Jalapeno’s biggest success story are Kraak & Smaak who have become global stars with US TV appearances, headline festival slots and celebrity fans like Kanye West & Perez Hilton blogging and tweeting every time something new is released. The Dutch electro-funkers are on the verge of releasing their third album featuring collaborations with Romanthony and some other soon to be revealed star turns, as well as Sebastian and Lex – the singers from their live band. They released their first album Boogie Angst in 05 winning them a legion of new fans including Rob Da Bank, Annie Nightingale and Pete Tong on Radio 1 in the UK and Jason Bentley from KCRW in LA. In 08, they released the follow up Plastic People including the smash single Squeeze Me with Ben Westbeech on vocals. As happy touring their live band as they are DJ’ing – 2011 will be the year Kraak & Smaak cement their place at the top of the electronic scene.
Smoove & Turrell is the fortuitous result of the North East’s premier beatsmith – Smoove being introduced to the North East’s most prodigious vocal talent – John Turrell. 2009 saw the release of their debut album Antique Soul – a fiery blend of rhythm and blues, funk, soul and latin influences. It gained the boys two Records of the Week on BBC Radio 2 and a playlist on BBC 6Music as well as support from DJ’s like Kissy Sell Out on BBC Radio 1. It launched John Turrell to be the most in demand vocalist around with stints fronting the Fantasy Funk Band and various guest slots with artists such as Ashley Beedle and Dr Rubberfunk. In 2009 he played to 100 people at Glastonbury – in 2010 he played to 10,000 people as well as headlining a stage at the Big Chill Festival. 2010 has been all about recording the follow up album Eccentric Audio. Bristling with intense vocals and uplifting soul it seems certain to propel Smoove & Turrell into the mainstream.
Max Sedgley is well known for creating one of dance music’s most recognisable and uplifting records “Happy”. Having toured the world with his band The Shoots and having had his anthem exposed worldwide – Max took some time out to record his new album Suddenly Everything. Discofied boogie was the DNA strand running through the album with nods towards old school hip hop and even drum and bass – welcome diversions to make sure the glitter ball was not over used. Singles like Something Special picked up support from the likes of Tom Middleton, Aeroplane and Unkle while Sound Boy, featuring the prodigious talents of UK rapper Tor, won him even more fans.
Originally seen as a poster boy for the nu-funk and mash up scene – Greek producer George Fotiadis knew he wanted to take the dancefloor skills he had worked so hard to perfect and use them to write songs with singers rather than use samples and make cut and paste records. While living in Germany he recruited soul singer Jazzmin and on his return to Greece hooked up with the sublime vocals talent of George Perin to make his dream become a reality. Something Freaky is the debut album from Basement Freaks and is due for release in November 2010. The album moves from disco to funk and breaks without breaking stride and lays down a blueprint for other producers looking to break out of the nu-funk ghetto.
The Bee Keepers is the sound of a new generation of Bristol producers hitting their stride and looking to the future while remaining respectful of their city’s musical past. The men behind the project are both successful producers in their own right – Boca 45 has been behind a string of successful releases under his own name and as dynamo productions with fellow Bristol legend Andy Smith. Parker is the younger of the two but quickly built his name as a DJ and producer having released his debut album in 2008. Both are accomplished DJ’s well capable of holding their own against any turntablist. Unlike some DJ’s who are blessed with scratching skills, they never forget the aim of a DJ is to make people dance not to show off and their 4 deck Bee Keepers set as premiered on the Cube Henge stage at Glastonbury 2010 was a sight to behold. The forthcoming album is a mix of Bristol bass vibes with killer hip hop rhythms and soulful overtones defining the new Bristol sound.
Dr Rubberfunk was already two albums into his career when he signed with Jalapeno Records. Before each album release he had been pitched by the label boss to join the J Family but resisted until 2010 when his wonderful album Hot Stone was finally released on Jalapeno. Featuring killer collaborations with brit-soul legend Roachford and R&B hotshot John Turrell, it was a progression from the Doctors previous two albums. It was also the first time he abandoned the sampler in favour of recording with a live band and the result was as he puts it, “the record I always wanted to make”.
There are few artists that capture the raw and real sound of vintage grooves but Danny Hybrid hits the nail dead on the head. Soopasoul, the funk brain child of Mr Hybrid, is a celebration of the sounds that influence most of today’s dance music – funk, rhythm and blues, soul and hip hop. That rarest of things in this electronic age of dance music, Soopasoul is a project where everything is played in live, where loops and soft synths are dropped in favour of a drum kit, guitars, bass and a funky horn section so steeped in tradition that you can feel the real deal being played out in front of your ears! Soopasoul ‘s previous releases and the Jalapeno album debut, Twin Stix, has won many fans across the spectrum including the likes of Craig Charles (BBC 6music), Snow Boy, Andy Smith, Danny Krivit, Ashley Beedle, Wayne Hemingway and many more.
What can said about Alex Rizzo and Elliot Ireland that will do justice to what they have achieved over a life time in music. Underrated pioneers of the funk breaks sound, their style evolved to include a plethora of genres and has seen them work with some of the best musicians in the industry. Under various guises, they have had top ten hits around the globe and remixed many of today’s superstars. They originally gave birth to Jalapeno Records as a vehicle for their early Skeewiff releases but took a back seat as they felt they needed to concentrate more on the thing that they do best …..making sweet music. They have also released under the monikers of Shaft, IKON and Tape Loops and are currently following in the footsteps of their musical heroes by setting up their own music library.
Continuing the expansive international line up that Jalapeno champions, Radio Trip is Israeli duo MixMonster (Uri Wertheim) and Schoolmaster (Ofer Tal). The Tel Aviv based producers, cut & paste artists and keen vinyl junkies are well known radio DJ’s in their home country. They are also two of the founder members of live funk jazz outfit the Apples. Their Jalapeno album, Music Heads is the second album from the project that preceded the international fame of the Apples and contains elements of turntablism, blues, jazzed-up breaks, funk beats and psychedelic samples – a journey into vinyl culture with hundreds of records from various countries and eras cut & pasted into one blossoming, cheerful trip.