Review: When it comes to exotic, off-kilter edits, you'll struggle to find a stronger series than Jonny Rock's Disco Hamam. This fifth volume is every bit as essential as its predecessors. Beards In Dust claims the A-side with "At The Dawn", a tidy revision of a druggy and "chuggy" version of a blue-eyed psychedelic funk-rock roller that comes complete with some serious sing-along sections. The heady world of Turkish music - a constant source of inspiration at the Disco Hamam HQ - comes to the fore on the B-side. Tales Of Voodoo's "Sharky" is a deliciously percussive, dancefloor-friendly fusion of Middle Eastern exoticism, funk-rock guitars and heavy disco percussion, while Esen Gunduz's "Deve Gucu" is an even sweatier, Italo Disco-era stomper that sounds like something you'd have heard in Istanbul clubs circa 1985.
Review: Canada's foremost re-edit imprint continues to churn out the hits, largely by delivering dub disco and Balearic-tinged interpretations of long forgotten or little-known cuts. Common Edit regulars Dane and Khotin join forces on the A-side, delivering a sweet chunk of boogie-era synthesizer reggae ("Imho"), before heading futher towards peaktime territory with the low-slung, late night AOR disco of "System". Eddie C digs delves into his seemingly bottomless crates of obscurities for inspiration on "I Want More", a gorgeous chunk of piano-laden Balearic disco sweetness. Finally, Dane lights up something medicinal, closes his eyes and delivers the smacked-out, guitar-laden ambient chug of "One For Dane". It's an absolute beauty, if truth be told.
Review: E Versions is a brand new edit-focused offshoot of Merc, seemingly allowing label boss Mark E an outlet for some of his unreleased reworks. Given the title, the spotters out there might easily guess what the source material for "Kahn" is, and it immediately calls to mind all those great reworks the Midlands-based producer did for Jiscomusic, Running Back and Golf Channel in the pre-disco edit flood era. It's complemented by the B-Side track "Mingo" which is much more indicative of the brand of hypnotic machine music Mark E is currently specialising in, and will appeal to fans of drums!!!
Review: Yes, it's time for another slice of Mark E(dit) goodness on his own E Versions label, and every time one of these bad boys has always been on point. Number 6 in the series certainly doesn't disappoint, and the soulful waves of "Scared" are so close in line with the sort of house we're digging at the moment, that we've been playing it for hours on the Juno HQ turntable. "Plastic People", surely an ode to the legendary London club, takes house as a structure, but goes much deeper and wilder thanks to elements of jazz, funk and deep, sweltering soul music. Mark E never ceases to please and amaze simultaneously.
Review: Earlier this year, Mark E returned to the re-edit scene in which he made his name with the first E Versions 12". For those who remember his brilliant early work on Jisco Music and Golf Channel - all hypnotic disco loops and slow-house attitude - it was something of a surprise treat. Here he delivers more clandestine reworks in a similar vein, delivering two deliciously hypnotic, drawn-out grooves that transform familiar favourites into wide-eyed Balearic chuggers. "Magazine" is particularly potent since it slows down and smacks out Madonna's "Vogue", in the process turning the track into a creeping endorphin blast of epic proportions. "Xam" ups the tempo slightly, building the action around baggy accordion samples and rising and falling melodies.
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: To accompany their re-release of East Wall's superb 1991 debut album, Silence, Dark Entries has decided to put out the Italian band's forgotten debut release, 1985 single "Eye of Glass". Tending towards the darker end of the Italo-disco spectrum, but blessed with typically cheery synthesizer melodies and skewed female vocals, it's a record that seems far more inspired by the earlier British new wave synth-pop movement than pleasing the clubs of Rome or Rimini. The vocal version is accompanied by a subtly different instrumental, which includes waves of warm synths and offers more prominence to the band's bubbly electronics, throbbing arpeggio bassline, and delay-laden drum machine hits.
Review: Debuts all round as young Swiss producer Ecar makes his bow on the freshly minted Royalties Rates Recordings label. It's an EP that not only shows great promise, but also contains a string of club-ready jams. He's in re-edit mode on the A-side, putting a house rocket underneath and woozy, synth-laden disco jam ("Diana", whose cascading synth solos are sublime), before delivering a throbbing, pitched-up version of a Quincy Jones produced electrofunk slammer. On the flip, you'll find more bustling, synth-heavy peak-time fare in the shape of acid-flecked stomper "Untitled Wave" and a wide-eyed, piano-sporting anthem seemingly inspired by rave-era warehouse jams.
Review: On this latest must-have missive, the Editorial crew has assembled an all-star cast of re-editors and house-loving disco rework merchants. Thrillingly, it contains a now rare outing from slo-mo specialist Duff Disco, whose atmospheric, beatdown style chugger "Always on My Mind" is undoubtedly one of the best things he's released in years. Props, too, to Irish disco-house specialists Get Down Edits, who weigh in with the warm and summery grooves of "Hey (What's Happening)". Elsewhere, Buzz Compass subtly beefs up and filters out a sleazy disco favourite on the constantly rising "U Deserve It", while Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee get the party started in their inimitable style via a touch of disco/hip-hop fusion ("Moonlite").
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray vocal mix) (8:40)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray dub mix) (6:19)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (vocal mix) (7:45)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (instrumental mix) (6:58)
Review: For their latest trick, Yam Who's Riot label has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Alton Edwards' 1981 UK electrofunk classic "I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You)". You'll find Edwards' superb original vocal version on the flip, where his part whispered, part sung vocals rise above thickset, mind-altering synth-bass, drum machine beats and some seriously punchy horn lines. The obligatory 21st century updates come courtesy of Full Intention man Michael Gray, who delivers a suitably pumped up boogie-house vocal revision before dropping a similarly chunky dub that wisely makes much of the original bassline and Edwards' whispered vocal passages.
Review: We don't know who he is. We don't know what he has in store for the future. But boy are we hooked on Elegant Borzoi. Both originals are crystal clear in their scope and cosmic sheen. Chunky, slinky and bubbling with elements of disco, house, funk, all tied up with strong shades of Balearic; "Mystique" is a tropical charmer that nods its head to the dubby lushness coming from Norway 15 years ago while "Lawnmower Woman" fuses Italo with sleazy 80s funk with a purring, catlike sense of playfulness. Remix wise Woolfy and Projections HH fatten up the bassline and add a little star gazing charm while Project Sandro brings home the slo mo bacon. Delicious.
Review: Last year, Marcel Vogel dusted down his Em Vee edit alias for the first time in three years, serving up a tasty four-pack of reworks for OYE's ongoing Edits series. It clearly inspired him to make more reworks, because now he's popped up on Razor-N-Tape with another fine selection of scalpel revisions. He begins by reworking a tongue-in-cheek chunk of disco silliness rich in spacey Moog lines and wonky vocals ("You Move Me"), before tweaking and rearranging a superb chunk of Latin-tinged tropical disco ("Spreading Energy"). "Don't Be Sabi Say" is a high-tempo chunk of Afrobeat/Afro-disco fusion full of ear-catching Nigerian vocals and bustling electric piano riffs, while "I Wish I Knew The Words" is a cheeky revision of an obscure Japanese synth-boogie number.
Review: Astonishingly, original copies of Energize's 1979 private press single "Piece of Class" have changed hands for over 500 quid online. Helpfully, Rain & Shine have decided to save us all a few bob by slinging out this licensed reissue. The title track is something of a bustling disco-funk gem - a genuinely wonderful fusion of hazy vocals, dueling horn solos, spacey synthesizer flourishes and driving bass guitar. B-side "Star of the Disco" is an even more up-tempo affair, with mazy saxophone solos, rasping horn stabs and starry jazz-funk keys riding a walking bassline and high-octane disco drums.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Epsilon were a cosmic funk/rock four piece from Marburg, Germany that released three albums between 1970 and 1976. While their debut LP went for a much more progressive rock style, the subsequent releases were a mixture of heavy rock and blues when frontman Michael Winzkowski (ex Orange Peel, Nosferatu) joined the band. This EP was originally released in 1975 and features the bluesy rock n roll swagger of "Leave The City" on the A side, and the super sleazy disco funk of "Wake Up"on the flip - which is absolutely terrific! Winzkowski went on to further (yet short lived) success as Michael Wynn/The Michael Wynn Band up until 1983, even breaking into the American market at one point.
Review: Not An Animal are known for their heated takes on the art of disco-sampling house music, and Ess O Ess is one of the key factors in defining that sound. This comes through in spades on Take You To A Secret Place, where the title track comes marching out atop a deadly bassline that will cut through any mix to get the people freaking out. The dub mix is equally deadly, flying a generous dose of cosmic sparkle into the mix without losing the punch in the original production. Kuniyuki Hard takes a daring approach that slows the track down to a creep and emphasises space and tension. The Angophora version is even more drastic, seemingly stripping all the recognisable elements of the track out and leaving behind a plaintive thread of ambient instrumentation.
Review: Not An Animal regulars Ess O Ess are back with an effervescent 12" that spans starry-eyed electro and pastoral electronica. "Voice Inside" comes in French and English versions, depending on what flavour you want from the sultry spoken word turn on the top of the plush harmonics of the production. As well as the killer original track, there's choice remixes on offer too from The Backwoods and Craig Richards. The former takes a cosmic, trippy approach to the track, but keeps the focus sharp thanks to a snapping 4/4 beat. Craig Richards meanwhile takes things far away from the original with a brilliant slice of discordant electro weirdness for the after hours crowd.
Review: Balearic disco maestro Max Essa has named his latest EP in honour of "Barkhan Dunes" - those wind created, crescent shaped sand dunes often found in deserts. Quite how this fits with the music on offer isn't explained, though the Balearic-minded music offered up is excellent. Check first "The Price You Pay (For Loving That Way)", an arpeggio-driven slab of sun-kissed nu-disco/Balearic house fusion rich in life-affirming Rhodes chords, twinkling synth lines and delay-laden saxophone solos. "Kites At Nemoto Beach" is a gently unfurling ambient soundscape full of drowsy vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Sundowning" sees Essa wrap glistening guitars and thickset synth bass around a bubbly mid-tempo drum machine rhythm.
Quitate El Sosten (Javi Frias extended disco edit) (6:56)
Quitate El Sosten (James Rod rework) (5:50)
Gozame Ya (Mr Absolutt feat Beauty Spot Excited version) (6:25)
Review: Cosmic Records Store is a brand new label with just a touch of mystery around the team behind them. If this launch release is anything to go by, there's a touch of class, knowledge and connections too. Celebrating the phenomenon that is the Muse Of Transition, Susana's allure is compounded by her political sexuality in the wake of Franco's demise. Sultry, silky and playful throughout, CRS have enlisted three key Spanish editors to join the party as Mr Absolutt, James Rod and Javi Frias all add groove extending, dubbed out magic to the originals. We can't wait to hear what Cosmic Record Store have up their sleeves next...
Review: In the space of a year Bahnsteig 23 has positioned itself as a label of note with a strong run of 12"s that draw on a rich spread of influences from cosmic disco to world music to provide a little more spice in your dancefloor selections. Portland's Elliot Thomas takes his Etbonz alias out for its first proper outing here after a split 7" with Dro Carey some years back. This single-sided jam serves to raise the intrigue around the project further still with its dense, organically enhanced production and dreamy atmosphere, keeping the tempo slow and simmering for the early part of the party.
Review: Following his recent strong turn on Cocktail D'Amore, Jules Etienne makes a trip back to Apersonal Music with more of that island groove for the smoothest slack-wearers in town. "Free As A Man" is a beautifully laid back but funky offering that speaks to all kinds of good times. Jex Opolis turns in a remix of the track that has a little more bite to suit the later demands of the dancefloor. "Don't Wanna Talk About It" sees Etienne linking up with Disco D and winding all kinds of slick strutting business into his sound, and then "Rhythm For The Garden" heads off into wonderful tribal percussion that serves as a handy tool for DJs who want to get some rich drum sounds into their set.
The Funk District - "An Evening With El Diablo" (6:31)
Matt Hughes - "Get Down" (5:50)
Cody Currie - "Aquarian Girl" (5:17)
The Owl - "Funky Feelin" (4:12)
ED Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Slippin" (4:22)
Review: More good value goodness from the Editorial label, one of the few re-edit focused outfits that manage to retain a high level of consistency. The Funk District kicks things off with a fine re-arrangement of an organ and electric piano-focused chunk of sweaty dancefloor soul ("An Evening With El Diablo"), before Matt Hughes gets busy with some elastic slap bass on flash-fried disco-funk revision "Get Down". Elsewhere, Label regulars Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee dip the tempo on the slow and seductive "Slippin", the Owl stomps his way through the P-funk style heaviness of "Funky Feelin" and Cody Currie offers up a hazy sample-house cut rich in jazzy flourishes and warm electric piano chords.
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Love Me Too" (5:28)
Will Buck & PRTMNTO - "I Need Your Love" (6:40)
Vagabundo Club Social - "Sonico Amor" (7:41)
Review: Perhaps we should think of Whiskey Disco's Small Batch series as their attempt at "artisan disco". Certainly, the re-edits on show should have a few hipsters - and plenty of disco DJs - stroking their hirsute chins in appreciation. Dubtribe Soundsystem's Sunshine Jones kicks things off with the mid-80s synth-pop-goes-acid-house brilliance of "Lovergirl", while regular collaborators Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee doff a cap to Sly & Robbie and Larry Levan on the dub disco vibes of "Love Me Too". Those after some high tempo jazz-funk-meets-disco-house thrills should check Will Buck and PRTMNTO's "I Need Your Love". As for Vagabundo Club Social's "Sonico Armor", it's a hazy, dub-flecked Balearic disco delight.
Onward Intenational - "Foot In The Door" (Alex & Stephane Attias edit) (7:36)
Elbernita Twinkie Clark - "Awake O Zion" (Alex Attias edit) (8:18)
Review: Since launching in the summer of 2017, Alex Attias' edit-focused LillyGood Party label has consistently delivered the goods. It helps that Attias' approach to re-editing mirrors original scalpel legends like Danny Krivit - think killer rearrangements with no cheap production trickery - but this would mean nothing if the selected material was below-par. This time round he's on a Latin-tinged jazz-funk and disco tip, first teaming up with brother Stephane to deliver a superb, horn-heavy rework of Onward International's 1985 all-dayer slayer "Foot in the Door". It's a righteous and funk-fuelled affair guaranteed to bring a dose of sultry sunshine to any party. On the flip, Attias goes solo to lovingly extend Elbertina "Twinkie" Clark's 1981 gospel-fuelled disco-soul treat "Awake O Zion", with predictably fine results.
Review: We were mighty impressed by Milanese party posse Rollover's first "anything goes" edits release, which promptly came and went from stores in a matter of days earlier in the year. Happily, this follow-up is similarly impressive. Opening edit, "Boom Boom Bo", a gentle mid-tempo house tweak of a smooth, horn-sporting jazz-funk number, sets the tone, before Tagliabue impresses via the Afro-Cosmic chug and subtle Balearic tones of "Dubitalo 1976". Etna is next up, rearranging and remixing a bongo-laden tropical bubbler from the early 1980s, before headline guests SHMLSS slap on some eyeliner and turn a New Romantic gem into a sweaty chunk of rubbery dub disco goodness.