Impeach The President (UB instrumental mix) (4:19)
Review: Nubian Crackers member The Undercover Brother (AKA veteran Queens, New York-based beat-maker Victor Piagneri) fires up his U.B.'s project and delivers another taster for the forthcoming "Ultimate Covers w/Breaks" LP. On the A-side you'll find his instrumental interpretation of Frederick Knight cut "Uphill Peace Of Mind", a heavy, stripped-back revision rich in killer drum breaks, Red Hot Chili Peppers style funk-rock guitars and life-affirming piano solos. Turn to the flip for Piagneri's vocal-free version of The Honey Drippers' 1973 anti-Nixon anthem "Impeach The President". He allows the track's much-sampled opening drum break a little more room to breathe, before carefully layering up Hammond organ riffs and a snaking saxophone solo that effectively replaces the original vocals.
Review: First released on green vinyl in 2008 and almost impossible to find since, "Synthetic Substitution" is an instrumental cover version of a celebrated Melvin Gill tune by The Undercover Brother, AKA Kenny Dope collaborator Victor Piagneri. The A-side "Instrumental Mix" re-creates the original version's famous groove, layering it with Clavinet lines, fluid pianos and spacey synth solos not evident on Gill's early '70s original. Arguably even better is the "Melody Mix", which adds in some fine George Benson style jazz guitar solos while retaining the familiar breakbeats, bassline and pianos. If you missed out first time around, we'd recommend copping a copy.
Review: The archives of Estonian artist Uku Kuut continue to prove fertile stomping ground for the PPU label, with this latest transmission drawing from unreleased material he recorded with his mother Maryn Coote. Coote is quite an established musician in her own right, recording a couple of albums as Marju Kuut, as well as collaborating with compatriot Uno Loop and it's clear her musical background helped shape Uku's formative direction. If you've partaken in any previous Kuut retrospectives from PPU, the four tracks here will be a real delight, with "Mayday" and "Dreamboy 84" particular highlights. The former is an alternate tape mix of a track from the Vision Of Estonia LP issued by the label back in 2012, whilst the latter features Marju's vocals in full swing.
Review: Originally out in 1985, Peoples Potential Unlimited reissue this soul boogie jam from Uku Kuut (who was born In the Soviet Union, raised in Sweden and now lives in Estonia) featuring Marju Kuut on vocals. On the flip is a mellow instrumental in homage to Uku's home for the past 20 years, now available for the first time on cute 7" vinyl. Top release!
Review: A hot and steamy funk jam on the A, a swooning samba with a hectic climax on the B: dynamically this is pretty much the perfect 45 as it ticks all funk dancefloor scenarios. Sonically it's just as sweet with widescreen production, fireside harmonies and pianos that could meander on for days and you'd never get bored. Previously rarer than unicorn knickers, this Underground Resurrection re-release comes our way the same week as the Second Resurrection 45. AOTN are clearly working on biblical form right now.
Review: Previously spotted passing hands for well over L200, "Unit's Groove" was the band's first single. Released in 1983, it was followed by one album and one further single, which is criminal considering how tight and creative they were. "Unit's Groove" is instant party business with dense layers of percussion, vibrant guitar splashes and a vocal call to action that shift the dead. "Hand In Hand" show the bands more emotional side with heartfelt balladry and heavenly harmonies.
Review: Before becoming the multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire behind most of Favorite Recordings' disco, boogie and jazz-funk flavoured releases, Bruno 'Patchworks' Hovart delivered one of the best revivalist funk albums of the 21st century, 2009's "The Empire Strikes Back", under the Uptown Funk Empire alias. Here he revisits the album, gathering together a bunch of killer cuts previously included on digital versions of the set but omitted from the vinyl release. As you'd expect, it's an authentic-sounding affair full of killer grooves, brilliant instrumental arrangements, fluid solos and dancefloor-ready workouts shot through with knowing references to 1970s black American music. There's one previously unheard gem - the righteous and celebratory "Party" - and a whole lot of insatiable good-time grooves.
Review: Since its' release in 1978 on Nigeria's Clover Sound, Mary Afi Usuah's African Woman has been widely regarded as one of the strongest Afro-soul albums of the period. Interestingly, the sound showcased on the set - which here gets a first ever release on CD - draws on South African and American influences as much as Nigerian ones. This is particularly evident on the urgent Afro-funk of "What's The Woman To Do", the brilliant title track, and the low-slung, Meters-ish swing of "Tenkim Kpoho". One of the most impressive aspects of the album is its' mixture of floor-slayers and slower groovers, with the reggae-influenced "Our Generation (Ode To Our Nation)" also impressing.
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