Rafael Cameron - "Let's Get It Off" (Dr Packer rework) (6:13)
Ripple - "The Beat Goes On & On" (Dr Packer rework) (7:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "You're Just The Right Size" (Dr Packer rework) (6:07)
Review: UK born, Australia based DJ and producer Dr Packer is back with more of his on point edits. He tackles some serious disco heavyweights here on Salsoul and first off, disco diva Loleatta Holloway and her mega-hit "Runaway" gets a fresh 2020 update with some soul uplifting studio skills. A heavy funk remix of Rafael Cameron's "Let's Get It Off" is next, with the original still taking centre stage, then the shimmering and glistening disco gold of Ripple's "The Beat Goes On" follows before in-house collective The Salsoul Orchestra also get treated to some elegant orchestral work and a sultry vocal hook.
I Want You For Myself (KON extended remix) (10:40)
Review: Acclaimed crate-digger turned disco re-editor KON has decided to launch his own reissue imprint, Kontemporary. The idea is simple: to accompany re-mastered original tracks with fresh rubs from the man himself. 12" number one offers another opportunity to enjoy George Duke's soulful, sun-kissed, disco-era jazz-funk bomb "I Want You For Myself". On the A-side you'll find Duke's own impeccable 12" version, with KON's re-edit gracing the B. Having access to the original multi-track tapes has allowed the New York-based producer to not only include an atmospheric, extended intro (a tactic regularly used by fellow rework merchants The Revenge and Joey Negro), but also give more prominence to Duke's superb piano solos.
Crowns Of Glory - "Lord, Look At Your People" (Joaquin Joe Claussell mix) (5:48)
Keith Barrow - "A World Of Lonely People" (Joaquin Joe Claussell mix) (7:37)
Review: If the rich history of US gospel soul, funk and disco gets your juices flowing, you need this new 12" from Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell in your life. As with many of the storied producer's edit-focused 12" singles, it has been pressed in limited quantities and should therefore be grabbed before all the copies disappear. On the A-side he offers up a tidy, dancefloor-focused tweak of Crowns of Glory's hard-to-find 1976 gospel soul cut "Lord, Look At Your People", brilliantly teasing out the intro before unleashing the song in all its inspiring righteousness. Over on the flip Clausell turns his attention to the Clavinet-heavy, Blaxploitation-era gospel disco anthem that is Keith Barrow's equally as inspired 1977 gem "A World Of Lonely People".
Review: Third time around for Keni Burke's 1982 boogie-soul classic "Risin' To The Top", a track that remained such a favourite on the jazz-funk, rare groove and jazz-dance scenes that it was given the remix treatment in 1992. The slick and smooth cut is still capable of sending shivers down the spine, with Burke's impeccable lead vocal rising above rich electric pianos, a killer boogie bassline and the track's famous "give it all you've got" female backing vocals. This time round, the track comes backed by another stone cold classic and DJ favourite, the 1981 12" version of "You're The Best". More up-tempo and synth-heavy, it remains a favourite with both boogie DJs and jazz-funk fans.
Review: One of disco's biggest divas gets served up on a red hot platter here by Vinylators. "Extended Woman" is eight plus minutes of bubbling, piano laced and string happy disco with the iconic "I'm every woman" vocal taking centre stage over nice clipped drums. It's a tasteful edit that brings all the key parts to the fore. "Piano Woman" is more stripped back, with plenty of emphasis on some busy piano playing and the soaring original vocal left in place up top. "Dub Woman" is more paired back and built on the leggy drums, while plenty of golden strings add real colour.
Review: This is a musical celebration of life, good times and the blessings of planet earth from the Afriquoi collective. It is the first time the band have ever gone into the studio to record a full live-band sound, playing together at Octagon Studios. The material they played is finely honed and tuned music that has been perfected on the live stage over the years. There is kora, Congolese guitar, uplifting vocal work, crisp percussion and gorgeous chords all making this a truly African experience that brims with invention and vitality. For sunny times, there are few better albums.
Review: After her magnetic debut EP for Running Circle in 2017, Nottingham's Yazmin Lacey lands on our charts with her follow-up 12", a piece of work that sounds deeply accomplished and expansive for being her second EP to date. Largely roaming within the jazzo-sphere, When The Sun Dips 90 Degress is a beautifully seductive five-tracker, with the artist's voice reigning supreme over the cascading showers of piano keys and subtle electronics, somehow tapping into the Alice Coltrane sort of vibe. There's no harp here, but plenty of soulful charisma. Fear not thy devout jazz fanatic - this can get real deep and real smooth. It's a broken beat fan's dream some true. More from Lacey is, indeed, expected in the remainder of the year. Marvellous stuff.
I Can't Get Along Without You (instrumental) (6:36)
Review: Kalita has already served up some seriously good reissues, but their latest may well be the most essential yet. It's the first licensed reissue of Vance and Suzzanne's sole single from 1980, "I Can't Get Along Without You" - a Larry Levan favourite that was only ever pressed in small quantities first time around. In it's A-side vocal form, the track is a deliciously warm and loved-up duet that mixes rich, mid-tempo New York disco grooves with some of the heady, glassy-eyed musicality of Philadelphia soul. It's genuinely magical - a super-sweet cut that sounds like end-of-night gold. Like the original 1980 private pressing on Vanton Records, the Kalita edition is backed by the similarly sweet, atmospheric Instrumental Mix, but this time we're also treated to a never-before-seen press photo, and extensive interview-based liner notes.
Review: Danny Krivit's officially sanctioned re-edits of Earth Wind & Fire's "Brazilian Rhyme" and "Runnin" have been sought-after since they first appeared on a Japan-only 12" back in 2004. In fact, such is demand that even later bootleg pressings now go for silly money online. As this reissue proves, though, they're arguably amongst Krivit's strongest scalpel works. Certainly, his three-minute revision of the always too short "Brazilian Rhyme" teases it out to just the right length, in the process delivering a sweltering, sing-along summer anthem. The flipside revision of the equally as summery "Runnin" is every bit as good, with Krivit making merry with the original's life-affirming scat vocals and killer piano solos.
Review: Unlike many of their compatriots, Timeless Legend were a soul group who didn't limit themselves to a killer, one-off EP before disappearing into the shadows. Believe us when we say that this is basically what happened to most bands in the 70s. In the case of these guys, they stuck around for a series of albums and singles that have remained engrained in every collector's memory, and that now go for big bucks on the second-hand market. "Everybody Disco" is their 1979 masterpiece, a tune that encapsulates the disco movement perfectly, from the beats to the bass and even the synths. What a hummable dance anthem - grab it before the RSD 2018 stock runs out!
Keep Rising All Night Long (Sunday Service mix) (6:19)
Review: GAMM has been a treasure trove of edits, golden old soul and forgotten funk gems for an eternity and they come correct again with this monstrous dance floor dynamite on a loud, one-sided vinyl pressing: Ukokos & Jabco's hip hop and gospel styled rework of the world renowned clip of Kanye West's Sunday Service band doing a live cover of "Keep Rising". A majestic, triumphant and real floor filling, crowd pleasing bomb that will bring everyone together for many years to come.
Review: A reissue of American singer Debra Laws' 1981 single here on Expansion. She made her debut as a solo recording artist in in the same year, with the release of her album titled Very Special. This album, produced by her brothers Hubert and Ronnie, was a success with the singles "On My Own" (a lovely neon-lit disco-funk groove) and "Very Special" (a super sensual ballad on the slo-mo tip) being featured here. Up until the beginning of the '90s, Laws worked with her three siblings, recording and doing many live performances in the United States and abroad. Samples from "Very Special" can be heard in Jennifer Lopez's 2002 hit single of "All I Have".
Review: UK soul tour de force Michael Kiwanuka enjoys his first live album. A punchy five track selection with recordings from the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and London Palladium we glide and slide from the tenderness of "One More Night" and the dreamy symphonic blues of "Father's Child" to the all out fusion of "Black Man In A White World". This captures Kiwanuka at his most delicate, honest and powerful.
Review: What with their super-rare rare groove album "Synchronised" fetching four figures and some of their key singles rocking similarly big price tags, Columbus soul troupe are renowned for their sought-after wax collectables. It's not hard to hear way. Gossamer smooth with just hint of boogie on both sides, "Do You Love Me" is a yearning end-of-night smoocher that doesn't cut on the weight while "You're The One" flexes a much more upbeat groove with slap bass and keytars running off pure positivity. Only once reissued before, this Expansion excursion will be more than welcome news to many.
Review: Expansion's latest must-have release brings together two killer cuts from Sylvia Striplin's brilliant 1981 album "Give Me You Love", which originally appeared on Roy Ayers' Uno Melodic label. Ayers produced and arranged both cuts alongside regular collaborator James Bedford. "Give Me Your Love" is, of course, something of an anthem in underground disco circles, with Striplin's breathy and emotionally rich vocal rounding off a superb cut that's rich in crunchy Clavinet lines, walking bass, snappy drums, sensual synth doodles and rising horns. Flipside "You Can't Turn Me Away", meanwhile, is closer in sound and vibe to Roy Ayers' jazz-funk cuts from the period, which is no bad thing.
Review: When Leo and his Sunshipp crew asked for the sunshine way back in 1980 they meant it. And with a tune as beautiful as this, they deserved it too. Released in 1980 in various forms (and also on the funk trio's only album in 1978) the most sought after was the 45" that came with the gutsier, more upbeat traditional soul cut "I'm Back For More". But let's face it, this is all about the lead track. A cult Balearic soul funk jam and one of the coolest summer cuts ever pressed to wax, reissues have been on request for over 30 years... Like the summer itself, this won't hang around.
Review: "Fever" is one of Horace Andy's biggest hits. Amazingly, it has never been given its own release so Studio One has done the right thing and put it out on a super loud 12" for the first time. It first landed way back in 1973 before Andy rose to contemporary fame appearing with Massive Attack on five of their albums, but still hits hard. The lush vocals sit well in the swinging drums and bass, and makes it a sure fire dance floor destroyer that won't hang around. Comes accompanied with a Cedric "Im" Brooks instrumental version on the flip.
Everything That Shines Ain't Gold (part one & two) (6:12)
Everything That Shines Ain't Gold (Floating Points edit) (4:38)
Review: You'll be unsurprised to learn that the latest reissue on Floating Points' Melodies imprint is of a record that is fiendishly hard to find. Collectors have long regarded "Everything That Shines Ain't Gold", a sumptuous funk-soul workout full of bold Hammond organ lines and jazzy guitar licks, as something of a "Holy Grail", so it's fantastic see the track getting a worthy reissue. For this edition, you'll find the full version (originally cut into two parts to fit on a 7") on side A, with a fresh Floating Points re-edit on the flip. His revision is naturally tastefully done, rolling with the sweetest instrumental passages before breaking into Moore's superb vocal.
Review: Despite being something of a confirmed jazz-funk classic, Hubert Laws' "Family" was never released on a 12" single first time around. Curiously, the full version - contained on the A-side of this edition - only ever appeared on the veteran flautist's 1980 album of the same name. It remains, particularly in its original stereo mix form, a superb summer breeze of a jam, with a loved-up female vocal and punchy orchestration riding a sumptuous mid-tempo groove rich in rubbery slap bass and lolloping drumbeats. On the flipside you'll find the more obscure Mono Version, which interestingly feels a little weightier at the bottom end whilst allowing Laws' superb flute solos space to breathe.
My Forbidden Lover (Dimitri From Paris 12" version) (6:30)
I Feel Your Love Comin' On (Dimitri From Paris remix) (8:16)
My Forbidden Lover (Dimitri From Paris instrumental) (6:29)
I Feel Your Love Comin' On (Dimitri From Paris instrumental) (8:15)
Review: It was 2010 when Dimitri From Paris first got his hands on the parts to some of Chic's biggest hits, with some of the resultant revisions appearing on an expansive "Chic Organization" box-set. Glitterbox has been reissuing them all over a series of 12" singles, with this volume boasting the Parisian's vocal and instrumental versions of both "My Forbidden Lover" and "I Feel Your Love Comin' On". The latter is a deliciously dubbed out affair that pushes the track's heavy electrofunk-meets-disco-funk groove to the fore, with flashes of Nile Rodgers' razor-sharp guitar riffs and echoing vocal snippets rising and falling throughout the mix. It's the versions of "My Forbidden Lover", complete with stunning orchestral breakdowns and extended instrumental breaks, that really set the pulse racing, though.
Review: Andy Stennett and Peter Maas' Freeez project was a pillar of both the pre-punk and punk scenes across the UK, with their infamous tracks surely having influenced a myriad of post-punkers thereafter. Aside from that, they also operated under the Pink Rhythm moniker, through which they released a limited selection of disco-not-disco and jazz-dance. Perfect for some reissue action right now. India was the second of the three EPs they released in 1985, now out through Be With, and the title track sounds like it hasn't aged a day since thanks to a subtly boogie approach filtered through a cold-wave stance. "Trust Me" a more sensual track, slower and more soulful, while the flipside's "More & More" storms through with a summery, blazed-out drum-machine anthem, followed by a sweet instrumental cut to "India". Ya need...
Hooked On Your Love (John Morales unreleased edit) (8:13)
Review: Serious Philly boogie business: In 1979 the Aleem brothers teamed up with serial hit maker Leroy Burgess for this outstanding bass slapping floor burner. Listen closely and you'll hear a young Luther Vandross on backing vocals as the twins bounce off each other with their signature high ranges. Meanwhile on the B we have a previously unreleased edit from one of the most vital, direction shaping remixers of the time; John Morales. Expect nothing but 8 minutes of pure disco bliss. We're hooked on this!
Review: While Larry Wu's one and only single, 1984's "Let Me Show You", has long been considered an 80s boogie classic, it has remained surprisingly hard to find on 12" - hence this timely reissue. As with the original 12", Wu's sparkling Long Version is featured on the A-side. It's perhaps closer in tone to the chart-bothering Jam & Lewis '80s soul sound than the grittier, funkier New York boogie style - think chiming melodies, eyes-closed guitar riffs and a chunky synth-heavy groove - the quality of Wu's soulful lead vocal really is in the top tier. There's also another chance to check the fantastic, dub style flipside Instrumental, which features all manner of dropouts, delay-laden vocal snippets, jammed-out synth solos and slighty more floor-friendly percussion. Essential.
Review: Steel City Connection were not, as the name might suggest, an unlikely disco act from Sheffield, but rather a heavyweight combo from the American equivalent, Pittsburgh, who released a sole, now highly sought-after private-press single way back in 1978. "Steel City Disco" has long been regarded as a "holy grail" amongst collectors of rare disco, hence this essential reissue from Kalita Records. The title track is certainly something of a beast - an inspired fusion of disco-funk tropes, spiraling Latino horns, jazz-funk style male harmony vocals and sustained organ chords that will wind their way through your subconscious. Excitingly, the flipside boasts a previously unreleased extended version of the similarly fine workout "Dansation".
Review: Kalita Records has thus far proved adept at sniffing out obscure, overlooked classics and reissuing them. Their latest "flip" is as rare, little known and hard-to-find as they come: a one-shot 1985 Caribbean boogie cut from Bahamian musicians Stirling March (now a minister and gospel singer) and bassist Rocky Rolle. "Under Cover Lover" is bright, breezy and sun-kissed, with jaunty synthesizer lead lines and hammered-out piano parts dancing above a tasty groove that fully showcases Rolle's boogie bass skills. Stirling March's lead vocal is superb too, with the Bahamian slickly delivering the loved-up lyrics with aplomb. The flipside "Instrumental" version is typical of New York style boogie dubs of the period, with more attention on the drums, bassline and ricocheting vocal snippets.
Review: A quick Google search confirms that copies of the original 1979 Bear Records Inc. pressing of Sunstreet's "Lovin" regularly change hands for eye-watering sums of money. This Rain & Shine reissue is, then, well overdue. While it's not one of the better known rare disco records, it's arguably one of the best. Certainly, the full-length A-side version is a perfect example of independent disco-soul/jazz-funk fusion, with super-sweet vocals riding a spacey backing track rich in walking bass, crunchy Clavinet lines, sun-kissed orchestration and rousing horn lines. The flipside edited version - which was also included on the 1979 12" - is a little punchier with more dominant vocals and an altogether slicker, radio-friendly feel.
Review: Spirit's impossible-to-find 1979 debut album "Put Your Hands Together" has long been a favourite of those dusty-fingered crate diggers who love gospel soul, funk and disco. Here Rain & Shine offer a chance to own the album's standout moment, 12 minute opener "Spirit", for a fraction of the cost of the album. It's an absolute stunner - a busy, energetic gospel-soul/gospel-disco hybrid that simply increases in intensity throughout (with no small thanks to some killer organ solos). Turn to the flip and you'll find the added bonus of Phil Asher and The Mighty Zaf's punchy re-edit, which not only re-arranges the track for maximum dancefloor impact, but also plays around with the EQs to produce a weightier low-end sound.
You've Got That Something (Andrea Passenger edit) (4:47)
Guitar Breeeeze (Andrea Passenger edit) (4:56)
Let's Go Disco (Waxist Dubby Stem edit) (6:36)
Let's Go Disco (Frank Booker instrumental mix) (5:42)
Review: Mixed Company were one of disco-era New York's most obscure bands, releasing just one track - the mighty "Let's Go Disco" - on a local radio station compilation in 1980 before disappearing from view. Amazingly, Rain & Shine has managed to find their master tapes, hence this first ever EP. Not only does it include "Let's Go Disco" - a lo-fi chunk of tropical disco-funk - but also fresh edits by Andrea Passenger of two previously unreleased cuts, the upbeat brilliance of "You've Got That Something" and the cheery "Guitar Breeeeze" [sic]. As if that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, the EP also boasts two new multi-track edits of "Let's Go Disco": a smooth and dubbed-out revision by Waxist and a stripped-back, horn-heavy instrumental rearrangement from Frank Brooker.
Review: Ooof! Two forever-scorching disco gems from the one and only Cheryl Lynn. This extended version of the screaming funklet "You Saved My Day" has only been available on rare promo, while the full version of her seminal party jam "To Be Real" enjoys pride of place on the B. 40 years young and still untouchable.
Review: This special Record Stay Day reissue gathers together two of Philadelphia soul legend Teddy Pendergrass' finest dancefloor moments. Both are essential, making this a must-buy for disco DJs who've yet to acquire them. On the A-side you'll find "You Can't Hide From Yourself", a sumptuously orchestrated affair whose killer groove is matched in quality by Pendergrass' impassioned vocal (check the rasping freestyle vocalizations towards the end for proof). Equally as impressive is "The More I Get, The More I Want", an insatiably sexually charged affair that builds in intensity throughout and not only contains one of the funkiest basslines in disco history, but also some seriously addictive female backing vocals.