Review: Kalita Records are proud and honoured to announce the first ever official reissue of the four choice tracks from Randolph Baker's privately pressed sought-after 1982 disco album 'Reaching For The Stars', plus an unreleased instrumental take of 'Party Life' sourced from the original 24-track analogue master tapes.
Originally recorded at Jim Morris and Rick Miller's Tampa-based Morrisound Studios, 'Getting Next To You' features both a mixture of both local Florida talent plus jazz superstar Nat Adderley and bassist John Lamb at their finest. Originally pressed in a limited run of just one-thousand copies, with no distribution and most copies being sold in the local city and on Randolph's own merchandise table at the back of live gigs, original copies have long been sought-after by both collectors and DJs alike, acknowledged as a true grail and masterpiece in the disco scene and deservedly demanding extortionate figures to those lucky enough to find their own.
Here, in collaboration with Randolph, Kalita Records have chosen to re-release the four choice tracks from the album: 'Getting Next To You', 'Jazzman', 'Callin' Me' and 'Party Life'. The former is an in-demand horn and chant-filled disco masterpiece, which, as Randolph explains, concerns unity and "everyone on the same level in other words, everyone just loving life". It is arguably the song that Randolph is most well-known for in the disco and funk scene and perfect for the modern discerning dance floor. 'Jazzman' is an instrumental track with prominent trumpet and saxophone solos working with funky basslines to produce a truly great jazz-funk groove. It was "a tribute to Nat Adderley and Duke Ellington's bass player, John Lamb, for being so generous and saying yes to the project". 'Callin' Me' is a soulful disco number featuring the lead vocals of Laurie Erickson and is "about being on the road and ensuring loved ones that you will always come back home no matter what. It was like a promise to ensure loved ones they didn't have to worry". Lastly, 'Party Life' is a joyous disco track with a strong funk bassline and horns. As Randolph recalls, it "was the joy like after an actor finishes a movie. There was nothing but joy. It's finished; let's celebrate big time. Where everyone in the studio yelled at the top of their lungs - The End!" Here, with access to the 24-track master tapes we have been able to include the original version plus an unreleased instrumental take, allowing us to focus on the infectious bassline and make it even more ready for the modern dance floor.
Accompanied by extensive interview-based liner notes and never-before-seen photos.
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.
BT (Brenda Taylor) - "You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too" (Greg Wilson edit) (9:08)
Forrrce - "Keep On Dubbin'" (Greg Wilson edit) (5:17)
Raw Silk - "Do It To The Music" (Greg Wilson edit) (6:37)
Shirley Lites - "Heat You Up" (Melt Down mix - Greg Wilson edit) (7:19)
Review: West End's double-pack re-edit series continues, with long-standing UK electrofunk hero and scalpel rework specialist Greg Wilson sharing a quartet of revisions. There are airings for two of Wilson's most sought-after scalpel works from the "Credit To The Edit" series - superb versions of Brenda Taylor's "You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too" and Raw Silk's "Do It To The Music" - as well as a couple of previously heard rearrangements that are on-point as per usual. Wilson first adds even more mind-altering delays and low-slung dub disco flavour to Forrrce's "Keep On Dubbin'", before superbly stretching out the mostly instrumental "Melt Down Mix" of Shirley Lites' synth-laden peak-time classic "Heat You Up".
Review: Essential reissue alert: Arguably one of his most influential albums of his illustrious career, Wally's third album Echoes has matured incredibly well, joining the dots between electronica, island music, reggae, pop and ambient better than most self-styled Balearic DJs. Sampled by the likes Massive Attack ("Mambo") and Pete Herbert ("Chief Inspector"), we're moved through the moods in such a simplistic but warm, dynamic way as Wally switches from shedding a tear on the Scarface-era Moroder style "Canyons" to shedding a few pounds on the runaway boogie cut "Endless Race". Still sounding current 32 years deep, there's a reason the likes of Grace Jones, Level 42, Herbie Hancock and Black Uhuru worked with him.
Review: Should you stumble on an original copy of N'Draman Blintch's 1980 album Cosmic Sounds for sale, it would cost you upwards of 1,000 Pounds. This, then, is a much-needed reissue. It contains four fine cuts that showcase the Ivory Coast-born musician's distinctively intergalactic take on Afro-disco, where spacey electronics and mazy synth lines rise above bustling, high octane grooves. The album does contain one decidedly laidback and loved-up slow jam - closer "She Africa (Ton Tour Viendra)" - but it's the celebratory brilliance of the set's dancefloor workouts that most impress. Check, in particular, the anthem-like strut of title track "Cosmic Sounds" and the hot-to-trot, solo-laden Afro-disco explosion that is opener "Self Destruction".
Review: Since debuting in the early twenty-teens, Parisian producer Adrien Durrand has proved adept at bending musical styles and sounds. There's much of that on Jungle? Quelle Jungle?, his first album under the newly expanded Bon Voyage Organisation alias. Across the album's 13 tracks, you'll find seductive, Air style fusions of Chanson and electronic music, stylish post-punk '80s synth-pop, humid blends of Haitian rhythms and stoned Afro-disco, simmering spaced-out soundscapes, Sebastien Tellier style orchestrated Balearica, Italo-disco inspired sunrise shufflers and even a touch of experimental, out-there electronica that sounds like the Radiophonic Workshop jamming with African drum circles. In other words, Durrand inhabits his own sonic space and the resultant music is rarely less than wondrous.