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: 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: 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: 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: Philpot co-founder Soulphiction has been MIA for a while now, making it an utter pleasure to have him back on our charts with some effective new house swingers. He's landed on Local Talk, one of the very best in its class, and "Bizzness" kicks off with a funky-ass bassline and some freaky vocal chops, while "Cart People" lingers at a steadier sort of tempo, filtered through mounds of dubbed-out haze. "Slow Glow" is an experiment in percussion, also meandering its wavy synths on an off-kilter mode, and "Sweet Dreams" works the drum-machine in and out of the groove, ending up with another off-balance house experiment for the deeper minds out there on the floor!
Review: Trevor Lawrence Jr impresses us on a constant basis, with his debut album paving a new way for funk and soul music all around the world, subtly swinging to the delicate touch of deep house at its core. This time, however, the imprint is Local Talk, and they've decided to release the "Tiptoe" single onto glorious 7", a format which is perfect to showcase its slow, meandering waves and delightfully seductive vocals; there's a DJ Spinna remix, on top of Lawrence's magnificent single, with the experienced producer coming through smooth and effective thanks to some elegant beat-work and plenty of soulful vibes. Killer!
Review: Local Talk bite down on a fresh batch of 2018 with new friend NY*AK. Building on his stately body of work on the likes of Paper, Karakul and Audio Parallax, the London artist runs the groove gamut flexing from silky filtered disco ("Bound") to woozy dusty soft-focus jacks ("Dancing") via fast lane foundation Detroit textures ("See More") and subaquatic, bubbling warped house ("Sandwiches") All shades and temperatures in check, it's a tasty start of the year for the ever on-point Swedish label.
Review: Swedish duo Dirtytwo rightfully caused a stir with their Local Talk debut last year, updating an ESG classic for deep house ears which found favour with everyone from Kerri Chandler to The Revenge. Another classic of the 80s era from Colonel Abrams falls under the scrutiny of Dirtytwo here, as the accapella from his standard "Trapped" is lifted and matched to a wondrously jacking 90s house refrain which is possibly more inventive than their celebrated debut. On the flip, "I'm Feelin'" demonstrates the duo are just as able at crafting a more modern sound, calling on old friend Frosche to add some vocal depth to a relentlessly bumping 4/4 groove.