Review: Penny deliver's a flute led Jazz version of Marvin's soul classic flipped by a funky organ backed version of Gil Scott Heron's Lady Day & John Coltrane with both tracks lifted from the Portrait Of A Gemini LP.
Review: Delicious timeless soul from Finnish crooner Oroza. Originally released in 2016, "This Love" hums with a Faze O style sunset haze that could melt the stoniest of hearts. "Should I Take You Home" plays the consummate foil on the B. A cover of Sunny Ozuna, there's such a smooth, arresting bluesy feel that runs throughout you kinda want him to take you home even though you've got a perfectly pleasant abode yourself.
Review: Vocally-led by child sensation, Foster Sylvers, The Sylvers family grew into their own throughout the 70s, and 1973's The Sylvers II really instilled their sound as the gold standard fo funk music. We're talking about a family of kids who were all incredible musicians, truly offering the world a heartfelt performance, whichever aesthetic they were going for. Mr Bongo has delivered the goods once again with this reissue, and we are totally stoked about the fact that we are receiving the sort of funk and soul which still has not been experienced by everyone. It is about the mystique, it is about the charm, and it's most certainly high time for some soothing soul direct from the source - oh, and check that bassline on the magnetic "Handle It". Recommended.
Review: Naturally, the great Fela Kuti or more recently, people like William Onyeabor usually get all the praise when it comes to the topic of Afrobeat and anything remotely funky from central Africa. However, what many fail to realise is the sheer quantity of untapped gold deep in the heart of those countries and King Bucknor Jr is inarguably very much a part of that hidden treasure chest. 1979's African Woman, also known as The Black Isaiah Of Africa, is a record that holds a mythical status for many, and it's safe to say that for the few lucky diggers who own an original copy of this record, Hot Casa's reissue probably isn't that welcome. However, how could anyone ever deny a fellow music lover of a tune like "Woman Nature" or "Mr Debtor"? The former owns the sexiest percussion roll available on our charts at the moment, not to mention the King's raw and loose vocals, whereas the latter heads deeper into the groove, coming through with a beautifully dubwise groove to fill the air. So hot!
Review: DJ Gandharva and Von Yodi's long serving Budabeats label is always a trusted source for razor sharp disco digs and more esoteric sounds from the four corners of the earth, and they continue their recent leap to vinyl with this stunning selection of jams from the southern hemisphere. Letta Mbulu's Soweto funk gets a little edit treatment from Petko Turner, while BeTe takes on Camila Costa's gorgeous Ponto Das Caboclas for a perfect sundown reflection led by tender acoustic strumming. Chillum Trio work up a sweat over Ebo Taylor's "Odofo Nyi Akyiri Biara", creating a certifiable party burner in the process, and then Birdhouse completes the package with the irrepressibly funky "Berimbao".
Review: Having previously tried his hand at revivalist disco, jazz-funk and Afro-funk, it was probably only a matter of time before Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart tried his hand at Jorge Ben style samba-pop. Naturaza sees him joining forces with Ipanema-born musician and vocalist Jonathan Da Silva under the Jaoa Selva pseudonym. Musically, the album sounds like it could have been recorded in Brazil in the late '60s or early '70s, such is the fuzzy authenticity of the duo's production, instrumentation and song-writing skills. It's packed with summery, feel-good gems, the majority of which boast the distinctive shuffle of vintage samba and the jaunty musicality of early Azymuth.
Review: Kenny Dope & The Undercover Brother dig up another Monster of a 45 which was originally released on Reynolds Records out of California. "Maintain" is a pounding northern soul/modern soul/disco dancer which is tearing up dance floors everywhere it's being played. It's being discussed quite a bit on different soul/disco forums lately and is starting to crop up on northern soul play lists.
Review: Brand new sub-label from the Favorite camp, SOL Discos launches with an absolute reissue gem that has previously passed hands for well over a L100. Hiram & Direct's Detroit-recorded, Hirome-released double-A sets up the new label's stall really well as we're treated to frenetic jazz boogie on "Love Flight" which hasn't lost so much as an ounce of dancefloor focus in its 30+ years while "Turn It Around" is a classic torch ballad Faze-O style. One for getting freaky on the floor, one for getting freaky elsewhere. More please.
Kenny Smith - "Lord What's Happened To Your People" (2:51)
Kenny Smith & The Loveliters - "Go For Your Self" (full) (4:49)
Review: Soul Street maestro's breakthrough release from 1971 gets a much needed spotlight from Counterpart... "Lord What's Happening To Your People" is gospel re-imagined as raw funk as Kenny calls out humanity's problems with the help of a full backing chorus and some very slick, dramatic orchestration. "Go For Yourself" takes us further back into Kenny's career to 1966. Leaner than the A-side but comes with the same elements -tight bandmanship, emphatic backing vocals, instant feel-good dynamics - and is also loaded with some exceptionally clean drum breaks. Go fun yourselves.
Review: Kalita Records announce the first ever and definitive discography of Carrie Cleveland. Here, they offer an expanded version of her 1978 album 'Looking Up', including both the issue and promotional versions of her single 'Make Love To Me', and the previously unknown sweet soul single 'I've Got A Feeling'.
Privately arranged, recorded and produced by Carrie and her husband Bill as a labour of love in their backyard studio in 1978, 'Looking Up' is one of the most in-demand soul/disco LPs in existence, sought-after in particular for their track 'Love Will Set You Free'. In addition, the promotional version of Carrie's single 'Make Love To Me' is one of the best and rarest sweet soul records to have emerged out of the West Coast soul scene, and her single 'I've Got A Feeling' is until today virtually unknown even to the most seasoned of collectors, with even Carrie herself unsure if it was ever released. With the album originally pressed in a limited run of just 1000 with 500 copies of each single, original copies of Carrie's records deservingly command eye-watering figures on the second-hand market. Kalita now satisfy the thirst with the first ever official reissue of her entire discography.
The Kalita vinyl reissue consists of both the expanded album and a bonus 7" single, and is housed in a gatefold sleeve. It includes extensive interview-based liner notes and never before seen photos, detailing Carrie and Bills' life and musical career.