Tag Archives: review

ATMOSPHERE: The Family Sign (2011) – Album review

This must be the worst album leak ever – even the shops have got hold of it before the release date! Officially, Minneapolis emo-hip-hoppers Atmosphere drop their latest album The Family Sign next week but it’s already available from numerous UK and US big name web stores and (in several cases) has been for some time. If you’re one of the three people on the planet who haven’t already heard it – what follows is for you
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FEATURECAST: Ghetto Funk presents Featurecast EP (2011)

Rating: ★★★★★
Nowadays I normally wouldn’t bother bigging up a Ghetto Funk label release as it’s difficult to blow your trumpet louder than they blow their own. For starters, there’s the whole name thing. ‘Ghetto funk’ was their idea and it wasn’t the first applied to the artists working in the genre but now it’s the most widely used. Then there’s the fact that in the space of a year, they’ve acquired most of the major players in the genre as part of their ‘crew.’
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VARIOUS: Soul Braza – Brazilian 60’s & 70’s Soul Psych Vol 1 – Album (2011) + tracklist

Rating: ★★★★★
Couldn’t let this puppy go by without a mention – the label releasing this isn’t called No Smoke for nothing. Soul Braza is fire and yet another reason why this May is a five star month for music. How can you not love a female vox funk-soul version of Hey Joe where the only recognisable words are ‘Hey Joe’?
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DANIEL WANDERS & TOBIAS KIRMAYER PRESENT: Feeling Nice (Tramp Records)(2011) + tracklist

Rating: ★★★★★
There’s a rich irony to be enjoyed in the fact that the word ‘rare’ is one of the commonest words in the titles or subtitles of funk compilations. However, since Daniel Wanders and Tobias Kirmayer have come up with 12 hot dancefloor cuts for Feeling Nice that haven’t already been compiled to within an inch of their lives (far from it, in fact) you can take these two very much at their word when they say ‘rare.’
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RAY LUGO & THE BOOGALOO DESTROYERS: Mi Watusi – Album (2011)

With the debut single from this (Swingy Boogaloo) in the wings, the full album itself, Mi Watusi, is due to drop a month later and finds Ray Lugo in full salsa caliente de New York mode channelling the spirits of the likes of Ray Barretto, The Lebron Brothers and king Tito. Honestly, it’s like the golden era of Fania Records resurrected.
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THE EXCITEMENTS: ‘The Excitements’ – Album (2011)

Rating: ★★★★★
This album’ll be this year’s first full-length antidote to the slew of noodly-jazzy-white-boys-playing-funk-masquerading-as-‘deep funk and soul,’ and not a minute too soon. But – hang on – these songs aren’t original – they’re old soul/ rnb numbers by the likes of Little Richard and Barbara Stephens! Aren’t The Excitements just a covers band? Fuck off! They aren’t just anything
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NICK PRIDE & THE PIMPTONES: Midnight Feast Of Jazz – Album (2011) + ‘Waitin So Long’ video

Midnight feast of jazz? I’d rather have a 3.a.m. dirty funk kebab but go on then… My first experience of Newcastle jazzbos Nick Pride & The Pimptones was the Smoove retouch of their Deeper Pimp thing on Wack Records featuring an Aretha acapella. You might have thought that with a band name like the Pimptones that their releases would be rich in wah-wah licks and hot-buttered basslines but over half the musicians in the band tote some kind of metal wind instrument
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SMOOVE & TURRELL: Eccentric Audio – Album (2011) + ‘Slow Down’ video

Nu-northern soul boys Smoove and Turrell (a.k.a. Berry Geordie and Smokey Turrell) are due to return shortly with second album Eccentric Audio which is all set to propel them into mainstream consciousness.

As before, Turrell rides as classic-voiced vocal shotgun to Smoove’s driving force behind the beats. And, it has to be said, Smoove (or rather ‘smooth’) is frequently the word this time
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THE BEEKEEPERS: ‘Apiculture’ – Album preview + Audio – 2011

Bristol beat luminaries Boca 45 and Parker a.k.a. The Beekeepers finally make good their promise to deliver a full length album, Apiculture, in the wake of this year’s moody Ascending Change EP and their debut party-banger effort the Bee Funk EP from 2009.

As you might expect Apiculture is packed to the gills with offerings of both kinds i.e. moodiness and party-bangers.
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BEASTIE BOYS: Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 – Album review + Audio – 2011

It’s a couple of years late but the Beasties are finally back. Is there anyone else who’s been in the hip-hop game as long as they have who still garners this much hype on the eve of a release? To date they haven’t released a single duff hip-hop album and their last hip-hop release (2005’s To The 5 Boroughs) was a superb effort. On the other hand
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