Instant Funk - "I Got My Mind Made Up" (Late Nite Tuff Guy remix) (7:21)
Orlando Riva Sound - "Body To Body Boogie" (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit) (5:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "Ooh I Love It (Love Break)" (Late Nite Tuff Guy Muscle edit) (6:42)
Review: Salsoul has always been good at getting contemporary producers to reinterpret classics from its bulging catalogue, with recent years bringing fresh edits and reworks by The Reflex, Moplen, DJ Pope, Dimitri From Paris and Late Nite Tuff Guy. Here the latter returns with a second helping of tastefully tooled-up revisions. The Australian producer kicks things off with a warm and woozy hybrid disco/house take on Instant Funk's "I Got My Mind Made Up" that's quite a departure from the original mix. Over on side B, he turns in a languid and groovy, mid-tempo house version of Orlando Riva Sound's overlooked "Body To Body Boogie" before successfully revising Salsoul Orchestra's much-loved "Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)" whilst retaining most of the original vocals and instrumentation.
The O'Jays - "This Time Baby" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:52)
The Futures - "Party Time Man" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:10)
Jean Carn - "My Love Don't Come Easy" (A Tom Moulton mix) (10:46)
The Jones Girls - "Nights Over Egypt" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:09)
Review: Philadelphia International Records continues to dip into its bulging archives and offer up double-packs containing some of the finest 1970s remixes from remix pioneer Tom Moulton. As you'd expect, there's plenty to get the juices flowing and the heart pounding on this third volume in the series. Record one opens up with Moulton's epic version of the O'Jays' "This Time Baby", a swirling Philly Soul classic that later became a favourite of sample-loving disco-house producers and disco re-editors, and continues with his sugary but floor-friendly version of the Futures' "Party Time Man". Over on record two, Moulton's inspired extension of Jean Carn's seductive "Love Don't Come Easy" is followed by his must-have version of the Jones Girls' "Nights Over Egypt".
Review: Beatdown disco rework specialists Smokecloud have assembled a crack team of troops for their latest salvo into no-man's-land. Leading the charge and lobbing the first "Disco Grenade" is label chief Osmose, who contributes two tight cuts: loopy, filter-sporting disco chugger "Disco Luv" - a study in ear-pleasing, head-nodding hypnotism rich in musical positivity - and the more up-beat disco-funk thrust of flipside opener "U Promised Me", which sees him make merry with a cheery AOR disco favourite. Elsewhere, Oldchap delivers the obligatory slo-mo disco flier - think 98BPM beats, rising backing vocals, disco-rock grooves and jaunty Rhodes stabs - while The Funk District's "A Gangster Film" is a Blaxploitation-inspired bouncy disco-house treat.
Review: Some people like to Netflix and chill, Osmose prefers to "Cook & Chill". From a classically trained selector we'd expect nothing less... "Get It Straight" is the spicy starter, steamed with big soul emotion and orchestration and very familiar voices. "Disco Pagen Fantasy" is a meaty main course. Unhurried and hearty, the flavours really kick in as the swooning strings mark the development of the loop-heavy downbeat groove. Finally for pudding we're sent to bed satisfied and satiated with a lovingly languished citrus slo-mo jam. Delicious.
Original Love - "Love Vista" (feat Clementine - Larry Heard instrumental dub) (5:39)
Shantell Sisters & Keva Band - "Ouch" (dub) (6:48)
The Joneses - "Sugar Pie Guy" (Tee Scott club dub) (6:13)
Review: The Edit & Dub Recordings label out of Tokyo is seriously impressing us as of late, with this new remix EP being the best of their material to date. That's because they have the house master, Chicago dance wizard, Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers remixing Original Love's "Love Vista" into a gorgeous house track with a sublime dub sensibility that suits it down to the bone - this is tune of the week for us and we cannot recommend it enough. However, the dub version of "Ouch" by the Shantell Sisters & Keva Band, which is actually more of a disco banger, is no less masterful in its execution and italo-leaning tendencies. Finally, Tee Scott delivers a dub of "Sugar Pie Guy" by The Joneses, a percussion-heavy boogie monster with a buzzing bassline ready to conquer the floor good and proper.
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: Four years deep into its disco, beatdown and edit adventures, Smokecloud's status is nigh-on impeccable. Here we find them uniting four of their most creative craftsmen for four straight-up dancefloor pacifiers. Highlights include the sludgy slo-mo Edwin Starr on acid flavoured "Caught Up" and the Diana Ross homage that is the sun-skanked reggae party jam "CC Tribute" by VinylAddicted & SMQ. Instant smiles.
Review: Smokecloud Records has long claimed to be the World's only imprint dedicated to Detroit Beatdown style reworks of funk, soul, disco and boogie gems. Whether this is true or not, there's no denying the consistent quality of the imprint's output. This latest release features contributions from two label stalwarts; owner and A&R man Osmose, and New Yorker The Silver Rider. The latter kicks things off with "I Wanna Be", a rolling, soft touch head-nodder that fuses elements of a tactile soul cut with hypnotic, pitched-down house beats and filter sweeps. It's rather good, but nowhere near as inspired as Osmose's "Trust", which turns a classic Motor City soul cut into a smooth, toe-tapping Beatdown shuffler.
Review: Cruising nice and easy into earshot on the Smokecloud imprint, byDesign and Osmose take a side each in chopping up some choice old classics with a tender touch to work in modern contexts. byDesign gets the whole A-side to roam over with a version of Diana King's cover of the Bob Marley classic, "Stir It Up", working on a 90s flavoured hip hop groove and dubby cuts of King's vocal. On the flip, Osmose is having a lot of fun working on Alexander O'Neal's "Fake", keeping the tough beat intact and instead letting the effects bring in the changes. While the origin of the last track on the 12" is undetectable at this point, "Slomo Tattoo Dubbed" comes on like a prime slice of Balearic goodness, packing easy horn blasts, funky guitar licks and a whole lot of filter action.
Onward Intenational - "Foot In The Door" (Alex & Stephane Attias edit) (7:36)
Elbernita Twinkie Clark - "Awake O Zion" (Alex Attias edit) (8:18)
Review: Since launching in the summer of 2017, Alex Attias' edit-focused LillyGood Party label has consistently delivered the goods. It helps that Attias' approach to re-editing mirrors original scalpel legends like Danny Krivit - think killer rearrangements with no cheap production trickery - but this would mean nothing if the selected material was below-par. This time round he's on a Latin-tinged jazz-funk and disco tip, first teaming up with brother Stephane to deliver a superb, horn-heavy rework of Onward International's 1985 all-dayer slayer "Foot in the Door". It's a righteous and funk-fuelled affair guaranteed to bring a dose of sultry sunshine to any party. On the flip, Attias goes solo to lovingly extend Elbertina "Twinkie" Clark's 1981 gospel-fuelled disco-soul treat "Awake O Zion", with predictably fine results.
Review: All vinyl, all the time... We know how Osmose rolls. And so do Smokecloud, his most consistent home since he emerged as a producer in the early 2010s. This beautiful two-tracker is no exception as he flexes from his lavish synth boogie take on the Haywood-referencing "Out To Catch" to the slower-burning stomper "Me N U" that gradually smouldering into a raw funk groove fire with Booker T-style results. Powerful, all the time...
Review: Original Montreal selector Ouimet follows up his inaugural edit volume release last summer with three more classically crafted edits. Full floor focus, uptempo and deeply dug, they tick every box you'd expect from one of the original disco pioneering DJs. "Come Party" is a call to action, full horns and feels running throughout. "Where's Eugene" asks all the important questions over a rampant slap bass freak out while "Rob Can't Stop" brings us to an exultant climax with rolling drums and more slap bass that's so rude it should come with a health warning. Don't say yes, say oui!
Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian (6:06)
Folle Vendredi Soir (6:14)
Review: Moscow-based editors Olta Karawane let loose on Special Delivery with five exceptional intergalactic sleaze jams. Each one sprinkled with their own sonic stardust, highlights include the sultry cake-listing koshmiche mash of "Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian", the Moroder-goes-b-boy-on-Omicron-Persei-8 jitters of "Farine" and the peg-leg post-punk and woozy Tropicana of "Oinj". Topped off with an epic synth chariot of fire "Racaille", it's another remarkable trip from one of Russia's most enigmatic disco acts.
Review: A faceless producer, rumoured to be from Scotland and getting his 'revenge', appears here for the seventh release on Razor-N-Tape Reserve after great sessions by Caserta, Dirtytwo and Pools. On "Backchat" it's a looped up, boogie down affair complete with synth sax and pan pipes which support an obscure Steve Winwood sample. Absolutely electric and you're sure to get some hands in the air moments with this one. On the flip is a dub version that forgoes all the bells and whistles and works a razor sharp (mind the pun) arpeggio instead, for a more serious and late night version.
Review: Having set out their stall via a fine first collaborative release on Bordello a Parigi a couple of months back, Mytron and Ofofo pitch up on Multi-Culti. As you'd expect from a label with such a strong track record of multi-cultural musical fusion, much of the EP defies easy categorization. Sure, you'll find a chunk of Italo-influenced electro ("Non-Binary Joys on the Venus Holodeck") and a couple of slabs of madcap disco-funk fusion ("Si Jambo" and "2Tac Onana"), but also a heavyweight slab of low-slung punk-funk/post disco ("Czary Mary"). Oh, and the skewed electro-funk-meets-intergalactic synth pop insanity of "Something for Your Mind", which also boasts some notably brain-melting vocoder action. More, please!
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: On Orange Tree Edits' previously releases, label honcho Jimmy Rouge and his merry band of scalpel fiends largely focused on reworking old African records. This time round, Rouge has decided to switch focus, serving up two tasty re-interpretations of what sound like Japanese tracks. A-side "Dorian" is arguably the pick of the pair for peak-time plays, with Rouge teasing out a simmering disco cut before ratcheting up the intensity via rock solid drum machine beats and a mind-altering TB-303 acid line. On the flip, he gets busy with a Rhodes-heavy jazz-funk workout, slyly adding and removing beefy new beats whilst retaining much of the languid original instrumentation.
Review: The clue is in the title... OTE step up with two sparkling afro diamonds right here. Two of the coolest sides of the vibe coin, too: "Back To Kingston" is a carnival meltdown-in-waiting. Acidic, stamping, scorched with horn drama and gutsy vocals, this will absolutely shatter floors this summer. The label's own Jimmy Rogue maintains the heat with a much deeper, understated funk build on "Yeah Yeah", but when that acid and those horns riff back in.... Oh boy.
Review: The third multi-artist EP from Hot Digits' occasional vinyl series, Wax Digits, is packed to the rafters with dancefloor-focused re-edits and reworks. Labor Of Love leads the way with "Move That Thang", a fine chunk of warm and bass heavy deep house/disco fusion, before Osmose steals the show with the loopy mid-tempo disco-funk bump of "Let Harry Rock". Over on Side B, The Silver Rider impresses via the swirling disco-house hypnotism of 'Groove On Down", before experienced re-editor P-Sol pairs locked-in grooves with sun-kissed disco instrumentation and heady vocal snippets on "Sturdy Disco".
Rushing Through My Mind (Mang Dynasty extended version) (8:03)
Rushing Through My Mind (Mang Dynasty instrumental version) (7:00)
Rushing Through My Mind (Mang Dynasty radio edit) (3:56)
Review: Ray Mang's slick disco stable Mangled calls upon a new pair of provocateurs to lay down a sun-kissed steamer to blow away those winter blues. The agents in question are Josefin Ohrn and The Liberation, and their "Mang Dynasty" is every inch the Balearic idyll rendered in a long form discoid jam. The extended version on the A side fully floats out into gently psychedelic waters guided by Ohrn's infectious hook, "I've got you rushing through my mind." For those who just want the groove there's the instrumental mix available as well, or you can always plump for the radio edit if time is short.
Review: Out 2 are the product of a New York-based partnership between Jeremy Campbell and R. Zanzibar, who are just the kind of cult operators that Emotional Response so dearly love. With one foot in classic Talking Heads inspired funk variations and the other in the catch-all stylistic melee of the modern age, this is highly developed party music for well-read rug cutters to bust out shapes to. Just check the gorgeous synth violin styles on "Fire" or the heavy dub beatdown of "Rubber Hour" - these cats know what they're doing. All new-no-minimal-wave lovers take note!
Review: Los Charly's Orchestra sorts Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel first worked with veteran British soul singer Omar on their 2017 double A-side single "It's So/History". All involved clearly had a good time, because they've decided to repeat the exercise. "Fire" is arguably a step up, with Omar's honeyed vocals soaring above a rubbery groove, heady female backing vocals, cut-glass strings and punchy horns on the standout "Classic Disco Mix". Elsewhere, the noticeably heavier "Neo-Soulful Disco Mix" sounds like the kind of sumptuous, all-organic soulful disco-house fare we'd expect to hear from the likes of Joey Negro and Yam Who. Wisely, the duo has also included instrumental revisions of both versions. We prefer the superb vocal takes, but it's nice to have the choice.
Review: Glasgow's Ooft! continues the FOTO-X series on his label with a sure shot 12" that presents two tracks sure to nestle their way into all manner of on-point record bags for many moons to come. First up is iLO who plays the long game with a yearning and burning slice of deep house that starts out stripped and subtle before blossoming into a fully-fledged vocal delight. Ooft! takes care of the B-side with a boogie-tasting get down entitled "Howard's Way" which will get heads nodding and bodies popping to a bassline that calls to mind Evelyn King's much loved "I'm In Love" low end destroyer.
Review: The late nite stepper, the strut in the stuff that leaves you wanting more. That goodnight kiss, that early morning mist. Mystery producer Olmos steps to the plate for his debut 12" on Hot Shot Sounds, boogie funk vibes paired with modern nods to house- stomping OG mix backed with remixes from label boss Inkswel and Faces & McDE maestro Pablo Valentino.
Review: When Osunlade first conceived and released Pyrography in 2011, it was meant to be the closing chapter of his house music journey. Of course, his attitude has changed since, but the album remains a fine statement from one of house music's most singular producers. This reissue from BBE puts the original set on vinyl for the first time, packaging it inside a brilliantly presented book featuring images, prayers, and information on the Yoruba culture that has long inspired the producer. Musically, the set expands on his usual spiritual house blueprint, fusing elements of jazz, broken beat and soul with influences as diverse as 80s talk box funk, hazy disco and 90s NY house. It remains one of Osunlade's finest works, so it's great to see it on wax at last.
Review: After the success of their Who Is William Onyeabor compilation last year, Luaka Bop have curated two ultimate collections that explore every nook and cranny of the near-mythical Nigerian dynamo who self-released eight albums between 78-85 before quitting music never to discuss his work publically again. Cherry picking the best elements of every genre (even ones of the future) Onyeabor's songwriting, coupled with some deliciously creative production techniques, still sound timeless now... The cosmic harmonies of "Heaven & Hell", the twitchy ESG-style punk-funk fusion of "Good Name", the calypso croons of "Crashes In Love", the list goes on. A true celebration of a unique man in African music, both this and Box Set 1 are fascinating documents.
Fabio Fonseca - "Ladroes De Bagda" (feat Marina Lima) (3:51)
Fernanda Abreu - "Hello Baby" (4:56)
Luna E DJ Cri - "Acabou Como Comecou" (4:28)
Junior - "Vim Te Buscar" (4:59)
Thaide & DJ Hum - "Coisas Do Amor" (Trepanado edit) (4:34)
As Damas Do Rap - "Um Sonho Real" (4:55)
MC D'Eddy - "Jeito De Ser Menina" (instrumental) (5:12)
Sharylaine - "Saudade" (5:26)
Review: Did you know that Britain was not the only country where street soul was a musical force to be reckoned with during the late '80s and early '90s? As this fine compilation from record collector Augusto Olivani shows, the sound also thrived in Brazil, where inner-city musicians embraced its post-boogie fusion of head-nodding grooves, smooth instrumentation and even smoother vocals. There's much to enjoy throughout "Street Soul Brasil", from the dreamy chords and sparkling melodies of Afrodite Se Quiser's breezy "Fora De Mim", to the Soul II Soul style shuffle of Luna E DJ Cri's "Acabou Como Comecou", via the rushing cheeriness of Junior's "Vim Te Buscar" and the sugary bliss of MC D'Eddy's "Jeito De Menina (Instrumental)".
Review: Following 2012's fourth volume that celebrated the existential work of Tim Maia, here we find Luaka Bop exploring the legacy of William Onyeabor. A high chief and Kenyan diplomat who allegedly refuses to discuss his music, he self-released eight albums in the 70s and 80s and these are some of the many highlights. Stretching from the New York-influenced post-punk synth funk of "Good Name" to the most authentic Afro fusion of "Why Go To War", Onyeabor's range not only reflects his clear creative skill, but also the ever-developing international language of music during the fruitful period he was active. Who is William Onyeabor? Press play and find out yourselves...
Review: The second salvo from "forgotten music" specialists Dig This Way Records takes us back to 1988 and the synthesizer and drum machine-driven Highlife antics of obscure outfit Ode-Omore Osarenren & Ewaen Osetin Stars. Even by the standards of Nigerian music, it's an obscurity, but also pretty special. Check, for example, the clicking machine drums, group vocals and exotic synthesizer lines of opener "Ukhiokhio", the gorgeous guitars, whistling synth melodies and percussive breeziness of "Omoto" and the trumpet-laden tropical brilliance that is closing cut "Enothiomwani". The set's most endearing quality is undoubtedly its inherent positivity, something that's only enhanced by the band's use of sparkling synthesizer sounds.
Review: Rome-based combo Odeon is an interesting proposition. Basically two sets of musician brothers brought together by mutual friend (and Mondo label boss) Francesco De Bellis, their debut recording is a pleasingly hard-to-pigeonhole affair. Sometimes psychedelic, often dreamy and always atmospheric, the album's 12-tracks variously draw influence from odd Italian library music, eccentric synthesizer soundtracks, Talk Talk, the Cocteau Twins, shoegaze and the heady, E'd-up sound soup of ambient house. In fact, one of the tracks even sounds a little like REM if Michael Stipe and company had necked a bunch of disco biscuits and moved to Ibiza. While the unique and intoxicating sound is clearly theirs, you can hear the guiding hand of De Bellis, who acted as producer throughout.