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.
Take Me To The Top (Michael Gray Sultra remix) (7:18)
Take Me To The Top (Michael Gray dub mix) (5:33)
Review: As many of you may know, Advance's "Take Me To The Top" is something of a boogie classic; an Italian record from 1982 rich in soulful vocals and squidgy synths that sounds like it was recorded in New York rather than Napoli or Rome. Here, long-serving house producer Michael Gray (he of Full Intention fame) gets his hands on the original and delivers a couple of contemporary updates that are pleasingly reverential to the source material. The A side "Sultra Remix" has a few tasty contemporary touches - looped sections, chunky beats, special effects - but is otherwise fairly faithful to the sun-kissed, synth-laden original mix. While rather good, it's the flipside Dub that really set our pulses racing, not least because it emphasizes the elastic bassline, loved-up chord sequence and colourful electrofunk electronics.
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.
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Deep and sensual balearica on offer here from The Balek Band, brought to you by Beauty & The Beat - the in-house music label of the 'freeform psychedelic dance party' hosted in various east London venues over the years by Cyril Cornet, Jeremy Gilbert & Cedric Woo since 2005. The Balek Band are a French outfit - the side project of Vidock (Abstrack), accompanied by Samuel Creach (bass) & Zeppo (percussion). Together they create soundtracks for your perfect island dream as heard on "Tometsi", the deep down polyrhythmic spiritual entrancement of "Diconiels" .....
Review: When it comes to exotic, off-kilter edits, you'll struggle to find a stronger series than Jonny Rock's Disco Hamam. This fifth volume is every bit as essential as its predecessors. Beards In Dust claims the A-side with "At The Dawn", a tidy revision of a druggy and "chuggy" version of a blue-eyed psychedelic funk-rock roller that comes complete with some serious sing-along sections. The heady world of Turkish music - a constant source of inspiration at the Disco Hamam HQ - comes to the fore on the B-side. Tales Of Voodoo's "Sharky" is a deliciously percussive, dancefloor-friendly fusion of Middle Eastern exoticism, funk-rock guitars and heavy disco percussion, while Esen Gunduz's "Deve Gucu" is an even sweatier, Italo Disco-era stomper that sounds like something you'd have heard in Istanbul clubs circa 1985.
Archie Bell & The Drells - "Where Will You Go When The Party's Over" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:06)
People's Choice - "Jam Jam Jam (All Night Long)" (A Tom Moulton mix) (7:42)
Teddy Pendergrass - "I Don't Love You Anymore" (A Tom Moulton mix) (8:46)
Lou Rawls - "See You When I Git There" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:39)
Review: During the latter stages of the "Philly Soul" era, New York remixer Tom Moulton delivered a string of inspired, DJ friendly reworks for the Philadelphia International label. For proof, check this fine selection of classic Moulton mixes for the storied imprint. Check first his version of Archie Bell and the Drells' "Where Will You Go When The Party's Over", which he brilliantly teases out and increases in intensity over nine spellbinding minutes. The funkier flex of People's Choice's "Jam, Jam, Jam (All Night Long)" is a sweaty, low-down treat, while the Teddy Pendergrass rework is a soaring disco classic in the Philly Soul style. Best of all, though, is the string-drenched disco celebration that is his mix of Lou Rawls' "See You When I Git There".
Mister Wong (Disco dub - Jura Soundsystem extended edit)
Review: In 1972, French producer turned ZE Records founder Michel Esteban released a one-off single as Bella Vista, "Mister Wong". Like many of the records the New York-based entrepreneur worked on, the track gleefully joins the dots between spacey synth-pop, NYC style mutant disco and what these days we'd call sun-kissed Balearic disco. The slow motion, glassy-eyed original version comes accompanied by the original flipside "Disco Dub" - a much sparser affair focused on the killer slap bass, reverb-laden percussion and slivers of guitar and synth - and a brand new "Extended Disco Dub Edit" by Isle of Jura chief Kevin Griffiths as Jura Soundsystem. This extends the oh-too-short Disco Dub for greater dancefloor pleasure while adding some fantastic new percussion.
Review: The mysterious Bitter End return and its 'anonymous' controller is kicking off proceedings in a particular wonky mood. "Itchicrickitch" leads from the left foot with an off grid kick and bassline that gets all the wilier when the gutsy tribal cries weave into the mix for added intensity. "Princess (Ascension)" flips back to the label's more signature theme of outlandish funk as we're pumped from here to Jupiter and back on a synth driven disco piece that's laced with wry shades of highlife guitars and a rising hook that sucks you deeper and deeper into the groove. Bitter sweet.
Turn Me Loose/My Design (extended version) (13:58)
Turn Me Loose (Sirs cut) (10:32)
Review: Best Records present another deep cover jam Balearic diggers will rejoice at being able to lay their hands on. Blue Night was the brainchild of Peter Miconi, who created "Turn Me Loose" in 1983. All the elements are present here, from the aching blue-eyed soul vocals to rich guitar solos and an irrepressible funk bedded down in the groove, here stretching out for a full 14 minutes of pure sunkissed bliss. On the flip, SIRS takes a careful run at the original that simply reframes the elements with a more pronounced rhythm section - this is someone who knows exactly what the track needs and declines to change anything for the sake of it. Classy stuff, as you would expect from a reissue on Best Records.
Review: Camarao Orkestra may be based in Paris, but their hearts are always in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. The incendiary live band has a new album on the way (their last dropped three years ago) so to get us in the mood Favorite Recordings has served up this suitably steamy workout. In its' A-side original mix form, "Nacao Africa" is a mid-tempo chunk of low-slung Latin boogie rich in drunken trumpet lines, sweet female vocals, Marcos Valle guitar riffs and weighty dub disco bass. Patchworks man Bruno Hovart handles remix duties, first offering up a sweet two-step soul/laidback boogie revision before slamming down a hypnotic, stripped-back and delay-laden "Late Night Dub".
Review: We can think of a fair few disco diggers who will be more than a little annoyed by this re-issue. Originally released on the obscure La Shawn label back in 1980, "Take Me I'm Yours" is widely considered to be one of Patrick Adams' best productions. It's certainly something of a dusty gem, with Mary Clark's soulful, country-tinged vocals simply soaring over a reggae-tinged, string-drenched disco groove. It would have been nice to have seen original flipside "You Got Your Hold On Me" included, but it's not a major issue; given the in-demand (and hard-to-find) nature of the A-side, we should be pleased it's come back round again.
Review: Los Angeles disco Stus Pleasure Of Love return with their fifth edition of piping hot edits, respectfully respliced for your convenience. This one features co-founder of the local Heat-Wave party series (and one half of Cosmic Kids) Daniel Terndrup, who goes one-for-one with Trap.Avoid member Patrick Billard aka DJ Duckcomb on these four cuts. Kicking off the A side is Billard, who takes the razor to a wonderfully sunkissed/tropical style tune on "Carribean Son", while Terndrup gets properly lo-slung on the cheeky and rather familiar groove of "Kinikos TV". On the flip, it's all about "Caja Negra" (DT & DC version Acido) where they join forces on this tripped-out tribal Italo number.
Review: Thanks to a string of fine disco and gospel-fired releases and remixes for the likes of Midnight Riot and Lumberjacks in Hell, Alan Dixon has become a must-check artist. Here he makes his bow on Running Back with arguably his most arresting and inspired EP to date. The real star of the show is co-producer Darren Morris (a regular Ashley Beedle collaborator), whose dazzling solos surge from the speakers on the driving, 1989 style piano house rush of "Moments" (reminiscent of his work on Beedle's peerless remix of Bent's "Always" in the early 2000s) and the Balearic house brilliance of "Star Dance" (think Phillip Lauer/Tuff City Kids). The fun continues on muscular, Italo-disco influenced opener "La Danza" and the colourful, sunrise-ready soundscape "Ambient Braindisk".
In Flagranti - "Kachi Kachi" (feat Ayakamay - DJLMP edit)
Review: Take It Easy made a splash with their first release from Dirty Channels - they've clearly got an ear for crowd-pleasing house music built for the big arena. This second drop comes from DJLMP and deals in a few different flavours of peak time party music. First up is the fierce and fabulous piano stomper "Blow Your Mind," which is followed up by the leftfield disco chops of In Flagranti's "Kachi Kachi", given a bang tidy edit by DJLMP. "Tiger Cat" takes on freaky cosmic disco with a French touch, and then "Angry" completes the set with an Afrobeat-laced workout that juggles tension and release masterfully.
Review: For those who dig dancefloor-friendly takes on World Music classics, the Sterns Edits label - a collaboration between producer Ben Gomori and long-serving African and Brazilian music specialists Sterns Music - should be an imprint to watch. The label's latest must-have EP boasts fresh revisions of killer cuts from the epic back catalogue of Malian artist Nahawa Doumbia. Gomori works his magic on 1987 cut "Sige Sele", first sticking rolling house beats beneath the original's cut-glass strings, funky bass, storming horns and superb vocals (the A-side "Edit"), before opening the flipside with a largely vocal free "Disco Dub" that's arguably even better. To round things off, Tom Jay offers a similarly tooled up take on the more synthesizer-heavy "Djina Mousso".
Review: New York City-based trio Escort are back for the first time since their Animal Nature LP from 2015. Their new track "Slide" was co-written with NYC soul artist Denitia and drives you gently with this west coast influenced roller produced by Eugene Cho and Jkriv - and featuring Adeline's wonderful vocal delivery. We absolutely adored this slick and low slung boogie-down number. For something more uplifting (and with dancefloor dynamics) you can try the classic '70s disco explosion of "Ride" (feat Brian Jackson) on the flip, which calls to mind the classic vibe of masters like Salsoul, Moulton Studios et al.
Review: Balearic disco maestro Max Essa has named his latest EP in honour of "Barkhan Dunes" - those wind created, crescent shaped sand dunes often found in deserts. Quite how this fits with the music on offer isn't explained, though the Balearic-minded music offered up is excellent. Check first "The Price You Pay (For Loving That Way)", an arpeggio-driven slab of sun-kissed nu-disco/Balearic house fusion rich in life-affirming Rhodes chords, twinkling synth lines and delay-laden saxophone solos. "Kites At Nemoto Beach" is a gently unfurling ambient soundscape full of drowsy vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Sundowning" sees Essa wrap glistening guitars and thickset synth bass around a bubbly mid-tempo drum machine rhythm.
Review: Funkyjaws is the Belarusian DJ and producer Sergey Abramov, who you might have previously spotted on Kolour LTD and Shadeleaf Music, often alongside Four Walls. Now a new start up label from St Petersburg has called on Abramov to inaugurate their imprint with his incredibly funky touch, leading in with the sweaty Afrobeat thump of "Ole Ole" and following up in fine style with the sprightly "Heavy Salsa Pushka Bassline", where salsa rips, rudeboy breaks and disco strut gleefully bounce off each other. "Untitled I" and "Untitled II" continue the West African trip with another two brilliant edit workouts with plenty of oomph where it counts.
Review: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.