Church Boy Lou – Weep (Dirt Tech Reck DTR06 – 2015)

As a designer and photographer, Robert O’Bryant aka Waajeed was affiliated with Detroit’s hip hop group Slum Village and then gradually became a producer himself. Waajeed’s first own label was The Bling 47 Group, followed by the launch of Dirt Tech Reck (initially Records) in 2013. Closely connected to the Detroit techno headquarters Submerge, the DTR imprint can look back to a number of releases between street credible beats and soulful house, to present now “Weep” by Church Boy Lou. Waajeed’s new alias seems like an invitation to Sunday morning mess in the neighbourhood. The spiritual opener “Show Me” is […]

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Uku Kuut – Vision Of Estonia (Peoples Potential Unlimited PPU-034 – 2012)

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Peoples Potential Unlimited, a label from Washington DC, is on a mission to excavate forgotten treasures of  funk and soul. It was only recently when Andrew Morgan’s label issued a seven-inch by Uku Kuut, bringing the artist’s past not only to the consciousness of native Estonian audience, but also attracting wider recognition. Now the time is ripe for a LP, a collection of vibrating funk from Kuut’s teenage years.Exiled with his mother Maryn Coote (Marju Kuut) from the Soviet Union, Kuut recorded most of the tracks in the home studios in Santa Monica and Stockholm. He also produced for Maryn […]

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Nacho Patrol – The Africa Jet Band Experience (M Division MDIV07)

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Rating: 8/10 Synth freak Danny Wolfers continues his explorations in soulful disco and funk under the Nacho Patrol moniker, delivering a genuine-sounding fiesta of vintage grooves. Except of the knowledge that this record has roots in black music, the references to Africa remain limited and one should not expect any tribal shakers here. Both “Stars Over Africa” and “Salambo Funk” are thriving party fare with vigorously working synth lines, known from Legowelt’s many productions. “Fuzz Party” and “Ghetto Compressor” move closer to jazz, but real bliss comes in “No Angry People” – such a happy track with fizzy synths and […]

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Thank You Michael 1

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Rating: 5/10 This one lines up with dozens of other bootlegs and unofficial releases exploiting the life and creation of the King of Pop. Difficult to believe it is a honest tribute release, although the title track “Thank You Michael” tries to bow down before M.J. using the gospel style, and tiresome beats. “Thrilloop Tool”  is the best take here with a monotonous disco groove while “Dense And Home Alone” travels in paths of tribal soul. The voice of the King of Pop appears in “Start Something” that is an obvious rip-off of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”.

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Various – Tropical Discotheque EP (SOFR002) – 8/10

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The heat is on at Sofrito; after vintage afro club funk of “Soweto Disco” they come with a 2010 repress of “Tropical Discotheque EP”, carrying the same power and emotion as known from Sofrito’s previous releases. No artist credits but four edits or reworks of thriving floor tracks: A-side is filled with two quite similar versions of “African Disco Power”, with male vocal backing. On the B-side tempo is reduced in Caribbean-sounding “Calypso Path”, while “Disco La Calle” goes a bit cosmic, being the best track of the EP.

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Uku Kuut – I Don’t Have To Cry / Vision Of Estonia (UQ 001) – 10/10

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For a review about Uku Kuut’s album “Vision Of Estonia” (2012), please click here. The sounds that are going right under the skin might be easily vintage funk and soul with roots in American cities like New York or Chicago, but Peoples Potential Unlimited (PPU), a label from Washington DC, has found an hidden gem produced in Sweden by two exiled Estonians in 1984, Uku Kuut [oo-cooh cooth] and his mother, in 1984. The title track, “I Don’t Have To Cry”, is cozy synthesizer funk with smooth vocals and slight vocoder. Even more I like jazzy funk instrumental “Vision Of Estonia” on […]

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Black Cow – Mojito / Toni The Lefty (Black Cow 003) – 7/10

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Black Cow is not an expert of animal breeding: The horned creature pictured on the label is a courageous bull, not a cow. But this observation is irrelevant because the music is worth checking. By style the seven-inch from Japan moves between soul and funk, with two quite differently sounding tracks. “Mojito” on the A-side is a shuffling percussion and rhythm exercise where we hear lively synths and vocal snippets. On the flip, soulful and latin-minded “Toni The Lefty” recalls bow-tied vocal group and shining horns in Acapulco. Because of the format the tracks are short, but neat. Black Cow […]

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Dom Thomas – The Exploding Disco Inevitable (Brutal Music 02) – 7/10

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After a diving session in the deep waters of exotic disco and funk, Dom Thomas has brought to the daylight a selection of more and less glittering corals. It’s not the return of golden oldies but a parade of unknown cuts and edits mainly smelling so end-1970’s.The man from Finders Keepers camp kicks the party off with tikka masala flavour in “Karma Sutra Vocal” and India sends greetings also in Bollywood-sounding “Disco Bomb”. Oriental side is further represented with two tracks full of ample oriental funk, titled “Eastern Fractal”, and extra-drums cut “Pictures Of Phuket”. Like from the workshop of […]

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Deadboy – Cash Antics Volume 1 (Well Rounded Records 004) – 8/10

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The label art, with a disturbingly bleeding bare bosom, promises b-movie horror experience. In fact the “blood” is Deadboy’s stylised signature and three tracks are packed with R’n’B-influenced UK garage tunes. Girls rap on swooshing bass lines, breaks and fat beats.“Way That I Luv U” on A1 sounds as a charismatic female duet in an intense lyrics showdown. The instrumental part is a lightweight synth-driven experience, having even something cheesy in it and reminding of 90’s simple eurodance compositions.On the flip powerful and naughty girl voice decorate also “Unofficial Girl”, with the same smoothness and moderate bass hooks. “Long Way […]

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Sepalcure – Love Pressure (Hotflush Recordings 025) – 8/10

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New Hotflush is not for claustrophobic dubstep caves but for garden gatherings along sizzling barbecues and fizzy drinks. Sun lotion is recommended when using Praveen Sharma’s and Travis Stewart’s burning new release.The title track on A1 is a soulful and mild piece, combining pitched up deep house elements with delicate bass and conveying the message of love. “Down” is my fave here: more wonky and vibrates around gorgeous urban vocals saying “deep in the underground” on undulating chords. “Every Day Of My Life” opens the B-side: a subs-backed slow funk contribution with vocal support along the title theme. Then “The […]

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