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





Azari & III
‘Azari & III’
Loose Lips Records
/Island Records

If anyone tries to tell you that ‘Things aren’t as good as they used to be’ they obviously haven’t had the positive pleasure of experiencing Azari & III. As an attitude to dullness the album plays like a dream touching on all points from the more Soulful to the blatantly Techno inspired, this selection of music relishes the extremes. While current single, Restless (With Your Love) and with previous ones are included the air of familiarity is offset by the albums now U.K release. Tracks such as the acid infused Tunnel Vision and the mechanically charged Indigo simmer with tension as the production values are never less than dazzling throughout – although not always pretty such as on the deliciously sinister, Manhooker. Sweet dreams are made of this. 10

released: 19 Feb 2012




Tony Lionni
‘Higher Ground E.P’

Tony Lionni returns the serve with this typically striking production which sees him trace the lines between Techno and House and then blur them. Higher Ground loops a vocal snippet, works it to death over splashing hats and insistent organ with sumptuously deep synth acting as the pay-off – an inspired touch of Jazz. Moomin provides an excellent remix with funky rhythms blending together with a selection of treated instruments. And, if that isn’t enough then the final the e.p’s finale certainly will be. Forever Is A Long Time… begins with Disco drums and ends up reliving a series of classic Deep House moments with exquisite piano and swirling pads: Spine-tingling. 9

release: 23 Jan 2012





Murray Richardson
‘Memory Loss’
Baker Street Recordings

The story of House continues with this excellent bass driven production from Murray Richardson. Many of you will be overtly familiar with Baker Street by now but if not then title track Memory Loss is the reason to get acquainted. Bass lines like this are hard to beat and coupled with rattling hats and Detroit stabs this invigorating groove pushes all the right buttons at Magazine Sixty. The curious Sometime Sweet Susan continues by adding up various old-school elements and sounding vital. Remixes of Memory, are from the first-rate Paul Hardy & McKai who not surprisingly retain the B line but spice up the drums and top end to compliment the original, and a hypnotic Gareth Whitehead whose sub is suitably s**t hot! 8

release: 23 Jan 2012



‘Master Codes EP’
Memoria Recordings

Memoria Recordings’ own Lilith plays with numbers on this hard-hitting and deeply involving E.P. Opening track 22, produced along with Timothy Watt, sets hissing 909 hats against moody stabs, weird voices and funky tech rhythms and does nothing if not leave an indelible impression on your mind. Freak You does as the title suggests with menacing sounds and techno attitude. 44 follows the progression with deeper tones and stylish snares, while Circoloco’s Andrew Grant explores yet more tense atmospheres and drum textures on his excellent remix. The Filsonik remix of Freak You rounds off in jackin’ Chicago mode teasing you with its bassline and shuffling percussion. 8!/memoriarecordings



Signal Deluxe
Mercado Negro EP
Hidden Recordings

If you like music that challenges your imagination then Mexico City’s Signal Deluxe are most definitely for you. The led track is somewhat epic clocking in at nearly eleven and a half minutes, but don’t let that bother you at this develops a sequence of completely intriguing sounds and vocal treatments all at its own pace – feeling almost ambient at times but with a deadly serious undercurrent too. Or to put that into other words, it’s a stunning piece of electronic music. But then so is the Derek Marin Remix who twists nasty stabs together with trippy vocals and slower beats. The Craft Remix lifts the tempo techno time for its unrelenting version, while the Deepak Sharma & Dieter Krause Remix stretches everything out into sonic extremes and might be something you would like to experience in a dark room (though perhaps not alone!) Again you could use the word exceptional. 9

release: 23 Jan 2012





Sandy Barber
‘The Best Is Yet To Come’
BBE Records

Sandra Barber was the lead vocalist on Rare Pleasure’s classic ‘Let me Down Easy’ after which she branched out with producer Clyde Otis as a solo artist to release her debut album in 1977. It’s all too easy to review The Best Is Yet To come because you are immediately enveloped in soaring emotive melodies the way only Soul music seems to truly do. The album contains its fair share of down tempo ballads such as the gorgeous I’ll Belong To You/ Yea Baby but also mid-tempo Disco shuffles and even hot boogie action too. Try, I Think I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping (On My Own) which comes with excellent reworkings from John Morales and Al Kent as well as the somewhat suggestive I’ve Got something Good (Come And Get It) for size. You won’t be dissatisfied. 8

Rare Pleasure ‘Let Me Down Easy’ (1976)


Dominic Martin
‘Family Affair’
Lost My Dog

The second in this series highlighting the labels’ prowess sees Glaswegian Dominic Martin select fourteen tracks to mix. You’d be surprised if I didn’t reassure you the music contains the key word, Deep although rarely do the energy levels dip below that required to party. The album contains a handful of new productions along with a couple of notable remixes from Giom, Milton Jackson and Johnny Fiasco who all deliver typically punchy selections. What the tracks do have in likeness is a common bond in the use of funky stabs, warm pads and always crisp beats. Also well worth noting are the smoky down-tempo numbers: New Context and the tastefully Jazzy ‘Last Exit’ which serve to break up the beats and the mix in an extra layer of intrigue. 8