Review: DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer... Kalabrese's talents know no bounds. Naturally his range is equally bountiful, but nothing in his past discography matches the colour, warmth and scope of this extensive second album. Ranging from the WhoMadeWho style lollops of the title track to the ghostly Blakey echoes of "Das Haus Am Fluss", the Zurich-based artist has polished his technique with finesse. With a delivery that's not far off a young Byrne, and an ability to conjure up some very interesting studio sounds (case in point: the fluctuating bass on "Makossa"), Kalabrese has hit a rich vein of form. Available as a special gatefold vinyl and CD package, this is a very wise investment opportunity.
Sandy Barber - "I Think I'll Do Some Stepping On My Own"
Bill Avery - "Disco Fever" (re-edit)
Spooky & Sue - "I've Got The Need"
Vessie Simmons - "I Can Make It On My Own"
Scarbrough - "Make Love To You"
The J's - "When Did You Stop"
Larry Brown - "Breaking Training" (parts 1 & 2)
Review: In recent years we've become accustomed to disco compilations appearing at a furious rate. While many of these compilations are undoubtedly worthy of attention, the volume of releases can sometimes be bewildering. This eight track selection from Al Kent, the second in his Disco Love series, ticks all the right boxes, however. Even by the highest crate digging standards, these tracks are pretty obscure; many won't have had much of an airing since their original release. Those into the rich, soulful side of disco - that brand of string-laden dancefloor material most associated with the Philadelphia International label and studio -will find much to enjoy. Perhaps the most noteworthy is Scarborough's delightfully sweet "Make Love To You", an epic of biblical proportions that lasts longer than most drunken one night stands. See also Valerie Simmons' super sweet "I Can't Make It On My Own" and the rousing orchestral manoeuvres of "I've Got The Need". This luxurious gatefold double album also comes replete with extensive track notes from compiler Al Kent.
Clear - "Equal Love Opportunity" (feat Lee Edwards - Al Kent re-edit) (4:17)
Barbara Jean English - "If It Feels This Good" (3:49)
Genobia Jeter - "Things Got To Get Better" (4:54)
Emanuel Laskey - "I'd Rather Leave On My Feet" (full lenght disco version) (5:43)
Hazel Rambaransingh - "I Wanna Give You Everything" (Al Kent re-edit) (7:18)
Mary Mundy - "Love Is Gone" (Al Kent re-edit) (6:43)
Marva Hicks - "Looking Over My Shoulder" (3:38)
Old (M) Pressions - "Right On" (2:15)
Lee Edwards - "I Found Love" (2:49)
Symbol 8 - "Call Me" (3:02)
Joe Casey & Fresh Heir - "Let Me Hold You" (Al Kent re-edit) (6:57)
Perfect Touch - "Keep On Loving You" (Al Kent re-edit) (7:40)
Betty Everett - "Prophesy" (3:13)
Skip Mahoaney & The Casuals - "Running Away From Love" (Al Kent re-edit) (9:54)
Fresh Fruit - "A Song For You" (4:06)
Review: Aside from releasing his own tunes and edits on Million Dollar Disco, Al Kent also dabbles in the fine art of compiling for the BBE crew, and this time he's been picked to pull together cuts for the label's fourth outing of the Disco Love series. As you'd expect, this is choc-a-bloc with odd, hard-to-find B-sides from the late 70's through to the early 80's, and his own edits are the perfect thing for the DJ who own the originals, but who wishes them to be that lil' bit straighter and kick driven. The opener itself, an edit of Clear's larger-than-life "Equal Love Opportunity" is a bit special...what a tune, and look out for the rest; all killers here. Tip for the disco heads, for real!
Review: Charlie Kingue Soppo, known simply as Charly Kingson, is a legend of afro-funk who managed to shake the entire continent up with his infamous 1978 LP, Born In Africa. Often forgotten when conversations turn to Afro-dance, and the likes of Tony Allen or Fela Kuti, he has been an incredible source of inspiration to many musicians exploring the funkier side of jazz-dance, and this album itself goes way beyond any traditional notion of tropical discotheque. In fact, tracks like "Makakane Masu" verge on the soulful and the poppy, while "Born In African" itself is a funky groover for the dancefloor. All in all, this is an album which was dying for a re-release, and now you can enjoy it courtesy of the wonderful Africa Seven outlet. Boom!
Donny McCullough - "From The Heart" (Kon's Multi remix) (6:33)
Taxie - "Rock Don't Stop" (3:32)
The Mazyck Project - "More Power To You" (4:39)
The Edge Of Daybreak - "EOB (Edge Of Daybreak)" (4:01)
Shake - "Lost In Space" (5:12)
Oby Onyioha - "Enjoy Your Life" (6:18)
Bomp - "Disco Power" (4:57)
Christy Essien Igbokwe - "You Can't Change A Man" (3:57)
Harry Mosco - "Sexy Dancer" (6:37)
Goddy Oku - "Dont' Ask Me" (5:37)
Review: BBE unearth another batch of rare and underexposed disco cuts on Off Track Vol 3. Compiled by the crate digging New York/Boston based duo Kon & Amir, the release gives an authentic representation of Brooklyn’s ghetto, funk and afro music scenes. Sophisticated tracks for real music heads
Don't Want This To Be Over (feat Satchmode) (5:16)
Sommeron (feat Imugi) (4:39)
Twilight (feat Izo FitzRoy) (5:47)
Echo Park (2:33)
Same Blood (feat The Palms) (4:54)
Say The Word (feat Nic Hanson) (5:44)
24 Hr Fling (feat Wolfgang Valbrun) (3:48)
Sweet Time (feat Izo FitzRoy) (3:29)
Guilty Discomforts (feat Wolfgang Valbrun) (4:39)
Out In The Daylight (feat Gavin Turek) (3:14)
I Think (feat Berenice Van Leer) (3:01)
Naked (feat IVAR & Berenice Van Leer) (5:26)
Review: Since debuting in the early 2000s, Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak have established themselves as one of Europe's premier purveyors of eclectic, funk-fuelled dancefloor positivity. It's little surprise then to find that their new album "Pleasure Centre" - their sixth studio set in total - is another joyous romp. This time round, they've drawn more influence from West Coast style blue-eyed soul and yacht rock while continuing to offer nods towards boogie, P-funk, synth-pop, '80s soul, jazz-funk and Rotary Connection (see the superb "Twilght", with vocals by rising star Izo FitzRoy). It's a wonderfully warm and attractive blend, with the result being a superb collection of dancefloor cuts and heady downtempo numbers that all adds up to their best album to date.
Review: A self-professed vinyl junkie and one half of Force of Nature alongside DJ Kent, KZA (pictured above) has a strong affiliation with the Endless Flight offshoot of Mule Musiq. Four years ago saw the release of his debut album Dig & Edit on the label, and he's also been responsible for a raft of 12?s on Endless Flight - including the classic Le Troublant Acid - as well as mixing two volumes of their showcase compilation series I'm Starting To Feel Okay. Now Dig & Edit 2 has arrived, and it's a continuation of the approach the producer took with his debut set. Some ten tracks long, Dig & Edit Vol. 2 largely consists of new material that KZA sampled from his extensive record collection and subsequently arranged with the assistance of Mule Musiq boss Kuniyuki, though it does end on the aforementioned, previously released Paul Martin-sampling stunner "Le Troublant Acid". All in all, essential.