Notes: In conjunction with a licence from Breakaway Records in Texas, USA and exclusive to Juno. Mukatsuku limited edition high quality, practical, stainless steel dual purpose record weight/disc stabilizer, engraved on both sides. Can also be used as a record weight or flipped as a turntable adapter for dinked 45's. Comes housed in a felt lined branded bespoke magnetic wooden box to keep it safe travelling from one venue to another. 500 grams in weight. Only 20 units manufactured worldwide
Review: Brit-funk combo 52nd Street are undeniably best-known for their 1983 single on Factory Records, "Look Into My Eyes", which came accompanied by some killer remixes from John "Jellybean" Benitez and sailed closed to the NYC electro sound. The Manchester outfit's roots were in jazz-funk though, as this essential reissue of their 1982 debut single proves. "Look Into My Eyes" is simply superb: a warm, woozy and gently groovy affair full of attractive lead vocals, elastic slap bass, colourful synthesizer lines and dreamy chords. If you're after some more up-tempo dancefloor pressure, check out flipside "Express" - a riotous affair rich in hammered-out Clavinet lines, jaunty lead lines and energetic percussion.
Review: This is a musical celebration of life, good times and the blessings of planet earth from the Afriquoi collective. It is the first time the band have ever gone into the studio to record a full live-band sound, playing together at Octagon Studios. The material they played is finely honed and tuned music that has been perfected on the live stage over the years. There is kora, Congolese guitar, uplifting vocal work, crisp percussion and gorgeous chords all making this a truly African experience that brims with invention and vitality. For sunny times, there are few better albums.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Afrodesia may come on like another dusted down gem from those dedicated detectives at Best, but it is in fact a modern construction from the talented studio trysts of Mystic Jungle and Whodamanny from the Periodica camp. These Italian producers have more than proved their knack for crafting sublime, honey-smooth jams with a nod to the golden studio era of the 70s and 80s, and they're more than up to the task on this killer 12" of heavy funking jams with a dose of boogie and a nod to Ivory Coast disco. It's quite simply perfection, rendered with love and attention to detail, but utterly natural in its feel and flavour.
Review: Back in 2017 Cordial Recordings mined the vaults of legendary German jazz-funk and off-kilter disco band Afrodisia and offered up a 7" single featuring a previously unheard track. They're at it again here, accompanying sought-after "Elephant Sunrise" album track "Sugar Free" - a delicious chunk of super-sweet jazz-funk rich in Pat Metheny style jazz lead guitar and scat vocals - with unreleased gem "Malcolm X". It's an up-tempo slab of Azymuth style jazz-funk laden with spacey synthesizer solos, quick-fingered bass guitar, punchy horns and a vibraphone part reminiscent of Roy Ayers. Excellent stuff!
Review: Back in 2017, Four Flies Records unearthed and released a previously unheard "Afro-cosmic funk" EP from Italian soundtrack and library music legend Alessandro Alessandroni. Three years on, they've decided to give the 1978 recording the remix treatment. Bolissa and guests Calibra 35 kick things off with a densely percussive, out-of-this-world take on "Afro-Voodoo", before Pad re-imagines "Afro Darkness" as a chugging chunk of beatdown-disco laden with colossal chords, arpeggio bass and intergalactic electronics. Over on side B the "Jolly Mare Lifting" version of "Afro Discoteca" is a veritable leftfield disco stomper notable for its low-slung bass and spacey Moog lines, while Luca's "Quirky Version" of "Afro Darkness" is the kind of hallucinogenic, Marimba-tinged number that you can imagine Daniele Baldelli playing at the Cosmic Club circa 1981.
Review: "Cramp Your Style" by All The People surely belongs among the canon of all time funk standards, sampled aplenty over the years, included on numerous compilations as well as being the recipient of cover versions from Breakestra and Killer Meters. Originally issued on the Blue Candle label back in 1972, a newly remastered edition of that 7" is now available for any funkateers out there without the 45 in their collections already. Robert Moore's yearning vocal sounds all the better for it too! And don't sleep on the bluesy delights of B side track "Watcha Gonna Do About It?".
Review: If pure party-starting pleasure is your thing, you'll find plenty of instant gratification within the bulging catalogue of Bristol boys The Allergies. Alternatively, you could start with the pair's new seven-inch single, which boasts two steaming summer anthems in the making. Their old pals the Cuban Boys guest on A-side "Let Them Know", adding their distinctive rapped and sung vocals to a hip-swinging mambo-influenced backing track full to bursting with Cuban rhythms, jaunty guitar licks and barrio horns. Over on the flip, regular collaborator Andy Cooper raps his way through a fiery funk-rock-meets hip-hop bomb that will have hands shooting skywards faster than you can say, "Mine's a Tequila shooter!"
Review: Expansion's latest must-check seven-inch mines Roy Ayers' 1983 album "Lots Of Love", a sparkling post-disco set that combined the vibraphonist's usual jazz-funk flavours with colourful synthesizers and genuine boogie flavours. "Everybody" on the A-side is particularly potent; a lolloping synth-boogie head-nodder rich in life-affirming synthesizer squelches, rubbery jazz-funk bass, fluid Ayers vibraphone solos and background vocals that sneakily reference "Everybody Loves The Sunshine". Flipside "And Then We Were One" is if anything even more summery in feel, with mazy synth and vibraphone motifs dancing atop a killer jazz-funk groove. It's a little more up-tempo than the A-side, but arguably a little less addictive.
Review: The Atlanta based B Boy Breaks series continues with another drop of serious cuts to get beat jugglers, sample diggers and just straight up funk lovers going hog wild over the lashings of drum breaks. First up on the A side there's some widescreen, expansive beatdowns taking place with the massive "Show Me The Funk Breaks" - a fela esque sax screaching ,hammond organ swirling classic you already know from the many times it's been lifted for its treasured sonic ingredients. "Harder Breaks" on the flip is another monumental jam, presented here in instrumental form most recently used for the theme tune of a UK TV show . The evergreen groove is just crying out for someone with the skills to drop some serious turntablism all over this one.
Review: Peak time dancefloor action with this 45 with the familiar classic b-boy sampling fodder coupled with an infectious r & b vocal club monster. It's never had a physical release till now. On the flip it's instrumental breaks galore for B-Boy/B-Girl back flips action from a sought after uk trio release now in handy 45 form with tuff breakbeats and smattering of electro vibe...Only 200 copies..
Gotta Work The Funk Breaks (instrumental Breaks version) (3:14)
Review: Super limited colour wax issue with a 45 on a relatively new Stateside label that does what it says on the tin. Big drum breaks that work in their own right in instrumental form for these two massive dancefloor funk breaks soul classics with the debut release for both tracks in a single 7" vinyl format (albeit here in a small run on white wax). Heavy on the drums, heavy on the brass with driving instrumentation to take your dancefloor to B-Boy moves heaven.
Review: The always excellently go slow and tropical sounds of Big Crown now look to Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band for covers of two classics. Up first is Grace Jones' nightclub classic "My Jamaican Guy" while on the flip is Erykah Badu's tribute to the legendary J Dilla, "The Healer". Both retain the essence of the original but come with loose hand claps, shimmering steel drums that bring coastal breezes, sand and sun into the equation and leave you laying horizontal. These are fine interpretations of top notch source material.
Review: "The dampness of the rainforest, the hostility of the mangrove ultimately did not suit him. So he left his natural environment for the tranquillity of a freshwater body". So goes the (translated) back story of this new EP from Laurent Bardainne. The 'he' in question is a Tiger who ventured across Europe, Asia and America and apparently picked up various musical styles along the way. Whatever you make of that, the tracks here are gold: "Marvin" is smooth jazz fusion with percolating drums, "Porsche 944" has a joyous lead sax and more crisp boom bap drums, while "Aout" is a soaring bit of heartfelt soul Daptone might put out. The Drop Vibes rework of "Porsche 944" features a vocal roller and closes things in fine fashion.
Review: Matasuna Records' dusty-fingered owners always have one eye on the world of self-released music, scrolling through untold Bandcamp pages to find buried treasure. They've struck gold with Batunga and the Subprimes, a Parisian Afrobeat band who have toured extensively but never before appeared on vinyl - hence this two-track seven-inch single. Both sides are sizzling hot. A-side "Gates of Oauntou" is marked out by some superb, Tony Allen style polyrhythmic drumming, hazy horns and clipped guitars, with the talented ensemble delivering a detailed floor-shaker that should appeal to all those that love Fela Kuti. The spirit of the Nigerian great can also be heard in flipside "Man In The Field", an altogether heavier and punchier affair that's as infectious as tropical fever and twice as sweaty.
Review: While it may look and sound decidedly vintage, this collaboration between veteran Surinamese musician A Bechan and Music With Soul founder Alex Figueira is in fact brand spanking new. In its' A-side "Version" mix form, "Moerarie Morei Atjara" brilliantly joins the dots between Surinamese "Hindostan" music (a style developed by the country's Indian community over decades) and the sweaty tropical rhythms of Cumbia. It's terrific stuff all told, with Bechan's ear-catching Hindu language vocals riding killer South American rhythms, jaunty bass and equally jumpy accordion motifs. Those accordions come to the fore on the flipside instrumental take, which also includes some seriously spacey Juno-60 synthesizer lines. Recommended.
Review: The Bees were a product of the late 80s South African music scene. They were an unknown band even in their homeland but its hard to see why given their happy kwaito sound. Now, 30 years later, international diggers are bringing the outfit the acclaim they deserve after the band was rather forgotten because they never had a big crossover hit in their early years. Here two of their best tracks are served up by Dutch label La Casa Tropical. They're lit up with pixelated synths and retro-future vibes that European party people love to get down to. "Mamezala" is the more considered of the two, while "Never Give Up" is a strident and rousing proto-house anthem with plenty of boogie in the bass.
As The Sun (feat John Arnold & James Simonson) (5:06)
Entardecer (feat John Arnold) (5:18)
Review: John Beltran is welcomed into the MotorCity Wine Recordings family with his sun-drenched and soulful debut entitled "Back To Bahia". Titled after his MCW residency of the same name, the release combines Deep House, Jazz, Boogie, and, of course, musica popular Brasileira flavors to welcome the sunshine into your life. Housed in the MotorCity Wine 7" company jacket.
Review: Ahmed Ben Ali has become something of an accidental icon of Libyan music. Having recorded swathes of tracks in his home studio for his own amusement, a friend convinced him to upload some tracks to YouTube, which quietly amassed a huge following over the course of 10 years. Two of those tracks were "Sibhana" and "Damek Majeb" which features Ben Ali offering up his own distinctive take on reggae with a strong Middle Eastern slant. That's as fresh and vital a combination as it sounds, lovingly packaged and presented here by the dedicated souls behind Habibi Funk.
Review: Given that Pedro Vian's Modern Obscure Music is renowned for its' off-kilter, unusual and often inspired releases, we shouldn't be surprised that this EP's take on West African music is far from traditional. It comes courtesy of Bep Kororoti (best known for his work as Kresy) and Akin, who adds vocals and saxophone parts. Check first the rubbery Afrobeat/heep house/metallic electrofunk fusion of brilliant opener "Epomuyen", before moving on to "Eruododo", a more bass-heavy affair which pushes Akin's Fela-style vocal and sax parts higher in the mix. Over on side B, "Ijotiya" is a more low-slung fusion of dub disco and Afrobeat, while "Love Is The Only Way" cloaks the pair's West African vocals and horn sounds in woozy deep house electronics.
Review: If you went out in the 2000s - particularly to eclectic, open-minded parties such as Manchester's Electric Chair - you'd have found yourself dancing to these two next-level R&B jams rather a lot. It goes without saying that they're both stone cold classics and the kind of brilliantly produced, chart-bothering cuts that are capable of setting any dancefloor alight. Beyonce's Chi-Lites sampling and Jay-Z sporting "Crazy In Love" remains one of her most potent and club-ready cuts, while Amerie's "1 Thing" offers a similar blend of unlikely drum breaks, fuzzy funk samples and a lead vocal that will have you singing along in no time at all.
BIG Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag (instrumental) (3:59)
Review: When it comes to mash-ups and unofficial reworks, sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that make for the most effective versions. That's certainly the case here, as Soul Mates main man Amerigo Gazaway crafts four slabs of funk/hip-hop fusion fusing funky beats with hip hop accapellas plus the all essential instrumental versions...only 300 copies. Don't sleep !
Review: Late last year Italian artist and self-proclaimed "black belt ninja" Black Tongue debuted with a two-tracker that genuinely set our pulses racing. Here the man or woman of mystery returns with an even more expansive EP, which we can happily report is full to bursting with tasty treats. A-side workout "Three" offers a fine balance between jazz-funk-fired musicality, quietly impressive musicianship and infectious grooves that make the most of some deliciously loose-limbed drumming. The producer's love of classic house is explored on "Four", where the action revolves around snappy, Chicago house style machine drums, warehouse-ready stabs and an undulating keyboard bassline, while "Five" is a colourful take on jazz-funk/electrofunk fusion that reminded us of the combined output of Dego and Kaidi Tatham.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Review: To celebrate the dawn of a new decade, Bristolian cut-and-paste maestro Boca 45 has decided to serve up a series of seven-inch singles under a new label, 2020 Donuts (his previous imprint was just called Donuts). A-side "Powerful" is a real treat: an inventive chunk of low-slung, horn-sporting spy-funk goodness topped off with wayward electronic flourishes and a powerful soul vocal by Hannah Williams. Flip-side "Sparky Evans" is a sample-heavy club rocker in the traditional Boca 45 style - all heavy bass, even heavier breakbeats, Sly and the Family Stone style fuck-rock guitars and hip-hop vocal snippets.
Review: When it comes to delivering party-starting funk and soul 45s, Jorun Bombay has an impressive track record. His latest seven-inch is rather fine, too. On the A-side he joins forces with a trio of musicians to offer up "Peas In An Alternate Universe": a riff on JBs classic "Pass The Peas" that layers extended organ and trombone solos over a groove dominated by crunchy breakbeats and virtuoso bass guitar. Flipside "Mister Magic" is a deeper, warmer and more laidback affair, with tidy electric piano parts, toe-tapping drums, occasional string-laden disco samples and warm bass being joined by a simply wonderful new vibraphone solo.
Review: When it comes to blending contemporary dancefloor sounds with aspects of vintage funk, soul and Afro-Latin music, there are few more adept producers than former Whiskey Barons man BOSQ. He's at it again here on his first 12" of 2020. Afro-funk star Kaleta provides vocals on both A-side tracks, the Afrobeat-influenced disco-funk cheeriness of "Wake Up" (an infectious chunk of sun-soaked goodness) and the Afro-Cuban percussive shuffle of horn-heavy delight "Omo Iya". Elsewhere, Justo Valdez and Evan Laflamme guest on the Afro-Latin breeziness of "Mambue" (all dancing woodwind, Fela sax and layered drums), while "El Carriqi" sees BOSQ add Tito Puente style percussion and tight Fela Kuti style sax blasts to a club-ready Afro-house groove.
Review: As he does on the regular, Athens Of The North chief Euan Fryer has unearthed, licensed and reissued another obscure, impossible-to-find gem. Chuck Brimley's cover of Michael Frank classic "St Elmo's Fire" originally appeared on a tiny Milwaukee-based label in 1981, but pretty much sank without trace (according to Fryer, even local record-diggers didn't know of it's existence). It's something of a seductive, early AM radio gem - a deliciously warm, woozy and dewy-eyed mixture of AOR, soul, soft rock and the kind of glistening jazz-funk that would once accompany 'pages from Ceefax' on late night BBC TV. The track's jazzier elements - think trumpet and sax solos, twinkling electric piano riffs and so on -come to the fore on the accompanying flipside instrumental version.
Review: First released back in 1978 on Parachute Records, Randy Brown's debut album "Welcome To My Room" is one of the better lesser-known Philadelphia soul style sets of the disco era. The team behind Expansions Records are certainly fans, because their latest "45" offers up two of the album's most potent tracks. A-side "I'm Always In The Mood" is simply superb, with Brown doing his best Teddy Pendergrass impression atop a heavily orchestrated, dancefloor-friendly backing track. Flipside "Love Is All We Need" is a little deeper but no less sumptuous, sounding a little like Vincent Montana producing "What's Going On" era Marvin Gaye. In a word: essential.
Review: Dynamite excel with this rare bit of superb soul from Vernon Burch. "Lovely Lady" is set to be huge on the more heartfelt dance floors out there - the rolling bass loops sweep you off your feet, hip singing claps bring the joy and the vocal is as feel good and heartwarming as you can imagine. It's a tune that just keeps on going before a special dynamite cuts DJ edit on "Joy & Pain" ups the ante with a more driving disco groove. This one is powered by big horns and funk bass riffs, big backing singers and lead guitars that reach for the heavens. Utterly irresistible.
Review: Blue-eyed soul singer Mickey Carroll made his name in the late 1970s, offering up a handful of singles and a couple of rock-solid albums. His musical journey began much earlier though, as "I've Got Plenty Of Nothing" proves. It was recorded in 1969 but never officially released, presumably because Carroll couldn't find a label to put it out on. This then is the track's first release. It's well worth picking up, not least because it fixes his country-tinged, crooner style vocals to a stomping, Northern Soul style backing track with added big band horns. Flipside "Think Love" swings more than it stomps, with an arrangement and vocal delivery that reminded us a little of Terry Callier's "Ordinary Joe".
Review: Bridge Boots main man Caserta has previously proved to be one of the most talented re-editors around, up there with higher profile artists such as the Reflex and Joey Negro. His latest offering, a red seven-inch single featuring new rearrangements of Diana Ross hit "I'm Coming Out", is another beauty. On the A-side he offers up a "Long Way Mix" that gives more prominence to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' killer backing track (partly via stripping it back to the groove at key points) while retaining most of Ross' vocals. On the flip you'll find a "Sing-A-Long Dub" that strips it back further during key instrumental passages to allow the Motown legend's vocals to shine.