Sunday 24 December 2023

To say that ReKaB is a bit of a local legend in these parts is a bit of an under statement as his latest release on Fourier Transform is going to find many different pathways on his journey.

Indeed, this new release is also out in double CD format (Ed. the future retro?) and it's a proper exploration of techno inspired ambient acid house outta space music. 

Fans of his previous EP, 'Radom Signal' (see review HERE) will know what to expect and 'Total Control' (including 'Huckaby's Soul (Tribute)', that's a monster track and fitting tribute to Detroit's Mike Huckaby RIP) [P.S. RIP Amp Fiddler, another Detroit legend].

Back to 'Diverse Pathways', the 12 tracks by ReKab form the basis of this album and the titles are evocative of the music 'The Flow Keeps Getting Better' (post-Trans Europe Express acid), 'Drfiting Forward' and 'Talking Machines' are particularly excellent.

But not only that, he's managed to get the attention of a host of remixers on ten tracks which form CD2.  It's pretty diverse (no pun etc) as there's both darker and lighter moments like Kim Cosmik's take on 'Talking Machines' and William Courtice's 'Leaving For Mars' mix of the same track. And if you need a comparison, another transformation is [MXM]'s remix of the original track, 'Always Finding Time'.

So you'd expect the launch party to be in Berlin or a 'trendy' London postcode? So would I except, it's now time to declare an interest here, many moons ago I DJ'd with James (aka ReKaB) in Dorset and know that the party will be in the musically active town of Bridport (see details below) with 'Jazz Compacter' himself [MXM] which sounds like a great place to get the winter warmers out and prepare for a hectic New Year.

This album is a beautiful absorbion of modern electronic dance music and hopefully propel James into the spaceways.  

Artist: ReKaB (plus Remixers)

Title:  Diverse Pathway

Release date: 1st December, 2023

Label : Fourier Transform

Catalog Number : FTCD003

Format: 2xCD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Friday 15 December 2023

So another stunning release from Batov Records and better than that, it's a nine track compilation of some of their biggest stars... but there's some even better news!

We've love a the sounds from Batov this year; from Eje Eje's 'Five Seasons' (see review HERE) who are represent on this album with 'Black Sea Majic (Autumn)' to some lounge samba for ya Jonny Trunk types with Moriah Plaza's 'Samba Moosh' (see review HERE).

The great news is that the Sandman Project (the Emanative / Jessica Lauren project) is here in the form of  Hamsa Remixes EP (see review HERE) and more proof that there's more to just 'middle eastern' grooves, Muito Kaballa's 'Luna' is 60s jazz proggy and middle eastern. 

Of course, the hous band/flag wavers of the label, Sababa 5 are represented with the new track, 'Aeolus' from the album Aspan' (see review HERE) but the album is all gems like this.

Oh! And the "even better news", this compilation by label co-founder DJ Kobayashi is on Bandcamp as a digital release as a "Thank you" for a mere £1.00 if you get in quick; indeed "Thank you" Batov Records and all the artists and fans alike.

Artist: Various Artists

Title: Batov Artists 3

Release date: 15th December, 2023

Label: Batov Records 

Cat. No: BTR090

Format: Digital / Bandcamp

Thursday 14 December 2023

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So this festive season, there's much musical thought of choirs and classical settings but don't imagine that Raz Olsher's classical background means 'Rubato' is going to be all "sugar and spice and all things nice".

In fact, it's so much better than that as the opening track,'Prelude With Attitude', is all about the attitude.  And as it's a 'concept' album, the theme continues with 'Aquarium' [if there's one Youtube music video to watch this year, this is it - see below] as Dilla meets Harry Potter on the way to the dripping underworld.

'Daydream' is even more avant-garde but we never get quite as far as 2008's 'ReComposed' by Carl Craig and Moritz Von Oswald who delved into Deutche Grammophon's archives of Ravel and Mussorgsky.  But that could be avenue to suggest as I suspect Marina Lieberman-Haywood (piano) is a far bigger name in her concert field than I am aware of. 

'In Between' does sound like a start of an "emergence" from this underworld big choral theme's that could be Radiohead or Pink Floyd cover version (well, it is a concept album) when 'Field Day' goes deeply synth dub and the album ends on a strange d'n'b-maninoff pool match ('Minnesota Fats' is the strangest track I've heard all year, even beating 'Warm Fireplace' on WUTMK)

Click To Play (up/down arrows to skip tracks)

I suspect Raz didn't want to go Raz Olsher Trio as that would have made it sound too jazzy as his improvisations revolve around Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Chopin et al but if you like you're classical music al la Vince Guaraldi vs. Dick Hyman vs. Black Sabbath this time of year, this is the album for you: and you'll be delighted.

Artist: Raz Olsher

Title: Rubato

Release date: 15th December, 2023

Label: Fossil Sounds

Cat. No: RUB111CD

Format: Digital / Spotify / Soundcloud / Deezer / Youtube

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I've got to say, the chorus of "LoA, LoA, LoA" does sound a bit 'Elvis in Hiwaii' but wait! This 'Land Of America' fights back with some edge that's right for these testing times.

Taking some Philly love from their 'Humanity' release from the passed couple of years, (see CAP071 & Remixed CAP077) with some angst from fellow Philly resident, Kameelah Waheed (who joined the duo on 'Don't Know Where I'm Going', see review HERE) it comes in original, clean, dub and Dave Leck Remix.

In fact, the remix doubles the bouncey synths with Will Brock's fantastic vocals and lyrics the shines a light on the land of the free's "subtle gaslighting America seems to inflict on its most vulnerable citizens" (track was written mid-2022), that's now happening in various elections all over the planet. 

Next year expect a track 'Free Born Man' (could that be an "answer" track?) with a Vincenzo Remix; he of Be Adult Music (check their latest compilation for Xmas, ' Winter Tale', HERE) and the dub version sounds less 50th State and more Balearic with a strong beach percussion vibe and soft-rock twang (Dave is Australian).

I hope to have an "exclusive" with the lyrics to update you with as I feel this is going to be an important release for these two and deserves to be fully appreciated.

Artist: Will Brock & Sumsuch 

Title: LoA (Land of America) (with Dave Leck Remix)

Release date: 15th December, 2023

Label: Colour & Pitch

Cat. No: CAP089

Format: Digital / Bandcamp

This time of year, you might feel as lonely as a glass bauble hanging from a Xmas tree in a pine forest; not with Cielo's gravitational pull to the dancefloor. 

It's safe to say that Be Adult's grown up approach to festive boogie is mesmerizing at times and there's two versions of 'Gravity' gowing on here.  The original has a big feel of foreboding underneath the synth wispers and twinkly guitar and piano.

The Domingo & Loveclub remix gets a short vocals interlude and is more club orientated which is a great option to have.

And, as an added treat, if you recall the opening track to the label's birthday compilation back in March, '7 Anniversary' (see review HERE), under pressure from island steel drum spiritual types, there's a super groovey 'Nectarine (Extended Retouch)' included (DJs; watch out for the jumpy ending). 

And whilst on the subject of compilations, if you're after the warm glow these 12 tracks give you at this chilly time of year, there's some real winter cheer with 'Winter Tale' that comes out a week before.

We've really enjoyed Be Adult Music this year with The 8 Beat Quartet's 'Nu Modern Sounds' (see review HERE), MRSFLV's 'Beautiful Others' (see review HERE) and the double A of Vincenzo 's 'Extrasolar / The Witching Hour' (see review HERE) so I hope well be hearing much more from them in 2024. 

Artist: Cielo (US) 
Title: Gravity (Loveclub & Domingo + Remix)
Release date: 21st December 2023
Label; Be Adult Music
Catalog Number: BAM341

Artist: Various Artists
Title: Winter Tale
Release date: 14th December 2023
Label; Be Adult Music
Catalog Number: BAM340

Saturday 9 December 2023

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The Best of BBE for this year as selected by the staff that released the tracks, can't image a better present at this time of year!

I'd normally be slagging of a cover such as this but in this instance, it's perfect as it tells you exactly what's 'in the tin' and even then, "& many more"!

Amazing range of selections from the BBE staffers when selecting their 'Best Of BBE' for this year. It's the time of year to reflect, evaluate and party ya socks off and this is the perfect soundtrack - especially for the 'HTF did I not get this when it came out' moments. Over 40 tracks from 100+ projects so it's little wonder that this is only part one! Top work as always and thanks for your support. 

We've featured many of their releases this year so regular readers will be more than aware of how good this label and thier artists, and staff are.  So sit back and enjoy... Part 2 before Xmas?

Artist: Various Artists 

Title:  BBE Staff Selections 2023

Release date: 8th December, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE Digital / Bandcamp 

Friday 8 December 2023

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Not sure about the artwork, but it's 'Better' than most when we think about what's going on in the world.

You'll recall the perfect summer song of 'Good Morning Sunshine' featuring Sophia Marshall (see review HERE) and they are back just before the festive season with what would be an surprise Christmas No. 1 (but, you never know).

With hopeful lyrics around the theme of being 'Better', lets make sure we are and get ready for the album 'Bady Written Songs' that's coming out early in the new year.

Artist: Magic Number
Title: Better
Release date: 8th December, 2023
Label : Atjazz Record Company
Catalog Number : ARC240ADS3 Digital / Bandcamp 

Thursday 7 December 2023

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Very sad news this morning to hear of the untimely passing of Benjamin Zephaniah, fellow Brummie, Villa fan, vegan, marshall artist but most of all, a great poet.

If you don't know about him, he recently read his autobiography on BBC Radio 4 (not currently available) and there's this own website,

Here's a short review I did back in 2006 for one of his many projects; RIP Benjamin Zephaniah, a writer, dub poet and Rastafarian (15th April 1958 - 6th Dec 2023)


Everyone’s favourite dread poet gets a rub down by the ever-busy Rodney P.

Fresh from Flirtin’ with Emmanuel's 'Dillusions Of Grandeur' with Terri Walker, Rodney P has teamed up with The Sea (Corin Pennington) to remix four of the best tracks from Zephaniah’s 'Naked' CD.

It’s an interesting mix of poetry, hip-hop, reggae and dub. ‘Slow Motion’ is taken to a slower depth of UK bounce whilst ‘Rong Radio’ gets taken to the middle-east which enforces the anti-right wing media broadcasting propaganda stance; “I was beginning to believe I was listening to the ‘rong radio station”.

The oddness of the ‘Superstar’ would make him a prime candidate for daytime TV interviews but them ‘Rong Radio types wouldn’t risk it. Seems like it’s going to be either Mark Lawson on Radio 4 or 1Xtra that’ll play this (now there’s a odd couple?)

‘Uptown’ isn’t a great improvement on the original but an instrumental version is included on the reverse. Also on the b-side are the dub versions, and an ambient mix of ‘Slow Motion’. It appears this is the first collaboration of Rodney P and The Sea as ‘The Landscapers’ and they have excelled themselves on the dub versions. This is my type of ambient dub chill out, more please.

The EP was picked as a ‘Sureplayer’ in a recent DJ magazine in their ‘Leftfield & Chill’ section. You can’t argue against it.

Hectic Mix nomination: ‘Slow Motion’ (Ambient)

Benjamin Zephaniah vs. Rodney P - Naked & Mixed Up (One Little Indian) Cat No. 710TP
12 Release date: 20 March 2006


A1. Slow Motion (5:18)

A2 Rong Radio (7:59)

A3 Uptown (4:35)

A4 Superstar (5:09)

B1 Slow Motion Dub (3:21)

B2 Slow Motion Ambient (4:49)

B3 Rong Radio Dub (7:55)

B4 Uptown Instrumental (4:33)

B5 Superstar Dub (5:10)

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