Okay, slowly getting back up to speed after the two-week break! Tomorrow it’ll be back to business as usual, reviewing this week’s releases, but first there are a few albums from the past couple of weeks I need to tell you about…
Julius Papp – Healing Force
The US deep, soulful house veteran returns with his first long-player since 2012’s Music Is The Key, coming once more on his own NeoDisco Music imprint, and it’s fair to say it’s a bit special. Kicking off with the laidback Spanish guitar vibes of A Flower Blossoms, the album goes on to take in cinematic downtempo-isms (A Theme For Sereen), classic-style Balearica (Kosmosis), soulful house (Dontcha Wanna Dance, A Thousand Years), throbbing main room house (Primitive Future) and more besides. Healing Force? They could just as well have called it Tour De Force…
Various – Magnetic Cuts Vol 2
The second installment in this six-part best-of series from DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings. Compared to Volume 1, the overall mood here is a little more peaktime and driving, though as ever with the Sneaky one the funk is in full effect throughout, with highlights for this reviewer including DJ W!ld’s Shiva with its echoes of Aly-Us’s classic Follow Me, Sneak’s own swing-tinged I Rep Underground and J Paul Ghetto’s jazzy Imma Let You Know.
Singers & Players – War Of Words
A must-check for the reggae and dub lovers here, as this highly sought-after LP from 1981 gets a long-overdue re-release courtesy of On-U Sound. Singers & Players were a short-lived supergroup that included Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Jah Woosh, Keith Levene of PiL, Ari Up of The Slits and members of Roots Radics and The Arabs… with Adrian Sherwood on production duties. And yes, the results of this stellar studio collision are every bit as good as you’d expect!
Various – Beach Disco Sessions Vol 6
Nang serve up a compilation here that may surprise a few listeners. Because while it’s true there’s a certain style of spangly nu-disco that Nang have made their own, Beach Disco Sessions 6 serves as a timely reminder that they can do a lot more. Across its 13 tracks you certainly will find synth-y Italo-esque joints – see, for instance, Ilya Santana’s HypnoDisco. But you’ll also find funk-fuelled breakbeats (Bronx Dogs’ 212), Kraak & Smaak/Fat Freddy’s-ish neo-soul (Material’s Come Down) and soulful house (Situation’s Here Comes The Sun)… not to mention Fuzz Against Junk’s County Clonk, as remixed by Lindstrøm into what sounds suspiciously like an homage to Faze Action’s In The Trees!
Various – Real Ibiza 8
React’s Real Ibiza series returns after an eight-year hiatus, with a 16-track collection of smooth downtempo sounds. The Korvids kick things off with the Groove Armada-ish Ursula My Dear; after that, scene stalwarts like Chris Coco, Jose Padilla and The Kenneth Bager Experience rub shoulders with a host of newcomers on a comp that ranges freely between Balearica, slo-mo disco and all-out ambience. Sonic Radox for club-weary souls (and soles).