Review: Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella follow up last year's beautiful "African Spirits / New World Shuffle" with two more lavish instrumentals. "Sun Song" lives up to its name with wave after wave of heated musicianship from the belting harmonies to the light-touch keys. "Nigeria" taps deep into the source too as it drives us through the heart of Lagos with full horns and sweeping keys. Spiritual, sun-splashed and vital.
Review: Italian Latin jazz stalwart Nicola Conte first joined forces with trombonist Gianluca Petrella way back in 2001 on the nu-jazz era "New Standards" single. The pair started working on new material in 2014 and the "Free Your Mind EP" is their third joint release since. They're in a surprisingly up-beat, club-ready mood on EP opener "Free Your Mind", where Ebo Taylor style guitars, Africa 70 organs, tasty vocal samples and Afrobeat style horn lines are underpinned by a relaxed deep house groove. Vocalist Bridgette Amofah stars on the EP's other two cuts: the percussive tribal jazz of highlight "Imani River" and epic B-side "Infinity", a superb chunk of Afro-tinged deep house that sounds like it was inspired by Kai Alce and Ron Trent records.
Review: Last spotted on wax together 16 years ago on New Standards, Italian kindred spirits and diggers Conte and Petrella collide once again. A culmination of many records savoured and ideas shared between the two friends, this 12" is long overdue and fizzes with fusion. "African Spirit" is focused on a rolling tribal MAW style house rhythm with Gianluca adding his signature trombone with staccato finesse while "New World Shuffle" is a much dreamier, smoky affair that sounds perfect any time between sunset and sunrise. Spiritual.
Review: On this latest must-have missive, the Editorial crew has assembled an all-star cast of re-editors and house-loving disco rework merchants. Thrillingly, it contains a now rare outing from slo-mo specialist Duff Disco, whose atmospheric, beatdown style chugger "Always on My Mind" is undoubtedly one of the best things he's released in years. Props, too, to Irish disco-house specialists Get Down Edits, who weigh in with the warm and summery grooves of "Hey (What's Happening)". Elsewhere, Buzz Compass subtly beefs up and filters out a sleazy disco favourite on the constantly rising "U Deserve It", while Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee get the party started in their inimitable style via a touch of disco/hip-hop fusion ("Moonlite").
Les Dance (Jean Claude Gavri 2017 dub edit) (6:35)
Review: Over the last few years, Israeli producer Jean-Claude Gavri has reworked all manner of vintage dancefloor treats, often delivering brilliantly percussive or subtly tooled-up reinterpretations. This time round, he's working his magic on David Bowie's 1983 classic "Let's Dance". Interestingly, it sounds like Gavri had access to the master tapes during the remixing process, because the A-side remix is a wonderfully dubbed-out, synth-laden interpretation that sounds like a cross between the work of The Reflex and the Idjut Boys. The flipside Dub Edit is pretty tasty, too, and naturally concentrates more on both the rolling percussion and killer synth bassline.
Review: Russian DJ/producer Phil Gerus has been around for a few years, but it's only in the last couple that his reputation has begun to build. This outing on Tensnake's True Romance label follows on from a fine 12" for Lumberjacks Boogie imprint, and a digital-only electrofunk exploration on Futureboogie. The real stunner is A-side "Wearing Her Black Boots Again", a thrusting, Italo-disco exploration full of dirty synth arpeggios, delay-laden percussion hits and rubbery, punk-funk bass. On the flip you'll find the sax-laden, AOR disco shuffle of "Make Time" - blessed as it is with some great blue-eyed soul vocal samples - and the sweaty, drum-machine heavy P-funk rearrangement "Detective From Kamakura".
Review: Here's another highly desirable slice of formative party fuel from the dusty highways and byways of dance music culture, brought to you by the diligent miners at Best Records. The Gong's Gang was a one-off alias for the equally one-off Nicolosi Family, a collective of real-life brothers and sisters who knew a thing or two about classic early 80s Italo boogie. "Gimme Your Love" is a stellar jam, with Rosanna Nicolosi out front on vocals and the cascading synths and bass stewing in an intoxicating blend that should have any funk detective frothing with approval. Whether you want the full vocal hit or the subtly dubbed out instrumental, this is a jam thoroughly deserving of a second run in the sun.
Review: Even if Russian producer Gradient Logic is found here turning out the business on Serbian label Disco Fruit, the sound on the Far Away EP comes on like a snappy fusion of Garage-ready New York proto house and laid back West Coast boogie of the highest order. It's the third vinyl release for Tonbe's label, and once more marks the serious clout behind the Eastern European operation and its closest artists. Just try grooving to the slick bass pops on "Feel Me" without being transported to an early 80s dancefloor. There's a more organic funk to lock into on "I Want You Slide", but as ever it's hard to tell where the sampling ends and the musicianship begins on this utterly natural sounding EP.
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: On wax by dope demand! This Razor-N-Tape 2013 release has been a cult classic for many years but never seen the light of the 12"... until now, thanks to the constant pestering of the Discogs community. All three tracks from the original release are here but it's "Where You Belong" that most are after due to its beautiful spacious beats, sweeping strings and awesome Dionne Warwick vocal texture. The whole release is charmed, though; "Here's To You Mr. Robinson" gets a little smokey on our souls while "Makes Me Feel" should get us all very blissed out. Do not sleep on this one, it won't hang around.
Review: It's been four years since A&R Edits ceased releasing music after serving up nine essential EPs between 2013 and 2015. This return to action has been masterminded by Merseyside scalpel fiends Greg Wilson ("GW") and Henry Greenwood, whose fine revision of Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" kick-started the imprint six years ago. A-side "Disco Mondo" is a rolling revision of a lesser-known breathy disco jam of (we think) Italian origin. It boasts a metronomic groove, wah-wah guitars, elongated organ chords, congas for days and a few well-placed swirling electronic effects. Over on side B, "In The City" is a dreamy chunk of mid-tempo, Italo-disco influenced synth-pop.
Review: Riding high on the buzz he has generated in the last twelve months, Max Graef delivers this album to Tartelet as a man very much in demand. His style, fuelled on the foundations of sampling funk and soul to a brilliantly modern end, has more space to breathe on this LP, but still the fundamentals remain. "Itzehoe" struts on a lazy jazzed-out sizzle of drums and beautiful Rhodes notes while "Tamboule Fudgefunk" punches its way through woozy synth work and a righteous beat and "Drums Of Death" struts on a perfect disco groove replete with live instrumentation, but there's a wealth of other tempos and styles all shot through with the homespun jazz charm that Graef has made his own of late.
TB Funk - "Free Blow" (the dub version - G&D edit) (5:01)
Kenny Pierce - "Done Been" (5:13)
Those Good Intentions - "We Know How To Boogie" (6:50)
Sherman Hunter - "Dance To Freedom" (8:12)
Gospel Keepers - "Never Gonna Give You Up" (5:38)
Living Color - "Plastic People" (G&D edit) (4:57)
Roller Disco - "Stone Luv" (4:15)
Carol Meriwether - "Love Ain't Just (A Physical Thing)" (9:35)
William Barlak - "Ain't No Doubt About It" (3:42)
Review: The Grasso is greener in Bologna: home to two of the most well-connected collectors in Italy. Suppliers to the likes of Kenny Dope, Phil Asher and Dimitri, Gino and Federico have carved their crate craft to insane levels over the last 30+ years... As shown on this detailed, widescreen boogie, funk and disco collection for BBC. Splattering the vibrant collection with a handful of their own edits (TB Funk's salubrious struts on "Free Blow", fly-by boogie falsettos on Living Color's "Plastic People"), the Grasso bro's have put together a package that's eye-opening, enlightening and damn fine to party to. See you on the other side.