Review: Mario Miranda aka Asterix Music hails from Carson, California and this is his debut, a banging little 7" by the name of Stud. Oh yes, super fitting, indeed! Out through Firehouse Sound Labs, the EP opens with the funky-ass boogie bass of "She'll Take U Down", a killer dance floor burner for the party vibes. On the B-side, "First Date" drops some heavy electro swings over sweet, seductive r&b vocals.
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: Surprisingly, Don Blackman originally wrote and recorded "Just Can't Stay Away" to play as the recorded message on his girlfriend's answering machine. He later included it - tweaked and turned into a mid-80s style boogie banger reminiscent of his work during that decade - on his second and final album, 2002's CD-only "Listen". Here it finally gets a vinyl release thanks to reissue specialists Melodies International. If you're a fan of boogie, electrofunk and synth-soul it should be an essential purchase, not least because it's every bit as good as more celebrated Blackman productions made earlier in his career. There are "Stereo" and "Mono" mixes to enjoy, with the former naturally offering a more refined and intoxicating listening experience.
Sweet Daddy Floyd - "I Just Can't Help Myself" (extended Break edit) (4:17)
Review: This tasty, DJ-friendly 7" single boasts two extended, break-heavy reworks of obscure and in-demand soul workouts. On the A-side you'll find a tasty extension of Melvin Bliss's superb, piano-heavy 1983 cut "Synthetic Substitution". While Bliss's brilliant original - all heartfelt vocals, jaunty keys and warm bass - is largely kept in tact, the mystery re-editor naturally makes more of the opening breakbeat, which was sampled several times during hip-hop's "golden era". Flip for a similarly tasty rearrangement of Sweet Daddy Floyd's 1978 Blaxploitation style disco-funk shuffler "I Just Can't Help Myself", a cut rich in rolling breaks, densely layered percussion, punchy orchestration and "Shaft"-style guitar licks.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Review: Duca Bianco's 7" series continues with aplomb following Cherrystones' essential drop, and this time esteemed German DJ and producer Tom Bolas is at the controls for two more heady trips into the far flung corners of funk. On the A side he drops the loose and limber "Kangham Funk," which bends and wobbles around liquid guitar lines, bugging synths and dreamy Oriental vocals. "Senopati Punk" is not a three-chord riot as the title might suggest, but rather a subtly noirish synthwave delight fronted by another striking female lead vocal. Two sides that complement each other even as they say very different things, but both aimed squarely at the eclectic groove-hunting crowd.
Journey To The Light (part 1 - DJ Nori edit) (4:13)
Journey To The Light (part 2 - DJ Nori edit) (3:19)
Review: Subject to edits from such luminaries as Ashley Beedle and Danny Krivit, Brainstorm's most iconic cut "Journey To The Light" gets extended to the point of two parts by Brooklyn editor and selector DJ Nori. Part One is all about the Detroit dynamos' ability to hit sizzling high notes on the chorus and drop into swooning jazzy verses while Part Two is more of a groove-based, stripped back version where the instrumentation and backing vocals are brought right into the light. Stunning.
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
Review: Cannon & Mirrorball may not be the disco edit scene's answer to moustache-sporting 1970s/80s comedy heroes Cannon and Ball, but they certainly serve up tracks that will put a big goofy smile on your face. Their latest Disco Bits adventure begins via "Black Rhythm Rap", a chunky, hip-hop friendly rework of an obscure, late 1970s disco-rap bomb rich in funky guitar licks, cut-glass strings and party-starting MC flows. On the flip they get even cheekier, placing Loleatta Holloway's incredible "Love Sensation" vocal over a stomping, Blaxploitation-era disco-funk backing track and all manner of familiar soul and funk samples. Purists will no doubt sneer, but they really shouldn't: this is tastefully produced disco heat of the highest order.
Review: Hot on the heels of a re-work of Bobby Caldwell, edit stylist Caserta is back with another golden nugget. This time he turns his attention to the one and only Luther Vandross and serves up two equally essential but very different tunes that pay homage to his unique voice. The King Street Mix is all hip swinging claps and nodding bass riffs that are organic and heartfelt, whereas the Henry Street Mix nods to the '90s heyday of New York. With warm neon organ stabs that will get any floor pumping, both interpretations have Luther's soulful voice front and centre.
Review: Here is the long awaited new single from Italian soul supergroup Change - some of you may recognise their classic "The Glow of Love" which featured the unmistakable vocals of then frontman Luther Vandross in 1980. After six successful albums throughout the 80's before disbanding and making a brief return in 2010, the group's new single "Hit Or Miss" will appear on their first album in 38 years: Love 4 Love which is produced by Change alumni Davide Romani Mauro Malavasi, it's got the same kind of life-affirming soul power you've come to love from the outfit, and they've still got the knack for a great tune - listen for yourself!
Review: The mighty Cherrystones originally dropped the crackling party heat of "Blood, Campari & Sand" on his own Bandcamp page, and now he's doing the right thing and committing it to wax via Duca Bianco. It's a vital, funk-rooted jam that revolves around dusty drum licks and piano, as badass as it is considered. "Meta Weta on the flip is equally cool in its execution, this time using some uneasy synth pulses that reverberate between the laconic step of the beat. Drawing on library music, Giallo and deep-digging grooves from the outer reaches, Cherrystones once again demonstrates his knack for off-kilter tackle to get the freakier party set moving in approval.
Welcome To SRM'S Stereo (Test & Sound EFX edition)
Verbal Narration & Sounds (Excerpts) (Flexidisc)
Review: Every time that we get a drop of some new Joaquin Joe Claussel material our ears are automatically attracted in that very same direction. In fact, we've been known to get into trouble for playing his material extensively on our Juno HQ system, because we just hate to see it leave. However, this new material is probably not what you're expecting; rather than a new house EP, Mr Claussel has prepared a nerd's guide to sound testing, described by himself as: "DJ tool for testing, measurement, and calibration of mediocre reproducing stereo sound systems". The elements inside the box are flex-discos, not vinyl, and they are a series of sound, spoken word lyrics, and general FX tricks to either test your system out on, or simply sample and twist-up however you please. It's a collectors piece, and something refreshingly different to support the development of good music in clubs. We love you Joe...
Review: American artist Joe Coleman's soulful boogie-down number "Get It Off The Ground" was released back in 1982 and is still popular amongst those that know. Austrian imprint Record Shack present a hot edit by New York City legend DJ Spinna on this edition, which retains the infectious energy of the original but gives the track some much needed dynamics for modern dancefloors. Although we give credit to the edit, the lo-slung funk of the original will always be king and rest assured that is indeed featured here on the flip.
Don't Let Love Walk Out In Us (T Groove mix) (3:47)
Review: Paul Craver's smooth strain of jazzed-out house music has been MIA since 2013, and we're glad to hear some of it back on our charts with such fervor. The man returns to Sundae Soul Recordings with two fine-ass cuts, the first of which is an edit of a certain track called "Back To You" (unnamed for legal reasons), and it's one of those seductive soul ballads that sounds just perfect on the dancefloor. On the flip, T Groove drops a mix of "Don't Let Love Walk Out In Us" and, once again, we have a lovely blend of disco-leaning soul on our hands - perfect for just about any situation involving lovers and the moonlight. Gorgeous.
Review: Given the popularity of Todd Terje's 2012 nu-disco anthem "Inspector Norse", it's a bit of a surprise that we've not seen more cover versions over the years. By our reckoning, this is only the second, following the release of The Gene Dudley Group's heavy funk take in 2015. Cruisic's version is very different in tone, re-imagining the Norwegian's spiraling dancefloor epic as a shuffling jazz-funk workout where Terje's spiraling synthesizer lead lines are replayed on electric piano and flute. There are plenty of synths involved, but it's an altogether warmer and looser take on the anthem-like original. Slowly provides the obligatory B-side remix, turning Cruisic's version into a jaunty summer synth-dub workout with a touch of dub disco flavour.
Review: Dane//Close is sounding fierce as hell on this 7" edit grip for the ever-excellent Duca Bianco. Having previously moonlighted on Power Station and Prasens Editionen, you know this is a head with an instinct for alternative selections to make you move. On the A side, he tackles the incendiary "I Don't Wanna Go Out" by iconic Australian punks X (not to be confused with the LA band), stretching out the rowdy groove of the original's two-minute burst. On the B side, things take a slinkier turn into oddball boogie sleaze - the source material isn't so easy to detect, but it's definitely a jam to get low tempo lovers moving.