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: Two out-and-out rarities from Hancock's Columbia-era output. Strictly the sole preserve of DJ promo back in 79/80, the clue is in the title 'special' disco remixes. Smooth, soulful and arranged with such style, every element of Herbie's essential ingredients is brought to the fore in its own time with its own space. "Stars In Your Eyes" swoons with a soulful ballad feel while "Saturday Night" pumps and jumps with party-pulling allure. Simply essential.
Review: Manchester producer Andy Hanley has had one previous outing on Ruf Kutz but now he's adopted the Haners alias to kick off the Misadventures label with an assured grip of warm, discoid funk shot through with a healthy dose of 80s production finish. "Heaven" is definitely the most dancefloor ready track - a shimmering slice of laid back disco house with plenty of hooks and a dreamy, slightly dubbed out atmosphere. "Girl" is more audacious, slowing the tempo right down and riding on a brittle beat and a heavily reverbed dose of island boogie. "You" keeps things slow and easy for the gentle part of the night - a consummate smooth groover.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Having previously contributed to the Ruf Kutz series, Manchester-based editor extraordinaire Andi Hanley lands on Magic Wand with some off-grid treatments seriously worthy of your attention. First up on the A side is "Tied Up (Hanners edit)," which locks into a snaking, submerged and deliciously tense Afro work out for show-stopping dancefloor drama. "Happy Together" is much smoother by comparison, all laid back island boogie with cheery synth strings and ample bass sleaze to keep you warm at night. "Lucky Number" is a peppier 70s flavoured strutter that teases its ingredients out over a sustained set of riffs.
Review: Attention Vegetarian vinyl consumers - approach this excellent introduction to the I'm A Cliche canon proper from Hannulelauri with caution if the sight of bare meat causes your constitution consternation. Raw steak on the cover art aside, there's little other reason not to indulge in this brilliantly oddball take on house music from the Finnish duo. Opening track "Box To Box" splays a cheeky acid stab lead over rusted percussion steeped in off kilter rhythms, whilst deep in the machine what sounds like an elephant tries to play along in time - it's a wonderfully tongue in cheek riposte to po faced music everywhere. The accompanying remix from Throne Of Blood duo Populette does a sterling job of realigning the track to burning deep house bump that's a perfect fit for the midnight hour. On the flip the title track "Dysfunction" straddles a lysergic house pump that will prove potent in the right atmosphere, whilst Toby Tobias embellishes the track with some soulful excess via diva warbling and hand claps.
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: Ron Hardy's edit vaults just keep on supplying and you keep on buying. The RDY series now stands at number 31 and its still nothing but vintage tweaking. The musicality and instrumental frenzy of Willie Bobo's "Always There" enjoys a full celebration, Al Di Meola's Italo trip "Sequencer" undergoes a muscular cosmic touch while "Bpm Trax" pushes us close to the edge. Just try not to lose your heads.
Mass Production - "Welcome To Our World (Of Merry Music)" (7:31)
Ron Hardy - "Cosmic Lady" (5:34)
Willie Hutch - "Foxy Lady" (4:01)
Review: The Ron Hardy edits and specials just keep on flowing. Here the theme is kept vibrant and wholly focused on disco funk feels as we're treated to three extensions from the late 70s; Mass Production's debut from 76 "Welcome To Our World" is a warm and energetic cut that digs right into the heart of the dance, Tony Silvester's "Cosmic Lady" is taken up a gear with full attention on the instrumental sections while Willie Hutch's "Foxy Lady" retains full smoke and allure. Hardy knew how to pick them.
Review: Gop Tun are a Brazilian label and party crew operating out of Sao Paulo, and they stride into their third release with a pair of tracks that are likely to establish them on the map even more than they are already. This is the second outing for Hatchets on the label, and "Hey Benji" makes for a perfect encapsulation of the Gop Tun sound with its warm, organic sound palette, slinky disco structure and traditional Latin elements. Prins Thomas meanwhile pushes the track into a whole other realm for his remix, creating a hard-edged, heavy-grooving remix that promises all kinds of psychedelic abandon on the dancefloor.
Review: With this tasty collection of sticky, tropical-minded reworks, edit kings KAT Records welcome a new name to the roster. Hatsvali is a new alias for the Georgian duo Rotkraft, who previously released throbbing house and nu-disco jams on Nurvous and Kompakt Extra. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Bebe", where jaunty horns, flash-fried guitars and Loleatta Holloway vocal samples rise above a chunky, tropical funk groove. Flip for the gently housed-up Cambodian disco-funk flex of "Marie Terese" and "Gamodi", a sweet, shuffling and gently dubbed-out interpretation of what sounds like a dewy-eyed old French disco record. Fine floor-filling fare, all told.
Review: Like many producers, Martin Hayes has built his career on the twin pursuits of original, sample-heavy house production and floor-friendly re-edits. This 12" sees him reaching for the scalpel once more, delivering a quartet of killer cut-jobs for Brooklyn's mighty Razor 'N' Tape. He begins with the rubbery bass, punchy horns and sweaty disco percussion of "Get On Down", before offering a perfect balance between low-slung strut and epic, string-laden brilliance on the even better "Make Me Dance". Flip for the percussion-heavy disco-funk workout "Tight Spot", and the atmospheric funk breaks, glistening guitars and spacey delays of EP closer "Ol' Funky Music".
Review: Two years on from his first appearance on Brooklyn's finest re-edit imprint, Martin Hayes returns with a second salvo of DJ-friendly disco revisions. The Leipzig producer goes for the jugular from the start, delivering a slightly straightened-out, house-friendly tweak of a celebratory disco gem on boisterous opener "Easy Come Easy Go", before serving up a sizeable edit of a slo-mo orchestral disco groover ("Tiff"). He returns to peak-time pastures via EP highlight "Turn You On", a wickedly up-tempo anthem built around razor-sharp strings, jaunty piano riffs, bustling beats and a seriously good "walking" bassline. To round things off, Hayes delivers "Love Shine", a far warmer and groovier concoction blessed with breezy piano riffs, extended percussion breaks and incessant vocal snippets.
Review: 6 E.P.II" is the second Vinyl E.P. taken from Headman/ Robi Insinna "6" Album which was released via Relish on the 15th September. E.P.II includes on side A1 Number 9, A2 Swing Now Out Dubfeaturing TarafromIt Rough fame. First track on the B side is called Somethingwith vocals by David Shawwho just released his first collaboration with Jennifer Cardinion Correspondant. The last track on the B side Take Me To The Top Dubfeatures Bozzwellaka Hiemfrom Firm fame. The Dub versions are exclusive for the Vinyl release. Robi's cover design is again in the same line as the whole Album project, including the Artbook, Video and Screenprints.
Review: Dark Entries' series of leftfield Italo-disco reissues continues with a double-header from prolific Italo disco session vocalist Helen (AKA Elena Ferretti), whose early excursions on obscure Italian labels Out Records and Discomagic have previously been the sole preserve of dusty-fingered crate-diggers. This EP brings together two of her finest EPs; 1983's scarce "Witch" - an exercise in bubbling, synth-pop inclined Italo-disco - and 1985's arguably better-known "Zanzibar". It's arguably the sparse, cowbell-laden "Afro Mix" - think Cosmic Club era Daniele Baldelli - of this track that steals the show, though all four tracks are shot through with that European strangeness that often marks out the best early Italo cuts.
Review: Perpetually locked into a disco groove, Pete Herbert has already impressed this year with the splendour of his releases on Nang alongside Martin Denev, but on this new 12" for Riot Gear he's stepping out on his own. The record actually leads in with the plush, romantic throb of the Yam Who? remix of "Expresso" before the original takes over with a more peppy, borderline hi-nrg approach. On the B side Bottin gets to take "No Big Thing" to task with a version rich in electro funk synthlines, while the original sports some piano house chops and enough sizzling dancefloor energy to ignite a ruckus in a retirement home.
Pass Me By (Daniele Baldelli & DJ Rocca vocal remix) (6:00)
Pass Me By (6:04)
Pass Me By (Dr Packer remix) (6:30)
Pass Me By (Pete Herbert remix) (5:28)
Review: This is big: a collaboration between Balearic nu-disco heavyweight Pete Herbert and "the voice of house" himself, Robert Owens. In its original form, "Pass Me By" is bubbly and attractive, with Owens' adding deep, soulful and emotion-rich vocals to a sparkling, synth-heavy backing track that effortlessly joins the dots between freestyle, proto-house and Italo-disco. The equally impressive remix package is headed up by a fine rework from Daniele Baldelli and DJ Rocca: a chugging, undulating cosmic disco revision that's surprisingly more organic in feel. Elsewhere, Aussie adventurer Dr Packer gives it an electrofunk flavoured house makeover and Pete Herbert turns in a fluid, Balearic-inspired rework full of heady synth lines and tumbling pianos.
Are You Lonely? (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson mix) (5:57)
Are You Lonely? (The Revenge Redub) (7:04)
Are You Lonely? (Yam Who? re-edit) (6:13)
Review: Classic boogie-down antics for those that know on this wonderful old school production by short lived outfit Hipnotic. Alongside the wondrous rarity that is "Are You Lonely?", it also comes with four new interpretations of the much loved and sought-after funk fuelled gem. First up, Stockholm legend Peter Major aka Opolopo delivers his usual style of magic featuring an amazing bassline and slick neon-lit production style. Legend Greg Wilson is joined by Che Wilson to deliver smooth and lo-slung rework, while Scottish disco hero The Revenge does his usual slo-mo thang, before Midnight affiliated Yam Who? goes back to the program with his respectful edit.
Review: Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel go from strength to strength, cruising their 18-wheeler disco wagon into the future without so much as a nudge on the brake pedal. "Dumb Disco Ideas" hits you straight in the face like a WhoMadeWho record produced by Tom Moulton. Hooky, pumping and precision produced, it's got 'sound of the summer' stamped all over it. It also comes complete with an insane video if you've got time for some visual titillation. There's nothing dumb about this at all.
Holy Ghost! - "Anxious" (A Tom Moulton mix) (8:14)
Chuck Davis Orchestra - "Spirit Of Sunshine" (long version) (6:20)
Chuck Davis Orchestra - "Spirit Of Sunshine" (Holy Ghost! remix) (10:59)
Review: In order to raise money for HIV/AIDS charities in memory of the late, great Mel Cheren, West End Records has recruited former DFA duo Holy Ghost!. "Anxious" is the pair's first single in two years and includes vocal contributions from LCD Soundsystem and Juan Maclean chanteuse Nancy Whang. Their bubbly, wide-eyed, synth-heavy original version comes accompanied by a slightly more driving and dancefloor-focused take by original West End mixer Tom Moulton. Side B offers another chance to enjoy the wild "Long Version" of 1977 West End disco favourite "Spirit of Sunshine" by the Chuck Davis Orchestra, along with an all-new Holy Ghost! re-rub that layers new synths and instrumental flourishes over the original's grandiose orchestration and camp female vocals.
Review: The gritty, stomping funk finale track from Honeyfeet's debut album earlier this year, "Meet Me On The Corner" gets the treatment: Crazy P get so spaced out and cosmic they leave an original and a dub version which are both as cosy and dreamy and loaded with slap bass as each other. Elsewhere Mihail Popov brings a straight up deep house twist that nods with reverence to Paris with is stately jack and shimmered chords. Last but not least comes a subtly dark-tinged horn melting twist on the band's debut single "Sinner" from Envee. Wah Wah aren't cutting corners on this one.