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: 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.
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.
The Silver Rider - "I Need U" (Osmose retouch) (5:56)
JP Source - "Justa Second" (6:41)
Hristo - "Love Me" (5:07)
Review: More Beatdown business from vinyl-only warriors Smokecloud. Osmose steps forward with the first half; "Help Me DISCOver" is a sample-savvy filtered enlightener while his edit of the Silver Rider goes for a much heavier, floor-pounding sense of insistency. Flip for twists from JP Source and Hristo. The former gets busy on a densely textured and tightly plucked guitar line while the latter takes us right down into sleazy town with an Isaac Hayes level of gravelly vocals and a sweaty guitar and organ pumped groove.
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: London's Soul Brother unit has been out of the picture for a little while, but you can always rest assured that the mythical Putney-based shop will come up with some solid reissue goodness. This time, the gold comes through a resurrection of Bill Harris' material, a legendary jazz trombonist who started his trade way back in the late 1950's. There's two versions of "Am I Hot Am I Cold" here, a short version for the dance, and a long version that delves deeper into the percussion, goes heavier on the drum breaks and lifts the track to higher grounds thanks to those prophetic vocals. A certified jazz-funk monster.
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: 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: 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: Long-serving disco-house fusionist Hot Toddy (AKA Crazy P co-founder Chris Todd) is in a loved-up mood on this rather tasty three-tracker. Surprisingly, it's his first solo single for some five years, and his first for House of Disco. It's the breezy, funk-fuelled A-side "In The Genes", in which Todd expertly fuses together elements most often found in proto-house, NYC boogie, early house and disco-funk records, that stands out, though the standard naturally remains high elsewhere. "Love Music", for example, is a wonderfully sauced-eyed stroll through dreamy deep house/disco fusion, while closer "Love Can Set You Free" sits somewhere between stripped-back disco-house, percussive boogie and Idjut Boys style dub disco.
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.
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: 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: Having made his name with a string of fine rework releases on the acclaimed Tugboat Edits imprint, Guillermo "Hotmood" Gonzalez makes his first appearance on Whiskey Disco. Disco De Los Muertos ("Disco of the dead", if our Spanish is up to scratch) is predictably full of cheeky dancefloor moments that should appeal to both house and disco DJs alike. Our pick of the bunch is probably the low-slung "Playing The Groove For An Hour", where fizzing synth stabs ride a ridiculously rubbery slap bass riff and rolling house groove. That said, the deeper and dreamier "The Camel" is rather good, while the horror-tinged Mexican funk-goes-house fare stretched across the A-side is both rock solid and highly playable.
Review: This more than handy 7" single brings together two classic disco-era cuts from soul legend Willie Hutch. A-side "Easy Does It", which was originally featured on 1978's In Tune album, features Hutch in full-on Curtis Mayfield mode, singing passionately over a jaunty, jazz-funk influenced backing track laden with swirling strings, choral backing vocals (think Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album) and Dexter Wansel style synthesizer solos. It's undoubtedly one of Hutch's finest moments and deserves to be in any serious soul head's collection. Flip for 1979's "Kelly Green", a sumptuous soul slow jam in which Hutch pines over a lost lover.
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: Two Arista classics from 79/78 respectively, the cult (not to mention heavily sampled) charms of Pittsburgh soul queen Hyman are presented immaculately right here on this heavyweight vinyl double-A. "You Know How To Love Me", taken from the 79 album of the same name, is a straight up disco stomper that should be recognisable to all with its distinctive horn fill and rousing backing vocals while "Living Inside Your Love" (from her 78 album Somewhere In My Lifetime) is a slinkier, sultry affair with some sizzling scat vocal flare and harmonies that will have you weak at the knees. It's all love.
Review: Random Mind State coming on strong with another concentrated dose of pure party. Kandinski gives Madonna a 1up, charging up the classic "Vogue" 909s with raw energy, George Feely follows up the corking "Apache 909" with a supreme disco uplift on "Forget About U" while Turk Turkelton flicks up the filters for a loopy slice of shoe shuffled jacks. Elsewhere Hauke drives us deeper into a hypnotic state of mine with the twinkling, filtered "Instinct Groove" before Ayer Fijen chimes us the perfect lullaby with "Sweet Dreams". Great EPs are made of these.
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.
Ed Wizard & Double Disco Dee - "Spirit Power" (6:13)
Duff Disco - "Burning Hot" (6:05)
Hotmood - "I Was Born In Mexico" (6:18)
Alex Zuiev - "I Feel Funky" (6:23)
Review: While most Editorial EPs feature contributions from a range of high-flying re-editors, their latest collection of cuts boasts a particularly star-studded line-up. For example, it features a now rare outing from Jeremy Duffy under the familiar Duff Disco alias, a gently rolling disco-soul revision called "Burning Hot" that underpins a suitably glassy-eyed cut with his trademark soft-touch house drums. More up-tempo fare can be found on side B, where Hotmood's disco-funk rearrangement "I Was Born In Mexico" - think restless slap bass, eyes-shut guitar solos, bouncy drums and rising horns - is joined by the razor-sharp disco-funk sweatiness of Alex Zuiev's "I Feel Funky". Arguably best of all, though, is Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee's woozy, sample-heavy disco roller "Spirit Power".
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".