Review: It's almost 30 years since Queen Latifah's 'U.N.I.T.Y.' as part of her Grammy Award-winning album Black Reign but it still gets the plaudits it always has. Heat Rock Records now revisits it for a sixth entry into their catalogue. Chicago's Altered Tapes is the man stepping up to remix and he serves up a big, hard hitting breakbeat version laden with sax lines and crisp drumming. An instrumental version on the reverse is more designed for the dance floor and is perfect for all the scratching and juggling needs of any hard working turntablist.
Review: As the title of this record suggests, it contains some seriously mind bending music. The whole thing was written over a four year period of "psychedelic usage" and the results offer a blurred reality of real and surreal musical interpretations. A duality of light and dark defines the album which features tough provoking rhymes and inspired technique from hip-hop artist Cambatta, with countless polarizing and multi-entendre compositions making up the album. Guests Kenny Buttons, Songbird and Jamall Ray add their own flavour to an intoxicating album, whether or not you enjoy it on drugs.
Review: Just a few weeks after Abel Tesfaye's seventh album, After Hours, hit stores, he decided to put out a 'Deluxe Editon' of the album that replaced some of the original mixes with brand-new alternative takes. Initially, this tweaked edition was only available on digital formats, but finally his label has relented to pressure and released it on wax. By now, we should all know what to expect, namely chart-bothering fusions of R&B, hip-hop and synth-pop topped off by his own slick, soulful vocals and plenty of nods towards other artists work (think Elton John and Daniel Lapotin for starters). It's a slick, radio-friendly mixture of songs, some of which gleefully doff a cap towards dancefloor-friendly styles old and new (think electrofunk, dubstep and, most surprisingly, drum & bass).
Review: More Toxic Funk flavours from the Breakbeat Paradise crew, who've cannily snapped up a couple of killer collaborations from Prosper and Badboe. The experienced pair predictably goes in hard on A-side 'Beastie Lifestyle', where a classic Beastie Boys acapella is slapped down hard on a brand-new heavy funk-meets-breakbeat backing track that comes laden with mazy electric piano solos and fiery horns courtesy of Le Marabout. They change tack slightly on 'Without Funk', joining the dots between a handful of killer samples on a P-funk flavoured workout that's every bit as addictive and ear-pleasing as the duo's A-side banger.
Band Intro/Square Dance/Won't Back Down/3 AM/Business/Kill You/White America/Mosh/Evil Deeds/Rap God/Soldier (20:48)
Just Don't Give A Fuck/Criminal/The Way I Am/Detroit vs Everybody/Fast Lane (Bad Meets Evil Song)/The Hills (remix)/Drop The World (Lil Wayne Cover) (16:05)
Airplanes (part II - BOB Cover)/Stan/Sing For The Moment/Like Toy Soldiers/Forever (Drake Cover)/Love The Way You Lie (17:01)
Berzerk/'Till I Collapse/Cinderella Man/The Monster/My Name Is/The Real Slim Shady/Without Me (The Eminem Show) (17:58)
Review: As the game has evolved and adapted, the shine that once was might have rather come off the nasal rapper from Detroit in recent years, but that's not to say he doesn't remain a real hall of fame when it comes to hardcore mic work. Back in 2017 he turned out a typically angsty and raw performance as one of the headliners at Reading Festival, and this recording of it captures the whole thing in all its glory across four sides of wax. 'The Way I Am,' 'Wont Back Down' and 'Detroit vs Everybody' all make the cut and will have you moshing in no time.
Review: Mash-up maestro, bootleg remix king and talented beat-maker Jim Sharp launched the Soul By The Pound label last year to offer up sneaky re-edits of classic soul and funk jams from the '60s and '70s. Here he finally delivers the imprint's second-single, delivering some Blaxploitation-era goodness that should tickle the fancy of all those who like their funk energetic and enthusiastic. A-side "I Got It Funky" more than lives up to its name, with call-and-response vocals, wah-wah guitars, tasty Hammond licks and rising horns riding a snappy, breakbeat-driven groove. He switches focus a little on flipside "Trippin' Out", adding bouncy hip-hop beats to a dewy-eyed, string-laden slab of Curtis Mayfield style soul.
Review: Japanese heavyweights HHV continue their ongoing trawl through the back catalogue of long-serving hip-hop producer, DJ, record collector and self-styled King of Diggin', Muro. Here they present the second part of the dusty-fingered hero's turn-of-the-millennium Pan Rhythm series of 12" singles, this time presenting it on a tidy seven inch single. 'Hip-Hop Band' is a weighty, floor friendly, horn-heavy re-make of the Stetsasonic song of the same name, with local mic man Boo delivering tweaked versions of the U.S crew's verses in his native Japanese. While jazzy, the bombastic backing track - which can be heard in full on the flipside instrumental version - is forthright and club-ready, making the single a must-have for working hip-hop DJs and those who love the more up-tempo end of the rap spectrum.
Review: It was way back in 1998 when Japan's undisputed King of Diggin', DJ.producer/mix-maker and dedicated record collector Muro, first released 'Han-Tome'. These days, it's regarded as a Japanese hip-hop classic, and listening back to this reissue it's easy to see why: the beats are dope, the producer's jazz and orchestral samples beautifully incorporated into the backing track, and the combination of Japanese rap verses and R&B style sung choruses every bit as good as those you'd expect on big-name American tracks from the same period. As it did first time around, the track comes backed by the superb 'Flutestrumental Mix'. This adds sun-kissed keyboard stabs and flighty flute solos to Muro's formidably head-nodding beats..