You'll find a cornucopia of tasty tunes to bounce off your eardrums. I update with new tunes, art and photography every week, depending on what I'm doing and listening to at the time, old and new. I'm based in London UK but I love to travel and discovery new music along the way and share my musical journey on neoloop.
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As sampled above by Tarjei Nygård for his killer disco gem - Brosteinsjungel, this is the original song by Timmy Thomas where Tarjei takes that chopping organ sound, while it's transformed into a nu-disco romp, there is something very special about Timmy's original from 1972, taken off the album of the same name.
Stoner lounge guru George Evelyn's Nightmares On Wax return with album number seven, Feelin' Good. All the usual hall marks of the Nightmares On Wax sound are there, funk driven groovers and soulful balearic chill-outs as well as the reggae tinged low-slung jams.
Opening with the lush strings of So Here We Are, a slowly chilled-out tune to ease us into the opulent orchestral sound. Be, I Do bounces along on a catchy skanking baseline evoking the visions of hotter climates. This tune, Now Is The Time is bubbling hot with a piano riff skipping through a looping ska-fused drum and bass. Moses from Zero 7 pops-up on the gospel-pop of Give Thx, the orchestral dynamics continue on the delightful Master Plan. Eye (Can't See) and Tapestry brings the funk with lashings of the feel good factor. It all end with Om Sweet H(Om)e a balearic meditation state that washes over the senses and transcends your mind into utopia, probably the Wax's sweetest chill-out track since Carboot Soul. Recommended.
Zero 7, remember them! Are back with some new material - On My Own has the nice lazy beats we've come to expect from the Downtempo duo, electronic soul of the highest calibre. It's Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker's first single in four years and they sound a little Talking Heads with a house feel here and it features vocals from Danny Pratt (aka Danny Boy). Don't Call It Love on the b-side is also worth checking out - Welcome back, hopefully a new LP in the pipeline too.
Bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat storms back with the follow-up the Flying Lotus co-produced The Golden Age of Apocalypse. Thundercat teamed up with executive producer Flying Lotus once again, to form a profound body of work for his second album, Apocalypse. Full of jazz influences that you'd expect with Flying Lotus, but also Bruner's father Ronald Bruner, Sr., is an internationally renowned jazz drummer who played with the Temptations, Diana Ross, Gary Bartz and Gladys Knight.
The neo-soul of Heartbreaks + Setbacks is beautiful, Burner is on top form on the LP and I hope it will push his music to a wider audience. Each track offers something different, yet collectively works in harmony. The Life Aquatic is an instrumental of lotus beats and Burner bass. This track Oh Sheit It's X adds some disco pomp and funk guitars with a future-retro synths. Without You's skippy beats backsliding in and out of the bubbling melody is half ballad and half instrumental interlude, delightful. Burner pours blood, sweat and tears into this recored.
A welcome return and Highly Recommended.
I remember seeing the SOS band regularly in the eighties, quite often playing Hammersmith Odeon (as it was called then). The R&B scene was in full effect, regular tours from Zapp Band, The Fatback Band, The Gap Band and Cameo established a relatively underground scene. Renowned record label Tabu Records focused on R&B and funk and by the mid 80's had established themselves as one of the leaders of the pack. Working with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis was an inspiration, they brought in Cherelle and Alexander O'Neal who both had hit albums and of course the massive hit single Saturday Love. Tabu are now re-releasing lots of those old albums on digital format including all the classic SOS Band LPs.
The SOS band, founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1977, fronted by Mary Davis, had a hit with Take Your Time (Do It Right) in 1980. In 1983, they joined forces with the new production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who went on to craft a string of R&B hits for the group, including this seminal classic Just Be Good to Me from the bands 1983 On The Rise LP as well as High Hopes, Tell Me If You Still Care, Weekend Girl, Borrowed Love, No One's Gonna Love You, Just the Way You Like It and The Finest.
Jam and Lewis' distinctive production sound went on to create mainstream hits for the likes of Janet Jackson, The Human League, George Michael, Mariah Carey and many more.
Neomix Volume Two
Finally after so many people bugging me, I've put together another mixtape in the Neoloop series Neomix (I guess I can call it a series now there is a second volume!). Volume Two is as eclectic as the first and covers all the stuff we love on Neoloop.
Tracklisting is as follows:
My first post of 2013 and I'm playing catch-up after a busy December. So there's lots of posts to get up, including my albums of 2012. Watch this space...
Toro Y Moi (AKA Chaz Bundick) releases his new album this month called Anything In Return.
First single So Many Details takes Bundick into a mature direction without losing any of the quirky electro-pop hooks and delivers a lot more soul in the process. The rest of the album follows suit and should keep us going till summer. Good work Chaz!
One of the best Late Night Tales compilations for a while, the compilation series that maintains a quality output have chosen the effervescent Friendly Fires, an inspired choice as it turns out. The selection covers many genres as well as uptempo house, obscure indie, disco-funk, art-pop and ambient chill. This tune is a stand-out, fourth track in, anthemic porn-disco Fly Like An Eagle by Dennis Parker. And it's not just the old stuff that makes for an impressive collection, Melody Echo Chamber's Endless Shore is a welcome addition from a great artist. Friendly Fires’ exclusive cover version of the ’78 electronic classic Why Don't You Answer by Eberhard Schoener and Sting sounds like one of their own.
Surprise choice perhaps is Olivia Newton-John's cover of the Elton John classic Love Song from Tumbleweed Connection, an amazing version that I've never heard before. Also includes choice cuts from Cocteau Twins, SBTRKT, Iron Galaxy, Bibio, Stereolab, Slowdive, Joe Simon and Sonna.
Definitely one of the best comps of the year and certainly one of the best Late Night Tales comps ever, no mean feat considering it's on it's thirtieth edition. Highly Recommend.
Time for an soul old track, this tune from Eddie Kendricks wasn't a big on it's release back in 1973, he had success with better know tunes like Keep On Trucking, Boogie Down and the expansive, eight minute Girl, You Need A Change Of Mind. Darling Come Back Home has everything I love about good old soul music, great orchestral arrangements, rumbling bass, soaring violins and steel pans. Kendricks voice is sounding as good as his Temptations days. Taken from his self-titled third album. Eddie Kendricks was an American singer and songwriter, noted for his distinctive falsetto singing style and being a co-founder of The Temptations, and was one of their lead singers from 1960 until 1971. He made 13 solo albums and also one with fellow Temptation David Ruffin. He died in 1992 from lung cancer. A true soul legend.
Like this? Try: The Temptations, Gil Scott-Heron, Al Green, Shuggie Otis
Feeling this track from Brooklyn-based DJ/producer Nickodemus' third long player Moon People. Best known for his collaboration with Quantic, the iTunes ad endorsed Mi Swing Es Tropical back in 2006. His 2005 debut album Endangered Species is still a favourite classic LP. This track Mirage features the velvet vocals of Swedish singer Kissey Asplund, a beautiful soulful groove for an easy going evening.
Fans of The Black Keys will undoubtably enjoy Dr. John's latest album, Locked Down. Dr. John has been there done that, making his own brand of music for nearly 50 years, now into his seventies he's made another prolific LP, yet another revival of his unique blend of psychedelic voodoo blues, soul and jazz. No coincidence then that this LP is produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach is not weighted down by nostalgic paths into the Doctors past success, instead we get the big blues riffs, jagged guitars and dirty production we are used to with The Black Keys. Considering Dr.John is a major influence on the Keys it's good to hear his sound has been enhanced by Dan Auerbach's contribution. A big shot contender for album of the year lists I highly recommend Locked Down.
Frank Ocean released his eagerly anticipated major label debut this week. channel ORANGE takes Ocean into the mainstream on his own merits, showcasing his unique silky electro-soul. Previous notable collaborations with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the excellent Watch the Throne put the spotlight on Ocean's superb Nostalgia-Ultra (Official Mixtape).
The New Orleans-born RnB singer was relatively unknown as a member of the Odd Future collective. So now with channel ORANGE Ocean has arrived in ultra-smooth style, following the epic Pyramids that materialised a few weeks ago Ocean has made an intriguing album that shifts in different directions with dazzling effect. Hip-Hop and Nu-Soul works synonymously with eccentric electro and psychedelic R’n’B grooves. This track Lost has hooked me in straight away, sounding like a young Prince. Ocean's innovative and adventurous approach to music hasn't sounded so good since the musical bravura of prime early-70s Stevie Wonder. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
In the mood for a bit of old Willie Nelson tonight, full-on country music is not always my first go to sound but this tune from Willie really brings out his soulful side and never fails to put a smile on your face. Let's hope we get a few more blue skies this summer.
The song, written by Irving Berlin was composed in 1926 as a last-minute addition to the Rodgers and Hart musical Betsy and performed by Belle Baker. Since then a list as long as your arm of artists have performed and recorded it from Frank Sinatra (1941) and Dinah Washington (1954), Willie covered it on his 1978 album of standards, Stardust. Groove Armada (1999), under the title Inside My Mind (Blue Skies), Mercury Rev (2001) and Caetano Veloso (2004).
Blue skies smilin' at me, Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song, Nothin' but blue skies from now on
Bobby Womack, a legend in his own right has worked with an amazing variety of musicians during a long career, opening for Sam Cooke back in the day he's also played with Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Sly Stone to name a few. More recently with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz superband. Following that he's now released The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album of original songs in 18 years collaborating with Damon Albarn and Richard Russell (who resurrected Gil Scott-Heron's career with the amazing I'm New Here, his last album before his untimely death).
Dayglo Reflection rather unexpectedly throws in Lana Del Ray into the mix with superb results and certainly one of Damon’s best melodies since his Blur heyday. It has a real raw edge to it, Lana's emotional swoon complimenting nicely Womack's raspy croon. Good Album Recommended.
Following the posting of Whitney's last track below, here's the tune that it was sampled from. Loleatta Holloway who died early last year recorded We're Getting Stronger (the Longer We Stay Together) back in 1973 and is a bonafide disco classic, taken from her debut album Loleatta. The American singer was mainly known for her other big disco hits such as Hit and Run (also from her debut) and Love Sensation, both of which have been sampled extensively as well.
Black Box's No.1 best selling single of 1989 - Ride On Time samples heavily from Love Sensation. Her vocals were originally used without credit, but she successfully sued the band and received an undisclosed share of the royalties. She also sang on Relight My Fire by Dan Hartman. I love what Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston done with this song, but the original still holds a class of it own. Holloway was a powerhouse of a singer and will remain one of the most respected divas of her generation.
Sumach Valentine's Gonjasufi follows up his 2010 release A Sufi and a Killer, the album he cut in collaboration Gaslamp Killer with a new mini-album MU.ZZ.LE. This time out he's producing by himself. We still have the same ramshackle dubbed-out beats and off kilter noises that was endearing on the last record. All mashed through the blender with plenty of distortion and feedback, Valentine's reverbed vocals sound as cracked and crazed as ever. Psychedelic soul and rock clamber along together as they twist and twine into complex loops and rhythms. Slow and heavy dub beats swagger with an intense mood like Lee stratch Perry jamming with Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits. Sumach's wife April joins for a couple of tracks adding another texture of sweetness against Valentine's wails.
Nikels and Dimes kicks in with a looping bass drum and kid laughing, ethereal organs pierce through the think atmosphere backing up Valentine's heartfelt vocalizations. A short LP at under 25 minutes but none less rewarding for the persistent listener.
I can't get enough of Jeymes Samuel's The Bullitts, I've posted tunes previously by The Bullitts but this superb track is a defining moment in their growing catalogue. It first surfaced at the end of last year and the more you hear it the more you get mesmerised by it's charms. Featuring a narrative by KILL BILL star Lucy Liu who plays an ice-cold murderess called Amelia Sparks awaiting execution on death row and it also features a sublime rap from Jay Electronica…
Have you ever had that feeling like you been falling for weeks in a well? I was on the verge of dying like E.T. in the bald spot in the forest, right next to the speak and spell…
The full debut album THEY DIE BY DAWN & other short stories is finished and due to drop anytime soon. The album features some amazing artists including Tori Amos, Jay Electronica and Mos Def along with character cameos from Lucy Liu and Edris Elba. Release date TBC. The Bullitts played the Big Chill last month and according to Jeymes Samuel's twitter they will be doing some live dates soon.
Each release comes with unique movie inspired videos and cool film poster artwork, love this one...
It's been a long time, I didn't think I was ever going to see you again, I see you haven't changed, it's good to see you anyway...
I've not played this for a while, as Cherelle says at the beginning, it's good to see you anyway. I was prompted to check this out again due to Toro Y Moi covering this tune on the forthcoming Freaking Out EP (Hear above).
Saturday Love, written by the prolific writing and producing partnership of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis was a top ten UK hit duetted by American R&B singers Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal and released as a single back in 1985. The song appeared on Cherrelle's 1985 gold album High Priority on Tabu Records and included an extended spoken dialogue introduction skit set in a bar.
Sometimes you find a bootleg that shouldn't work that just does. Kings of Leon's Sex is on Fire was getting so overplayed a couple of years ago it just became annoying, time for a bootleg make-over then. This mash-up by Al Fingers takes the the Sex is on Fire vocal and lays it over an old skool 80's soul classic, Mtume's Juicy Fruit. Check some more of Al's remixes at alfingers.com
Hear the original Juicy Fruit below...
Juicy Fruit is another soul classic from back in the day, 1983. It's a staple hip hop sample, Common, Warren G, Notorious B.I.G, Keyshia Cole, Faith Evans, J-Lo, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have all borrowed the beat from it. The rolling beat is a classic written by James Mtume and released as the lead-off single from Mtume's sixth album, also titled Juicy Fruit. Perfect late night groovin.
London's SBTRKT album drops this week. Full of solid tunes, SBTRKT (real name Aaron Jerome) tries out lots of different styles and succeeds most of the time on his eponymous debut. Your probably already familiar with hit tune Wildfire, a collaboration with Little Dragon. But that's not the strongest song on here, Pharaohs is outstanding featuring the blindingly impermeable vocals of Roses Gabor. There will be the inevitable James Blake comparisons with guest vocalist Sampha almost identical soulful croon on the haunting Trial of the Past and Hold On. And sounding more up beat on Something Goes Right. But overall this is much more of an up-beat record than the somber minimalism of Blake. It's full of energy mixing up dubstep, drum & bass, garage, funk and soul, R'n'B and nuances of Chicago House with a killer pop sensibility. Instrumental Ready Set Loop is fully charged with intricate skipping rhythms, as is the uplifting Never Never and features another highlight vocal performance from Sampha. Right Thing To Do feat. Jessie Ware is another outstanding tune. Do not let this one pass you by, go get it! Highly Recommended.
Following the 12-inch I Need You, this is another single of new material from Mayer Hawthorne after his debut album A Strange Arrangement. No Strings (Classixx Original) is the best in my opinion, a soulful chat-up from Mayer trying to get a lady into bed for a one night stand. He is one smooth operator, and together with fellow Stones Throw artist Aloe Blacc neo-soul never sounded so good.
Love this tune from SebastiAn taken off his new long player Total and features the excellent Mayer Hawthorne.
Wake Up Everybody!!!
Listening to some classic soul tonight, this tune is such an epic piece of music. Wake Up Everybody is performed by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, with Teddy Pendergrass singing lead vocals, the title track from their 1975 album on the Philadelphia International record label (the group's fourth). Written by the team of Carstarphen, McFadden, and Whitehead. The album also featured the massive hit single Don't Leave Me This Way. A great album from beginning to end.
Back in 2001 Rae and Christian covered this socially conscious song on their Sleepwalking album, with vocals by the supreme Bobby Womack, also a cracking version of song.
How will I know that you'll save me? Your little hands are getting shaky, It is time to let the light seep From behind your eyes, Then I'll know my night survives…
The brilliant new album from Bibio is out this week! - Mind Bokeh
It's a tough choice to find a favourite tune off this eclectic mix of songs, I've already given you the kitsch sound of K is for Kelson last month. Right now the tune that's wearing out the repeat button is Light Seep. Mind Bokeh is the fifth full-length from LP from Stephen Wilkinson, a.k.a. Bibio, and his second release on Warp Records following up the equally superb Ambivalence Avenue.
Bibio slowly wowed the underground electronic music scene with the sunny synth-pop of Ambivalence Avenue, a unique blend of crafted instrumentals and folktronica in 2009. Critical Acclaim pushed the album into many 'best of the year' album charts. With that record behind him Bibio has triumphed again with Mind Bokeh. It's another complete mash of musical styles, chucking in obscure samples that sound completely spontaneous yet you know it been meticulously constructed. There are all sorts of modern influences here, Four Tet, Gaslamp Killer, DJ Shadow and Neon Indian spring to mind. But he's also blending in a mixed bag of retro sounds liquefying genres into timeless hybrid songs. Pretentious uses jangly funk and beautiful harps with a soulful vocal creating an new angle on glick-pop before deconstructing into a mellow saxophone demise. Anything New starts as sunny sing-a-long pop and effortlessly transforms into a synth driven monster with mad distorted vocal samples. Light Seep is a pure bliss of psychedelic synths and funk. Artists' Valley sounds like a missing track from Four Tets last LP, but with added vocals from Wilkinson. Highlights are plentiful on this record and it captivates from beginning to end, how many albums can you say that about nowadays! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! Not bad for an album entirely recorded in a bedroom, in a terraced house, in Wolverhampton.
In the mood for a bit of Mayer…?
Summer soulful vibes continued!
Probably my favourite track from Mayer Hawthorne's 2009 album A Strange Arrangement. Coming on all Smokey Robinson. This album is full of tunes, Green Eyed Love, Your Easy loving' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin', Just Ain't Gonna Work Out. If you ain't got it, you gotta get it, timeless easy soul for a sunny day. Highly Recommended.
An unlikely looking soul singer, perhaps...
Welcome a bit of sunshine in your life for the first day of British Summer time today with some superb Psychedelic soul. A kaleidoscopic guitar riff with hazy summertime vocals combine to create a blissful chilled out tune they call Legend In My Own Mind. An old, but great tune!
Connecticut trio the Stepkids are signed to Stones Throw also home to other great nu-soul act like Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne.
Like this? Try: Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, The Temptations
He was groovin' and that was when he coulda sworn the room was movin'
Here another classic from Gil Scott Heron, Angel Dust is from his 1978 album Secrets recorded with Brian Jackson. A story of the effects of Angel Dust and how it's a short-cut to the grave - 'God only knew why they was dustin'!'
Gil 70's output included some most influential music of that decade. Secrets is great album and often get overlooked for his more better known LP's such as Winter in America and Pieces of a Man. Secrets is well worth a spin if you like a bit 70's jazz fuck, Gil was the master.
Posted by Neo
Another excellent tune from Jamie Woon, following on from brilliant Night Air. Woon's choice of beats really set him apart from the mainstream. I keep hearing Lady Luck out and about and every time I'm hooked by the catchy rhythm. Woon's soulful voice has unique clarity and sound a little like Terence Trent D'Arby at times. Jamie will be releasing his debut album on 4th April and will be playing Shepherds Bush Empire on Thursday 9 June.
The Stepkids a Connecticut trio of singer/songwriters who make what they call futuristic electro soul, recorded on a reel-to-reel.
I'm definitely feeling their brand of soul! They certainly have the right mix of classic soul, neo soul and psychedelic funk. There is some serious influence of psychedelic-era Temptations, Silver Apples, Sun Ra and Roy Ayers. Thanks to Rach for the heads-up on this one. Check-out the full story on Stonesthrow.com
Some funky soul from Little Esther, this is a great version of Bill Withers Use Me. Taken from her 1972 album Alone Again (Naturally). Sit back and soak it up.
Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) was an American singer from Galveston, Texas. She's up there with best soul diva's ever.
More from Jamie xx this month, I first heard this on Jamies mix for Benji B's Radio One show. The 12" vinyl is out now and I've tracked down an mp3 of it. Adele's vocals are well fucked about and it sounds wicked with the handclaps, wonky tambourine beats and marching drums. It's all a remix should be, it transcends the music to another place and makes another tune. Jamie xx is so on the money right now.
Late night listening don't get much better with the haunting new remix from Jamie xx of Gil Scott-Heron's NY Is Killing Me. Originally appearing on Scott-Heron's superb LP I'm New Here (One of Neoloop's choice albums from last year) The xx man's gone and remixed the whole album, an inspired move as it turns out. Following Jamie's brilliant 'In the Mix' for Benji B's Radio One show he's proving to be one to watch. Not content with making one the best LP's of the decade with The xx, he's now shined his magic on Gils comeback masterpiece and made an entirely different record with it. Titled We're Here Now, The album sees Jamie xx remixing thirteen tracks from the original I'm New Here album sessions. Listen to more tracks here.
A slice of Reggae and massive dollop of Soul with the beautiful voice of Hindi Zahra. Late night chilled grooves cooked up to perfection. This track is taken off the debut album from Parisian Radio show programmer Blundetto! called Bad Bad Things.
RIP Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010) died today.
Solomon Burke was born in Philadelphia in 1940, the King of Rock 'N' Soul celebrated his 70th birthday in March 2010. In 1964 he wrote and recorded Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, Burke's most prominent bid for an enduring soul standard. Almost immediately covered by The Rolling Stones the same year, other well-known versions include one by Wilson Pickett and another, a decade and a half later, in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Big up respect to old great. RIP
It's really cool to hear an album that is fresh and new yet still embraces the sound of classic soul. Aloe Blacc has made a cracker of an album, oozes influences of Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Sly and the Family Stone and mixes it up with a nu-soul adroitness. Good Things, co-written by the versatile vocalist and songwriter in conjunction with the in-house production team at Truth & Soul Records, Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman.
I Need a Dollar — commissioned by HBO as the theme music for the series How to Make It in America — because ultimately, that is how to make it in America. Other standout tracks on the album include the cool reggae funk of Miss Fortune, the smooth laid-back groove of Femme Fatale and the Sly Stone sounding You Make Me Smile. RECOMMENDED. Aloe Blacc, new the new Marvin Gaye? Maybe or just perhaps Aloe Blacc new soul sensation!
Erykah Badu's tune Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) samples/covers this tune. I'd thought I'd share the original of it as it's such a great tune, written and produced by the great Roy Ayers.
Sylvia’s debut was released in 1981 via Roy Ayers‘ Uno Melodic label which he set up in the early eighties to showcase new talent that fitted his jazz-funk & boogie sensibilities. Sylvia’s voice is not unlike a young Minnie Ripperton at times although perhaps not quite as polished. Rare-groove gold that certainly deserves a wider audience.
Shortly after her debut performance she was recruited to sing on Roy’s solo album Love Fantasy (1980) as well as was a member of the short-lived group the Eighties Ladies, a quintet of female vocalists guided by Roy. Classic soul.
First Lady of Neo-Soul released her 5th long player New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) in March. This track is a nice slab of chilled-groove badu style, a real head-nodder. Check out the album, there are some fresh cuts on this baby. Includes a heavily sampled version of Sylvia Striplin's You Can't Turn Me Away produced by Roy Ayers on Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) See above.
Erica Abi Wright (born February 26, 1971), better known by her stage name Erykah Badu.
Perfect easy listening, light bossa nova for an easy lazy Sunday afternoon, recorded by Ruby & the Romantics, an American R&B group in the 1960s, the band were a bit of a one hit wonder with this in 1963. This tune has since been recorded by so many artists including Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Darin, Isaac Hayes, Frankie Valli, The Carpenters and Waldeck to name a few. This, the original version has a cracking hammond organ vibe! Sit back, relax, and wait a while, your day will come.
Like This? Try: Waldeck, Dimitri From Paris, Burt Bacharach
Marvin Gaye never sounded so good, this is a cheeky mash-up from Al Fingers of Marvin's classic tune with the old reggae standard, Johnny Osbourne's Truth and Rights. As the sun is starting to shine at the end of a long hard winter, we need some feel good vibes to soak up the rays and warm your soul. A magic combination that works so well, many will say it's a sacrilege to mess with the great soul master, but hey if it sounds this good who gives a shit. Go to Al Fingers website for some more excellent mash-ups and mixtapes here.
Like This? Try: More Marin Gaye, Johnny Osbourne, Burning Spear, The Heptones, The Mighty Diamonds
Another Bobby Womack guest appearance, the original version of Wake Up Everybody is taken from Rae and Christian's second album Sleepwalking. This version is from Nocturnal Activity Sleepwalking Remixed, Bobby had quite a quiet period leading up to doing this back in 2001. Still sound fresh and soulful today, listening to the Gorillaz new tune Stylo reminded of this.
Rae & Christian are Grand Central Records' founder Mark Rae and fellow producer and DJ Steve Christian. Although they never officially split as a group, Rae & Christian released their last material in 2002. Rae also co-wrote tracks with Mr. Scruff.
Like This Try: Nightmares on Wax, Mr. Scruff, Aim
First single Stylo is a quality return from the genius of Damon Albarn's virtual band. Featuring Bobby Womack’s trademark croon and Mos Def, who will join Gorillaz as an animated character named Sun Moon Stars. Damon's unmistakeable soulful tones introduce us to the new style, before Womack enters into the Gorillaz world with a passionate chorus, Mos Def brings the track to a close, subtle in the mix.
The follow up album from the highly successful Demon Days is Plastic Beach due to drop 8th March. Albarn continues to attract stella cameos on Plastic Beach, Bobby Womack and Mos Def are joined by Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Kano Bashy, Lou Reed, the Fall’s Mark E. Smith, Little Dragon, Gruff Rhys and the Clash’s Mick Jones and Paul Simonon all making appearances on various tracks.
Gorillaz will headline the final night of the Coachella music festival on 18 April 2010
Like This Try: Neon Neon, Rae and Christian, Yuksek
Diggin' the scene with a gangsta lean!
After listening to the new Massive Attack album I dug out Blue Lines (1991), a total masterpiece from start to finish, their cover of William DeVaughn's Be Thankful for What You Got features in the middle of the album with vocals by Tony Bryan. Listen here to DeVaughn's original version from 1974, it sold nearly two million copies on its release, reaching #1 on the U.S. R&B chart. Massive Attack's version is a cool and sophisticated update, William DeVaughn's is classic mellow soul groover oozing charm authenticity that still sounds so good, I'm digging his scene with the gangster lean.
Like This Try: Curtis Mayfield, M.F.S.B, Lou Rawls
Woozy organs carry you through the disturbing dubby darkness while Robert Del Naja's hushed rap caresses the moody beats. Yes! Massive Attack return with a new album next month, the duo’s fifth studio album, Heligoland (named after a German archipelago in the north sea) is out 8 February, 7 years after the release of their last album, the disappointing 100th Window. All in all Heligoland is an accomplished album, with their well respected eclectic address book they have pulled in an impressive cast of vocalists, Damon Albarn, Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird, Horace Andy, TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe and Hope Sandoval. Atlas Air is the album's closer, a reworking of a previous live track called Marrakech. I still long for the soulful euphoria of their debut album Blue Lines, that will remain an all time classic, we just have to accept that they were a different band then and it will never be repeated. Heligoland is due for a complete rework from dubstep producer Burial much in the same vein as '95's Mad Professor's remixing of No Protection. Certainly one to look out for.
I'm Overdosing on old Gil Scott-Heron tunes at the moment, and they don't get any funkier that The Bottle. Definitely Gil's biggest and most commercial tune, Gil signed a one album deal for the Strata East imprint, out of New York, in 1974 with Brian Jackson, and released the album Winter In America, which contained the original version of The Bottle. It was later reissued during the mid-1980s on Champagne Records in the United Kingdom. The track features Jackson's superb flute playing and Scott-Heron on keyboards, while singing and rapping about alcoholism, drug addiction, abortion, and incarceration, but it sure is funky.
Scott-Heron later said of the single's success and style, "Pop music doesn't necessarily have to be shit." Indeed!
See that black boy over there, runnin' scared his ol' man's in a bottle. He done quit his 9 to 5 to drink full time so now he's livin' in the bottle.
Like This Try: Roy Ayers, Sly and the Family Stone, Fatback Band
Did you feel that rumble, did you hear that sound!
Following Gil Scott-Heron's return to the recording studio I've been prompted to have a dig in the old crates for some old gems. Not a main stream tune, Shut 'Um Down is from the album 1980 released that year, it's all upbeat funk and soul with Gil's protest messages. This is a call to shut down all the nuclear power stations. Gotta work for earth for what it's worth 'cause it's the only earth we've got, shut 'um down! It's from the vinyl, so there's a few pops and crackles in there.
Like This Try: Roy Ayers, Sly and the Family Stone, Dr John
Me and the Devil walking side by side...
After a lengthy hiatus the legendary Gil Scott-Heron returns in 2010 with a new album entitled I'm New Here. Gil has already made an outstanding contribution to music with his prolific period during the late sixties and early seventies. He is cited as an influence on countless hip hop vocalists and producers, the groundbreaking The Revolution Will Not Be Televised remains one the greatest songs of all time. This new tune is full of man who has lived a very colourful life, in 2001, Gil was sentenced to one to three years' imprisonment in New York State for possession of cocaine. Into his sixties now his voice is one of maturity soaked in alcohol and expression of experience. Haunted beats, glitches and dark sound effects rattle along like Burial conducting a New Orleans funeral march. It's like the blues have been re-invented for a new decade, Gils first new album in thirteen years is released next month on XL Recordings produced by Richard Russell, one for the fans, and for the uninitiated. The video is suitably dark and arresting too. Big up to @bigtwix for heads up.
Like This Try: Benga, Flying Lotus, RL Burnside
Another classic funk groove, this track was written and produced by Curtis Mayfield back in 1973. With a baseline like this it still sounds really fresh. There have been a few modern remixes of this track but the original Mayfield production has the edge, I love that the vocals don't kick in until after 2 minutes, pure class. I don't know if Patti Jo had any other hits?
Don't get in to deep brother, don't get in to heavy, Don't fix so you can't move about whenever you get ready. Holy Moly slowly going down. Groove central, classic disco funk from 1975. Not a big hit for the sisters back then, but I reckon this is one of their best!
The Pointer Sisters are from Oakland, California, they achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s
Tune! How about this for a classic Michael McDonald moment from 1983.
Yah Mo B There was written by Ingram, McDonald, Rod Temperton, and producer Quincy Jones. The song originally appeared on Ingram's 1983 album It's Your Night. It was released as a single peaking at #12 on the UK charts in 1985, and has subsequently appeared on several of Ingram and McDonald's greatest hits albums as well as various 1980s compilation albums. The performance earned the duo a 1985 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
An inspired choice of vocalist in Michael McDonald for the b-side of Grizzly Bear's new single from the excellent Veckatimest album. I love a bit of Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan. But Michael McDonald also gave us some great tunes as a solo artist, Sweet Freedom springs to mind. Grizzly Bear's style sounds like a strange mix for McDonald on paper, but I think this sounds like it was meant to be and adds a deeper soulful meaning to the tune. Even Grizzly Bear's backing vocal has stepped up to take the track into an altogether utopian moment. Class.
Let me kiss you on your Poo Poo La La!
This tune tells you a little love story, the lyrics crack me up. Gotta love this!
Ayers grew up in a musical family. At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades.
Life is just a moment so enjoy it!
A big slab of classic funk from the vibraphone master Roy Ayers. I love this tune, a real feel good vibe. Gives you an extra spring in your step! Perfect for a late night funk session.
Your in my mind your in my heart.
MSTRKRFT mix up their own brand of electro stomp with Grammy winning silky soul from John Legend. An infectious piano loop and hands in the air buzz-saw riffs together with Mr Legend's soft velvet vocals, immerse yourself in this late night summer rave.
"We're gonna party and have a good time" The chorus smokes through the spooky hum of a gospel choir singing outside the gates to the end of the world. Sci-fi landscapes and funky house collide resulting in a strangely soulful cocktail of dancefloor lunacy!
Released as single from the album Organism in 1999
Jimi Tenor (born Lassi Lehto, 1965, Lahti, Finland)