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..
Turn This Thing Around (feat Sulene Fleming) (4:07)
Turn This Thing Around (Exclusive unreleased instrumental) (4:04)
Review: Killer modern day funk masterpiece first released almost 20 years ago by the legendary Leeds outfit led by guitarist Eddie Roberts and the first time ever on a handy 7 inch format.Still as fresh as ever fierce drum kit and twangy guitar with hammond organ stabs leads way to upfront vocals from Sulene Flemming who has worked with Bernard Purdie, Reuben Wilson, Brand New Heavies and Incognito etc. Originally released in 2001 it still sounds fresh as ever and this version comes backed with an exclusive unreleased tuff breaks heavy instrumental version. Hand-numbered to 500 copies and served in a Juno exclusive sleeve. Supported by DJ Koco from Japan ,Skeme Richards,The Allergies & Oliie Cheeba from The Herbalizer so far..
I Want You For Myself (KON extended remix) (10:40)
Review: Acclaimed crate-digger turned disco re-editor KON has decided to launch his own reissue imprint, Kontemporary. The idea is simple: to accompany re-mastered original tracks with fresh rubs from the man himself. 12" number one offers another opportunity to enjoy George Duke's soulful, sun-kissed, disco-era jazz-funk bomb "I Want You For Myself". On the A-side you'll find Duke's own impeccable 12" version, with KON's re-edit gracing the B. Having access to the original multi-track tapes has allowed the New York-based producer to not only include an atmospheric, extended intro (a tactic regularly used by fellow rework merchants The Revenge and Joey Negro), but also give more prominence to Duke's superb piano solos.
Ella Fitzgerald - "Get Ready" (Soul Flip edit) (3:53)
Tammi Terrell - "Two Can Have A Party" (Soul Flip edit) (3:44)
Review: The Soul Flip crew are back to rework and carefully tweak more classic cuts to get those dance floors in a spin. This time they turn their attention to the evergreen classic "Get Ready" from jazz great Ella Fitzgerald. The already student and empowering single is beefed up with drums that have extra kick, crisp hits and fills and string stabs that are as bright as the sun. Things get a little more soulful and sun kissed with Tammi Terrell - "Two Can Have A Party" and its hip swinging finger clicks and gorgeously soaring strings.
Review: Brenda is thought to be the late Brenda Lee Jones from Ohio and the subject of the b-side here, which is the biggie, "Big Mistake," is thought to be her adopted son and mistakes his real mother made. It's a super sweet affair that will swell your heart with its lush soul sound. This reissue has been cut from the original master tapes and will help out anyone wanting to cop it without paying the L800 it cuttingly goes for online. The flip of record, "Super Stoke" is lit up with big fuzzy guitars and raw funk that never lets up.
Review: One of disco's biggest divas gets served up on a red hot platter here by Vinylators. "Extended Woman" is eight plus minutes of bubbling, piano laced and string happy disco with the iconic "I'm every woman" vocal taking centre stage over nice clipped drums. It's a tasteful edit that brings all the key parts to the fore. "Piano Woman" is more stripped back, with plenty of emphasis on some busy piano playing and the soaring original vocal left in place up top. "Dub Woman" is more paired back and built on the leggy drums, while plenty of golden strings add real colour.
Falling Deep In Love (Joey Negro 7" Disco Blend) (4:06)
Review: For the last two years, legendary London crew Horse Meat Disco has been teasing the release of its long-awaited debut album via a series of scintillating singles featuring guest vocals from the likes of Amy Douglas and, even more impressively, Kathy Sledge. Here they offer up their second collaboration with the legendary disco diva. "Jump Into The Light" is little less than a tribute to the Chic sound featured on the greatest Sister Sledge records, with Kathy Sledge delivering a typical fine lead vocal over Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars and glittering orchestration. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy Joey Negro's cut-down "Disco Blend" of previous single "Falling Deep In Love", which adds a little house flavour whilst retaining the crew's disco instrumentation.
I Want To Thank You (KON Shine Your Light remix) (7:54)
I Want To Thank You (KON dub) (7:49)
Review: Having previously breathed new life into classic cuts from L.T.D, George Duke and Sylvester, Kon has now turned his attention to another all-time favourite: Alicia Myers' 1981 stunner "I Want To Thank You", a disco-era gospel-soul favourite that remains one of the era's most timeless club records. Working from the multi-track tapes, Kon teases out Myers' killer vocal - drenched in just the right amount of reverb and delay - atop a slightly stripped-back groove before giving it the full kitchen sink treatment. Just as good is the flipside Dub, which flits between beat-free sections and the track's killer groove in the manner of disco dubs from the early 1980s. The song itself may not have needed tampering with, but Kon's versions are genuinely superb.
Review: The latest missive from the must-check Rain & Shine label should appeal to serious soul collectors. It offers a new edition of a private press "45" by Illinois outfit Joel Ramirez Jr and Fantasy that's recently been changing hands for vast sums online. A-side "I'll Call You Every Morning" is a super-sweet modern soul number that combines a blue-eyed soul style lead vocal with a bright-and-breezy backing track rich in groovy bass, spacey synths, clipped guitars and seriously positive piano motifs. It's really rather good all told, and the kind of earworm that you'll be singing in the shower all week. Over on the flip you'll find the rhythm & blues/rock flex of "I Can't Let Her Go", which will probably appeal to AOR disco lovers.
Review: 2020's inaugural Love Record Stores campaign is an exciting prospect for those who love coloured, marbled and "split" vinyl releases. The latest essential album to get this treatment is Black Pumas' self-titled 2019 debut. Helmed by multi-instrumentalist Adrian Quesada, the Austin-based band's trademark sound tends towards the psychedelic end of soul, offering up songs that variously doff a cap to Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone, Rotary Connection, Terry Callier and the Chambers Brothers - all topped off with impassioned, effortlessly soulful lead vocals from mic man Eric Burton. Given the inspirations, it's no surprise that the band's tracks sound authentically old, though there's also an inherent vibrancy and freshness that means they never stray into hollow pastiche.
First Choice - "Dr Love" (Late Nite Tuff Guy Hypnotizin' Groove) (5:33)
Double Exposure - "Everyman" (Late Nite Tuff Guy rework) (5:31)
First Choice - "Love Having You Around" (Late Nite Tuff Guy rework) (6:37)
Review: There are few more celebrated edit kings than Late Nite Tuff. Now he is back once again with the goodness, this time tackling killer racks by First Choice and Double Exposure. All of the source material here is considered to be stone cold classic, so he's brave if nothing else. But of course, he also has the skills to make these edits worth your while - he extends the breaks, lets the grooves roll on and ensures the vocals remain in place to really get hearts sweeping and hands in the air. The unabashed funk, soul and disco joy of his take on Double Exposure's "Everyman" might be the standout here.
Review: Danny Krivit's officially sanctioned re-edits of Earth Wind & Fire's "Brazilian Rhyme" and "Runnin" have been sought-after since they first appeared on a Japan-only 12" back in 2004. In fact, such is demand that even later bootleg pressings now go for silly money online. As this reissue proves, though, they're arguably amongst Krivit's strongest scalpel works. Certainly, his three-minute revision of the always too short "Brazilian Rhyme" teases it out to just the right length, in the process delivering a sweltering, sing-along summer anthem. The flipside revision of the equally as summery "Runnin" is every bit as good, with Krivit making merry with the original's life-affirming scat vocals and killer piano solos.
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: First released way back in 1999, Raphael Saadiq's Q-Tip-sporting "Get Involved" is a warm and woozy, retro-futurist chunk of soul/hip-hop fusion that harked back to an earlier musical age. It remains an arguably underappreciated dancefloor bomb and here gets the reissue treatment courtesy of the freshly lauched 45 Jams imprint. It comes backed by another stone cold classic from Q-Tip, "Vivrant Thing" - a cut first featured on the flipside of the Tribe Called Quest member's much more celebrated "Breathe Don't Stop" single. It's a little more stripped back than the A-side, with Q-Tip delivering his distinctive flows over a crunchy and fuzzy, Jay Dee produced backing track crafted from samples from an old funk record.
Review: When copies of Raw Soul Express's The Way We Live crop up online, they regular fetch eye-watering sums of money. Originally released back in 1977 on T.K Records' soul/funk offshoot Cat, it remains the greatest single work by the short-lived Miami band. "The Way We Live" is a superb example of sun-kissed, feel good, conscious disco/soul/funk fusion, built around a killer, horn-toting groove and emotion-rich vocal. The jazzy, low-slung flipside "This Thing Called Music" is less in demand, but almost as good. As a result, this is a surprise reissue that all funk, soul and disco diggers should crave.
Marvin Gaye - "This Love Starved Heart Of Mine (It's Killing Me)" (2:44)
Shorty Long - "Don't Mess With My Weekend" (2:29)
Review: Each release in Deptford Northern Soul Club's multi-artist single series, which gathers together Northern Soul scene classics and offers them up in freshly re-mastered form, has been nothing less than essential. Predictably, the label's latest seven-inch is another doozy. On the A-side you'll find one of the rarest cuts in Marvin Gaye's vast catalogue - 1967 stomper "This Love Starved Heart of Mine (Is Killing Me)", which was for some reason pressed in extremely limited quantities first time around. Over on the flip the Deptford boys and girls serve up Shorty Long's "Don't Mess With My Weekend", an insatiably funky Northern Soul scene anthem that Motown only ever released in Australia.
Review: Sampled by the likes of Groove Armada and The Herbaliser, "Turn Off The Lights" runs with one of those bass licks you've known forever without realising. Flip for the jazz boogie badness of "Fuel For The Fire". Taken from the same 1975 album, here we find the same vocalist, Linda Logan, sharpening her tongue and getting her scat on with furiously funky results. Hard to find on 45, it's yet another example of AOTN's expert curation prowess.
Review: "What About The Child" by Avelino Pitts' obscure band GOLD has long been a sought-after deep funk rarity, with copies of the 1977 seven-inch single being extremely hard to come by these days. Helpfully Athens of the North's Euan Fryer knows the score and has decided to offer-up a much-needed reissue. The track is a fine slab of psychedelic soul in the vein of leading San Francisco groups of the period - Vehicle, Tower of Power and so on - with plenty of rhythmic shuffle and fine group vocals. Fryer has unearthed a gem for the flip, too: a previously unreleased cut that's on a similar sonic tip to Rotary Connection. It's worth the entrance price on its own.
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: During the 1970s, Dale O. Warren's ever-changing 24 Carat Black project delivered some of the finest hybrid soul-jazz music around, with the project's 1973 debut album considered something of an underground classic. "III" is the collective's third "official" album and was put together by Numero Group following the discovery of a number of 1980s recordings by the late, great Warren (with vocalists Princess Hearn, Vicki Gray, and LaRhonda LeGette) in a storage lock-up. Sparse but warm, languid and jazzy, it's a leisurely, soft-touch collection of cuts stripped of production trickery but high on dewy-eyed vocals, organic drums and tactile instrumentation.
Review: Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer recently described Premonition as "the best obscure New York boogie act you've never heard of". He'll be releasing an entire album of their rare and unreleased material later in the year, but first he's treating us to a reissue of their best-known moment - impossible-to-find 1986 soulful boogie slammer "Don't Act Like A Fool". The track ticks all the right boxes -rubbery slap bass, mid-80s FM synth sounds, passionate male lead vocal, needless but delicious sax and electric guitar solos etc - and is little less than an overlooked dancefloor heater. On the flip you'll also find original B-side "In Love", which Fryer brilliantly (and accurately) describes as a "mid-tempo floater".
Review: Take a trip deep into the spiritual soul and jazz funk sounds of the seventies with these two cuts from Lee Stone. They are taken from an album entitled Praise Poems and bring to mind swing, funk and big band. They tie on well swung grovers, with lush trumpets up top and Stone's vocals adding real heart. "What Is Life" is the upbeat roller that, muses on the sorrow of a love lost and has some fantastic solos, while "Eyes Full Of Starshine" is a more retro affair for the slow motion dancers.
Gratitude - "We Are Here To Party" (7" version) (3:46)
Jax Transit Authority - "Life Is A Miracle" (4:56)
Review: Many of the finest independent disco 45s that Athens of the North has reissued were licensed by crate digger David Haffner, so it's fitting that AOTN boss Euan Fryer has given him a compilation of his own. "Disco With A Feeling" contains some of those picks, alongside other obscure favourites from Haffner's sizable record collection. It's absolute fire from start to finish, with the little known private press and small-run cuts tending towards the more soulful and jazz-funk influenced end of the disco spectrum. Basically, it's a must-have for anyone who gravitates towards the rare end of the disco spectrum.
Review: Big Crown are releasing El Michels Affair's latest and possibly greater album this month, but also this tidy new 7". The A side "Reasons" is a collaboration with Bobby Oroza that follows on from their last well received work together in fine style. The results is a deep and existential trip with lush guitar notes and Oroza's voice musing on the struggles of life. "Hipps" is pulled from El Michels Affair's aforementioned album Adult Themes and has a crushing beat and standout horn arrangements that have made the leader of this band so well acclaimed.
Another all-time classic from the extensive back catalog of the legendary Miami songstress Gwen McCrae.
"90% Of Me Is You" is instantly recognizable, it's been sampled countless of times by some of the most seminal Hip Hop artists ever (Large Professor, Jaylib, Mobb Deep & more) & is a bonafide "Rare Groove" sure-shot that never loses it's appeal & is always in demand with DJ's & producers. Perhaps it's the pairing of the languid guitar & strings, or Gwen's sultry vocals & that steady breakbeat that keeps people hooked some 40 years after it's original release? Whatever it is, it's classic material from start to finish!
Backed here with it's original b-side slow jam "It's Worth The Hurt" this super-rare 45 has been re-mastered, re-pressed & brought back for 2015's dance-floors in conjunction & with the permission of T.K. Disco / Henry Stone Music, Miami USA.
Review: Should you require further evidence of the all-round genius of Curtis Mayfield, look no further than this early '70s funk gem from Patti Jo. "Make Me Believe In You" was written and produced by the velvety-voiced musician in 1973, one of just a few singles released by Patti Jo but undoubtedly now an all-time classic. That rolling drum intro, the ear-wagging piano, the subtle orchestration and, above all, Patti Jo's killer vocal all combine for a perfect example of the halcyon days when funk was beginning to transform into disco. Mayfield himself later covered the track for the closer to his Sweet Exorcist LP! This BGP 7" sees Tom Moulton's extension of "Make Me Believe In You" combined with his remix of the other Patti Jo burner, "Ain't No Love Lost". Any self-respecting DJ needs the A-side though.
Black Pumas - "Look At My Soul" (feat Kam Franklin) (3:27)
Review: Two years ago, Nacional Records released "Look at My Soul", an album from funk-soul multi-instrumentalist and producer Adrian Quesada that featured a wealth of guest performers. Here the LA label revisits the project, offering up two of the album's most potent cuts on "45" for the very first time. Veteran Latin American Texan Johnny Hernandez stars on superb A-side "Ain't No Big Thing", adding his gravelly but emotion-rich voice to a languid chunk of jaunty, horn-heavy 1960s style soul. On B-side cut "Look At My Soul", Quesada's psychedelic soul band Black Pumas are accompanied by righteous soul diva Kam Franklin on an even more emotive, organ-heavy chunk of end-of-night soul. By the end, we guarantee you'll be holding a lighter aloft and singing along with your eyes closed.
Review: For their latest missive, British neo-soul duo Hil Street Soul have enlisted the production talents of New Jersey-based rising star Regi Myrix. The resultant collaboration, "In My Groove", is absolutely delicious: a deliciously sweet - and occasionally sleazy - late night love letter that sits somewhere between contemporary R&B and classic, horn-heavy '80s soul/jazz-funk fusion, all topped off with an inspired lead vocal. Nigel Lewis provides the flipside remix, cannily playing on the classic elements featured in the A-side original mix whilst adding some simmering strings and turn-of-the '80s musical touches of his own.
Review: It's been almost 11 years since Featurecast dropped their heavyweight revision of Aretha Franklin's "One Step" on Wah Wah 45's "Dubplate" series. Here the sought-after side is finally given the reissue treatment. It remains one of their finest revisions: a loose, languid and head-nodding fusion of hip-hop beats, subtle dub skank, occasional Marvin Gaye samples and seduction sections from Aretha's sugary, string-drenched original. Over on side B you'll find another gem from Featurecast's vaults: a tidy hip-hop style revision of Marvin Gaye's "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" from 2016, which was made in collaboration with Washington D.C pal The Gaff.
Review: Milton Wright's perfect deep Soul classic "Keep It Up" has always been a top shelf record, everything about it is almost flawless! Whether it's Milton's silky vocal delivery, the incessant guitar driven back beat or the total space Funk vibe of his omnipresent ARP-2600 synthesizer this record has it all. Originally released on TK Disco's more Soul and Funk orientated Alston label which was home to many legendary artists and records, this 1975 sunshine classic never fails to make people move. A classic rare groove indeed. "The Silence That You Keep" takes up side-B, a jazzy, flute driven love song that again features Milton's perfect voice and some fantastic arrangement. A real gem of a record, with the original 45 changing hands for over L100 a time in used condition.
Review: Over the last decade, San Francisco sorts Monophonics have firmly established themselves as one of the soul scene's most dynamic bands - a fiery live outfit whose distinctive blend of heavy soul and psychedelic rock has made their numerous albums must-check affairs. "It's Only Us", their fifth album and first for five years, is another superb set, with the band's now trademark sound being expanded to include songs that make extensive use of sweeping strings, softer and groovier arrangements and lyrics that tackle a variety of weighty personal, political and social subjects.
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !