Reviews: 147

Single of the Week

Fat Gash EP
Hot Creations

waffSo ok, the title grabs your attention. But before you go getting all hot under the collar rest assured that the gash in question actually refers to the artist’s best friend (one Jey Kurmis). Back to the music and the title track is indeed an excellent combination of fiery drums, creative stereo effects, cool pulsating bass plus commanding vocals – an irrepressible production for sure. Next comes, Shabby which drives squelchy Acid bass into Detroit and comes up tasting of Berlin (via Leeds). While leaving the high energy rhythms of Connected to end this great release on a further high, ably assisted again by more captivating vocals, beats and bass.

Release: April 6

Urban Sound Lab.
Room Control Records

It’s not so often these days that the more traditional sounds of Soulful House (to use the clique) have anything new to say but these luscious harmonies are simply too hard to resist. Renn Washington supplies the honours with heartfelt abandon and does a first-rate rendition over some cool, shuffling Afro Beats for you to lose yourself in. The Dub is great too playing out the warm backing vocals over the punchy key driven rhythms, while an Alternative Mix adds provides another angle to it all.

Release:March 20

Sex Judas
Big Sex Thing EP
Marketing Music

Sex_Judas_-_Big_Sex_Thing_-_MLG023_cover-150Ejecting all sense of taste and decency (good) the wonderfully named Sex Judas sets the Disco balls spinning with this trip down into dancefloor ecstasy. Big Sex Thing is all about the feeling and this arrangement of 70’s punctuating synths and rolling bass set the scene perfectly for the baritone vocals to strut their stuff – you either love it, or you don’t I guess. Label head Tim Paris then supplies remix one with a darker infusion of Acid keys giving it all a moody, more contemporary edge, with the second remix from Arttu adding bouncier beats and further Acidic intensity to the equation. Next, Cocksucker Blues again detunes the vocals over fresher sounding twisted, synthesisers amid strains of rocky guitar to deliver another feverish production.

Release: April 6

Ginger Johnson and His African Messengers
I Jool Omo
Freestyle Records

If you love rhythm, and who doesn’t, then you are going to fall in love with this. Life is great when it’s that simple. Historically an important figure with regards to the beginnings of The Notting Hill Carnival along with his own North London venue, Club Iroko. Plus, as an influence on Fela Kuti and having played with The Stones (performing live with them in 1969 at Hyde Park providing the percussion to ‘Sympathy For The Devil’) and Quincy Jones amongst many others. I Jool Omo feeds the percussive fire with a steady stream of sassy beats and life-affirming song, accompanied by horn blasts and raspy Latino flute lines all recorded in the late sixties. Talking Drum is the edgier of the two with less emphasis on harmony and more on banging those drums with horns and rocky guitar adding further tension.

Release: March 30


reviews: 70

Craig Charles
The Craig Charles Funk And Soul Club
Freestyle Records

We all know Craig Charles by now and if you’ve had the pleasure of catching his long standing show on BBC 6 Music then this exhilarating selection of Funk, Soul and even Ska will have you jumping in the aisles. What’s important here, aside the music of course, is that not only does this hit upon classics from the past but also swings right up to date with current artists like T Bird & The Breaks and Smoove & Turrell. A couple of good covers included here too, not least of all Prince Fatty Ft Horseman’s version of Cypress Hill ‘Insane In The Membrane’ and of the few available cooler moments ‘A Time For’ by Lack Of Afro Ft Wayne Gidden is a particualr standout – special mention must also go to the Incredible Bongo Band’s bizarre rendition of the Stones ‘Satisfaction’. All in all from the blistering opening of ‘Amen Brother’ by The Bamboos this is simply about good music whether that’s for mind, body and soul, or all three at once.

release: November 26

‘Amen Brother’


Do It All Night
Oh So Coy Recordings

Swiss label Oh So Coy poses the question of just how often you can hear that classic refrain ‘House Music All Night Long’ without losing interest. The Original version plays the sample over frisky tech textures with a perky organ riff sounding undoubtedly irresistible. However, when you listen to the excellent Late Night Mix, which slows it all right down to an intriguing, funky pace it’s only really then that the track truly shines. The vocal feels just right while the stabs are heavy and hard-hitting – first rate actually. Moodymanc then picks it up again injecting much funkier drums and chords to reinvigorate the groove, while added string-like pads give it extra depth on another typically quality re-interpretation. Definitely also check his impressive Breakhouse Mix that strips back the drums to a shuffling intensity, which along with hypnotic keys and rousing cowbells give it all an impatient sense of urgency. To finish the labels impressive 50th release the also excellent YUNOME version twists the chords around taught techno bass and undulating stress levels that are best played loud.

Johnny Fiasco
I Want It EP
Nordic Trax

With a long involvement and list of productions since the early 90’s Johnny Fiasco keeps up the momentum for this release on Vancouver’s Nordic Trax. Fuelled by very insistent hi-hats and a fevered acid attitude this production is as much about emotion as it is about bounce. Coupled with tastefully moody pads this excels simply because it isn’t afraid to play with texture in the process, operating on more than one level. Having said that, the Dub becomes even more single minded in a most unsettling way with nasty synths creating a grating edge for repeated impact.  Leaving, On & On to engage with further bleeps and evolving layers of sound with the semi-melodic motif sounding typically Chicago.

release: Oct 30 via Beatport: Full release Nov 27


Paolo Marturano
I’ll Be Waiting For You
Muchiq Records

Displaying all the necessary hallmarks Paolo Marturano’s second release for North West (UK) imprint Muchiq is both deliciously moody and seductively sleazy. Propelled by deep bass and quick-fire 909 snares, alongside a rich assortment of dark noises and captivating deadpan vocals, this ignites the touch paper between Tech and House while remaining funky and energized. Joint Label head Dan Muchiq provides the first remix with brisk drums and atmospheric chords adding fuelling the fire as the addition of extra nagging synth only increases the tension. The final Dansco version replays the originals’ elements, concentrating on the great percussion, to give a more introspective angle on what is a sterling from release from the label.

Release: December 29