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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Grey Doubt / The Colours That Rise

The Colours That Rise - Grey Doubt

Rhythm Section International

Producer Simeon Jones and Nathanael Williams form the duo known as The Colours That Rise. Their latest release "Grey Doubt" is lo-fi celestial electronica built on funk, broken beat grooves and spacey synths. This is the follow up to their impressive EP “2020”. "Hype Lane" is laid back galactic funk with a wobbly 70s wah wah groove. "The Juice" is a touch of afro house highlighted by the vocals of Andrew Ashong. The aptly titled "Atmosphere" erupts with warm and mellow chords merged with the sultry vocals of Yazmin Lacey. The compositions here are intertwined with dialogue alleging that black people are living on Mars. The point being that you must be mindful of the conspiracy theories that are floating in the universe. It's tastefully done and blends seamlessly with the spacey compositions on tap here. I recommend you take a trip through this galaxy of gorgeous grooves and enjoy the ride.

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Reg Dancy, 06/20

BFI / The Dragons

The Dragons - BFI

Ninja Tune

Although recorded in the late 60s this is the first ever release of this album. It came about following DJ Food's discovery of The Dragons' 'Food For My Soul' on an old surfing movie soundtrack. He eventually tracked down the band to find they had recorded a full album of material which until now had never been issued. 'BFI' is very much based in psychedelic rock but with heavy doses of funk and jazz thrown in for good measure. 'Food For My Soul' is definitely the strongest cut on show but not to be overlooked are 'Are You There?', 'Sunset Scenery' and 'Your Way Too'.

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Andy Allen, 10/07

Murmuration / The Expansions

The Expansions - Murmuration

Albert's Favourites

The Expansions are a quartet hailing from South London. They made quite an impression with their debut EP "Lavender". Their latest release "Murmuration" builds on their debut with more funk infused jazz and soul rhythms. "Pocket 5" is fueled by spirited drumming from Jonny Drop and a thumping groove courtesy of bassist Matt Summerfield. On "Cannonball" Dave Koor's mellow earthy synths along with James O'Keefe's guitar provide plenty of warm vibes. "Ivory Mountain" is an uptempo fusion highlight driven by spacey synths and a pulsating groove. The Expansions breathe new life into the 70s fusion period with this engaging record. They've learned well from their influences while creating a sound all their own.

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Reg Dancy, 04/18

Mighty Righteous / The Fantastics

The Fantastics - Mighty Righteous

Freestyle Records

On this eleven track set, the Fantastics demonstrate that they know a thing or two about making funky music. And why not? The band formerly known as Rev. Cleatus and the soul saviours has it all, the simmering horn section, the funky bass and sweet hypnotic sounds of the Hammond b-3 organ. They tear through tracks like “Don’t follow leaders”, a gritty up-tempo jam that has the band swinging and just simply having a good time. On “The Doctor is in”, they bring the energy down just a bit but still keep it funky and greasy. “Blue Sunday” shows a mellow side of the group. The track features Pete Collison stringing together some hypnotic guitar licks over a laid-back groove that features some sweet flute playing by Mark Norton. From start to finish the Fantastics provide plenty of funky grooves to make you move your body or just simply listen and enjoy. If you like the sounds of bands like The Meters or the JB’s then you’ll certainly enjoy “Mighty Righteous”.

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Reg Dancy, 03/09

Chasin' The Jazz Gone By / The Five Corners Quintet

The Five Corners Quintet - Chasin' The Jazz Gone By

Ricky-Tick

Although the CD was released a few months ago the beautifully packaged vinyl version has only just surfaced. If you’ve already got the 3 10” releases then you’ll have most of the tracks here. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the rest of the album is made up of fillers though. Far from it, in fact we’re treated to another 2 tracks featuring the vocal talents of Mark Murphy, ‘This Could Be The Start Of Something’ and ‘Jamming (With Mr Hoagland)’ a great spoken word outing. Also take a listen to ‘Case Study’ with Okou and ‘Unsquare Bossa’, a Hammond organ led dancer. This is an outstanding album by a truly outstanding band. Be quick though as the vinyl edition is in seriously limited supply.

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Andy Allen, 01/06

Analog Africa No 1 / The Green Arrows

The Green Arrows - Analog Africa No 1

Alula Records

Highly significant group to come out of Zimbabwe in the 1970's who used the political upheaval of the time as a positive force within their adventurous music which brought together the different rhythms of the region. 20 re-mastered tracks taken from 1974's Chipo Chiroorwa LP and from singles recorded between '76 and '79 showcasing their mellifluous, dancing, guitar led funky African music. Excellent.

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Graham Radley, 06/07

The Grits / The Grits

The Grits - The Grits

Freestyle Records

With a name like The Grits, one would expect nothing but raw uncut funk. The group from Brighton delivers with a ten track disc full of funky instrumental soul numbers sure to make your head nod and leave you feeling nostalgic of the days when you heard tunes like this everyday. The disc starts out with the laidback “Ug Ug Aah”, this track boasts catchy guitar rhythms, the delightful sounds of the Hammond b-3 and funky drums that will make you want to move. The group lays some grease on tunes like “Jam Jam” and “Crazy Legs”. On “Funky Soul Brother” this track is supported by a serious bass line that allows the rhythm section plenty of room to create soulful harmonies. Most of the tracks here barely exceed three minutes but they make good use of every note. There’s no showboating here just a good old fashioned jam session that will satisfy any loyal funk enthusiast. This is a very enjoyable record by a talented band worth keeping an eye on.

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Reg Dancy, 12/08

Smokestack Trilogy / The Groanbox Boys

The Groanbox Boys - Smokestack Trilogy

Groanbox Music

UK based Americans Cory Seznec & Michael Ward Bergeman with an excellent release that brings us the world of the train, the hobo and the American past. This is old time foot stomping American blues played on accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica. My pick is 'Hobo Heaven' a track full of feeling. Very good

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Graham Radley, 03/07

One Of These Days / The Haggis Horns

The Haggis Horns - One Of These Days

Haggis Records

The Haggis Horns 4th album "One Of These Days" features a grittier bluesy sound while maintaining their trademark raw soulful sound. The slow grinding groove of "Curse Of The Haggis" is evidence of that and a pleasant sign of things to come. Long time member Lucinda Slim adds her sultry vocals to the mid-tempo "World Gone Crazy". On "All Fuzzed Up" the band demonstrates that they can turn up the heat when necessary. There's much more to savor here with appearances from John McCallum and Doc Brown respectively. Twenty years on the scene The Haggis Horns are still one of the premiere UK soul bands around today.

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Reg Dancy, 12/17

Stand Up For Love / The Haggis Horns

The Haggis Horns - Stand Up For Love

Haggis Records

"Stand Up For Love", the fifth album from The Haggis Horns finds them getting back to basics. Which is stripped down hard driving funk and soul. "Don't Give A Damn" features John McCallum's vocals in top form soaring over the gritty funk groove. They slow the tempo a bit on "Suzi Traffic" and "Give It Up" thereby giving you a moment to catch your breath before they kick back into high gear. The title track demonstrates they can rock a reggae groove as well as they can bring the funk. This release is a reunion os sorts with several original members on board for this session. They're cooking on all cylinders and deliver another crowd pleasing lp.

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Reg Dancy, 07/20

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