Gimmie What You Got (extended Breaks Special edition)
Review: We've said this before, but there's something brilliantly simple about the Beats & Breaks label's "Extended Breaks" series of seven-inch re-edits. There's no superfluous fluff or needless rearrangement, just solid and matter-or-fact extensions of key drum breaks to both aid mixing and light up dancefloors. For proof, check the mysterious re-editors' take on Billy Squier's 1980 heavy rock workout "The Big Beat", which prioritizes the track's fat, bottom-heavy drums and the singer's impassioned vocal yelps while stripping out most of the gnarled guitar riffs. If you need a bit of a breather from the heavy dancefloor pressure, the crew's subtle revision of Le Pamplemousse's drowsy, synth-laden deep disco shuffler "Gimme What You Got" - a string-laden slice of sun-kissed sweetness - should do the trick.
Review: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series rarely misses a beat, with each successive seven-inch showcasing two more hard-to-find treats from the dim and distant past. The latest instalment opens with "Vou Morar No Teu Sorriso", a sought-after cut from Trio Tenura's eponymous 1971 MPB/soul fusion album. It's a genuinely summery treat, with ear-catching, reverb-heavy vocals and rising horn lines rising above a life-affirming backing track. On the flip you'll find "Quem Vai Querer", the title track from a superb 1977 album by Eliana Pittman. A breezy chunk of sizzling samba-soul, the cut features an impeccable lead vocal from Pittman and some sing-along group chorus vocals
Haruomi Hosono, Takahiko Ishikawa, Masataka Matsutoya - "Mykonos No Hanayome"
- "LA Night"
Hitomi Tohyama - "Exotic Yokogao"
Tazumi Toyoshima - "Machibouke"
Review: U.S label Light In The Attic has previously served up compilations exploring various Japanese takes on Western music, most notably folk, rock, ambient and new age. Here they switch tack, curating a brilliant double-album set that showcases the best Japanese synth-pop, AOR and boogie recorded between 1976 and '86. The quality threshold remains impressively high throughout, from the blue-eyed-soul breeze of Taeko Ohnuki's "Kusuri Wo Takusan" and the Chaz Jankel-meets-Thompson Twins style throb of Haruomi Hosono's "Sports Men", to the talkbox-sporting late night AOR-pop flex's Hiroshi Satoh's "Say Goodbye" and the glistening, Latin-influenced jazz-funk brilliance of Masayoshi Takanaka's steel pan-sporting "Bamboo Vender".