Take It Personally (Exclusive unreleased instrumental) (1:30)
Review: Mukatsuku's latest must-have release offers another opportunity to own early Freddie Cruger AKA Red Astaire favourite "Take It Personally". The wonderfully dusty, smoky and life-affirming hip-hop-soul cut first appeared as a Swedish only CD single in 2001, before later being included on the Stockholm stalwart's 2006 debut album "Soul Search". This time round, the inspired original - all head-nodding beats, sumptuous strings and sugary-sweet vocals from guest Desmond Foster - comes accompanied by a previously unreleased instrumental take. This vocal-free version is superb, offering listeners a chance to wallow in the quality of the Swedish veteran's bumpin' beats and intoxicating, head-in-the-clouds production. In the record box of Danny Krivit,DJ Spinna, Kid Koala and more! Only 300 hand-numbered copies and strictly no repress. Juno copies come exclusively in additional hand stamped kraft paper inner sleeve and branded card outer sleeve. Don't sleep !
Review: Soul Has No Tempo present Groove Curse, Jordan Rakei's long-awaited follow up to highly-acclaimed debut EP Franklin's Room, his modern take on reggae-infused soul music. Groove Curse takes an evolved turn, with a sound Rakei describes as "raw, vocal-driven, groove". With the first single off the EP, Street Light featuring Berklee College of Music Alumni Gwen Bunn (vocalist and producer of Schoolboy Q's Collard Greens feat. Kendrick Lamar), the release celebrates the skills of upcoming young musicians who are writing, self-producing and taking full advantage of their vocal and multi-instrumentalist talents.
Let Me Put It In Your Ear (previously unreleased) (2:49)
In My Life (previously unreleased) (3:56)
Review: Two never-before-released cuts from ill-fated Indianapolis troupe who looked set for the big time but moved to LA and consequently got shelved. 1978's loss is 2018's gain, however, as we're treated to two of their shelved gems right here. "Let Me Put It In Your Ear" is a belting falsetto soul slammer articulated with real urgency while "In My Life" is much more of a smouldering affair that builds up into an emphatic soul crescendo. Put it in your collection.
Review: We've had less than two years to recover from the unearthing of Hidden Stash by Athens Of The North when along comes Family Groove with the promise of another lost album from the debauched Chicago funk crew Rasputin's Stash. Entitled Stash it's due in April and the hype starts here with these two beautiful soul funk adventures. "Make Up Your Mind" rides on a sleazy fuzzy groove and peppy horns while "You Are My Everything" hits more of a classic triumphant horn and harmony led vibe not dissimilar to "I See Your Face" on their second album. April can't come soon enough.
Review: When copies of Raw Soul Express's The Way We Live crop up online, they regular fetch eye-watering sums of money. Originally released back in 1977 on T.K Records' soul/funk offshoot Cat, it remains the greatest single work by the short-lived Miami band. "The Way We Live" is a superb example of sun-kissed, feel good, conscious disco/soul/funk fusion, built around a killer, horn-toting groove and emotion-rich vocal. The jazzy, low-slung flipside "This Thing Called Music" is less in demand, but almost as good. As a result, this is a surprise reissue that all funk, soul and disco diggers should crave.
Review: Following the excellent excavation of the Miami band's unreleased album Best Kept Secret, AOTN's Fryer treats us to his two favourite cuts on a 500-only never-to-be-repressed 45. Seeped in powerful vocal harmonies, "Let Go" is rare groove gold with smooth sax and a dynamic that keeps on surprising while "Will You Be There" is an end of night soul shakedown with a tenderness that's tangible in every element. Don't sleep on this... Or the album. One of AOTN's most exciting releases this year.
Review: Razz-Ma-Tazz's sole single, 1982's sweet, jazz-funk era soul gem "Sugar Sugar Sugar", has long been sought after by collectors. Last year, Italy's Cannonball Records discovered a previously unissued Razz-Ma-Tazz track, recorded during the same period, and have decided to share it with listeners via this one-sided 7". While they've done a pretty good job cleaning up the long-hidden master tapes, the sound remains on the dusty side. The thing is, "On The Disco Floor" is such a fine disco-soul track - think emotional vocals, smooth horns, bustling bass and some frenetic drumming - that you barely notice. This is a slice of history that should be in every soul collector's record box.
Review: New Jersey's RDM Band are perhaps not the most productive of bands to come out of the US' 60s soul sound but, looking back fast things, they certainly had a powerful impact on the scene. Proudly and masterfully, as always, the mighty Tramp imprint have gone and found the band's recordings from 1969, spear-headed by Milton Campbell's iconic voice. Both "Give Up" and "How Can I Get In Touch With You" are utterly timeless examples of what American soul has to teach the world even 40 years after its inception, and you might wanna act fast given just how in-demand the original version of this 7" has become!
Review: Since Nick The Record has one of the deepest collections going, it's little surprise that his ongoing Record Mission series has delivered some killer re-edits of ridiculously obscure gems. For this third 12", he once again joins forces with Idjut Boy Dan Tyler to rework a trio of gospel-tinged cuts from the late '70s/early '80s. Arguably most impressive is A-side "Highway To Heathen", a gradually rising, off-piste, boogie-era disco jam blessed with killer talkbox vocals. On the flip you'll find the more straight-forward gospel sing-along of "For Heathen's Sake", and "he Touched Me", a slower, more soulful gospel excursion that benefits greatly from lashings of Tyler's trademark space echo and tape delay.
Review: Four years on from his last outing, veteran Swedish beatsmith Red Astaire is back doing what he does best. Much of the producer's best work has been in an illicit rework/bootleg remix vein, and this is no different. It features defiant new vocals from chanteuse Coco Rouzier over backing tracks built around chunks of vintage rare groove and two-step soul treats. Choose between "Resque Me" [sic], where Rouzier's sweet, compassionate and emotion-rich vocals seemingly float above a languid, jazz-fuelled groove and drifting trumpets, and the jauntier "Reaching Out To You". This super-sweet concoction sees Rouzier in bolder and breezier mode, singing songs of love over rising horns and a groovy backing track. It sounds like a sunshine anthem in waiting.
Otis Redding - "(Your Love Lifted Me ) Higher & Higher" (Soul Flip edit) (4:03)
Gerri Granger - "I Go To Pieces" (Soul Flip edit) (3:33)
Review: Sometimes you just can't beat the golden oldies and so it is that Soul Flip turns his attention to a couple of raw soul bangers. Up first is Otis Redding's classic "(Your Love Lifted Me ) Higher & Higher" with a rousing bass section which drives along the original version.The hits hit hard, the vocal is given room to breathe and the swing in the drums is infectious. The flipside houses a soaring tweak of Gerri Granger's "I Go To Pieces", with its clattering keys and rolling soul all quickly finding a way into your affections.
Review: Never released before, unearthed on old reels, there's a serious story behind this 45"... James Reese traversed the label circuit throughout the late 60s and early 70s on a bid to sell his songs but was told that his jazz and soul fusion was "too far ahead of its time". As a result he remained largely unsigned and unreleased. Criminal: both "Fool For Love No More" and "You Can Make It If You Try" are arranged with detail and combine the minor jazz chords create a really strong emotive feel that elevate them from standard paint-by-numbers soul records of the time. Powerful, poignant and ultimately timeless.
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing" (Soul Flip edit) (3:58)
Sugar Pie Desanto - "Go Go Power" (Soul Flip edit) (4:19)
Review: More cheeky 45 party power from Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo as they hit their third Soul Flip edit release of the year. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas 1968 letter to gabber DJs of the future "I Can't Dance To That Music You're Playing" gets a subtle stomp in the beat department while Sugar Pie Desanto's 1966 R&B pant swinger "Go Go Power" gets the extension its also deserved. Go go Soul Flip.
Review: Tramp Records' latest vital reissue delves into the back catalogue of the Reggie Saddler Revue, a largely little known funk combo that released a handful of 45s at the start of the 1970s. This double A-side brings together two killer cuts that originally appeared on different 7" singles, both of which are now near impossible to find. A-side "Raggedy Bag" is raw, weighty and impassioned - a scorching slab of deep funk that more than lives up to its high reputation amongst collectors. Over on the flip you'll find "Love Is Just Like A Baseball Game", a sweeter and more loved-up affair blessed with superb vocal harmonies that's nevertheless impressively fuzzy.