III ... CD Innovative Leisure, 2014. New Copy ...
The best work so far from this ultra-hip trio – an amazing combination of keyboards, bass, and drums – served up in styles that are rooted in funk and jazz, but go to so many other places as well! The drums crackle with a quality schooled in 70s breaks and beats, stripped down to their ... read moreCD
The world of Blundetto is a mighty groovy one – filled with dubby rhythms, funky touches, and some of the sharpest underground production around! This album's a real standout in a world of kicked-back rhythms – never too sleepy, never too sloppy – and always thoughtfully done ... read moreCD
Bosq returns with even more brilliantly soulful sounds than on the debut – it's one of the most diverse dancefloor ready set of grooves on the Ubiquity label in years! Bosq's love for classic percussion heavy jams from across the globe is on full display – from Afro Soul, to Latin, to ... read moreCD
Calibro 35 —
Space ... CD Record Kicks (Italy), 2015. New Copy ...
Wonderful work from Calibro 35 – a funky combo who just seem to get better and better with each new record! These guy started out in territory that was strongly influenced by older Italian soundtrack material – which they could copy with effortless ease – but this time around, ... read moreCD
The time has definitely come for the Cosmic Groove Orchestra – a hip spiritual jazz combo, and one who makes amazing sounds on some really wonderful strings! The group clearly borrow inspiration from Alice Coltrane – as a jazz harp is their lead instrument, mixed beautifully with ... read moreCD
Universes of sound within the mind of Seven Davis – a record that he dedicates both to those who've bullied him as well as supported him – with the idea that all of their input has made him stronger as an artist! You can definitely hear that strength on this overstuffed full length set ... read moreCD
An album that's every bit as hip as you'd expect from its Sam Rivers-inspired cover image – a beautiful tribute to the modal jazz scene of the 60s, particularly the work of John Coltrane and some of his followers on Impulse Records! Apart from a cover of "Naima", though, the set's ... read moreCD
Maybe the hippest album we've ever heard from The Dining Rooms – something we probably could have guessed from their evocation of Sun Ra in the title! And while that title seems a bit obtuse – maybe even a joke – the music here is right on the money, and some of the most serious, ... read moreCD
One of the coolest records we've ever heard from Swedish producer Rasmus Faber – an artist most folks might know for his work on the dancefloor, but who here takes on a whole host of songs from classic Japanese animated features! The package features unique Faber remakes of songs from ... read moreCD
Fox Capture Plan —
Butterfly ... CD Playwright (Japan), 2015. New Copy ...
One of the most beautiful albums so far from Fox Capture Plan – a set that adds in a bit of strings at times – which makes for an even more colorful variation on their freewheeling piano sound! We've loved these guys right from the start for the way they fold piano, bass, and drums ... read moreCD
Fox Capture Plan —
Covermind ... CD Playwright (Japan), 2015. New Copy ...
A really sweet set from this hip Japanese trio – one that has them taking on a host of familiar tunes from a variety of artists – then serving up their own instrumental cover versions in a flurry of cascading piano, bass, and drums! Given that the Fox Capture Plan approach has never ... read moreCD
A sublime bit of modern soul jazz – produced by Phil Asher with a quality that blows away most other Nu Jazz efforts on the market! The album's the brainchild of sax player Nathan Haines and Asher, but it's got a soul collective feel that pushes it past any simple remix-type project, one ... read moreCD
A pretty remarkable set of spacey soul songcraft from Hiatus Kaiyote – a Melbourne group that blends moody, laidback live soul instrumentation with bubbling futuristic elements in a surprisingly seamless way – elevated even higher by strong songwriting and the soulful vocals of Nai Palm! ... read moreCD
Hieroglyphic Being definitely gets the "acid" right in this killer debut for Soul Jazz – because the record is steeped in the roots of acid house from Chicago, but then really takes to the skies in a bold new cosmic direction! The core of the tracks feel like the deepest, darkest ... read moreCD
Sean Khan —
Muriel ... CD Far Out (UK), 2015. New Copy ...
An insanely wonderful set from Sean Khan – maybe the greatest music he's done since his early classics with the SK Radicals! This album really takes us back to a time when music from London was completely fresh and exciting, and cosmically soulful, too – and Sean's got help from some ... read moreCD
The title definitely gets it right – as the team of Kenny Dope and Louie Vega are certainly masters of house – as you'll hear in this overstuffed 4CD set! The package brings together 40 tracks that really span the gamut of the duo's genius – from their important early house ... read moreCD
Modern electronic funk from XL Middleton! XL handles all keyboards, vocoder and programming himself here – bridging bouncing 80s electro boogie, to 90s west coast G-Funk, to the bedroom beatcraft of today – with a lot of distinctive charm, making it much more than a mere wayback trip ... read moreCD
A hell of a debut from Portia Monique – a singer who gets very strong support here from Reel People – who are very much at the top of their game too! The record's a bit like a Reel People album, but a lot more soulful up top – as Portia's vocals have this rich, righteous feel ... read moreCD
Brightly lit, breezily soulful grooves from Nicolay's globetrotting City Lights series – inspired by a +FE tour stop in South Africa – and it may be the best City Lights set yet! One thing we love about the series, and the Soweto entry in particular, is that Nicolay isn't out to copy ... read moreCD
Key cosmic sounds from Ian O'Brien – and just the kind of record that made him a real standout back in the 90s scene! So many other artists at the time claimed to find inspiration in the music of Herbie Hancock and other 70s keyboard giant – but O'Brien was one of the few who could ... read moreCD
Paris Match —
11 ... CD Victor (Japan), 2016. New Copy ...
Wonderfully soulful work from a Japanese group who took their name from a famous cut by the Style Council – and one who work here to serve up their own unique brand of that group's retro-styled soul! The music is a mix of contemporary R&B and old school touches – in a style that ... read moreCD
Not Pizzicato Five, but Pizzicato One – a much more intimate follow-up project from this famous Japanese group – reduced just to founding member Yasuharu Konishi, who makes some really beautiful music on the set! The record's got the sort of private, quiet vibe you'd expect from the ... read moreCD
One of the more compelling new acts we've heard from Ninja Tune in recent years – working here in a mode that seems to stretch back to the earliest days of the label, when the styles were simple and often had some great ties to their sonic roots! Romare uses bits of older songs and light ... read moreCD
Storming sounds from this ultra-cool combo – and a record that's maybe even more jazz-based than some of their other recent efforts! The date's a live one, and has the group stepping out with tremendous dexterity right from the start – those cascading lines that make for a rock-solid ... read moreCD
It's been more than a few years since we've heard from Ludovic "St Germain" Navarre – and in that time, he's really found a way to add a lot of fresh elements to his music! Unlike the jazz-sample mode that first got St Germain his big international start, this set's got a much more ... read moreCD
Stuff ... CD Buteo Buteo (Belgium), 2015. New Copy ...
Sweet beats and lots of other odd sounds – from keyboards, guitars, and a range of abstract samples – all used in this style that's nicely stripped-down, and with a cosmic core element at all the best moments! The album's almost a blueprint for the kind of instrumentation you'd hear in ... read moreCD
Kazuhiro Sunaga —
Mirror ... CD Blue Note (Japan), 2015. New Copy ...
A debut solo set from Kazuhiro Sunaga – an artist you might know better as the bassist in Japan's mighty Quasimode – but one who really stretches into new styles here on his own! The music still has that core sense of groove we love from Quasimode, but the performance is in a range of ... read moreCD
One of the coolest projects we've heard from Jimi Tenor in a while – and a set that's a really great sideways-step from some of his other recent music! There's still elements of the spiritual jazz currents that Jimi's been exploring for the past decade or so, but the group's also leaner, and ... read moreCD
Beautiful grooves from Bruno "Patchworks" Hovart – a set that mixes his classic-styled club sound with some sweet Afro-funk touches – all to create this wonderful hybrid of sounds that makes for one of his best records in years! The style here is more in the Afro-disco mode ... read moreCD
The mighty DJ Spinna has a way of making already-great music sound even greater – by using just the right sort of soulful touch to augment subtle elements in the original tunes that might have otherwise gone overlooked – to unlock a richer, more righteous energy that really serves the ... read moreCD
An expanded collection that takes off from a run of very limited 12" singles issued under the same name – a series that was limited to 300 copies of each disc, and which featured special etchings on the other side of the vinyl! The etchings are gone here, but the music lives on in a ... read moreCD