Review: Hot Piroski is a newly minted label that promises to serve up "a boisterous mix of space disco, deep funk edits and Balearic beats" all commandeered by Barcelona producer 12Tree. Things get off to a sultry start with the cosy undulations of "Lazers", which sports a housey strut to carry its wistful melodic tones. "Gamma Ray" is a spicier affair with rugged bass that firmly plants the tune in the dirty disco department. "Swamp Love" has more of a classic edit feel with its dusty, looped up samples and choppy edits, but it's equally a delightfully laid back groover to suit a whole plethora of situations.
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.
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: 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: 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.
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.
Stop (Dino Soccio 'Pleasure Of Love' New mix) (8:14)
Stop (Special Electronic version) (6:27)
Stop (vocal Soul version) (4:34)
Review: Valery Allington's 1982 debut single, "Stop", has long been considered an Italo-disco classic. Here it gets the reissue and remix treatment, with LA resident Dino Soccio's 2018 revision - first heard on a hush-hush edits EP - taking pride of place on side A. His version is pleasingly muscular and driving, underpinning the original's throbbing arpeggio style bass, sprightly electrofunk riffs and headline-grabbing vocals with heavy new drums. Also great is the vintage "Vocal Electronic Version" - a sleazier, bongo and kick-drum-driven affair rich in alien synth lines, two basslines (one squelchy, the other hypnotic and driving) and swirling chords. Also impressive is the sparser and slower "Soul Version", which includes a sneaky musical cap-doff to another Italo-disco classic.
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.
Dance Your Life Away (Andrew Weatherall remix) (7:51)
Review: The pairing of Evangeline Ling and David Wrench might seem an unlikely pairing. Yet a chance encounter at a mutual friend's party just one week after Wrench moved to London had led to an experimental studio session that's been going on ever since. Speaking about the track, Audiobooks claim to have wrote and recorded this "Dance Your Life Away" in a couple of days, with Ling so excited that she travelled across the city in her pyjamas so as not to waste any time. The pair's groovy disco-pop is complimented wonderfully by the inimitable Andrew Weatherall's groovy remix on the flip - working his magic as always.
Who, What, Where, When & Why (Disco version) (5:10)
No Promises (Disco version) (6:46)
Review: Best Records do it again, dusting down a searing slice of robo-funk from the early 80s that will pop your lock every which way. B Funk was a one-off project from Mario Boncaldo and Tony Carrasco, best known for their incredible work as Klein & MBO. They released the "Magic Spell" album in 1983, and it was loaded with richly produced Italo disco and proto house sounds - there's a good reason the original release has been fetching such crazy prices on the second hand market. Now Best have cherry picked two of the finest cuts from the album, sought out the extended disco versions from Carrasco's vaults, and given them a glorious new pressing.
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" .....
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: Climb on board the Belpaese express for another scalpel-wielding excursion into the eccentric world of cosmic disco and long-forgotten Italian club cuts. It's a journey every bit as riveting as their previous 12-inch trips. On the A-side you can settle in and let the extended Latin piano solos, Balearic boogie grooves, sweaty percussion breaks and early '80s jazz-funk synths of "Vai Di Samba" carry you towards your destination. A trip to the B-side buffet car is encouraged, too, where both "Fonde E Confonde" and the jammed-out, off-kilter Brazilian style electrofunk madness of "Electrosamba" are far more appetizing than your average on-board snack. The latter track, which also contains some insanely heavy passages of layered samba beats, is probably the EP's most potent cut.
Review: Marking 40 years since the release of Edwin Birdsong's self-titled and fourth studio album, this Philly reissue couldn't have landed at a more poignant time as the LA funkateer sadly passed away on week of release. "Cola Bottle Baby" is known to absolutely everyone thanks to Daft Punk and that refreshing fizzy groove sounds even better, freer, looser, cooler in its natural state. The lesser spotted "Freaky Deaky Sities" kicks like a loose limbed mule, too. Perhaps a riposte to Roy Ayers "Freaky Deaky" hit the year before, or just another fine trope LA's funk continuum, once again it's the cult fusioneer at his most vibrant. Rest in peace.