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: 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.
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.
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.
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: Last summer, Evo and Soulstice launched Adventures in Paradise with a fine 7" of tooled-up funk reworks by J Sole and J Boogie. Here, the label returns to action with two more guaranteed party-starters. Fittingly, Evo makes his first appearance on the label with B-side "Mandingo Boogie", a killer edit of a low-slung disco-boogie heater rich in rubbery bass guitar, twinkling electric piano parts, spiraling electronic effects and punchy horns. While impressive, we can imagine DJs getting far more rotations from DJ Smash's cheeky A-side, "Your Pants Are Hot", which peppers a snappy, synth bass-propelled groove with samples from a well-known Godfather of Soul favourite.
Review: More from top-drawer rework merchant DJ Soopasoul, whose cheeky revisions on his Soopastole label are consistently on point and dancefloor-focused. For his latest trick, the long-serving DJ/producer has decided to apply his magic to one of the greatest disco records of all time and a "foundation record" of the hip-hop scene: Chic classic "Good Times". The A-side edit sounds like it has been created using the multi-track parts, as dubbed-out vocal sections ride stripped-back grooves and portions that variously showcase the track's original strings, Nile Rodgers' guitars and Bernard Edwards' killer bassline. The flipside "Part 2" version is similarly minded but more like a disco dub in feel and execution, with the maestro drenching vocal sections in delicious amounts of delay.
Review: Astonishingly, original copies of Energize's 1979 private press single "Piece of Class" have changed hands for over 500 quid online. Helpfully, Rain & Shine have decided to save us all a few bob by slinging out this licensed reissue. The title track is something of a bustling disco-funk gem - a genuinely wonderful fusion of hazy vocals, dueling horn solos, spacey synthesizer flourishes and driving bass guitar. B-side "Star of the Disco" is an even more up-tempo affair, with mazy saxophone solos, rasping horn stabs and starry jazz-funk keys riding a walking bassline and high-octane disco drums.
Review: In 1977, Libyan musician Ahmed Fakroun flew to Milan to record some new material. The results were showcased on a pair of 7" singles, the most sought-after of which is being given the reissue treatment by Italy's Groovin label. The real winner here is "Nisyan", an Arabic interpretation of blue-eyed soul that fixes a baggy, sun-kissed sensibility, ear-catching Moog solos and a killer groove. "La Ya-Hob" is, if anything, even baggier and dreamier, with Fakroun delivering touchy-feely vocals over exotic, Middle Eastern synthesizer lines and a rolling, soft touch jazz-funk groove. Both cuts are equally breezy and jaunty, lingering in the memory for hours after each rotation.
Let's Not Start A Fight (Let's Get Down Tonight) (4:40)
Do Me Like That (4:37)
Review: Star Creature continues to thrill and inspire with each successive seven-inch single. The label's latest comes from debutants Family of Geniuses, a seven-piece boogie band from Chicago who back heritage influences with brilliant new songs. You'll find a perfect example on the A-side, where "Let's Not Start a Fight" - a sweet, perfectly-pitched boogie club cut that sounds to us like Escort making original electrofunk - sparkles from start to finish. Over on the flipside they doff a cap to the label's roots, offering up a brilliant cover of E Live's "Do Me Like That", the 2015 bomb that helped put Star Creature on the map.
Review: Shirley Finney's 1979 debut album "Pray Again" has recently become something of a sought-after set amongst collectors of disco-era gospel soul. Original copies of the LP are expensive and hard to come by, so Rain & Shine has decided to stick two of the set's most admired tracks on one 7-inch single. "Pray Again" is rather wonderful, with Finney delivering a strong, heartfelt vocal above a backing track rich in sustained organ chords, jangling pianos and clipped guitars. "Give Your Best To The Master", meanwhile, is a more up-tempo and stomping gospel-disco affair that benefits greatly from some stellar choral backing vocals. It sounds like the sort of thing that Tony Humphries may have championed at Zanzibar in New Jersey back in the day.
Review: Night Shift Records owner Javi Frias is, like many in the nu-disco scene, something of a label-hopper. Previously, he's served up re-edits for the likes of Midnight Riot, Giant Cuts and Street Edits; here, he brings his scalpel magic to nascent imprint Neon Finger. A-side "Feel Your Soul" is a bouncy and attractive affair, with Frias beefing up and teasing out a classic disco-funk groove before unleashing rousing horn lines, swirling strings and celebratory vocal passages. Flip for "Loving You", a more gentle and groovy, saucer-eyed rework that swings impressively, despite the presence of solid new house percussion beneath the original beats.
Review: Athens Of The North return to the disco motherland by way of this scorching groove doublet from Canadian troupe Gratitude. "We Are Here To Party" lives up to its name with vibrant horns and a thumping deep funk focus. Flip for "Loving You", as the name suggests there's a smoother tone and message at play as the band ease us into something a little comfier. Less of a B, more of an AA. Show some gratitude for the tireless AOTN crew!
Review: Acid Jazz has pulled off something of a coup here by persuading legendary '70s soul man Leroy Huston to part with a couple of previously unreleased cuts. A-side "Positive Forces" was recorded by Hutson in 1977 and sits somewhere between the sweeping, orchestrated bliss of Philly soul, the soaring dancefloor celebration of disco and the loose-limbed instrumental goodness of jazz-funk. It's an absolute stunner, all told, and sounds like it was tailor-made for spins at sweltering summer festivals. On the B-side you'll find a previously unreleased instrumental version of 1975's "All Because of You". While a vocal-free version has previously been released, this particular mix includes a little more drum action at the beginning to assist with mixing.