Al Kent – Disco Love – Rare Disco and Soul Uncovered review

Artist: Al Kent
Title: Disco Love – Rare Disco and Soul Uncovered
Label: BBE
Genre: Disco/Nu-Disco
Format: 2 xLP 12″, CD, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records (CD, vinyl), Juno Download

As someone who briefly escaped 70’s Glasgow and got a taste of the golden age of NYC disco, Al Kent is a perfect choice to lead you through a classy selection of some choice and rare disco treats. Having used his huge collection in the past for re-edits and originals, he also took the bold step of forming his own band in 2007 under the name The Million Dollar Orchestra.

The selections here reflect the point at which funk and soul mutated into disco, with most of the tracks capturing that pre-Moroder organic sound. Lee Alfred’s “Rockin-Poppin Full Tilting” for example has a laid back vibe similar to Curtis Mayfield’s more uptempo tunes. New Ghetto Express’s version of “Standing On The Verge of Getting It On” (originally by Funkadelic) ups the tempo on the wigged-out classic, again combing the funk with a disco groove.

“Lypso Disco” by Smile Street People, as you’d guess from the title, has a playful Calypso lilt and bounce to it. “Cosmic Disco” by Patricia White on the other hand doesn’t sound like something that Todd Terje or Lindstrom got their cues from, but it is a fun song with some brilliantly random thumb-piano playing in the background.

Anyone looking for samples will have a field day among these tracks, Sweet Daddy Floyd’s “I Just Can’t Help Myself” for example has a break in the middle to die for. You could loop up four bars practically anywhere and have something pretty damn funky to work with. For that reason alone, it’s well worth having a listen and broadening your horizons.

Review: Oliver Keens