk jam "Nao Quero Mais", a superb track that was seemingly inspired by the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running".
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
Review: Currently laying down soul as 77 Karat Gold, Nobuyuki Suzuki finds time to beam back to Eglo as Sauce81 with a stunning boogie jam that's got summer well and truly locked in its targets. Cruising the Central Line in an inimitable loose, swinging way, there's magic to be found between the synth melody and juicy slapbass. Complete with a floor-focussed dub, this will have everyone dancing, guaranteed.
Review: Sauce 81, aka Japanese RBMA alumni Nobu Suzuki, lays down two starlight stunners for a fine 7" debut on the Eglo label operated by Alex Nut and Sam Floating Points. "Natural Thing" is an unashamed, effortlessly hooky boogie jam that sits somewhere between the Funkadelic adventures of George Clinton and Kool & the Gang. "Bustin" meanwhile was originally made for Shing02's short movie of the same name. All slinky and whispering, it's like Samuel L Jackson whispering sweet nothings in your ear over a Faze-O track. Sexy.
Review: All vinyl, all the time... We know how Osmose rolls. And so do Smokecloud, his most consistent home since he emerged as a producer in the early 2010s. This beautiful two-tracker is no exception as he flexes from his lavish synth boogie take on the Haywood-referencing "Out To Catch" to the slower-burning stomper "Me N U" that gradually smouldering into a raw funk groove fire with Booker T-style results. Powerful, all the time...
Review: The Super Disco Edits camp have pulled off something of a coup here, securing the rights to a previously unissued 1987 cut from studio duo New Jersey Connection, whose sole 1981 single, "Love Don't Come Easy", has long been a favourite of boogie DJs. "Red Light Green Light", featuring the breezy vocals of Cynthia Wilson, sounds like a long lost boogie classic: all sugary-sweet backing vocals, rubbery bass guitar, twinkling '80s soul synthesizer melodies and punchy drum machine percussion. The A-side vocal version is accompanied by a tasty instrumental mix, in which the focus switches to the NJ twosome's superb production. File under: "must have".