Breakfast In Space (Charles Maurice dub version) (4:10)
Review: Should you be hankering after some suitably positive music right now - and let's face it, most of us are - then we'd recommend checking out this fine four-tracker from French jazz-funk combo Aldorande. There are two original cuts to choose from: the languid, laid-back and undeniably sunny breeziness of "Summer Body" - all female scat vocals, bustling jazz-funk bass, sweet pianos, two-step beats and boogie synths - and the bolder, more electronic fizz of "Breakfast In Space", which reminded us a little of vintage weather report. Charles Maurice delivers instrumental Dub versions of both, naturally beefing up the basslines and adding a little extra percussive pressure.
Review: Those dusty-fingered boogie diggers with long "wants lists" should be familiar with "Paradise's Love", an obscure 1982 single from one-shot outfit Bordeaux that has been known to change hands online for hundreds of pounds a go. Here it gets the reissue treatment, with the colourful, Prince-goes-AOR disco style original version (track 3) being joined by two fresh remixes. The headline-grabbing treatment comes from KON, who beefs up the bottom end, makes much of the original's carnival-ready touches (whistles and so on), emphasizes the rubbery bassline and extends it to a dancefloor-friendly seven-and-a-half minutes. Equally as impressive is the Fantasy Love Remix, which instead chooses to up the tempo and push up the original version's P-funk sounds.
Review: Some good news: Blair French has finally put the finishing touches to his follow-up to 2014 debut album "Through The Blinds". It's called "The Art Is Us" and will apparently be released in September. To get us in the mood, Rocksteady Disco has decided to offer-up extended versions of two of the LP's most club-ready cuts. A-side "Faded By The Sun" is particularly potent and sees French successfully joining the dots between Afro-house, electrofunk and glassy-eyed new wave synth-pop. It's a curious stylistic fusion, but one that genuinely works. He moves further towards Balearic Afro-disco territory on B-side "Celebration Ritual", where kalimba and marimba motifs skip away atop fast-fingered disco bass and heavily layered tribal percussion.
Review: When it comes to offering up authentically funk-fuelled, revivalist disco-funk treats, former crate digger to the stars turned re-editor and producer Lord Funk has an impressive track record. One of his most sought-after releases is 2018's colourful "Knock Me Out EP", so it's no surprise to see it being given the reissue treatment two years on. There's much to admire, from the early Sugarhill Records-sampling boogie/p-funk fusion of opener "Blow Your Mind", to the talkbox-sporting P-funk revivalism of "Knock Me Out" (seemingly a reissue of a lesser-known kaleidoscopic synth-funk gem from the early-to-mid '80s), and the rather brilliant, Prince style electrofunk headiness of closing cut "Do It (If U Like)".
Patti Boulaye - "You Stepped Into My Life" (Disco mix) (6:38)
Patti Boulaye - "You Stepped Into My Life" (Disco dub) (7:43)
Juan Torres - "El Arbusto (In The Bush)" (unreleased Disco mix) (5:25)
Kikrokos - "Jungle DJ" (Lost dub) (6:13)
Methusalem - "Robotism" (6:49)
Review: Obscure & Obsolete have pulled together a collection of dazzling disco tunes from various vital artists. The a-side features two visions of big hearted and triumphant tunes from British-Nigerian singer, actress and artist Patti Boulaye. Full of celebratory horns and big vocals, it's a real gem. Juan Torres's "El Arbusto (In The Bush)" is a more strident and cosmic affair with plenty of retro-future flourishes and the lost dub of Kikrokos's "Jungle DJ" sinks into a funk-licked groove with skyward pads taking your mind into the cosmos. Methusalem's mid tempo, hip swinging "Robotism" closes out in deep cut fashion.
Review: It would be fair to say that great Italo-disco albums are few and far between. Ago's 1982 debut album, "For You", is undoubtedly one of the rare examples of an Italo-disco artist getting it right across an entire LP. As this timely reissue proves, the artist (and his production team) was more heavily influenced by U.S disco, boogie and early electrofunk than many of his synth-pop and new wave-loving peers, giving the set an authenticity and warm instrumental feel often lacking in similar Italian exercises. You may find the accented vocals a touch tongue-in-cheek, but the choruses are great, the instrumentation brilliant and the production spot on.
Rev Jerry Burns & The Youth Ensemble - "Rapture" (6:43)
Sunny Gayle - "I Wanna Know" (6:01)
The Magic City Band - "Hot Flashes" (3:37)
Arlana - "Springtime" (6:00)
Jay Player - "Love Is The Answer" (5:47)
Razz Ma Tazz - "Sugar Sugar Sugar" (7:26)
Rideout - "Someone Special" (4:24)
Formula One - "Can You Feel It" (6:11)
Ipanema Brothers - "Rio De Janeiro" (Woody Bianchi edit) (6:06)
The Variations - "I Know Why You're Here" (3:26)
Review: Although he's recorded and released plenty of music in the last three decades, Italian DJ Woody Bianchi is better-known amongst the crate digging community for the quality, size and depth of his record collection. As a fellow dusty-fingered disco collector, Joey Negro is well aware of Bianchi's digging pedigree - hence offering him the chance to compile the latest edition in the essential "Under The Influence" series. It's naturally a treat from start to finish, offering a highlight-filled journey through disco, disco-funk, boogie and jazz-funk that will be eye-opening to all but the most dedicated diggers. Our picks include Bianchi's own edit of Ipaema Brothers' "Rio De Janeiro", the thrillingly up-tempo madness of Formula One's "Can You Feel It" and the boogie brilliance of Original Just Us's "You're My Latest Inspiration".
Review: Legendary producer Black Devil Disco Club aka French composer Bernard Fevre is back for one final album that completes one of music's most strange and enigmatic discographies. His early work like 1977's debut record was often mistaken for the work of Aphex Twin as it was so experimental and ahead of his time. 2006 album 28 After on this label disproved that theory though and now this latest offering is another spellbinding collision of styles form wave to EBM, disco to experimental electronics. A weird and wonderful ride deep into the musical psyche of a truly maverick artist, it is another timeless work that serves as a fine tribute to his past 40 years of subverting expectation.
Review: Athens of the North originally contracted obscure 80s boogie artist Billy Bruner about reissuing two of his rare, sought-after singles - "The Tulsa Song" and "The Dream" - but instead raided his tape archives and putting together what's effectively his debut album. Combining previously released tracks (including some made as part of similarly obscure outfit T'Spoon and the gospel-leaning band The Davis Family), unheard extended versions and previously unreleased songs, the album is warm, soulful, slick and summery. Highlights include the stuttering P-funk flex of "Cats Meow", the sizzling dancefloor heat of "School Dance" and the deliciously extended version of glassy-eyed '80s soul jam "Never". If sparkling, synth-heavy '80s soul is your thing, this is one surprise retrospective you won't want to miss.
Eminence - "Give It Up" (feat Kathy Brown - Dr Packer extended remix) (6:56)
Aeroplane - "Love On Hold" (feat Tawatha Agee - Dr Packer extended remix) (6:41)
Jean Jacques Smoothie - "2people" (feat Tara Busch - Dr Packer extended remix) (5:40)
ATFC - "Sleep Talk" (feat Lisa Millett - Dr Packer extended remix) (7:33)
Fish Go Deep & Tracey K - "The Cure & The Cause" (Dr Packer extended remix) (6:19)
Horse Meat Disco - "Let's Go Dancing" (feat Amy Douglas - Dr Packer extended remix) (6:39)
Hardsoul - "Back Together" (feat Ron Carroll - Dr Packer extended remix) (7:01)
Reel People - "You Used To Hold Me So Tight" (feat Angela Johnson - Dr Packer remix) (7:04)
Review: Aussie remix king Dr Packer is now Defected offshoot Glitterbox's go-to man when it comes to re-shaping and revising classic cuts. There's a reason for that of course, namely that he understands dancefloor dynamics and is an expert at adding just the right of easy-to-mix house flavour to records old and new. "Different Strokes Volume 2" gathers together 12 previously unreleased reworks from the Perth-based producer. There are some terrific, disco-tinged revisions on show, with our highlights including his interpretations of Jean Jacques Smoothie's early noughties gem "2People", Hardsoul and Ron Carroll's soulful house anthem "Back Together", Reel People's new-boogie cover of Thelma Houston gem "You Used To Hold Me So Tight" and the 21st century disco anthem that is Horse Meat Disco's"Let's Go Dancing".
Review: Last time out, Longhair popped up on Claptrap with a fine EP that effortlessly joined the dots between turn-of-the-'90s dream house, breakbeat-driven deep house and colourful nu-disco. They've slightly switched focus on this Love On The Rocks label debut, adding big rays of sweltering Balearic sunshine to their usual warming and kaleidoscopic sound palette. In its original form, "The Forbidden Dance" brilliantly re-purposes the melody from a familiar old Mediterranean instrumental number (you'll recognise it when you hear it), re-playing it on sparkling synthesizer settings and layering it atop a tactile deep house groove awash with vibrant nu-disco sounds. Arguably even better is the almost beat-free flipside "Rhumba Mix", which reminded us of those bonus "ambient house" versions you used to get on Italian dream house EPs.