Review: Alden Tyrell dusts off his Italo guise for another synthetic sojourn into all things dramatic and cinematic. "Dance Of The Happy Shadows" sets the scene; a Vangelis-themed disco set 50 years in the future. "I Rarely Talk To Strangers" is a more introspective journey with a Moroderish arpeggio peppered with staccato cosmic chords. Both parts of "J Is For Jupiter" drive us towards the tunnel-end light. Overwhelmingly positive chords hit hard on the first part before a spiralling Terjeian hook drives the very final stretch.
Act Of Sedition - "LDCE" (MikeandTess edit) (4:30)
Don Ray - "Got To Have Nothing" (Might Mouse dub) (4:28)
The Blackbyrds - "Rock Creek Park" (Lego edit) (4:38)
Michael Jackson - "PYT" (Bully Boy Refix) (4:40)
Review: Another double dose of seven-inch action from the Art of Sedition crew, who once again offer up a quartet of floor-focused re-edits stretched across two dinky slabs of wax. Mighty Mouse's punchy instrumental dub of Don Ray's "Got To Have Nothing" also hits the spot. On the second disc, Lego Edit flexes his muscles with a locked in, house style take of the bass-heavy classic "Rock Creek Park", before Bully Boy does his best Reflex impression on what sounds like a ground-up stems revision of MJ classic "PYT".
Review: Originally taking form as Universal Robot Band's dreamy instrumental disco cut "Thyme" in 1977, within a year of its release Patrick Adams invited Marta Acuna to add suitably yearning, hazy vocal. Adding to the silky groove's allure without taking any of its original soul, Marta elevated an already pristine track into a real moment that embodies the deeper, most soulful aspects of late 70s disco. A highly authentic P&P reissue.
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.
Review: Kevin Gorman aka Adesse Versions brings his cut and paste ethos to Brooklyn edit series Razor-N-Tape with a varied pair of heaters. On this wicked two tracker, the label takes it back to their early format of one track per side: and these two cuts can certainly carry it! On this side we've got "Bumpin' NYC" a lo-slung disco classic with that proper New York City vibe, if ya catch our drift? On that side, we have a lovely little number in the form of "Sistem" that flips an afrobeat sample into a dark and groovy club track with even a little bit of acid for good measure.
Trouble In My Way (Afshin & Kiss My Black Jazz edit) (7:42)
The Riot (Afshin & Kiss My Black Jazz edit) (6:00)
Review: Something a little different from G.A.M.M here, as Parisian DJ Afshin joins forces with the mysterious Kiss My Black Jazz to offer up two incendiary edits. The real surprise killer is A-side "Trouble In My Way", which subtly turns a blues-era recording of a traditional slave sing-along into a handclap-heavy chunk of infectious gospel-house brilliance. It takes a little time to build up, but when the heavier beats drop midway through you'll have dancers eating out of the palm of your hand. Flipside "The Riot" sees them make merry with a Hammond-heavy chunk of 1960s jazz-funk, extending and reworking the cut to make it suitably sweaty, heavy and life affirming.
Review: Earlier in the month, Parisian producer Afshin joined forces with Kiss My Black Jazz and served up a brilliant, two-track missive of jazz-funk and blues-house reworks on G.A.M.M. Here they reunite for round two. This time round, they begin by reworking a shuffling, chant-along Afro-Brazilian gem of unknown origin, extending the carnival-ready percussive intro before unleashing the shuffling, sun-kissed samba rhythm and some of the sweetest vocals this side of a sing-along in a chocolate factory. Over on side B they give a similar tune to a killer chunk of reggae-funk fusion rich in warm dub bass, bongo-laden beats, bluesy guitar solos, fuzzy horns and James Brown style guttural vocals.
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: In the super saturated and competitive scene of disco edits, it takes a lot to differentiate yourself from the pack. Enter New York City's Razor N Tape. What do they bring to the table that is different, you may ask? They offer up what they call 'respectful edits'. Got it? There are the ones you can trust and play with confidence. On this volume they present Al Tone, who are known for their eponymous rework series. The duo comprised of Chicagoans Al Bumz and Tone B serve up some lovely Afro boogie on "Feelin' Irie" and some pitched up soulpower in the form of "Simone Manuel". On the flip, there's a familiar hook on the vocal driven deep disco resplice of "Groovin'" then they take us home with the Theo-esque looped sax and falsetto gallup of "Wishes".
Review: The Andromeda Orchestra project was last seen on Faze Action last year, when "Get Up & Dance" got the remix treatment by Nick The Record. This time around the project gets a serious disco treatment from Ray Mang, who stretches "Don't Stop" out across the A side for a nine minute pleasure ride that's heavy on the funk. "Kano Line Dance" kicks off the B side in another loose and nasty party jam, before the original Philly string busting brilliance of "Don't Stop" completes the set in fabulous fashion.
Review: Stockholm based Ari Bald is up next for Better Listen after inaugurating Honey Butter Records last year with that great release. He keeps on with that deep disco spirit with these four funky and lo-slung jams. On the A side, we have two ergonomic edits in the form of "That Lonely Night" and "Enchantress" respectively which are looped to perfection with some somewhat familiar hooks that gradually build up to that drop! That's where the thumping kick comes charging in and it's sure geared for maximum dancefloor dynamics. On the flip, get ready for the funk explosion that is "Moonshiner" or what could be your First Choice (mind the pun!) in the form of the smooth and sexy late night groove of "Are You Mesmerized?"
Nada Nada (Simple Symmetry 'What Happens After Death' remix)
Review: This time in Calypso, Aristidez takes us on journey trough the streets of Lima Peru. The Chaos and the spirituaity of this old country are noticable on all of this tracks. Rumbling percussions and vocals, harmony and rythm, darkness and light all come togeter through the use of samples to show the quality of this young up and coming producer. "Nada Nada" it's the mantra that will help you go through the morning in a grey and cloudy city. "Reyerta" represents the violence of many Latin American cities having a hard time. Evoca its the mix between the first two where peace and violence find them selves in a catarchic release of energy. Symple Symmetry brings the tempo up for their Nada Nada remix asking everyone "what happens after death".
Steve Arrington - "Dancin' In The Key Of Life" (Frankie Knuckles edit) (9:07)
The Trammps - "Disco Party" (Frankie Knuckles edit) (7:42)
Review: Disco Queen just keep on pumping out the good stuff with two more divine edits from house music's spiritual and dearly missed father Frankie Knuckles. Two sides for two different peaks of the nights; Steve Arrington's "Dancin' In The Key Of Life" is that classic 11pm feel good warm up that's layered with clever momentum while The Trammps' "Disco Party" lives up to its name with incredible energy and soul and a dynamic drop into the original midway. Rest in peace Frankie.
Review: San Francisco's Dark Entries label does a good line in reissuing obscure, long forgotten, left-of-centre gems (their excellent collection of Patrick Cowley's little known soundtrack work for gay porn films, School Daze, was arguably one of the compilations of 2013). Here, they've unearthed another overlooked gem - Art Fine's previously rare-as-hen's-teeth dark Italo-disco gem "Dark Silence" (L200-plus for an original 1985 copy, should you be feeling flush). It's pretty much a straight copy of the New Wave-inclined original, with the sparser, looser "Long Version" (in which producer Fabrice Belli gives the synth melodies a little more room to express themselves) joining the dense "Art Fine Version".
Review: In the past, the collective of musicians behind the Arthur's Landing project have served up fine covers of tracks composed by their former studio buddy Arthur Russell. This time round, they appear to be delivering a combination of covers and new tracks loosely based on the great man's work. So while "Love Comes Back" is fairly faithful to Russell's original - albeit extended for extra loved-up pleasure - "Love Dancing (You Got Me Version)" adds many new elements to the bassline and selected vocal passages from "Is It All Over My Face". With legendary producer Bob Blank at the controls and a group of musicians who played with Russell providing the grooves, The Spring Collection is the next best thing to discovering unreleased music from the late, great leftfield disco legend. In other words, this is ace.
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.
Review: Get your motors running! Hamburg DJ and occasional editor Automart drives off the forecourt with one of his first originals. With its stately tempo and soft harmonics creating a smooth discoid ride, "Discover Me" sets to cruise control in a subtly addictive unhurried speed. Loaded with both vocal and instrumental versions from Tom Noble, there's plenty of mileage in the tank on this one.
Review: Ombra International is a Berlin based label and collective featuring artists from around the globe, sharing a mutual love for post-punk, new wave and other weird guitar and synth sounds. What's more, they're united by lust and fury and alone.. together! Commencing with the hazy and slow-burning cosmo-psychedelia of Bordeaux based enfant terribles Bagarre Perdue with "Cowboy", Sutja Gutierrez' "Great Chain Of Being" will take you deep into the exotic with its enchanting west Asian musical aesthetics. On the flip, more cosmic rock for fans of legends like Can courtesy of Frenchman Mondowski while Russian act Seven Knives channel the early '80s vibes of Neue Deutsche Welle on "Wires Go Golden".
Bar Konon Mousso (Musicien C'est Pas Quelqu'un) (Ben Gomori N'est Pas musicien edit) (8:00)
Massa Kamba (Ben Gomori's Massabbatical edit) (9:11)
Review: This officially licensed 12" sees prolific British disco producer Ben Gomori take a scalpel to two cuts from veteran African musician Amadou Balake's 2015 album, In Conclusion. On side A you'll find a fantastic, eight-minute extension of the breezy shuffler "Bar Konon Mousso (Musicien C'est Pas Quelqu'un)", where snaking saxophone solos and sun-kissed, juju style guitars rise above a hot-stepping, bass-heavy groove. Turn to the flipside for a thrillingly epic take on "Massa Kamba", a deeper and slightly more musically intricate cut blessed with a blissful; Pat Metheny style jazz guitar breakdown, memorable chorus vocals and evocative horn lines.
Review: Earlier in the year, Rio de Janeiro-based duo Balako made their debut on Barefoot Beats, sharing the billing with Eddie C on a tasty 10-inch single. The chaps at Razor-N-Tape were clearly impressed, because they've given the Brazilian twosome a 12" on which to showcase their edits. The hit the ground running with breezy opener "Batuque", which sees them add heavy, elongated analogue bass notes and delay-laden drum machine percussion to a suitably summery and glassy-eyed chunk of mid-tempo Batacuda positivity. Elsewhere, "Deixa Acontecer" turns a sweet salsa offering into a throbbing, Italo-influenced delight, while "Honey, Honey, Honey" sees them make merry with a wonderfully low-slung Brazilian disco epic rich in stripped-back bass guitar, druggy synthesizer arpeggio lines and sparkling electronic melodies.
Review: Cosmic don Baldelli commences a new six part project that will culminate in a mix and some beautiful six-piece 12" sleeve art collage. Igniting as he means to go on, each cut shakes and struts with distinctive aspects of Daniele's signature style: "Thyratron" is a ballroom jazz anthem-in-waiting with lavish piano splatters over an insistent disco chug, "Diffrazione" takes us much deeper into Baldelli's psyche with soaring, heavily processed guitars and synths freaking out over a pulsating bulbous bass bed while "Inner Light" brings us back into reality with a mildly Nordic piece of pop-oriented disco, all sensual, breathy vocals and a twinkling synth groove. Bring on the next chapter.