Who, What, Where, When & Why (Disco version) (5:10)
No Promises (Disco version) (6:46)
Review: Best Records do it again, dusting down a searing slice of robo-funk from the early 80s that will pop your lock every which way. B Funk was a one-off project from Mario Boncaldo and Tony Carrasco, best known for their incredible work as Klein & MBO. They released the "Magic Spell" album in 1983, and it was loaded with richly produced Italo disco and proto house sounds - there's a good reason the original release has been fetching such crazy prices on the second hand market. Now Best have cherry picked two of the finest cuts from the album, sought out the extended disco versions from Carrasco's vaults, and given them a glorious new pressing.
Review: Ombra International is a Berlin based label and collective featuring artists from around the globe, sharing a mutual love for post-punk, new wave and other weird guitar and synth sounds. What's more, they're united by lust and fury and alone.. together! Commencing with the hazy and slow-burning cosmo-psychedelia of Bordeaux based enfant terribles Bagarre Perdue with "Cowboy", Sutja Gutierrez' "Great Chain Of Being" will take you deep into the exotic with its enchanting west Asian musical aesthetics. On the flip, more cosmic rock for fans of legends like Can courtesy of Frenchman Mondowski while Russian act Seven Knives channel the early '80s vibes of Neue Deutsche Welle on "Wires Go Golden".
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Kalita Records are proud and honoured to announce the first ever official reissue of the four choice tracks from Randolph Baker's privately pressed sought-after 1982 disco album 'Reaching For The Stars', plus an unreleased instrumental take of 'Party Life' sourced from the original 24-track analogue master tapes.
Originally recorded at Jim Morris and Rick Miller's Tampa-based Morrisound Studios, 'Getting Next To You' features both a mixture of both local Florida talent plus jazz superstar Nat Adderley and bassist John Lamb at their finest. Originally pressed in a limited run of just one-thousand copies, with no distribution and most copies being sold in the local city and on Randolph's own merchandise table at the back of live gigs, original copies have long been sought-after by both collectors and DJs alike, acknowledged as a true grail and masterpiece in the disco scene and deservedly demanding extortionate figures to those lucky enough to find their own.
Here, in collaboration with Randolph, Kalita Records have chosen to re-release the four choice tracks from the album: 'Getting Next To You', 'Jazzman', 'Callin' Me' and 'Party Life'. The former is an in-demand horn and chant-filled disco masterpiece, which, as Randolph explains, concerns unity and "everyone on the same level in other words, everyone just loving life". It is arguably the song that Randolph is most well-known for in the disco and funk scene and perfect for the modern discerning dance floor. 'Jazzman' is an instrumental track with prominent trumpet and saxophone solos working with funky basslines to produce a truly great jazz-funk groove. It was "a tribute to Nat Adderley and Duke Ellington's bass player, John Lamb, for being so generous and saying yes to the project". 'Callin' Me' is a soulful disco number featuring the lead vocals of Laurie Erickson and is "about being on the road and ensuring loved ones that you will always come back home no matter what. It was like a promise to ensure loved ones they didn't have to worry". Lastly, 'Party Life' is a joyous disco track with a strong funk bassline and horns. As Randolph recalls, it "was the joy like after an actor finishes a movie. There was nothing but joy. It's finished; let's celebrate big time. Where everyone in the studio yelled at the top of their lungs - The End!" Here, with access to the 24-track master tapes we have been able to include the original version plus an unreleased instrumental take, allowing us to focus on the infectious bassline and make it even more ready for the modern dance floor.
Accompanied by extensive interview-based liner notes and never-before-seen photos.
Bar Konon Mousso (Musicien C'est Pas Quelqu'un) (Ben Gomori N'est Pas musicien edit) (8:00)
Massa Kamba (Ben Gomori's Massabbatical edit) (9:11)
Review: This officially licensed 12" sees prolific British disco producer Ben Gomori take a scalpel to two cuts from veteran African musician Amadou Balake's 2015 album, In Conclusion. On side A you'll find a fantastic, eight-minute extension of the breezy shuffler "Bar Konon Mousso (Musicien C'est Pas Quelqu'un)", where snaking saxophone solos and sun-kissed, juju style guitars rise above a hot-stepping, bass-heavy groove. Turn to the flipside for a thrillingly epic take on "Massa Kamba", a deeper and slightly more musically intricate cut blessed with a blissful; Pat Metheny style jazz guitar breakdown, memorable chorus vocals and evocative horn lines.
Review: Earlier in the year, Rio de Janeiro-based duo Balako made their debut on Barefoot Beats, sharing the billing with Eddie C on a tasty 10-inch single. The chaps at Razor-N-Tape were clearly impressed, because they've given the Brazilian twosome a 12" on which to showcase their edits. The hit the ground running with breezy opener "Batuque", which sees them add heavy, elongated analogue bass notes and delay-laden drum machine percussion to a suitably summery and glassy-eyed chunk of mid-tempo Batacuda positivity. Elsewhere, "Deixa Acontecer" turns a sweet salsa offering into a throbbing, Italo-influenced delight, while "Honey, Honey, Honey" sees them make merry with a wonderfully low-slung Brazilian disco epic rich in stripped-back bass guitar, druggy synthesizer arpeggio lines and sparkling electronic melodies.
Review: Cosmic don Baldelli commences a new six part project that will culminate in a mix and some beautiful six-piece 12" sleeve art collage. Igniting as he means to go on, each cut shakes and struts with distinctive aspects of Daniele's signature style: "Thyratron" is a ballroom jazz anthem-in-waiting with lavish piano splatters over an insistent disco chug, "Diffrazione" takes us much deeper into Baldelli's psyche with soaring, heavily processed guitars and synths freaking out over a pulsating bulbous bass bed while "Inner Light" brings us back into reality with a mildly Nordic piece of pop-oriented disco, all sensual, breathy vocals and a twinkling synth groove. Bring on the next chapter.
Review: Daniele Baldelli: Unquestionably one of DJ culture's longest-standing and furthest-thinking selectors drops the penultimate edition of his epic "Cosmic Temple" series with three more exception slabs of creative disco fusion. "Kata Sandi" is a cloud-leaping homage to the new romantic with just a dash of futurism with the trippy roboticised voice processing, "Esaedro" goes for a much more direct dancefloor approach with strong references to Moroder in the initial groove before daringly flipping to a much warmer, smoother jazz dynamic mid-way. Finally "Dioxide" closes the show on a freakier note as a beautifully processed human voice elements are twist inside out with an almost animated energy. Quintessential Baldelli.
Review: Daniele Badlelli's Cosmic Temple series reaches its fourth chapter, and as usual the Italian legend is in a typically mixed-up mood. Somewhat surprisingly, opener "Joka Joka" sounds like an Afro-cosmic take on Acid Jazz (think jaunty clavs, Tony Allen rhythms, hearty African vocals and goatee-sporting saxophone solos). On the flip, Baldelli goes back to his roots with the sharp guitar solos, kosmiche synths and metronomic, Italo-disco grooves of "Vhanessa", before pitching things down to minus eight with the outer-space synth chug of "Archetipo". With its' delay-laden drum hits, heady sound effects and killer analogue bassline, it's the closest thing on the EP to the cosmic disco blueprint.
Taylorpo (Warehouse Preservation Society remix) (5:23)
Massive Birth (Mind Fair remix) (5:43)
Review: Coolly stepping out like a white-suited player on a Miami club strip, the high expectations set by any mention of Italian disco pioneer Daniele Baldelli are easily matched by the opener and title number. And things really only get better from there.
'Massive Birth' is an intelligent, freeform outing on a half-time, DJ Rocca's ever-tight drum programming clearly having some influence on the complex percussive patterns. On the flip, Mind Fair have their way with that original, turning it into a more grounded four-four workout if you listen beyond the top layer of rolls and snare crashes. For many, though, this one will be all about the Warehouse Preservation Society remix of 'Taylorpo', which puts Italo right back at the top of the disco agenda, sounding at once space age yet nostalgic, and unquestionably, unstoppably danceable.
Review: In recent years, Daniel Baldelli's original productions have tended towards the funkier end of the cosmic disco spectrum. That's certainly what you get here, as the Afro-cosmic pioneer once again joins forces with regular studio partner Marco Dionigi. Of course, there are nod to the chugging, arpeggio-heavy world of Italo-disco - see the Balearic disco dreaminess of "Irradia" and cosmic funk-rock shuffle of "Slightly Mad" - but even these mind-altering journeys come blessed with crackling funk guitars and tasty Clavinet sounds. Our picks are opener "Rusty", a bassline-driven, funk-fuelled Idjut Boys style dub disco number, and the pleasingly percussive, flash-fried funk of "Start The Engine".
Review: Deep and sensual balearica on offer here from The Balek Band, brought to you by Beauty & The Beat - the in-house music label of the 'freeform psychedelic dance party' hosted in various east London venues over the years by Cyril Cornet, Jeremy Gilbert & Cedric Woo since 2005. The Balek Band are a French outfit - the side project of Vidock (Abstrack), accompanied by Samuel Creach (bass) & Zeppo (percussion). Together they create soundtracks for your perfect island dream as heard on "Tometsi", the deep down polyrhythmic spiritual entrancement of "Diconiels" .....
Review: Cultures Of Soul have absolutely hit the nail on the head by getting Benjamin Ball on their side, and it's shed a light on one of South Africa's best boogie artists from the 80s. This is the sort of gear that'll make just about any decent collector jump with excitement, not only because of the quality of the music, but also because of its sheer rarity. The wonderfully loose "I Just Keep Dancing" is form Ball's debut LP Paulina, and it really is the sort of tune that'll please just about any sensible crowd. Ball's own vocal flex has enough funk in it to outdo the James Browns out there, and coupled with those snappy drums and raw electro bass makes means that this is the rarest of gems. Soul Clap's remix makes for a nice addition, but it's clear that no man can test the vibes of Benjamin Ball. What a killer!
Review: Three time's the charm: Legendary African music house Sterns project with long-standing London DJ Ben Gomori has been buy on sight so far. These Balla et ses Balladins edits are likely to go the same way as Gomori takes two of the Guinean orchestra's releases on the state-run Syliphone label and once again turns in two exceptional and respectful revisions; "Nyo" is a slow-and-low chugger with cosmic ripples and cleverly echoed vocal layers while "Wilikabo" is an instant party call to arms with a bell-bottomed bassline and a raw street kicking carnival feel. Already big with the likes of Skream and Horse Meat Disco, this won't hang around.
A Tour In Italy (Pellegrino mix - Mediterranean version) (7:06)
A Tour In Italy (Tony Carrasco mix) (7:04)
A Tour In Italy (Tony Carrasco mix - dub version) (6:14)
Review: Not to be mistaken for the charity pop behemoth, this Band Aid were a band from Bologna that released a handful of albums and singles in the early 80s. Best Italy have dug out this loose and limber slice of sunny funk and given it a spruce up with a little help from Early Sounds crew member Pellegrino, whose "Mediterranean Version" of "A Tour In Italy" adorns the A side. It's all peppy brass, dreamy guitars and a kooky vocal line about the titular tour, guaranteed to break out some smiles on the dancefloor. On the B side you can indulge in Tony Carrasco's original vocal and dub versions, all of which equally exude summery vibes to keep you warm through the winter months.
Review: IIB next release comes from French duo Baptiste & Pierre. 2 tracks of warm tropical goodness. Virage is a deep mellow afro tinged tropical workout. Muted guitar hook and nature sounds conjuring up far flung deserted beaches. Ruf dug beefs it up a touch and moves it indoors giving it a more afterhours feel. The second track has the same evocative feel as Virage with added atmospheric pads and a bouncy melody. Like a closing track on an 80's road movie. Full of emotion. Italian maestro Deep 88 creates a truly authentic slice of early ninetoes deep dreamy house. Perfectly wrapping the original in warm analogue drums. Another quality release from IIB.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Especial is delighted to welcome Baris to the roster. Known for his edit series of obscure Turkish Psychedelic, Rock and Disco, here he takes the producer's chair to present "200". Working with musicians and singers to create a completely original production. The song's message for equality (of the sexes) highlights the bigotry and backward political and religious boundaries his country faces and acts as a siren to the current troubles. Handed to Emotional Recordings over 5 years ago but with no label to release it at that time, now we are delighted to be able to release 200's message. The original is backed with remixed from new production duo Khidja, as well as East London's finest, The Asphodells. Teaming up with guitarist Balabas, Romania's Khidja turn in a deep and introspective interpretation mixing their own heavy eastern influences, while the B-side sees Weatherall and Fairplay don their Asphodells mantle for two renditions that firmly lay it before the ALFOS alter. With artwork (by Jamie Paton) highlighting the struggle for fairness and freedom in his homeland, we hope the release can be seen as a support for their tribulations and highlight the talent that lays East.
Review: When it comes to exotic, off-kilter edits, you'll struggle to find a stronger series than Jonny Rock's Disco Hamam. This fifth volume is every bit as essential as its predecessors. Beards In Dust claims the A-side with "At The Dawn", a tidy revision of a druggy and "chuggy" version of a blue-eyed psychedelic funk-rock roller that comes complete with some serious sing-along sections. The heady world of Turkish music - a constant source of inspiration at the Disco Hamam HQ - comes to the fore on the B-side. Tales Of Voodoo's "Sharky" is a deliciously percussive, dancefloor-friendly fusion of Middle Eastern exoticism, funk-rock guitars and heavy disco percussion, while Esen Gunduz's "Deve Gucu" is an even sweatier, Italo Disco-era stomper that sounds like something you'd have heard in Istanbul clubs circa 1985.
Review: Recorded and released two years before she gave us the iconic vocals on Indeep's "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life", Beckie Bell's 1979 debut release enjoys its first repress in 37 years. You don't even need hindsight to hear the promise she had at the start of her career. "In The Right Place" was a spacy, almost bluesy disco jam where she's not afraid to take full command while "Johnnie's Home" still sparkles with reggae fusion funk that's often attempted but seldom smashed in such a sexy way.
Review: Favourite France drop some absolute truth with this killer reissue of Beckie Bell's 1980 classic "Music Madness", from the album 'In Need Of...'. This is he funkiest disco you can possibly ask for, a chirpy, upbeat tune that calls for the good times. It's the sort of track that can be slapped on in just about any set, anywhere, and Bell's vocals are as infectious as the tight groove that pushes the track forwards. There are a couple of remixes, though, which bring out the best of the original and make it even more playable than before. The first one is a more beat-heavy reinterpretation from Voilaaa, while Tom Noble injects the perfect level of houseness into the equation thanks to a slamming 4/4 and some extra percussion. Perfect, and very much recommended if you've somehow slept on the original.
Review: Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk is still going strong. The Stockholm label now taps In-Beat-Ween Music main man Alexander Lay Far, who appeared last year on the label with his Communication EP. The Slope sees him collaborate with the legendary Ashley Beedle of X-Press 2 and Darren Morris. First up is "Doctor Feelgood" with its '70s inspired production complete with funk guitar, swinging live drumming and an infectiously funky synth bass. The Slope" is a more downbeat affair for chill out moments, a deep soul funk number with swirling Rhodes, dreamy xylophones and rich analogue strings drawing comparisons to Roy Ayers RAMP project. "Lay Far's Upbeat Version" does exactly what it does on the cover, injecting a funky breakbeat into said track, making it more dancefloor friendly but still retaining all its soulful glory.
Archie Bell & The Drells - "Where Will You Go When The Party's Over" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:06)
People's Choice - "Jam Jam Jam (All Night Long)" (A Tom Moulton mix) (7:42)
Teddy Pendergrass - "I Don't Love You Anymore" (A Tom Moulton mix) (8:46)
Lou Rawls - "See You When I Git There" (A Tom Moulton mix) (9:39)
Review: During the latter stages of the "Philly Soul" era, New York remixer Tom Moulton delivered a string of inspired, DJ friendly reworks for the Philadelphia International label. For proof, check this fine selection of classic Moulton mixes for the storied imprint. Check first his version of Archie Bell and the Drells' "Where Will You Go When The Party's Over", which he brilliantly teases out and increases in intensity over nine spellbinding minutes. The funkier flex of People's Choice's "Jam, Jam, Jam (All Night Long)" is a sweaty, low-down treat, while the Teddy Pendergrass rework is a soaring disco classic in the Philly Soul style. Best of all, though, is the string-drenched disco celebration that is his mix of Lou Rawls' "See You When I Git There".
Review: Climb on board the Belpaese express for another scalpel-wielding excursion into the eccentric world of cosmic disco and long-forgotten Italian club cuts. It's a journey every bit as riveting as their previous 12-inch trips. On the A-side you can settle in and let the extended Latin piano solos, Balearic boogie grooves, sweaty percussion breaks and early '80s jazz-funk synths of "Vai Di Samba" carry you towards your destination. A trip to the B-side buffet car is encouraged, too, where both "Fonde E Confonde" and the jammed-out, off-kilter Brazilian style electrofunk madness of "Electrosamba" are far more appetizing than your average on-board snack. The latter track, which also contains some insanely heavy passages of layered samba beats, is probably the EP's most potent cut.
Review: Belpaese Edits is a new Balearic and cosmic-minded rework series shrouded in mystery. We know it is Italian in origin (the label makes that clear), but very little else. In many ways, it doesn't matter; whoever is behind it, this debut EP is excellent. It opens with the chant-along, carnival-ready jazz-funk/South American style disco fusion of "Sentimento", before charging off on a more low-slung and driving direction via "Ancora Piaccio", a tasty revision of a lesser-known disco-era Italian record. Over on side B, "Di Chi Sei" sounds like it was made by Italy's answer to Sade (and, yes, it made us want to walk barefoot down a beach arm in arm with a loved one), while "Para Para" is a chugging, reggae-influenced chunk of slo-mo Italian disco-exotica.
Review: Back in August, Shadowy Italian re-edit crew Belpaese impressed with their first self-titled EP, which offered up decidedly cosmic and Balearic-minded reworks. There's more on offer on this similarly fine second set of revisions. On side A you'll find "Dai Vivo", an extended, near ten-minute revision of a quirky European disco-rock record of the kind that Daniel Baldelli may once have rocked at the Cosmic Club. On the reverse, "Moribonda" is a fine version of a synth-laden, turn-of-the-'80s Italian disco-pop/funk-rock record (think Greg Kihn Band and you're close), while "Sara Uno Smacco" is a sleazy, slo-mo disco delight.
Review: The sneaky scalpel fiends behind the Belpaese Edits imprint are back with more inspired reworks of obscure, little known and overlooked European - and mostly Italian - gems from the 1970s and '80s. First up is "Vieni Con Mi", a wonderfully overblown chunk of loose-limbed jazz-rock/disco-soul fusion blessed with breathy female vocals, mazy flutes, wah-wah guitars, heavy bass and drumming so wild it may well be capable of raising cadavers from their graves. Flipside "20 Secoli Di Favole" is similarly minded, if a little closer to Baldelli "cosmic rock" territory - all ragged rock riffs, manic female vocals, groovy bass and intergalactic analogue synthesizer lines.
Review: Last year, Sadar Bahar made a visit to the Utrecht studio of veteran electro producer and analogue synthesizer collector Ben Spaander (AKA Cosmic Force). Having got on incredibly well, they decided to record tracks together under the Ben & Sadar's alias. This debut 12" is something of a treat: a two-track, sample-free romp through heavyweight disco-funk fusion. They begin with killer boogie jam "We Are Righteous People", where jammed-out guitar riffs, wavy saxophone lines and rubbery slap bass lines wrap themselves around an all-action drum machine groove. Flip for the guitar-wielding madness of "Bouncing Atoms", whose Cream style riffs and bluesy solos ride a cowbell-heavy disco groove.