Review: Fresh from the release of his tribute to hip-hop culture's dancefloor roots, the essential "Disco Rap" single, DJ Moar returns to familiar territory with a guest-packed album of boom-bap beats, blink-and-you-miss-them skits, and deliciously deep rap songs. Moar's backing tracks ripple with warm and woozy instrumental flourishes and jazzy samples, while the accompanying raps, from MCs including Napoleon Da Legend, Dirt Platoon, Sadat X and LS Brigandes, are on-point and entertaining. Such is the all-round quality, in fact, that it sounds like a long-lost set from hip-hop's golden age.
Review: Milton Wright's perfect deep Soul classic "Keep It Up" has always been a top shelf record, everything about it is almost flawless! Whether it's Milton's silky vocal delivery, the incessant guitar driven back beat or the total space Funk vibe of his omnipresent ARP-2600 synthesizer this record has it all. Originally released on TK Disco's more Soul and Funk orientated Alston label which was home to many legendary artists and records, this 1975 sunshine classic never fails to make people move. A classic rare groove indeed. "The Silence That You Keep" takes up side-B, a jazzy, flute driven love song that again features Milton's perfect voice and some fantastic arrangement. A real gem of a record, with the original 45 changing hands for over L100 a time in used condition.
All I Do (Ryuhei The Man 45 edit instrumental) (4:05)
Review: Japanese live outfit, A Hundred Birds has a thing for creating classic covers. Over the course of their career, they've recorded countless covers, including organic, string-laden interpretations of techno scene staples such as "Blackwater" (originally recorded by Octave 8) and "Knights of the Jaguar" (The Aztec Mystic). Last year they offered up another warm and wonderous cover, this time of Stevie Wonder classic "All I Do". Here it gets a new lease of life courtesy of scalpel fiend Ryu The Man, who has delivered tightened-up, floor-friendly vocal and instrumental edits of the warm, rich, soulful and undeniably summery cover version. Both are rather good, though it's the vocal version that will win over dancers.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Afrodesia may come on like another dusted down gem from those dedicated detectives at Best, but it is in fact a modern construction from the talented studio trysts of Mystic Jungle and Whodamanny from the Periodica camp. These Italian producers have more than proved their knack for crafting sublime, honey-smooth jams with a nod to the golden studio era of the 70s and 80s, and they're more than up to the task on this killer 12" of heavy funking jams with a dose of boogie and a nod to Ivory Coast disco. It's quite simply perfection, rendered with love and attention to detail, but utterly natural in its feel and flavour.
Review: Earlier in the year Gerry Rooney and Joel Martin donned the Velvet Season & The Hearts of Gold guise for the first time since 2018 for a typically off-kilter disco edit outing on Resista. Here they flex their scalpel skills once more, offering up revisions of two undeniably deep, sought-after cuts from the margins of the Italian disco spectrum. On side A they take their scalpel to Aldo Tomborelli's 1983 soundtrack number "Voices", a bubbly chunk of obscure horror movie Italo-disco rich in undulating, arpeggio style bass, weirdo vocals and trippy, saucer-eyed electronics. Over on the flip they travel further back in time to 1974 and Stefano Torossi's jostling jazz-funk gem "Having Fun", expertly extending it by flitting between the jammed-out, groove-based sections and the composer's swelling orchestration.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a bumper collection of fresh remixes of tracks from Kraak & Smaak's superb 2019 album "Pleasure Centre". The Dutch combo's varied choice of remixers is notable, though it's the fact that they've all delivered the goods that makes the set so impressive. The plentiful highlights include Yuksek's driving, dub disco-inspired tweak of "Sweet Time", a deliciously dusty and drowsy downtempo soul revision of "Soul Liberator" by Karem Akdag, Atjazz's lusciously jazzy deep house version of "Say The Word", an acid-fired Turbitto re-wire of "Pleasure Centre" and a frankly superb boogie-house update of "24Hr Fling" by Mr Reliable himself, Opolopo.
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)".
Review: Bridge Boots main man Caserta has previously proved to be one of the most talented re-editors around, up there with higher profile artists such as the Reflex and Joey Negro. His latest offering, a red seven-inch single featuring new rearrangements of Diana Ross hit "I'm Coming Out", is another beauty. On the A-side he offers up a "Long Way Mix" that gives more prominence to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' killer backing track (partly via stripping it back to the groove at key points) while retaining most of Ross' vocals. On the flip you'll find a "Sing-A-Long Dub" that strips it back further during key instrumental passages to allow the Motown legend's vocals to shine.
Review: Having previously worked his magic on classic cuts from Diana Ross, Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass - among others - Bridge Boots boss Caserta has now moved on to Marvin Gaye. He's grabbed the acapella from a classic song - in this case one of Gaye's duets with Diana Ross, "My Mistake (Was To Love You)"- and incorporated it into a brand new track. The A-side "Casey Mistake Mix" sits somewhere between early '80s boogie and the mid-80s proto-house sound created by Boyd Jarvis, Timmy Regisford and Paul Simpson. Interestingly, Gaye and Ross's vocals fit it like a glove. The flipside "Dub That Got Away" is an altogether more bumpin' garage-house workout rich in cut-up vocals snippets and wobbly analogue bass.
Review: Late last year, French imprint Chuwanag launched via a fine compilation exploring the early '80s Britfunk sound (think jazz-funk and electrofunk) in impressive detail. You'll find numerous aural nods to that style on this follow-up, a fine debut single from producer Koji Ono. Check, for example, the sparkling synthesizers, hustling guitars and house-tempo jazz-funk grooves of "So High", the wiggly Clavinet lines, whistling melodies and rubbery bass of "Inner Rhythms" and the luscious, misty-eyed warmth of ear-pleasing mid-tempo instrumental jam "Momoshima". All are exquisite examples of revivalist cuts that boast more than enough freshness and impeccable instrumentation to bear comparison to the records that inspired them.
Review: The PPU-affiliated Cosmic Chronic label rolls out some more of that deep cover boogie funk business from the hitherto unknown Junior Williams. Information is scant on whether this is a dusted down archive find (highly likely) or a modern, faithful reboot of the 80s Miami sound, but what does it matter when the funk is this real? "Cash Maniac" is a slow jam with that sweet Moog b-line and plenty of reverb on the backing vocals to send you spinning into the stratosphere. "Pennywise" on the flip will smack you up sharp after that with some hi-octane slapping n' popping funk that would give Rick James the heebie jeebies.
La Tete Contre Les Murs (Marc Moulin remix) (5:24)
Review: Some years back, Permanent Vacation dipped into the back catalogue of decidedly Balearic synth-pop trio Antenna before offering up a swathe of fresh remixes. Now Discomatin have decided to explore the solo discography of lead singer Isabelle Antena, serving up two rare contemporaneous remixes of 1987 singles by Mark Kamins and Marc Moulin respectively. The former's version of "Laying On The Sofa" is superb, with the Danceteria resident layering her fine lead vocals over delay laden electro beats, warm Rhodes chords, glistening guitars and elastic bass guitar. Moulin's body-popping, synth and drum-machine fired revision of "La Tete Contre Les Murs" is arguably even better and undeniably funkier. It goes without saying that both tracks are superb.
Review: Prepare to strap yourself into for a super smooth ride on this 11th helping of steamy disco pleasure from Edit & Dub Recordings out of Tokyo. The icy cold vocals on Persia's "Inch By Inch" ride over feathered snares and rubbery kicks that are simply irresistible. Noodling synth funk and subtle cosmic rays all add lushness to a most succulent groove. The second a-side is "Principle" from Parlet and is another intimate and steamy disco number that worms its way into your affections with muted oboes, smooth-sliding grooves and a lead sax that has you hot under the collar.
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Shades Of Blue" (Thatmanmonkz remix) (5:50)
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Cantina" (6:21)
Hotmood - "Chico Shake" (6:08)
Hotmood - "El-Artista" (7:04)
Review: Editorial's 28th vinyl outing is a split affair, with label mainstays Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee handling the A side and Hotmood holding court on the B. Interestingly, the standout of Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee's side is a wonderfully groovy, synth-sporting deep house re-make of "Shades of Blue" by Sheffield-based Leicester Lad Scott Moncrieff AKA Thatmanmonkz, though the head-nodding, toe-tapping chunk of jazz-funk/instrumental soul that follows it, "Cantina", is also rather good. As for Hotmood, they provide some instant party-starting vibes via the low-slung disco-funk-meets-house loop jam "Chico Shake", before exploring breezier dancefloor pastures via the flute-sporting goodness of "El Arista". In a word: solid.
Review: Here's a record perfectly suited to the Emotional Rescue sphere. International Noise Orchestra was born out of a collaboration between Berliner Ulrich Homberg and Algerian drummer Jol Allouche, first embarked on in the 1980s when they sought to combine 'new technology with old'. The results are wonderfully vibrant, evocative of the era but also packed with open-ended experimentation that sounds fresh more than 30 years later. There's a push and pull between the collaborating parties, but the frisson between cultures and methods is where this record gets its unique groove from, all delivered with a slick 80s cool it's hard to resist.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
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.
Earth Wind & Fire - "Fantazy" (Beatconductor rework) (8:22)
Michael Jackson - "Human" (Beatconductor rework) (8:23)
Review: Gilles Peterson's Arc label stays busy in its early days with another choice reissue, this time of a 1973 compilation that brims with soulful charm. The impossible to find original came on obscure Hollywood label SECO Sounds Records and pulls together the best of songwriter and musician George Semper's catalogue. There are organ driven funk jams, glowing r&b odes and plenty of cosmic funk explorations, uptempo stompers and downtempo slow jams to make your heart swell with a fine array of contributing vocalists adding all the more colour. This is a collection of all killer, hard to find material that shines a deserving light on an often overlooked talent.
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: Afro disco fresh from 79: Eko Roosevelt Louis's third album Funky Disco Music will go down as one of Cameroon's finest disco LPs. Produced and pressed by French label Dragon Phenix, it's still reasonably easy to track down, too. For a taster, grab three of its tropical charms on this Fly By Night repress: "Funky Disco Music" is an infectious vocal-led cut that's written solely to make people get down, "Ndolo Embe Mulema" struts with much more Afro rock fusion while the harmonies of "Bowa'a Mba Ngebe" are sweeter than the finest honey you've ever tasted. For contemporary kicks Riccio has expertly touched the title track for a modern dancefloor/DJ friendly punch. Perfect.
IC Bell - "Night In Musicland" (DJ Friction rework) (6:59)
Review: As with its four fabulous predecessors, "Fulltime Factory 5" offers up a swathe of fresh re-edits and reworks of tracks from the vaults of Italy's cult disco-era imprint Full Time Records. First Re-Loved regular Birdee offers up a "French Touch" style disco-house revision of The Rainbow Team's "Dreaming", before we're treated to a squelchy "M.B edit instrumental dub" of Jimmy Ross' colourful electrofunk jam "Chocolate Ice". Elsewhere, DJ Rocca delivers a chunky, extra-percussive rub of Trance's lively and lovely boogie cut "Hang On It", while DJ Friction brilliantly rearranges the low-slung, mid-tempo disco-funk IC Bell's tremendous "Night In Musicland".
Review: With no less than nine releases on the label to their name already, Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors. Here they deliver another fantastic "45" packed with righteous grooves and life-affirming jazz moves. It's the latter that comes to the fore on side A's "Flute Thing", a sweet and seductive drift through picturesque jazz territory with some additional loose-limbed drum solos edited in halfway through. "Do What You Gotta Do" on the other hand is a simmering, string-laden soul treat rich in killer instrumentation, sumptuous orchestration, chunky grooves and hazy vocals. It's a fine edit of a superb cut and easily the record's standout cut.
Review: DJ friendly dancefloor cuts once again from the Gator Boots camp, with a two track EP of razor sharp heaters by the mysterious Ancient Deep, following up some great ones by G. Markus, Blue Mondays and Soul Clap. There is certainly a familiar vibe on A side cut "Underneath The Lights", a sultry late night vocal number with sleazy guitar licks, creamy Rhodes and a string section so warm it'll get the emotions running wild. On the flip, things go deeper into the night with its unmistakable hook from a right classic. It's called "Can't Stop The Jump" and is as slo-mo and lo-slung as you like it - perfect for the afterhours if we do say so ourselves!
Review: Given that he was making disco-fired house as far back as the early noughties, Simon Marlin AKA The Shapeshifters is a perfect fit for Defected's disco-focussed Glitterbox sub-label. These days Marlin's productions are closer to "real" disco than funky house, as last year's Salsoul influenced "Life Is A Dancefloor" with singer Kimberly Davis proved. "Second Chance" explores similar musical pastures, with the EP opening club mix layering Tony Montana-esque orchestration and Loleatta-like vocals atop a bouncy beat. Moplen delivers a classic disco revision mixed in a Tom Moulton style, where there's more clarity to each showcased piece of instrumentation, while the Shapeshifters provide a dub mix style "Reprise" that rises and falls in all the right places. A handy, delay-laden acapella version completes a very strong EP.
Falling Deep In Love (Joey Negro 7" Disco Blend) (4:06)
Review: For the last two years, legendary London crew Horse Meat Disco has been teasing the release of its long-awaited debut album via a series of scintillating singles featuring guest vocals from the likes of Amy Douglas and, even more impressively, Kathy Sledge. Here they offer up their second collaboration with the legendary disco diva. "Jump Into The Light" is little less than a tribute to the Chic sound featured on the greatest Sister Sledge records, with Kathy Sledge delivering a typical fine lead vocal over Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars and glittering orchestration. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy Joey Negro's cut-down "Disco Blend" of previous single "Falling Deep In Love", which adds a little house flavour whilst retaining the crew's disco instrumentation.
You're Gonna Want Me Back (Moplen Disco mix) (8:19)
You're Gonna Want Me Back (Moplen reprise) (5:23)
Review: "You're Gonna Want Me Back" was a hit in 1981 for Delia Renee, and with good reason. It's a fierce burner loaded with Philly strings, an early 80s stomp and Renee's formidable midrange performance - a defiant protest track to make anyone feel untouchable. Now that highly skilled disco edit wizard Moplen has got his mitts on the parts and teased out the track with two deadly versions for High Fashion. There's a straight-up "Disco Mix" on the A side which treats the original with care, and the "Moplen Reprise" on the flip which gets more adventurous with the ingredients, still keeping one foot firmly in the heart and soul of the track. Powerful stuff to set any dancefloor ablaze.