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: The Have A Nice Day edit crew return with another edition of their so-far sold-out and still anonymous series of craftily reimagined and wryly dug dancefloor jams. "123" takes the lead with a big Cuban twist; all loopy percussion before the big horns kick in. "120 takes a different route as we're thrilled to hear a heavily dubbed and darked out classic. Flip for more head-turners as "125" goes all out experimental boogie while "0" follows the same trippy spoken word saga as previous releases, this time offering some vital advice on personal jewellery. Tight!
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Having previously contributed to the Ruf Kutz series, Manchester-based editor extraordinaire Andi Hanley lands on Magic Wand with some off-grid treatments seriously worthy of your attention. First up on the A side is "Tied Up (Hanners edit)," which locks into a snaking, submerged and deliciously tense Afro work out for show-stopping dancefloor drama. "Happy Together" is much smoother by comparison, all laid back island boogie with cheery synth strings and ample bass sleaze to keep you warm at night. "Lucky Number" is a peppier 70s flavoured strutter that teases its ingredients out over a sustained set of riffs.
Review: Attention Vegetarian vinyl consumers - approach this excellent introduction to the I'm A Cliche canon proper from Hannulelauri with caution if the sight of bare meat causes your constitution consternation. Raw steak on the cover art aside, there's little other reason not to indulge in this brilliantly oddball take on house music from the Finnish duo. Opening track "Box To Box" splays a cheeky acid stab lead over rusted percussion steeped in off kilter rhythms, whilst deep in the machine what sounds like an elephant tries to play along in time - it's a wonderfully tongue in cheek riposte to po faced music everywhere. The accompanying remix from Throne Of Blood duo Populette does a sterling job of realigning the track to burning deep house bump that's a perfect fit for the midnight hour. On the flip the title track "Dysfunction" straddles a lysergic house pump that will prove potent in the right atmosphere, whilst Toby Tobias embellishes the track with some soulful excess via diva warbling and hand claps.
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
Review: London's Soul Brother unit has been out of the picture for a little while, but you can always rest assured that the mythical Putney-based shop will come up with some solid reissue goodness. This time, the gold comes through a resurrection of Bill Harris' material, a legendary jazz trombonist who started his trade way back in the late 1950's. There's two versions of "Am I Hot Am I Cold" here, a short version for the dance, and a long version that delves deeper into the percussion, goes heavier on the drum breaks and lifts the track to higher grounds thanks to those prophetic vocals. A certified jazz-funk monster.
Review: Gop Tun are a Brazilian label and party crew operating out of Sao Paulo, and they stride into their third release with a pair of tracks that are likely to establish them on the map even more than they are already. This is the second outing for Hatchets on the label, and "Hey Benji" makes for a perfect encapsulation of the Gop Tun sound with its warm, organic sound palette, slinky disco structure and traditional Latin elements. Prins Thomas meanwhile pushes the track into a whole other realm for his remix, creating a hard-edged, heavy-grooving remix that promises all kinds of psychedelic abandon on the dancefloor.
Review: Legendary Harlem label Queen Constance brought the world the most raw and authentic disco direct from the source. Years later, collectors and dancers alike still fawn over plenty of its output and now two of its more notorious tracks get on-point edits by contemporary stars Kon and Moplen. With Kon at the buttons, High Voltage's "Rock Spank Freak" is tweaked and coerced, with extended funk breakdowns and heavier bottom ends. Moplen then adds some extra colour and pumps up the trumpet lines to make for an unabashedly glorious disco stomper. This is a 100% legit reissue with fresh remastering, so do not sleep.
Review: Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel go from strength to strength, cruising their 18-wheeler disco wagon into the future without so much as a nudge on the brake pedal. "Dumb Disco Ideas" hits you straight in the face like a WhoMadeWho record produced by Tom Moulton. Hooky, pumping and precision produced, it's got 'sound of the summer' stamped all over it. It also comes complete with an insane video if you've got time for some visual titillation. There's nothing dumb about this at all.
Review: This more than handy 7" single brings together two classic disco-era cuts from soul legend Willie Hutch. A-side "Easy Does It", which was originally featured on 1978's In Tune album, features Hutch in full-on Curtis Mayfield mode, singing passionately over a jaunty, jazz-funk influenced backing track laden with swirling strings, choral backing vocals (think Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album) and Dexter Wansel style synthesizer solos. It's undoubtedly one of Hutch's finest moments and deserves to be in any serious soul head's collection. Flip for 1979's "Kelly Green", a sumptuous soul slow jam in which Hutch pines over a lost lover.
Review: Two Arista classics from 79/78 respectively, the cult (not to mention heavily sampled) charms of Pittsburgh soul queen Hyman are presented immaculately right here on this heavyweight vinyl double-A. "You Know How To Love Me", taken from the 79 album of the same name, is a straight up disco stomper that should be recognisable to all with its distinctive horn fill and rousing backing vocals while "Living Inside Your Love" (from her 78 album Somewhere In My Lifetime) is a slinkier, sultry affair with some sizzling scat vocal flare and harmonies that will have you weak at the knees. It's all love.
Review: By now we should know what to expect from Tropical Records, namely beefed-up, house style re-edits of disco and boogie tracks that tend towards the hot, sticky and humid. Sartorial kicks things off this time round via the swirling, Latin style disco-bounce of "Warping" - all low-slung bass, new house beats, big orchestration and snaking sax solos - before Moodena straightens out and tools up a hybrid jazz-funk/disco jam that boasts some seriously exotic guitar solos and jammed-out electric piano parts. Simon Kennedy's contribution, "Back To Soul", is a bumpy and bouncy take on a fine disco soul classic, while Hotmood's "Everybody" is a sweaty, house style revision of a P-funk flavoured boogie number.