Review: 1974's Coming Right At You, the sole album from 100% Pure Poison, has long been a sought-after jazz-funk gem. Soul Brother has previously reissued the rare (and increasingly expensive) LP, though this double 7" marks the first time most of these tracks have been available on wax since 2001. Check first opener (and title track) "Windy C", a superb chunk of lolloping, laidback jazz-funk that sits somewhere between Bob James and Cymande, before turning your attention to the slow-burn soulful delights of string-laden torch song "Puppet On A Chain". Over on the second 7", "No More City, No More Country" is a more hard-spun Blaxploitation funk affair, while "Hole In My Shoe" is a horn-fired slab of J.B's style funk-soul fusion.
Review: Back in 2017 Cordial Recordings mined the vaults of legendary German jazz-funk and off-kilter disco band Afrodisia and offered up a 7" single featuring a previously unheard track. They're at it again here, accompanying sought-after "Elephant Sunrise" album track "Sugar Free" - a delicious chunk of super-sweet jazz-funk rich in Pat Metheny style jazz lead guitar and scat vocals - with unreleased gem "Malcolm X". It's an up-tempo slab of Azymuth style jazz-funk laden with spacey synthesizer solos, quick-fingered bass guitar, punchy horns and a vibraphone part reminiscent of Roy Ayers. Excellent stuff!
Review: Soul4Real has gotten 'soulful for real' with this third outing, coming through in the form of 2 previously unreleased gems from US band The Anglos. This is some pretty niche gear, what with the band having only put out a handful of 7s back in the 60, so it feels like a special occasion to have some new material from them on our shelves. These tunes were apparently destined to land on the Botanic imprint back in the day, and are famously produced and engineered by the great Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams, which is why they have a certain roughness that is rarely heard on other soul records. "Broke Down Piece Of Man" is a fast, beat-heavy number with a psychedelic edge that reflects the state of mind back then, while "Four Walls Of Gloom" takes the gospel tradition as its main ingredient, offering a wonderfully uplifting midtempo rocker for the heart and soul.
Review: Pat Biggerstaff's ZIP catapults itself into the modern soul game with an arresting statement of intent; St Louie-born, Kansas-based Bryan Austin takes time off his calling as a missionary to lay down two soft, dreamy, string and piano based ballads. "What Would Marvin Say?" is rich in references and respect while "Sunday" takes The Moments' classic to slower, deeper, emotive pastures. Both establish ZIP as a new label with promise.
Review: Expansion's latest must-check seven-inch mines Roy Ayers' 1983 album "Lots Of Love", a sparkling post-disco set that combined the vibraphonist's usual jazz-funk flavours with colourful synthesizers and genuine boogie flavours. "Everybody" on the A-side is particularly potent; a lolloping synth-boogie head-nodder rich in life-affirming synthesizer squelches, rubbery jazz-funk bass, fluid Ayers vibraphone solos and background vocals that sneakily reference "Everybody Loves The Sunshine". Flipside "And Then We Were One" is if anything even more summery in feel, with mazy synth and vibraphone motifs dancing atop a killer jazz-funk groove. It's a little more up-tempo than the A-side, but arguably a little less addictive.
Review: When it comes to offering up seven-inch singles of tracks taken from classic or sought-after albums, Dynamite Cuts has an impressive track record. They're at it again here, this time mining Roy Ayers and Wayne Henderson's 1978 jazz-funk/disco fusion masterpiece "Step Into Our Life". On the A-side you'll find the languid, loose and groovy title track, a memorable affair in which dueling vibraphone and trumpet solos make merry atop a head-nodding, toe-tapping jazz-funk groove. Flipside "For Real" is a little more energetic and loved-up, with touchy-feely vocals, husling slap-bass and sci-fi synths to the fore.
Review: Peak time dancefloor action with this 45 with the familiar classic b-boy sampling fodder coupled with an infectious r & b vocal club monster. It's never had a physical release till now. On the flip it's instrumental breaks galore for B-Boy/B-Girl back flips action from a sought after uk trio release now in handy 45 form with tuff breakbeats and smattering of electro vibe...Only 200 copies..
Review: These previously unreleased tracks from Revelations member Phillip Balou were offered to Super Disco Edits by one-time British soul journalist David Nathan, who worked alongside the musician and band mate John Simmons at the tail end of the 1970s. A-side "Ain't Nothing Like The Love", a gospel inspired slice of sumptuous soul complete with jazzy guitar solos and an evocative lead vocal from Ballou, is undoubtedly the pick of the two tracks and well worth anyone's hard-earned cash. That said, deep and sugary flipside "For Real" - a thrillingly evocative slow jam full of gospel style choral backing vocals, sumptuous electric piano and sweeping, synthesized strings - is almost as good.
Review: Back around the early 1970's, Bell Telephunk was formed around the New Jersey area. Some members moved to Cleveland, Ohio where the group performed in local bars and clubs at the time. The band disbanded early on but the name lay dormant for a few years until round the mid '70s; when Michael Calhoun and a few others decided to rejuvenate the name again. They played often at the Kinsman Grill in Cleveland where they cut their teeth. They ventured into the studio just once and record a series of six songs: crossover ghetto soul of the highest order and on their newly formed Kinsman Records label. This previously unissuedversion courtesy of Super Disco Edits.
Cold Diamond & Mink - "Let's Get Together" (instrumental) (4:22)
Review: We just love hearing new soul and funk. Sure, a rare single from the 60s or 70s goes a long way in satisfying our needs, but how good is it to hear NEW music!? That's why we rate Finland's Timmion imprint so highly; they always come through with the goods, and there isn't a single EP they've put out that hasn't interested us... or flown off our shelves! This time, Jonny Benavidez, Cold Diamond and Mink team up for the absolute sexiness that is "Let's Get Together", a seductive soul ballad that is bound to lit up the room instantly! The instrumental is rather fine, too.
Review: Jazzman's Juke Box Jams series continues unabated to offer up those one-shot killers from the tangled history of jazz, R&B and soul - essential nuggets worth repeatedly popping dimes in the slot for. Here, it's the turn of Bobby Bland's "36-22-36", a heavy swinging and insanely catchy blast straight from 1962. Bland's voice is a perfect balance - cool as ice, but cracked around the edges - while the chorus line chants don't need a minute to get under your skin until you're singing along. "St James Infirmary" on the flip is a more downcast affair - one to drown your sorrows to, but certainly not the bottom of the bottle, as those hard stepping horns attest.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Review: As he does on the regular, Athens Of The North chief Euan Fryer has unearthed, licensed and reissued another obscure, impossible-to-find gem. Chuck Brimley's cover of Michael Frank classic "St Elmo's Fire" originally appeared on a tiny Milwaukee-based label in 1981, but pretty much sank without trace (according to Fryer, even local record-diggers didn't know of it's existence). It's something of a seductive, early AM radio gem - a deliciously warm, woozy and dewy-eyed mixture of AOR, soul, soft rock and the kind of glistening jazz-funk that would once accompany 'pages from Ceefax' on late night BBC TV. The track's jazzier elements - think trumpet and sax solos, twinkling electric piano riffs and so on -come to the fore on the accompanying flipside instrumental version.
The Group - "I Don't Like To Lose" (feat Cecil Washington) (3:02)
Review: Here's a treat for Northern Soul enthusiasts, as two sought-after classics that once made the Wigan Casino move are brought together on one must-have "45". On the A-side you'll find Mel Britt's 1969 gem "She'll Come Running Back", a heavy Detroit soul stomper (think bittersweet vocals, sweet orchestration and bold bass) that's long been unaffordable to all but the richest Northern Soul collectors. Over on side B you'll find The Group and Cecil Washington's "I Don't Like To Lose", a 1966 Motor City soul jewel that has been a "holy grail" for many soul collectors since leading scene DJ Richard Searling introduced it to the UK in 1979.
Review: First released back in 1978 on Parachute Records, Randy Brown's debut album "Welcome To My Room" is one of the better lesser-known Philadelphia soul style sets of the disco era. The team behind Expansions Records are certainly fans, because their latest "45" offers up two of the album's most potent tracks. A-side "I'm Always In The Mood" is simply superb, with Brown doing his best Teddy Pendergrass impression atop a heavily orchestrated, dancefloor-friendly backing track. Flipside "Love Is All We Need" is a little deeper but no less sumptuous, sounding a little like Vincent Montana producing "What's Going On" era Marvin Gaye. In a word: essential.