It always amazes me how some of the world's most forward-thinking producers and beat-makers will flip the script and do something completely different from their usual bag of tricks. A couple of cases in point: Downtempo/nü-jazz hero Will Holland (aka Quantic) has followed up his remixes of Italy's Paine and Japan's United Future Organization by reinventing himself as the Quantic Soul Orchestra and dropping one of the rawest funk and Afrobeat albums of the year. Stampede, which sounds like it was recorded in 1973, is outstanding -- it even features a cover of 4 Hero's "Hold It Down." Boo on Tru Thoughts Records for making the album a single-vinyl release, though -- we want double!
The other case is house hero Kenny Dope (of Masters at Work fame), who just released his extended mix of Manzel's funk classic "Space Funk" on his own Dope Brother Records. It's rare that a new mix of an old tried-and-true sure-shot surpasses the original, but in this case you better believe it! An instant classic.
Elsewhere, England's Grand Central Recordings releases Aim's Means of Production album this month, a collection of very-hard-to-find 12-inch-only releases from 1995 to 1998. It's amazing that some of these tracks were only available as B-sides for so long, considering how good they are. Broken-beat heads should be up on the mash-up white label of Seiji's "Loose Lips" fused with Q-Tip's "Breathe and Stop." If you see it, nab this naughty nugget right away -- it won't be around for long. Finally, on the reissue tip, leave it to Soul Jazz Records to (once again) drop an amazing collection of obscure Florida funk and soul. Titled Miami Sound, this gem features super-rare cuts recorded between 1967 and 1974. On CD and double vinyl.
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM
Seven Days - February 18, 5:00 PM
Seven Days - February 17, 4:09 PM
Seven Days - February 16, 3:24 PM
What the Fork - February 15, 2:00 PM