Review: Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot is back with another volume of funky, party starting edits, so come and get your fix. Aashton's "Pride" samples the diva vocals of you know who on this smooth and soulful number. Peza's "Black Gold" is pure classic disco, reminiscent of Salsoul, possibly? Fabiolous Barker's "The Paradise" has that retro and Balearic vibe that fans of labels like Love On The Rocks and Efficient Space will certainly dig. "The Jam" by Rayko is a re-edit of you guessed it: Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam".
Review: In recent years, Daniel Baldelli's original productions have tended towards the funkier end of the cosmic disco spectrum. That's certainly what you get here, as the Afro-cosmic pioneer once again joins forces with regular studio partner Marco Dionigi. Of course, there are nod to the chugging, arpeggio-heavy world of Italo-disco - see the Balearic disco dreaminess of "Irradia" and cosmic funk-rock shuffle of "Slightly Mad" - but even these mind-altering journeys come blessed with crackling funk guitars and tasty Clavinet sounds. Our picks are opener "Rusty", a bassline-driven, funk-fuelled Idjut Boys style dub disco number, and the pleasingly percussive, flash-fried funk of "Start The Engine".
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".
FSQ - "Shaking My Damn Head" (feat Dolette McDonald) (4:47)
Perdu - "Cece" (6:32)
South Beach Recycling - "Bongo Man" (5:00)
Review: Midnight Riot's recently-released Riot In Lagos compilation paid tribute - in some style, we should add - to the enduring influence of African music on contemporary dance culture. This sampler 12" gathers together four of the most sought-after cuts from the digital-only set. Drop Out Orchestra kick things off with the fuzzy guitars, glistening solos, relentless handclaps and bongo-heavy drum rhythms of Candido tribute "Jin Go La", before FSQ deftly fuse Afro-disco and electrofunk on dancefloor stomper "Shaking My Damn Head". On the flip you'll find the breezy, Balearic-influenced Afro-disco fluidity of Perdu's "Cece", and the sun-kissed juju business of South Beach Recycling's fabulous "Bongo Man".
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.
Review: Earlier in the year, Italian reissue specialists offered up a tidy reissue of Ahmed Fakrun's "Nisyan", a sought-after chunk of Arabic blue-eyed soul that originally appeared as a seven-inch single in 1977. Here they offer up a new edition of its predecessor, which the Lebanese musician recording during the same recording sessions in Milan. With its flanged guitars, lolloping reggae-funk swing, spacey synths and warm bass, "Auidny" is particularly inspired, though the West Coast AOR-influenced warmth of flipside "Njoo El Leyl" is arguably equally as addictive. Both are superb, though, so it's great that Groovin' has slung them out again.
Review: Way back in 1999, Acid Jazz Records launched an offshoot dedicated to disco edits: Original Sound Track Recordings. The best of the series' many superb reworks were later gathered together on a compilation album on EMI that now changes hands for significant sums online. Happily, they've decided to reissue some of their early releases, beginning with this 7" of Family Tree featuring Sharon Brown's "Family Tree". You'll find the peerless original - a breakbeat-driven chunk of lolloping funk brilliance - on Side A, with the label's 2002 "Super Disco Break Beat" version on the flip. Inspired by hip-hop DJs doubling up the track's brilliant drum breaks, it's a killer percussion workout with a few quick blasts of funk energy and carefully placed special effects (think flanged drums, reversed sections and so on).
Hooked On Your Love (John Morales unreleased edit) (8:13)
Review: Serious Philly boogie business: In 1979 the Aleem brothers teamed up with serial hit maker Leroy Burgess for this outstanding bass slapping floor burner. Listen closely and you'll hear a young Luther Vandross on backing vocals as the twins bounce off each other with their signature high ranges. Meanwhile on the B we have a previously unreleased edit from one of the most vital, direction shaping remixers of the time; John Morales. Expect nothing but 8 minutes of pure disco bliss. We're hooked on this!
Step Into My Life (John Morales M&M main mix) (9:58)
The Two Of Us (Al Kent vocal) (11:01)
The Two Of Us (dub) (10:59)
Review: Daniel Maunick and David Brinkworth's second Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra album, Black Sun, was something of a rip-roaring, sun-soaked treat: a wholehearted tribute to Brazilian disco and jazz-funk that wowed us on its release a couple of months back. This 12" sees two of the album's standout moments get the remix treatment. Veteran New York disco-mixer John Morales handles side A, brilliantly extending and rearranging the brilliant "Step Into My Life" with the help of a few dub delays and a healthy dose of reverb. Al Kent goes all Balearic disco on side B, turning in a near 120-minute, pitched-down revision of the gorgeous "Two of Us", before dubbing out the same track in a similarly dreamy fashion.
Vendetta (feat Arthur Verocai - Al Kent main mix) (9:27)
Vendetta (Al Kent dub mix) (7:59)
Review: Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra are in safe hands right here as serial editor and connoisseur Al Kent takes the parts of one of their 2014 album highlights "Vendetta" and revisions them into a hypnotic dancefloor trip. Where the original is loose and prone to steamy Latin string histrionics, Al's edits restrain the emotion a little and let it leaks out much more gradually over an enticing weave of percussion. Whether it's the vocal or dub version, both are guaranteed to take your floor to new places.
Where Do We Go From Here? (Andres alt remix) (7:02)
Where Do We Go From Here? (LTJ Xperience remix) (8:40)
Review: The past six years have seen Far Out call on the great and the good to rework material by the Dave Brinkworth and Daniel Maunick-led ensemble, Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra with John Morales, Mark E, Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman, Dego and DJ Spinna among the contributors. La Vida man Andres is pulling ahead of the competition in terms of appearances on the series, having contributed two remixes in the space of a year. He's back for a third time with an alternate mix to "Where Do We Go From Here" alongside LTJ Experience man Luca Trevisi. Whilst the Andres mix of the track that featured on a 12" earlier this year was an exercise in chopped simplicity, there is a touch more complexity to this alternate take which shows off his ear for warming musicality. The LTJ take is super deep and super good!
Review: One of the Fatback Band's most celebrated cuts gets the reissue treatment. The A-side is dedicated to the band's two "original" versions from 1975, with the hard to find, previously promo only "Special Disco" mix - a wonderfully percussive, low-slung affair guaranteed to create pandemonium on dancefloors - being accompanied by the breezier, solo-heavy album version. On side B, there's a chance to savour Joey Negro's brilliant remix from a couple of years back, a ground-up, multi-track re-build that sees the veteran disco and house producer make merry with the band's sweaty percussion and hot-to-trot instrument solos. There's also a brilliant bonus in the shape of a "Beats" style mixing tool in which the Z Records founder brilliantly layers up heavy disco drums and head-mangling Latin style percussion.
Review: Faze Action last teamed up with Zeke Manyika, formerly of 80s funksters Orange Juice, for the effervescent "Mangwana" back in 2016. Now they're back in collaboration for more classically rooted house music with a deeply infectious African twist. "Kubatana" is punchy where it counts, but it's a light and springy proto house burner first and foremost, with Manyika's vocal sounding as smooth as silk in the middle of the mix. "Hapana" is equally rich in musicality and personality, albeit on a more simmering, meditative tip. On the B side, "Kubatana" gets reworked by Rudy Midnight Machine and Paradise, who turn in distinct versions without losing the overall 80s aesthetic that powers the release.
Review: Pleasure Unit is doing a damn fine job building up a catalogue of discoid deviance from the likes of Skatebard, Lunar Concept and Loose Change, and now it's the turn of debutant project Field Of Dreams to lay down some 80s-tinged grooves for the smoother kind of dancefloor. "Pourquoi" features Queenie, and it shows off the individual heritage the two producers in Field Of Dreams have (one was in 90s chart toppers D:ream no less), all plush chords and slinky grooves with an alluring French vocal thread coursing through the middle. "Draw The Line" is a more synth-rich affair that leans towards the moodier end of acid-tinged disco, and then "Line Drawn" drifts out into Balearic boogie of a dubby nature, providing plenty of variation for the warm up or melt down dancefloor.
Review: Hot Digits head honcho Fingerman now launches Wax Digits, bringing his killer re-edits to the vinyl format and inaugurates the series in great fashion by recruiting some homeboys and Aussie legends alike, such as DJ HMC under his Late Nite Tuff Guy guise; he edits the Malcolm McLaren classic on "My Buffalo Girl" for modern dancefloors. Perth drum and bass legend Greg Packer it seems has turned his deft hand to disco re-edits of late and "Another Night" is a great one of The Peech Boys classic on West End Records. Five Valleys collective Situation do pretty sweet remix of a certain Diano Ross classic on "Thru The Mirror.
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.
First Choice - "Dr Love" (Late Nite Tuff Guy Hypnotizin' Groove) (5:33)
Double Exposure - "Everyman" (Late Nite Tuff Guy rework) (5:31)
First Choice - "Love Having You Around" (Late Nite Tuff Guy rework) (6:37)
Review: There's a whole load of Salsoul goodness that we often miss or skip, whether due to unavailability of reissues or simply because there's just simply too much of it, but this RSD 2018 release of Late Nite Tuff Guy Reworks hits the spot in all sorts of ways! The master edit-junkie and version freak steps up with three reworks of some pretty classic classics, namely First Choice's "Dr Love", Double Exposure's "Everyman" and, finally, First Choice's "Love Having You Around". House-tinged edits for you to VIBE to!
Review: The Voodoo Funk label returns with a 12" maxi single of sublime spaced out disco funk from Nigerian group First Planet which concludes their excellent Lagos Disco Inferno series. Lead by the inimitable bass playing and vocals of Willy Nfor, First Planet released just the one self titled album together back in 1980 for the Zanidisco label and two of it's highlights have been licensed for this Voodoo Funk platter. If you known Nfor for his previous band the Mighty Flames, you'll notice the decidedly more disco edge to First Planet (whose whole aesthetic was a subtle nod to Parliament) and both "Top Of The World" and "I Want To Thank You Baby" are high grade slabs of harmony heavy afro funk with neat little p funk undertones.
Review: Last year, obscure 1980s soul singer Garfield Fleming returned to action with a mini-album of tracks co-produced by modern boogie maestro Simon Tappenden AKA Ourra. Here we get a chance to savour once again his 1981 debut single, the much-sampled "Don't Send Me Away". It's something of a "groove"-era boogie classic, all told, with Fleming's superb lead vocal rising above sweeping orchestration and a chunky groove. It also boasts a seriously good breakdown in which Garfield's repetitive chorus vocals ride a stripped-back but percussive groove. Turn to the flip for the solid original B-side "You Got Dat Right", a jaunty slab of disco powered by honky tonk style pianos and a superb "walking" bassline.
Review: After releases for Discos Capablanca and Moon Glyth, Minneapolis collective Food Pyramid align with Especial for a remix EP based around "Oh Mercy", a track from their 2012 album Mango Sunrise. Apparently a long term favourite of label boss Stuart Leath, the warped breakbeat jam-fusion of the original is ripe for reinvention and gets the remix treatment from Especial in-house team Apophenia, Inhalt and Jamie Paton. It's the full on italo pumper remix from San Francisco's Inhalt that really impresses too, with Especial right to compare it to Timmy Regisford classic remix of "Rules To Survive" by NOIA.
Review: The Foster Jackson Group are one of those forgotten but highly coveted one-hit disco wonders that exist in the bottomless pit that is often classed simply as 'soul'. All that aside, these people made an incredible 12" back in 1979 that has been going for serious bucks on the second-hand market, but thankfully the prodigious P&P Records have saved the day yet again. "Feel The Spirit" is a devilish, inimitable disco jingle that is split between the more percussion ridden "Long Disco Version", and a more contained, more floor-focussed "Disco Version" They both contain that instantly addictive dose of piano, though. Check it out, you'll know what we mean...
Review: Franz Scala was last spotted on Boredllo A Parigi back in 2016 - he makes the move to Bahnsteig 23 for this bold record of synth pop, early electro and much more besides. "Anacondas" has a cheery tone, all sunny synth lines and a laid back boogie rhythm section, while "Thai City" is more like a scratchy beat track for DJs to get clever with. "Shadow Dancer" is one of the record's stand out moments - a muscular pop burner for all 80s romancers to get emotional and funky to. "Rascals" finishes the EP off with some seriously tough drums and some body-popping electro styles that should go down a storm on the floor.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best Italy turn their impeccable reissue powers towards a surefire burner from 1984 given the stamp of approval by the likes of David Mancuso, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy back in the day. "Come Back Lover" was actually mixed down by another legendary DJ - Tony Humphries - and it shows. Even the original mix plays out with an extended, floor-focused flow that captures the creative energy at work at this epochal time for DJ culture. As ever with Best reissues, there's a plethora of alternative and dub mixes to suit any spinner's specific requirements, with the groove front and centre every time.
Review: The fourth installment on Madrid based Night Shift Records is served by label boss Javi Frias, offering a couple of top notch disco edits. 'Just Give It Up' is the A side track, a obscure late 80s boogie track with a house feel that has been retouched and extended to get the maximun pleasure on the dance floor. On the B side you can find 'Come On And Take Me', a disco funk mover with a killer groove, nice vocals and tight synths that surely will make you scream for more.