Review: Bona fide Wigan Pier anthem from 66, Sam & Kitty's full-energy double-sided stomper is the stuff of northern soul legend. "I've Got Something Good" rolls with a rhythm & blues-style guitar hook and big review-style horns backing up Sam and Kitty's duelling dulcets every step of the way while "Your Money My Love" is a bluesier affair with a slower tempo and even bolder horn-work. Often passing hands for around L60, this reissue should be welcome news to many enthusiasts.
Review: Australian in London Sarakula whips up a little time machine with this cheeky Legere 45"; "Northern Soul" takes us back a little earlier into Joel's back cat. Fully remastered, it remains an outstanding piece of thumping Costellian pop thanks to its striking piano line and driving drums. "Coney Island Getaway" brings us back to the present day with his recent album Love Club. Flexing a little more of a Roxy Music spirit in this one, there's some deep dreams coded into its DNA.
Review: Two crucial moments from Gil Scott Heron's immense repertoire; "When You Are Who You Are" takes the lead. Taken from his 1971 album Pieces Of A Man, it's a straight up homage to clarity and honesty told in the context that only Gil knew best. Flip for a very special alternative take of "Free Will". The title track of his following album, released a year later in 1972, the variations of this take (which has never been released on vinyl before) are subtle but strong enough to justify it a place in your collection.
Review: Only 300 copies pressed of this classic Gil Scott-Heron heavy double sider on a limited dinked 45. "It's Your World" is Gil Scott - may he rest in peace - at his funkiest best with an upfront vocal over a driving sax and rhodes- those of you who have seen one or two Gilles Peterson's DJ sets down the years will remember this fondly. "Winter In America" showcases Gil's legendary poetic prose in a meandering, melancholic manner offset by rhodes and flute. Essential.
Review: Fresh from 68: Atlanta family trio Scott Three only ever recorded two singles and remained something of a local sensation thereafter. It's a shame as there's a real Jackson Five feel to their delivery, especially on "Running Wild" where the session band breaks down and each member pops above the dense music bed. "Gotta Find A New Love" takes a much bluesier tact with rougher instrumentation and an almost rocky build on the choruses. Spotted passing hands for sizeable sums on one bidding site, this is the first time it's been pressed in over 45 years.
Review: George Semper's 1984 album Themes For Television, Sports and Aerobics is one of the most brilliantly bonkers you're ever likely to hear. It featured the veteran jazz-man reach for the most intergalactic-sounding electronic instruments he could find and lay down a series of short, library music style missives that still sound like the product of some kind of demented acid trip. The people behind Dynamite Cuts are obviously fans, because they've decided to stick a small selection of cuts from the hard-to-find album on this tidy 7" single. On the A you'll find the deep space, jazz-fired electro-lounge madness of "Pretty Lady", while the flip boasts two shorter cuts: jazzy synth-scape "Universe" and spacey ambient doodle "Extraterrestrial Search Contact Tones".
Review: Since turning their back on hush-hush re-edits in favour of issuing obscure or previously unreleased material, the Super Disco Edits label has barely put a foot wrong. Their latest 7" boasts two previously unissued recordings by former Reflections member John Simmons, who later went on to work as Whitney Houston's "creative director". Both tracks were recorded in 1979, originally as demos for a band Simmons was working with. "Safe", in particular, is superb; a jazz-funk-tinged chunk of modern soul rich in cosmic bass, crunchy Clavinet motifs, twinkling electric piano solos and jazzy guitar flourishes. Simmons' vocal, too, is rather special. Flipside "I Wanna Be Closer" is similarly funk-fuelled whilst retaining the smooth, soulful vibe that marked out Simmons' early productions.
Review: You'll struggle to find a more loved-up and life-affirming chunk of proto-disco brilliance than The Sisters Love's 1973 "Give Me Your Love". The record's lasting impact can be seen in the number of times that it's been reworked, re-edited or bootlegged over the years. Here it gets an official 7" reissue via Soul Brother Records. It sounds as good as ever, with the all-female group's now familiar vocals rising above Blaxploitation style guitars, fluttering flutes and powerful horns. It's a celebratory release, and then some. This time round it's accompanied by a lesser-known gem, "Try It, You'll Like It", which first featured on the B-side of a 1973 single. This is a powerful chunk of conscious funk/soul fusion of the sort that was incredibly popular during the period it was recorded.
Review: Funky Geordies Smoove & Turrell return to London's spiciest funk indie with the first single from their forthcoming new album Mount Pleasant. Two sides, two vibes: "You're Gone" is an uptempo pop funk jam with a wry dash of disco, Rodgers style strums, big horn blasts, rhythmic vocal calls and a subtle harmony between Turrell and new Jalapeno signing Izo FitzRoy. Flip for a little twist of melancholy as the blues groove and yearning tones of "A Deckham Love Song" ooze into your soul. Most pleasant.
Review: Anticipation for the northern duo's fifth album Mount Pleasant continues to rise as the Jalapeno funksters drop another cheeky doublet ahead of the release. Two sides, two very distinct vibes: "I Feel Alive" tips a wee nod at their label mates Kraak & Smaak with its fluttering space disco elements and hip-strutting beats while "Mr Hyde" takes us up a notch with a sweaty northern soul twist. Bring on the album.
Review: Big Crown bring the beat heat once again with two raw funk / soul gems. The Sonics' rare-as-hens-teeth northern soul anthem "Find Myself Another Girl" gets liberated from its high ticket collector price with this much needed reissue while an old master tape prowls to life on the B as Texan troupe S.C.A.M's take on the well-covered Classics IV 1968 standard "Spooky" enjoys a release for the first time. Divine.