Originally released back in 1986 Jesse Saunders now revisits the number with a fired-up, fresh enthusiasm. Featuring several interpretations covering all sorts of angles this feels very much more than a re-release, more like something new for 2021. Col Lawton’s addictive remix begins with insistent keys peppering the grooves full of excitable energy. Next is Mike Dunn’s deeper, equally captivating techno flavoured BlackBall version, followed by Jerome Baker’s brilliant Originator remix capturing the essence of the past reworking it with contemporary fervour. A loose funkiness is then crafted by the Thommy Davis & Sahib Muhammad Battery Acid Remix, leaving further takes by Rubber People & Jay B McCauley, Scottie Soul & Sen-Sei, and BB Hayes to all work magic.
If this doesn’t bring joy to your heart…
Dripping with that classic Soul sound, exuding string-filled Disco this also cuts a rocky, guitar fuelled edge that leaves you breathless like you’ve been travelling supersonic. All the way from 1977 and launching a brand new imprint from Prime, A’s + Bees with 50% of profits going to British Beekeepers Association – quite right too. Incidentally, Rare Pleasure also recorded Let Me Down Easy so their calibre runs high. Ashley Beedle’s NSW Rejig then dishes out those beautiful drums alongside the vibrant array of instrumentation and soaring vocals, tuning all too ultimate pleasure, while reaching out to eleven minutes of sheer ecstasy. It’s a wonderful life…
Release: March 12
Located somewhere at the other end of the sonic spectrum is this wonderfully realised piece of introspective music by Jake Chudnow. Travelling from the point of quiet to loud via Prelude to Columbia the combination of its rolling intensity doesn’t so much lull you into a sense of security as it pushes and cajoles your emotions into a heightened state of action. Columbia itself adds the pulse of drums plus the throb of electronics to the arrangement fuelling melody and memory, charging another territory.
Sometimes music blurs the seasons as you get caught-up in the slipstream of existence while life rushes crazily by. Pausing occasionally to grasp at meaning, at what’s important beyond everyday airwaves. This collection of hazy, poignant recollections by Chris Jam is superbly connected to the elegant music shaping its breathless stories, exorcizing memories like all our tomorrows lost and found. Out of the EP, Butterfly Strokes feels like a beat poetry cast over the cinema of human experience as words trip and drip across devastating piano, providing a remembered breath of perfect moments.
For an essential and charitable cause to raise funds for Brian Tumour Research and the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
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Those days aren’t quite behind yet and the rich, dark temptations proffered by Illusion Of Us spells it out in stark terms. Engineered around the haunting flicker of human voice the words highlight the times succinctly as smouldering beats, driving bass and punctuating stabs all focus the attention as the rise of arpeggios then compel the experience – an excellent production. Flipped by the more Progressive strains of Eruption.
There’s something uniquely magical about the way Rhodes can translate human emotion into a celebration of the conflict between happiness and sadness. The opening bars of Soul Spectral testify to that very point as depths are reached by the pressing of keys. Followed by the shuffle of Laroye’s soulful percussion and the punctuation of organ stabs, accompanied by Greg Paulus’ haunting trumpet, this is a masterclass in realisation. The dancefloor flavour of Sanguine then greets you via funky drums which are quickly offset by a much deeper, probing set of synthesisers, perhaps making the music more about thought than dance (which is just as important in my book). The elegant keys which again infuse the closing number, Think Of You Always play out in evocative ways as the serene sense of Jazz compounds the sounds in all sorts of imaginary ways. After all, music doesn’t get much better…
Peanuts or Noodles the word salt occupies a significant place at the heart of the music. Either way Victor Mendoza’s consumption and celebration of all things wonderful plays like a beautiful, teasing cooperation of keys, drums, bass and horns alongside signature Vibraphone which blasts and punctuates the swinging rhythm section to perfection. What’s not love about this? As the Latin vibes then evaporate towards the reach of summertime Nacho Marco’s remix proves to be all the more remarkable transforming the original into a fiery, fusion of Detroit ignited Techno of the sterling, funky, musical variety.
Talking of revolutionary fervour, Stop The Silence injects the fire of much missed energy into their provocative statement of intent. Accompanied by pounding drums and bass there is an urgency to it all which focuses thoughts on the future with Aluria’s words delivered via the force of Punk attitude. Followed by an excellent Dub version highlighting the melodic chime of punctuating keys amid the resolute intensity of the assaulting rhythms. Next the GMJ remix feels that touch deeper reworking the elements into an ever evolving tease of the senses.
Release: March 1
If the unpredictable nature of the universe intrigues you then this release of cosmically charged particles from Berllioz is sure to set your imagination alight. Three probing numbers each grasping for answers while searching out the defiant space between rhythm and electronic sound in equal measure. Mo’orea begins and ends with hypnotic grooves exciting the synapsis over the course of a grainy infusion of drums and smouldering array of keys. Faka’urea then sequences the flair of Electro into the drum machine programming to be offset by a blur of voices, leaving the brisk tempo of Aphetidae to finish via pulverising interference plus undulating rhythmic sweeps underpinned by a more blissful sense of ease as pads quietly introduce themselves.
Release: March 1
Gene Tellem reveals an openness in her music by inviting you to share the joy and celebration of each emotionally charged number. Four tracks ignite the airwaves beginning with Ain’t Got Everything and its rolling, rhythmic impulsions of funky bass playing alongside a heart-warming expanse of soulful pads and notes all topped off by the whispered breath of human voice. Mind Reader then plunges deeper as a more rugged bass feds into a whirl of keys and stabbing vocals suggesting other worlds to find, followed by Jenifa Mayanja’s excellent reworking of Aint Got Everything which contrasts the soulful elements via a fuzzy twist. Finally, 2nd Time Around completes by revisiting the classic words kick & drum, slung low, this time offset by fizzy hi-hats and a wealth of probing synth lines.
Release: February 26