Karen Aoki – Love for sale

I was fortunate enough to be travelling through Tokyo at the end of 2005 – primarily for food and entertainment – but also for records. I happened to be in a record shop when I heard some a heavenly voice being trasmitted through the speakers. (Is this sort of experience unique to music junkies?)

As it turned out, I was listening to Karen Aoki’s ‘Tokyo J’z Trippin’ album (which doesn’t seem to have made its way into Discogs – yet). While I haven’t managed to find anything from that album that I can post on this blog, there is plenty more work from Karen to choose from. Cue lovely, sultry jazz voice now:

And if anyone manages to locate a copy of ‘Tokyo Trippin’ you should snap it up. It contains production from the likes of Jazztronik and a few other notables of the Japanese jazz/club scene.

Her website is here.


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Filed under Jazz

DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah – Back For More LP (Free Download)

DJ Jazzy Jeff needs no introduction – supporting him is a deep back catalogue of dope productions and DJ mixes. Pairing up with great vocalist Ayah, they have dropped a free downloadable LP of some nice sample-heavy nu-soul cuts.

Quite a few of the samples will be instantly recognisable to your ears. I rather liked ‘Hold On’.

You can download the album here.

(*Disclaimer: ‘He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper’ was one of my favourite rap songs in Primary School).

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Filed under Hip-hop, Soul

Sky Hi – Voltron’s Dance Party

Sky Hi is a nine-piece funk/soul band out of Nashville, in the United States. They have a nice little 7-inch doing the rounds at the moment featuring the songs ‘Junkyard Dog’ and ‘Voltron’s Dance Party’. I found a live performance on the ever-trustworthy YouTube, that is a little scratchy sound-wise, but you get the gist:

If yuo don’t posess a turntable, you can pick up the electornic version via Sky Hi’s Bandcamp page for the measley sum of seventy-five cents.

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Fonce Mizell Tribute Mix – by Kevin Beadle

OK, so I know this is another Fonce Mizell post, but Kev Beadle has put together a smashing mix of songs that Fonce touched, and it really does justice to his creative genius (and his brother’s). Beautiful soul-jazz-funk from the likes of Donald Byrd, Bobbi Humphrey, Taste of Honey, Jackson Five, Rance Allen Group, L.T.D., Edwin Starr, and so on.

I only wish there was a download button. 😉

I’m pumping it through the headphones while stuck back at work – feeling the soaring electric synths and bass arrangements characteristic of the ‘Mizell sound’ – as the rain pounds the office windows. This music is hitting the spot …

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Filed under Funk, Jazz, Soul

Young Montana? – Sacre Cool (Free Download)

Young Montana? is aspiring UK beatmaker, Jon Pritchard. On ‘Sacre Cool’ he takes the ubiquitous bass, synths and vocal samples of Chemise’s ‘She Can’t Love You’, and chops them up to great effect.

While I am sometimes underwhelmed when beatmakers take a classic old cut and loop it over and over again to a hip-hop beat, that is not the case with this:

Free download too. More info on Young Montana here.

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Filed under Boogie, Hip-hop

Eddie Russ – Take A Look At Yourself

Eddie Russ dropped a couple of dope jazz fusion albums that take pride of place on my record shelves – 1976’s ‘See The Light’ and 1978’s ‘Take A Look At Yourself’.

The Pennsylvania-based keyboardist worked with jazz greats including Benny Golson, Sarah Vaughn, Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie, before launching his solo career in the 1970s.

Here is ‘Take A Look At Yourself’, from the album of the same name:

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Filed under Funk, Jazz

M-Swift – Four Seasons Of Love (Makoto 4/4 Refix)

Better known for his drum n’ bass productions, Japan’s Makoto has dropped a preview of a new house remix he has done for fellow Japanese artist, M-Swift. It’s interesting because Makoto brings elements more familiar to uplifting drum n’ bass and builds them into a house track that is, perhaps unsuprisingly, uplifting.

Check it:

Not sure of release dates, but it should be out in the coming months. You can follow Makoto on Twitter (@humanelements).

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Filed under House