Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: Legendary New York DJ, producer and remixer Joe Claussell launches the new mixtape series for Secretsundaze. The 85 minutes mix is a typically spiritual and introspective selection recorded at The Cosmic Arts Center, Brooklyn.
Review: During the 1970s, Sanifu Al Hall Jr decided to form a group dedicated to blending jazz, soul and cutting-edge electronic sounds. The brilliantly named Cosmos Dwellerz Arkestra never released any music during the period - not commercially, at least - with this fascinating 12" marking their belated debut. "Love Thoughts", which was committed to tape in 1977, is undoubtedly intergalactic, offering a spiritually-minded mix of spiraling jazz-funk synths, woozy horn solos, stoned drums and toaster-hot bass. On the flip you'll find an interesting curio: an extended 1967 radio interview with Sanifu Al Hall Jr in which he discusses his musical story and approach to life.
Review: Ishola Muhammad decided to adopt the A M Muhammad pseudonym for his second single, "What Freedom Means", in tribute to then leader of the American Muslim Mission (AMM), whose wise words had inspired the single. As this reissue of the rare single proves, the track has lost none of its potency in the 38 years since it was recorded. Muhammad's positive lyrics and assured lead vocal take pride of place alongside superb female backing vocals and a killer backing track that sits somewhere between rubbery jazz-funk and stomping disco. Turn to the flip for the doo-wop influenced sweetness of obligatory loved-up bonus cut "Tenderly". It's decent, but the floor-friendly A-side remains the killer cut.
Review: Two years on from the release of his critically acclaimed "Wallflower" album on Ninja Tune, Jordan Rakei returns with his most eagerly awaited set to date. Happily, it doesn't disappoint. Beginning with the electronic soul-pop brilliance of "Mad World", Rakei effortlessly flits between synth-laden hip-hop-soul ("Say Something"), slinky downtempo songs ("Mind's Eye"), 21st century disco-boogie anthems ("Rolling Into One"), slow-burn musical fusions (the military drums, Juju guitars and heartfelt vocals of "Oasis") and the kind of sumptuous, sun-kissed fare that defies easy categorization. With Rakei's sultry vocals taking centre stage throughout, "Origin" is a sparkling set that just gets better with every listen.
Review: Based around bassist/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and pianist/producer Adrian Younge, The Midnight Hour shot to prominence last year with a self-titled debut album that was rapturously received by critics and listeners alike. Since then they've been touring extensively, so it makes sense that their latest full-length effort captures the energy and improvisation of those headline-grabbing performances. Complete with whooping crowd noise, the set sees them effortlessly join the dots between jazz-funk, classic-sounding soul, library music and hip-hop soul with the assistance of guest vocalists Loren Oden and Angela Munoz. The former stars on the album's standout moment: a set closing extended version of slow-burn favourite "It's You".