Lack Of Afro + Wax & Herbal T – Back In Business

Multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Adam Gibbons (aka Lack of Afro) first saw Wax & Herbal T back in 2009 after being sent a video of them in their car freestyling over his cover of the Arctic Monkeys When The Sun Goes Down. Blown away by their incredible wordplay & lyrical dexterity, he immediately contacted the brothers about guesting on his album, My Groove Your Move, released in 2009. Luckily for him they said yes…

Fast forward 8 years and collectively they have appeared on 6 Lack of Afro originals including the monster hit P.A.R.T.Y (licensed by Adidas, Miller Lite, ABC and Fox to name but a few), whilst Adam has returned the favour by producing 6 originals for their own solo projects, with combined YouTube views totalling in excess of 10 million.

Kicking things off here is the irresistibly catchy title track Back In Business – a funk-soaked tour de force of live musicianship, huge drums and a chorus that will stay in your head for weeks!

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Cold Blooded sees the brothers go hard from the outset – their ferociously quick & aggressive wordplay perfectly complimenting Lack of Afro’s savagely funky instrumental. To call it ‘big’ would be an understatement!

Take It Up A Notch does exactly what it says on the tin, keeping the dance-floor packed and cranking the party vibes right up to 11.

Ride is reminiscent of hazy 70’s west coast radio – underpinned with a groove to make your head snap and combined with Wax’s wistful vocals, it’s the obvious soundtrack for your next road trip.

Balcony is the brothers’ ode to the joys of plant-based inhalation and herbal relief, all administered with just the right dose of funk. It’ll make you feel ‘lovely’ too…

And there you have it. 5 tracks. 5 winners. Game over!

*Ride & Balcony – unavailable for licensing.

Eddie Roberts & The Fire Eaters – Burn!

Special re-issue on red vinyl limited edition in the album’s original artwork.

When in Spain in 2009, Eddie joined forces with Spanish deep funk outfit The Sweet Vandals’ rhythm section of Santi “Sweetfingers” Martin on bass and Javi “Skunk” Gomez on drums adding Chip Wickham’s (Blue Mode, The New Mastersounds & Nightmares On Wax) world-class flute & sax and Taz Modi’s funktastic Hammond organ from Leeds/UK, he sensed that this could be the beginning of something special.

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Burn! is proof that his instincts were spot-on. The Fire Eaters, as the combo was now called, recorded the album – produced by Eddie Roberts himself – in 2010, completing 12 tracks including a good number of Eddie Roberts & Chip Wickham originals as well as the band’s own versions of classic acid jazz & soul tunes like I Believe In Miracles & Lope Song for the album’s release in 2011.

Listen and travel way back to a time when jazz had soul and there was freedom in the rhythm.

*Lope Song / *Lonely For You Baby / *Workout / *Cigar Eddie / *Latona / *Biskit / *I Believe In Miracles – master license clearance only.

The New Mastersounds – The Nashville Session

From their inception nearly two decades ago in Leeds, UK, The New Mastersounds have wholeheartedly embraced the “old school” label – their sound rooted deeply in those classic soul jazz, boogaloo and funk albums on labels such as Blue Note and Prestige by artists like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Lou Donaldson.

The New Mastersounds’ latest LP, The Nashville Session, takes that devotion one step further by recording in the same tradition that many of those rare groove gems were made. The 10-track collection, cut at Welcome To 1979 studio in Nashville, was multi-tracked live onto one-inch tape in a single evening session in front of a small studio audience. Following the performance the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and then cut direct to vinyl lacquers. There are no guests and no overdubs, just bass, drums, guitar and organ—essentially pure New Mastersounds.

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Hitting the studio at the tail end of their Fall and Winter 2015 cross-country U.S. tour, the band was razor sharp and vice tight. They selected material to record from across their 16-plus year career and ten studio albums. The results from top to bottom are gritty, greasy and funky to the bone.

The Nashville Session presents The New Mastersounds at their finest, utterly unadulterated by modern digital technology, full-on analog and unapologetically doing it old-school.

Rodina – You Got Soul

Rodina is a collaboration between singer Aoife Hearty (from Co. Laois in Ireland) and Joe Tatton from The New Mastersounds & The Haggis Horns. The music is jazz-influenced ambient pop akin to Corinne Bailey-Rae (Joe supplied organ on Put Your Records On) or Zero 7 and Morcheeba.

You Got Soul is cute pop and elegant vocal jazz weaved together in one album by Aoife Hearty who is the possessor of extraordinarily beautiful vocal skills.

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A wonderfully bewitching soundscape spreads throughout this superb album and is sure to enchant. If you love singers like Corinne Bailey Rae & Ruth Koleva, The Cinematic Orchestra’s jazz or the Neo Soul of Hiatus Kaiyote this album is a must to add to your collection.

The musicianship is impressive and includes Pete Shand (bass – The New Mastersounds), Luke Flowers (drums – The Cinematic Orchestra), Malcolm Strachan (trumpet) & Atholl Ransome (alto & tenor sax – both The Haggis Horns) with fabulous strings from multi-instrumentalist Richard Curran and orchestral arrangements by Phil Steel.

With the sorrow-drifting folksy jazz of Only Girl, the groovy jazz dancer You Got Soul, the beautiful jazzy tune What If… and the easy-going reggae/lovers Flame, this is a refined jazz-infused musical journey and a worthy successor to Rodina’s last album, Home.

Lack of Afro – Hello Baby

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and DJ, Adam Gibbons (aka Lack of Afro) is back in considerable style with Hello Baby – his fifth studio record and the first Lack of Afro album to be released on his own LOA Records imprint.

Described as ‘always having a knack for finding great vocal collaborations’, he has raised the bar again here! Featuring a stellar cast of guest vocalists including Grammy-award winner Joss Stone, steam-punk legend Professor Elemental & arguably the most talented young soul singer in the UK today in Elliott Cole – Hello Baby is a genre-bending colossus of an album that is packed full of Adam’s trademark multi-instrumental goodness, heavy drums, percussion-packed production, and ear for a good tune.

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Also featured on the record is soul singer Juliette Ashby (who featured heavily in the recent Oscar-winning Amy documentary) – Californian rapper, regular Lack of Afro collaborator (and one half of The Damn Straights) Herbal T, and rising star of the northern soul / mod scene, dancer, model & vocalist Emma Noble.

A wide-ranging, eclectic and progressive musical outlook has always been the Lack of Afro approach and Hello Baby doesn’t disappoint. Classic R&B (I Got The Rhythm, Take Me Home), Soul (All My Love, Fires Glow), Hip-hop (One World, Walk In The Sun), Disco (Magic Together), and elements of House, Indie-Rock and a smattering of Electro (Now I Feel Good, Searching For Peace & Love) all come together to create an album that is stuffed with beautiful audio gems of all varieties.

Adam’s music has been much in demand in TV, Film and Advertising, with directors including Steven Soderbergh and companies including Disney, HBO, Sony Pictures, Adidas & Miller Lite all using the Lack of Afro sound for successful projects and campaigns. Hello Baby continues in this vein and is without doubt an even more confident, assured and mature collection than its predecessor.

Jack Tyson Charles – Restoration EP

Jack Tyson Charles has spent the last 5 years channelling the musical history and energy of his London hometown to cultivate his own unique brand of ‘Epic Soul’. Armed with a seriously enviable backing band, Jack’s musical journey has culminated in the Restoration EP, where the vintage sounds of his influences blend with his own inimitable vocal style to create a glorious modern soul sound.

The five tracks on Restoration feature harmonious backing choirs, a simple back line of drums (from Pharoah S. Russell), percussion, bass (courtesy of Tom Driessler), some funky guitar and piano/organ; the feel is that of reality, it’s not overproduced. On Hustler Jack elucidates the journey he has been on, his old man (Craig Charles) even gets a mention, and this theme of honest lyrics is repeated throughout.

This is a barnstorming statement of intent which will only add to funk and soul’s burgeoning popularity.

Restoration EP – the long-awaited solo debut release from soul singer Jack Tyson Charles, recorded at KONK studios in London.

JetTricks Present Sam Spence – Make It Through

It was way back in 2009 that South London songsmith Sam Spence first picked up his acoustic guitar and began co-writing and recording the original demos for Make It Through with production duo JetTricks at the helm. It was obvious that the song writing process would happen naturally with the three sharing musical ideas and recording parts late into the night at JetTricks’ Shoes Off Studio. They even wrote the hooks for Round It Up & Crumble while jammin’ in the back of a car while stuck in traffic on London’s M25 motorway!

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With 11 songs/demos in the bag and ready to make the record, Sam then had to leave the country and travel half way round the world to Sydney, Australia where he is now based…so, that was that. The record was put on hold. The songs remained in the back of their minds and finally late last year the three got together to update the material & record new versions. They’ve delivered an album stacked to the brim with lyrics that Squeeze and Jason Mraz would envy and music that G Love or The Fun Lovin Criminals would make your head nod to.

Sam Spence is a filmmaker and musician originally from Stockwell, London who after spending years playing on the indie band scene, found a love for hip hop and swapped the gritty city for the sunshine of Bondi beach where he is now located.

Paul Elliott and Jamie Lawrence aka JetTricks are music-aholics! Since 2007’s release of their chill-out anthem Love Hangover they have been writing, recording and producing for and with artists including Shawn Lee (Ubiquity Records), BBC radio’s Huey Morgan (Fun Lovin’ Criminals), Faye Houston (The Resonators/WahWah45s) and their psychedelic-afro-funk outfit Hot Border Special.

All in all this is an album that is a celebration of soulful, poppy, funky, rootsy tunes that are a melting pot of Sam’s and JetTricks favourite elements of laidback sunshine vibes – get ready for catchy hooks and a chorus or two that you won’t forget in a hurry!