DaM-FunK - "Believer" (Fingers deep funk remix) (8:40)
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?" (3:38)
Review: Damon Garrett Riddick offered a fine addition to the DJ Kicks canon with his 19 track DaM-Funk selection earlier this and in time honoured tradition his exclusive contribution gets a vinyl release backed with a rather special remix. In a nod to his cache and love of classic deep house, Riddick has coaxed a Mr Fingers remix out of Larry Heard resulting in a sublime take on "Believer" that would have gone down a treat at Broken Beat haven Co-Op back in the day. Instead of the original version of "Believer," the flip features another Riddick original from the DJ Kicks mix - his killer Nite Funk collaboration with fellow LA synthesizer enthusiast Nite Jewel.
Review: Under the Danced Til Midnight alias, DJ Andy Anderson has always produced music that eschews easy categorization. His two previous 12" singles successfully blended elements of funk, soul, disco, hip-hop, house and Afrobeat. This madcap, all-that-counts-is-the-dancefloor feel is continued on "She Can't Love You", which laces Ijeoma's soulful, R&B style vocal over a backing track that variously doffs a cap to fuzzy funk, boogie, breakbeat and disco-house. Similar could be said about the more breakbeat-minded "Maxx E", which feels like a reworked instrumental dub of the title track. Speaking of reworks, the EPs's highlight is arguably Egyptian Lover's punchy electro remake of "She Can't Love You".
Review: Dego and Kaidi on Sound Signature whut???? Here's a partnership that makes perfect sense! The West London legends bring their signature blend of soul and brukked up grit to Theo Parrish's label across three stellar cuts resulting in a 12" that will remain long in the box. Lead track "Adam Rock Dissed" sets the tone, gliding out of the grooves with impeccably placed drums snapping away loosely as Kaidi lets loose with his magical fingers on keys. Next up, "Moths In Wallets" rolls forward and fat on a lazy breakbeat with the vibe enhanced by the low bass rumble and rich, rich keys. This might be our favourite cut on the 12" though B-side production "Backchat for Toprock" runs it close. Live drums get ripped up hard, rocking to their own broken step as Dego and Kaidi slowly tease out some heart wrenching chords amidst a flurry of heavy piano. The masters are in session, pay attention!
Review: UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
David Tapfuma - "Magamba" (Esa Zimtronix Direct mix) (5:19)
Review: This compilation style outing from Southern African music enthusiasts Nyami Nyami is billed as "an ode to the music of Zimbabwe past and future". Side A boasts cuts from two Bulawayo-based "Kwela" outfits: a terrific, heavily percussive future dub interpretation of Bulawayo Kwela's "Mysterious Africa" by The Comet Is Coming producer Danalogue, and the sparse, sun-kissed acoustic bliss of Elliot Phiri's "Nomalanga". Turn to the flip for two versions of Hararre-based David Tapfuma's beautiful "Magumba". There's the original version, where Tapfuma sings over a solo mbira melody, and a superbly glassy-eyed, synth-heavy 21st century club version by Auntie Flo collaborator (and hugely talented producer) Esa Williams. As good as the rest of the EP is, his version is worth the admission price on its own.
Review: Following the summer-sizzled "LOVE Song" comes another smooth soul schooling from Victor Lavender. Smoking keys and a lolloping bassline set the scene as Diviniti's vocals cause a spell-binding ear roadblock to great effect. For something deeper and more percussive jump on ReelSoul's drum-heavy instrumental while Josh Milan Honeycomb extends the soul aspects and injects a tiny bit of jazz to recipe giving it a confident MAW-like polish. "1929" completes the set with more jazzed out leanings thanks to the dreamy keys and piano work, tied together neatly with a funky squidgy bassline and subtle percussion elements.
Review: Some two years after dropping his debut album, "Broken Knowz", Jay Daniel delivers a follow-up. Interestingly, the fast-rising Detroit producer opted to move away from his usual club sound on "Tala", recently telling Resident Advisor that it was, "an invitation to know me outside of DJing". It's as deep, jazzy and musically rich as you'd expect, with Daniel flitting between jazz-funk/broken beat fusion, spacey ambient soundscapes, head-nodding hip-hop beats, intergalactic R&B instrumentals, super-smooth beatdown fare and the kind of hushed, glassy-eyed grooves that are best enjoyed while lying flat on your back at six in the morning.
Ich Schreib' Dir Ein Buch 2013 (feat Hildegard Knef)
Review: Though his career has taken many turns over the last decade, DJ Koze has remained that most illusive of creatures: a minimal-minded producer with an ear for a melody. This fourth full-length, packed to the rafters with big-name collaborations (Apparat, Caribou, Ada and Matthew Dear all feature), continues his move towards the home-listening sphere. So, while many of the heady rhythms and shuffling grooves hark back to his stripped-back past, Amygdala impresses with its woozy songs, genre-straddling fusions (see the modern soul meets deep house of "Homesick" or the steppy, tropical vibes of "Marilyn Whirlwind") and homely atmosphere.
Review: With just a few low-key releases behind him, you'd be forgiven for not being familiar with the work of South London beatmaker Al Dobson Jnr. Such a situation will undoubtedly soon change with Dobson Jnr primed to release album length projects on IZWID and Rhythm Section International, two fledgling labels associated with respected selectors. Before Sounds from the Village Vol.1 drops on the former (overseen by KUTMAH) the man called Al inaugurates the latter label, an extension of the Rhythm Section club night hosted by Boiler Room's Bradley Zero. Despite his status as a South London celebrity, Zero is a steadfast supporter of his local roots and the vinyl format so it's great to see him offering Dobson Jnr the platform to shine. And shine he does on Rye Lane Vol 1, a wonderful 11 track collection that is comparable in execution and mood to Mo Kolour's sublime debut.