Fokuz Recordings - 50 LP
Dutch liquid label Fokuz Recordings celebrates its 50th release with a 2-CD compilation pack, and melody and harmony are very much the overriding features of the release. Whether upbeat or sombre, instrumental melodiousness reigns throughout, making for a thoroughly soulful album that’s perfect for ushering in the summer.
Brother brings his classically subtle liquid vibes in ‘After All’, with reverb-drenched and echo-laden classical piano keys alongside an occasional fleeting saxophone. The funk & soul revitaliser, Mutt takes to Bobby Womack’s ‘How Could You Break My Heart’ in his usual style, looping that sorrowful guitar riff and deftly placing it over a high-octane breakbeat patterning.
Against & Scott Allen’s ‘Waiting’ retains the retrospective vibe, with an underlying discordant saxophone that’s reminiscent of a dank psychedelic jazz club in downtown New York, coupled with the soothing dreamlike vocals of an unknown songstress.
In ‘Floods’, Gerwin and Suree utilise the same combination of sax and vocals, but manage to create a riddim that’s as soulful as it is militant. The track’s divergence into a half-step beat after the second drop makes it one of the strongest tracks on the album.
There’s refreshing variety on the album too, with Command Strange’s ‘Like This’ a lush hip-hop stepper that breaks up the first CD beautifully, while discerning fans will also be pleased to see the inclusion of Technicolour’s The Harp Tune.
Overall, it’s a very strong release that can expect to raise the profile of Fokuz Recordings yet again.