Review: There's plenty to set the pulse racing on this second vinyl selection of tracks from Ludovic Llorca's debut album as Art of Tones in some 13 years. "Unbalanced Part 2" begins with a touch of tactile, head-in-the-clouds jazz-funk (the deliciously deep and woozy "My Comfort Zone") and ends with a rush-inducing, gospel-fired peak-time sing-along (the brilliant "Stand Up"). In between, you'll find a loopy chunk of tech-tinged deep house hypnotism ("Grow"), a sample-heavy fusion of deep house, disco and jazz-funk (the warm and toasty "Radio Hustle"), and a hard-wired, club-ready revision of 2015 single "The Rainbow Song" that's as rubbery and bouncy as a tennis ball from Bootsy Collins' private stash.
Review: Although Ludovic Llorca has released albums under his other production aliases (the most recent being 2017's jazz-funk set "The Garden" under his longest-running pseudonym, Llorca), "Unbalanced" marks his first full-length outing as Art of Tones - some 13 years. While it is available digitally as one expansive work, Local Talk has decided to split the vinyl version into two parts. This first volume contains six suitably warm and fuzzy tracks, most of which are gleeful dancefloor workouts that put fun and positivity front and centre. Highlights include the disco-fired "Keep On Having Fun", the Clavinet and organ-heavy stomper "Where One Is", suitably loopy "Have Fun For A Little While" and P-funk influenced "I Can" and "To The Limit". It's all up to the Frenchman's usual high standards.
Review: Hi-tech soul, spiritual life music or as he himself would name it 'ancestral soul' - there are a handful or artists who have cultivated this idiosyncratic style and Boddhi Satva is definitely one of them. The artist hailing from Central Africa weaves a seamless tapestry of African music styles throughout his life-affirming grooves that have been offered up on defining labels such as Vega, Yoruba Soul and BBE over the years. His next journey comes courtesy of Mad Mats & Tooli's Local Talk imprint out of Sweden. "Basic Knowledge" is a deeply mesmerising journey utilising rich melodies and delicate chord progressions for a truly soothing experience. We're particularly loving "Together" (main mix) on the flip, where he goes deeper into the exotic with an awe-inspiring vocal performance.
Review: Hot on the heels of "Mission" earlier this year, Shuya Okino's Kyoto Jazz Sextet troupe present another gem from last year's Unity album complete with a remix of the highest calibre. This time the cascading, Latin rhythm and frenetic horn leads of "Rising" are given the midas dancefloor touch by none other than Ron Trent. Maintaining the wily spirit of the original while coating in warm organ blasts and subtly bumping kicks, it's a precision translation that brings the original into a whole new context.
Review: Sweden's Local Talk is a label that is not afraid to go beyond the classic 4/4 sound formula to explore different styles within house music. Following up some great releases by the likes of Soulphiction, S3A and Boddhi Satva, their next release is by genre pushing, London-based legend Dean 'Saint' Zepherin whose legacy goes way back to 1988 when he released "Give Me Back Your Love" under the pseudonym Boyz In Shock - which is credited as the UK's first soulful house record. The A side holds the nu-jazz flavoured soul explosion of the title track that's sure to get some great vibes happening on the dancefloor, followed by the sensual Latin flavour of "Flying High" on the flip - which is perfect for those long hot summer nights to come.