Review: Timeless jazz soul vibes... London singer Andre Espeut teams up with Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel for another super-infectious sunny side groove. Following last year's "Rising" (which was successfully remixed by D&B don Marky) "Here Today" hammers a hugely positive message home by way of rich harmonies, lavish keys and bold horns. And for proof of how solid the musical bedrock Andre has to play with, flip for the equally spirited instrumental. Wow.
Review: Known for their work in Los Charly's Orchestra, North London pairing Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel introduce their new project The Boogie Man and ask what are you going to do when the funk rains down? Led by the vocal talents of frontman Andre Espeut and featuring a trombone player amusingly called Tony Trombony, The Boogie Man promise much for the contemporary funk scene of the basis of this debut release for the Imagenes Recordings label. In original form "When The Funk Rains Down" is tight and groove heavy, whilst the B Side Lowrider version is low slung and looser in execution.
Review: This 10" should be of interest to anyone who likes their music soulful and upbeat. Produced by Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel, it features two delicious but contrasting cuts. "You Can't Beat It" has all the makings of a 21st century boogie anthem. With its parping horns, slick synths, fat slap bass and celebratory vocal, it sounds like the sort of record Teena Marie or Gwen McRae would have released back in '82. "It's Got To Be Music", by contrast, is deeper and sleepier, Andre Espeut's seductive vocal matching the sparse, low-slung soul groove. While not as thrillingly upbeat as the A, it's just as good.
Review: An authentic Salsoul/Philly disco doublet from Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel, both "Amore" and "Interestellaire" are executed with such musicianship you could be convinced it's 1978 all over again. The former is a vibrant, groove-laden jam blessed with emphatic Barry White style vocals (courtesy of Andre Espeut) while the latter is a more cosmic, dreamier star-gazing joint peppered with meandering synths, harmonies and soaking wet bassline. Disco adventures really don't come much more faithful than this!
Review: Los Charly's Orchestra's Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel collect a few of their finest butt-shakers and stamp them down on a big juicy 12 for all our boogie needs. "My Way", originally released last year, kicks off with smouldering, hip-slinking ease before the disco-tinged "Intermotion" gets the spotlight across two bass-slapping versions. Finally we glide back to 2015 for two takes on the sunny-side viber "The Boogie Mine". Blame it on the boogie...
Review: Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel pay homage to the heartland with this beguiling album. A deep trip up and down the amazon, hopping off as and when they see fit, the album sees them paying homage to Latin standards such as "Fruta Fresca" and "Manduco". Rebuilding them electronically with, no doubt, a fair few classic synths in the mix. From disco to blues with just a touch of Latin folk magic, it's yet another unique and vital trip from the Los Charly's Orchestra lads.
Review: Los Charly's Orchestra sorts Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel impressed earlier in the year with "Electropical", a set of sensuous re-imaginings of Latin standards in a synthesizer/drum machine style. This follow-up is equally as impressive. The sensual samba-boogie goodness of "Esta Musica", features the wonderful vocals of Andre Espeut, the delayed-laden Balearic-goes-Amazonian breeze of "Sabana", and the jazz-wise, percussion-rich brilliance of "Semana Santa En Achaguas". Elsewhere, Pete Herbert re-imagines "Sabana", a jaunty, synth-heavy chunk of Balearic nu-disco brilliance while Oyobi delivers a fine broken beat/synth-funk fusion version of "Vuelo Del Condor". Simply essential.
Review: Longstanding Imagenes duo, Venezuelan-born-London-based duo Juan and Jorge lay down a crisp boogie funk cut with UK singer Chennez McKenzie. Unabashed boogie fun laced with an array of juicy instrumentation, the groove wouldn't comprises the best elements of rare groove, disco, acid jazz and funky house. All tied together by Chennez's emphatic vocal power, this is so authentic it could make Joey Negro blush. Keep on grooving!
Grazing The Grass (Una Miradita) (instrumental version)
Review: Without knowing, you could so easily mistake this for an authentic piece of 70s Latin funk. The sparkling, roomy production might be a giveaway but you'll be so locked into the groove you won't care what decade you're in. It's a trick the London-based Venezuelan collective have mastered in recent years, picking up fans like Phil Asher and Joey Negro along the way. With bold Hammonds, a soft, unassuming horn section and some soul-soothing harmonies like this, it's not hard to see why.
Review: Classy release from Los Charly's Orchestra, who must have been listening to their Mizell Brothers albums when they came up with ''Dana's Dream''. Mid 80s jazz funk influences combine with Donald Byrd-esque trumpets and gorgeously warm clavinet keys - lovely stuff. On the flip wah wah guitar glides over a mid tempo disco beat. Only 300 pressed!
Rediscovering The Big Apple (Cy Gorman & Ennio Styles remix)
Ten Cuidao' (Renegades Of Jazz meets Juan & Jorge remix)
My Barrio (Jimi Needles remix)
Descarga Cachao (Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel remix)
All I Wanna Do (Al Kent instrumental remix)
Merecumbe (Pete Herbert remix)
Review: London/Venezuelan troupe Los Charly's Orchestra handpick their favourite artists to deliver a series over genre-smelting remixes. The result is an instant party that stretches from the Latin-flecked jazz the band are best known for to G-funk, breaks, house, disco and loads more. Highlights include the tight slick chops of Cy Gorman & Ennio Styles LA beat flavoured take on "Rediscovering The Big Apple", Jimi Needles' Skeewiff-style upbeat breaks twist on "My Barrio" and Al Kent's deep dub funk disco version of "Wanna Do". Something for everyone; remix packages are seldom curated with this amount of attention to detail.
Review: Venezuelans-in-London Los Charly's Orchestra update their sensual summer soul session with two on-point refixes. The bandleaders themselves Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel add a bubblesome deep disco sheen with firm focus on the loopy groove and cushiony synths while Balearic gold medalist Pete Herbert takes us down dubbier, west coast paths with a velvet deep house strut-fest laced with the perfect amount of reverb. Sunrise/sunset.
Review: They're back! Celebrating 10 years of LCO, Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel team up with certified don Omar for two soul-cuddling, sun-glazed fusions. "It's So" hits instantly with an Amp Fiddler flavour as its tempo, layered elements, quick-licking bass, sweeping strings and Omar's powerful vocals all gel in warm harmony. "History", meanwhile, takes a slow and smouldering route but with a bassline that gets raunchier on every listen. Don't take our word for it, though - check the instrumentals provided. Happy anniversary LCO!
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: Imagenes drop their new single, a two track Latin edition 7" doused in 70's Salsa, Latin funk and boogaloo. The infectious "My Barrio" features UK Neo Soul singer Andre Espeut and Salsa vocalist Elpido from Columbia for a South American influenced addition to the Los Charly's Orchestra canon. On the flip "Jumping With Symphony Sid" (originally composed by Joe Bataan) is a catchy boogaloo jam with additional handclaps, shouts, trumpet stabs, a repetitive Latino piano refrain and some obligatory timbales!
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".