Elkin & Nelson - "Abran Paso - Ahoa (Enrolle)" (4:08)
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie" (3:33)
Review: Soon, DJ Harvey will release The Sound of Mercury Rising, a compilation themed around some of the music championed at his summer residency at Pikes Hotel, Ibiza. This four-track taster 12" not only acts as a sampler for the CD version, but also offers the chance to own four excellent and hard-to-find gems. You'll struggle to find a more Balearic disco cut than Danish outfit Tore's 1979 killer "She's a Lady" - think the Bee-Gees with Flamenco guitars - while Elkin & Nelson's "Abran Paso - Aboa (Enrole)" is a spiraling chunk of flamenco-psychedelia fusion. Elsewhere, Van McCoy & Soul City Symphony's "Spanish Boogie" is a jaunty disco number full of crunchy Clavinet lines and rising horn lines, while Tony Esposito's "Danza Dell'Acqua" is as eccentric and wide-eyed as they come.
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
Review: For the latest volume in their ongoing Brazil 45s series, Mr Bongo has decided to change tack. The two tracks showcased here are from the golden age of Brazilian boogie. On the A-side you'll find Marcos Valle's "A Paraiba Nao E Chicago", a largely overlooked cut from his 1981 full-length Vontade De Rever Voce. While not as instantly as infectious as some of his better-known singles, it's still superb; a breezy, blue-eyed soul cut full of rising horns and sweet Portuguese vocals. On the B-side, you'll find Don Beto's 1978 disco-funk jam "Nao Quero Mais", a superb track that was seemingly inspired by the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running".
Review: Two premium Latin funk documents on one limited 45, Mr Bongo deliver once again: Marcos Valle needs no introduction to Brazilian music enthusiasts. "Mentira" is a self-cover as Valle takes his 69 classic "Mentira Carioca" and develops the dynamic with a vocal style that's highly reminiscent of Donovan. Flip for Toni Tornado's Black Rio anthem "Me Libertei". Fusing sleazy rock n roll with jazzy Latin soul, madly this is the first time it's ever graced a 45!
Review: The Voices Of East Harlem were an ensemble of vocalists who for Just Sunshine Records recorded two albums under the direction of Leroy Hutson and Curtis Mayfield. "Cashing In" is one of their most classic songs, a highly sought after track on original 7" fetches a small fortune on the collectors market. First recorded and released in 1973, it has all the hallmarks of a Leroy Hutson composition and an established audience that crosses the boundaries of northern, crossover and modern soul. The song is coupled here with "Take A Stand', another highly regarded and sought after modern soul room dance floor tracks, never previously released on 7" single until now
Review: Those who watch the X-Factor may remember Voices With Soul; the trio, which is made up of three female members of the Campbell family (Grace, Hilda and Corene) reached the last six of the TV talent competition back in the late noughties. Here, they're in full-on contemporary gospel mode, layering their impassioned, righteous vocals over a lushly produced, slow-burning backing track full of chiming synthesizer melodies, bustling synth bass and tumbling electronic sax solos. Arguably even better is the flipside "Promo Mix", which doffs a cap to classic British street soul - a homegrown 1980s variant that is constantly overlooked by dance music scholars - via tactile hip-hop beats and Soul II Soul style production.
Sunaga T Experience - "It's You" (Disco Alert mix) (6:38)
Review: Capturing the essence and feels of the long-standing event he runs in his Swiss hometown of Lausanne, veteran digger and selector Attias presents a brand new compendium of sweet compositions that sum up he's at creatively and spiritually. Gems on gems on gems: highlights that we guarantee will appeal to your good tastes and dancefloor include the hypnotic vibraphone wash of Cro-Magnon's "Midnight Magic", the slept-on jittering funk of Tatham, Mensah, Lord & Ranks's "Cascade" and Material and Nona Hendrix's ludicrously funky, ultimately sleazy slinker "Over & Over". We suspect you'll be playing this record over and over, too...
Louis Hayes Group - "Little Sunflower" (feat Leon Thomas) (6:41)
Lee Willhite - "The World Is A Ghetto" (5:21)
Clarice Labbe & Charlie Hampton - "No Other Love But You" (3:26)
Ronald Snijders - "Latinetta" (4:02)
Finn Savery Trio - "Misturada" (3:24)
Ira Sullivan - "The Kingdom Within You" (6:11)
Webster Lewis - "Do You Believe" (alternate version) (17:22)
Review: Three years on from the release of his last Private Collection compilation, British jazz survivor Kev Beadle returns with a third selection of little-known "independent jazz" from the 1970s and '80s. As usual, it's a pleasingly varied affair with a clear dancefloor focus. Beadle, a man with an enviable record collection, variously showcases South American jazz-funk fusion (see Banda Metalurgia's fantastic "La Em Guayaquil" and Francisco Mara Catlett's thrillingly upbeat, "Brazilian Love Affair" style smasher "Samba De Amor"), Nat King Cole style smoothness (the Leon Thomas voiced "Little Sunflower" by Louis Hayes Group), dazzlingly positive extended workouts (Clarice Lebbe and Charlie Hampton), heavy percussion jams (Finn Savery Trio) and confirmed jazz-dance classics (the soul-jazz stomp of Webster Lewis).
RA The Rugged Man - "Definition Of A Rap Flow" (3:33)
Roy Ayers - "Poo Poo La La" (4:16)
Herbie Hancock - "I Thought It Was You" (3:40)
Toto - "Waiting For Your Love" (4:10)
Omar - "I Want It To Be" (3:48)
Shalamar - "Take That To The Bank" (3:24)
Teddy Pendergrass - "Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose" (5:19)
The Incredible Bongo Band - "Apache" (4:52)
The Mighty Ryeders - "Evil Vibrations" (3:45)
D'Angelo - "Sugah Daddy" (5:04)
The Mad Lads - "No Strings Attached" (2:30)
The Emotions - "Blind Alley" (3:01)
Erykah Badu - "Next Lifetime" (4:01)
Review: The Cuban Brothers drop some heat of their own with this surprising compilation that blurs the lines between original music and DJ composition. La Familia does have some odd their sounds on it, namely the opening "I Hate Hate", a funky-ass pop tune that kicks this thing off on the right foot, but the majority of it is made from the very artists who launched funk and pop onto the world stage. Inside, you'll fid some absolute classics from legends like Herbie Hancock, Teddy Pendergrass, A Tribe Called Quest, D'Angelo, and many more hot shots.
Take Three - "Tonite's The Night (All Right)" (7:22)
Brandon - "Suzy Hijack" (6:37)
Henning - "Arrival/Departure" (4:22)
Dam Funk - "Believer" (7:51)
Moon Moon B - "Oof"
Nicci Gable - "Close To Who?"
Randell & Schippers - "Love Jam"
Verticle Lines - "Theme From Beach Boy"
Brandon - "Suzy Hijack"
Take Three - "Tonite’s The Night (All Right)"
Index - "Starlight"
Uncle Jams Army - "Dial-A-Freak"
Gemini - "Log In"
Nexus - "Stand Up" (instrumental)
Reggie B - "Poison Candy"
L33 - "Keepin It Tight"
Gaussian Curve - "Broken Clouds"
Tony Palkovic - "True To Yourself"
Henning - "Arrival/Departure"
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?"
Dam Funk - "Believer"
True Design - "I Wanna Break"
Crystal Winds - "Funk Ain’t Easy"
Review: Dam Funk has been foundational in crystallising Stones Throw's undisputed leadership in the nu-school funk and boogie scene, and he's up there with the great J Dilla in our books. Naturally, he's been asked to mix up the latest series of DJ Kicks and, ladies and gentlemen, it's a real masterclass - one of those comps you can safely leave on and let it do its thing on you. The mood is personified by a fine blend of electronics and tougher, funkier rhythms by artists such as Index, Moon B, and Dam himself. There are also a few rare cuts by Chicago house legend Gemini that fit in perfectly, and a whole heap of wavy, Cali-inspired electronic funk. Badass.
Family Of Eve - "I Wanna Be Loved By You" (Kenny Dope edit) (5:26)
Total Experience - "Contradiction" (3:56)
Joe Washington - "Blueberry Hill" (3:25)
Ronnie Keaton - "Going Down For The Last Time" (2:54)
The Fabulous Originals - "It Ain't Fun" (re-edit) (3:52)
Sons Of The Kingdom - "Modernization" (5:02)
Ramsey & Company - "Love Call" (4:26)
Rickey Calloway - "Tell Me" (2:47)
The Golden Toadstools - "Silly Savage" (2:19)
Sandi & Matues - "The World" (2:26)
Carleen & The Groovers - "Can We Rap" (2:14)
Review: Like deep funk? Then you'd surely know of the legendary Keb Darge: the Scottish DJ who invented the term. Known as a leading authority on funk and soul music of the 1960s and beyond, he went from modest beginnings in Wigan, before moving to London in the '70s, bringing the sounds of Northern Soul to punters in the capital. Namely His 'Legendary Deep Funk' night at Soho's seminal strip club turned music venue Madame Jojo's. Following up his last compilation put together with Paul Weller; 2009's Lost & Found (Real R'N'B & Soul) LP, Darge presents hits from the 'Deep Funk' series to celebrate BBE's 20th year. Diggers will most certainly appreciate appearances on here such as Soul Drifter's "Funky Brother", Kenny Dope's edit of Family Of Eve's much sampled "I Wanna Be Loved By You", Joe Washington's "Blueberry Hill" and the classic "Love Call" by Ramsay and Company amongst many others.
The Jacksons - "That's What You Get (For Being Polite)" (DJ Reverend P edit) (9:00)
Harvey Mason - "Till You Take My Love" (original 12" mix) (3:16)
Marvin Gaye - "Rockin' After Midnight" (DJ Reverend P edit) (6:16)
Michael Wycoff - "Looking Up to You" (DJ Reverend P edit) (6:14)
Gladys Knight & The Pips - "Love Is Always on Your Mind" (9:08)
George Duke - "Brazilian Love Affair" (7:20)
The Isley Brothers - "So You Wanna Stay Down" (DJ Reverend P edit) (4:45)
Review: Sony BMG is, as one would expect, a pretty reliable source of all things music-related. This becomes especially true if we're talking edits, seeing as there is just so much of the stuff coming out at all times. The empirical label have recruited the fast-growing DJ Reverend P, one of those producers who manages to find little nuggets of greatness in every track he touches. There's plenty of party-ready hits being given a makeover here; The Jacksons' "That's What You Get (For Being Polite)" is tuned up for the dance floor, "Rockin' After Midnight" by Marvin Gaye is made even sexier, but the special moment lies in "Love Is Always On Your Mind" by Gladys Knight & The Pips. Big up, Reverend P. Hot soul edits comin' at ya!
Review: Selector, percussionist, producer and all-round legend Snowboy represents his weekly Madame JoJo's showcase in album form. Digging deep across two 12"s, Snowboy treats us to 23 undiluted funk and soul cuts. From well-known (James Brown's "Bring It Up" and Etta James' "Can't Shake It") to lesser-known (The Shirelles' "Boys", Dorothy Berry's "I Say You're Driving Me Crazy"), the whole curation rolls with emphatic consistency and attention to detail. With gems hidden around every corner, even the most ardent of collectors will find many things to love right here.
East St. Louis Gospelettes - "Have A Talk With God" (3:22)
Betty Everett - "Just A Little Piece Of You" (3:35)
The Foreign Exchange - "If She Breaks Your Heart" (5:23)
Sunlightsquare - "Pastime Paradise" (4:40)
US Atlantic First Navy Show Band - "Birds Of Beauty" (3:50)
Billy Preston - "It's My Pleasure" (3:49)
John Minnis' Big Bone Band - "Love's In Need Of Love Today" (4:48)
Tony Sherman - "As" (3:44)
David Porter - "I Don't Know Why I Love You" (2:59)
David Rufn - "Make My Water Boil (Loving You Has Been So Wonderful)" (3:50)
Reel People - "Golden Lady" (feat Tony Momrelle) (4:56)
Quincy Jones - "Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me" (5:20)
GC Cameron - "If You Don't Love Me" (2:30)
Jrod Indigo - "Go Home" (5:17)
Black Sugar - "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing" (2:50)
Review: DJ Spinna is known for many things; his productions, sublime DJ mixes and many a hip hop classic as half of Jigmastas. He's also a complete Stevie Wonder obsessive who runs a popular Stevie-themed club night called Wonderful. A series of albums that expand on the party's concept was a logical next step and The Wonder Of Stevie now arrives at a third volume. This edition has clearly been painstakingly curated by Spinna and BBE, consisting of other people's covers of the man's work. Highlights include sweet and sugary 'Buttercup" by The Jackson 5, the bluesy honky tonk jam "It's My Pleasure" by Billy Preston and Quincy Jones' pure liquid funk version of "Betcha' Wouldn't Hurt Me".
TB Funk - "Free Blow" (the dub version - G&D edit) (5:01)
Kenny Pierce - "Done Been" (5:13)
Those Good Intentions - "We Know How To Boogie" (6:50)
Sherman Hunter - "Dance To Freedom" (8:12)
Gospel Keepers - "Never Gonna Give You Up" (5:38)
Living Color - "Plastic People" (G&D edit) (4:57)
Roller Disco - "Stone Luv" (4:15)
Carol Meriwether - "Love Ain't Just (A Physical Thing)" (9:35)
William Barlak - "Ain't No Doubt About It" (3:42)
Review: The Grasso is greener in Bologna: home to two of the most well-connected collectors in Italy. Suppliers to the likes of Kenny Dope, Phil Asher and Dimitri, Gino and Federico have carved their crate craft to insane levels over the last 30+ years... As shown on this detailed, widescreen boogie, funk and disco collection for BBC. Splattering the vibrant collection with a handful of their own edits (TB Funk's salubrious struts on "Free Blow", fly-by boogie falsettos on Living Color's "Plastic People"), the Grasso bro's have put together a package that's eye-opening, enlightening and damn fine to party to. See you on the other side.
Johnny Dynell & New York 88 - "Jam Hot (Rhumba Rock)" (7:22)
Art Zoyd - "Sortie 134" (part 2) (3:45)
Adiche - "Chuka-Ja (Get Ready)" (6:56)
Class Action - "Weekend" (Larry Levan mix) (8:15)
Gray - "Cut It Up High Priest" (4:23)
Golden Flamingo Orchestra - "The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us" (6:50)
Extra T's - "ET Boogie" (5:30)
Fab 5 Freddy - "Change The Beat" (7:31)
Convertion - "Let's Do It" (6:40)
Yoko Ono - "Walking On The Thin Ice" (5:55)
Review: Curated as part of the iconic street artist's Tate exhibition this year, The World Of Keith Haring unites many of the talented souls Keith knew, or was inspired by, during his prolific rise as one of the most vital cultural spokesmen through the 70s and 80s. Soundtracking the gritty downtown NYC streets he made his first mark on, this limited collection captures the whole melting pot from b-boy culture with cuts such as "E.T Boogie" and "Bump N Grind", raw boogie and soul ("Over & Over") and pure drama ("The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us"). A powerful collection as striking and relatable as his own signature.
Sweet Daddy Floyd - "Just Can't Help Myself" (5:44)
The Third World Connection - "Hot Seat" (5:14)
Patricia White - "Cosmic Disco" (5:43)
The Midas Touch - "The Nightlife (Let's Get It On)" (5:49)
Smile Street People - "Lypso Disco" (5:54)
Bob Williams - "I'm Alright" (6:09)
JNB - "I'll Be The One" (4:57)
Quinn Harris - "I Will Always Love You" (3:25)
Review: As someone who briefly escaped 70's Glasgow and got a taste of the golden age of NYC Disco, Al Kent is a perfect choice to lead you through a classy selection of some choice and rare Disco treats. Having used his huge collection in the past for re-edits and originals, he also took the bold step of forming his own band in 2007 under the name The Million Dollar Orchestra.
The selections here reflect the point at which Funk and Soul mutated into Disco, with most of the tracks capturing that pre-Moroder organic sound. Lee Alfred's Rockin-Poppin Full Tilting for example has a laid back vibe similar to Curtis Mayfield's more uptempo tunes. New Ghetto Express's version of Standing On The Verge of Getting It On (originally by Funkadelic) up's the tempo on the wigged-out classic, again combing the Funk with a Disco groove.
Lypso Disco by Smile Street People, as you'd guess from the title, has a playful Calypso lilt and bounce to it. Cosmic Disco by Patricia White on the other hand doesn't sound like something that Todd Terje or Lindstrom got their cues from, but it is a fun song with some brilliantly random thumb-piano playing in the background!
Anyone looking for samples will have a field day among these tracks, Sweet Daddy Floyd's I Just Can't Help Myself for example has a break in the middle to die for. You could loop up 4 bars practically anywhere and have something pretty damn funky to work with. For that reason alone, it's well worth having a listen and broadening your horizons.
Donny McCullough - "From The Heart" (Kon's Multi remix) (6:33)
Taxie - "Rock Don't Stop" (3:32)
The Mazyck Project - "More Power To You" (4:39)
The Edge Of Daybreak - "EOB (Edge Of Daybreak)" (4:01)
Shake - "Lost In Space" (5:12)
Oby Onyioha - "Enjoy Your Life" (6:18)
Bomp - "Disco Power" (4:57)
Christy Essien Igbokwe - "You Can't Change A Man" (3:57)
Harry Mosco - "Sexy Dancer" (6:37)
Goddy Oku - "Dont' Ask Me" (5:37)
Review: BBE unearth another batch of rare and underexposed disco cuts on Off Track Vol 3. Compiled by the crate digging New York/Boston based duo Kon & Amir, the release gives an authentic representation of Brooklyn’s ghetto, funk and afro music scenes. Sophisticated tracks for real music heads
Stephen Colebrooke - "Stay Away From Music" (4:28)
Andre Marie Tala - "Sweet Dole" (4:32)
Tyna Onwudiwe - "Lite Low" (4:04)
Rebles - "Sweetest Taboo" (Soca version) (3:26)
Ricardo Marrero & The Group - "And We'll Make Love" (2:31)
Koko Ateba - "Si T'es Mal Dans Ta Peau" (4:03)
Sookie - "Tonight" (feat Jeannine Otis) (4:58)
Raphael Toine - "Femmes Pays Douces" (5:40)
Eboni Band - "Desire" (5:09)
Robert J Riggins - "I Need You Now" (4:06)
Salero - "Teardrops & Wine" (3:07)
Momo Joseph - "War For Ground" (4:13)
Claude Genteuil - "Dreams Of Love" (3:00)
Gatot Soedarto - "Sayangilah Daku Kasih" (1:46)
Synchro Rhythmic Eclectic Language - "Pasto" (5:51)
Review: Since the Beach Diggin' compilation series launched a few years back, a number of its obscure, Balearic-minded selections have been given full length reissues of their own. We can probably expect a number of the tracks from this brilliant fifth volume to get the same treatment. As usual, the wide-ranging track list is thick with highlights, from the synth-heavy, French language reggae of Raphael Toine's 1986 bubbler "Femmes Pays Douces" (taken from the artist's frustratingly hard to find Ce Ta Ou album) and vibraphone-laden jazz-funk smoothness of Yasuko Agwa's sought-after "L.A Night", to the barely-known brilliance of Andre Maria Tole's Cameroonian gem "Sweet Dole". In other words, it's another essential selection.
Judy Carter - "Listen To The Music" (12" version) (5:57)
Janet N'Diaye Lokamba - "Funky & Fire" (4:53)
KKE - "Money" (4:03)
Caramel - "L'amour Toujours L'amour" (12" version) (5:56)
Yannick Chevalier - "Ecoute Le Son Du Soleil" (instrumental) (4:06)
JEKYS - "Looking For You" (4:26)
Silence - "Un Peu D'amour" (3:40)
Wally & Shane - "Give Back My Song" (3:47)
Zorgus - "Flash" (3:36)
Joel Dayde - "Qu'est Ce Que Tu Fais Par Amour" (3:29)
Review: For those intrigued by the distinctively Gallic but authentically American-sounding world of French disco-boogie, Charles Maurice's ongoing compilation series should be essential listening. Here he serves up a third instalment that's every bit as good as its' acclaimed predecessors. Highlights naturally come thick and fast throughout, from the mid-80s dreaminess of Maya's undeniably Balearic "Lait De Coco (Dub)" and the Brenda Taylor-ish bounce of Judy Carter's brilliant "Listen to the Music", to the Leroy Burgess style piano stabs and Patrick Adams-ish disco production of Caramel's "L'Amour Toujours L'Amour". Oh, and the late night radio warmth of NST Cophies' "Segregation", a sweet, undulating workout that will no doubt find favour with Balearic selectors.
The Heads Of The Family - "Troubled People" (2:21)
The Discoettes - "Yes We Can Can" (3:46)
Bergendy - "Tramp-Reszlet" (0:56)
Blackbuster - "Shack Up" (3:02)
Leaf - "Food Stamps" (5:42)
Soulful Illusion - "Soulful Illusion" (3:05)
Bob Ascroft - "Percumatics #11" (0:47)
Brothers Lloyd's All Stars - "The Tramp" (2:20)
Lloyd Charmers - "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little Bit More" (3:03)
Original Tropicana Steel Band - "Calypso Rock" (3:36)
Emphasis - "Rocking Bird" (2:49)
Chain Reaction - "Hogtied" (6:08)
The Honey Drippers - "Streakin'" (3:01)
David Batiste & The Gladiators - "Funky Soul" (part 1) (1:58)
Society Of Seven - "Superstar (Remember How You Got To Where You Are)" (3:57)
Daniel J White - "Boxe Et Violence" (1:54)
YanTregger - "Black & Blue" (2:33)
The Crystal Mansion - "Boogie Man" (5:15)
New Hope - "Godofallotus" (6:20)
Josef Vobruba Se Svym Orchestrem - "Preludium Cis Moll" (3:03)
Steve Smith - "Tighten Up" (0:31)
Review: BBE Records have teamed up with DJ/Producer Mr Thing, to dig deep into his extensive collection to compile a series of albums of rare and sought after breaks. This series reflects brilliantly on his dedication to digging for those untouched and unrivalled samples and breaks as you hear him use in his DJ sets. As a DJ, Mr Thing never fails to engage the crowd with his winning combination of hip-hop and funk breaks spiced up with his legendary mixing and scratching skills. "Strange Breaks & Mr Thing" is a crazy good release.
Review: It doesn't seem like five years since BBE last invited London crate digger and turntablist Mr Thing to get his fingers dusty by picking out gems from his record collection for the Strange Breaks & Mr Thing series. Predictably, this belated third installment is full of killer selections that lives up to it's subtitled billing as More Rock Funk Soul Jazz & Soundtrack Breaks For Modern Living. Favourites come thick and fast though the low down funk of Dynamic Concept's "La Da Da" and the jazz-funk goodness of Harry Beckett's "Ring Within Rings" stand out upon first listen. The cats at BBE spare no expense either with this vinyl edition that features fifteen cuts spread across the two slabs, and there's also Mr Thing's peerless mix available on a CD that's slipped in too.
Ruby Andrews - "You Made A Believer (Out Of Me)" (2:39)
Kalyanji Anandji - "Back Ground Music" (2:29)
Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers - "Searching For Soul" (part 1) (2:40)
Hot Butter & Soul - "ABC" (4:43)
Dick Walter - "Spooky Do" (1:33)
Roy Head - "She's About A Mover" (3:13)
Hot City Bump Band - "It's Just Begun" (2:53)
Val Merrall's Orchestra - "The Horse" (3:45)
Frank Pleyer Big Band - "Sally" (3:24)
Art & Ron - "Can't Stop Talkin" (2:55)
Johnny Griffith Inc - "Love Is Just A Word" (3:23)
The Generation Gap - "Family Affair" (2:40)
Tinga Stewart - "The Message" (2:55)
Jerzy Milian Orkiestra - "Gacek" (2:19)
John L Watson - "Rockin' Chair" (with White Mouse) (3:19)
The Alan Tew Orchestra - "Pink Panther" (3:39)
The Rias Orchestra Conducted By Helmuth Brandenburg - "Pru Urebu" (4:55)
Oscar Harris & The Twinkle Stars - "Twinkle Stars Boo Galoo" (live) (3:54)
Review: Magic happens when Mr Thing hits the crates. His ability to unearth recordings you're guaranteed to never have heard before, and join the dots in ways you'd never have thought before, his "Strange Breaks" series is legendary. Long since off-press, to celebrate their 20th anniversary BBE have repressed this seminal 2009 sophomore. From the turbo blues fusion of Roy Head and the speeding Mancini feels of Val Marrall's Orchestra to the more sedate, slinky funk of Johnny Griffith and sunny-side roots of Tinga Stewart, Mr Thing's odyssey remains as inciteful, intriguing and as full of treasure as it did seven years ago.
Review: The Magic Forest dwelling record collectors better known as Psychemagik return to Claremont56 offshoot Leng with a new compilation Magik Sunrise which is essentially a vinyl shaped sequel to last year's well received Magik Cyrkles. Though equally well presented as that compilation, Psychemagik refreshingly adopt a different sonic direction here, trading in the obscure Balearica and funk in favour of a wonderfully enlightening blend of African reggae, jazz-funk, prog rock, folk and New Age curios. Think David Holmes classic Essential Mix then crank up the weird factor to eleven and you'll have a good idea of what to expect from this fifteen track selection. The sensual twilight boogie of "The Juggler" by Fox is a particular highlight.
Scratch (Gonzalez) - "Keep On Searching For Love" (6:10)
Review: In recent years, more and more crate diggers have been exploring "Brit-funk" - a previously largely overlooked British variant of jazz-funk popular in underground UK clubs between the late 1970s and mid '80s. One such digger is Parisian producer and DJ Saint-James, who here presents his second deep dive into the obscure genre. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the percussive, synth-heavy soul brilliance of Stikki Stuff's "School" and the pre-Lover's Rock, reggae-influenced electrofunk smoothness of Cruzial's "Send Me Your Love", to the killer slap bass of The Breakfast Band's club-rocker "Funksters" and the sparkling boogie badness of "Keep On Searching For Love" by Scratch (Gonzalez).