Review: Los Charly's Orchestra sorts Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel first worked with veteran British soul singer Omar on their 2017 double A-side single "It's So/History". All involved clearly had a good time, because they've decided to repeat the exercise. "Fire" is arguably a step up, with Omar's honeyed vocals soaring above a rubbery groove, heady female backing vocals, cut-glass strings and punchy horns on the standout "Classic Disco Mix". Elsewhere, the noticeably heavier "Neo-Soulful Disco Mix" sounds like the kind of sumptuous, all-organic soulful disco-house fare we'd expect to hear from the likes of Joey Negro and Yam Who. Wisely, the duo has also included instrumental revisions of both versions. We prefer the superb vocal takes, but it's nice to have the choice.
Review: Given that they started out 12 years ago making soul-fired 21st century jazz-funk and bustling broken beat, it seems fitting that their latest single features the honeyed lead vocals of Xantone Blacq, an artist whose early singles explored bruk and future jazz. "You Said" is a wonderful chunk of laidback disco-soul tailor made for sun-kissed afternoons and sweltering early evening dances. Blacq is in fine form singing over the duo's Nile Rodgers style guitars, Bernard Edwards-seque bass and intricately programmed percussion. Over on the flip the pair dons their J & J guys to offer up a largely instrumental edit for those who prefer to get lost in the groove.
Review: The latest missive from the Imagenes camp sees Los Charley's Orchestra rework two tracks from Manana, a Spiteri side project that released one jazz-fusion/samba disco album in 1981. Both "Amor" and "Disco Samba" are taken from that obscure but inspired set, and are here given "vocal" and "instrumental" revisions from the Los Charly's boys. All four revisions hit the spot from start to finish. We're particularly enjoying the spacey synths, low-slung dub disco grooves, fluttering vocals and well-placed delay effects of their "Amor" versions, though many DJs may gravitate towards the rolling, AOR disco bounce of the duo's more celebratory remixes of "Disco Samba".