Review: New York's Quinn Luke aka Bing Ji Ling is always up to some crazy shit. Whether it's far-out strains of exotica, electronic folk, or even some straight-up hill-billie funk, the nomadic artist is always one to look out for. He's up on Spain's excellent Lovemonk label, perennial leaders in leftfield disco and balearica, with the raunchy, funk-tastic guitar riffs of "Twilight", a tune that is so cool and laid-back it could be enjoyed by pretty much all walks of life. There's three version, though, all by Jose Manuel; the main remix drops in a house beat and something of a Latino sound, the dub goes deeper into the bass elements of the mix, and the Voyage Voyage mix takes the listener on a more daring journey, backed by a progressive edge. We love it.
Review: Casbah strikes again with a powerful homage to the NYC foundations with this juicy, insatiably funky piece of disco soul. Driven by a belting vocal from Angela Goode, there's a strong sense of timelessness, honesty and raw funk that smacks with authenticity and one of the funkiest slap-bass breakdowns you'll hear all year. Chicago's Rahaan takes the remix duties with a pumping contemporary disco cut while Casbah strips things back himself for the essential DJ tool that is the percussion edit. Feel the love.
Review: Chip Wickham, who usually goes by the first name of Roger, returns to Madrid's excellent Lovemonk label with a mini LP to inaugurare the start of summer, which means a start to some pretty killer shades of balearica! In fairness, however, this album and the man's sound are much more in line with the jazzy end of the spectrum, breaking beats and forming new, forward-thinking arrangements. For instance, the opening "Shamal Wind" is a wonderful excursion into dreamier realms of the flute, while "Snake Eyes" picks up the tempo and makes way for an album thy can be plaid on your headphones, out on the car speakers, and most certainly in the dance! A wonderfully composed piece of music from a rising talent of true broken beat.
Review: Last spotted cavorting with his Nirvana-covering side project Blue Mode and previous operating as Kid Costa, killer flautist and composer Chip Wickham (real name Roger) delivers his debut LP on Lovemonk. Ranging from gentle wave lapping spiritualism of tracks such as "Tokyo Slow Mo" and the cinematic "Pushed Too Far" to much more frenetic, energetic cuts like "Le Leyenda Del Tiempo" by way of funkier, lolloping grooves like "The Detour", it's a beautiful, vibrant snapshot of Wickham's skills that will grow as the months get warmer. Stunning.
(Soul) Rebel 23 (Reginald Omas Mamode IV remix) (3:30)
Snake Eyes (Ishmael Ensemble remix) (8:11)
Review: If you've not yet got your ears around Roger 'Chip' Wickham's sensationally sunny, jazz-fired "Shamal Wind" mini-album, we suggest you check it out post-haste. In the meantime, Lovemonk has reminded us of its magnificence via a new set of reworks from some seriously hot producers. Max Graef handles side A, first serving up a chugging, mind altering and heavily percussive "Bongo Mix" of "Soho Strut", before reaching for the sub-bass and fizzing, juke-tempo jazz rhythms on the bonkers but brilliant "Bass Mix" of the very same song. Over on the flipside, Peckham beat-maker Reginald Omas Mamode IV serves up a dusty, Rhodes-laden take on "(Soul) Rebel 23" featuring his own soulful vocals, before Gilles Peterson favourites Ishmael Ensemble mix live jazz instrumentation with rolling house beats on a sublime revision of "Snake Eyes".