Review: The West Loop Chicago collective reportedly span continents, pooling soul-soaked talents into some truly powerful dance music. "Knocking On The Door Of The Cosmos" doffs its cap to Sun Ra with some crafty samples, but the musical vibe is more in line with the likes of Andres, Dego or other such masters of irrepressibly funky house music. "Theme For Chicago" takes an iconic Roy Ayers jam and gets wild with the filter, "Son Of Equinox" trips down a loose and limber jazz funk pathway and "Payback" whips up some tightly clipped samples into a pumped up peak time belter. From start to finish this EP oozes class and authenticity - a serious grip for any self-respecting Midwest heads.
Review: DC chill dons Thievery Corporation first released this LP 18 years ago. And, like all classics, it still sounds as timeless and immersive as it did when it first hit our ears. From the swooning chords and easy-groove bedrock of "2001" to the heavy tabla-induced meditation of "Transcendance" via the ever-delicate breakbeat lullaby of "Incident At Gate 7", Sounds From The Thievery HiFi spawned the first generation of hippies the 21st century ever saw. This album is many things; a lesson in chill, a lesson in sample magic, a lesson in long and languishing grooves. If you haven't got this in your collection yet, you know what to do.
Review: Peace and football: not only the best compilation album title of 2006 (and possibly every year since) but also an immaculate collection of Brazilian folk, funk, disco and soul by Sonar Kollektiv champs Jazzanova. Ten years on and the SK dons are back with a second edition of Paz E Futbol, compiled with just as much care as an homage to football's spiritual home as that debut record. To adopt the football parlance, the band's digging duties score goal after goal after goal; the smoky Simoneisms of Ary Lobo, the heavenly vibraphonics of Skymark, the slippery time signature and almost cosmic bossa of Lucas Santana, the raw jazz soul of Nathan Haines, the list goes on. Peace out.
Review: Ishmael Collective are a Bristol based 'experimental jazzwise electronica' collective led by saxophonist and producer Pete Cunningham. Their last release was championed by the likes of Dan Snaith, Antal and Gilles Peterson and the follow-up sees Cunningham slip into a nostalgic haze. Here, he throws back to his formative years in Bristol's late noughties scene. "Tunnels" is a hypnotic and psychedelic journey through the outer limits of modern jazz, while the glistening ambient textures of "First Light" on the B side sees the collective express yet more of their deft and charming musicality.
Review: Tom Kerridge's Girls Of The Internet project is back after a successful debut via WNCL Recordings, landing on the excellent Ramp Recordings with an aptly rampant four-tracker that's just in time to catch the rest of the summer heat! "When U Go" is a super-chilled, super-vibing deep house sketch with a marvellously sexy wave of female vocals, then remixed into something more 'tech' by FYI Chris. On the flip, "Running" wins our hearts over as the killer tune on this EP, not least because of its painfully soulful vocals and mild-mannered elegance on the instruments and groove beneath it; The rework, from Finn, once again adds a lot more of a tech-house vibe to the arrangement, and a whole load of bass on top of that. TIP!