Review: For the latest missive on their reissue-focused Attic Salt Discs imprint, Dusty-fingered duo Colin Volvert and Otto Kraanen have snapped up the rights to a sought-after 1984 cut from Belgian new wave band 1000 Ohm. You'll find their original vocal and instrumental versions on the A-side, with both sounding like a delightful cross between bubbly Italo-disco, Bobby 'O' style Hi-NRG and the imperial synth-pop of the Pet Shop Boys. Arguably even better than both original mixes is Vanzetti and Sacco's more dancefloor-focused flipside edit. While this does make use of 1000 Ohm's Heaven 17/ABC style vocals and cheery melodies, there's far more focus on the druggy arpeggio groove and chunky drum machine beats.
Review: Alden Tyrell dusts off his Italo guise for another synthetic sojourn into all things dramatic and cinematic. "Dance Of The Happy Shadows" sets the scene; a Vangelis-themed disco set 50 years in the future. "I Rarely Talk To Strangers" is a more introspective journey with a Moroderish arpeggio peppered with staccato cosmic chords. Both parts of "J Is For Jupiter" drive us towards the tunnel-end light. Overwhelmingly positive chords hit hard on the first part before a spiralling Terjeian hook drives the very final stretch.
When I'm Alone (JKriv & Peter Matson remix) (6:14)
Review: Adeline is undoubtedly best known for being the front-woman of Brooklyn-based disco band Escort, an outfit whose members also included Razor-N-Tape co-founder JKriv. It makes sense, then, that her latest solo single is appearing on their "Reserve" offshoot. Co-produced by Midnight Magic man Morgan Willey, "When I'm Alone" is a revivalist leftfield disco cut rich in "Beam Me Up" style walking bass, ear-catching guitar riffs and lolloping drums - all topped off by a fantastic vocal from Adeline. Jacques Renault delivers a slightly heavier, house-influenced remix with subtle Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, while Dirty Channels offers a more bustling but still pleasingly organic sounding disco-house take. Finally JKriv joins forces with Peter Matson on a remix that sounds like vintage Escort with added dub delays.
Review: Mancunian Kevin Gorman used to make some great minimal techno on his Mikrowave imprint but has since moved on to create some of his best music under the Adesse Versions moniker. With a slew of fine edits and remixes under his belt, he presents us with a killer cover and tribute that's set to be one of the summer's biggest anthems. A tribute to the seminal New Order classic "Blue Monday", Gorman retains the very same Moog bass and ARP strings from the original, over a groovy breakbeat and a vocal reminiscent of Bernard Sumner himself. It was an ambitious feat, but Gorman manages to pull of an impressive rendition here, which also comes accompanied with a handy instrumental version on the flip.
Review: Kevin Gorman aka Adesse Versions brings his cut and paste ethos to Brooklyn edit series Razor-N-Tape with a varied pair of heaters. On this wicked two tracker, the label takes it back to their early format of one track per side: and these two cuts can certainly carry it! On this side we've got "Bumpin' NYC" a lo-slung disco classic with that proper New York City vibe, if ya catch our drift? On that side, we have a lovely little number in the form of "Sistem" that flips an afrobeat sample into a dark and groovy club track with even a little bit of acid for good measure.
Review: Unpredictable Dublin label maintain their capacity to surprise here, digging into the vaults of Ethiopian funk mob to reissue their 1984 accidental houser "Kalatashew Waga". Originating from the sole Admas album, Sons of Ethiopia, "Kalatashew Waga" has grown into something of a cult player amongst the more considered selectors over the years and gets pressed up for 12" by Major Problems replete with a fresh remastering job from the master Thomas P. Heckmann. Fans of the gliding style of lo-fi boogie PPU specialise in will love this track. Complementing the original, Major Problems have scored a brand new remix from long term Admas fan Andras Fox that brushes the track with some soft-hued new age bliss.
Review: Cordial have partnered with Afrodisia to reissue their sought-after album, 1980's Elephant Sunrise, in 2018, with an album of previously unreleased recordings to follow. To whet our appetite, they've decided to release the never-before-heard "Malik", a brilliant chunk of jazz-funk fusion that would have got jazz dancers hot under the collar had it appeared when it was originally recorded way back in 1982. On the B-side you'll find the similarly minded "A Fool No Longer", a dancefloor-focused chunk of blue-eyed soul that has previously only been available on obscure 1981 compilation album Rock Aus Der Alten Schule. Brilliant stuff all told.
Review: Earlier in the month, Parisian producer Afshin joined forces with Kiss My Black Jazz and served up a brilliant, two-track missive of jazz-funk and blues-house reworks on G.A.M.M. Here they reunite for round two. This time round, they begin by reworking a shuffling, chant-along Afro-Brazilian gem of unknown origin, extending the carnival-ready percussive intro before unleashing the shuffling, sun-kissed samba rhythm and some of the sweetest vocals this side of a sing-along in a chocolate factory. Over on side B they give a similar tune to a killer chunk of reggae-funk fusion rich in warm dub bass, bongo-laden beats, bluesy guitar solos, fuzzy horns and James Brown style guttural vocals.
Review: West coast vibe fiend Air Zaire foretells the coming balmy season with four crisp, sunny side edits. Each reaching deep into the Latin melting pot, highlights include the sandy toed, horn laced Balearic bliss of "Canguelo Perro", the unabashed soulful disco uplift of "South Of Sunset", the lolloping funk and warehouse rattling fusion of "Shojo Showdown" and the dreamy pipe fronted "Midnight Sun". Shades till summer and beyond.
Review: Swedish producer Albion Venables has been building up a formidable bank of oddball disco, boogie, wave and other groove-oriented delights on labels like Ambassador's Reception, Macadam Mambo and People Must Jam. After first appearing on the ever-excellent Bahnsteig 23 in 2016, he's back on the label with some more head-spinning obscurities from the outside tracks of synth music. "Poupee Mecanique" is a jovial French bopper, while "Balearo" cuts a more organic, reclining figure with its chugging bass plucks, laconic guitar and dreamy keys. "In Coherence" channels some funky AOR sass, and "OVNI" heads into heavy prog funk territory, rounding out a veritable wild card of a record.
Review: After coming to light with his crucial edits on Les Edits Du Golem, Alexis Le-Tan has gone on to become one of the shining lights on Bahnsteig 23's roster of deviant discoid dissenters, and he's burning up as he comes careering onto the label's 45th release. "Agre" is a steroid-injected blast of 80s firepower, all stomping drums and a dazzling assortment of dancefloor-engineered synth parts. "Pune" is a slower, groovier jam but it's no less striking in its make-up. "Hubli" takes a more unusual path away from the party, into a hard to define zone somewhere between soundtrack, home listening jam and un-nerving warm up-not warm up. "Kulem" finishes the EP off on a more steady tone, but still the rich, glossy production details come spilling out of this bombastic jam just like the other tracks on this loud and proud record.
Review: There's a fair amount of mystery surrounding this release, which the accompanying press release claims was designed for "cruising through the Tuscany countryside, riding shotgun in a vintage Alfa [Romeo]". So what's on offer? A-side "U (I Got It)" is a bouncy, stop-start disco-house affair that sits somewhere between vintage "French Touch" house, original Italo-house and the pumping antics of DJ Sneak. "Cocchetti" offers a slightly more disco-centric riff on the same all-action formula, with the mystery producer making great use of some seriously soaring 1970s orchestration, while "Cornae" sounds like a cross between Tiger & Woods and the elastic, synthesizer-heavy nu-disco favoured by DJ Rocca and Sare Havlicek.
Review: If you were one of the lucky few to pick up the illicit compilation A Few More Things From Ivan Smagghe (And Friends) the dapper French selector put out a few years ago you should be familiar with this one. "Civil Defense" by Danny Alias first emerged in 1984, a strange proto-everything-that-has-come-since track which was spun by the great Ron Hardy and has been a long term favourite of Smagghe and his KTDJ cohorts. It gets another lease of life thanks to Smagghe and Leon Oakey's always entertaining Les Disques De La Mort label with no less than five different versions to choose from, including a re-edit from the aforementioned Ron Hardy.
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik main mix) (7:17)
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik 5am mix) (9:07)
Review: Martin Brodin's MB Disco imprint continues to deliver the good stuff, this time featuring two utterly essential Psychemagik mixes of Alico vs Cagri's "Les Mondes Engloutis". These mixes actually first surfaced on a digital-only release back in 2013, but now they've been buffed up for a full vinyl pressing, and rightly so. A side "Main Mix" is a full bodied, emotional banger with a lead drop to get crowds waving arms and singing along wholeheartedly. Our pick is the "5am Mix" on the flip though, where the synths take on a more shimmering nocturnal tone without losing that bright and bold character that will land this 12" in all manner of record bags this summer.
Review: Portuguese Munich Machine and edit king Alkalino delivers Wall Of Fame's first solo release with four tasteful reworks. On the A side, the Audaz main man serves up the '70s disco/rock fusion of "What To Do" and the uplifting soul heaven of "Can't Take It No More". On the flip is the funky disco fusion of "Lover Is Back" (channelling the heyday of The Big Apple way back when!) meanwhile "Things Will Come Your Way" offers up some sexy latin/bossa vibes. After a lengthy catalogue of releases available exclusively on Juno Download, we're happy to finally see of this guys efforts on wax!
Review: Munich's Portuguese maestro Lino Rodrigues aka Alkalino returns with the third volume of his edit series on Audaz where he's made the transition to the vinyl format finally! On the A side he takes the razor to a certain classic by The Escorts on the uplifting and summery feel good jam "Make Me Over". On the flip there's "La Mia Musica" an early '80s electronic pop ditty that sounds like a Spanish version of "Popcorn" by way of Bobby Orlando. Two respectful edits by one of the current heroes of the scene, who after DJing for 30 years is finally getting worldwide recognition.
Review: There's no complex concept behind the latest four-track EP from the reliable Whiskey Disco camp, just a quartet of killer re-edits crying out for peak-time plays. Highlights wise, we're particularly enjoying the hard-spun Afro-disco grooves and well-placed dub delays of Alex Zuiev's "Afro Magic", though Alkalino's quirky opener - a thrillingly dubbed-out take on a tongue-in-cheek, left-of-centre disco treat - is also superb. Elsewhere, Love Drop sticks heavy new house beats underneath a stone cold classic (listen to the clips and you'll be able to identify the source material in seconds), while Terrence Pearce crafts a space-disco epic out of undulating Afro-disco grooves, bleeping synth melodies and some seriously cosmic effects.
Review: Best strike Italo gold once again with this Maurizio 'Sangy' Sangineto production. The original of Valery Allington's Stop has more of a pop funk feel, giving the vocalist and her backing crew stacks of space to hit the right spot but the real magic here is Maurizio's production on the special electronic version and instrumental. Aeons ahead of its time, the relentless pump and near-majestic synth work sound closer to '92 than '82. Tunnelling, hypnotic, percussive and funky, this was - and still is - the sound of the future.
Review: The Apersonal crew offer up a selection of varied, on-point edits that reflect the wider scope of what the label is all about. Trujillo is up first, taking Robbie Ellington's "Don't Cry" to emotive new heights, before Cisco Cisco have some fun with the "Shaft" theme tune. The Portuguese duo fly in some cosmic flourishes to shape out the dancefloor prowess of this timeless crowd pleaser. KMA tackles "Storm" by Rare Silk, stretching out the illustrious instrumental flow of this dreamy Balearic roller to become a thing of beauty. With respectful approaches to the source material and enough personality in their styles to make it a worthwhile exercise, the Apersonal crew excel themselves on this release.
Review: Back in the late '70s and early '80s, Aquarian Dream's "Phoenix" was something of an anthem on the UK's soul all-dayer scene. While ostensibly a disco record, the band's jazz-funk roots ensured that it was particularly popular with serious dancers, particularly those who headed for the jazz room rather than the main dancefloor. The Norman Connors-produced cut remains something of a must-have for disco DJs who like their grooves to come with a fair dollop of instrumental solos. This timely re-press also includes the even wilder "East 6th Street" - originally included on the 1979 UK re-issue - which features Aquarian Dream band-members trading solos over a killer disco-funk groove.
Review: Aside from reissuing a whole heap of glorious boogie material from the 1980'sm People's Potential Unlimited also have their own distribution roster, and Cosmic Chronic is right up there waving the flag for the US stable. To kick-start 2016, we have a four-tracker from newcomer Arcade Odyssey, and as you'd expect, they're every but as funky and lo-fi as those instrumentals from back in the day. "Spring Yard Zone" kicks off with massive electro baseline, tropical melodies, and a hazy vibe, while "Beautiful Forest" breaks the beat down and goes Eastern with its synths. Flip the plate and you'll be confronted by the huge, stabbing bassline and fast beats of the utterly gnarly "Neon Night Riders" - easily the gem of the lot - and wound down thanks to the gentler, more tame waters of "Port Town". Sick.
Review: Considered the anti-hero of disco music, Argoman literally means 'lazy man', however it's also a combination of three Italian producer's names who started the project about one year ago. Any guesses who they might be? We will leave that to you! The track "Chimicalissimo" is new wave Italo disco at its finest, featuring peak-time dancefloor energy completely produced with analogue synths and drum machines. Gerd Jason and Fabrizio Mammarella team up again as Black Spuma and their remix turns the track into a slow burning disco monster. The dub version gives more space to a melancholic piano melody that culminates through analogue arpeggios to an unstoppable build.
Review: Stockholm based Ari Bald is up next for Better Listen after inaugurating Honey Butter Records last year with that great release. He keeps on with that deep disco spirit with these four funky and lo-slung jams. On the A side, we have two ergonomic edits in the form of "That Lonely Night" and "Enchantress" respectively which are looped to perfection with some somewhat familiar hooks that gradually build up to that drop! That's where the thumping kick comes charging in and it's sure geared for maximum dancefloor dynamics. On the flip, get ready for the funk explosion that is "Moonshiner" or what could be your First Choice (mind the pun!) in the form of the smooth and sexy late night groove of "Are You Mesmerized?"
Nada Nada (Simple Symmetry 'What Happens After Death' remix)
Review: This time in Calypso, Aristidez takes us on journey trough the streets of Lima Peru. The Chaos and the spirituaity of this old country are noticable on all of this tracks. Rumbling percussions and vocals, harmony and rythm, darkness and light all come togeter through the use of samples to show the quality of this young up and coming producer. "Nada Nada" it's the mantra that will help you go through the morning in a grey and cloudy city. "Reyerta" represents the violence of many Latin American cities having a hard time. Evoca its the mix between the first two where peace and violence find them selves in a catarchic release of energy. Symple Symmetry brings the tempo up for their Nada Nada remix asking everyone "what happens after death".
Steve Arrington - "Dancin' In The Key Of Life" (Frankie Knuckles edit) (9:07)
The Trammps - "Disco Party" (Frankie Knuckles edit) (7:42)
Review: Disco Queen just keep on pumping out the good stuff with two more divine edits from house music's spiritual and dearly missed father Frankie Knuckles. Two sides for two different peaks of the nights; Steve Arrington's "Dancin' In The Key Of Life" is that classic 11pm feel good warm up that's layered with clever momentum while The Trammps' "Disco Party" lives up to its name with incredible energy and soul and a dynamic drop into the original midway. Rest in peace Frankie.