MUSTAFA AKBAR: Attracted EP

The Attracted EP consists of the last five studio recordings by Mustafa Akbar, lead vocalist for Fort Knox Five, Thunderball and Nappy Riddem as well as vocal collaborator with Basement Freaks (among others), until his untimely passing last year. That he left a huge gap behind goes without saying and this release only provides yet further evidence of the extent of the gap, showcasing
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THE SHA LA LAS: When Love Comes/ Sorrow (Vinyl 7″)

THE SHA LA LAS: When Love Comes/ Sorrow (Vinyl 7It’s double northern soul business from The Sha La Las on this forthcoming double-A side vinyl 45 from Happy People Records – When Love Comes b/w Sorrow. The guitar-led former track (from the band’s last LP, Soul Of The Nation) was originally released on 7″ via Detour Records a couple of years ago, promptly selling out and becoming unavailable until very shortly. Sorrow, meanwhile
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THE HEMPOLICS: Gotta Thing

THE HEMPOLICS: Gotta ThingAhead of new LP, Kiss Cuddle & Torture Vol. 2, The Hempolics release new single Gotta Thing. And while what they’ve got might start all innocuously as stateside rapper Cojack delivers half minute of bars over a beatless, bass n FX groove, things soon switch up into a mellow 129 bpm skank. Mellow 129 bpm skank?! Yep – it’ll be the weed influence – though, thinking about it, they might
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THE ALLERGIES: Felony/ Rile ‘Em Up (feat. ANDY COOPER & MARIETTA SMITH)(Vinyl 7″)

THE ALLERGIES: Felony/ Rile 'Em Up (feat. ANDY COOPER & MARIETTA SMITH)(Vinyl 7Rating: ★★★★★ New Allergies LP Say The Word drops later this year but it would be tantamount to a felony for them to leave you till then without any new material. Which is why they’re all set to rile you up with a new vinyl 45 out today entitled – er – Felony and backed with the Andy Cooper and Marietta Smith-featuring Rile ‘Em Up. The former is the result of the boys having co-opted another
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LONDON INTERNATIONAL SKA FESTIVAL 2020: (Postponed until) 28-30 August 2020

Coronavirus outbreak permitting, the London International Ska Festival will still be on this year (its thirty-second year!) though it has been postponed from the original dates of 9-12 April until 28-30 August. The festival organisers are going to considerable lengths to avoid having to engage in mass refunding (which is likely to bankrupt the festival) and have said that tickets
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THE HAWKMEN: Hotrod N Soul EP (Vinyl 7″)

THE HAWKMEN:  Hotrod N Soul EPRating: ★★★★★ Purveyors of a northern soul, early sixties R&B and rockabilly fusion, The Hawkmen have named their new 45 EP, Hotrod N Soul, after that very musical concoction – a mixture so potent you could use it to fuel a dragster. And leading the field of tracks on this one is Bonnie & Clyde, a shuffling groove punctuated by chanking guitar with singer Scarlett reflecting on choosing an
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J&B KINGS: Let’s Go-Go

J&B KINGS: Let's Go-GoIf things are all too gloomy for you at the moment, you may welcome this slice of funky DC go-go from the J&B Kings – Let’s Go-Go. The ‘Kings consist of Jesse ‘Dubmatix’ King and Bill King and this instrumental track follows up their Louisiana Strut in stylistically harking back to the roots of the genre and Chuck Brown’s original go-go material whilst maintaining something of a hip-hop
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CUT BEETLEZ: Graveyard Gravitas

CUT BEETLEZ: Graveyard GravitasNew heat arrives from Cut Beetlez in the form of Graveyard Gravitas. This time the Finnish duo have invoked the sounds of a delta blues lament as their backdrop. The cut opens with a soaring theatrical sample that for twenty seconds or so belies the sombreness of what follows – and what follows is sombre indeed. Enter a super-subby bass, a mournful piano and a melancholy female
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EL MICHELS AFFAIR feat. THE SHACKS: Enfant

EL MICHELS AFFAIR feat. THE SHACKS: Enfant Coming at ya with the seventies porn-flick soundtrack vibes once more before LP Adult Themes hits, it’s El Michels Affair with Enfant. Cue a gently loping funk beat, louche horns, a quietly twanging acoustic guitar and a flute solo (of course). And that’s all topped off with lashings of breathy female oohhs, aahs and da-da-daas throughout courtesy of Shannon Wise of The
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B SIDE RECORDS: Vinyl records store opens in Newbury!

B SIDE RECORDS: Vinyl records store opens in NewburyIf you thought the underground vinyl record store was dead, think again – in Newbury at least – where B Side Records has just opened. Twenty years ago this wouldn’t have been all that remarkable – vinyl for DJing was still going strong even if it was largely dead on its feet as a play-at-home medium. Suddenly though, as we clicked into the mid-noughties, record shops were toppling like
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