Friday 1 December 2023

When you've done as many remixes as Homero Espinosa has and there's not a bad 'un amongst them, you know he's not going to fail to deliver on this 2023 'anthem'.

'You've got to love right now' is even more necessary than when this originally came out (see review HERE), Pete Moss did a great 7 minute remix so Mr. Espinosa had the need to at least match that and indeed he has.

He's upped the ante with the addition of a Roland MC-307 as loved in the '90s for some bouncey ping pong plus some dubby echoes and you've got a need highlight in your party season set list whether you're in  Philadelphia or NYC .

Artist: Lady Alma, Joey Crawford, Rob Paine
Title: Love Right Now (Homero Espinosa Remix)
Release date: 1st December, 2023 [Beatport exclusive pre-order & from November 17th].
Label : Worship Recordings
Catalog Number : WOR059 / Digital / Bandcamp 

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Lovers rock on roots foundations as Errol Lamzi falls 'In And Out Of Love' with Senator B (not literally of course).

As you'd expect from this very classy single we're very much on the "in" love side of things as Errol's follow-up to last years' single, 'Lonely' (also on Ramrock).

Those with a good ear for these things will recognise The 1997/8 riddim 'Funny Feeling'/Hotter Claps Clap Them' by Rankin' Joe & The Steppers and as anthemic as that is, wait 'till you hear the rollin' Senator B track that really gets the love standing to attention on both the vocal and the instrumental versions.

Very different to Ramrock's last two releases, the now anthemic 'Ride The American Wave' by 

Twelve Caesars (see review HERE) and the increasingly compelling album by DB Cohen, 'Scratchcards & Wine' (see review HERE) but that's why we fell in love with the label are continue to be in love.

Artist: Errol Lamzi

Title: Falling In And Out Of Love ft. Senator B

Release date: 1st December, 2023

Label: Ramrock Records

Cat. No: RR011

Lost Control presents 'Devotion 2 The Ocean', their first compilation and appropriately gives some of the proceeds to Marine Conservation Institute.

Lost Control have more than impressed us this year with Black Eyes's 'Hydro-Trip Vol. 1' (see review HERE) as they maintain that they are "the best hydrotrip for the 7th dimension".

I don't think anyone is in a place to argue with that statement however bold it is from label founder,Balamii & NTS Radio residen and compilation selector, Black Eyes.

There's ten deep house tracks from all over the planet.  'Underwater Highway' (Walt J) and 'Under The Sea' (Mad World Music) perhaps should have kicked off the album but it's deep (no pun, etc) and dancefloor ready throughout; Lazercat's 'Cruise Over Nemo' being particularly good on a scuba synth dive trip - erm, hydro-trip.

Full on Berlin at it's best and another that I expect to feature in this months' 'Best Of' Colour & Pitch Sessions mix.

Title: Various Artists

Title: Lost Control presents 'Devotion 2 The Ocean'

Release date: 1st December, 2023

Label : Lost Control

Catalog Number :  LC2097- D002 

Cultural bandits get exposed whilst you dance to the Nuyprican house of Peacey. 

The 'angry' and insightful spoken word poetry of Vanessa Hidary (to match up with/against  Philly's CRT Kameelah Waheed (see review HERE), there is a prospect of hope and peace comes with her greedy Kimchi cultural thief.

It kinda sounds heavy, well, compared to Daniel Wang's view of New York 90s house parties and living with RuPaul (Ed. amazing) but were not judging hear as we get even deeper in the cultural primordial beats with an Osunlade Yoruba Soul Mix (times two) and Atjazz vocal/instrumental remixes; blimey, this harks back to BBE/Soul Jazz Records at their peaks.

No wonder that it's featured on this months' Colour & Pitch Sessions mixtape (see below).

'Culture Bandit' is from the forthcoming Peacey album ‘Play It By Ear’, like the first single, 'Hold Me Back' featuring Clyde & Atjazz (see review HERE), it's going to be another close thing for 'Album Of The Year' to South Beach Recycling (see review HERE) that came out at a similar time last year on the same label - what a year for Ajazz!

Artist: Peacey
Title: Culture Bandit (feat. Vanessa Hidary)
Release date: 15th December, 2023 vinyl 01.12.23
Label: Atjazz Record Company
Catalog Number: ARC230ADS2 Digital / Bandcamp

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Here's the usual story of boy meets girl meets android computer; at a party, at festive season time; that's how you get 'The Spark'!

Re-imagined artwork of Michelangelo's 'Hand Of God' slash Blade Runner (1982 original) the track gets upbeat vocals jaunt of a housey TALC (see review HERE) with a touch of UKG (Ed. it's coming back again).

Producer David Marston (as featured on Sara De Sanctis' 'Astray' with David Marston Remixes - see review HERE) with vocalist Liam Mockridge really hit it off together; errm, there's definitely more that just a spark with this collaboration.

As a radio edit, extended version and instrumental, this does make you think of fun times so before you start diggin' out 'Do you really like it", like this first to be the bright spark on the dancefloor.

Artist: David Marston & Liam Mockridge

Title: The Spark 

Release date: 1st December, 2023 

Label: Kindness Of Bearer Recordings

Catalog Number: KOB24 Digital / Bandcamp

Thursday 30 November 2023

The musical Madrid / London divide is more than fused as one with this deep soul challenge to 'Give Me The Strength To Be Me' featuring the vocals of Chalibrann.

You'll recall the album on Lovemonk by Gecko Turner, 'Somebody From Badajoz' (see review HERE) from earlier this year, but the strength of Soulnaturals' latest 7" featuring the incredible vocals of Chalibrann are worth waiting for.

Beautiful strings surround the funky-soul with added synth-shots (which are more evident on the b-side instrumental) and big horns make this a party season head turner; and I can guarantee it's the type of track that folks at next years' festivals, particualary thinking WeOutHere (Ed. nominated for festival of the year and we know you DJ'd there Hectic) will be eager to know what this knock-out track is.

Very much an update on 70s soul classic productions of the likes of Norman Whitfield, Curtis Mayfield et al with the feeling of a Michael Kiwanuka - yep! it's that good.

Artist: Soulnaturals

Title:  Give Me The Strength To Be Me ft Chalibrann 

Release date: 1st December, 2023

Label: Lovemonk Records 

Cat. No: LMNKV112

Format:  7" / Digital / Bandcamp

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Judging a release by it's cover artwork is a risky buisness but it's clear to see that Maya Blandy's 'B.I.B' is it's very classy act indeed.

Working with 50% of The Herbaliser (that's the Jake Wherry half and not the Ollie Teeba), this 'B.I.B' is trade mark Herbaliser "jazzy hip-hop" that's gone big band with a capital 'B' with the addition of the sultry vocals of Maya  who's definitely a young star at the start of her career (abeit, this is already her third single). 

'B.I.B' is the 'clean' version as it stands for 'Bitch In Black' and has more of a Amy Winehouse vibe that the more poppy previous single 'Stardust' just to show-off how versatile she is.

I like a full blown jazz big band as much as Mr. Wherry by the sounds of these tracks and it's good to see the arrangements were by trombonist, Trevor Mires who's been part of some hugely influence jazz combos like Examples Of Twelves, The Heritage Ochestra, Ben Lamdin's Nostalgia 77 Octet, The Rhythmagic Orchestra and Incognitio to name just a few.

I'm sure there's potentially a re-visit to a 'Something Wicked' (an old Herbaliser track) haunted house dub (well, it is that time of year) but the original here is close to perfect as it - very recommended!  

P.S. 'Stardust' the album is due early in 2024.

Artist: Maya Blandy 

Title: B.I.B

Release date: 24th November, 2023

Label: JMJ Recordings

Cat. No: JMJ00004

Format: Digital / Bandcamp / Kudos

Tuesday 28 November 2023

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Getting ready for party season? We'll here's some Supa colours of the world on Besides Records.

Based in a record shop in Lille in the north of France, Besides Records have produced this six track mini album by Supa is a right mix-up of dupa dancefloor.

Skipping through a Bollywood tinged 'Marigold' and Punjab/Morrocan dub-funk house), there's heavy touches of UKG ('Blue Sky') on the big tunes,'Red Brick' (central Mancunian meets Laurent Garnier) along with 'Green Tea' laced with the massive synth-bounce NYC of 'Brown Sugar'.

Really cool selections that's spans early rave to Gilles Peterston 'golden era' and it's great for the party mix. 

Looks like the shop is as cool as the record label that seems to sell out all the vinyl it releases (Hint: get your order in now before it's too late!)

Artist: Supa

Title: Colours

Release date: 1st December, 2023

Label: Besides Records

Cat. No: - BRLP016

Format: LP / Digital

Friday 24 November 2023

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Lately, there's been repeated remarks about 'cover artwork' and here's another, this is not a cassette but Ramrock Red Records' latest on vinyl by DB Cohen.

So you think you know Ramrock Red with their heavy influences from the US (like Twelve Caesars modern classic, 'Ride The American Wave' - see review HERE) and now, this album is actually a re-issue of a 2013 lost gem.

Ok, there's a strong Dylan influence at times with the 'Hurricane'/'Just Like A Woman' period harmonica, organ and lyrically cleverness but equally, the music seems to owe just as much to the UK with The Kinks, 2-Tone (more Dexy's soul and Specials dips into reggae), a touch of 70s Stones, throw in some Blur, the peak-swing of the Libertines and angst of Essex Bragg; quite a gig! 

In fact, Essex 'everpresent' Snowboy is on here (he of the 'New York Afternoon' LP and more recently seen on Dele Sosimi & Estuary 21 - see review HERE) as he produced the album and it's not surprising the influence spread as the London scene he gathered here have played with many head-liner acts like Faithless, Gorillaz, Adele, JTQ, Steve Hooker, Roger Daltry et al (oh! and Adele). In fact, I'm sure people were thinking the DB was all ready to be on all the top festival billings/chart success.  

But now's the time to give this album the love it deserves.  The past 10 years have done nothing to lessen the relevance of the songs.  Kicking off with a song about being a teacher, 'Shit Jobs' (of course, you don't have to be in Education industry to have one of those) and if you've got, 'Tim Smart on 'bone from the Specials' at your service doing his best "Rico", what more do you need?, 

Cohen's troubadour lifestyle has helping him with the subject matter of the songs with 'The Dealer' (remember: sometimes words have more than one meaning), 'Bus 142' (is that Fulham?) and the title track, 'Scratchcards'.

Unllike scratchcards, this collection has matured with age [like wine] and is sure to be 'Album Of The Week' on all good radio stations - putting my money on BBC 6 Music, Radio Essex and Colne FM for first a trifector/patent winner!  Bigger odds that a sratchcard.

A new album is planned for next year 'On Targe' (sounds a bit mod?) and I hope Snowboy can get involved as he did such a brilliant job here; roll on 2024.

Artist: DB Cohen 

Title: Scratchcards & Wine

Release date: 24th November, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRRLP012 / Digital / Bandcamp

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Even old hacks occasionally wake up at the sound of something special and drop their electronic shcedules and dance - and that's what 'I Wish You A World Of Happiness' will do to you whether it's the originnal Shirley Turner or this cover by Berlin's The KBCS (instrumental) or vocal featuring the fantastic Nora Becker.

Just love the original version as you really do expect a 'Wigan style' round of appaulse at the end of it as it's just one of those tracks that raises spirits along with the lyrics where we believe that everybody is wishing everyone elese a world of happiness to live in; timely you might say.

So whilst current Northern Soul hotspots Manchester, Bristol and Deptford (it's true!) will be spinning their talc power to this one, can you believe the deep soul of the cover version?  Of a quality of a Daptone but too slow for Northern Soul with a great vocal with 'sharper' modern day production; the instrumental version could have funked up to a Curtis Mayfield given half a chance.

If you see the vinyl, get two copies as you will get greedy; if not three (well it is coming up to Xmas prezzie time) and I wish you a world of happiness now.

Title: Shirley Turner / The KBCS feat. Nora Becker 
Title: I Wish You A World Of Happiness
Release date: 24th November, 2023
Label : Sonar Kolletiv
Catalog Number : SK454 7" / Digital / Bandcamp