Review: Africa Seven continue their rich vein of releases this year with an indepth exploration of the Tala A.M. discography. Those unfamiliar with the Cameroonian's story will be shaken by the adversity he lived through before going on to enjoy a successful music career; blindness and the death of both parents afflicted him as a child. However Tala Andre Marie's love of music was his guiding light, as was Cameroonian icon Manu Dibango who helped him relocate to Paris and thus began a recording career consisting of no less than 13 albums! African Funk Experimentals 1975 To 1978 sees Africa Seven dip into the Tala AM archives for a ten track presentation of his funkiest cuts during the early years of recording for the Fiesta label. "Hot Koki" is a particular treat, whilst disco selectors will love "Sugar Lump".
Review: By now, most should know Gloria Ann Taylor's "Deep Inside of You", a sublime chunk of rare disco-soul that's been reissued several times in recent years. Fewer will be familiar with Taylor's other work in the same period for the similarly obscure Selector Sound label, which is gathered together on this fine compilation. Evocative, tear jerking and largely heavily orchestrated in the "wall of sound" production style of Phil Spector, the heart-aching songs benefit greatly from Taylor's fragile but forthright vocal style. Ironically, the finest single moment - "Deep Inside of You" aside - is also the most sparse and bluesy: the near perfect "Burning Eyes". "Love Is A Hurting Thing" sold out when it first appeared in stores in 2015, so this reissue is bound to be popular. Don't sleep.
Review: Moscoman's increasingly influential Disco Halal label have outdone themselves once more on this latest release, an official reissue of the highly sought-after self-titled TCP album. Standing for Tony Carey Project, this 13-track LP originally saw the light of day on the classic X Records back in 1984 and laid down a marker for the sound the former Rainbow keys man would go on to explore as Yellow Power and Planet P. If you are a fan of the DJ mixes of Lena Willikens or Red Axes you really need to invest some time in this TCP album which set the groundwork for the electronic music we know today. Shouts to Disco Halal for getting Tony Carey to supply some killer sleeve notes too! Reissue of the week!
Holding Back (My Love) (Tiger & Woods remix) (9:49)
In The End (I Want You To Cry) (Lone remix) (6:00)
The Then Unknown (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) (7:21)
Holding Back (My Love) (Shan Funhouse mix) (6:35)
Holding Back (My Love) (Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco version) (6:28)
Holding Back (My Love) (Shan Warehouse mix) (6:29)
Holding Back (My Love) (DJ Oyster mix) (6:53)
Review: While he'd been building a reputation for a few years already, it was 2009's In The End (I Want You To Cry) EP for Running Back that first thrust Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski towards the spotlight. Some six years on, Gerd Janson has decided to put together an expansive new package of remixes. There's plenty to enjoy, from Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco's breezy, guitar-laden boogie rework of "Holdin' Back (My Love") and Prins Thomas's dense-but-wonky, Scandolearic disco revision of the same cut, to the bright-and-breezy, rush-inducing melodiousness of Lone's sublime rework of "In The End (I Want You To Cry)". Tiger & Woods' remix of "Holding Back (My Love)" - all relentless build followed by thrilling boogie-meets-house release - is also pretty darn special.
Review: He's taken his time, but finally Norwegian nu-disco legend Todd Terje has delivered a debut album befitting his immense talents. While there are plenty of examples of his vibrant, synth-heavy dancefloor style on It's Album Time - see "Delorean Dynamite", "Inspector Norse", "Strandbar" and the Lindstrom-ish grandiosity of "Oh Joy" - what really makes it such an essential set are the curious turns and oddball moments. Samba, jazz and easy listening get the Terje treatment on "Alfonso Muskedunder", "Leisure Suit Proben" and "Svensk Sas", while there's a welcome dose of wide-eyed Balearica on the tweaked "Swing Star" (one of a string of previously released cuts on the album). Most interesting of all, though, is "John & Mary", a woozy, Roxy Music style cover of a Robert Palmer classic featuring the effervescent Bryan Ferry.
Review: On their third album, Tiger & Woods have decided to flip the script a little, paying tribute to Italy's remote, rural clubs of the early 1980s. To do this, they've sampled up a wealth of material from Rome's boogie-inspired, Italo-disco era Full Time and Goodymusic labels and turned it into slow motion and mid-tempo gold. As a result, the album's eight tracks are altogether more sun-kissed and Balearic in feel than their electrofunk-inspired club jams of old, though this is no bad thing. In fact, there's an argument to suggest that "AOD" (it stands for Adult Oriented Dance apparently) is their most enjoyable and listenable album to date, with less reliance on heavyweight loop jams and more intricate musical touches. However you spin it, "AOD" is a glassy-eyed, loved up triumph.
Review: Given the sheer brilliance of their early singles, and subsequent debut album, it could be argued that Tiger & Woods have been struggling to meet their own standards ever since. On The Green Again, their second full-length, may lack a little of the surprise sparkle that accompanied their early work, but it's still stacked to the rafters with club-ready material in their distinctive sample-heavy, looped-up, boogie-house style. Highlights include the bubbling synth-funk builds and drops of "Come & Get My Lovin", the elastic electric bass, fizzing synths and hazy vocal samples of "Bestissimo", and the breezy, warehouse-friendly bliss of late night throbber "Phoenix". It is, though, universally impressive.
Review: You can just tell a bunch of record diggers are behind Africa Seven; it's only been going since the turn of the year, but already the Paris-London label is shaping up to be an important name in the world of archival afro funk. Hot on the heels of that Manu Dibango reissue, Africa Seven turn their attentions to the self-titled album from his compatriot Jo Tongo. If you liked Tongo's contribution to the Africa Seven compilation African Airways Volume 1 you should be all over this eight track album, originally issued in 1976, and still a long player oozing with afro funk style. Recorded in both French and his native Duala language and featuring production from legendary Parisian funk/disco/afro soundman Slim Pezin, it is a perfect example of 70s funk meeting afrobeat with African folk styles and flavours.
Review: Since shifting his focus more towards atmospheric, Balearic-minded sounds a few years back, Tornado Wallace has delivered some of the most deliciously humid and glassy-eyed music around. Hopes are naturally high, then, for this long-anticipated debut album. It picks up from where his sublime ESP Institute, Beats In Space and Second Circle releases left off, delivering a warm, evocative, sun kissed blend of shuffling Balearic grooves, horizontal soundscapes, gentle tropical workouts, and rich, synth-laden explorations. There's a pleasing haziness throughout, with live percussion and instrumentation rubbing shoulders with glistening synthesizers, ear-pleasing electronics and pulsing drum machine hits. In other words, it's a fine debut album.