Review: Two big cuts taken from the Melbourne trio's sixth album Blind Bet, here the band flip two sides of a ridiculously funky coin. "Mind Made Up" features the vocals of Tru Thoughts starlet Kylie Auldist. Her rich emphatic vocals fit the 70s soul licks perfectly. Smooth and dynamically delivered with big horns, subtle strings, major chords and an instantly catchy chorus, you'll make your mind up on this long before the last horns blast a final cheerio. "Skeletor", meanwhile, is a much more party-focussed jam where big breakbeats provide the back bone for sharp horns, heavy Hammond slapping and warm gravelly vocals.
Review: One song, two versions, one killer Philly 45. The Cooperettes got in first during the mid 70s with a very rare copy that picked up momentum during the Northern/modern soul crossover in mid 80s when copies began to surface and never really lost favour as OG copies on I-D-B go for near L500. Flip for a previously unreleased male harmony version by The Toppiks, fronted by Ted Mills a la Blue Magic. Just sit back and feel those falsettos.
The Poindexter Brothers - "What I Did In The Streets (I Should Have Done At Home)" (3:17)
Review: Soul Junction's latest release brings together two sought-after heavy soul cuts from the studio of the Poindexter Brothers: their own 1969 heater "What I Did In The Street (I Should Have Done At Home)" - a sweet, Vibraphone-sporting slab of rasping, full-throated, horn-heavy sixties soul just dripping with emotion - and a killer cut they produced a year earlier for singer Vivian Copeland. You'll find that song, "Chaos In My Heart", on the A-side. Originally released on Bell, it's an attractive and additive mid-tempo number in which Copeland's fine vocals come supported by low-register horns, shuffling soul grooves and some suitably heavenly backing vocals.
Review: Another tape extracted from the Sony vault for the first time since the record was released in 1980. A floaty disco masterpiece by an American group that has been on the soul scene for time, but deserves a broader appreciation. Edinburgh's Athens Of The North (premium licensed rare music done right!) present this in a rare issue format, with the emotive and uplifting soul power of "Just You & Me" on the A side and the beautiful ballad "Blame It On Me" on the flip - apparently most original copies are missing this track. How the band never made it past one single is a complete mystery, as both of the tracks are incredible.
Review: Soul doesn't come much bigger or more dramatic than this 1980 stone cold classic from Crystal Clear. It now gets a first ever reissue on a today 7" from Universal and will have you emptying your lungs, swinging those hips and clapping along throughout. To say the vocal is impassioned is an understatement, and strings don't come much sweeter than those in main highlight "Stay With Me". Over on the flip is the more romantic and revered "You're So Unreal", one that still reaches some pretty moving heights along the way.
Review: Athens of the North founder Euan Fryer has described Willie Dale's "Let Your Light Shine" as "one of the best discoveries in the last 15 years". Only five copies of the original 7" single have surfaced to date, with the most recent changing hands for eye-watering sums of money. You can see why Fryer was so excited by "Let Your Light Shine": while rooted in both funk and soul, the track also draws heavily on psychedelic rock and the fuzzy, funk-rock fusion brilliance of Sly Stone. Original B-side "Somebody Help Me" is an altogether more laidback affair, with Dale offering impassioned and melancholic lyrics over a psychedelic era take on old rhythm & blues ballads.
Review: Darondo's "Legs" - a sexually charged chunk of heady Californian funk-soul fusion rich in punchy horns, killer drum breaks and eyes-closed lead vocals - has long been one of those "Holy Grail" records for soul collectors. As a result, original copies of the 1974 "45" change hands for hundreds of pounds apiece, making this Ubiquity release a genuine blessing for those with reduced record buying budgets. The sublime title track resides on the A-side, with the more relaxed, groovy and down-low "Let My People Go" taking pride of place on the flip. In a word: essential.
Review: The Cosmologist's Under The Influence series returns with a soul 7" especially for RSD! "Child Of The Street" by Sam Dees originates from 1973 and comes dripping with socio-political undertones, which remain intact on The Cosmologist's 2015 tweak which subtly embellishes the groove into something close to a hip hop beat. Face down and we go back a decade to 1968 and the outright soul gem "Same Girl" by Barbara Acklin, twisting it up with the lesser known piano version from Young Holt Unlimited for 5 minutes that will nice up any dance!
Review: He's hardly prolific, but DJ/producer Del Gazeebo has been offering up occasional re-edits, mash-ups and bootleg reworks for longer than some of us have been alive. Here he begins 2020 in fine fashion with two party-hearty reworks guaranteed to get the dancefloor moving. Aside "Barbara Don't Love Me" is a bouncy, subtly beefed-up take on a horn-heavy 1960s soul/rhythm and blues classic that sounds like it would go down well at parties that love Northern Soul. Flipside "Dat Ting" meanwhile is a head-nodding take on a punchy soulful reggae cut underpinned by weighty bass and tight hip-hop beats.
The Lost Generation - "The Sly, Slick & The Wicked"
Review: Stomping northern soul vibes abound on this recently unearthed gem from The Demures. With its pumping beats and heart melting harmonies it's hard to believe this went unnoticed for so many years. If you're after something a little softer and emotional then flip for The Lost Generation's "The Sly Slick And Wicked". No, they're not describing Juno's record reviewers, they're lamenting over love lost and heartbreakers in the most emphatic, string-drenched soulful way. Two beautiful cuts on one 7". Bonus.
Review: Ultra Vybe remain deep in their Brunswick excavations with these two sublime cuts from the label's super troupe of session players Directions and their one and only album. Released 1976, OG copies fetch almost L200 and just these two tracks alone hint at why. Shimmering with a strong Faze-O feel with an evocative contrast of falsetto and deep baritone and twinkling instrumentation, both tracks swoon with everything that was so smooth and emotional about the label who gave the world Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites and Gene Chandler. Show some love.
Review: DJ DSK has released some heavyweight seven-inch singles over the years, with his 2016 45 "Laminate" - an original slab of funk made in cahoots with the previously unheralded "Lost Soul Collective". Here he gathers together the band once more for a follow-up four years in the making. "Lost Soul" is a two-part affair in keeping with the funk tradition. The A-side is an infectious vocal number that sits somewhere between Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the more psychedelic flavour associated with turn-of-the-70s San Francisco soul. As you'd expect, the flipside "Part 2" version strips out most of the vocals to allow the band's warm and heady instrumentation room to breathe.
Kool & The Gang, Gene Redd - "Give It Up" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (4:04)
Aretha Franklin - "Rock Steady" (DJ Soopasoul edit) (3:30)
Review: Fast-fingered mash-up merchant and lauded scalpel fiend DJ Soopasoul can usually be relied upon to bring the goods. In fact, we've yet to hear an edition of his "Soopastole Edits" series that doesn't include the kind of sure-fire, party-starting fare guaranteed to get any DJ out of a dancefloor hole of their own making. Should you still doubt the validity of this statement, we suggest you check this timely reissue of the series' second volume, which has been going for serious bucks online. On side A you'll find a suitably punchy, funky and chunky revision of Kool & The Gang's Gene Redd produced 1970 jam "Give It Up" - the original source of one of hip-hops most familiar breakbeats - with a tight, club-ready revision of Aretha Franklin classic "Rock Steady" on the flip.
Review: It would be fair to say that the two tracks showcased here aren't among Lamont Dozier's best-known songs. For starters, they were originally tucked away on the legendary soul man's largely overlooked 1981 set, Working On You. A-side "I'm A Believer" is a breezy, string-drenched chunk of disco-boogie blessed with one of the singer-songwriter's best vocal performances. It's something of an overlooked dancefloor gem, all told. Flipside "Starting Over" builds steadily from a slow start, with Dozier's impassioned message of love reborn coming through loud and clear over sumptuous orchestration and super-sweet vocal harmonies.
Review: More quality grooves from Washington DC label specializing in reissuing obscure and unknown 70s and 80s dance music. This time around is Dreamcast who are Davon Bryant in conjunction with Swedish guy Sasac aka King Al. "Liquid Deep" is sexy late night deep funk the way it was always intended and Bryant's smooth as silk vocals are just like... Wow! So with Dreamcast on the vocals and Sasac on the beat, we are hoping there's more things on the way from this trans coastal duo in 2017.