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

The Zuzu Club recommends 8-1-2018

Polyrythmics - Caldera

Rich with bold brass and hypnotic percussion, Polyrhythmics’ latest album, Caldera, showcases the instrumental eight-piece’s impossibly tight grooves and virtuosic musicianship as they tear through a singular blend of funk, soul, psychedelic rock, R&B, progressive jazz, and Afrobeat. Calling to mind everything from Antibalas and the Dap-Kings to The Meters and Fela Kuti, it’s without a doubt their strongest work to date, merging the infectious power of their live show with a sleek and nuanced studio sophistication.Named for the smoldering crater left after a volcanic eruption, Caldera was written during a band retreat to rural Oregon, where Polyrhythmics embraced truly collaborative songwriting for the first time during a marathon session in the shadow of Mt. Hood (itself an active volcano). The resulting album is a blistering declaration from a band that’s progressed beyond the sum of its influences to come fully into its own. From the downtempo, Afrobeat trance of “Stargazer” to the triumphantly anthemic, high-octane pump-up funk of “Marshmallow Man,” Caldera is instrumental music at its best: emotional, evocative, mesmerizing. On “Cactus Blossoms,” Polyrhythmics craft an eerie, retro gem straight out of a 70’s film score, while the trippy effects and wah-wah guitar of “Goldie’s Road” suggest a psychedelic journey (or perhaps a bad trip), and the shuffling “Vodka For My Goat” draws on Stax soul while hinting at BB King’s merger of the blues and jazz. It’s an eclectic collection, tied together by the melding of eight distinct musical voices coming together as a cohesive whole.

The record follows the Seattle band’s stellar third album, Octagon, which earned them tour dates around the country along with plenty of critical acclaim. The Stranger dubbed Polyrhythmics a group to watch, hailing their “sophisticated slinkiness and expressive brassiness,” while WNCW praised their “modern afro-psycho-beat blend,” and the Seattle Times dubbed them “funk maestros.” The band was invited to perform live on influential Seattle NPR station KEXP, shared bills with everyone from Snarky Puppy to Booker T, and played massive festival stages including Bumbershoot, High Sierra, and Vancouver International Jazz Fest.

Various Artists - Jukebox Mambo Vol. 3

Rumba & Afro-Latin Accented Rhythm & Blues - DJ Liam Large digs even deeper to put together a diverse set of dynamite R&B sides, all built around Afro-Cuban, Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

Since the release of their first Jukebox Mambo compilation album in 2012, Jazzman Records, with the curatorial expertise of DJ Liam Large, have been opening ears and minds to the delights of Latin-tinged Rhythm & Blues. This, the third release in the series, sticks squarely to the tried and tested formula of its predecessors; combining a crate-digger's passion for the obscure with an ear for instant dancefloor crowd pleasers.
In a congested field of R&B comps, Jukebox Mambo stands out uniquely in shedding light on the era of Latin American and Caribbean influence, a sensual rhythmic shift which continues to be felt in modern music today.
Opener, The Emperor's 'Tough De Times (Things Getting Tough)' is a classic example of Large and Jazzman's idiosyncratic capacity to bring striking singularities to light, a beguiling and seductive blend of jazz, blues and Trinidadian calypso. Other highlights include the slinky rumba-blues of Percy Mayfield's lustful 'Loose Lips', the only known recording by female blues shouter Ethel Boswell on the track 'No More For You', and Chuz Alfred's powerful rendition of the Duke Ellington standard 'Caravan'. Elsewhere, Jukebox Mambo 3 is dominated by virtuosic performances, from the smooth tenor vocals of Roy Gaines to the polyrhythmic swing of the Monogram Caribbean Orchestra, and the Syrian-American jazz stylings of Eddie Kochak.
The compilation comes with in-depth track notes and photographs, is available as a deluxe double vinyl tip on gatefold as well as a super limited edition vintage style 6 x 10 book set - with unique artwork and four exclusive bonus tracks.
Lovingly compiled, artfully arranged and expertly annotated, Jukebox Mambo Volume 3 is another immersive gaze into an era of musical history that still carries a unique influence today. This one is for the crate diggers and music lovers alike!

released October 20, 2017

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Vol. 5
Freestyle Records

Set up in 2003, Freestyle Records has spearheaded the resurgence in funk, jazz, soul, latin, reggae and most other forms of black roots music, and proved to be one of the most prolific and well respected record labels of the last decade.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls - we have reached Volume 5 of my Funk & Soul Club compilations?! That was quick!
As this volume is something of a milestone - I have gone all out to bring together the baddest, most boom bap beats, the deepest funk, the sassiest soul and gorgeous grooves to put a shake in your shimmy and a wiggle in your walk. So let me take you through just some of the highlights in my latest trunk of funk.
The Andy Tolman Cartel can make musical time travel a reality - because when I'm listening to You What! I am transported back to the early 70's and running down alleyways and chasing crooks because I'm in a TV cop show! Like a modern day Lalo Schiffrin or Quincy Jones - Andy Tolman writes and arranges this big band funk anthem and it a complete monster - wait for that final chord and you, like me will see " be continued..' in your minds eye..double groovy.
Dear sweet, enchanting Charles Bradley - The screaming eagle of soul. A man who had it tougher than most. He spent decades as James Brown impersonator, a homeless person on the unforgiving streets of New York City. Throughout his 30's & 40's it looked like Charles wasn't going to get to take a bite out of the Big Apple, and then along came Daptone Records and righted what would have been a far too serious wrong, and he got to release his debut album at the age of 62. . I have included his beautiful track Change For The World as my tribute to him.
If you have ever got down to the sounds of The Sugarman 3 as well as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, then you have already been moved by the sound of Adam Scone. His own group The Scone Cash Players are an old school Hammond organ soul-jazz outfit and here he is with Year of the Rooster Pt 1 - his own classic organ groove which features saxman Ian Hendrickson-Smith from The Roots - this is bountiful boogaloo beats for the 21st century and I love it.
Deep in the darkest corner of my sack full of soul, I have pulled out from the archives two old school zingers - the first is a track so rare that for many years its very existence was questioned by afro-funk specialists & record collecting crate diggers - but we have found it for you! Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers long lost Nawa which hasn't been heard for well over 40 years!
Brian Auger is the greatest musical talent to ever emerge from Shepherds Bush, West London, and has been making music professionally since the early 1960's - as an award winning jazz pianist, then a chart topping Hammond organ grinder! Here is his 1973 version of Marvin Gayes' Inner City Blues from Brians' most acclaimed album 'Closer To It' - a mixed up, musical potpourri so spectacularly well blended that upon it's release it entered the Billboard Jazz, R&B and rock charts simultaneously - the very first time that had happened. Brian is legend - praise him!

We come right up to date with Lack Of Afros' Back In Business! Teaming up again with rapping siblings Wax & Herbal T, this brilliantly banging and botty kicking tunage really proves that Adam & the boys are back in business - and then some Thats' it - my gift to you - The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club Volume 5 - and here's to volume 6!

Craig Charles

released December 8, 2017

The Zuzu Club Recommends 7-1-2018

Mr Bird - Dance away EP
Matasuna Records

Matasuna Records, founded in 2016, is home of reworks of rare & forgotten music treasures from all over the world as well as contemporary productions. The label is run by the DJ & Producer Alex from the SoulBrigada crew

Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Steve Bird AKA Mr. Bird is the latest artist to land at Matasuna Records' nest, hatching an exotic and fiery EP.
Starting on a mid flight ambience, before charging to catch its funky prey, Dance Away, the opening track, is a scorching collaboration with Chief Commander Yaaba, one of the lead singers of London based combo Yaaba Funk. Undeniably catchy bass line, afro horns blended with a string of unexpected beat variations, Dance Away is a call to the dancefloor, a celebratory ground to let loose, where mothers and sisters alike are beckoned to shine to the positive tune.
The Sasquatch, in turn, takes us into deeper, different coordinates. A constant, relentless beat foundation spiked with stabs of funky phrasing hooking the listener from its inception, regardless of language, in an almost hypnotic mantra of soulful discourse, this banger is assuredly one for the clubs.
Up-tempo, with a finely tuned built up, Floating Funk teases the less attentive ear into believing this is a simple beat statement but Mr. Bird slams and surprises with an irresistible bassline, perfectly balanced doses of guitar and a hovering – or floating! - horn section interlaced with a rhythmically proficient cowbell and cymbal section.
Angolan-minded breakbeat rhythm, kalimba grooves and funk-based keys and guitar, Carnival Beat is a contagious track. An expertly cooked platter of hot and spicy flavours served in a dish of well mixed groove which will drive any listener to get down and grind away with a smile, in what is also a true homage by Mr. Bird to his well-earned Lisbon heritage – his habitat for the past 9 years.
One can only wonder where Matasuna's next flight might be headed as each release soars ever higher, towards certified dancefloor bliss.

Expected: 19th January 2018

Gerardo Frisina - Blue Latin

This new album by Gerardo Frisina should have been called “Olympia - Part II”, since it ideally restarts
where the previous EP “Olympia” had arrived. It’s been recorded by the same line-up: John Guerretti
(piano and Hammond), Ernesto Lopez (drums and percussion), Hendrickson “Pucci” Mena (trumpet),
Domenico Mamone (baritone and tenor saxophone), Alessandro Marcado (bass) and Gilas (flute).
Looks like a classic jazz ensemble; however, a strong passion for afro and Latin sounds, combined
with abundant dose of electronic music, leads to a completely different result. Frisina’s trademark
hasn’t actually changed: jazz music contaminated by Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Latin-jazz elements, all made fluid, compelling and above all... danceable!
It is almost impossible, in fact, not to associate Frisina’s music to a dance floor environment, and “Blue Latin” is no exception: conceived, as its predecessors, as the ideal musical accompaniment to a packed
dance hall, also this record reinterprets a musical genre – jazz, of course! - which even decades ago was considered the dance music ‘par excellence’, and delivers it, extremely modernized, to the
present day.
Among the six tracks from “Blue Latin”, exclusively printed on LP, there’s a personal rework of “Naquela Base” João Donato, where the original piano melody is played by wind instruments, and the almost-meditative “Incanto”, which combines spiritual jazz influences and African atmospheres.
released March 31, 2017

Gerardo Frisina - 
Modern Latin Jazz

Gerardo Frisina is one of the main artists in the Latin jazz and electronic music scene on an international level; historically bound to Ishtar Edizioni since the beginning, many of his tracks have only been released on 10 and 12-inch vinyl. His latest LP’s, the “Olympia” 5-track EP (SCEP 475, Autumn 2015) and “Blue Latin” (SCLP 477, Spring 2017) make no exception in this case: many have asked for a CD release, which is now finally made available.
But “Modern Latin Jazz” is far more than a simple reproduction of the two titles above: first, it’s a 2-CD set, for a total of two and a half hours of music that has never seen the light in this format. Some tracks, coming from several EP’s, some of which are now difficult to find, have also been reworked to make this career-spanning product a sense of homogeneity. In addition, this collection is completed by four bonus tracks, songs that were still unreleased coming from the “Blue Latin” sessions. The musical coordinates of “Modern Latin Jazz” are virtually identified by the title itself: a jazz basic structure mainly contaminated by Afro, Cuban and Brazilian influences, all transposed into a present-day dance floor context.

For those who already know the artist, this release is essential as it combines new compositions with other ones that never appeared on CD before; for all the others, “Modern Latin Jazz” is among the best we can hear today in this area and therefore a more than perfect introduction to these sounds!
released November 20, 2017

Purple Disco Machine - Soulmatic

International DJ, producer and remixer Tino Piontek aka Purple Disco Machine has been on a whirlwind of a musical journey since the conception of his Deep Funk branded Disco House music project in 2009.
The Dresden-born Deep Funk innovator has racked up numerous achievements, although it was his 2013 breakthrough hit ‘My House’, on OFF Recordings, that really propelled PDM onto new heights; landing the No.1 Spot within Beatport’s Deep House chart and, at its peak, No.3 overall. The track remains one of Beatport’s best ever sellers and PDM ranks #18 in the platforms All Time Top 100 Artists chart. Proving he’s was no one-hit-wonder, the German native recreated his previous chart domination over the next 3 years with a series of classic original tracks including his collaborations with Boris D’lugosch on Defected, L.O.V.E. and ‘Set It Out’, his collaborations with Aeroplane on Spinnin’ Deep, ‘Sambal’ and ‘Counting On Me’, his incredible double ‘Pete Tong Essential New Tune’ the ‘Yo EP’ on Kittball and the unforgettable ‘Magic’ on Exploited.