Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

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Ben Lovett's Grooveyard

Ben Lovett's Dance Grooveyard Nov/Dec 2017
Ben Lovett's Dance Grooveyard Nov/Dec 2017 Jessie Ware: Alone (Toddla T Remix) Patrick Topping: Be Sharp Say Nowt (Hot Creations) RITON, MNEK, HOUSE GOSPEL CHOIR: DEEPER Danny Krivit, Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell and François K at Body & Soul's E1 London club launch Just Jack’s 12th birthday at Motion, Bristol - Feb 3rd 2018 Snowbombing in Mayrhofen Terminal V Fest at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre on Easter Sunday Nightmares On Wax: Shape Of The Future (Warp Records) Play It Like Papa (15 Years of Papa Records 2002 - 2017) - Various (Papa Records) All Points East Festival 2018 Purple Disco Machine: Soulmatic (Sweat It Out) Ronnie Size: New Forms (20th Anniversary Edition)

I can never fall asleep unless I’m tucked up in bed, but recent dancefloor exploits have seen me break that ritual rather spectacularly - twice. On two separate occasions, my Uber drivers have crooked me back to the land of the living with a well practised nudge and short, sharp blast of the radio. It’s been a deliriously hectic autumn so far.

But enough of Forest Swords at Shoreditch’s Village Underground (gloriously experimental), Sam Divine and Low Steppa at Ministry of Sound (thunderously funky), and Fabric’s 18th birthday weekend (simply epic) – not to mention several other parties, including my youngest daughter’s 8th birthday! – it’s time to summon up those emergency reserves of energy for this online Grooveyard update; something of a stepping stone to Blues & Soul’s end of year issue. I didn’t want to leave you waiting that long!

OK, so we have a few pieces of news to follow, and a handful of essential reviews. News first, starting with the ‘Part 1’ of Need2Soul’s Grand Finale – scheduled for Sunday, December 3 at Fabric in East London.

NEED2SOUL’S GRAND FINALE

Need2Soul has been promoting the finest, most soulfully underground house parties in London since 2002. Many will remember classic events at former clubs The End and The Cross with guests such as Jerome Sydenham, Danny Krivit, Patrice Scott, Danny Krivit and ‘Joe’ Claussell; many will also note that this first ‘farewell’ marks Need2Soul’s return to Fabric some 10 years after its debut there. The party, back in Room 1, is a heavyweight essential what with that special 8-hour set from NYC’s Body & Soul legends Francois Kevorkian, Claussell and Krivit. You’ll find ticket details at fabriclondon.com; oh, and expect the final, final event next spring. Info to follow...

E1 LONDON LAUNCH

One thing ends, another starts up. Introducing E1 London, a disused factory in Wapping converted to use as a cutting-edge, late-night venue with the onus on ‘live electronic music’. The 27-hour launch party (yes, that long…) doubles as a New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring punchy house stalwarts Ame, Mano Le Tough and Blawan. More names are set to be announced; meanwhile the venue promises bespoke Funktion-One sound and ‘exceptional’ air-con. Ticket stuff at e1-london.com

JUST JACK’S 12TH BIRTHDAY

If you’re a fan of Theo Parrish then you’ll want to head to Just Jack’s 12th birthday at Motion in Bristol. The jam is a way away yet, but it doesn’t hurt to plan. Legendary Detroit techno-house product Parrish joins Specter, Sonja Moonear and Nicolas Luz for the feisty 4-4 revelry on February 3, 2018.

SPRING FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

A handful of spring festivals are also setting their stools out nice and early. Belfast-born, London-based house mavericks Bicep join Kolsch for Nightvision’s all-dayer Terminal V at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre next Easter Sunday (the date’s April 1 but this is no joke…) Elsewhere, fave Austrian gathering Snowbombing (in Mayrhofen, up a mountain) adds Eats Everything and Huxley to a line-up already flaunting everyone from the swagger-some Liam Gallagher and Rudimental to MJ Cole, David Rodigan and Waze & Odyssey.
Finally, look out for the brand new All Points Festival in London’s Victoria Park on May 25. Much has already been made of Bjork, The XX and LCD Soundsystem headlining proceedings but also pay attention for sets by Mercury-winner Sampha, George FitzGerald, Agoria, Beck, Richie Hawtin (introducing new show CLOSE) and Flying Lotus. All Points is produced by Goldenvoice/AEG Presents, the team behind Coachella no less. Their awarding of a wider Victoria Park contract will, in turn, prompt mainstay events Field Day and Lovebox to shift elsewhere next year.

ALBUM NEWS

Finally, brief word on a couple of new albums. Nightmares On Wax – AKA George Evelyn – has confirmed a new studio album for January 26, 2018. Released through Warp Records, Shape The Future is Evelyn’s first long-player in four years. Collaborators include Brit soul singers Andrew Ashong, Jordan Rakei and Mozez, as well as Canadian rapper Allan Kingdom. Listeners can expect a typically eclectic smorgasbord of soulful sounds, and plenty of emphasis on orchestration.

LA’s Flying Lotus – real name Steven Ellison - has also confirmed a new full-length for Warp. Said record, for which few details currently exist, will be the artist’s first since 2014 opus You’re Dead. The project was announced with the posting of a video for new track Post Requisite – a cosmic two-minute hustle taken from Ellison’s feature film debut Kuso.

SINGLE REVIEWS

Jessie Ware – Alone (Toddla T Remix) (UK Universal)

Homegrown singer-songwriter Ware has complimented her excellent third album Glasshouse – a perfectly-poised balance of intimacy and power – with some killer remixed singles. Take Goldie’s ascendant drum ‘n’ bass takes on Midnight and now T’s skanking soul-house swing at Alone. A fusion of skipping 4-4, funked-up electro-bass and warm keys suits Ware’s earnest, velvety delivery down to the funky, life-affirming ground.

4/5

Riton x MNEK x House Gospel Choir – Deeper (UK Ministry of Sound)

Hit-making DJ-producer (hits including Rinse & Repeat) plus super-slick vocalist (think Gorgon City’s Ready For Your Love and Zara Larsson collabo Never Forget You) plus joyous Annie Mac-touring ensemble equals credible dance-pop banger. Deeper riffs on Aretha and C+C’s 1993 jam of the same name, building its bouncy yet soulful tunefulness to ever higher levels of party-minded ecstasy.

4/5

Patrick Topping – Be Sharp Say Nowt (UK Hot Creations)

The titular opener’s arrestingly crisp fusion of muscular kick-drum house and sizzling gospel vocal (courtesy of the ‘on heavenly fire’ LaShun Pace) says everything about its creator – Topping has trail-blazed since 2013, leading the line of dynamic new producers from the North of England by winning industry awards, topping magazine polls and repeatedly topping Beatport charts; not to mention sending dancefloors into rapture time and again. Be Sharp… grabs the plaudits here – a firm festival favourite this year – but B-side cut Track Change offers its own quirky 4-4 charms. On point….

5/5

ALBUMS

Roni Size & Reprazent – New Forms (Deluxe Reissue) (UK Mercury/Universal)

There was every reason to feel nervous about this new New Forms, being that Size tried first the ‘reissue’ trick back in 2008 – just over 10 years after the Mercury Prize-winning album’s original, game-changing release – and, in doing so, cut much of the album’s heart. Heavily pruning standout tracks to key riffs and beats, whilst introducing middling bonus ones, risked undermining Size’s incredible legacy.

It is with relief then that this new attempt at a reissue – we’re now 20 years on from his debut – connects contemporary audiences to a truly formative moment in drum & bass (and electronic music) history in all the right ways.

Sensibly, Size presents New Forms in 2017 over four discs. The original album is well re-mastered for one, highlights such as the slinky Heroes, waspish Digital and, of course, Brown Paper Bag all intact and sounding as emphatic as ever.

A second disc unpacks a generous, unrushed selection of B-sides, and a third corals classic remixes that were largely only available on vinyl before – Photek’s deep ‘n’ sinister Brown Paper Bag and MAW’s expansive Nuyorican Soul twists (and turns) to Watching Windows remain superlative. For the final section, Size drops an exciting ‘anniversary’ mix on live hardware that sweeps majestically between unreleased remixes and re-edits, new material (for example, rave-edged roller Hold The Front Page) and highlights from disc one. A Size that properly fits today…

4/5

Purple Disco Machine – Soulmatic (Aus Sweat It Out)

On Soulmatic, Dresden DJ-producer Tino Piontek straddles vintage disco and modern dance with deep authenticity and pop panache in equal, stirring measure. But then he’s been successfully blurring boundaries for many years now, whether it’s his own singles for Defected and OFF or major remixes for Jamiroquai, Gorillaz and New Order.

Funkiness and production standards are of a high calibre throughout this debut album. Opening song Music In You, featuring vocals from Lorenz Rhode, is a sassy brew of vocoders, synth solos and chunky bass. Pray For Me, fronted by CeeLo Green, is an even deeper soul-house slink.

Elsewhere, Piontek demonstrates rawer, guitar-licked spice for Devil In Me (featuring Duane Harden and Joe Killington) and sweet hip-house flow on the Kool Keith-helmed Memphis Jam.

When tempos increase, the results are similarly infectious – a collaboration with Boris ‘Sing It Back’ Dlugosch and singer Karen Harding, Love For Days, is filtered-disco heaven and a bona-fide album standout. Play tows a similarly funky, upbeat line. Piontek should be happy with his work here. From first glitterball twirl to last, Soulmatic is confident and colourful, yet warmly intelligently-produced – a perfect union of old, new, deep and drive. Love this.

4/5

Play It Like Papa (15 Years Of Papa Records) - Various (UK Papa)

Papa Records, mainstay of the UK soul-dance scene, has delivered a succession of sophisticated vocals and instrumental jams for many years now – enough, of course, to merit this gleaming anniversary compilation. In contemporary clubland 15 years is quite some innings, and Papa’s consistently polished output explains much of that longevity.

The major moments are all represented, and stylishly repackaged within three separate mixes by Papa stalwart DJ Spinna according to the categories of ‘broken beat & nu jazz’, ‘soulful house’ and ‘deep house & house’. The former drops Simon Grey’s jazz-funk gem The Galactica Suite next to emotive Latin hustles from Blaze (Sapporo) and the heavy street-strut of Reel People (Upside, remixed by Bugz In The Attic).

The middle session, meanwhile, relaxes into golden grooves from the likes of The Realm & Tony Momrelle, Osunlade and Reel People, and Spinna’s final selection delivers even greater house swing via emerging Papa protagonists Sebb Junior and Saison (who also inserts exclusive track How You Feel), not to mention Aki Bergen, Spiritchaser and more magnificent Blaze. Play It Like Papa is very well played indeed. Thoughtfully compiled, and arrestingly executed, its soulfully superior sounds should warm your winter cockles and then some…

4/5

GROOVEYARD ESSENTIALS CHART

1). DJ Spen Pres. Noelle – Everything (Timmy Regisford’s Re-Touch) (US Quantize Recordings)

2). Atlantic Starr – Circles (Joey Negro Extended Disco Mix) (UK Z)

3). Louie Vega feat. Josh Milan – The World Is A Family (AfroHouse Mix) (US RVMK)

4). Debbie Jacobs – Don’t You Want My Love (UK Glitterbox)

5). Sasha – Do The Maff (Original Mix) (UK Circus)

6). BSC feat. Jessi Colasante – You & Me (DJ Spinna Main Mix) (Br Grooveland Music)

7). Jessie Ware – Alone (Toddla T Remix) (UK Universal)

8). Funkadelic – Sexy Way (Recloose Disco Flip) (US Westbound Records)

9). Camelphat & Elderbrook – Cola (Mousse T’s Glitterbox Mix) (UK white)

10). Prospect Park – Till You Surrender (DJ Fudge Disco Mix) (UK Z)

11). Purple Disco Machine & Boris Dlugosch feat. Karen Harding – Love For Days (Aus Sweat It Out!)

12). Lazare Hoche & Traumer – Seascape EP (Fr Lazare Hoche)

13). Saison – How You Feel (UK Papa)

14). Patrick Topping – Be Sharp Say Nowt (UK Hot Creations)

15). LaTrece – I Want To Thank You (MK Dub) (US 4 to the Floor)

16). Jad & The – Strings That Never Win (Ger Toy Tonics)

17). Harry Romero – Mother Earth EP (US Play It Say It)

18). Robert Clivilles – Set Me Free (Louie Vega vs C&C Music Factory feat. Kimberly Davis remix) (US Hysteria)

19). DJ Pierre – Strobe Light Laser ACID (Ger Get Physical)

20). Black Loops feat. Felipe Gordon – Mia Negrito (Ger Toy Tonics)[b]

Till next time!
Ben

...Still working the late shift!!!

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