Various Artists - Movements Vol 8Tramprecords
The Bravarian based label Tramp records return with their long running series entitled "Movements". Volume eight showcases eighteen tracks of the rarest of rare soul music. Comprised of a variety of unsung artists displaying notable skills yet never gaining a mainstream audience. Among the highlights are the soul jazz tune "Slow Down" by veteran vocalist Howlett Smith. "Don't Give A Damn" is down home soul from the King Cain Silvertone Band. Vibraphonist Ulysses Crockett delivers some tasty soul jazz with "Sunshine Superman". Just when you think they have unearthed all the hidden gems they dig even deeper. There's much more to savor here and while you're enjoying it you can be sure that volume nine isn't far behind.
Reg Dancy, 06/16
Various Artists - Mr Bongo Record Club Volume OneMr Bongo
Just when you think there are no more hidden gems to be found, Mr Bongo continues to impress us. Once again they have blessed us with loads of obscure quality recordings from their massive vault. The new compilation "Mr Bongo Record Club Volume One" features a myriad of musical styles from artists from around the world. With twenty tracks in tow, there's much to savor here. "Seara De Oxala is Brailian funk by Barbosa. "Fish & Funjee" is African Psychedelic funk from Lantei Lampley. "El Mercado" is a very hard to find fusion recording from Venezuelan guitarist Alex Rodriguez. In order to get into this club you must bring plenty of funk and lay down some good grooves. All the artists here have gone well beyond that. This is a superb collection that will provide instant satisfaction.
Reg Dancy, 01/17
Various Artists - Museum Of Future SoundFlogsta Danshall
Things have certainly changed with the internet and swapping music is affecting the music industry in many way, but on this occasion it worked for me. A friend sent me a few of the early releases on Flogsta Danshall, a name which meant nothing to me at the time but once I'd heard them, I was straight on the web hunting down copies of all their 7" releases: five in total. The quality continues with this compilation with some of the funkiest, dirtiest beats you'll here with year, with plenty of nostalgic Commodore 64 samples to keep the beat diggers and retro fanatics happy. I'd be very impressed if you've heard of any of the artists featured and it seems like most of the artists are based in Scandinavia, but I'm struggling to get more information. Of course it makes no difference where these tracks are made because they all just need to be played.
Simon Harrison, 04/07
Various Artists - Neu JazzSonar Kollektiv
To pinpoint the essence of any musical genre is always difficult and in the case of nu jazz it's pointless even trying when Jazzanova have done it so well on this compilation. 'Neu Jazz' includes some of the best tracks of recent times from some of the scene's leading players such as Dalindeo's 'Solifer Lento', 'Wind' from Sleep Walker featuring Yukimi Nagano, Soulstance's 'Lead The Way', 'Carrousel' by Hipnosis and 'Last Nine Days' from Quasimode. There's also some tasty exclusives in the shape of 'Queen Of Crows' from the forthcoming Two Banks Of Four album and Jazzanova's own 'That Night' featuring Bembe Segue, which is a new version of a track they originally recorded with Vikter Duplaix and later with Clara Hill on their Belle Et Fou project. Plus there's 'Simple Timeless' by Fertile Ground which I was unfamiliar with but is apparently from a Chico Hamilton tribute compilation.
Andy Allen, 02/08
Various Artists - Nigeria Rock Special - Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s NigeriaSoundway Records
I love this, yes it’s often dated and often raw but those are its strengths too with the infectious enthusiasm of what, at the time, (these recordings cover 1972-1979) was a youthful explosion of new influences as the rock of Hendrix mashed up with heavy African rhythms. Among the featured artists are Mono Mono, The Hygrades, Tabukah ‘X’, The Elcados and Ofege. Really good.
Graham Radley, 07/08
Various Artists - Night & DayProminence Recordings
Compiled by DJ Nova, this fifteen track selection focuses on some of the top picks from his weekly Nova Planet radio show (www.rodonfm.net). Nu-jazz is the order of the day whether it be in its' more traditional jazz combo form or electronic based. Included are gems from recent times such as Was A Bee's version of 'On A Clear Day', Soulstance's delightful waltz 'Moon Vision', Big Bang's 'Summer Fields' plus the electric mix of 'Broken Samba' by Nature's Plan, Sabrina Malheiros' 'Passa (Venom's Remix), and the amazing 'Higher Skies' by Alessandro Oliviero. For anyone who missed these cuts first time around this is an essential package.
Andy Allen, 01/07
Various Artists - Nightmares On Wax Presents Wax OnWax On Records
George Evelyn, the man behind Nightmares On Wax (NOW) has built an impressive resume of quality discs that have featured experimental downtempo beats that are supported by a soulful landscape and hip hop beats. His latest release, “Wax On” doesn’t stray too far off course. George has assembled a list of musicians to elevate “Wax On” beyond a studio unit. The opening track “You never Know” is a perfect example of that. A nice chilled out lounge track with lush vocals. Paris based DJ Guts Le Bienheureux , now a member of the Waxon records roster reworks two selection here. “Skunkfunk” is a downtempo bass heavy tune with an infectious beat. The classic “And The Living Is Easy” gets the reggae dub makeover courtesy of The Dynamics. A solid release by George Evelyn but it’s not one of his best. If you’re new to the work of Nightmares On Wax I would suggest “Smokers Delight” or Carboot Soul” before you get this one.
Reg Dancy, 05/08
Various Artists - No Ritmo Da Bossa NovaWarner Music
A celebration of 50 years of bossa nova, this 14 track compilation has a well rounded selection with Elis Regina, Carlos Lyra and Joao Donato among the artists helping to flex those limbs. Nostalgia for all the right reasons.
Graham Radley, 10/08
Various Artists - Nueva VisionSonar Kollektiv
Compiled by Jazzanova and Erik Ott 'Nueva Vision' shines the spotlight on Cuba's EGREM/Areito label between 1971 and 1989. Across 17 tracks it covers a variety of styles including jazz dance delights such as Chucho Valdes' 'Triton' and 'La Sombra', the latter of which has an air of Bossa Tres' 'Imprevisto' about it, mellow jazz-fusion with Emiliano Salvador's 'Angelica' and Orchestra LA 440's 'Y No Me Ire' and full on Jazz-funk in the shape of Ricardo Eddy Martinez y Expreso Ritmico's 'Mi Conga es laque es'. Psychedelic folk-funk is represented by Grupo Tema IV who serve up 'Tema 4' and 'Yayabo' and there's also the superb 2-step soul cut 'De tu amorme enamore' from Yo, tu, el y ella. Also available is a 6 track 12" for the vinyl junkies.
Andy Allen, 12/07
Various Artists - Oonops Drops Vol. 1Agogo
"Oonops Drops" is the name of DJ Oonops monthly broadcast on Brooklyn Radio (NYC). Oonops radio show has featured an array of guests from around the globe to expand his listeners musical horizons. When he's not hosting his show he's performing DJ sets with an eclectic mix from Dub, afrobeat to hip-hop and more. An avid vinyl collector, he digs deep in the crates to bring some hidden gems for his debut. Among the highlights are "Shadows In The city" by Figub Brazlevic, a dubbed out breakbeat banger that would fit in any soundsystem party. "Suff Daddy is a bouncy boogie tune remixed by Pat Van Dyke. "Mysterious Vibes", originally a Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds gem receives a proper edit from Cro-Magnum. ShinSight Trio tastefully covers Side Effect's soulful 70s classic "Always There" in the form of "You Got Soul". Released on Agogo records Oonops first compilation fits in with their global state of mind. It also stands among their impressive string of releases this year worthy of your attention.
Reg Dancy, 05/18