The Zuzu Club Recommends 1-3-2018

Victor Rice - Smoke (2017)

Victor Rice‘s third studio album is summed up best in the vibrant liner notes penned by ethnomusicologist Daniel T. Neely stating, “Smoke embraces the cosmopolitanism of the music that inspired it. It’s an album that lives in New York, Brazil, Jamaica, and Brussels, but it is of the world. Yes, it’s been fifteen years since Rice released his last record, and over that time he’s made plenty of music that could have been presented together as an “album.” But Brazil, its music, and its people intervened. Out of the experience came samba-rocksteady, a clear creative path that Rice has since followed with pure heart. It’s an exciting new direction that’s been simmering for years. Finally, the story begins.”

Orgone - Undercover Mixtape
Colemine Records

Orgone takes on 13 funk and soul classics! Otis Redding, Funkadelic, The Meters, Aretha Franklin, Betty Wright, and Booker T are just a few of the artists Orgone cover on this mixtape collection with some help from friends as well! Expertly recorded and performed, you could make an argument for some of these being better than the originals, but we'll suffice it to say that it's a simply killer set from beginning to end!

released February 2 ,2018
CAT: CLMN-12018

Afrodisiac - Vito-Lalinga-Vi-Mode 

Italian producer Vito Lalinga presents his debut EP on our label roster and bring five hot tracks with his fresh release Afrodisiac EP. The release is all about nu funk combined with modern broken beats and break breaks with a touch of African vibes.
With a variety from mid tempo to uptempo grooves you will discover an uplifting and groovy set of tracks. Full percussive, melodic and danceable with sweet and catchy vocal hooks and mesmerising brass sections on the first three tracks. In this release is not missing the cinematic touch with soulful style and the closing deep nu disco funk that Vito Lalinga brings with a collaboration of his mates Angelo Dattuomo and Giancarlo Coppola.
Audiophile Analog Mastering: Angelos Timewarp Stoumpos at Timewarp
Mastering Cover Design: Vagelis Phocas.

released February 23, 2018

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio - Close But No Cigar 
Colemine Records
CLMN-12019The debut album from Seattle's Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The group channels old-school organ combos like The Meters and Booker T & The MGs, but are making it fresh and feel new again! We couldn't be more happy to be involved with such talented musicians.

Released March 3, 2018

Re:Funk - The Harder We Try

Willwork4funk and Re:Funk are proud to present "The Harder We Try", the first single by the band chosen by Pee Wee Ellis to support him in his European tour.
They've set fire to some of the most prestigious stages Switzerland has to offer, such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz Ascona Festival & Locarno Film Festival, they've been chosen by legendary saxophonist, composer, arranger and long-time James Brown collaborator Pee Wee Ellis to accompany him on tour in Europe, and now Lugano'sheaviest funk outfit Re:Funk are ready to unveil their first official single.
"The Harder We Try" is a scorching tribute to 70s blaxploitation movie soundtracks, with jangly guitar, infectious horns and a heavy backbeat. Think cinematic funk (picture a breathtaking chase down the hills of the Frisco Bay if you like) with a disco-like hook that highlights a tormented and passionate love story, and you get the gist of Swiss-based funk ensemble Re:Funk's first single. The song wasrecorded live with a select audience thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign thatalso allowed the recording ofthe full feature video .

This is only the first step for the eight-piece powerhouse, (who for the occasion of this single appear with an expanded formation of twelve) who are not only planning to spend some time in the studio to record their first complete LP, but will be on a string of dates alongside Pee-WeeEllis this June/July 2016, cementing Re:Funk's reputation as a high-energy live band that never fails to engage the audience with its powerful performances.

Released 20 Februar, 2018

Monophonics - Mirrors 

Monophonics are back with a six-song EP that fuses the complimentary and explosive soul, rock and funk influences, proving themselves to be the rightful inheritors of the Bay Area’s impressive psychedelic soul sound. Mirrors is comprised entirely of cover tunes, except that I doubt you’ve ever heard of half the deeply funky and soulful originals that inspired these soulful, tastefully produced, and timeless Monophonics treatments. “We wanted to do a couple songs that were more familiar to people and then shine some light on groups we’re big into,” lead singer, keyboardist and co-producer Kelly Finnigan explains. It takes a lot of guts to cover your favorite songs, your van jams, that song you play as a shot of inspiration to break-up a marathon studio session. “Not only are these great songs, but these are artists that we listen to and are influenced by.”
“It’s not about making records that sound old, it’s about making records that sound cool,” Kelly says. Not that he and the other five members of Monophonics mind if you confuse their albums for classic-era recordings. Even musician friends regularly mistake a sweaty and greasy Monophonics original for an unheard Bar-Kays’ side, or a deep soul cover tune might pass for an original to a novice ear, except that Kelly makes sure to give credit where credit is due, which is what they do explicitly on this EP, Mirrors.
Even the familiar tunes, iconic, better said, receive a fresh treatment as instrumentals, despite their ubiquity as vocal songs. The EP opens with a ‘tip of the cap’ to The Main Ingredient’s version of “Summer Breeze” before the band unfolds a hazy, mellow-funk opus worthy of inclusion on a Bob James CTI album. The next four songs, all featuring vocals, range from the lowrider soul ballad, a cover of the The Invicibles’ “My Heart Cries” (video: a pleading and plaintive vocal by Nicole Smith, to the psychedelic blues stomp, “Lying,” originally by the archetypical psychedelic soul band nearly signed to Motown, Black Merda. Add in Kelly’s monster vocal take on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Northern Soul classic, “Beggin” (to be released as a 7” single with an instrumental version on the b-side), and the deep-funk pop-soul of Nu People’s “I’d be Nowhere Without You” with back-up vocals by Jeanine Jones and Veronica Johnson, and you have a highly-entertaining, toe-tapping, backbone-slipping, masterclass in deep funk and soul.
The final tune is the band’s singular take on the Mamas and the Papas hippie standard, “California Dreaming,” as an explicit and heartfelt tribute to their fans in Greece. The discerning music lovers of Greece fell in love with Monophonics after their 2012 hit “Bang Bang” resulting in multiple tours of the Mediterranean, where these native Californians imbibed on the fine ouzo, good vibes, and Grecian hospitality. Gifted a prized bouzouki (a traditional Greek guitar) by a local fan, Monophonics’ guitarist Ian McDonald and band infused this classic pop song with a soulful cinematic air and Mediterranean flavor, evoking a tune from an imagined Fellini film with a soundtrack by David Axelrod.

Released 15 Februar,  2018

The Zuzu Club Recommends 19-1-2018

Danny Rebel & The KGB 0Lovehaus
Montreal - Canada

When listening to any genre specific band, it can be difficult for groups to differentiate themselves from the status quo, to find that nuance that makes their version of “blank” different than another band’s version of “blank” without alienating the roots and forbearers of that specific genre.
Casual music listeners can be heard saying “[Insert specific genre of music here] sounds alike. It all sounds the same.”
True, sound sameness can happen when bands, in any genre, try to fit entirely into one prescribed tonal aesthetic without adding any of their own personality or spirit into their work. It can be asserted, with general accuracy, the most successful groups within a genre begin as the outliers, the performers who add their personality and style setting themselves apart from the other outdoor stage festival opening bands.

And here, within the context of a long introduction and musicology discussion, is where Danny Rebel and the KGB’s new album LoveHaus lives, a wonderful multi-genre album grounded in roots, reggae, ska, rocksteady, and dub, with a unique style and meaningful personality, a band who sets themselves apart with their precise musicianship, artful arranging, and tasteful interpretation that melds reggae with dub, rocksteady with ska, unrelenting joy with bitter heartbreak, and tunes to start dance parties and tunes to start gang fights.

Organically Good Trio - Monster Sound
Boston - USA

Organically Good Trio is a Hammond organ driven roots instrumental group out of Boston. Founded by Slightly Stoopid keyboard player Paul Wolstencroft, the band has a sound reminiscent of the great organ trio albums of the late 60's Mixed with a reggae organ trio style. Hailing from Boston, the band has created a new sound among organ trio music. A mixture of reggae, soul, and boogaloo the band is forging a new path forward both in live shows, and in the recording studio.

The Seven Ups - Drinking Water
 Melbourne - Australia

Deep Funk and BAD Afro! Blending influences from 1970s Nigerian Afrobeat with the deepest of street Funk, The Seven Ups are the original 7-piece party band. Expect unrestrained solos by unkempt horns over an unpretentious rhythm section whose only interest is laying it down!

Career highlights for the band so far have included opening for Charles Bradley (USA), The Budos Band (USA), Babylon Circus (FRA) and The Bamboos (AUS), as well as a string of raucous residencies at Melbourne venues, two Australian east coast tours and festival spots at Sydney Road Street Party, Kyneton Music Festival, Bello Winter Festival, Come Together Festival and Folk, Rhythm & Life Festival.
In February 2015, The Seven Ups released their debut, self-titled album on limited edition yellow vinyl. The album was premiered on Wax Poetics (USA), feature album on PBS fm, album of the week in Beat magazine, top 10 on KEXP (USA) and continues to receive airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 6, KEXP (USA), Triple J, and community radio around the country.

Their stellar second album, Drinking Water, picks up where their 2015 debut left off, and shows the band’s musical evolution. All seven songs sound sublime.
Check out “17hr Trip” and dig the rapid bass propuslion, and old-school Afrobeat groove, potent percussion & horny horns comin’ at ya. It’s a super funky Afrobeat jam that will make you wanna get up and dance!
“Bada Dada” shows off a heavy dose of wah-wah guitar (which then rocks out), deep bass, and potent percussion. Dig the mellow mood, old-school Afrobeat groove, profound percussion, and jazzy horns on “Bello At Night.” It’s a laid-back, modern Afrobeat jam that features some outstanding guitar playing, and defies categorization because it uses the Afrobeat template to create unique modern music.
My only complaint with Drinking Water is that it’s too short. I hope in 2018 they release their career-defining double album. The Seven Ups make me want to book a trip ASAP to Australia to hang out hearing the bands of the Melbourne funky world music scene.

The Zuzu Club recommends 15-1-2018

Los Aggrotones - Brixton 2017

Formed 2007 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Nothing much to say .Three masterpieces. One of the best Ep's for 2017.

Palov meets A.Angelides - He hecho mucho por ti Remixes
Spang recordings
A new born independent label based in Athens, Greece.

Some New remixes from Palov's latest Album

Chip Wickham - The Beatnik / Rebel No.23 45's

Veering off-road from his much lauded sound typified on his debut breakout album La Sombra, Chip Wickham lets his hair hang and blow in the wind with his sure-fire, funk fuelled, floor-filler ‘The Beatnik’. Wah-wah guitar licks, an uptempo breakbeat and his signature transverse flute give the tune an impetuous feel – the perfect soundtrack for a high-speed car chase or a sweaty soul-jazz-funk basement club.

On the flip, ‘Rebel No.23’ is a return to the '70s inspired jazz grooves of his debut album and indeed a taste of what’s to come on his much anticipated follow up record, slated for release in spring 2018.

‘The Beatnik / Rebel No.23’ is a limited release on 7-inch vinyl only (not even on digital!).

Nickodemus & Baby Power - Broken Keys

It's been a rough year for natural disasters. Mother Nature is definitely trying to tell us something and unfortunately so is the U.S. government. The complete failure to respond to the needs of Puerto Rico in this time of crisis has been an insulting blow to many, however, the grass roots organizing & fundraising done by people all across America & all over the World gave us an immense sense of hope & inspiration for the future.
After several fundraiser events & a compilation going towards Waves For Water, Resilient Power PR & Why Not Care, both Nickodemus & Baby Power, who met during the early days of Giant Step parties, decided it was time to reflect what was going on in these turbulent times in the studio & help spread the word. "Borikén Keys" takes us back the old school straight ahead boom bap beats & lyrics with a message. Proceeds for the sales of this song will go towards the Why Not Care organization.
"There just wasn't enough real media coverage about the crisis going on in Puerto Rico. Every time I would reach out or put a post on social media to collect donations people would message me saying they didn't realize how bad this thing really was because the lack of coverage. This song was created to bring awareness to the catastrophic situation in Puerto Rico and to hopefully get more people involved with helping out." - Baby Power

Myles Sanko - forget me not 45's
Legere recordings


Love is timeless and has no boundaries. “Forget Me Not” has classic love song written all over it, but with this release Myles Sanko goes beyond that to explore the world of hope and loss that comes with Alzheimer’s disease. When time is the enemy and one is left waiting patiently holding on to glimmers of precious memories that will soon be lost forever. This song is an anthem for real love, the everyday love.

“Forget Me Not” is the new single by Myles Sanko from the acclaimed album “Just Being Me”. The digital version features remixes of “Forget Me Not” by Rob Hardt (Seductive Souls) and of “Promises” by Smoove. Both remixes will also be available as a limited 7inch vinyl