Cody Currie - "ACE, At The Point Of Collapse" (5:14)
Sebb Junior - "Greatest Feelings" (5:54)
Demuir - "Let's Get In It" (7:16)
Black Loops - "French Affair" (6:24)
Hotmood - "Voyage To The Onda" (6:41)
COEO - "Azzurro" (7:37)
Review: The team behind upstart imprint De La Groove has done a fine job on this compilation style extravaganza, which features tracks from an impressive selection of hotly tipped producers. Highlights include the bouncy, shirts-off loop-disco of Cody Currie's "ACE, At The Point of Collapse", the super-groovy, jazz-flecked deep house warmth of Demuir's "Let's Get In It", the effervescent sweetness of Black Loops' summery roller "French Affair", and the fluttering flute solos of Hotmood's goodtime jazz-funk revision "Voyage To The Onda". The purest expression of jazzy, smoky deep house is provided by COEO, whose clarinet-sporting "Azzurro" is probably our pick of a very strong bunch.
Review: Masterworks Music mastermind 80's Child unleashes the third volume of his Masterworks compilations. This is a two-part vinyl release with the first part featuring The Funk District hailing from Cancun, who kicks off the A side with "The Funky Joint". He gets a good ol' time shuffle going before handing it over to Parisian Oldchap for a proper low-slung boogie in the form of "To The Top". On the flip, Godfather of the western Australian dance scene Dr. Packer gets down with a wicked edit on the late night sexiness of "Your Big Chance" and fellow Mexican Hotmood goes out on a high note with smokin' hot vocal number "Raw Dance".
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: Two out-and-out rarities from Hancock's Columbia-era output. Strictly the sole preserve of DJ promo back in 79/80, the clue is in the title 'special' disco remixes. Smooth, soulful and arranged with such style, every element of Herbie's essential ingredients is brought to the fore in its own time with its own space. "Stars In Your Eyes" swoons with a soulful ballad feel while "Saturday Night" pumps and jumps with party-pulling allure. Simply essential.
Review: Manchester producer Andy Hanley has had one previous outing on Ruf Kutz but now he's adopted the Haners alias to kick off the Misadventures label with an assured grip of warm, discoid funk shot through with a healthy dose of 80s production finish. "Heaven" is definitely the most dancefloor ready track - a shimmering slice of laid back disco house with plenty of hooks and a dreamy, slightly dubbed out atmosphere. "Girl" is more audacious, slowing the tempo right down and riding on a brittle beat and a heavily reverbed dose of island boogie. "You" keeps things slow and easy for the gentle part of the night - a consummate smooth groover.
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: Ron Hardy's edit vaults just keep on supplying and you keep on buying. The RDY series now stands at number 31 and its still nothing but vintage tweaking. The musicality and instrumental frenzy of Willie Bobo's "Always There" enjoys a full celebration, Al Di Meola's Italo trip "Sequencer" undergoes a muscular cosmic touch while "Bpm Trax" pushes us close to the edge. Just try not to lose your heads.
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: With this tasty collection of sticky, tropical-minded reworks, edit kings KAT Records welcome a new name to the roster. Hatsvali is a new alias for the Georgian duo Rotkraft, who previously released throbbing house and nu-disco jams on Nurvous and Kompakt Extra. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Bebe", where jaunty horns, flash-fried guitars and Loleatta Holloway vocal samples rise above a chunky, tropical funk groove. Flip for the gently housed-up Cambodian disco-funk flex of "Marie Terese" and "Gamodi", a sweet, shuffling and gently dubbed-out interpretation of what sounds like a dewy-eyed old French disco record. Fine floor-filling fare, all told.
The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon (Cherrystones rework) (7:14)
City Of Lagoons (4:57)
City Of Lagoons (Cherrystones rework) (5:07)
Review: A connection that perhaps didn't seem obvious at first but makes sense when you think about it, space rock titans get the niche reissue treatment on Emotional Rescue with Chuggy's ever prolific stable picking two deep cuts from the band's frankly intimidating back catalogue. Originally released in 1976 on "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music", "The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon" and "City Of Lagoons" are both examples of Hawkwind at their cosmic best, and not afraid to hold down a groove either. Alongside the originals, we're also treated to some wild remix versions from wayfaring astral traveler Cherrystones - lucky for us!
Review: Two years on from his first appearance on Brooklyn's finest re-edit imprint, Martin Hayes returns with a second salvo of DJ-friendly disco revisions. The Leipzig producer goes for the jugular from the start, delivering a slightly straightened-out, house-friendly tweak of a celebratory disco gem on boisterous opener "Easy Come Easy Go", before serving up a sizeable edit of a slo-mo orchestral disco groover ("Tiff"). He returns to peak-time pastures via EP highlight "Turn You On", a wickedly up-tempo anthem built around razor-sharp strings, jaunty piano riffs, bustling beats and a seriously good "walking" bassline. To round things off, Hayes delivers "Love Shine", a far warmer and groovier concoction blessed with breezy piano riffs, extended percussion breaks and incessant vocal snippets.
Review: Like many producers, Martin Hayes has built his career on the twin pursuits of original, sample-heavy house production and floor-friendly re-edits. This 12" sees him reaching for the scalpel once more, delivering a quartet of killer cut-jobs for Brooklyn's mighty Razor 'N' Tape. He begins with the rubbery bass, punchy horns and sweaty disco percussion of "Get On Down", before offering a perfect balance between low-slung strut and epic, string-laden brilliance on the even better "Make Me Dance". Flip for the percussion-heavy disco-funk workout "Tight Spot", and the atmospheric funk breaks, glistening guitars and spacey delays of EP closer "Ol' Funky Music".
Review: 6 E.P.II" is the second Vinyl E.P. taken from Headman/ Robi Insinna "6" Album which was released via Relish on the 15th September. E.P.II includes on side A1 Number 9, A2 Swing Now Out Dubfeaturing TarafromIt Rough fame. First track on the B side is called Somethingwith vocals by David Shawwho just released his first collaboration with Jennifer Cardinion Correspondant. The last track on the B side Take Me To The Top Dubfeatures Bozzwellaka Hiemfrom Firm fame. The Dub versions are exclusive for the Vinyl release. Robi's cover design is again in the same line as the whole Album project, including the Artbook, Video and Screenprints.
Review: Dark Entries' series of leftfield Italo-disco reissues continues with a double-header from prolific Italo disco session vocalist Helen (AKA Elena Ferretti), whose early excursions on obscure Italian labels Out Records and Discomagic have previously been the sole preserve of dusty-fingered crate-diggers. This EP brings together two of her finest EPs; 1983's scarce "Witch" - an exercise in bubbling, synth-pop inclined Italo-disco - and 1985's arguably better-known "Zanzibar". It's arguably the sparse, cowbell-laden "Afro Mix" - think Cosmic Club era Daniele Baldelli - of this track that steals the show, though all four tracks are shot through with that European strangeness that often marks out the best early Italo cuts.
Review: Perpetually locked into a disco groove, Pete Herbert has already impressed this year with the splendour of his releases on Nang alongside Martin Denev, but on this new 12" for Riot Gear he's stepping out on his own. The record actually leads in with the plush, romantic throb of the Yam Who? remix of "Expresso" before the original takes over with a more peppy, borderline hi-nrg approach. On the B side Bottin gets to take "No Big Thing" to task with a version rich in electro funk synthlines, while the original sports some piano house chops and enough sizzling dancefloor energy to ignite a ruckus in a retirement home.
Pass Me By (Daniele Baldelli & DJ Rocca vocal remix) (6:00)
Pass Me By (6:04)
Pass Me By (Dr Packer remix) (6:30)
Pass Me By (Pete Herbert remix) (5:28)
Review: This is big: a collaboration between Balearic nu-disco heavyweight Pete Herbert and "the voice of house" himself, Robert Owens. In its original form, "Pass Me By" is bubbly and attractive, with Owens' adding deep, soulful and emotion-rich vocals to a sparkling, synth-heavy backing track that effortlessly joins the dots between freestyle, proto-house and Italo-disco. The equally impressive remix package is headed up by a fine rework from Daniele Baldelli and DJ Rocca: a chugging, undulating cosmic disco revision that's surprisingly more organic in feel. Elsewhere, Aussie adventurer Dr Packer gives it an electrofunk flavoured house makeover and Pete Herbert turns in a fluid, Balearic-inspired rework full of heady synth lines and tumbling pianos.
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: Mexican DJ and producer Hotmood has slung out a huge amount of quality releases in the past few years via his own Hotmood Records as well as elsewhere, from Disco Fruit to Whiskey Pickle. Now Guillermo Gonzalez is bringing the funk to Ravanelli Disco Club, imparting some seriously classy club rollers that draw on classic sound sources but boil the ingredients down into punchy, effective contemporary dancefloor bombs. "Burning Desire" is a sprightly, key led affair, while "Maybe The Melody Sucks" gets busy with Philly strings and brass stabs. "So Deep" piles the looped up disco funk on heavy, and "Get Down" does some impressive filter riding - these disco house bombs can't fail to set the party on fire when they're slapped on the platter.
Review: Having made his name with a string of fine rework releases on the acclaimed Tugboat Edits imprint, Guillermo "Hotmood" Gonzalez makes his first appearance on Whiskey Disco. Disco De Los Muertos ("Disco of the dead", if our Spanish is up to scratch) is predictably full of cheeky dancefloor moments that should appeal to both house and disco DJs alike. Our pick of the bunch is probably the low-slung "Playing The Groove For An Hour", where fizzing synth stabs ride a ridiculously rubbery slap bass riff and rolling house groove. That said, the deeper and dreamier "The Camel" is rather good, while the horror-tinged Mexican funk-goes-house fare stretched across the A-side is both rock solid and highly playable.
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: 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.
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: Random Mind State coming on strong with another concentrated dose of pure party. Kandinski gives Madonna a 1up, charging up the classic "Vogue" 909s with raw energy, George Feely follows up the corking "Apache 909" with a supreme disco uplift on "Forget About U" while Turk Turkelton flicks up the filters for a loopy slice of shoe shuffled jacks. Elsewhere Hauke drives us deeper into a hypnotic state of mine with the twinkling, filtered "Instinct Groove" before Ayer Fijen chimes us the perfect lullaby with "Sweet Dreams". Great EPs are made of these.
Review: Earlier in the year, Samosa Records launched the "Funk Purpose" series via a multi-artist collection of top-notch edits. Volume two will be released in several parts, with this rock solid EP the first to drop. Glaswegian scalpel fiend Al Kent kicks things off with "Where", a superb traditionalist rearrangement of a soaring, orchestrated disco-funk cut that has the potential to become a screaming, soul-fired anthem this summer. Raw Slavs opt for a loose and groovy, slightly housed-up vibe on their succulent disco re-edit, "Born In R", before the Tropical Disco Records crew takes on side B. Moodena and Sartorial's "Got That Feeling" is a bumpin' disco-house revision of a soulful disco groover, while Hotmood's "700 Copies" is a deep, bass-heavy jaunt through cowbell-laden jazz-funk/house fusion.
The Silver Rider - "I Need U" (Osmose retouch) (5:56)
JP Source - "Justa Second" (6:41)
Hristo - "Love Me" (5:07)
Review: More Beatdown business from vinyl-only warriors Smokecloud. Osmose steps forward with the first half; "Help Me DISCOver" is a sample-savvy filtered enlightener while his edit of the Silver Rider goes for a much heavier, floor-pounding sense of insistency. Flip for twists from JP Source and Hristo. The former gets busy on a densely textured and tightly plucked guitar line while the latter takes us right down into sleazy town with an Isaac Hayes level of gravelly vocals and a sweaty guitar and organ pumped groove.
Review: To date, Rimini's Duca Bianco has put out just two 7"s, by Cherrystones and Tom Bolas specifically. Now the label widens the net with a various artists 12" that features four disco-not-disco burners for adventurous party people to shake down to like they're in 1980s New York. S&C present "Drug Of A Nation,", a raw, funky garage rock jam embellished with wild synth parts. Tom Bolas brings things to a more Afrodisco flavoured peak with a cheeky famous funk lick and killer robo vocoder. Hanoben / ADSX take things in an Italo direction with 'Dreifaltigkeit" with some incredible vocals to boot. Schmoltz sets things adrift in supreme Balearic style on "Starnight."