SURPRISE CHEF: Spring’s Theme (Vinyl 7″)

Actually the flip-side to the previously covered Velodrome on Surprise Chef’s forthcoming 45, Spring’s Theme is arguably the monkey’s preferred track of the two. That title Spring’s Theme though – an ode to the season of regeneration? Or is ‘Spring’ a character in a retro crime flick of the band’s imagining? It could pretty much function as both but either way – don’t

THE BAMBOOS: Nothing I Wanna Know About/ Bad Line (Vinyl 7″)

THE BAMBOOS: Nothing I Wanna Know About/ Bad LineJust out from Aussie funk-soul heavyweights, The Bamboos, is their latest 45 featuring Hard Up LP track Nothing I Wanna Know About and new cut Bad Line. Expect crisp funk on the former which finds vocal powerhouse Kylie Auldist dropping an almost eighties-ish melody over a crunchy early seventies funk rhythm. Turn that lil puppy over and you’re confronted instead

RAYE COLE: You Gotta Set Me Free b/w RACHEL MAXANN: You Gotta Set Me Free (Vinyl 7″)

You Gotta Set Me Free RACHEL MAXANNWhy settle for one version of a track when you can have two – and on the either side of the same 45 to boot? Well, you could try listening to the newest forthcoming 45 from the Original Gravity label for the answer since that is precisely the deal; Raye Cole’s grooving Etta James-style early sixties R&B version of You Gotta Set Me Free on the A-side and Rachel Maxann’s slightly smoother

PAMA INTERNATIONAL: (I Am Nothing) Without You b/w Smile & Say Good Morning (Vinyl 7″)

Pama International continue their recent conversion from reggae to retro soul (and get their southern soul on especially) with new vinyl 45 (I Am Nothing) Without You b/w Smile & Say Good Morning. This is the first single to be lifted from the band’s forthcoming Part 3 soul album and once again features Jewels Vass on vocals. The first of the two tracks is a midtempo cut that

WONDER 45: Wonderland (+ Ltd. vinyl 7″)

WONDER 45: WonderlandYou recognise the house style of that artwork don’t you? That’s right, this is the next single off the Golden Rules label’s funk and soul sampler The Originals Vol. 2 and what a track it is too. For this release the label have chosen soul torch song Wonderland by new London-based outfit Wonder 45 and it’s a proper little smoulderer showcasing the voice of singer Gavin Conder. Slow-burning organ? Check. Love-based lyrics with soaring chorus? Check. Big horns on said soaring chorus? Check again. Grab loved one, sway slowly and get your lighters up. Oh sorry, it’s – er – torches on phones these days isn’t it – not quite the same but this track will make up for that particular shortfall. Golden Rules: bringing soul back to the people alright.
(Out 6 May digitally on Golden Rules/ Pre-order vinyl (shipping 1 October) on Happy People Records)

ROCAFORT RECORDS: Cumbia Sabrosa: Tropical Sound System Bangers from the Discos Fuentes Vaults 1961-1981

ROCAFORT RECORDS: Cumbia Sabrosa:A second helping of Latin bangers today but these are genuine back-in-the-day ones as Rocafort Records assembles a triple-vinyl box set of classics from the Colombian label Discos Fuentes. Turns out the six tracks compiled herein have all been considered classics on the Mexican sonidero (roughly translated as ‘soundsystem’) scene and will both appeal to those with a penchant for cumbia as well as developing a penchant for


THE SURE FIRE SOUL ENSEMBLE: Step DownRating: ★★★★★ Time for another dope full-length payload from the Colemine label with the arrival of a brand new LP from The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble – Step Down. The ten-tracker is actually the fourth studio album by the San Diego nine-piece and is every bit as packed full of heavy instrumental soul and retro soundtrack thrills as past outings would make you hope for

EL COMBO BATANGA: Aji Gua Guao/ El Barrio En La Mirada (Vinyl 7″)

EL COMBO BATANGA: Aji Gua Guao (Vinyl 7Expect chilli-hot all original Latin funk on one side of the new single by El Combo Batanga. That’ll be Aji Gua Guao on which the Madrid-based crew leaven the groove with a bit of Cuban sauce and a spicy drum break in the middle that’ll have dancefloors rocking. On the flipside, providing a sonic counterpoint is El Barrio En La Mirada – a lilting slice of Latin soul featuring lyrics about the experiences of a Cuban immigrant

WAX MACHINE: Guardians Of Eden

WAX MACHINE:  Guardians Of EdenThe rise of the new psychedelia continues with a new single from Wax Machine – Guardians Of Eden. The brain child of Lau Ro (born in Brazil, raised in Italy and the UK), the track draws from sixties West Coast fare as well as tropicalia and – with those vocals done tremolo style like Donovan on Hurdy Gurdy Man – a bit of sixties UK folk psych as well. Check the band image that

LEXSOUL: Pigeon Pit

LEXSOUL:  Pigeon PitDo you hanker for those now mythical 80s summers when as far as the pop charts were concerned, music had more or less died and its replacement was sunning itself aboard the cabin roof of some ridiculously coiffeured, coke-snorting proto yuppie’s catamaran? If so, Lexsoul (a.k.a. Estonian funk commandos Lexsoul Dancemachine) have sorted you right out with Pigeon Pit – a