Review: Rare Betty Wright sup[er soulness reissued with artwork for the Japan market on a tasty little 45. not many stores got this outside of the land of the rising sun ....Don't sleep on this beauty !
Are You Ready (Are You Straight With Your Fellow Man) (3:40)
Review: The man behind two crucial rarities from the 60s ("Don't Make Me Mad" and "Black Belt"), Big Lee Dowell follows his new run of soul with another Cannonball release. "Are You Ready" hits with that rising Whitfield & Strong style sense of drama. Big chords, a little theatre, sugary backing vocals and Big Lee laying down a smoky but stern drawl... It's another slick shot from the Italian cannon. What's even neater on the B is Big Lee telling his story over the backing track (in a similar spine-tingly way as "Giorgio By Moroder") Immense.
Review: Ultra Vybe remain deep in their Brunswick excavations with these two sublime cuts from the label's super troupe of session players Directions and their one and only album. Released 1976, OG copies fetch almost L200 and just these two tracks alone hint at why. Shimmering with a strong Faze-O feel with an evocative contrast of falsetto and deep baritone and twinkling instrumentation, both tracks swoon with everything that was so smooth and emotional about the label who gave the world Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites and Gene Chandler. Show some love.
Review: Classic funky soul in the true sense of the word and now presented with a Japan only exclusive edit from hip hop don J Rocc intended for the japan only market ! Nice pic sleeve too. What yo waitin for ? !!
Review: Kalita Records are proud and honoured to announce the first ever official reissue of the Sophisticated Ladies' sought after 1980 New York disco single. The short-lived outfit consisted of Emma, Laura and Reather, who released two singles between 1977 - 1980. They toured America (while also touring internationally as The Bobbettes) and received radio airtime throughout the country. Here Kalita have chosen to highlight their scarce cut "This Ain't Really Love" and have invited The Mighty Zaf to rework their version of Bobby Womack's "Check It Out" making it perfect for modern disco dancing.
Review: San Francisco psychedelic soul ensemble Monophonics were once described by Stax Records co-owner Al Bell as "one of the best soul bands I have ever seen", which is high praise indeed. Mirrors, which comes pressed onto clear green vinyl, is the combo's fifth full-length and first album for three years. It's a surprisingly breezy and eclectic affair, with the band variously turning their hands to bluesy, Rare Earth style funk-rock ("Lying"), Hammond-heavy peak-time business (a tasty cover of Frankie Valli's "Beggin"), spiraling instrumental wig-outs (fabulous closer "California Dreaming"), heart-aching torch songs ("My Heart Cries") and laidback, acid-fried Balearic soul (opener "Summer Breeze"). In other words, it's a fine album that sparkles from start to finish.
Review: Legendary, and hugely prolific, soulsmith and writer Dan Penn looks back over his last two albums and pick two of the most delicate, soul-stirring tracks. Taken from 2013's I Need A Holiday and 2016's Something About The Night respectively, "Blue In The Heart" is stripped right back to guitar, organs and Dan's rich voice (which hasn't faltered over seven decades in the game) while "Time To Get Over You" hits with more of a bluesy twang and a country influence on the backing harmonies. Raw, direct and guaranteed to get your skin in goosebumps. Just like every other record Dan's given the world.
Come Go With Me (Joaquin Joe Claussell Unofficial edits version) (5:48)
Review: Originally released in 1977 "Come Go with Me" is a song by R&B group Pockets, which charted reasonably high in various charts at the time. This issue features a respectful resplice by New York City's master of spiritual life music himself: Joaquin Joe Claussell. The original version on the A side is featured for your enjoyment - that's a given - and you can enjoy this timeless classic featuring producer Verdine White's amazing production.
Review: April Fulladosa grew up in Los Angeles, California. She begun writing songs at school when she was only 16 years old going onto write most of the tracks by 19 years of age for her sought after independent limited release 'Home Base' album from 1978. This single on new label imprint Reference Point showcases the talent of this lesser known artist who deserves to be heard by a brand new audience.
Review: Soul4Real has gotten 'soulful for real' with this third outing, coming through in the form of 2 previously unreleased gems from US band The Anglos. This is some pretty niche gear, what with the band having only put out a handful of 7s back in the 60, so it feels like a special occasion to have some new material from them on our shelves. These tunes were apparently destined to land on the Botanic imprint back in the day, and are famously produced and engineered by the great Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams, which is why they have a certain roughness that is rarely heard on other soul records. "Broke Down Piece Of Man" is a fast, beat-heavy number with a psychedelic edge that reflects the state of mind back then, while "Four Walls Of Gloom" takes the gospel tradition as its main ingredient, offering a wonderfully uplifting midtempo rocker for the heart and soul.
Review: When Leo and his Sunshipp crew asked for the sunshine way back in 1980 they meant it. And with a tune as beautiful as this, they deserved it too. Released in 1980 in various forms (and also on the funk trio's only album in 1978) the most sought after was the 45" that came with the gutsier, more upbeat traditional soul cut "I'm Back For More". But let's face it, this is all about the lead track. A cult Balearic soul funk jam and one of the coolest summer cuts ever pressed to wax, reissues have been on request for over 30 years... Like the summer itself, this won't hang around.
Review: Soul4Real's latest seven-inch release is rather special for one specific reason: it boasts two previously unheard 1968 recordings by Dallas vocal soul group the Masqueraders. Both were recorded at the legendary American Sound Studio in Uptown Memphis at a time when an astonishing 25% of the records in the Billboard Top 100 (according to the label's liner notes, the backing band on this session included Bobby Womack on guitar) originated there. "Prophet Of Love" is a particularly sweet chunk of harmonic soul, with the Masqueraders' providing the kind of dewy-eyed vocals that wouldn't have sounded out of place on earlier doo-wop records. Over on the flip "You're The One" has a more Phil Spector "wall of sound" kind of feel and a more lolloping rhythm track.
Review: 1974's Coming Right At You, the sole album from 100% Pure Poison, has long been a sought-after jazz-funk gem. Soul Brother has previously reissued the rare (and increasingly expensive) LP, though this double 7" marks the first time most of these tracks have been available on wax since 2001. Check first opener (and title track) "Windy C", a superb chunk of lolloping, laidback jazz-funk that sits somewhere between Bob James and Cymande, before turning your attention to the slow-burn soulful delights of string-laden torch song "Puppet On A Chain". Over on the second 7", "No More City, No More Country" is a more hard-spun Blaxploitation funk affair, while "Hole In My Shoe" is a horn-fired slab of J.B's style funk-soul fusion.
Review: Steel City Connection were not, as the name might suggest, an unlikely disco act from Sheffield, but rather a heavyweight combo from the American equivalent, Pittsburgh, who released a sole, now highly sought-after private-press single way back in 1978. "Steel City Disco" has long been regarded as a "holy grail" amongst collectors of rare disco, hence this essential reissue from Kalita Records. The title track is certainly something of a beast - an inspired fusion of disco-funk tropes, spiraling Latino horns, jazz-funk style male harmony vocals and sustained organ chords that will wind their way through your subconscious. Excitingly, the flipside boasts a previously unreleased extended version of the similarly fine workout "Dansation".
Review: Dynamite Cuts come back with a bang with four sublime cuts taken from the criminally short discography of funk soul troupe Leo's Sunshipp. The first half of their only album, we kick off with their cult solar celebration "Give Me The Sunshine" before "I'm Back For More" shreds through the stratosphere with a swooning Average White Band sparkle, "Get Down People" salutes with an Off The Wall style shine and shimmy before "Madame Butterfly" drifts back into the atmosphere with velvet falsetto harmonies and a groove so laid back it drips off the wax. Feel the sunshine.
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.
This Love Is Magic (feat Chanel - Soul Rockers mix) (3:48)
When It Rains (feat Cleveland Jones) (4:39)
Review: It would be fair to say that Dee "Kejam" Majek (real name Oladisun Majekodunmi) is something of a veteran, with the Nigeria-born writer, musician and label owner producing his first released music way back in the early 1980s. This double seven-inch single marks his debut for Izipho Soul, and his first release of any sort since 2016 debut album "Majek". There's much to admire throughout, from the slick '80s soul warmth of Lisa Taylor collaborations "Can You Feel The Love" and "My Only Love" - the latter featuring a slight two-step soul feel - to the electrofunk-influenced R&B shuffle of Chanel hook-up "This Love Is Magic (Soul Rockers Mix)" and the toasty, dewy-eyed goodness of "When It Rains", which features lovely lead vocals from Cleveland Jones.
Review: Fresh from this year's Cordial collection comes this outstanding 12". The lead track is his most famous "Signs Of A Dying Love". Presented in all its full-length glory, listen to those powerful backing singers and hear why OG copies have gone for over 300 quid. Remix wise the previously unreleased "How I Feel For You" gets the rub from Ourra (big funk swing), DJ Spinna (thumping gospel boogie) and Sean P (full on vocal belter), each one a sign of a lovely release.