Review: Love Circle returns for a second release, digging deep into the misty past of golden era disco and finding rare gold for the reissue market to rejoice at. This time it's the work of Barry Blue and two projects he produced in the early 80s, lovingly re-edited for maximum dancefloor pleasure by Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold (aka gerry Rooney and Joel Martin). First up is surefire party starter "Breakin In" by Javaroo, and on the flip it's low down seduction workout "Love The Way You Love Me" by Marti Cane getting a fresh airing for all vintage-minded dancers and DJs.
Elkin & Nelson - "Abran Paso - Ahoa (Enrolle)" (4:08)
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie" (3:33)
Review: Soon, DJ Harvey will release The Sound of Mercury Rising, a compilation themed around some of the music championed at his summer residency at Pikes Hotel, Ibiza. This four-track taster 12" not only acts as a sampler for the CD version, but also offers the chance to own four excellent and hard-to-find gems. You'll struggle to find a more Balearic disco cut than Danish outfit Tore's 1979 killer "She's a Lady" - think the Bee-Gees with Flamenco guitars - while Elkin & Nelson's "Abran Paso - Aboa (Enrole)" is a spiraling chunk of flamenco-psychedelia fusion. Elsewhere, Van McCoy & Soul City Symphony's "Spanish Boogie" is a jaunty disco number full of crunchy Clavinet lines and rising horn lines, while Tony Esposito's "Danza Dell'Acqua" is as eccentric and wide-eyed as they come.
Review: Sounds like it came out of Lagos in 1971, actually written and recorded in Lyon in 2015: Voilaaa is the brainchild of Bruno Hovart whose long relationship with Favorite goes way back to his days as Patchworks, Mr President and The Dynamics. Recording on a whole host of vintage machines and calling upon local African singers both cuts have a real authentic sense of realness; "Spies Are Watching Me" drives with big horns and swooning strings which isn't dissimilar to the work of The Movers, while the TY Boys-esque "Le Disco Des Capitales" is a heavier, more concentrated slab of floor-minded disco where the groove takes more of a forefront role. Apparently there's a whole album of this cooking... We can't wait to hear it.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Brown Curls (feat Khalil Anthony - Patchworks remix) (4:48)
If You Like (Alma Negras's Wisdom Of Oz remix) (7:38)
If You Like (feat Tim Jules - instrumental) (3:09)
Review: Marcel Vogel's latest on Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes the mighty leftfield NYC MC Sensational to flow over his learned disco house grooves. Sensational sounds right at home on "If You Like," and Vogel gives him a slightly freaked groove to riff on that works just fine. "Brown Curls" taps up Khalil Anthony, one of the finest UK house vocalists in operation right now, and Patchworks remixes it into a dreamy disco funk jam for the boogie brothers and sisters to shake it to. Alma Negra gets busy with "If You Like," creating a tumbling Afro-centric re-rub par excellence, and then Tim Jules comes on board with an instrumental version that nudges into tightly wound funk territory.
Review: Having released over fifty records since their foundation back in 2009, Dark Entries use the widened exposure afforded by that excellent Patrick Cowley compilation released in the last quarter of 2013 as a springboard to launch a new dedicated 12" series. Retaining their archival approach, the first release focuses on the short-lived Italian act Victrola; formed as a four piece combo in Messina, Victrola slimmed down to the synthesizer and guitar-based duo Antonio "Eze" Cuscina and Carlo Smeriglio and moved to the fertile music scene growing in early 80s Florence. In 1983, the pair issued their one record-shaped contribution to the early 80s Italian synth scene in the shape of Maritime Tatami, a two-track 12? issued on the Electric Eye label. Recorded using the Roland TR303 and TR606 at a time when these models had only been made available, so this reissue of Maritime Tatami from Dark Entries offers a chance for people to assess a slice of analogue experimentation at its most nascent.
Review: Katastrofa EP is an Ex-Yu Edits release which transforms forgotten gems from the former Yugoslavia. Russian Valique and Serbian veteran selector Funky Junkie are behind this project. Opener "Katastrofa" offers a delicious blend of heavy, synth-laden '80s boogie, punchy afrobeat horns and bold, chant-a-long vocals, while the slower, more chugging "Frka" is an Adriatic delight - all lazy, sun-kissed synths, sugary-sweet vocals and sloppy kisses. As for closer "Yugoslavia" , it sounds like a disco-house anthem in waiting, as the duo adds bumpin' beats to a rising, horn-heavy chunk of starlight disco.
Review: The second installment of Multi-Culti's Moon Faze Sun Gaze series is a typically psychedelic affair, with an impressive cast of producers delivering a quintet of trippy workouts. Von Party & Dreems join forces to present "Wet Raga", a spaced-out combination of delay-laden drums, space disco electronics, and Eastern mysticism. The ever-reliable Red Axes fuses heavy post-punk bass, with punchy percussion and minimal wave melodies on the excellent "Boosha Gdola", while Dreems go solo on the weirdo acid-electro bubbler "Sine O'The Tymes". Nick Murray and Kris Baha underpin psychedelic disco electronics with the heavyweight throb of house on "Say Something", before Cocolo draws proceedings to a close with the pitched-down shuffle of analogue wobbler "F33lings".
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: Given their deep-rooted knowledge of the re-edit scene, it was probably only a matter of time before the Razor 'N' Tape crew turned their attention to Colombian scalpel fiends Felipe Gordon & Vagabundo Club Social. This outing on Aaron Dae and JKriv's imprint could well be the South Americans' finest work to date. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Shakala", a gently tooled-up and dubbed-out revision of a dusty, tropical disco-funk treat rich in Fela Kuti style Afrobeat grooves, rising horns and flanged guitar riffs. That said, we've also got a lot of love for the fiery horns, bustling rhythms and warm bass of "Los Bareteros" (a revision of a well known, boogaloo-era Afro-Latin jazz dancefloor classic), as well as the similarly minded - but altogether heavier - "El Cateter".
My Body (Louie Vega remix/Synth Bass instrumental) (8:58)
My Body (Louie Vega radio version) (3:46)
Review: Luther Vandross originally wrote and recorded "My Body" in 1979, though his version was never released; instead, the song was re-recorded by Stephanie Mills and included on her 1983 album "Merciless". Here we finally get a chance to hear Luther belt it out himself, with Masters At Work man Louie Vega providing production and a dizzying number of remixes. There are two bumpin' and life-affirming "Soul House" mixes (the second replacing Vandross' lead vocal with some mazy Rhodes solos), a fluid and positive "Remix/Synth Bass Mix" that packs plenty of dancefloor energy, and warmer "EOL Mix" and "EOL Dub" versions that utilize a warm bass guitar part and some tasty chord progressions. Throw in a couple of edits and instrumentals and you have a suitably epic set of reworks.
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Love Me Too" (5:28)
Will Buck & PRTMNTO - "I Need Your Love" (6:40)
Vagabundo Club Social - "Sonico Amor" (7:41)
Review: Perhaps we should think of Whiskey Disco's Small Batch series as their attempt at "artisan disco". Certainly, the re-edits on show should have a few hipsters - and plenty of disco DJs - stroking their hirsute chins in appreciation. Dubtribe Soundsystem's Sunshine Jones kicks things off with the mid-80s synth-pop-goes-acid-house brilliance of "Lovergirl", while regular collaborators Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee doff a cap to Sly & Robbie and Larry Levan on the dub disco vibes of "Love Me Too". Those after some high tempo jazz-funk-meets-disco-house thrills should check Will Buck and PRTMNTO's "I Need Your Love". As for Vagabundo Club Social's "Sonico Armor", it's a hazy, dub-flecked Balearic disco delight.
Review: Since launching last year, the Act of Sedition label has specialized in releasing "double-pack" gatefold 7" singles - a format rarely seen outside of indie-rock circles (and even then, it's hardly commonplace). Naturally, this third missive is another double-disc affair, stretching four tasty reworks across a pair of dinky discs.
Review: For the latest volume in their ongoing Brazil 45s series, Mr Bongo has decided to change tack. The two tracks showcased here are from the golden age of Brazilian boogie. On the A-side you'll find Marcos Valle's "A Paraiba Nao E Chicago", a largely overlooked cut from his 1981 full-length Vontade De Rever Voce. While not as instantly as infectious as some of his better-known singles, it's still superb; a breezy, blue-eyed soul cut full of rising horns and sweet Portuguese vocals. On the B-side, you'll find Don Beto's 1978 disco-funk jam "Nao Quero Mais", a superb track that was seemingly inspired by the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running".
Review: Wah Dubplate cannot and will not be stopped. The incorrigible little bootleg unit marches on with its usual mishmash of funky, disco-friendly edits from the most improbable of producers out there and this latest outing is another minor success in what is a whole catalogue of hidden gems. Italy's Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo turn up sounding wild and soulful; the farmer's opening edit of "Bobby's Grapevine" does the Mo-Town tricks, while the latter's re-visioning of "Billy's Missus" gives the original 'hey, Mrs.Robison!' a nice little dance makeover. Sweet as a nut.
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: At long last! The 15-strong collection of nu-disco, boogie, cosmic and deep originals and edits landed digitally last November. Finally the vinyl's arrived with four of the many highlights all pressed to vinyl and sounding all the richer for it. Highlights among these highlights include the dubby rumbles of Saine's "You Can Count On Me", the velvet funk chugs of "Singapore Sling", the undeniable Cathy Denisisms of Robjamweb's "You Know How" and the soft focus mid tempo synth sleaze of "Chief Inspector".
Review: Whiskey Disco sublabel Lovedancing now presents Amigos Vagabundo Club Social, who have truly found their voice with this terrific EP. Comprised of Jaime Tuiran and Juan Pablo Pinedo, they combine the best electronic grooves and Carribean flavour on the Pambele EP - three tracks that commemorate their musical heritage and upbringing in Barranquilla, on the north coast of Colombia. The groovy and sun kissed title track with its creamy Rhodes notes is a perfect homage to a certain Colombian boxing legend, while the lo-slung and funky swagger of "Esclavo 29" is a go-to track to work the dancefloor on a long, hot summer night. Finally on the flip is a sultry deep house groove in the form of "Angayusa" with some super sexy sax action.
Mahogany - "Ride The Rhythm" (Rahaan LDF remix) (6:58)
The Chuck Davis Orchestra - "Spirit Of Sunshine" (Rahaan LDF remix) (6:24)
Billy Nichols - "Give Your Body Up To The Music" (Rahaan LDF remix) (8:37)
Brenda Taylor - "You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too" (Rahaan LDF remix) (8:08)
Review: In cahoots with the annual (not to mention excellent) Liverpool Disco Festival, celebrated editor and remixer Rahaan has been let loose on the West End Records catalogue. Happily, his new versions are rightfully respectful to the chosen disco and boogie classics with the Chicagoan simply adding choice effects here and there as well as some cranky old drum machine beats and occasional synthesizer flourishes. This is particularly evident on his raw but deep and slightly dubby take on Brenda Taylor's "You Can Have You Cake It Too", but also comes to the fore on the standout remix of Mahogany's spacey boogie jam "Ride on The Rhythm". String-laden disco bliss is provided via a bass-heavy re-arrangement of the Chuck Davis Orchestra's "Spirit of Sunshine", while Rahaan's Billy Nicholls rub is a high-octane, shirts-off treat.
Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie mix - radio edit) (3:33)
Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie instrumental mix - radio edit) (3:31)
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: an all-star re-recording of Universal Robot Band's boogie classic "Barely Breaking Even" that brings together Masters At Work man Louie Vega, original vocalist and arranger Leroy Burgess, iconic disco producer Patrick Adams and an impressive backing band of hired musicians including Michael Kelley (better known in electronic music circles as Metro Area collaborator Kelley Polar). While there are plenty of audible nods towards the early '80s original - extensive use of cowbells, that oh-so familiar synth sound - the re-recording is altogether warmer, fuller and a more contemporary sounding affair rich in sweeping orchestration and tactile synth bass. Both the edited vocal and instrumental versions are superb.
M&M Vs Andrei Swipe - "Analog Express" (Don Carlos remix) (7:29)
Review: There's an undeniable air of quality that lingers over the 12"s emerging on 14th Level Of Paradise, the mysterious label presenting originals, edits and repressed tracks for true house devotees. First up is a little known track from Sasha Makin and Suntetic, given a shimmering polish by Don Carlos and Steven Perri to become a heavy funking masterpiece, before Joe Claussell drops in a percussive dub delight on Monday Michiru's "Higher". On the flip, Vincent Inc and LA get things pumping with the slow but chunky, jazz-licked "Red Room", before Carlos returns for another deep house reverie as he remixes M&M and Andrei Swipe's "Analog Express".
Vincent Inc - "Rayskoye Mesto" (Vincent Floyd remix) (6:43)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "Gonna Be Alright" (5:00)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "NuDisco Book 1" (7:25)
Vincent Inc - "Time Machine" (Julian Sanza remix) (6:22)
Review: 14th Level Of Paradise come good with another stunning selection of high grade jams from core members of their crew. Vincent Floyd drops a remix of Vincent Inc that leans in heavy on a wistful early 90s sound that splits the difference between B12, Stasis and Larry Heard. Lola Allen and Vincent Inc's "Gonna Be Alright" takes things slower and spacier, while their "NuDisco Book 1" locks into a classic slice of disco funk to set the floor ablaze. Julian Sanza remixes Vincent Inc's "Time Machine" to close out the EP, taking a sophisticated, sweet natured approach to disco house.
Review: Having dazzled disco lovers via a trio of sold-out 10" singles, the shadowy VEDIT crew delivers their first hand-stamped 12". This time round, the publicity-shy scalpel collective is focused more on left-of-centre synth-pop cuts from the new wave era. Our pick is undoubtedly the epic flipside revision, which takes a particularly wayward and intoxicating mid-'80s cut - think early Chicago house bass, discordant synth horns, experimental dub effects and half-spoken vocals - and turns it into something of an inspired beast. In contrast the two A-side cuts tamper with two slightly better known (though still relatively overlooked) left-of-centre synth-pop gems from 1984 and '85 respectively. They will no doubt get more rotations, but lack the insane thrills of the B-side edit.
Review: The 1 Life crew had a strong start with the likes of Kerri Chandler, DJ Spen & Karizma and Joey Negro contributing to a disco-fied house sound. Volume two on the label is no slouch either, ranging from Vincent Inc & LA's smoky "Cafe Tropical" before launching into Rico De Almenda's sassy, joyous take on "Watermelon Man". Venus Attack Project get into a deeper, percussive mood on the incendiary "Grass Culture" before Vincent Floyd completes the set with the heartfelt acid bubble of "Trail Of Tears". From organic sounds to box jams, these tracks speak directly to the foundations on which house music was built.
Review: If you're in the mood for some cosmic grooves, wayward disco and pagan psychedelia, Multi-Culti's Cult Edits series is always worth checking. The imprint's latest offering is packed to the rafters with mind-altering goodness. Inigo Voltier sets the tone with "Ti Amo", a Fairlight-powered bounce through post-Italo oddball electro territory with added mix-80s power-pop guitars, before Angelina Amor reworks a sludgy slab of European industrial/new wave fusion. Youkounkoun's throbbing "Cosmic Yoyo" sounds like post-apocalyptic Italo-disco after a fist full of downers, while Asa Moto's "When The Funk Is On" is a funky but undeniably weird electro-industrial cut rich in delay-laden vocal snippets and metallic percussion hits.
Review: Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a number of other 12" singles bearing remixes of this track. According to Gerd Janson, it's because he got a bit overexcited when commissioning club-friendly revisions of the cut, an "outsider pop" gem that will be featured on Feater's forthcoming album "Socialo Blanco". It would be fair to say that the mixes featured here are suitably big. Pepe Bradock handles the A-side, wrapping dubbed-out synth stabs, watery melodies and fireside-hot bass around a skittish, techno-tempo rhythm track. It's one of the French producer's most accessible and peak-time ready revisions for some time. On the reverse, Ricardo Villalobos offers up a suitably percussive, off-kilter minimal techno take that makes great use of short vocal and guitar sounds lifted from Feater's Balearic-minded original mix.
Rebel Nation (Felix Da Housecat vs Chris Trucher remix) (6:10)
Review: One of the musical highlights from Louie Vega's NYC Disco album, "Rebel Nation" is a collaboration between grammy award winner Louie Vega, legendary multi-platinum producer Patrick Adams, and Nulu Records president, international DJ and artist Anane. Patrick initially had the idea for the song after seeing a recent Star Wars movie. Louie saw the vision of what it could ultimately be with live music additions, and Anane added the inspired lyrical content and vocal performance. In Louie's own words, "I call Anane a chameleon, because she transcends so many different sounds with her voice. She gave the track just the right feeling vocally. It's a very punk-rock approach; the kids speaking out, all kinds of people making the statement, Get Up! Stand Up! Let's Rise! Rebel Nation."
Lauded critically and on dancefloors worldwide in its original album version, the track has now been given the all-star remix package treatment with contributions from Danny Krivit, Carl Craig, Soul Clap and Felix Da Housecat X Chris Trucher.
Review: The Spacetalk label returns with this fine compilation by French house shotter, Jeremy Underground. We know him, and you surely know him, though his My Love Is Underground label, an imprint that has produced some of the best deep house in the last five years. He's not in house mode today, though, and instead the DJ shows us his soul roots. Ron Rinaldi's opener "Mexican Summer" is a real peach of a song, then there's some Brazilian disco-funk through Leila Pinheiro's "Tudo Em Cima", and the supremely deep and sensual "Superstar" by NCCU. Other favourites include Maureen Bailey's bittersweet anthem "Takin' My Time With You", and June Evans' "Hardly Need To Say", a tune that we could just leave on repeat. A highly recommended comp!
Coyote - "Minamoto" (Shocks Wa Pulpit Chillout remix)
I-boat Captain - "Slower" (The Backwoods remix)
Max Essa - "Uptown Vibrations" (Mark Seven Downtown remix)
Social Disco Club - "Peaceful Warrior" (Soft Rocks Jesus Convention remix)
Coyote - "Crazy World"
The Project Club - "El Mar Y La Luna" (Lovefingers remix)
Khidja Looki - "Original" (unreleased exclusive)
Review: Alongside like-minded imprints Claremont 56 and International Feel, Coyote's Is It Balearic? label - a fitting name, given the difficulty in pinpointing the Balearic sound - has been at the forefront of the nu-Balearic scene for the last five years. Here, they celebrate that fact by offering up a celebratory compilation with pal Moonboots and Coyote each selecting a disc of unmixed favourites. There's predictably plenty of sun-kissed downtempo warmth (Windsurf's sunrise-friendly remix of Coyote's "Laidback", Gavin Gordon's flamenco-influenced "El Sueno Oscuro"), alongside a smattering of deliciously baggy and wide-eyed dancefloor moments (see Max Essa's jaunty Balearic disco jam "Heartache" and a thrillingly griity Soft Rocks remix of Social Disco Club). If that wasn't enough to get the juices flowing, the collection also features some stunning unreleased material from Freshro and Khidja Looki.
Instrumental Group Cabas - "Cry In The Night" (2:46)
Frederic Castel - "Open Up" (3:31)
The Electric Connection - "Cry Of The Lone Wolf" (4:40)
Fabio Fabor - "Idolo Moresco" (3:56)
The Primates - "King Kong" (5:03)
Tony Sinclair Orchestra - "Walkin' Through The Night" (3:42)
Trepidants - "Far Away" (3:50)
Review: There are few record collectors and DJs with crates quite as deep as Psychemagik. They've already proved this beyond doubt via a trio of brilliant Magik compilations for Paul Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label. Magik Sunset Part 2 continues this run, gathering together another double-album's worth of fantastic obscurities from the worlds of stoner disco, left-of-centre rock, psychedelia and Balearica. As usual, there are some genuine "how did I not know about this record" moments, from the star-kissed Balearic jazz of Fabio Fabor and saucer-eyed white boy reggae-rock of the Trepidants, to the Flamenco-tinged AOR disco shuffle of Jack Adkins' "Sunset Beach".
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
The One O Ones - "Radio Cosmos 101" (Bals edit) (4:27)
Gemini - "Take A Chance" (4:34)
The Clean Hands Group - "Night Fly" (4:24)
The CVQ Band - "Whatever You Do" (instrumental) (4:38)
Miss - "Hip Hop" (3:06)
Metal Voices - "At The Banks Of The River" (3:44)
The Clean-Hands Group - "Shake It On" (4:03)
Gigi Flag - "Nymphomaniac" (instrumental) (5:58)
Eddy La Viny - "Havan' Hamac" (3:43)
Review: BeachFreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals is a man who knows about records - and obscure European ones at that. Club Meduse, his first compilation for Spacetalk (a label with a track record for producing these kinds of killer, crate-digging comps), is loosely designed as the soundtrack to life around a mythical (IE imaginary) Cote D'Azure resort. Musically, it gathers together the kind of hazy, soft-focus and life-affirming cuts that you would have heard at resort discos in the mid-to-late 1980s. Suffice to say that Bals' selections tend towards the rare, magical and undeniably Balearic, from the glassy-eyed, cascading jazz-funk of the Keyboys and loved-up post-boogie sweetness of Gemini's "Take a Chance", to the sparkling Euro-electro of Miss' "Hip Hop" and pitched-down drum machine chug of Gigi Flag's "Nymphomaniac (Instrumental)". Essential.
Donna McGhee - "You Should Have Told Me" (disco mix)
Unfinished Business - "Out Of My Hands (Love's Taken Over)"
Forrrce - "Keep On Dancing/Listen To The Rhythn Ban"
Negativland - "The Perfect Cut"
FM Inc - "Dub Me Anytime"
Aardvark - "The Return Of Rasputin"
Big Boys - "Common Beat"
Verticle Lines - "Beach Boy" (instrumental)
Electro-Harmonix Work Band - "I’m Not A Synthesizer"
Review: As Claremont 56's superb Originals series of crate-digging compilations tiptoes towards the final curtain (a celebratory vinyl box-set is due later in the year), label boss Paul Murphy hands the reigns over towards longtime pals DJ Spun and Ben Cook, the men behind San Fran/New York imprint Rong Music. If you've heard either DJ, you'd expect their selection to jump between a myriad of dubby, stargazing styles, and that's exactly what they deliver. From the intergalactic ambience of Space Time Continuum's "Transmitter", to the low-slung dub disco of Futura 2000, via the Balearic house shuffle of FM Inc and spaced-out punk-funk of Big Boys, it's a treasure trove of thrillingly atmospheric obscurities. Recommended... as usual.
Dancing For Your Love (feat Cindy Mizelle & Sharon Bryant) (5:29)
Love Fantasy (feat Cindy Mizelle) (5:44)
Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (feat Anane) (5:05)
Dub Disco Band - "Cosmic Disco" (7:02)
Review: Part two of Louie Vega's latest authentic adventure; what began as a remix project on a series of Sam Records classics quickly became a brand new artist album with Louie and Nervous boss (and son of Sam Records founder Sam Weiss) Michael Weiss orchestrating some of the finest remakes and originals imaginable. Following the Luther Vandross-featured first part comes this exceptional sophomore packing highlights such as Louie and wife Anane's sultry cover of Indeep's seminal "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life", the insatiable late night energy of "Dancing For Your Love" and the soul melting sultry style of "Love Fantasy". Exceptional to the last disco detail.
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie"
The Project Club - "EL Mar Y La Luna" (Lovefingers remix)
DJ Pippi - "Ibiza World Inspiration" (feat Antonio M Jemenez)
Tony Esposito - "Danza Dell'Acqua"
No ID - "Love Mecanica (Not Love Game)"
Tore - "She's A Lady"
Gatto Fritto - "Invisible College"
Review: Many claim to be "Balearic" DJs, but few genuinely are. DJ Harvey certainly is, as his triumphant summer residency at Pikes in Ibiza proved. If you didn't get a chance to check out the lauded veteran in action on the White Isle, fear not, because The Sound of Mercury Rising is almost entirely made up of music he championed over the summer. As you'd expect, it mixes notably obscure or overlooked gems from the distant past (Elkin & Nelson, the brilliant disco mix of Eighth Wonder's Pet Shop Boys' produced "I'm Not Scared", the Spanish-themed disco of Van McCoy, a killer Tony Esposito cut, and so on) with more recent fare that have tickled Harvey's fancy (the Idjut Boys, Gatto Fritto and the producer's own Locussolus project).
Barry White - "Never,Never Gonna Give Ya Up" (M&M Keep On Doin' It mix) (12:04)
Jean Carn - "Was That It Was" (M&M South Philly Groove mix) (12:29)
Teddy Pendergrass - "If You Know Like I Know" (M&M Teddy Knows Best mix) (13:51)
Sander Barber - "I Think I'll Do Some Stepping On My Own" (The M&M Stepping Out The Door mix) (9:21)
Review: John Morales and his M&M collaboration with Sergio Munzibai have helped pioneer the disco edit and dancefloor remix. The duo are known for adding touches of latin percussion to their extensions and Part-A of a two part retrospect sees Morales unveil some previously unreleased M&M material. The legendary melted chocolate vocals of "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" by Barry White get a simple and irresistible "Keep On Doin' It" touch up, while M&M save only the best vocals by pop and jazz singer Jean Carne in their "South Philly Groove" mix to "Was That What Is". The sweaty dance heat of Teddy Pendergrass' "If You Know Like I Know" receives some added length and extra loops in the appropriately titled "Teddy Knows Best" mix, while cut and pasted (literally) drum loops give Sander Barber's "I Think I'll Do Some Stepping On My Own" some dancefloor momentum with the "Stepping Out The Door" mix.
Image Pour Image - "Where Is The Love In This World" (3:20)
Attrition - "Beast Of Burden" (3:05)
Zazou, Nodland, Lema - "Stranger In The New Light" (4:02)
Kastrieste Philosophen - "Playin The Fool" (3:05)
Instead Of - "Bad Angels" (4:43)
Review: Emotional Rescue continue to mine hidden corners of esoteric music to bring your rarified delights in a freshly mastered form. This time the label has turned to cult Spanish label Auxilio De Ciento, who have been quietly picked up by more tuned in heads for their excellent new wave, synth pop and industrial wares. La Caida De La Casa Usher present the most abrasive material on here, but largely it's a relaxed affair. You can lose yourself in the bubbling synthesizer goodness of Bene Gesserit and Danny Alias, or trip out to the pattering drums of Zazou, Nodland, Lema.
Review: The first installment of Late Night Tales' After Dark was that rarest of things: a DJ mix that retained a smoky sense of early morning, home listening atmosphere while retaining an open-minded focus on the dancefloor. This follow-up - once again compiled and mixed by Bill Brewster - offers more of the same. Musically it's pleasingly varied, moving from the string-drenched downtempo beauty of Typesun's "Last One Home", to the heady Balearic rock of General Lee, via Justus Kohnke, the soulful post-bruk smoothness of As One, and the sprightly analogue electronics of Emperor Machine's remix of Paqua's "Late Train". There's also a bunch of previously unreleased tunes to enjoy, including killer contributions from the Mang Dynasty (AKA Ray Mang), The Gino Fontaine (Chicken Lips man Andrew Meecham) and - most surprising of all - The Grid and Robert Fripp.
Are & Be - "The Sound Of The Memory Of Many Living People" (6:27)
The Urban Cru - "Go" (Chez Damier classic mix) (5:58)
Manfredo Fest - "Arigo" (Volcov edit) (4:01)
TGB - "Do The Right Thing" (feat Patricia Shannon) (5:37)
Oneness Of Juju - "Turning On To Me" (6:21)
Hot Quisine - "Keep The Same Old Feeling" (5:18)
Shokazulu - "Part 4" (6:11)
Chanan Hanspal - "Footprints In The Sand" (Shannon Harris Urbancity reinterpretation) (9:15)
O'Donel Levy - "Sophisticated Disco" (Volcov edit) (7:23)
The Antilles - "Simon's Melody" (6:47)
Bembe Segue - "Sun On My Back" (3:40)
Review: In recent years, former broken beat and nu-jazz producer Volcov has become better known as a crate digger, record collector and re-editor. BBE has harnessed these skills for From The Archive, a compilation of - in the DJ/producer's own words - "music that I've discovered that I thought would be interesting to share". It's a typically deep, soulful and varied affair, beginning with the horizontal jazz-funk bliss of Are & Be before variously touching on jazzy, soft-focus U.S house (a superb Chez Damier rework of The Urban Cru), obscure boogie (TGB), crossover disco-funk (Hot Quisine), and floor-friendly broken beat (Shokazulu, Bembe Segue). Happily, the collection also contains a trio of previously unheard re-edits from the man himself.
The Jones Girls - "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else" (M&M I Don't Wannna Do It mix) (14:48)
Marvin Gaye - "I Want You" (M&M Breakdown beat mix) (8:27)
Review: Back when remixing meant cut tape - not Ableton - John Morales and (Sergio) Munzibai aka M&M were the Bronx's go to men. Morales wraps up his two-part edit homage to M&M's unreleased material with slight recalibration's to Teddy Pendergrass, Loleatta Holloway and The Jones Girls, capping off the series with a soft and percussive "Breakdown beat" mix to the soulful and bona-fide hum of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You". T-Pendergrass horns and heat get touched up in a "Yo'u Got What I Need" mix, while the gospel vocals and strings of Loleatta Holloway are extended for a longer disco player. M&M then give The Jones Girls an extended and instrumental work out in their "I Don't Wanna Do It" mix.
Review: To date, each volume in Africa Seven's thrilling Africa Airways compilation series has been little less than essential. It goes without saying that this fourth instalment is also exceptionally good. Whereas previous volumes have focused on Afro-funk and "Afro-psych" (think Sly Stone, Nigerian style), this set drills down into African disco-funk released between 1976 and '83. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the solo-laden, slap bass-boasting bounce of Tala AM's "Get Up Tchamassi" and Charly Kingson's squelchy, synth-laden Blaxploitation number "Nimele Bolo", to the righteous, piano-driven thrills of Kemayo and K-System's brilliant "Biram" and the superior boogie business of Jake Sollo's "Tinini Yasana".
Review: We probably say this more than we should, but this time our statement really isn't prone to hyberbole: we love the Cultures Of Soul label, and whatever genre they're reissuing, we can always count on them to deliver the quality like no other imprint. From Evans Pyramid to the recent black gospel compilation they've released, we have nothing but good stuff to say about them, and this is equally true of this new South African disco collection from the years 1980-1984. The title alone should do the trick but trust us, there is nothing but fire in here, and if you're the sort of collector scouting for rare African rhythms then this is the gear for you. The Cannibals start off with some lovely docile disco jams, Harari's "Party" is a sublime lo-fi funk cut, the Don Laka material is pure disco glory, and the remaining tunes by the likes of Neville Nash or Al Etto are able to destroy ANY dance floor from here to Durban. Top marks from us...
Smokey Robinson - "And I Don't Love You" (instrumental dub)
Peech Boys - "Don't Make Me Wait" (extended version)
Review: Larry Levan's influence on the development of dance music in New York during the 1980s cannot be overstated. That much is clear from Genius Of Time, a two-disc collection of the Paradise Garage resident's finest remixes. Heavy on dub delays, spaced-out synthesizers and rolling grooves, it gathers together a swathe of stone-cold classics - killer reworks of Gwen Guthrie, Man Friday, Peech Boys, Loose Joints and Jimmy Ross - with lesser-known, but no less vital, tweaks of cuts from Dee Dee Bridgewater, Esther Williams, Smokey Robinson and Tramaine. While dedicated fans will have many of these already, it serves as the perfect introduction to Levan's distinctive and hugely influential style.
Pamela Nivens - "It's You I Love" (instrumental mix) (4:07)
Hugh Mane - "Real Sucker For Your Love" (6:36)
Switchdance - "Arabian Ride" (6:11)
Mr Marvin - "Entity" (Jazzy mix) (4:22)
Review: Almost two years on from the release of his brilliant "The Sound of Mercury Rising" compilation, DJ Harvey returns with another brilliant selection of tracks he's championed at Pikes in Ibiza. As with its predecessor, volume two offers a giddy skip through the dustier corners of his notoriously eclectic and off-kilter record selection. Along the way, he offers up chiming, synth-heavy Balearic classics (Mandy Smith, Hugh Mane), weirdo European disco (Marta Acuna), evocative electronic soundscapes (System Olympia), blue-eyed synth-pop (Pamela Nivens), drum machine-powered Middle Eastern madness (Switchdance's sublime "Arabian Ride") and a swathe of tasty contemporary cuts (the jaunty jazz-funk of Midlife, Das Komplex's ace "Slap", Nu Guinea's splendid "Je Vulesse" and Peaking Lights remix of Land of Light being the highlights).
Christopher Cross - "Ride Like The Wind" (Joey Negro extended disco mix)
Thelma Houston - "I'm Here Again" (Joey Negro Ready To Roll mix)
Grace Jones - "Pull Up To The Bumper" (Joey Negro Bumper To Bumper mix)
Cheryl Lynn - "You Saved My Day" (Joey Negro Tell The World mix)
Willie Hutch - "Brother's Gonna Work It Out" (Joey Negro Return Of The Mac mix)
Norman Connors - "Stella" (Joey Negro Jazz Ride)
Jean Carn - "Time Waits For No One" (Joey Negro extended disco mix)
Loose Change - "Straight From The Heart" (Joey Negro Straight To The Groove mix)
Wanda Walden - "Don't You Want My Lovin'" (Joey Negro Back To 81 mix)
People's Choice - "Here We Go Again" (Joey Negro Philly Stomp mix)
Review: With the possible exception of The Reflex, no other producer can match the multi-track re-edits and remixes delivered by house maestro and long-time disco digger Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee. Having laid down a marker with 2013's Remixed With Love, the veteran producer has decided to emphasize his credentials with this similarly superb follow-up. Over the course of two action-packed discs, Lee skillfully re-arranges 20 disco and boogie favourites, using the inherent swing, funk and energy of his source material to create superb, dancefloor-friendly tweaks. Amongst the well-known cuts - think "Pull Up To The Bumper", "Keep The Fire Burning" and "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" - you'll also find sublimely soulful rearrangements of overlooked cuts from Nicolette Larson, Cheryl Lynn and Norman Connors.
TB Funk - "Free Blow" (the dub version - G&D edit) (5:01)
Kenny Pierce - "Done Been" (5:13)
Those Good Intentions - "We Know How To Boogie" (6:50)
Sherman Hunter - "Dance To Freedom" (8:12)
Gospel Keepers - "Never Gonna Give You Up" (5:38)
Living Color - "Plastic People" (G&D edit) (4:57)
Roller Disco - "Stone Luv" (4:15)
Carol Meriwether - "Love Ain't Just (A Physical Thing)" (9:35)
William Barlak - "Ain't No Doubt About It" (3:42)
Review: The Grasso is greener in Bologna: home to two of the most well-connected collectors in Italy. Suppliers to the likes of Kenny Dope, Phil Asher and Dimitri, Gino and Federico have carved their crate craft to insane levels over the last 30+ years... As shown on this detailed, widescreen boogie, funk and disco collection for BBC. Splattering the vibrant collection with a handful of their own edits (TB Funk's salubrious struts on "Free Blow", fly-by boogie falsettos on Living Color's "Plastic People"), the Grasso bro's have put together a package that's eye-opening, enlightening and damn fine to party to. See you on the other side.
Review: When it comes to shining a light on obscure regional disco and boogie scenes, the crate diggers behind Cultures of Soul are rarely beaten. Their latest killer compilation gathers together little known boogie, electrofunk and J-pop released in Japan between 1981 and 1988. It's predictably brilliant from start to finish, with the squelchy synth bounce and bi-lingual vocals of Hitomi Tohyama's "Wanna Kiss" and the mid-'80s Madonna vibes of Kaoru Akimoti's "Dress Down" amongst the highlights. What's perhaps most impressive is the comparative quality of the tunes; aside from Japanese language vocals, most sound like they could have been recorded and released by New York or Los Angeles-based artists, rather than Tokyo ones. As the old cliche goes, this is "all killer, no filler".
Review: Magik Cyrkles invites you the listener to bask in the impressive record collections of Psychemagik, for it seems that the prolific edit and DJ duo operate a nice sideline helping to furnish everyone from Soulwax to Q-Tip to Love Fingers with rare and highly sought after vinyl. Anyone whose familiar with their output since their emergence from The Cosmic Forest in 2009 will not be surprised given the off the beaten track source material for much of their edits. This Leng released compilation veers through all manner of psychedelic funk, cosmodisco, Middle Eastern oddities and much more, with four excusive new edits from the Psychemagik duo themselves. Those with dusty fingers and a penchant for the odder forgotten gems will no doubt be entranced as soon as Intrinsic Trance's opener commences and the label have really surpassed themselves in the presentation stakes with some apt cover art from acclaimed designer Luke Insect adorning this double CD release.
Dancing Fantasy - "Voodoo Jammin'" (Eros mix) (6:24)
Bandolero - "Reves Noirs" (instrumental) (4:06)
Don Carlos - "Aqua" (part 1) (6:25)
Language - "Tranquility Bass" (5:15)
Kamasutra - "Sugar Step" (6:17)
Moodswings - "The Jazz Man" (5:36)
Congarilla - "Sacred Tree" (3:02)
Red Sun - "Honey From The Baka" (6:33)
Coste Apetrea - "Hej Dar" (4:20)
Christoph Spendel Group - "Forever" (3:33)
Frank De Wulf - "The End" (6:59)
Cantoma - "Gambarra" (unreleased mix) (4:59)
Review: Out Of The Blue, Phil Mison's first compilation for some time, was apparently inspired by his first few trips to the White Isle of Ibiza, and specifically the unlikely set of circumstances that led to him filling in for Jose Padilla at Cafe Del Mar. Musically, it's reflective of the story, joining the dots between impossible-to-find rarities (see the loved-up instrumental jazz-rock of "Jelly" by The Cactus Rose Project and the life-affirming fusion business of Christoph Spendel Group's "Forever", for starters), huggable Balearic synth-pop, flamenco-inspired sunset gems, and a smattering of head-in-the-clouds Italian dream house killers. Given Mison's heritage and status as one of Balearica's top selectors, it's perhaps unsurprising that Out Of The Blue is undeniably brilliant.