Review: Funk/roots supergroup incoming! LA troupe Night Owls comprises members of The Lions and The Aggrolites and, for this special cover version double-A debut, the vocal fire of Breakestra's Afrodyete on "Break In Every Road". A warm, feel-good twist on the Betty Harris classic, there's a rootsy Jamaican twist to the groove while Afrodyete does the business on the top. Flip for another precision cover version as they woozy up Marvin on the evergreen "Inner City Blues". Trust us, this will make you want to holler...
Review: Late last year Los Angeles-based synth obsessive Nicholas Benedek made his PPU bow with a untitled album filled with untitled tracks, executed with the sort of lo-fi panache that fit the label to a tee. Here Benedek returns to PPU as RX, a rather surprising self-styled 'smog prog' project with LIES artist and LA Club Resources boss Delroy Edwards. Taking shape in a signature PPU 7 inch, both "Strung Out" and "Prescriptions" sound like a fine balance between the hazy boogie of Benedek and the tape degraded grit that's been a hallmark of Edwards work since his emergence on L.I.E.S.
Review: Few albums are steeped in as much worldly music heritage as this Afrofunk masterpiece. Recorded in Ginger Baker's ARC studio in Lagos, mixed down in Tin Pan Alley Studios and, just recently, remastered at Abbey Road: everything about this previously rare-as-hens-teeth album screams class. Everything about it screams funk, too. Deep, bluesy, psychedelic and textured in rich intricate percussion, there's a strong sense of spirituality throughout. For once, it really is all about the Money!
Review: Few do funky soul jazz sessions as well as The New Mastersounds, who first formed in Leeds in 1999 and have gone on to be regulars at the Jazz Cafe as well as New Orleans' annual Jazz Fest. Late last year in Denver, the band linked up with vocalist Lamar Williams Jr (son of the late Allman Brothers bassist Lamar Williams) to record this high class album of soulful horns, live drums and heartfelt vocals, all finished off with percussion by Thievery Corporation's Jeff Franca. Digging deep into the history of funk while also looking to a new paradigm, "Shake It" is an album of feel-good emotions that make a lasting impression.
Now Is The Time (Ashley Beedle Warbox dubplate special)
Thinking Of Omara
I Am You (live in Chicago)
Flip Ya Lid
Be, I Do
(Man) Tha Journey
Now Is The Time
Bless My Soul
I'm For Real
Set Me Free (Piano dub)
Review: Amazingly, it's 25 years since George 'E.A.S.E' Evelyn and then production partner Kevin 'Boy Wonder' Harper sat down and recorded "Dextrous", their monstrous, bleep-era classic on Warp. A quarter of a century later, Evelyn is still going strong, though the grooves have mellowed a lot in that time. Here, Warp celebrate the producer's epic career with a much-deserved retrospective. All the familiar favourites are present, from the rush-inducing thrill of early dancefloor smashers "I'm For Real" and "Aftermath", to the sinewy downtempo goodness of the decidedly Balearic "Les Nuits", the blazed hip-hop dub of "195 Llbs" and stoner soul of "70s 80s".
Review: Amerigo's The Big Payback series finds him bring together some fantasy all stars for his "J.B. and The Soul Mates" tribute concept. Here, James Brown's music is reworked, edited and chopped together with the work of hip hop giant Notorious BIG. It results in speaker blasting, floor filling, ass wiggling jams that mash up all the most iconic verses and choruses from each singer with their most recognisable guitar riffs, drum breaks and samples. It's a colourful collage that is as fun as it is funky.