Review: A while back, Africaine 808's DJ Nomad contacted Favorite Recordings' chief Pascal Rioux about a killer track he'd been given some years back - an obscure, previously CD-R only fusion of modern Gwo-ka and Zouk by Esnard Boisdur entitled "Mizik Bel". Rioux was excited by what he heard and agreed that the track should come out on vinyl, accompanied by a fresh rework by Nomad and Dirk Leyers as Africaine 808. Boisdur's original version (side A) is rhythmically dense but also cheery and life affirming, with celebratory chorus vocals and 80s zouk style synth lines subtly rising above a busy, all-action groove. Arguably even better is the sub-heavy Africaine 808 mix, which brilliantly re-imagines the track as a tasty chunk of tropical house/disco-zouk fusion.
Review: Many hardened disco diggers have long dreamed of finding a copy of Karriem's super-sweet 1979 single, "I Love You". It has a reputation for being one of the harder disco records to find, with copies of the original Pashlo Records release changing hands for serious sums online. Happily, Favorite Recordings has gone to the trouble of licensing it, offering this re-issue in replica artwork (complete with lyrics on the back sleeve). "I Love You" itself is near perfect, with Karriem's fine vocals and killer electric piano solos riding a loose disco groove full of clipped guitars and rich percussion. Like the original 12", this version boasts the superior extended mix, and a tighter edited version.
Review: Favorite Recordings' superb Disco Boogie Sounds series continues. Following Waxist's recent exploration of French productions from the period, they've decided to drop a second collection of high-grade Brazilian material. Renowned crate-digger Charles Maurice has done a terrific job of gathering together dusty, obscure cuts that perfectly encapsulate Brazilian musicians' sun-kissed, soulful approach to disco and boogie. Highlights are naturally plentiful, and include the starry, jazz-funk tinged warmth of Christina Camargo's "Minas Do Rei Salomao", the Chic style brilliance of Almir Ricardi's "To Parado Na Tua", and the cosmic, horn-heavy leftfield disco thrills of Kaito's "Cara Feia".
Review: Despite boasting a discography packed to the rafters with successful forays into various vintage dancefloor styles, some were still surprised at the brilliance of his first Voilaaa album, On Te L'avait Dit. This follow-up is equally as impressive, and features 13 more trips into classic Afro-funk and tropical disco territory. With addictive Clavinet lines, punchy horns, heavy live percussion and Afrobeat bass to the fore, Hovart and his many collaborators - including a number of French vocalists with African heritage - variously pay tribute to a wealth of late '70s and early '80s dancefloor fusion sounds. The album includes all manner of club-ready workouts, including the righteous "Problems", disco-tastic "Kemtane" and sweaty, high octane "Mbele".