VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Vol. 3 (2014)

Craig Charles Funk Soul Club Vol. 3As the PR blah for this notes, among the many ways in which Craig Charles spread the sound of good grooves around the globe in the last year was taking his ‘trunk of funk’ to Australia. I speculate that he must have really dug his time there given that he’s now enjoying a sojourn on that TV show which makes people eat centipedes and chew kangaroos’ bollocks. Luckily he’s
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MAC MCRAW, AUDESSY & OXYGEN: B-Boy Bionics b/w Dust (2014)

B Boy Bionics Mac McRawRating: ★★★★★ Now then – who in the contemporary world of underground boom-bap hip-hop could possibly meet the challenge recently laid down by Danny Spice with his Live At The Throwdown EP effort? You’d be hard pressed to find any-…oh. Hang on. What’s this? Mac Mcraw‘s B-Boy Bionics 12″? The same obsession with sampled beats, the same ethos of production
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DANNY SPICE & The WILDSTYLE TRIBUTE BAND: Live At The Throwdown (2014)

Live At The Throwdown Danny Spice Wildstyle Tribute BandRating: ★★★★★ Danny Spice brings the flava once more with his latest, Live At The Throwdown, which (while not actually ‘live’ – the name is a tribute to the night he used to run) it certainly throws down the gauntlet to the boom-bap underground with an eight-tracker so heavyweight its mass has actually generated its own field of gravity. Naturally, such an entity attracts satellites
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EMMA DONOVAN & THE PUTBACKS: Dawn (2014)

Dawn Emma Donovan The PutbacksIf your only experience of indigenous Australian soul vocals up until now has been the Motown sound of fluffy feelgood flick The Sapphires then the rock and even country-tinged Emma Donovan & The Putbacks‘ new LP Dawn may come as something of a surprise. There’s certainly nothing fluffy about this as the almost Hendrix-like guitar licks at the start of opener Black Woman
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RED MARTINA: Come On Home (2014)

Come On Home Red MartinaRight everybody – let’s find out about Come On Home and Red Martina.
Come on home to Red Martina? Yes please! You do mean her with all the skimpy ‘scale-mail’ bikini, red hair and massive broadsword, right?
No, that’s Red Sonja. This is Red Martina and it’s ‘they’ anyway. Oh yeah and Come On Home is
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ROAST BEATZ & MC MANIC: Consolidation EP (2014)

Consolidation EP Roast Beatz MC ManicSad times as we say goodbye to the Riddim Fruit label (and one assumes its Booty Fruit imprint) with this final release but at least DJ Roast Beatz and his Bournemouth MC homie Manic are keeping things party til the very end with their Consolidation EP. Gossip is the funky uptempo opener featuring a hook from Geoff Lai, We A Tell Dem goes dancehall – like the name didn’t give it
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TOSSES: Stone EP (2014)

Stone EP TossesDJ/ Producer Tosses (of Tosses & Varvez fame) has released an EP called Stone. Tosses? Stone? You couldn’t make it up. Mind you, what else could you toss? Actually – the cleanest that line of discussion’s going to get is ‘not a dwarf’ so let’s not go there. And so it is that we focus on this four track set of funky breaks missiles. The first two are equal parts nasty synths, crunchy breaks and
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EPHEMERALS: You Made Us Change (2014)

You Made Us Change EphemeralsForthcoming single You Made Us Change from Franglo-American band Ephemerals sees them continue their mission to deceive indie rock fans into buying soul with the sort of cover artwork sported on Foals’ releases. As with much of soul the lyrics are ‘down’ (trouble with the missus again) so in fact, there’s plenty for bed-wetting indie miserablists to identify with. Then again, the
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HEPHPH: Cutting Classes (2014)

Cutting Classes HephphHephph? How the hell are you supposed to say that? Pronounce both the ‘ph’s and we’re in female cow territory: pronounce one and we’re in the realm of the Playboy empire, the king of the hot tub party and endless young ladies in bunny costumes. I’d go with the second personally and certainly it would fit with the sleazy bar or club vibe of Hephph’s glitchy hip-hop and reggae
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TRU FUNK: Tasty Beats Vol. 4 (2014)

Tasty Beats Vol. 4 Tru Funk“Give me a muthafuckin breakbeat!” Alright, keep your hair on, here’s five – and the second one – DJ Axe’s disco-breakin Breakbeat Junkies – starts with those very words. It’s the latest Tru Funk drop of course, as the label keeps the party breaks scene flavoursome for late autumn with Tasty Beats Vol. 4. If the audio equivalent of cleaning your ears with a power drill is what you’re after
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