Published on Lunedì, 28 Dicembre 2009

As the year draws to a close and 2010 approaches, it only seems natural to undergo a retrospective of the Record Kicks releases of 2009, especially seeing the year has been so rich with new bands and collaborative efforts.

Such as NYC powerhouse KOKOLO AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA, who released their first album on Record Kicks early in 2009 after two highly successful full-lengths on Freestyle Records. "Heavy Hustling" confirms the group's standing as kings of the afro-beat jungle. More recent efforts by the group have produced the single "Afrika Man" / "Afrika Man (Diesler rmx)" in which famed Fela Kuti / Daktaris / Antibalas drummer Jojo Kuo appears on vocals, remixed into a killer afro-disco track by Diesler on the flip side, a 45 which Craig Charles (BBC6) listed among the best releases of 2009. Kokolo's head honcho Ray Lugo has also been busy working on a new solo project called L.E.S EXPRESS, of which the first two singles "I Dream Of Bahia" / "Get On Up" are out now on 45/digital download, featuring two of the most promising female vocalists of today's scene: Brazilian newcomer Elani on the former and sensational Roxie Ray on the latter tune.

Speaking of Roxie, among the new bands to sign up with RK this year are Australian deep funk surprise DOJO CUTS, who feature the powerful vocals of Miss Ray on their debut self-titled album, which legendary producer Gabriel Roth (Daptone / The Dap-Kings) thinks will "secure their place among the heavy hitters of today's funk and soul bands". Though it has been little over a year since their formation, this group can already boast a distinct personal style that positions them at the rawer end of the soul/funk spectrum. From their debut full-length the singles "The 1-2-3" / "See and Don't See" (a cover of Marie "Queenie" Lyons' sister funk classic) were extracted to be released on 45.

Another debut for Record Kicks is the MILANO JAZZ DANCE COMBO project, produced by the Lo Greco brothers (Soulstance / Quintetto Lo Greco) together with Nick Record Kicks. As its same name suggests, the MJDC album is heavily inspired by the great UK Jazz-dance scene of the early 80s, and since its release has been collecting an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and praise from DJs and aficionados alike, such as Dj Snowboy, Adrian Gibson (Freestyle Records), Perry Luis (Jazzcotech) and many more. Single "Much More" featuring Colonel Red, which has also been released on 45, is considered by many to be one of the biggest tunes of 2009, and is still a big spin on many dancefloors, including the legendary Messin' Around clubnight.

Other groups to join RK in 2009 have been new early reggae band from Buenos Aires THE CRABS CORPORATION, who released "Let It Go / Reggae Power" in September, the first of which features none other than Jennie Matthias from 80s hit makers Belle Stars and Jamaican legend David Barker (Wailers / Upsetters / Lee Perry / Ansel&Dave) contributing their flawless class to this hot debut number, ready to set every dancefloor on fire! Later in the year the new trio THE PRIVATES HAMMOND ORCHESTRA (ex Boogaloo Investigators / Five Aces) also debuted on Record Kicks with their single "I'm Sorry (Can I Please Come Home) / The Battle Of Yoker", assisted by noble bass-maestro Richard Anderson and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter extraordinaire Joe Kane on the A side. "A top notch thumping hammond shaker - save it for the top of the night!" according to Jazzman Gerald. Active since 2005 and with 2 heavily acclaimed albums and a bunch of sold out 45s under their belt, Munich group THE HI-FLY ORCHESTRA also joined RK this year, releasing two brand new tracks, "Roda De Samba / Latin Kick" on 45, confirming that in terms of dancefloor jazz with infectious rhythm & heavy grooves no one can beat them! And last but definitely not least, soulstress GIZELLE SMITH, considered by many to be the next big thing in today's deep funk scene, after a highly successful album with group/label The Mighty Mocambos is now ready to launch her solo career with debut single on RK "June / June (TM Juke rmx)", a sister funk masterpiece destined to rock the dance-floors and soon become a future classic . Many of the above mentioned tracks are also contained in the new volume of Soulshaker Vol.6,

2009 has definitely been a rewarding year for Record Kicks, so thank you everybody for your support and best wishes for the New Year!

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