Given the hype that surrounded the release of the first Moderat set back in 2009, we can surely expect more of the same for this second outing from Apparat and Modeselektor. Those familiar with the first album's woozy blend of IDM, Thom Yorke indebted vocal dreaminess, porchlight techno and post-dubstep rhythms will immediately feel right at home. Online reviews have focused largely on II's atmospheric warmth, and the way in which the Berlin-based trio seems to have refined their sound. Both are valid critiques; certainly, there's a maturity and musical complexity to the album that betters much of their previous works. It's not much of a dancefloor set, but that's entirely the point; this is locked-in headphone listening for the wide-eyed generation.
Record Store Day 2020 keeps on serving up the gems even weeks after the official date itself. Here we're presented with the debut release on Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons now seminal Def Jam label. It's a vital release that truly shook the world thanks to its dark and evil bass and raw, hard hitting percussion and has never before been released on 7". It is a true collector's item for raw hip hop heads and features the ground-breaking 'Scratch Party Death Mix' as well as coming with its own fully iconic sleeve. Drop this one and step back to watch the club go right off.
Official, remastered reissue of this disco tinged, afro funk treasure and the first time the 'Karam Bani' single has been cut to 12' - maximising every ounce of highlife soul from Sidiku Buari's productions.That undeniable US funk flavour coupled with Buari's Ghanaian rhythms bring a zest to these grooves even the tangiest of forbidden fruits couldn't draw out. Those fuzzed keys and dusty highlife guitar licks sprinkle the West African flavour, whilst drumming demi-god Bernard Purdie provides the wizardry behind the infectious, yet precision like beats that make the track so unique. Purdie's killer breaks combined with Buari's jubilant vocals give a spirituality to this cut that'll liven up any dancefloor - alongside being a gold mine for samples.Flip it over and you're hit with the joy filled jam, 'Ye Koaba'. Tribal drums lead the way for a chorus of jubilant chants supplemented by glistening synth sounds and funk fuelled guitar riffs. It's a feel-good slice of Ghanaian sunshine, capturing that community spirit and good-hearted nature Ghana's famous for.Two afro funk sensations sure to put a smile on your face, even when the skies are grey and you're 5000 miles away from the glorious West African coastline.
The Live Band, a disco-soul/jazz-funk outfit helmed by bassist and vocalist Kenny Chavis, released a swathe of singles and a sole album on The Sound of Brooklyn in the early 1980s. Perhaps their most potent track was 'A Chance For Hope', an emotive, two-part plea for change that opened their 1982 debut album. On this first ever seven-inch pressing the order of the tracks has been reversed, with the swelling, scene-setting orchestration and atmospheric field recordings of the shorter 'Prelude' version appearing on the flip. That leaves the main vocal version, a superbly soulful chunk of boogie-era dancefloor soul rich in addictive grooves, sweeping strings and eyes-closed vocals courtesy of Chavis, rightfully nestling on side A.The LIVE BANDA Chance For Hope (Record Store Day 2020)The Sound Of Brooklyn US
You'll struggle to find a more sumptuous of folk-soul bliss than Jon Lucien's 1973 single "Lady Love". Similar in tone to some of Terry Callier's finest works, it features Lucien delivering a smooth and sultry vocal over twittering flutes, soft-touch acoustic guitars and swirling instrumentation. This timely reissue pairs the full-length 'Rashida" album version with another cut from the same set, "Love Everlasting". This glassy-eyed affair boasts more of a samba shuffle than the better-known A-side, but a similar reliance on evocative orchestration and Lucien's wonderfully delivered lead vocals. In a word: essential.
This reissue of American R&B/soul vocal group The Chi-Lites' "Are You My Woman?" (Tell Me So) from 1970 features a very familiar hook that was sampled on Beyonce and Jay Z's 2003 hit "Crazy In Love". Formed in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, the group was led by Eugene Record and originally called Hi-Lites before adding on 'Chi', which derived from their hometown. They went on to release 15 albums between 1969 - 1990 and are best known for their classics "Have You Seen Her" and "Oh Girl".Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So) / Stoned Out Of My MindThe Chi-LitesBrunswick - 55442P
** REPRESS ALERT ** 2019 marks 50 years since this timeless classic's original release. The Peddlers' "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' is a sumptuous smooth jazz journey full of organ solos and deep vocal tones. The British soul/jazz trio is known for creating a unique melange of beat, jazz, cabaret, rock and soul that must be heard to be believed. Flip side "Comin' Home Baby" is like passing through a cloud composed of equal parts Tom Jones, Jimmy Smith, Georgie Fame, Mel Torme, Alan Hawkshaw and dozens of lesser jazz/lounge vibe-creators. Get this copy for a spine-tingling rush of harmony from the late sixties.The PEDDLERSOn A Clear Day You Can See Forever (Record Store Day 2019)Epic
The enigmatic Acid Jerks are back this week, following up some great releases on the legendary NYC imprint Nu Groove with this new one for Aussie label Refuge Recordings. 'Atomic' is proper old school acid house reminiscent of the glory days of Trax Records and featuring Mikey V's sleazy vocal delivery atop which really brings it together. Over on the flip, Melbourne legend Boogs teams up with Ben Silver for a remix, followed by one more moody and lo-slung rendition by ADMN.ACID JERKS feat MIKEY VAtomic
DISCOTECASDiscotecas 002DiscotecasMysterious edits pushers Discotecas worship a mysterious figure known as 'Gwen', the artist supposedly responsible for making these EPs. Their second instalment here comes in the form of a laid-back, electro-balearic affair replete with several layers of bass guitar, lolling synth and acoustic-mimicking percs. A remix of Sade's 'Paradise' leads the charge, centring her harmonious vocals at the core of the mix, while two further unknown re-edits cement the overall nine minute disco vibe.
American producer LaRosa makes his first appearance on the esteemed Eastenderz imprint, bringing with him a quartet of killer, club-ready cuts. He sets his stall out with 'How Do You We Do', a chunky, tech-tinged roller piled high with deep, dubby sub-bass, bleeping melodies and intergalactic pads (plus a wonderful, saucer-eyed breakdown), before reaching for gently chiming melodies, bustling beats, smoother bass and trippy noises on 'Chagondoo'. 'The Fifth Story' is a little deeper and more subdued - though the sub-bass is even weightier and the melodies more bleeping - while 'Easier Said Than Done' is a rock-solid tech-house box jam of the sort that Eastenderz has always done so well. Keep an ear out for some very subtle disco vocal samples and acidic squelches.LAROSAHow We Do EPEastenderz
RNT welcomes Brooklyn-based band 79.5 to the family with the first single from their forthcoming eponymous LP. Soulful and psychedelic, the haunting melodies of Club Level float above a steady strutting rhythm section, punctuated by moaning baritone saxophone and drenched in washy reverb.NYC mainstay Eli Escobar crafts a masterful remix that leans into 80s nostalgia, with a soundscape and arrangement nothing short of perfection.79.5Club LevelRazor-N-Tape
After a debut release that got plenty of people talking, Heels & Souls now serve up a reissue 12". It explores the work of Frankfurt's under the radar production trio Manfred Holz, Michael Buchner and Jurgen Blomke who work under two different names here. The EP is a real treasure trove of gold for deep diggers, with obscure synth and electro disco flavours on the 80s tinged ''Steal It An Deal It'.' It comes as two different versions and both are hugely characterful. 'Amazonia' that draws on dreamy Italo house and Balearic bliss bout beats for a new age trip that is first class.The SOUNDSTEALERS / AMAZONIASteal It An' Deal ItHeels & Souls
In recent times, a number of labels have begun serving up must-check reissues of essential street soul singles and albums from the late 80s and early 90s. The latest to get the treatment is 'Garden of Life', the sole album from Secret Touch (a largely forgotten collaboration between producer Robert Charles Roper and honey-voiced vocalist Duval). 29 years on from its initial release, the album has lost none of its obvious allure, something we put down to the sparse but emotion-rich dreaminess of Roper's relatively lo-fi, loved-up production, and the unashamed sweetness of Duval's vocals. The set contains some typically slow and groovy street soul songs, as well as a string of more gently upbeat numbers heavily influenced by early US deep house.SPECIAL TOUCHGarden Of Life (reissue)Heels & Souls
The ever-diverse Wolf Music Recordings crew looks to Footshooter for a dazzling trip through synth-laced broken-beat joy here. It is an EP that showcases the artist's signature sound across six sizzlers. 'Welcome In' is slow and pensive while 'Turning' ups thence with bristling beats and busy chord work. 'Archetype 7' is a mix of loose percussion and retro chords that never lets up. 'Dojo' brings some cosmic and squelchy synth-funk to the table with ninja precision then 'Angel(s)' encourages you to slow down and take a pause amidst the twinkling keys. 'Hold On' has your sights set firmly on the cosmos as you ride the rueful grooves.FOOTSHOOTERAfterglow FMWolf Music Recordings
Gold standard house label Razor-N-Tape looks back to Guinu's modern LP of Brazilian jazz-funk, Palago^, and has some key cuts from it remixed by a selection of assured studio hands here. First up, Jose Marquez reworks the title track into a heavy and hypnotic jam with big percussion. The Faze Action remix of 'Haha Fe' brings some fresh disco sounds and RNT stalwart Diogo Strausz brings big room synth energy and cosmic vocal filters. Last of all, Brazilian Carrot Green brings the 80s boogie brilliance to 'Porao de Ferro.'
Digital Tape Recordings take it al the way back to 1994 here with the timeless early garage sounds of Dub Essentials Part 1 from 24Hour Experience. It captures the essence of UKG at the time and was first released on the definitive Nice N Ripe label. It has a range of sounds from the soothing depths and soulful samples of 'Feeling's Mutual' to the more clipped and bouncy 'Deeper (5am mix)'. 'Scatter' then layer sup jumbled perc and US house styles with rich organ chords and 'Mantra' again keeps it deep and rather sleazy with some filthy bass. Last of all is the slinky sound of 'Gone Loopy' to round out a classic.24HR EXPERIENCEDub Essentials Part 1Digital Tape Recordings