Music Reviews

Show: New reviews | Artists beginning with: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9 | Compilations
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Movement-Silence / DJ Devastate

DJ Devastate - Movement-Silence

BBE Records

A veteran on the UK scene for over fifteen years, DJ Devastate has been a student as well as a pioneer in the hip-hop game. Devastate has followed the likes of Marly Marl, DJ Premier and Pete Rock and in the process cultivated his own sound. With his debut, Devastate has created a laidback hip-hop gem with jazzy rhythms that would make followers of the native tongues period proud. The entire disc takes you back to a time when all was well in the world of hip-hop. It’s clear that Devastate has been sharpening his production skills during his hiatus because the compositions throughout are flawless. With no mc’s on board, “Movement-Silence” is comprised sunny instrumental beat gems combined with well placed sampling. Some of the highlights include “The Motion”, a funky track with a wicked kick snare drum beat. “Don’t Sop” is a jazzy number that features a popular Common sample. “Taken it slow” is a hazy mid-tempo banger that has a simple beat but provides the right amount of samples and catchy hooks to make it shine. Kudos to DJ Devastate for crafting a soulful hip-hop treat you can chill to. While he doesn’t break any new ground here his attention to detail towards crafting quality beats will force you to add this to your cd rotation.

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Reg Dancy, 12/09

A Word To The Wise / DJ Mitsu The Beats

DJ Mitsu The Beats - A Word To The Wise

Jazzy Sport

Ever since he burst onto the with his solo project “A New beginning”, DJ Mitsu has made a name for himself not only as one of the premiere dj’s in Japan but worldwide. His latest full length release, “A Word to the Wise” offers a little bit of everything that adds up to an outstanding record. DJ Mitsu features some of hip-hop’s most sought after rappers like the underrated Maspyke on “Playing with Crime”, complete with clever wordplay and dope beats. One rapper whose stock continues to rise is Detroit’s own Elzhi. On “Get’em Up” he displays his lyrical prowess over a neck snapping beat. Jose James drops by to add his warm velvet voice to the wonderful “Promise In Love”. Other highlights include the funky “The Game Changer” by Wildchild and Georgia Anne Muldrow. “Dim Skyline” is an instrumental bamger that features Mark De Clive Lowe on keys. “A Word To The Wise” is that rare recording where there is nary a weak track amongst eighteen selections. As good as “A New Beginning” was, this one is significantly better. It would be very wise would be to pick this up, you won’t be disappointed.

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Reg Dancy, 09/09

Phantom / DJ Oil

DJ Oil - Phantom

BBE

Lionel Corsini, aka DJ Oil has demonstrated a keen ear for old school beats and rhythms. His previous lp, the well received "Black Notes" is evidence of his production skills. Three years later he returns with "Phantom"  and he's out to take his musical vision a step further. "Paolo" is filled with pulsating percussion and Afrobeat rhythms  "Beetlejuice" has a brooding organ grinding groove and a little boom bap rap as well. In addition, the female African vocals highlight this eclectic track. "New Lord" has a dark and haunting groove filled with an assortment of vocal samples that capture the mood of the tune. Throughout "Phantom" DJ Oil seamlessly places vocals and events of everyday life into these live recordings for which no samples were used. Everything is on the table here from Blues to House to moody gritty soul. All in all this is an superb musical collage that should award him the the attention he certainly deserves.

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Reg Dancy, 01/15

Music 4 Alternative Souls / DJ Simon S

DJ Simon S - Music 4 Alternative Souls

Futuristica

DJ/Producer Simon S has been at the helm of Futuristica for well over a decade. Few labels have consistently released as much high quality downtempo grooves and jazz infused soulful hip hop during this period. The aptly titled "Music 4 Alternative Souls" is filled with dreamy tracks and thought provoking hip hop that sink into your body and warm your soul. "Looking" is sublime downtempo soul by vocalist J.Mcfysian. Newcomer Georgie Sweet's tender vocals are a delight on the blissful "Half Human". Rapper Jack Jones spits poignant verses on the gritty "Slick". There's some notable remixes as well. K15 reworks "For You" into a lush house stomper and Mecca 83's layered beats on "Beautiful" are also a highlight. This superb release is just a snapshot of the notable contributions from the Futuristica family. Press play, lean back and enjoy.

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Reg Dancy, 08/18

DJ Spinna vs P and P records / DJ Spinna

DJ Spinna - DJ Spinna vs P and P records

Fivedayweekend

During the mid to late seventies, Peter Brown and Patrick Adams wrote and produced a number of future disco classics for their own label P&P records that would stand the test of time for DJ’s and record aficionados alike. With the help of DJ Spinna, we get re-introduced to these quality recordings all over again. When I think of P&P I think of Cloud One, probably their most successful group on the P&P roster and fittingly there are three tasty tracks from them.  The atmospheric “Dust to Dust” kicks off the disc and “Don’t Let My Rainbow Pass Me By” is another floor burner. Other notable cuts are “Ain’t It Time” from Queen Yahna, a string laden disco tune that could fit into the Salsoul catalogue. Eddie Owens gritty funk n soul track is bursting with a fierce brass section and serves as a nice diversion from the collection of disco and boogie tunes. This is just a sampling of the P&P catalogue but one that is definitely worth checking out.

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Reg Dancy, 06/12

Intergalactic Soul / DJ Spinna

DJ Spinna - Intergalactic Soul

Papa Records

I first picked up on DJ Spinna back when he was producing hip hop and it was a great surprise to me and probably the house heads: that all of a sudden he was knocking out quality house productions equal to, if not better than some of the masters of the 4/4 beat. This was strengthened by the release of "We Can Change This World" featuring Heavy, which has been blowing dancefloors apart for a few months now and set to be a massive summer hit. It's not all uptempo with guests like Little Brother's Phonte, N'Dea Davenport, Eric Roberson and Lizz Fields these tracks just ooze soul. The latter half picks up the tempo with yet more quality vocalists including Trish Angus, Christian Urich from Tortured Soul and the Free Radikalz. Spinna proves yet again his versatility with a cracking second album.

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Simon Harrison, 06/06

The Sound Beyond Stars / DJ Spinna

DJ Spinna - The Sound Beyond Stars

BBE

DJ Spinna's roots in house music date back to the time spent around the likes of  New York house icons Shep Pettibone and Larry Levan. Although he would cultivate a reputation as a hip-hop dj/producer, he displayed a natural ability to transition into the crowded dj house arena. That was evident when he dropped the Shaun Escoffery remixes for "Space Rider" and Days Like These". Both remain dance floor fillers to this day. Several timeless treats would follow and most are compiled here on the wonderful release, "The Sound Beyond Stars". With over forty tracks here this two disc compilation successfully shines a light on his first rate arrangements. "Live In The Light", featuring Navasha Daya and "What Am I Gonna Do" with Rashaan Patterson are infectious soulful dance tracks that will elevate your spirit as only a great house track can. By the time you get to the end of disc 1 with "Little W. 12st" your spirit has been whipped into a frenzy. Disc 2 is a bit more mellow but no less engaging. "Dear Friend" is an atmospheric house gem and the thumping bass of "The Power" will keep your head on a swivel. This isn't just a collection of tracks, instead it's a great performance of true DJ who knows how to set a mood while taking you higher in the process. As far as compilations go, this is as good as it gets. Highly recommended.

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Reg Dancy, 04/15

Strange Things & Funky Things Vol.5 / DJ Spinna & BBE Soundsystem

DJ Spinna & BBE Soundsystem - Strange Things & Funky Things Vol.5

BBE Records

DJ Spinna continues to dig in the crates in order to shine the light on the underground soul and rare grooves of the seventies with satisfying results. “Strange Things & Funky Things Vol.5” is jam packed with an assortment of tasty treats you may or may not be familiar with but you’ll no doubt enjoy them. The disc starts out with the silky seductive “Sweet Stuff” by Sylvia. This is definitely a dim the lights and hold your lady tight track. “Capricorn Rising” is one of those quality timeless tracks that slips through the cracks and you’re left wondering why. This is a wonderful jazz infused record by Richard Evans reminiscent of Charles Stepney’s arrangements with Earth, Wind & Fire. Other highlights include the afro-Latin rhythmic “War Is Coming” by War and “Obaa Yaa Aye Me Bone” by CK Mann & his Carousel 7. The latter is a thirteen minute medley of deep and funky Afrobeat rhythms that is essential listening. Overall DJ Spinna has created a tremendous passage into an era where quality recordings were the rule and not the exception. Need an immediate soul and funk injection, you’ll be wise to pick this one up.

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Reg Dancy, 12/10

Double Sided / DJ Vadim

DJ Vadim - Double Sided

BBE

DJ Vadim and Californian songwriter vocalist Katrina Blackstone return following their successful collaboration on "Dubcather" with "Double sided". Vadim's latest release is amalgamation of dub step grooves, boogie tunes with several eclectic rhythms mixed in between. Among the highlights are "Choose" where Blackstone's sultry vocals ride over a wicked synth laden beat. "Stand Up" is roots reggae laced with funky dub echo effects and pulsing drums. "How Long" is an upbeat boogie tune with a catchy melody that lingers long after the song is over. Vadim has delivered another impressive disc full of live instrumentation and thumping bass grooves. Along with Ms Blackstone they've formed the perfect musical combination.

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Reg Dancy, 10/17

Dubcatcher / DJ Vadim

DJ Vadim - Dubcatcher

BBE

DJ Vadim has been very busy these days. When he isn't DJ'ing around the world he's also producing for numerous artists in all manner of styles. With his latest release "Dubcatcher" he has composed a rich collection of Dub beats and Dance hall rhythms enhanced by an array of talented vocalists and rappers alike. There's so much to savor starting with "Hope"  and "Rise". Each tune feature Bassist/Vocalist Rio Hemopo and frequent Vadim contributor Sabira Jade. "Action" featuring rising star Jimmy Screech is another winner that packs a lot of bass and Hip-Hop beats. Other notable tracks include "Nah Join" and "Originate It", the latter featuring Dynamite MC. Locked and loaded with sixteen tracks, "Dubcatcher" flows with one great vocalist after another and the production is first rate. If you purchase only one Dub record this year, make sure this is the one.

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Reg Dancy, 06/14

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