The Stance Brothers - Kind SoulRicky-Tick Records
The Stance Brothers are brothers Isiah (vibes/keys) and Dwayne Stance (bass/guitar) plus drummer/percussionist Byron Breaks. Produced by Teppo ‘Teddy Rok’ Makynen (Teddy Rok Seven/The Five Corners Quintet/Nuspirit Helsinki), ‘Kind Soul’ is the trio’s debut album and features a fine selection of funky jazz cuts. ‘Steve McQueen’, ‘Jay’s Lament’ and ‘Roll Call’ from the singles are included but better in my opinion are the string laced boogie flavoured ‘Bright Moments’, the conga driven ‘Upside The Head’ and the cosmic Roy Ayers influenced ‘Mean Spirit’.
Andy Allen, 03/08
The Sunburst Band -Z Records
Joey Negro and the crew return with their 3rd Sunburst Band album and as with ‘Here Comes The Sunburst Band’ and ‘Until The End Of Time’ it’s packed with outstanding disco delights and boogie bombs. It features vocal performances from the likes of Leroy Burgess and Yolanda Wynns but even better are the Pete Simpson fronted cuts such as the outstanding ‘Our Lives Are Shaped’ and a killer version of David Bowie’s ‘Fashion’. Diane Charlemange graces the classy groove ‘Put A Lyric In It’ and the immaculate stepper ‘Movin’ With The Shakers’ which comes off like a Jones Girls track. Other standouts include ‘Turn It Out’ featuring Taka Boom which is reminiscent of early Level 42 material and ‘Dusk’, a clever if somewhat cheeky cut obviously inspired by Maze’s ‘Twilight’.
Andy Allen, 06/08
The Super-Phonics - InterstellarFreestyle Records
The cream of the UK's soul and funk musicians, most notably Snowboy, Jean Paul 'Bluey' Maunick and Jan Kincaid and Simon Bartholomew of The Brand New Heavies, have joined forces to create The Super-Phonics. 'Interstellar' opens with the appropriately titled 'P.A.R.T.Y' which perfectly sums up this set of feel-good disco/boogie cuts. There's really not a bad track throughout but pay special attention to the Chic influenced 'Dial L For Love', 'Better Try And See' and a great version of Linda Williams' classic 'Elevate Our Minds'. If you like Joey Negro's The Sunburst Band then this is for you.
Andy Allen, 02/08
The Tibbs - Takin OverRecord Kicks
Record Kicks has proven time and again to be a haven for quality funk and soul music. The latest addition to their roster is the Amsterdam based group The Tibbs. After self releasing an EP in 2014 they're poised to garner a larger audience with their debut "Takin' Over". The eight piece band demonstrate that they can lay down some tasty grooves while lead vocalist Elsa Bekman lights a fire under every tune. "Dog Days" is a fiery tune filled spirited guitars licks from Henk Kemkes. "Until We Meet Again" is a slow burning dim the lights ballad. Guitarist Henk Kemkes spirited guitar licks add a little spice on the classic "96 Tears". Tight horn arrangements and heartfelt lyrics make The Tibbs an emerging band with plenty of soul to help you get your groove on.
Reg Dancy, 10/16
The Tomorrow Band - 2 To Get SetRehab Records
Follow up to ‘3 to get ready’ from Chris Bowden, Neil Bullock and Ben Markland which opens with a fine take on Miles Davis’s ‘Freddie The Freeloader’. Further jazz staples include Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Chega de Saudade and Wayne Shorter’s ‘Isotope as well as a bonus DVD track of Billy Cobham’s ‘Red Baron’Great straight ahead playing and whilst it’s not on the wild side the quality glows through and embraces you.
Graham Radley, 02/09
The Vanishing System - Head ComputerAltered Vibes
to date this is my favourite album of 2005, and I will not quote that The Vanishing System is the next hiphop artist who is trying to push the boundaries rather than keep within the standard 'jiggy' hiphop, as we all know who they are by now. Produced by Jason Todd and DJ Epcot Center, this is about as mad as things get. The lyrics are truly brilliant and the production is as mad as a cow with a certain disease, miss at your peril. Jason has a truck load of music on the way, so keep your eyes peeled.
Simon Harrison, 05/05
Thee Gobbs - It's TimeAtjazz Record Company
South Africa continues to build on it's reputation as a haven for spiritual House music and culture. Thee Gobbs is another stellar DJ to emerge from the homeland to keep on your radar. "It's Time", his debut on Atjazz showcases his deft touch as a producer with a keen sense of musicianship. He seemlessly fuses the spirtual melodies with the emotive harmonies deep infectious grooves. This double cd features Gobbs original compositions while disc B features some tasty remixes from some of the most notable DJ/Producers today. "The Love" is a joyous dance track featuring Johannesburg based vocalist Tsholo. "Thin Ice" is another pulsating tune featuring vocalist RJ Reynolds. "Like A Drum", the track that rose Gobbs name to a broader audience features a number of scorching remixes but among my favorites is the deep house remix from Fish Go Deep. "Time To Rise" receives a soulful house remix from priemere DJ/Producer Sean McCabe. Gobbs had already knocked on the door with his two previous singles. Now with "It's Time" he's blowing it wide open.
Reg Dancy, 10/17
Thief - SunchildSonar Kollektiv
Most of us should have seen this coming: Sonar Kollektiv have released three volumes of the ace Secret Love compilations, so it makes sense that Sascha Gottschalk and Axel Reinemer aka Extended Spirit and two members of the Jazzanova collective produce a folk style album. Even though I say folk, the productions are not a million miles away from last year's brilliant Beauty Room album, which was also influenced by Steely Dan, rather than the fashionable folk doing the rounds at the moment. As with all Jazzanova productions, they are polished, with beautiful arrangements and lyrics. It's not all about Gottschalk and Reinemer because Thief's voice is something to savour and sit back and enjoy over and over again. Beautiful.
Simon Harrison, 02/07
Think of One - Camping ShaabiCrammed Discs
At a time when the linguistic divide in Belgium between the French-speaking Waloons and the Flemish-speaking populations has intensified, it is refreshing to know that a musical antidote exists which takes on board both traditions and is open to myriad external musical influences throughout the globe. They are the Antwerp based collective Think of One and this highly eclectic fusion of musical styles is quite simply a breath of fresh air on the musical landscape. Whereas previous albums have focused on Brazilian music and even that of the Arctic, this latest project is firmly rooted in the shaabi music of Morocco with diverse western influences thrown in to great effect. The opener, 'J'etais jetee' is an intriguing fusion of traditional shaabi with dance rhythms and this is typical of the album as a whole which even incorporates Jamican dub. Indeed the sheer eclecticism is exemplified further on 'Gnawa power' with a Led Zepplin style guitar suiprimposed over gnawa rhythms and chants. In contrast, 'Wereld ni' is a hypnotic piece with vocals in Flemish. The exotically designed gatefold sleeve truly reflects the music within. A brief DVD short sheds light on the raison d'etre of this new project. With a host of guest musicians, this must surely be one of the year's most original sounding world roots albums.
Tim Stenhouse, 05/08
Third Coast Kings -Record Kicks
Since coming onto the scene in 2010 with the single “Give Me Your Love”, the Third Coast Kings have been keeping it hot with their brand of deep funk and raw grooves. On their full length debut, the Michigan based band deliver twelve selections of high octane grooves that will jumpstart any party. Among the prime cuts are “Cop It Proper”, an instrumental burner ripe with funky horns. “Tonic Stride” displays funky guitar licks and the soaring voice of Michelle Camilleri. “Roughneck” will grab you right from the start with wicked wah wah guitar playing courtesy of band member Andy Filisko. It all adds up to another heavyweight band from the Record Kicks roster that hits you hard with the funk and never lets up and that’s just the way we like it.
Reg Dancy, 03/12