Review: Multitrack wizard The Reflex returns for his second release on Revision Records with two more killer edits. He tackles Marvin Gaye's classic "Gotta Give It Up" giving it the perfect modern revision for modern dancefloors, pretty damn brilliant if we do say so ourselves. On the B side he lends his Midas touch to Serge Gainsbourg's infamous "Sea, Sex & Sun" allegedly three years in the making, this dirty disco funk nugget includes vocals from both the English and French versions. Exclusive to vinyl and previously unreleased, get your hands on this one before you miss your chance as pressings are limited.
Review: A planned reissue for many years, the untimely passing of Steve Coe shortly after the label's rerelease of The Ganges Orchestra's The Dream put everything on hold. However, time moves and so now seems a fitting time to revisit this "world dance" classic with fonder hearts. Long cherished, it is a reminder of Steve's enduring studio mastery. After the initial success of his work with Sheila Chandra in Monsoon, Steve expanded his musical scope, working on an Indipop compilation as clubs looked to Eastern flavours to add a new dimension for the dancefloor.
Teaming up with tabla disciple turned teacher, Jhalib (Millar), as well as long time collaborator Martin Smith, it's hard to imagine Mysteries was first heard in 1982. Hailed as an all time classic, it's enduring appeal can be seen in how it became a staple for the likes of Danielle Baldelli at the infamous Cosmic club and beyond to become an original Evissa "balearic" secret play for Weatherall & co in those fateful summers of love and beyond.
Remastered especially for this release, the orchestral Eastern melody and mid-tempo chugging rhythms and vocals marry in perfection with a dub bassline of Wobble inspired depth. This alone would be enough, however, the original is at last backed with the 1988 remix. Aimed at the then burgening New Beat scene, a subtle straightening kick is added, but it's the unmistakable vocals of Sheila Chandra that finally brings this release together in melodic harmony. Peace be with you Steve. I AM x
Review: Marcel Vogel's ever-ready LIH imprint celebrates six years of juicy, sassy, often illicit disco soul with some of the label's best cuts to date. Ideal for filling any holes in your collection, the likes of Uptown Funk Empire's Pharoah Saunders cover "Freedom", Manmademusic's gospel-level "Circles", Eddie C's tweaking, freaking drum funk "What It Is", Stacy and Peven's stuttering funk "Body Jerkin" still slap and tickle just as stylishly and smoothly as they did when Marcel first prised them from the editor's clutches... And still will in 10, 20 or 50 years-time. Proper dancefloor clobber.
Review: From Kon's forthcoming compilation on BBE entitled Kon & The Gang, this 12? sampler features two cuts taken from the LP and an exclusive remix from Boston producer and mix engineer Caserta, namely "Timeless" (Caserta mix)" a tasty serving of super deep and low slung disco goodness. A more functional edit for DJ use follows on "Timeless" (remix - Caserta mix)". On the flip Truccy (better known as Compost's Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci) present "Closer", a gorgeous slo-mo house jam with a rolling groove fetauring all the good stuff: swirling Rhodes keys, groovy congas and hypnotic vox.
Review: Emotional Especial comes together with Future Nuggets for a "Special" one-off collaboration. Reinterpreting the music of Steaua de Mare are four remixes from rising (Eastern) stars Khidja and Mehmet Aslan.
The first in a short series of Especial "Specials" - where new artists are brought together for unique releases - we start by teaming up with Future Nuggets to present again the sonic offshoot in the unique band, Steaua de Mare. Returning in remix form, songs from their self-titled album, as well as extra additions, are specially reworked.
First Khidja take album track Babadag to new psychedelic depths, adding multiple layers of guitar and synths, all inexhaustibly dubbed and re-dubbed until a whole new track emerges for the more discerning minds.
Next Mehmet Aslan is focused on the dance-floor, carefully reconstructing new track Shop into a club orientated groove, aiming straight at the feet with inevitable results. On the flip, Mehmet then reworks album highlight, Doamne ce greseala am, amassing tension in careful, subtle ways, crafting a version that is a proper meeting of hearts and minds.
To finish, Khidja return to remix the previously unreleased 1 Septembrie. Going to great lengths in managing a myriad of details, with balearic, kraut, pseudo-disco and exotica reverberations all pulsating, here then are on point examples of remix manipulation. A perfect way to start this series and showcase these wonderful artists.
Identify With Your Root (Which One You De?) (6:45)
Anogo - Giri (6:23)
Alhaja & Obiageri (4:33)
Love Care (5:10)
Aro Affair (Crazy Scene) (6:12)
Review: Odion Iruoje aka Sound President was one of Nigeria's top producers in the 1970s and early '80s, but his solo recording career was restricted to just the one release, Down To Earth. Originally released on Iruoje's own label, Odion Ltd, in 1983, it was only ever distributed in small quantities and Soundway Records have given this much needed re-issue. Iruoje is known for having signed the legendary Fela Kuti to major label EMI and acting as his producer throughout the early '70s. Starting out with the proto funk rap cut "Identify With Your Root (Which One You De?)", there's some killer West African boogie-funk-soulfulness on "Ikebe" and some feel good disco vibes; Lagos style on "Love Care".
Review: Brazilian scalpel fiend Selvagem has been on fine form in recent times, delivering essential EPs for Disco Halal, B.I.S (Beats In Space's lesser-known re-edit offshoot), and Barefoot Beats. Given this impressive track record, it's little surprise to see him starring on Dicky Trisco's long-running Disco Deviance label. "Chitty Disco" is a grunting, throbbing, horn-heavy delight, with Selvagem successfully beefing up the bottom-end whilst retaining the original's natural swing. Flipside "Pontonic Por Favor" is an altogether more South American flavoured treat, with lazy tumpet lines tumbling down over carnival-ready disco beats and a slick, synth-heavy groove. There are occasional chanted vocals, too, which should have the more enthusiastic dancers singing along on the dancefloor.
Review: Rudy (aka Robin Lee from Faze Action) makes a welcome return on FAR, taking in the atmosphere of sunnier climes.
The title tracks opening cascades and swirling synths fall into an easy Balearic groove, with singing melodies, exotic marimbas, a chugging synth bass and production echoing a mix of Compass Point, Grace Jones et all on holiday in Europe, whilst setting the scene for the EP. The 2nd track is introduced by hypnotic tones against analog synth arpeggios and haunting synth solos, invoking the "Sky Goddess". Back down to earth on the flip side is an invitation to sail down the "Shimmering Coast", with its relaxed guitar groove and keyboard flourishes all underpinned by a stunning 80s sounding bass line. Dropping anchor at "Fortune Lagoon", we are treated to some of Rudy's personally designed analog keyboard sounds, which mange to challenge yet retain tropical warmth.
Finally live chorus bass introduces us to "Body Wave" which manages to fuse easy French Disco with jazzy Fender Rhodes hooks. By Nature is a reflection of white washed houses, palm trees, refreshing coastal beaches and yacht parties. Don't forget your sunglasses and tanning oil!
Review: Here's some blasting, fresh nu disco that actually sounds new and blasting! The Powerdance crew surface out of nowhere, and just like that they release two killers for the peak hours. "Power Dance" is funky, lively, a little jazzy, but still left of field enough to remain interested and surprised with each new turn of the 4/4. "Power Beats" is the instrumental alternative, this one bringing through the strings a lot more, and throwing down one mighty bass to rule the floor. Oh, and out of nowhere there's a little change in tone to freshen things up!
The Man From Colours (instrumental version) (6:43)
Review: This timeless and utterly singular slice of italo disco magic was bootlegged a little over a year ago, but Dark Entries have decided to reissue it properly, with a remastered set of tunes for maximum playback effect. The 1982 bombshell, originally out on Discomagic Records, goes by the name of "The Man From Colours", and it is a special track indeed, one that's full of romantic charm, mystery and plenty of proto-house vibes. Its vocals will be embedded in your mind forever upon first listen, and you get an instrumental cut on the flip, too. Highly recommended - DO NOT SLEEP.
Review: Last seen dipping into the highly-regarded archives of one Dominic 'Domu' Stanton, the KAT label now turn their attentions back to another London selector and producer of the highest repute: Johnny Miller. As the title suggests, this is the third Kat 12" in an ongoing series of edit 12"s from Miller and features three prime cuts that will excite any self-respecting discotheque. Veering from jazz dance to early deep house via mid-tempo afro funk, this is one of those records that will offer optimum deployment for the more skilled selectors out there. The brushed Bradock-style deep house of "Kalimba Tree" is a real highlight.
Review: Emotional Especial and Cocktail d'Amore Music enter 'cahoot-mode' once again with a second round of Sfire remixes that take proceedings down a deeper, more stripped-back path courtesy of the inimitable Timothy J Fairplay and Willie Burns. Two artists who need little introduction offer up two remixes each that take the unique original to new dance floor extremes. Timothy steps up first with his take on "Sfire 2" via differing vocal and instrumental versions. His trademark, echo laden rolling percussion and John Carpenter-style key lines take the original Synth-pop homage to the dark room. Adding Arps, a lifting, hedonistic breakdown and the scatter-stepper drums and claps found on the Instrumental version and this is pure COTF territory and the better for it. Mr Willie Burns meanwhile has long followed his own path for his take on "Sfire 3", offering one of his deepest remixes to date. Thudding kick, brooding pads and dark strings force the vocals to go down, way down for examination. The distorted vocals of Remix 1 are countered by Remix 2 letting the track shine via a seemingly endless 4/4 beat. Psychedelic, trance inducing, pulsating, this is an ever growing mind expanse.
Review: Zwischenfall were a short lived Belgian trio comprised of Martin Urban, Michael Sass & Stephan Kraemer and who only had two releases: the Heute EP in 1983 and of course Sandy Eyes (1984) that now gets a re-issue on Josh Cheon's always reliable Dark Entries. The title track is sweet, disco infused synth-pop (and definitely a spirit of the time) while "Flucht 84" takes it cues from Moroder or Gino Soccio on this fabulous cosmic disco journey. On the flip are two bonus tracks: "Sacred Time" injects a bit more EBM attitude into it while "Polar Magazine" gets more funky and that keyboard brass section is a nice touch. Fans of the label will find this a welcome addition to the catalogue.
Review: One-time Witch Doctor "Prins" Emanuel Sundin has shown plenty of promise on his three EPs to date, so hopes are naturally high for this belated debut album. Across two slabs of wax, the producer expands on his loose, organic disco template, drawing on influences including krautrock, kosmiche, Scandolearic disco, dub reggae, calypso, new age, and skewed boogie. It's an entertaining and typically melodious affair, full of instrumental cuts that impressively tiptoe the fine line between Balearic goodness and full-on dancefloor disco. The second record heads further towards downtempo territory, whilst retaining the key musical ingredients of Sundin's ear-pleasing blueprint.
Review: Few re-edit minded imprints do it quite like Macadam Mambo. The French label is renowned for eschewing the tried-and-tested, instead asking its' contributors to deliver rearrangements of obscure, left-of-centre gems. This latest 12", from label co-founder Guillaume Des Bois, is packed with such eccentric treats. After beginning with the tactile, easy listening flutter of "Brightness (Intro)", Des Bois turns his attention to the crunchy, guitar-laden AOR disco funk of "Mambo Nassau". "El Chicanos" sees him tweak an organ solo-heavy chunk of acid-fried West Coast funk-rock, while the spiraling "Gypsy Disco" is a synthesizer-era, Balkan disco treat (and delightfully camp to boot). If that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, he heads for outerspace with the intergalactic synths and undeniably cosmic grooves of "Andromeda".
Review: Canadian disco don and deep digger Eddie C has certainly come a long way since his days as a local DJ in Banff, Alberta. Now based in Berlin and joining a huge community of expat producers in the city, the On The Shore LP was indeed influenced by his new hometown. His studio being located right on the River Panke in Berlin's growing Wedding district; an area still not fully in the grasp of gentrification yet and it was these lovely and relaxing surrounds, being surrounded by fellow artists in the studios which fuelled inspiration for this release. Expect a mixed bag of all things slo-mo, low slung, deep and above all funky, for sure!
Review: A legendary record among collectors and funk and soul fans, constantly subject to shoddy bootlegs and pricetags of well over $700, "The Guardian Angel" is a pretty historical record; not only produced by Patrick Adams, not only blessed with a really meaty, funk-primed break but also a story of New York's vigilante crack team who protected innocent folk on the subway during Manhattan's fabled rougher times. Listen closely and you can literally hear the sounds of the Z train.
Review: Classic disco-soul jam from the short lived Larry Joseph Project, a diggers delight from 1983 that gets a much needed re-issue. The original version of "You're The Best" is up there with anything else of the era's finest moments such as by Chic or Sister Sledge or even Gwen Guthrie and there's a handy extended mix too for the heads. On the flip we also have "Irresistable" which is another soul funk-boogie jam that's so wonderful that the title suits it just perfectly.
Review: As the back cover makes clear, Negative Hallucination is a collaboration between Pittsburgh Track Authority member Thomas Cox, and Africans With Mainframes member Noleian Reusse. Given their respective recording histories, you'd perhaps expect this debut EP to be full of bumpin', acid-flecked house. In fact, it's an altogether looser and more melodious affair, with opener "Solitarity" [sic] expertly combining elements from krautrock, analogue house, and cheery Balearic disco. The freaky, alien attack that is off-kilter jacker "Police State" is perhaps more in-keeping with their analogue house histories, while "Surveillance" expertly joins the dots between dub techno, lo-fi house, and intergalactic electronica.
Review: Rune Lindbaek is a serial collaborator. In the past he's worked with (amongst others) Lindstrom, Kurt Maloo, Ovyind Bilkstad, the Idjut Boys and Todd Terje. His latest studio buddy is Grecian producer Cebit. "Disko Romeiko" is a curious but attractive concoction, with the duo peppering a chugging, atmospheric nu-disco groove with lashings of accordion, traditional Greek instrumentation, subtle acid lines, and occasional blasts of Norse vocoder vocals. Yep, it's definitely cosmic. On the flip, Oyvind Bilkstad makes merry with the accordions on his rolling, slightly more house-centric version, before Baz Reznik drops a super-strength pill and goes all-out Balearic synth-pop on his deliciously wide-eyed take.
Nick Mackrory & Harry Collier - "Nubian Sun" (5:22)
Christer Nahrendorf - "Sju Minuter Kvar" (4:23)
Hong Kong Syndikat - "Too Much" (feat Frankie - HP Hoeger & M Lackmayer mix) (4:03)
Tuccinelli - "Can Picard" (4:49)
Lars Bartkuhn - "Change" (7:35)
Cesar De Melero & Mr Claude - "Plastic Dreams" (feat Chez) (6:01)
Review: Destination one of Ibiza's finest shores for MFD's fourth Sunset Series collection. As with the previous compendiums, the focus is squared purely on sonic equivalent of those idyllic balmy, hazy marmalade hues we long for during the colder months. Assuaging us from day to night, or simply straight to bed, real stand-out jams include Line Gottsche's sultry purrs on "Eyes",Christer Nahrendorf's sleazy jazz breaks on "Sju Minter Kvar" and the soft house thumps of Tuccinelli's "Can Picard" but that's really just the tip of the golden brown vista... Dig deep.