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In 2019 German funk superstars The Mighty Mocambos returned in fine form with the release of their fourth album "2066", a blistering set of funk, afro, hip hop, cinematic compositions and soulful storytelling, and now they are finally delivering the new singles from their current album.
Both break-heavy psychedelic soul score theme "Superstrada" and battle proven b-boy jam "Concrete Stardust" were identified as two of the most popular tunes from the album during The Mighty Mocambos' recent European live shows. Here they are in DJ-friendly uncut & extended versions. Their unique style and trademark sound are loved by peers, fans and critics alike and distinguishes them from mere retro-copycat-acts as well as overproduced plastic soul. The Mighty Mocambos continue to deliver their brand of funk with blazing horns, soulful guitars, driving drums and basslines combined with an extra bit of quirkiness.

Scottish trumpeter Malcolm Strachan is a founder member of top UK funk/jazz-funk band The Haggis Horns as well as being one of the busiest session musicians in the UK today. In a professional career spanning 20 years, he's worked and toured with the likes of Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamiroquai, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and many others.
Now he's finally releasing his first solo album, aptly titled "About Time" on Haggis Records and he's going back to his original musical roots... jazz. "About Time" is a collection of original compositions, all written and arranged by Malcolm, which are firmly rooted in the classic acoustic modern jazz style typified by the great 60s and 70s recordings on the legendary Blue Note Records label. From full-on Latin vibes to beautiful ballads, soul jazz grooves to cinematic soundtrack flavours, all woven together perfectly by a great group of experienced musicians.

6-headed Estonian groove monster Lexsoul Dancemachine makes you face "Nu Reality" – an infectious slice of disco-funk that is the first single from their upcoming new album dropping in May. This uptempo number sees Lexsoul joined by guest Ms. Lutsoja, who adds a staggering violin solo to the 5 minute stomper. The track is accompanied by a humorous new video that perfectly captures the playful side of the band. As the members of Lexsoul Dancemachine get off the bus after a gig, thirsty as ever, one of them grabs a bottle from the wrong folks. The situation becomes Lexplosive...
Based in Tallinn, Estonia, Lexsoul Dancemachine is a smoking-hot funk beast known for tearing venues apart with its energetic performances on stage. Active since 2013, the aim of this machine is to hypnotize feel-good music lovers with thumping bass lines, syncopated rhythms, irresistible grooves and soulful vocals. This is just a first taste of what's to come, expect much more lex goodness as the group unveils more music from their upcoming full-length!

A modern soul number that fits today's disco sound, and on 45, what's not to love here!? "Sweet Maybe" is a driving slice of sassy modern soul. A honeyed, sizzling affair with proper live band delivering the goods and featuring Bart Davenporton vocal duties.
Over on the flip, the Synthstrumental version is a party jam that romps along in full-on disco-funk mode. If there's one thing that drives Casbah 73 aka Oli Stewartas a DJ and a producer, more than anything else, it is his love for the music. An all-encompassing, life-consuming affair that gives shape and direction to the distinctive sounds he creates, whether on the dancefloor or in the studio. And he has been in fine form of late, with a superb string of releases combining craftsmanship, live musicians and dance floor suss. Featured singer, LA’s Bart Davenportis an old Lovemonk friend of The Loved Ones, Incarnations &Honeycut fame.

It’s album release time for this Madrid-based soul&jazz organ trio who have been burning up stages and festivals throughout 2019 and who have already had a successful single out on Rocafort Records. Beat Bronco Organ Trio have not rewritten the Hammond musical handbook, but they do what it says on the tin rather splendidly – a "Road Trip" that grooves, swings and sashays around the familiar but much loved funky jazz theme.
Although it’s impossible to listen to the album without summoning up the ghosts of Jimmies McGriff & Smith and the like, nearly all tracks here are originals and shout out personality and homage to the tradition. Featuring the usual leitmotifs: Shaftish film sountrack, lo-fi lounger, gospel-tinged toe-tapper, the hip shaker and much wah-wah frenesi, there’s nothing not to like if the genre is your bag. Spain is already prominent on the modern-day funk map thanks to groups like The Sweet Vandals, Speak Lowand Mighty Vamp, and it comes as no surprise that our hero trio featured in all these bands. "Road Trip" is an elegant culmination of the band efforts in keeping alive a timeless tradition that still today serves as a reference to where all the good stuff came from: The Church!

Flevans continues his mission to bring funk magic to the masses with his latest single. On "Realisation", he teams up with south coast songstress Laura Vane in the next chapter of a songwriting partnership that has taken clubs and airwaves by storm.
"Realisation" takes the best parts of the groove and feel of 80’s boogie classics and updates them with next level 2020 production skills while an extremely catchy hook makes certain this song will be in your head all year long. Formerly with Tru Thoughts and now signed to Jalapeno Records, it’s fair to say that Mr Flevans has got a type… that type being Brighton labels with an ear for quality. Having accumulated numerous national radio spins across the BBC and winning high profile fans in the shape of Zoe Ball, Don Letts and Craig Charles, Flevans has developed his song based writing even further with his latest studio album "Accumulate" out at the beginning of May 2020.

20 Questions You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Ask... Shawn Lee

How would you best describe what you do to the uninitiated?

I make records! As to say I’m continuing the tradition of making music that connects the past to the present and into the future. I’m a musical magpie and I’ll mess with any style I like thru my individual perspective and process. 

Where would you say you are with regard to your career right now?

I’m well in to it! Having said that, there still is a lot more stuff to do. I feel like all the seeds I’ve been planting all these years are just now starting to bare fruit. It’s been a really gradual process man. 

Which song (not neccesarilly yours) best sums you/the band up and why?

What a fool believes by The Doobie Brothers is one of my all time favourite songs. I’d say it inspires me a lot with my group Young Gun Silver Fox. 

Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration (musically or otherwise)?

SL-Musically thats a tough question as I admire so many different people. Here are a small list: Ennio Morricone,Shuggie Otis,The Beatles,Jeff Porcaro,Steely Dan,Stevie Wonder,The Beach Boys,The Dust Brothers,Money Mark. 

Is there anyone amongst your influences that you think would surprise people and why?

SL-Good question. I’m not sure about that to be honest. I do love Andy Williams tho. He has an incredible voice. I really rate him and prefer him to Sinatra to be honest . Fight me ! Ha ha ha 

What are you most proud of?
Making a living from what I love to do for the last 40 years ! 

In the quest to get the music ‘out there’ have you ever done or agreed to anything you’ve later regretted?

Every step a long the way has been necessary and kept me moving forward so no. I’ve always continued making my own music no matter how busy I’ve been working for others. That’s key... 

What’s the most ridiculous request that’s been asked of you/the band?

Apple wanted to use one of my songs for free ie: a \"gratis license\"! Rotten Apple -get the fuck out of here. 

What do you think is the secret to a good working relationship amongst musicians?

Respect,friendship and humour play an essential role. Also, loyalty is paramount and allowing people to put their own personal thing into it is important too. 

If you could have played on one song (that you don’t), what would it be and why? 
Tough question but maybe drums on Alabama Shakes as the drums are never as good as they should be. 

How do you make the balance between music and personal responsibilities?

No sleep! Ha ha ha That’s one of life’s constant battles ya know. The struggle of the juggle! I just give it a 100% every day and know good and well there is never enough hours in the day. 

In light of the internet and downloading do you feel that fans are missing out on the record buying discovery/experience?

SL- It’s never too late to buy a physical LP or CD even if you grew up with online music. I don’t stream music personally but my only problem with the Spotify &Youtube’s of the world is they don’t pay fair royalties. This must change. 

Do you think that success is your motivation and do you have a preset gameplan for your music/the band?

SL- My initial motivation is always making music that I love. Doing that and learning all the while during the process is success. Finish and release and go out and play the music for live audiences. Repeat this scenario over and over!!!!

DJ’s are now as famous as a lot of the bands they play, what are your views on this and do you think it’s deserved?

I have been doing my own radio show on Soho Radio for nearly 6 years and also occasionally DJing in clubs. The DJ should never be bigger than the music that they play. I know a lot of DJ’s,some of them are quite famous. I know who is for real and who is lost in their own self importance and ego. DJ’s spread music around the globe and it’s an important part of the musical eco system. 

To date, what has been your most memorable gig (either as a performer or as a fan)?

SL-Playing North Sea Jazz Festival with Young Gun Silver Fox last year was a real highlight. The crowd was incredible and it was a real moment in my musical career. I had my wife and my kids with me too and it was so special.I’ll always cherish that night 

How do you overcome pre-gig nerves (if you get them)?

SL- I don’t get nervous before playing to honest. It’s only when you do a live TV that I feel a bit of nerves Live TV is a mofo!!

When did you last write something?

SL- Last week. I’m always writing, it’s a fluid thing. I love it !!!

Have you ever reached a point where you’ve thought about throwing the towel in and walking away (and if so, what persuaded you otherwise)?

SL-Honestly no. I’ve come way too far to do anything else. I don’t do music to make a living-I’m living to make music! You know what I mean?!I’ve never had a back up plan so there is no other choice than to make it work. 

What are your views on electronics muscling in and replacing live instuments during recording?

SL-I think there was a point when it got too easy to do with apps,VST’s and simulations and it made people lazy. Also \"Electronic\" music wasn’t the new thing anymore and it has become so mainstream and banal. When anybody can do it on their Iphone in Garage Band dragging and dropping loops it’s pretty low brow.I’m now replacing people’s midi parts with hardware physical instruments so the tables are turning. 

Lastly, thank you for your time. What made you agree to answer these questions?

SL- I’m always happy to spread my love for music. I always have time for that. 

Dr Rubberfunk might not be medically trained, but he does know a thing or two about treating your ears, as he returns with his fourth album "My Life at 45". 2018 saw Dr Rubberfunk step back into the limelight to release the first in a series of four "My Life At 45" limited 7” singles - each of which have promptly sold out and won praise & support from the likes of Bandcamp, BBC 6Music, Fatboy Slim and Blues and Soul Magazine.
Having established himself in funk, soul, blues and jazz circles with a ton of high calibre releases, the good doctor holds a reputation for quality productions, with a hands-on approach, both in front of, and behind the mixing desk, as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and producer. The new album brings together stunning vocals from John Turrell, Izo FitzRoy and Stephanie Whitelock, whilst the instrumental tracks, showcasing the talents of long-time collaborators Jim Oliver, Jonathon James and Ben Castle, make it clear just what a crack production outfit the Doctor has put together.

The Devonns dust off the golden era of 70's Chicago soul with their self-titled debut album on Record Kicks

Straight from the streets of Chicago, Illinois, The Devonns (pronounced "De vaughns") are the brand new soul outfit and the latest addition of the Record Kicks’ family, whose self-titled debut album that drops April 3rd, is an assortment of influences taking us back to the heyday of soul.

 Drawing influences from bands such as The Dramatics, The Isley Brothers and Leroy Hutson, yet bringing in their own unique modern twist, influenced by artists such as Jamie Lidell and Raphael Saadiq; singer Mat Ajjarapu explains how unintentionally, the rich heritage of Chicago’s history with soul music influenced him.

 “The city was at the epicentre of a lot of good music back in the 50’s all the way to the 80’s, a lot of the labels specialising in soul were based in the Chicago and we even had our own sound known as 'Chicago soul'. Through several years of crate digging it surprised me how many songs I loved were recorded in this city, for example one of my favourites is this great little song by The Natural Four, produced by Leroy Hutson ‘Can This Be Real’, and released via Curtom Records”.

 The band started in 2016 after multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mathew Ajjarapu dropped out of med school and found himself unemployed and drifting. Listening to music constantly at the time, he found inspired to put a band together and create his own music. Pairing up with some of the best musicians Chicago has to offer, he founded The Devonns: the rhythm duty is entrusted to Khalyle Hagood (bass), Ari Lindo (guitar) and Khori Wilson (drums).

 The release took almost two years to complete as Mat explains: “I am a perfectionist, I had a very specific vision in my head about how it should sound and I wasn’t going to rest until I achieved it”.

 “This is a definitely a throwback soul record, as well as being drawn to the lush and intricate arrangements of Motown, I was also inspired by the more lo-fi works of smaller labels such as Chess and Capsoul, and I wanted to capture the magic they had in those recordings in our record, as everything feels too precise nowadays”, clarifies Mat.

 It was thanks to his engineer Mike Hagler, who introduced him to Paul Von Mertons (Mavis Staples, Paul McCartney, Elton John) who arranges and conducts for Brian Wilson’s live touring show and after a 45 minute phone conversation about what Mat wasn’t keen on, on the album, he realised Paul totally understood where he was coming from.

 After a few months wait for Paul to get back from touring they entered the studio with “Paul’s players” and as soon as they hit record, Mat explains: “I was getting chills up my neck, it was one of the happiest days of my life, and finally we had nailed it!”.

 The introduction of percussionist, organist and guitarist extraordinaire Ken Stringfellow best known for his work with REM since 1997 who features throughout the album really was the icing on the cake for Mat. “Ken is a family friend and had previously collaborated on my older brother Phil Ajjarapu's solo album. It was incredible to be in the studio with these two giants".

 Tracks such as "Come Back"; which Mat wrote in ten minutes on a $300 Daneelectro Singlecut guitar initially, came to life, with Paul’s rich string arrangements.

 It still took a few months to get the recording process finished but finally after a torturous nineteen months the album was finally finished. The result is an album filled with lavish string arrangements and catchy melodies which take us on a nostalgic musical journey inspired by chic 70s soul, yet the band don’t hesitate to add their own unique and elegant contemporary stamp to the record.

Daptone Records present another sure-shot single from their good friends, and top-tier tunesmiths, The James Hunter Six. The A-Side, "Brother or Other" blast out of the speakers with an explosive 7 stroke tip-of-the-cap to Motown's legendary drummer, Benny Benjamin - courtesy of long-time Sugarman 3 stalwart, Rudy Albin. This track finds James and co. exploring more of a straight-forward soul sound than previous efforts. Seasoned generously with a gorgeous piano melody and timely message, the tune settles into a mid-tempo groove that has enough dancefloor bounce to get folks on their feet. The flip, "Never" is an evocative beautiful ballad that's right smack in James' pocket: a slow, rolling rumba that'll make you wanna sway with the one you love, or the one you long to love.

Following the release of their latest album “Pleasure Centre” at the end of 2019, Kraak & Smaak turn their attention to one of the most blissed out moments on the project – “Don’t Want This To Be Over”. Vocals come courtesy of LA dream pop purveyors Satchmode and perfectly capture the west coast vibes of the album (much of it written in LA). First up on the remix tip is French touch funk machine Jean Tonique who delivers a delicious mid-tempo version that literally has the word beach bar stamped through it.
North London duo Saison step up next with a tougher house mix that firmly cements their positions as remixers du jour for 2020. Finally Boogie Angst favourite Knight One takes it straight back to the west coast circa 1976 with a Rhodes and vocals excursion that perfectly suits the vibe of the song.  Kraak &Smaak are a dutch trio from Leiden, Netherlands who have conquered the world with their eclectic brand of electronic soul. From peak time dancefloor to the small hours chill out, this band can deliver. As well as being producers, DJ’s and a world class live band, the boys Oscar, Wim and Mark also run the chart-topping Boogie Angst label.

Omar Lyefook MBE is without doubt, one of the greatest soul music talents the United Kingdom has produced in the last 40 years. If anyone has doubts about that, then they might want to consider the list of legendary artists who happily line up to collaborate with him musically, or simply sing his praises - from Stevie Wonder, the late Leon Ware, Erykah Badu, Common, through to Carleen Anderson, D'Angelo, and Soul II Soul's Caron Wheeler, Angie Stone and U.K. artists Courtney Pine, Rodney P, Kele LeRoc, Natasha Watts and Estelle, all appreciate his truly original and unique voice, musicianship and songwriting talent.

When asked to reflect on his long, successful, critically acclaimed and deeply influential career that shows no signs of slowing up, Omar said "I feel blessed. I try to keep things moving and evolving, and when I finish an album, I always put my heart and soul into it. I'm looking at it from an outsider's point of view, because I never really see myself making the music. It's like I'm the vessel and somebody's controlling what I do, I just happen to be the one that gets the praise for it".

That modest statement just re-enforces the fact that Omar is simply a one off, a genuinely unique artist. That is a bold claim, but his sound is so immediately identifiable, that you will know you are hearing an Omar track within seconds - and that is the stamp of true originality.

This collection features many of his classic collaborations, from his evergreen worldwide anthem There's Nothing Like This, It's So, the dancefloor destroying banger inspired by the amalgam of sounds Omar heard at The Notting Hill Carnival. Also included are lesser known, slept on tracks from across his long career - and the exclusive, previously unheard tracks Pass It On ft Terri Walker andLong Time Coming.

"Omar is The Man" - Jeff Young (Jazz FM)

"You had me at Omar. He's the King... No Doubt - Tim Love Lee

Building on the critical acclaim of their previous releases comes the new full-length from UK funk & soul powerhouse Crowd Company. The band's third studio album "Lowdown" was produced by Alan Evans (Soulive) and features horn players Ryan Zoidis and Eric "Benny" Bloom from Grammy nominated US funk band Lettuce on all tracks.Crowd Company are known for their modern take on vintage 70s soul funk and this new release provides just the right amount of unexpected twists and turns to keep things fresh and exciting. The band features three soulful vocalists often blending exquisite harmonies, coupled with virtuoso musicianship in the form of in the pocket heavy grooves, swirling Hammond organ, tight horns and fiery guitar licks. Add to that the analog production from Alan Evans and impeccable mastering from Grammy award winning engineer Brian Lucey and you have yourself a winner indeed!"Lowdown" isn't just Crowd Company's third studio album, it is a snapshot of a band in peak form, doing what they love, and sharing that with the world.

The fourth album from ephemerals, "the third eye" sees them continue their ever-evolving musical journey. Fusing styles including spiritual jazz, psychedelia, and spoken word, to convey an identity that is unmistakably their own. The core of the work is built from the honest and incisive compositions of Hillman Mondegreen combined with the unmistakably emotive vocal delivery of singer Wolfgang Valbrun.  
Experimenting with recording and mixing techniques to illustrate the artistic concepts behind the songs has been key in the overall character of the record. Hard panning is used to group together specific sounds and instruments to the left and right to convey masculine and feminine sides within the track as within the individual. The album is a deeply personal and conceptual body of work using ambiguous harmony to discuss gender identity, polychords to demonstrate the power of being between the gender binaries, and modal changes to remove the homeliness that you find speaking to the alienation of being transgender.
Although drawn from Hillman’s personal experiences the writing is always universal, and singer Wolfgang Valbrunrelates the pieces to his own experiences of a young black man leaving the USA. The band has evolved exponentially over the course of these four albums, and they continuously push beyond the boundaries of traditional genre ideas and traverse unexplored musical territories.