Elkin & Nelson - "Abran Paso - Ahoa (Enrolle)" (4:08)
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie" (3:33)
Review: Soon, DJ Harvey will release The Sound of Mercury Rising, a compilation themed around some of the music championed at his summer residency at Pikes Hotel, Ibiza. This four-track taster 12" not only acts as a sampler for the CD version, but also offers the chance to own four excellent and hard-to-find gems. You'll struggle to find a more Balearic disco cut than Danish outfit Tore's 1979 killer "She's a Lady" - think the Bee-Gees with Flamenco guitars - while Elkin & Nelson's "Abran Paso - Aboa (Enrole)" is a spiraling chunk of flamenco-psychedelia fusion. Elsewhere, Van McCoy & Soul City Symphony's "Spanish Boogie" is a jaunty disco number full of crunchy Clavinet lines and rising horn lines, while Tony Esposito's "Danza Dell'Acqua" is as eccentric and wide-eyed as they come.
Review: Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a number of other 12" singles bearing remixes of this track. According to Gerd Janson, it's because he got a bit overexcited when commissioning club-friendly revisions of the cut, an "outsider pop" gem that will be featured on Feater's forthcoming album "Socialo Blanco". It would be fair to say that the mixes featured here are suitably big. Pepe Bradock handles the A-side, wrapping dubbed-out synth stabs, watery melodies and fireside-hot bass around a skittish, techno-tempo rhythm track. It's one of the French producer's most accessible and peak-time ready revisions for some time. On the reverse, Ricardo Villalobos offers up a suitably percussive, off-kilter minimal techno take that makes great use of short vocal and guitar sounds lifted from Feater's Balearic-minded original mix.
Review: Given their deep-rooted knowledge of the re-edit scene, it was probably only a matter of time before the Razor 'N' Tape crew turned their attention to Colombian scalpel fiends Felipe Gordon & Vagabundo Club Social. This outing on Aaron Dae and JKriv's imprint could well be the South Americans' finest work to date. We're particularly enjoying A-side "Shakala", a gently tooled-up and dubbed-out revision of a dusty, tropical disco-funk treat rich in Fela Kuti style Afrobeat grooves, rising horns and flanged guitar riffs. That said, we've also got a lot of love for the fiery horns, bustling rhythms and warm bass of "Los Bareteros" (a revision of a well known, boogaloo-era Afro-Latin jazz dancefloor classic), as well as the similarly minded - but altogether heavier - "El Cateter".
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.
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.
M&M Vs Andrei Swipe - "Analog Express" (Don Carlos remix) (7:29)
Review: There's an undeniable air of quality that lingers over the 12"s emerging on 14th Level Of Paradise, the mysterious label presenting originals, edits and repressed tracks for true house devotees. First up is a little known track from Sasha Makin and Suntetic, given a shimmering polish by Don Carlos and Steven Perri to become a heavy funking masterpiece, before Joe Claussell drops in a percussive dub delight on Monday Michiru's "Higher". On the flip, Vincent Inc and LA get things pumping with the slow but chunky, jazz-licked "Red Room", before Carlos returns for another deep house reverie as he remixes M&M and Andrei Swipe's "Analog Express".
Review: At long last! The 15-strong collection of nu-disco, boogie, cosmic and deep originals and edits landed digitally last November. Finally the vinyl's arrived with four of the many highlights all pressed to vinyl and sounding all the richer for it. Highlights among these highlights include the dubby rumbles of Saine's "You Can Count On Me", the velvet funk chugs of "Singapore Sling", the undeniable Cathy Denisisms of Robjamweb's "You Know How" and the soft focus mid tempo synth sleaze of "Chief Inspector".
Review: Four years deep into its disco, beatdown and edit adventures, Smokecloud's status is nigh-on impeccable. Here we find them uniting four of their most creative craftsmen for four straight-up dancefloor pacifiers. Highlights include the sludgy slo-mo Edwin Starr on acid flavoured "Caught Up" and the Diana Ross homage that is the sun-skanked reggae party jam "CC Tribute" by VinylAddicted & SMQ. Instant smiles.
Review: Katastrofa EP is an Ex-Yu Edits release which transforms forgotten gems from the former Yugoslavia. Russian Valique and Serbian veteran selector Funky Junkie are behind this project. Opener "Katastrofa" offers a delicious blend of heavy, synth-laden '80s boogie, punchy afrobeat horns and bold, chant-a-long vocals, while the slower, more chugging "Frka" is an Adriatic delight - all lazy, sun-kissed synths, sugary-sweet vocals and sloppy kisses. As for closer "Yugoslavia" , it sounds like a disco-house anthem in waiting, as the duo adds bumpin' beats to a rising, horn-heavy chunk of starlight disco.
Review: Whiskey Disco sublabel Lovedancing now presents Amigos Vagabundo Club Social, who have truly found their voice with this terrific EP. Comprised of Jaime Tuiran and Juan Pablo Pinedo, they combine the best electronic grooves and Carribean flavour on the Pambele EP - three tracks that commemorate their musical heritage and upbringing in Barranquilla, on the north coast of Colombia. The groovy and sun kissed title track with its creamy Rhodes notes is a perfect homage to a certain Colombian boxing legend, while the lo-slung and funky swagger of "Esclavo 29" is a go-to track to work the dancefloor on a long, hot summer night. Finally on the flip is a sultry deep house groove in the form of "Angayusa" with some super sexy sax action.
Review: Since launching last year, the Act of Sedition label has specialized in releasing "double-pack" gatefold 7" singles - a format rarely seen outside of indie-rock circles (and even then, it's hardly commonplace). Naturally, this third missive is another double-disc affair, stretching four tasty reworks across a pair of dinky discs.
Review: For the latest volume in their ongoing Brazil 45s series, Mr Bongo has decided to change tack. The two tracks showcased here are from the golden age of Brazilian boogie. On the A-side you'll find Marcos Valle's "A Paraiba Nao E Chicago", a largely overlooked cut from his 1981 full-length Vontade De Rever Voce. While not as instantly as infectious as some of his better-known singles, it's still superb; a breezy, blue-eyed soul cut full of rising horns and sweet Portuguese vocals. On the B-side, you'll find Don Beto's 1978 disco-funk jam "Nao Quero Mais", a superb track that was seemingly inspired by the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running".
My Body (Louie Vega remix/Synth Bass instrumental) (8:58)
My Body (Louie Vega radio version) (3:46)
Review: Luther Vandross originally wrote and recorded "My Body" in 1979, though his version was never released; instead, the song was re-recorded by Stephanie Mills and included on her 1983 album "Merciless". Here we finally get a chance to hear Luther belt it out himself, with Masters At Work man Louie Vega providing production and a dizzying number of remixes. There are two bumpin' and life-affirming "Soul House" mixes (the second replacing Vandross' lead vocal with some mazy Rhodes solos), a fluid and positive "Remix/Synth Bass Mix" that packs plenty of dancefloor energy, and warmer "EOL Mix" and "EOL Dub" versions that utilize a warm bass guitar part and some tasty chord progressions. Throw in a couple of edits and instrumentals and you have a suitably epic set of reworks.
Review: Wah Dubplate cannot and will not be stopped. The incorrigible little bootleg unit marches on with its usual mishmash of funky, disco-friendly edits from the most improbable of producers out there and this latest outing is another minor success in what is a whole catalogue of hidden gems. Italy's Aldo Vanucci and Del Gazeebo turn up sounding wild and soulful; the farmer's opening edit of "Bobby's Grapevine" does the Mo-Town tricks, while the latter's re-visioning of "Billy's Missus" gives the original 'hey, Mrs.Robison!' a nice little dance makeover. Sweet as a nut.
Mahogany - "Ride The Rhythm" (Rahaan LDF remix) (6:58)
The Chuck Davis Orchestra - "Spirit Of Sunshine" (Rahaan LDF remix) (6:24)
Billy Nichols - "Give Your Body Up To The Music" (Rahaan LDF remix) (8:37)
Brenda Taylor - "You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too" (Rahaan LDF remix) (8:08)
Review: In cahoots with the annual (not to mention excellent) Liverpool Disco Festival, celebrated editor and remixer Rahaan has been let loose on the West End Records catalogue. Happily, his new versions are rightfully respectful to the chosen disco and boogie classics with the Chicagoan simply adding choice effects here and there as well as some cranky old drum machine beats and occasional synthesizer flourishes. This is particularly evident on his raw but deep and slightly dubby take on Brenda Taylor's "You Can Have You Cake It Too", but also comes to the fore on the standout remix of Mahogany's spacey boogie jam "Ride on The Rhythm". String-laden disco bliss is provided via a bass-heavy re-arrangement of the Chuck Davis Orchestra's "Spirit of Sunshine", while Rahaan's Billy Nicholls rub is a high-octane, shirts-off treat.
Review: Having dazzled disco lovers via a trio of sold-out 10" singles, the shadowy VEDIT crew delivers their first hand-stamped 12". This time round, the publicity-shy scalpel collective is focused more on left-of-centre synth-pop cuts from the new wave era. Our pick is undoubtedly the epic flipside revision, which takes a particularly wayward and intoxicating mid-'80s cut - think early Chicago house bass, discordant synth horns, experimental dub effects and half-spoken vocals - and turns it into something of an inspired beast. In contrast the two A-side cuts tamper with two slightly better known (though still relatively overlooked) left-of-centre synth-pop gems from 1984 and '85 respectively. They will no doubt get more rotations, but lack the insane thrills of the B-side edit.
Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie mix - radio edit) (3:33)
Barely Breaking Even (Louie Vega Boogie instrumental mix - radio edit) (3:31)
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: an all-star re-recording of Universal Robot Band's boogie classic "Barely Breaking Even" that brings together Masters At Work man Louie Vega, original vocalist and arranger Leroy Burgess, iconic disco producer Patrick Adams and an impressive backing band of hired musicians including Michael Kelley (better known in electronic music circles as Metro Area collaborator Kelley Polar). While there are plenty of audible nods towards the early '80s original - extensive use of cowbells, that oh-so familiar synth sound - the re-recording is altogether warmer, fuller and a more contemporary sounding affair rich in sweeping orchestration and tactile synth bass. Both the edited vocal and instrumental versions are superb.
Rebel Nation (Felix Da Housecat vs Chris Trucher remix) (6:10)
Review: One of the musical highlights from Louie Vega's NYC Disco album, "Rebel Nation" is a collaboration between grammy award winner Louie Vega, legendary multi-platinum producer Patrick Adams, and Nulu Records president, international DJ and artist Anane. Patrick initially had the idea for the song after seeing a recent Star Wars movie. Louie saw the vision of what it could ultimately be with live music additions, and Anane added the inspired lyrical content and vocal performance. In Louie's own words, "I call Anane a chameleon, because she transcends so many different sounds with her voice. She gave the track just the right feeling vocally. It's a very punk-rock approach; the kids speaking out, all kinds of people making the statement, Get Up! Stand Up! Let's Rise! Rebel Nation."
Lauded critically and on dancefloors worldwide in its original album version, the track has now been given the all-star remix package treatment with contributions from Danny Krivit, Carl Craig, Soul Clap and Felix Da Housecat X Chris Trucher.
Review: Love Circle returns for a second release, digging deep into the misty past of golden era disco and finding rare gold for the reissue market to rejoice at. This time it's the work of Barry Blue and two projects he produced in the early 80s, lovingly re-edited for maximum dancefloor pleasure by Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold (aka gerry Rooney and Joel Martin). First up is surefire party starter "Breakin In" by Javaroo, and on the flip it's low down seduction workout "Love The Way You Love Me" by Marti Cane getting a fresh airing for all vintage-minded dancers and DJs.
Review: Having released over fifty records since their foundation back in 2009, Dark Entries use the widened exposure afforded by that excellent Patrick Cowley compilation released in the last quarter of 2013 as a springboard to launch a new dedicated 12" series. Retaining their archival approach, the first release focuses on the short-lived Italian act Victrola; formed as a four piece combo in Messina, Victrola slimmed down to the synthesizer and guitar-based duo Antonio "Eze" Cuscina and Carlo Smeriglio and moved to the fertile music scene growing in early 80s Florence. In 1983, the pair issued their one record-shaped contribution to the early 80s Italian synth scene in the shape of Maritime Tatami, a two-track 12? issued on the Electric Eye label. Recorded using the Roland TR303 and TR606 at a time when these models had only been made available, so this reissue of Maritime Tatami from Dark Entries offers a chance for people to assess a slice of analogue experimentation at its most nascent.
Vincent Inc - "Rayskoye Mesto" (Vincent Floyd remix) (6:43)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "Gonna Be Alright" (5:00)
Lola Allen & Vincent Inc - "NuDisco Book 1" (7:25)
Vincent Inc - "Time Machine" (Julian Sanza remix) (6:22)
Review: 14th Level Of Paradise come good with another stunning selection of high grade jams from core members of their crew. Vincent Floyd drops a remix of Vincent Inc that leans in heavy on a wistful early 90s sound that splits the difference between B12, Stasis and Larry Heard. Lola Allen and Vincent Inc's "Gonna Be Alright" takes things slower and spacier, while their "NuDisco Book 1" locks into a classic slice of disco funk to set the floor ablaze. Julian Sanza remixes Vincent Inc's "Time Machine" to close out the EP, taking a sophisticated, sweet natured approach to disco house.
Review: The 1 Life crew had a strong start with the likes of Kerri Chandler, DJ Spen & Karizma and Joey Negro contributing to a disco-fied house sound. Volume two on the label is no slouch either, ranging from Vincent Inc & LA's smoky "Cafe Tropical" before launching into Rico De Almenda's sassy, joyous take on "Watermelon Man". Venus Attack Project get into a deeper, percussive mood on the incendiary "Grass Culture" before Vincent Floyd completes the set with the heartfelt acid bubble of "Trail Of Tears". From organic sounds to box jams, these tracks speak directly to the foundations on which house music was built.
Brown Curls (feat Khalil Anthony - Patchworks remix) (4:48)
If You Like (Alma Negras's Wisdom Of Oz remix) (7:38)
If You Like (feat Tim Jules - instrumental) (3:09)
Review: Marcel Vogel's latest on Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes the mighty leftfield NYC MC Sensational to flow over his learned disco house grooves. Sensational sounds right at home on "If You Like," and Vogel gives him a slightly freaked groove to riff on that works just fine. "Brown Curls" taps up Khalil Anthony, one of the finest UK house vocalists in operation right now, and Patchworks remixes it into a dreamy disco funk jam for the boogie brothers and sisters to shake it to. Alma Negra gets busy with "If You Like," creating a tumbling Afro-centric re-rub par excellence, and then Tim Jules comes on board with an instrumental version that nudges into tightly wound funk territory.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Review: Sounds like it came out of Lagos in 1971, actually written and recorded in Lyon in 2015: Voilaaa is the brainchild of Bruno Hovart whose long relationship with Favorite goes way back to his days as Patchworks, Mr President and The Dynamics. Recording on a whole host of vintage machines and calling upon local African singers both cuts have a real authentic sense of realness; "Spies Are Watching Me" drives with big horns and swooning strings which isn't dissimilar to the work of The Movers, while the TY Boys-esque "Le Disco Des Capitales" is a heavier, more concentrated slab of floor-minded disco where the groove takes more of a forefront role. Apparently there's a whole album of this cooking... We can't wait to hear it.
Review: The second installment of Multi-Culti's Moon Faze Sun Gaze series is a typically psychedelic affair, with an impressive cast of producers delivering a quintet of trippy workouts. Von Party & Dreems join forces to present "Wet Raga", a spaced-out combination of delay-laden drums, space disco electronics, and Eastern mysticism. The ever-reliable Red Axes fuses heavy post-punk bass, with punchy percussion and minimal wave melodies on the excellent "Boosha Gdola", while Dreems go solo on the weirdo acid-electro bubbler "Sine O'The Tymes". Nick Murray and Kris Baha underpin psychedelic disco electronics with the heavyweight throb of house on "Say Something", before Cocolo draws proceedings to a close with the pitched-down shuffle of analogue wobbler "F33lings".
Review: If you're in the mood for some cosmic grooves, wayward disco and pagan psychedelia, Multi-Culti's Cult Edits series is always worth checking. The imprint's latest offering is packed to the rafters with mind-altering goodness. Inigo Voltier sets the tone with "Ti Amo", a Fairlight-powered bounce through post-Italo oddball electro territory with added mix-80s power-pop guitars, before Angelina Amor reworks a sludgy slab of European industrial/new wave fusion. Youkounkoun's throbbing "Cosmic Yoyo" sounds like post-apocalyptic Italo-disco after a fist full of downers, while Asa Moto's "When The Funk Is On" is a funky but undeniably weird electro-industrial cut rich in delay-laden vocal snippets and metallic percussion hits.