Review: The Dessert Island Discs series continues with yet more arch remixes from across the disco and boogie spectrum. Bubbles The Pimp kicks off the A side with a tasteful treatment of Gil Scott Heron's "Winter In America," which gets rustled up into a sweet and sassy house number with a cheeky acid b-line underneath. Nelly Wilson whips up a storm on the tightly clipped, peak time-oriented "Trapped & Confused". Pierre Pressure's "Love & Beyond" takes it easy on the B side with plenty of fluttering synth wobbles to offset the choppy funk of the guitar - it's a cosmically enhanced floor burner to get you all astral under the collar.
FSQ - "Shaking My Damn Head" (feat Dolette McDonald) (4:47)
Perdu - "Cece" (6:32)
South Beach Recycling - "Bongo Man" (5:00)
Review: Midnight Riot's recently-released Riot In Lagos compilation paid tribute - in some style, we should add - to the enduring influence of African music on contemporary dance culture. This sampler 12" gathers together four of the most sought-after cuts from the digital-only set. Drop Out Orchestra kick things off with the fuzzy guitars, glistening solos, relentless handclaps and bongo-heavy drum rhythms of Candido tribute "Jin Go La", before FSQ deftly fuse Afro-disco and electrofunk on dancefloor stomper "Shaking My Damn Head". On the flip you'll find the breezy, Balearic-influenced Afro-disco fluidity of Perdu's "Cece", and the sun-kissed juju business of South Beach Recycling's fabulous "Bongo Man".
Review: Peculiarly, Fasaan offshoot Chalice has lain dormant since the label's first release appeared in stores back in 2014. Happily its Swedish parent label has decided to pull out all the stops for this comeback 12", gathering together six tracks from artists based across Europe and beyond. At six tracks deep there's not enough space to go into detail about every track, but suffice to say they're all loose, warm, quirky and generally lo-fi in feel. Highlights include the dreamy analogue synth-funk of Ruf Dug's "Cassette Boogie", the poignant, emotion-rich synth-wave warmth of Fahcrur Riaz Hazbullah's "Muriam", the clicking beats and intergalactic synth flourishes of "Heina" by Ruutu Pois and the frankly foreboding loose-house creepiness of "II Y A" by Dublin's Compassion Crew.
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: The third multi-artist EP from Hot Digits' occasional vinyl series, Wax Digits, is packed to the rafters with dancefloor-focused re-edits and reworks. Labor Of Love leads the way with "Move That Thang", a fine chunk of warm and bass heavy deep house/disco fusion, before Osmose steals the show with the loopy mid-tempo disco-funk bump of "Let Harry Rock". Over on Side B, The Silver Rider impresses via the swirling disco-house hypnotism of 'Groove On Down", before experienced re-editor P-Sol pairs locked-in grooves with sun-kissed disco instrumentation and heady vocal snippets on "Sturdy Disco".
Review: According to the hype sheet we have to hand, the "Home Turf EP" is House of Disco's first multi-artist extravaganza for two years. There's plenty to get the juices flowing throughout, from the bounding bounciness of LPM's rap-sampling disco-house cut "Get With It", to the impeccably warm and sun-kissed jazz-house vibes of Purple Ice's "Adeus". In between you'll find the rolling, synth-heavy warmth of Mix & Fairbanks' deliciously loved-up "Shergar's Revenge" and "Me, You, Us" by Shee, a chunky sample-house number full of swirling strings, looped guitar riffs, hazy chords and righteous spoken word samples.
Review: E Da Boss (Myron & E/Pendletons) & Ishtar team up as 'Lucid Paradise' for their second release, produced by non other than Russia's finest, 'The Soul Surfers'. 'Tonight' is the accumulation of two Bay Area soul aficianados coming together to create a smooth & crisp, timeless yet modern cut. Written alongside UK's pioneering soul singer Gizelle Smith, 'Tonight' epitomises the talent of contemporary soul acts worldwide.
Review: Hot of the blocks this year comes French curator imprint Unlimited Love. Drawing for rarities and oddities from artists whose repertoires are shockingly slim, this is their second EP in three months and, once again, it features a wide range of killer sounds from late 70s/early 80s. From Magnum's street kicking New York funk to the rich rare groove of Phyliss Bailey, it's a boogie odyssey through and through with sleazy guitar-twanging funk from Broken Glass and straight-up percussion-powered disco energy from Thunderbolt. Feel the love.
Review: Mukatsuku's long running "Afro Funk & Disco Gems" series has always been a reliable source of obscure, high-quality dancefloor material from the African continent. This tenth edition is another must-have - on the A-side you'll find the synth-laden, boogie-era sunshine of "Everybody Dance", one of the undisputed highlights of Peter Yamson's in-demand (and notably hard to find) "Son Of Africa" LP. With wonderful vocals, glistening guitars, lolloping drum machine beats and some stellar synth work, the track ticks all the right boxes. Over on the flip there's a chance to own Cameroon legend Tala Andre Marie's 1981 classic "Get Up Tchamassi", whose snaking sax lines, elastic slap bass and dreamy chords are nothing less than sensational.As played by The Allergies, DJ Koco, Joe Claussell,Smoov,Kalita, Faze Action,DJ Moar etc
Review: It's been some two years since Pacific Horizons last cast their spell on us with some original material, though Pacific Wizard Foundation did seek out a diverse range of contemporaries to delve into their discography for last year's self-explanatory Remix EP. The Balearic gods have answered the calls and ushered in a fresh batch of Pacific Horizons goodness to broaden your own mental horizons. Still wonderfully diverse in their outlook, the three tracks on Loneliness Destroys range from the ragged yet pensive box jam work out of "When The Shades Open" to the downbeat wave "The Loneliness Your Love Destroys" which inspired the record's title. Closer "Into The Night" veers off into twilight Balearic ballad territory.
Painel De Controle - "Relax" (extended Waxist version) (5:54)
Rabo De Saia - "Ripa Na Xulipa" (Charles Maurice extended version) (5:28)
Famks - "Labirinto" (Nick The Record extended version) (6:17)
Review: France's Favorite label dabbles in all things funky and disco-flavoured, and this time they've decided to go with a Brazilian edge on their latest 12". Painel De Controle begins with a Waxist mix of "Relax", a chilled-out boogie monster with sultry vocals, while "Ripa Na Xulipa" by Rabo De Saia is more uplifting and heavy on the disco strings. Finally, Nick The Record rewires "Labirinto" by Famks into a subtly electro-fied boogie nugget. Nice!
Late Train (Emperor Machine special extended version - vocal)
Late Train (Emperor Machine special extended version - instrumental)
Review: Nurtured by Mudd and owners of their own stunning live band, Paqua should really deliver more Balearic bliss than they have. As we wait tentatively for more heartfelt, organic sun-kissed soul, Claremont 56 have commissioned some incredible remixes... "Late Train" gets a full cosmic treatment from the Idjut Boys while Emperor Machine takes it down a dark alley and roughs it up with a series of analogue synth slaps. Ray Mang, meanwhile, focuses on the dreamiest aspects of "The Visitor" and rearranges and polishes them in a way that's reminiscent of a certain Andrew Ashong. Stunning.
Review: Having appeared only once before with the excellent Reel Nitty Gritty 12" on Echovolt, Paradise Box makes a return on Crimes Of The Future with a new set of crunchy leftfield club tracks infused with house, electro and disco sensibilities. "Hookup" is a cracked and mucky affair, but it kicks where it counts, but then "Running Up That Hill" comes along to impart a more emotive, clear-cut message via a cover of Kate Bush. "Ya Mo Be There" throws down a heavy wedge of 80s synth lines that refigures the James Ingram and Michael McDonald belter in a most unlikely of ways.
Review: Master of minimal wave sonics Alessandro Parisi has spread his full-bodied synth wares around such esteemed labels as Slow Motion, Charlois, Giallo Disco, Lux Rec and more besides, and now he slides up to Vivod with an EP of noirish fantasies you'll be hard pushed to resist. "Crossfire" is the more uptempo cut, but "Ravens" paints a more vivid picture of retro-fetishistic club music in dangerous places. "Praying Sages" goes all out on the soundtrack vibe, but not before it's been remixed by Mick Wills, who casually threads a driving techno undercarriage into the track to create a strangely transcendental slab of cathedral-ready body music.
Review: From Paris with love... Denote bosses Oscar return to their Parisian Soul project with two fine French fumeurs. "Enemies" trembles with vibraphone magic and just a little touch of Claussell or perhaps Nuyorican Soul while "Temple Of Disco" dusts off some classic samples and takes a more hip-wriggled route with some serious block rocking rap action. Sacrement bien.
Review: Longstanding selector don David Hachour established this deep-digging collective with kindred spirits (and equally decorated) Jerome Lecailletel and Laurent Cohen last year and these two juicy, floor-bound edits are the first fruits of their collaborative loom. "Billy Who?" updates a 1980 classic with just the right amount of slap and tickle to the drum groove, drive and edits. "Keep On Dancing" continues the firm fave theme with full focus on the golden harmonies and outrageous slap bass. Keep on keeping on...
Review: You'd be forgiven for not knowing "Breaking At The Party", the sole single release from NYC outfit Joey Pastrana & His Back of Tricks. It was originally released in 1984 on the short lived Tropic Of Buddha Records, a label dedicated to Latino takes on electro and disco. Such is the record's obscurity and cult status amongst collectors that you'll struggle to find original copies for sale for less than 500 quid. This City of Dreams reissue presents both of the original mixes ("Vocal" and dub style "Instrumental"), both of which fuse elements of boogie, electro and dub disco in a fabulously eccentric and wonderfully funky way. The synthesizer sounds, in particular, are superb.
Review: Previously seen (and heard) on Whiskey Disco, Barefoot Beats and Basic Fingers, Toronto twosome The Patchouli Brothers have crossed the Atlantic and set up home on G.A.M.M. As the title suggests, this is the first in a series of re-edit EPs for the storied Swedish imprint. First up is "All Good Things", a fine re-arrangement of an obscure disco gem that comes loaded with sweeping strings, soulful vocals, killer grooves, Chic style guitar riffs and just the right amount of spacey synthesizer action. Over on the flip, they work their magic on a bustling cut that sits somewhere between the sumptuousness of Philadelphia International releases and eighties disco-funk.
Review: US re-edit crew The Patchouli Brothers return to Sweden's Gamm with two more reworked dancefloor cuts from days gone by. On the A, you'll find the exuberant 'Fuqua & James' with its sweeping strings, brass fanfares and falsetto "I'm so grateful" vocal - the track being a rejig of Sylvester's 'Grateful' from 1978 that, somewhat unusually, is quite a bit slower than the original. In comparison, the B's 'Peace, Love & Understanding' mines velvet-suited mid-70s soul a la Barry White or Joe Simon for its source material, but is every bit as upbeat and danceable as the A-side.
Review: We've been very impressed with the re-edits of Toronto based party-starters the Patchouli Brothers. This four-tracker marks their first appearance on Whiskey Disco, and comes on the back of a run of killer 12" singles on Basic Fingers. They hit the ground running with elastic EP opener "He Wonders", where fiendishly exotic synthesizer lines and hazy, misty-eyed vocals ride bouncy beats and rubbery bass guitar, before sauntering off into horn-heavy deep disco-funk territory on "A Mighty Joy". The fun continues on the flipside, where the formidably fuzzy, off-kilter warmth of tropical disco stepper "Can't Stop Christy" is joined by the classic disco flex of fantastic closing track "Take You There".
Review: From humble beginnings, putting on parties in an Albanian dive bar in in the city's east end, Toronto's Patchouli Brothers have gone on to hit the big time - holding a residency at rotating disco The Piston called Beam Me Up. Their second 12" for UK label Basic Fingers features two cuts which capture the fervent energy of their popular shindig. On the first side we have "Shout On" which is a low slung funk jam that features a wicked horns section, groovy conga drums and a super sleazy vocal delivery. On the flip side we have the sun-kissed and life affirming soul power of "My Love", a respectful edit which will light up the dancefloor - just wait until that soaring church organ comes rushing in.
Review: Debut fire from Toronto's Patchouli Brothers. "Wicked One" leads us not into temptation with a clam-tight groove and heaven-sent gospel vocals belting on all the right peaks. "Magic Rhythm (Of Love)" raises the tempo and intensity even higher with some turbo disco funk that's dynamically edited with layered breakdowns and sudden bursts of energy just when they're needed. Deeply dug, cleverly spliced... Roll on volume two!
Sexy Merlin - "See You In The Dark" (Jamie Paton remix)
Guy Schalom - "Habibi" (Jamie Paton remix)
Blancmange - "Feel Me" (Jamie Paton remix)
Gatos Negros - "Overdrive" (Jamie Paton remix)
Review: Jamie Paton has been a regular fixture on [Emotional] Especial since the label first came to light, conjuring up a seductive blend of leftfield dance music with a broad range of influences. This time around he's turning out some of his remixes, leading in with the sweaty, dense throb of Sexy Merlin's "See You In The Dark". Guy Schlalom's "Habibi" by way of contrast becomes a lighter confection peppered with bubbly synth lines and an almost poppy persuasion. Blancmange's "Feel Me" has a more cosmic lilt in its voluminous tones, and "Overdrive" by Gatos Negros drifts out on an off-kilter kind of boogie for all manner of deviant dancers to get head-nodding to.
Taxi (Francis Inferno Orchestra Dreaming Of A Wonthaggi version) (6:08)
Review: FINA Records presents Terrence Pearce's 'Last Night Lover EP' featuring the return of Francis Inferno Orchestra on the rework.
Having previously released on a number of prominent labels including Futureboogie, Wolf Music, Petfood, Kolor, Dark Energy and Freshmeat, Cape Town based DJ/Producer Terrence Pearce has emerged as a talented and sought after artist and is the latest quality edition to FINA Records' roster. Here 'Last Night Lover EP' offers up a healthy dose of the forward thinking house productions for which Terrence has become renowned; a 3 tracker that demonstrates his impeccable sonic style and production prowess.
The title track sets the tone from the off. The long and drawn out spacey synths transfix whilst the fading in and out of the subdued strings, offset against the low end warble and the foregrounded off beat percussion, give this classy understated cut a deliciously smooth and timeless quality.
'Come On Yah' meanwhile is a warm and effortless disco edged groove, characterized by its infectious low-end throb and clever concoction of playful rhythms, punchy hats, staccato strings and off kilter chords.
Then, out of nowhere 'Taxi' arrives; a wonderfully leftfield amalgamation of horn beeping, door slamming, taxi hollering madness, aggressive techno stabs and a relentless belter of a bass line which drives the contagious rhythm to an unexpected frenetic funk filled break.
Last up and hot off the back of his widely acclaimed debut album 'A New Way of Living', Melbourne's Francis Inferno Orchestra returns to FINA, this time on 'Taxi' remixing duties. After a masterful dose of his signature drum machine rhythms, early rave like samples and rainforest atmospherics FIO softens the original into near obscurity.
Review: Dunn Pearson Jr's 1978 single "Groove On Down" is widely regarded within disco circles as something of a must-have classic - a soaring trip into orchestrated disco territory rich in swirling strings, crunchy Clavinet lines, incessant instrumental solos and the kind of eyes-closed female group vocals capable of inducing ecstatic moments in even the most sober of dancers. Here, the hard-to-find 12" gets the reissue treatment via Italian stable Groovin. It replicates the original track listing (albeit in newly re-mastered form), pairing the well-known "Short Version" with the superior "Long Version" (this takes its time to build, boasts more solos, and in general provides a much more satisfying listening experience).
Review: As obscure Italo-disco producers go, Clay Pedrini must be up there. During the early 1980s, he released just one single, but it was a biggie. "New Dream", here re-issued for the first time on vinyl by San Francisco's Dark Entries, was a massive club hit around Europe in the summer of 1984. Ever since, it has been one of the most in-demand Italo-disco 12" singles around (for proof, check the shockingly high price original copies sell for online). It has aged rather well, with arpeggio-heavy bottom end, cheery chords and insatiable synthesizer melody still capable of causing commotion on dancefloors. The flipside original version - effectively a dub, with significant re-arrangement - is, if anything, even better.