Posts Tagged 'Funkommunity'

BEST OF 2012 – The Top 20 Soul Music Releases That Weren’t Free

Welcome to my annual breakdown of the best in Soul Music for 2012. Man, this year did not disappoint. After tireless listening on just about every thing that hit this year (I’ll admit, I didn’t get to hear everything), these are the albums and artists that demanded multiple listenings and brought something new to the field.

I really, really tried to rank these releases. But although there was a clear winner, the rest of my list will be posted in a very loose order of preference. Hopefully this list will give you not only something to new to listen to, but also some last-minute gift giving ideas for the holiday. Please support all of these amazing artists. I truly believe there is a new renaissance in Soul and Jazz, and these folks are on the cutting edge of it. Feel free to check out my Spotify playlist of everything I considered the cream of the crop of 2012. Now, here’s the Top Twenty!


Robert Glasper – Black Radio

Purchase on iTunes
@robertglasper on Twitter

The clear winner this year. And when I say “groundbreaking,” I truly mean it with this release. It’s a memorable, solid fusion of Jazz, Soul and R&B. With a guest list of R&B’s elite, “Black Radio” is an album that will thrill you and demand hitting the repeat button continuously. Also check out the subsequent Remix EP that also hit this year for even more groovin’ goodness.



Moonchild – Be Free

Purchase on Bandcamp (FREE for a limited time until Christmas)
@thisismoonchild on Twitter

This record was the only thing that could have come close to inching out the Glasper record. These kids (kids, I say!) came out with an impressive debut. Impressive enough to gain the attention of one Mr. Stevie Wonder, who featured the band recently in his annual “House Of Toys” concert. “Be Free” is a beautiful slice of Neo-Soul with outstanding vocals and tight, immaculate instrumental performances. It’s a must-own in my book. Doubly so, as the band is offering it as a FREE download until Christmas. This band will be one to watch in the coming years. Mark my words.


DivaGeek – He Said, She Said

Purchase on Bandcamp
@DivaGeekMusic on Twitter

Probably one of the most fun records of the year and winner of my award for “Retro Funky Goodness.” If you’re not in the mood to party before you listen to it, “He Said, She Said” will get you there. With heaters like “Mr. Happy” and “Money,” this british duo brings some serious electronic funk to the table and just doesn’t quit.


Sy Smith – Fast and Curious

Purchase on Bandcamp
@Syberspace on Twitter

Easily one of the best female voices in Soul Music today. “Fast and Curious” was also produced by session whiz Mark de Clive-Lowe. This record has the perfect balance of electronic dance-ability and sexy ballad goodness.


Ernesto – Suffice Suffice

Purchase on iTunes
@jonatanbackelie on Twitter

Ernesto is a masterful songwriter and vocalist. His songs are honest and soulful. This entire record is a fantastic journey of Electronic Soul.


Allen Stone – Allen Stone

Purchase on iTunes
@allen_stone on Twitter

Who would have thought that a geeky hippy dude from Washington could churn out the best commercial Soul release of the year. But Allen Stone has definitely done it with his eponymous debut.


Anthony Valadez – Just Visiting

Purchase on iTunes
@anthonyvaladez on Twitter

KCRW DJ is not simply content spinning other people’s music. With “Just Visiting,” Valadez teams up with some of the best new names in independent Soul Music. The result is a masterful Tour de Force.


BamaLoveSoul presents On Deck

Purchase on iTunes
@BamaLoveSoul on Twitter

Another great compilation this year was BamaLoveSoul’s “On Deck.” You want to get a great sense of where Indie Soul is heading? Spin this one and get acquainted with the future.


Funkommunity – Chequered Thoughts

Purchase on iTunes
Funkommunity on Facebook

There is something definitely in the water in Australia and New Zealand. Funkommunity is just one act to hail from that locale. “Chequered Thoughts” is a fresh take of Soul Music from another hemisphere.


Darryl Reeves – Mercury

Purchase on iTunes
@darrylreeves on Twitter

There’s a great new crop of musicians that are fusing Soul and Jazz together. Darryl Reeves is one such musician. A fantastic sax player, Reeves also puts together something groovy and futuristic in his release “Mercury.”


Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle – Retro Future

Purchase on iTunes
@JesseFischer on Twitter

Another great Soul/Jazz fusion, Jesse Fischer’s “Retro Future” is just that. The perfect homage of retro synth goodness combined with down home grooving funk. This album also features probably some of the best sax playing I’ve heard all year.


Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream

Purchase on iTunes
miguelmusic on Facebook

What good would this list be if I didn’t include some of the more mainstream releases. Well, this was certainly a great year for Miguel. Following the releases of his “Art Dealer Chic” series of mixtapes, he came out of the gate swinging with “Kaleidoscope Dream.” This is a really solid showing of contemporary R&B.


Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

Purchase on iTunes
Frank Ocean on Soundcloud

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly heard about Ocean and Channel Orange. And, while I don’t follow a lot of the mainstream blogs calling this Record of the Year, it is a very consistent and fresh take on what’s happening in R&B today.


Mint Condition – Music @ The Speed of Life

Purchase on iTunes
@mcondition on Twitter

It was so great to see veterans Mint Condition come back with such a powerful album. These guys have not lost one bit of their chops or musicality. And every song on this record is wonderfully hooky and masterfully executed.


Nicholas Ryan Gant – Promises

Purchase on Bandcamp
@Ghetto_Falsetto on Twitter

A new voice for male contemporary R&B and Soul, Nicholas Ryan Gant hits with this impressive release. Gant has a fantastic voice and a fresh point of view.


Hiatus Kayote – Tawk Tomohawk

Purchase on Bandcamp
@HiatusKaiyote on Twitter

That’s right, another selection from Down Under. Whatever is happening in the land of Oz, I sure hope they keep it coming. Because with groups like Hiatus Kaiyote, the future of Soul Musc is in good hands.


Dwele – Greater Than One

Purchase on iTunes

Dwele still remains one of my top three contemporary Soul male vocalists. And there’s just something about a Dwele record that ensures you get a consistent and soulful experience every time. This record is no exception.


S3 – Supa Soul Sh*t

Purchase on Bandcamp
@MilesBonny on Twitter

Just when you thought Miles Bonny might slow down following last year’s “Lumberjack Soul,” he cranks out even more soulful goodness. This team-up with Brenk Sinatra is a grooving and mellow hip-hop/soul trip.


Oaklyn – Chasing the Sun

Purchase on Bandcamp
OaklynSounds on Facebook

Always a pleasant surprise when an artist I’ve never heard of puts out a release that really impresses. Oaklyn’s “Chasing the Sun” has it all; delicate female vocals, great hip hop beats, and fundamental bass that’ll warm your heart and rattle your subwoofer.


Uness & Crime In the City™ – Groove Jones

Purchase on Bandcamp
@IamUness on Twitter

Uness continues to be one of the unsung heroes of independent Soul. Groove Jones will have you tapping your toes from beginning to end.


HONORABLE MENTIONS (stuff I just couldn’t not mention and you should defninitely check out)

Gregory Porter – Be Good
Alabama Shakes – Boy & Girls
Sidewalk Chalk – Corner Store
Pete Belasco – Lights On
The Endangered – The Endangered EP
DJ Kemit – Everlasting
Greg Banks – Greg Banks
K-Def – Easy Way Out EP
Elliot Yamin – Let’s Get To What’s Real
Cody Chenutt – Landing on a Hundred
Ms. Sounday – My Little Joys
Daley – Alone Together EP
Eric Benet – The One 

Free Soul Music Saturday for August 25, 2012

You know, it kind of seemed like a slow news week at the time. But as I look back on this list, I realize that there was a lot of quality tracks to hit this week. 

Some great beat tapes, for sure. If you like instrumentals, this is definitely your week.

Here is my complete listening list for the week, and here is the Spotify playlist for the week (good for one month).

Thanks to all the artists, producers, DJs, podcasters and music bloggers that bring this music to light!



Dwele – Darkside Of The Mic



I O Photo 608x439 I/O   You Slay Me
I/O – You Slay Me



Soul Vibration cover art
OffBeatKid – Soul Vibration



Abiah – Doves


EPs & LPs 

Sketchbook Pieces cover art
Mecca:83 – Sketchbook Pieces

French(mixtape) cover art
Nom De Guerre – French(mixtape)

ThisisRnB Radio Podcast 8



Dirt Cuts Beat EP cover art
Cale Hawkins – Dirt Cuts Beat EP

lovedust cover art
chrisAre – lovedust

OUdies - dusty.Works (vol. 1) jazzcuts cover art
colectivoasidesimple – OUdies – dusty.Works (vol. 1) jazzcuts

Sometimes I Have to Wonder... [Funky DL samples Stevie Wonder] cover art
Funky DL – Sometimes I Have to Wonder… [Funky DL samples Stevie Wonder]

Beats From The East cover art
K-Murdock – Beats From The East

Indifferent cover art
Mr.KiD – Indifferent

TKTV Beat Tape cover art
Teekay (Dragon Fli Empire) – TKTV Beat Tape

Insider cover art
Wax Roof – Insider



Funkommunity Soundsystem Live @ NuSoulCiy Hamburg (Aug 11, 2012)
Funkommunity Soundsystem Live @ NuSoulCiy Hamburg (Aug 11, 2012)

Look cover art
Alexis Davis – Look

Bizarre Tribe - Runnin' cover art
Amerigo Gazaway of Gummy Soul – Bizarre Tribe – Runnin’

Oh Yeah feat. Kenny Wesley
Applejac – Oh Yeah feat. Kenny Wesley

The Cheebacabra "Return From Exile"
The Cheebacabra – Return From Exile

You Don't Know - Collette
Collette – You Don’t Know

Giraffes feat. The Black Opera (BONUS TRACK) cover art
J Bizness – Giraffes feat. The Black Opera (BONUS TRACK)

David consulting a map
Jonah Smith – I Feel More Like I Did Back Then

Kendra Morris "No Love (But Your Love)"
Kendra Morris – No Love (But Your Love)

Selan – Space Flight

steven a clark
Steven A. Clark – Seashore

Willie Taylor Not Mine ft. Dondria Prod. By B. Alexander
WILLIE TAYLOR – Not Mine ft. Dondria Prod. By B. Alexander

Dreamin Eyes (Gracie Chavez Lucid Remix) - D'Angelo
Dreamin Eyes (Gracie Chavez Lucid Remix) – D’Angelo

Bilal - Fastlane (Ishfaq remix - extended version)
Bilal – Fastlane (Ishfaq Extended Remix) 



Free Soul Music Saturday is brought to you by, where you can get 3 FREE ORIGINAL SONGS just by signing up for the mailing list.

2011 in Review – Best Songs

Click play to hear my “Best of 2011” mix!

Welcome to the 1st installment of my “Best of 2011” posts. This one highlights the soundtrack of my year.

Not unlike 2010, 2011 was a great year for independent and mainstream Soul and R&B. It was difficult settling on a few songs to highlight, but here are just a few of my favorites from this year.


Speed of Light – Malice & Mario Sweet

What an unbelievably pleasant pairing of voices. With some firece production by Tall Black Guy, this was the feel-good track of 2011.


Tonight Feat. Meshell Ndegeocello – Miguel Migs

To say this groove is infectious is an understatement. It’s good to hear Meshell doing something a little more soulful and simple.


So In Love (ft. Anthony Hamilton) – Jill Scott

Probably the most mainstream of my picks. But it’s really hard to do much better than Anthony Hamilton and the incomparable Jill Scott.


Heroine – Wildcookie

Pretty dark in its undertones, but the groove and vocal are fantastically on point.


The Light – Funkommunity

I wore this track OUT. I mean, I was obsessed. This is where Future Soul is headed. And I love it.


Love’s Galaxy – Tracy Cruz

From her sophomore release, Universoul Symphony, which you will more than likely see on my “Best of 2011” albums list in the coming weeks.


Free – Teri Tobin

A fantastic message, harkening back to they days of Donnie Hathaway. Teri Tobin is definitely one to watch in the coming year.


Trouble – José James

Such a pleasant surprise to get some new Jose James this year. And he knocked this one out of the park.


Everything She Wants feat. Phonte – Zo!

Zo! absolutely killed on this Wham remake. A perfect vocal performance by Phonte and a nod to Michael Jackson at the end make this a must-listen


The Cure – Slakah the Beatchild

Not only did Slakah craft a genius song here, he also produced and directed his own music video for it. “Talented doesn’t even begin to describe this guy.


Welcome – Acer Maple featuring Michelle Escoffery

This probably gets my vote as the most beautiful song of the year. A wonderful acoustic performance with the sultry vocals of Michelle Escoffery. Sheer perfection.

Please make sure you check out my full mix on my Podomatic. Hope you enjoyed this list, and we’ll see you soon for more “Best of 2011” goodness.

Free Soul Music Saturday for June 25, 2011

Are you ready for OVER 57 HOURS of free Soul Music? Well, scroll down and get your funky goodness. This week was filled with serious quality; I’d recommend nearly every single that hit. Also, a couple of my personal favorites include the SLE interview with Miles Bonny and the Gil Scott Heron live set from his 1977 Bottom Line show. Thanks again to all the musicians, producers, music bloggers, podcasters and DJ’s that bring this music to light.



itunes pic
Duane Powell: soundrotation’s Podcast – Symbiosis






Funkommunity – The Light

*CAVEAT* Ok, technically, there is no download link to this song. But it is amazing and you can still stream it for free.



itunes pic
The Funky White Boy Podcast – June 2011 Mix



9th Wonder
The SuperDeaf Wedding Throwdown Jizzam of The Year!!!


itunes pic


Hilz (Hil St Soul) Special with JM
Hilz (Hil St Soul) Special with JM *HOT*



ShellToe Soul 21.06.11
ShellToe Soul 21.06.11
Soul Unsigned – 23rd June 2011
The Hurst Selection – London to America – 17th/18th June 2011


Insatiable Soul 20-6-2011
Insatiable Soul 20-6-2011
Insatiable Soul 13.6.2011


Kev Beadle Solar Radio Show 21/06/11


Tony Rodriguez NU SOUL CENTRAL 23 June 2011


itunes pic
Soulsorts Archive Podcast – Sunday 11th May 2008
Soulsorts Archive Podcast – Sunday 28th September 2008


Universal Communique 06|18|11


Unfold Radio image
Unfold Radio – Sun 19th June


itunes pic
Miles Bonny – More Than Music *MUST DOWNLOAD*


DJ Center - One for Gil
DJ Center – One for Gil


King Otto: 3011 Million Dollar Megablast!


Inside MusiCast – Episode 87 (Michael McDonald) *HOT*


itunes pic
Soundnexx Usual Soulspects Mixx *HOT*


itunes pic
Episode 24 – Speak Your Soul *MUST DOWNLOAD*


Tru Thoughts Podcast No. 37 featuring Omar


Friday Favecast: All Yours *HOT*


Chillcast #271: Summertime Soul
Chillcast #271: Summertime Soul


GPWW 6/23/11: Vinyl Record Special


Balbio – NOWhere


Soulrific: Episode 103 *HOT*


Smoky Soul shortcast final


Nikko Gray – Live at the Breath + MP3 *HOT*


SoulNRnB’s Uplifting Soul *HOT*


SoulNRnB’s Street Sounds Sessions 46 *HOT*


SoulNRnB’s Street Sounds Sessions 45 *HOT*


DJ Chicken George Peddlin 45s For Paris
DJ Chicken George – Peddlin’ 45s for Paris Mix #2 *HOT*



Beats Is Art Cover Art
Jams DaBoombox (King Boom) – Beats Is Art


Filthy Crates Vol. II Cover Art
Krikit boi – Filthy Crates Vol. II


Gravity - EP Cover Art
emeson – Gravity – EP *HOT*


Super Basement EP Cover Art
Jesse Futerman – Super Basement EP *HOT*


A Traveler's Notebook Cover Art
Bobby Blunt & Ta-Ku – A Traveler’s Notebook


Villains Gone Bad III: Heroes for Villains Cover Art
Villains Gone Bad III: Heroes for Villains – Hannibal King *HOT*


alisonWonderland Cover Art
Alison Carney – alisonWonderland


Jean Grae – Cookies Or Comas


Cocaine 80s – The Pursuit EP


Volume 10: Identity Crisis Cover Art
Shag – Volume 10: Identity Crisis


DJ Haylow – Look on the Sunny Side


Gil Scott Heron – Live At The Bottom Line ’77 *MUST DOWNLOAD*


Dru Carter – BamaLoveSoul.Com Presents Dusty Digits EP *HOT*



Jonti – Firework Spraying Moon


Brian McKnight – Temptation *HOT*


Asher Roth – Summertime (Ft. Quan)


Karlmarx – Anti Gravity


Marsha Ambrosius – Father’s Day 2011


Mikael Gregorsky
Elan Tamara – Dont Know Why


Ayah – Real Woman


Notorious Promo Photo
Dj Jazzy Jeff & Ayah – Notorious *HOT*


Common – Summer Madness


Ben Williams – Home *HOT*


The Stuyvesants – Stoops Parks & Rooftops *HOT*


Amp Live & Jazz Mafia Remix Tyler the Creator: “Yonkers,” “Goblinz,” and “Radicals” + MP3s


Slakah the Beatchild – The Cure  *HOT*


Dawn Richard- Stuck On Mad


Stacy Barthe – Without You *HOT*


The Bamboos: Classic Track – Bring It Home (Lanu Remix) *HOT*


Light Years (Remix) Cover Art
Porsche Smith feat. Bouldercrest Williams – Light Years (Remix) *HOT*


Adele – Rolling In The Deep (1-O.A.K. Remix) *HOT*


DJ Haylow – New Definition of Summertime (Summertime Edit)