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
The Vision - The VisionDefected
The Vision is the brainchild of singer songwriter Ben Westbeech and DJ/Producer Kon. This was a project five years in the making. They first worked together in 2012 and a chemistry was established. We won't hold it against them that a follow up has taken so long only because this lp is so darn good. We're simply thrilled it actually happened. Westbeech adds his vocals to a couple of tunes here. The remaining vocal dutuies are placed in the very capable of hands of Andreya Triana. She's simply marvellous on "Missing", a thumping track with a wicked bass groove. Triana isn't the only guest vocalist here. The Detroit trio known as Dames Brown demonstrate that they're a vocal powerhouse to be reckon with as evidenced on the soul stomper "Down". Westbeech's vocals shine on "Time" which also includes sparkling vibes from Roy Ayers. The disc winds down with "Home". Triana sings about the long grind of being on the road that's coming to an end. Kon and Westbeech knock it out of the park with a wonderful lp loaded with infectious dance grooves. If this doesn't lift your spirits, check your pulse.
Reg Dancy, 12/20
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
Third Coast Kings - West Grand BoulevardRecord Kicks
The funk and soul band from Ann Arbor Michigan made quite an impression with their 2012 debut. Their sophomore release "West Grand Boulevard" is firmly entrenched in the early Detroit raw soul sound and picks up where their debut left off. This band knows how to lay down a tight groove as evidenced by "Moving In The Night" and "Lead Foot". Vocalist Michelle Belle heats things up on "Just Move" while Sean Ike croons over the deep funk "Birds And Bees". Producer Nate Goldentone knows a thing or two about bringing out the best in a band having worked with The Liberators and Dojo Cuts. If you like your funk uncut and you need to kickstart a party then you need this on your playlist.
Reg Dancy, 07/14