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: 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".
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: During its late '70s and early '80s heyday, France's disco-boogie scene tended towards the eccentric. Yet despite the camp, tongue-in-cheek feel adopted by many French bands and producers, much of the music was of an impressively high standard. That much is clear from Charles Maurice's second French Disco Boogie Sounds compilation. Packed full of slick, synthesizer-driven material and punchy, horn-heavy disco-funk thrillers (see the Teena Marie style "Movin" by Jackie Esam), it's a fine collection of Gallic dancefloor treats. You're unlikely to find a better example of jazz-funk positivity than Black Bells Group's "Talk Me Mam's", while Messan's "Keep Cool" is a lesson in thrusting, up-tempo disco sweatiness.
Special Occasion - "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" (12" version)
Parenthese - "Come Back"
Russ Long - "Never Was Love"
Pacific Dreams - "Mellow Out"
Miller Miller Miller & Sloan - "Key To My Heart"
Scott Cunningham - "Blues Take You Over"
Review: On his fourth exploration of the world of global "Adult Oriented Rock", French crate-digger Charles Maurice focuses on the period between 1977 and '86. That means a greater emphasis on synthesizers, dusty drum machines and the kind of sparkling melodies that would once have drifted from daytime radio at an alarming rate. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the dewy-eyed synth-soul of Arlana's "When You Call My Name" and the breezy boogie of Omega Sunrise's "Too Hip", to the sparse Balearic bliss of Isabelle Mayereau's "Orange Bleue", the flute-laden easy listening hum of Fernando Toussaint, the sax-happy '80s sleaze of Special Occasion's brilliant "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" and the jaunty Latino jazz-funk of "Mellow Out" by Pacific Dreams.