Music Reviews

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The Best of P and P Records / Patrick Adams

Patrick Adams - The Best of P and P Records


You can’t reminiscence about the essence of boogie and Disco music without invoking the contributions of Patrick Adams who along with Peter Brown formed P&P records during the mid-seventies. Indeed Cloud One, one of the first groups to emerge from the P&P imprint would release one of the most sought after underground hits in 1976 with “Atmosphere Strut”. The nine minute bouncy party jam with the wicked synths and the catchy chorus “Get Up and Fly, Fly Away” was that rare Disco hit that could host a party all by itself. This would be the first of many hits; “Disco Juice” was another Adams masterpiece that had a sweet melody and a funky groove. Aside from Cloud One, Adams penned another hit with Marta Acuna with the club friendly “Dance Dance Dance”. As many of the Disco hits of this period relied heavily on synthesizers to make a hit, Adams brought more than that to the table. He was a consummate writer, composer and musician who knew how to make quality recordings that turned into hits. That he’s remained relevant after thirty years is a testament to that. That being said, the P&P catalogue captures some of his most creative work that still sounds great today.


Reg Dancy, 12/12

Colours Will Fly / Patrick Briscoe

Patrick Briscoe - Colours Will Fly

Cypress Grove

Fourteen tracks on this second CD from the Manchester based singer songwriter. Patrick is a bit special on the acoustic guitar with his songs having a folk heritage and dealing with intimate and concerning issues. Nick Drake will spring to mind but only as a pointer as Patrick has his own niche. Good stuff.


Graham Radley, 09/07

Rock Swings / Paul Anka

Paul Anka - Rock Swings


Old time crooner Paul Anka is back with a unique take on a selection of well known rock and pop songs set to big band swing arrangements. He visits the likes of Van Halen's 'Jump', 'True' by Spandau Ballet, The Cure's 'Love Cats', Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and the infamous 'Eye Of The Tiger' from Survivor. I know it sounds like an absolute disaster but it works in a cheeky kind of way. Trust me, touch down on his version of Oasis's 'Wonderwall' or Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and you'll be convinced, I kid you not!


Andy Allen, 12/05

Listen Of / Paul Bryan

Paul Bryan - Listen Of

Sonar Kollektiv

Upon its original release back in 1973, ‘Listen Of’ sold more than 150,000 copies in Bryan’s native Brazil alone, but as time passed the record’s status became that of a hidden treasure, buried away in the depths of dusty emporiums and known only to the most astute of diggers. It is therefore with a justified air of excitement and anticipation that music lovers are greeting its glorious release back into the wild, courtesy of a reissue on Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label. As befits a man who went onto work with Roberto Carlos, Gilberto Gil and Tim Maia, as well as fellow blind musician Stevie Wonder, Paul Bryan (real name Sérgio Sá) has a style that is clearly influenced by both golden era Motown soul and classic Brazilian song writing, and what we have here is a beautiful collection of calming, softly-spoken Folk ballads, full of understated guitar plucks and breezy, Jobim-inspired string arrangements, that has truly stood the test of time. What greater commendation is there than that?


Tom Breslin, 05/08

The Trip / Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy - The Trip

Afro Art Records

Paul Murphy has been on the scene since the beginning and it's only in recent years, that outside of London he's been recognised and received the press and attention that's years overdue. Paul has been producing for a number of years and it's so good to finally hear his debut. "The Trip" features the previous singles "Jazz Room", "Seven Samurai", "Budapest Chachacha", "Soul Call" and some corking new tracks. The wonderful fitting tribute to Herbie Mann and the title track is certain to find a home with nu-jazz and house heads to become a late summer anthem. Ensure you seek out and support a true legend!


Simon Harrison, 09/06

22 Dreams / Paul Weller

Paul Weller - 22 Dreams


Although I’ve always admired Paul Weller’s music and of course his impeccable dress sense his releases are not usually found within these pages. Of course soul music has always been an influence on him but on ’22 Dreams’ he explores a vast array of styles resulting in a dream like sequence of flashing random thoughts which somehow flow in natural progression. The tracks which will appeal to readers of these pages however are his tribute to Alice Coltrane ‘Song For Alice’, an orchestrated deep jazz instrumental you’d swear was a long lost gem from the woman herself, ‘Cold Moments’ which combines acoustic pop-folk with a heavy dose of soul sway, the folk meets East End barrow boy sounding ‘Black River’ and ‘God’ with spoken word from Aziz Ibrahim having a talk with The Mighty One Above in heartfelt working class bloke kind of way. It’s out there but that’s the way I like it!


Andy Allen, 09/08

Shaker Notes / Paul White

Paul White - Shaker Notes

R & S Records

You can be certain that Paul White is gonna keep the music moving in various directions. The UK producer has generated a large following with his left of center Hip Hop beats and production prowess, as evidenced by previous releases like "Rapping With Paul White" and "Paul White and The Purple Brain". With "Shaker Notes" he has eschewed the boom bap and taken his beats to uncharted territory by incorporating African rhythms and outer worldly sounds, Indeed "Shaker Notes" is filled with various textures of electronics and vibes. Among the highlights are "Where You Gonna Go",, sparked by chanting from White as well as hypnotic percussion. "Running On A Rainy Day" is filled with ethereal soundscapes. "All We Know" and "Fighting To Dance" are notable gems as well. With "Shaker Notes" you may not know where you're going but you'll no doubt enjoy the ride.


Reg Dancy, 01/15

Super Liminal / Penya

Penya - Super Liminal

On The Corner

Penya is a percussion driven quartet led by producer and multi-instrumentalist Magnus PI. "Super Liminal" is their debut LP and the follow up to their impressive "Acelere" EP. They're woven a myriad of influences ranging from Cuba to Tanzania to assemble a tantalizing stew of compositions. "Search It Out" is driven by Jim Lem's bata drumming and enhanced by lead vocalist Lilli Elina, whose vocals shine throughout this disc. Lem shines throughout as well, specifically on "Iyesa" and "Kirachi". The latter is a pulsating track with tribal overtones due in part to the futuristic synths with ancient chants. Magnus PI's production has created a lo-fi analog sound that befits the nature of the music. You feel as though you are in the midst of a live performance. The energy this quartet exudes is certain to lift your spirits and move your hips. There's no use trying to fight it, just release yourself and enjoy it.


Reg Dancy, 02/18

Morning Light / Personal Life

Personal Life - Morning Light

Tokyo Dawn

Personal Life is the London soul collective formed by Robert Strauss. Their debut “Morning Light” is a superb collection of sweetened soul with funky grooves surrounded by jazzy horns and strings. Each track features warm sophisticated arrangements highlighted by the silky smooth voice of Stuart Lisbie.  Among the highlights are the mid-tempo dance floor friendly tracks like “Classic Lady” and the socially conscious “One Step Closer”.  “I remember” a nice ballad filled with lush romantic arrangements and simple yet enchanting funk. Strauss, who wrote and produced, has captured the essence of quality soul music that was a staple from the late seventies and throughout the eighties. What’s impressive is that “Morning Light” isn’t a throwback record; it’s a refreshing record that fills a gaping hole in the RnB soul genre. Could this be a renaissance? You certainly hope so if they sound as good as this one.


Reg Dancy, 07/13

I Rise With The Birds / Pete Josef

Pete Josef - I Rise With The Birds

Sonar Kollektiv

Hard to believe it's been five years since "Colours", the debut from Bristol native Pete Josef debuted. The fact that it was such a strong debut combined with some notable side projects allowed us to enjoy his music long after the release. That wasn't all to the extended break however. Josef felt it was necessary to step away and focus on family. The break rekindled his love for music and that renewed passion is on display here. "I Rise With The Birds" is a brillant record filled with an array of soul, pop and folk compositions. Josef sits in the production chair and surrounds himself with some of Bristol's promiment musicians here and they rise to the task at hand. "Night Eyes" blossoms with melodic keys that stroke the heartstrings while Marie Lister's vocals are a perfect match for Josef. "Giants" has a little bit of everything, an infectious groove, soulful horns and swirling strings. "Mainframe" is equally worthy of dance floor spins. It's also co-written by Jazzanova's Alex Barck. The honey toned vocalist has struck gold again with a lp worthy of repeated listens.


Reg Dancy, 01/21

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