Friday, 26 October 2012

VA - The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club (Freestyle)

I can't remember the last time I've been this excited about having an album drop into my inbox!

Craig Charles meets one of the UK's finest funk and soul labels - north London's Freestyle - on this wonderfully crafted compilation representing all that's great about the modern funk and soul scene at the moment.

Craig joins the dots between huge, high energy funk bombs (The Apple's 'Killing') and gorgeous vocal driven soul (Lack of Afro's 'A Time'), with a splash of wicked nu-reggae riddims for good measure (Prince Fatty's 'Insane in the Membrane').

This is a perfectly balanced album demonstrating why Craig has become such a huge name over the last 10 years. With such a master and label coming together, this was only ever going to be awesome.

Already one of my compilations of the year, be sure to check it.

Out 26th November on Freestyle |

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bukky Leo & Black Egypt - Anarchy (Agogo)

Been listening to this for the last few days and just can’t get enough of it.

Gorgeous afro-jazz rhythms offer some much needed relief from the autumn gloom, with every track drenched in a shimmering summery glaze. The vocals are sublime and the solo brass sections are nothing short of heavenly, with the mixdown on every track absolutely flawless. It's just hard to believe that the album was written in a Battersea studio so recently - the warmth and energy of the record could almost be a live recording from the 80s such is the timeless structure of every composition.

Inspiring rhythms and infectious hooks are aplenty on ‘Anarchy’, with ‘Skeleton’ clearly the lead track,  a fantastic Gilles Peterson mix coming as part of the package. My real pick are the chord progressions on 'Mans Dialema' - to borrow a typically Welsh phrase: lush.

A superb album well worthy of repeated listens – it’ll put a spring back in your step, I assure you.

Bukky Leo & Black Egypt – Anarchy is available via Agogo from 26th October. Check the preview.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Get Started Remix EP (Tru Thoughts)

Due out on 29th October, the ‘Get Started Remix EP’ is the latest outing from Tru Thoughts’ incredible Mark de Clive-Lowe.

Since first hearing his stuff years ago now, he’s become one of those artists that you’re instantly drawn to, whether it’s his own material, remixes or just a session contribution – everything the guy touches seems to turn to gold. Now with the backing of Brighton powerhouse Tru Thoughts, MdCL continues to go from strength to strength, with this latest EP testament to this.

‘Get Started’ is a broken beat jam with a driving soulful groove and an infectious organic beat to move the meanest of dancefloors, featuring the unmistakable vocals of soul great Omar. On the flip is the super sensual ‘Hooligan’ featuring the silky tones of Nia Andrews – still a massive favourite – alongside ‘Everything’ featuring Ova Soul. Remixes come courtesy of Nostalgia 77, Full Crate, A-Sides and D-Felics.

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