Review: The fantastic Parkway label bring a little - well, a lot of - joy into out collectively miserable lockdown-not-lockdown lives with a tenth release that dazzles on every level. The Whole Truth are a modern funk and boogie band with plenty of knowledge of the past as well as a vision of the future that leads them to create camp, analogue sounding gems like this one. The original has a nice heart swelling and gospel tinged vocal next to soaring chords and the club mix then dials back to the languid beats and sci-fi stabs. Last of all is a mix which goes heavy on the chords and amps up the effects to stellar effect.
Review: It's time for a serious slice of dance music history. Roberto Ferrante scored an international hit with 'Come On Closer', a bombastic slice of high energy Italo disco which became a staple on the nascent Chicago house scene before house music itself was defined and produced to a set of standards. Played by hand in lieu of access to a sequencer, there's a loose feel to the groove but the space age synths speak to the waves of electronic dance music that were to come. Now this holy grail of party fuel is given the reissue treatment it deserves, with both the extended mix and dub version given a plush remaster and a loud pressing to alight any dancefloor it has the chance to grace.
Review: Eddie C's Red Motorbike journeys on with another tasty 7" morsel from the boss himself, this time split with Elado. That is who goes first on the guitar licked, Americana tinged, disco dripped "Hipos" which is a perfect tune for gazing off at a distant sunset as you sway to and fro on an outdoor dance floor. Eddie C's "Crazy Heart" chugs a it harder, with busy melodic phrases riding up and down the scale over chunky drums. As always with Red Motorbike, this is grown up music for grown up dance floors, but that's not to say it isn't hella fun.
Review: Here's something to get Talking Heads fans salivating: a fresh EP featuring previously buried, unheard alternative versions and outtakes recorded during the sessions for the celebrated New York new wave band's 1979 album Fear of Music. The EP begins with the completely unheard 'Dancing For Money', a typically undulating, off-kilter chunk of post-punk eccentricity that seemingly never went beyond the demo stage, before offering up a riotous alternate mix of the noisy, guitar-laden stomper 'Life During Wartime'. Over on the flip you'll find notably different arrangements and recordings of 'Cities' and 'Mind'; the latter, with its juju style guitar sounds and languid rhythm section, is particularly good.
Review: Mr. K and Most Excellent Unlimited are back with another must have motherlode of ten essential cuts on 7-inch, assembling a serious cross-section of diverse jams that were particularly popular at The Garage, majority of which appearing on 7-inch for the very first time in any form, let alone in these unique quintessential edits. Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael production, female diva classic "Let's Get Together" backed with a previously unreleased NYC Peech Boys demo version of "Somebody Else's Guy." Tough South Bronx funk "Standing In Line". Synth epic, Krivit's classic edit of "Evolution". Disco Funk edit of Larry Levan's "Slap, Slap, Lickedy Lap". With much more in this diverse and remarkably sought after tracklist, surprises, like "Catch The Rhythm" (the only Boris Midney production regularly played at The Garage), along with Mr. K's previously Japan-only edit of Loleatta Holloway tour de force "I May Not Be There When You Want Me". Five singles impressively mastered with maximum fidelity and playability for an exclusive Record Store Day, including a bonus pair of newly designed, Mr. K seven-inch slipmats.
Review: For the latest in their ongoing series of limited-edition, hand-numbered singles, Zurich outfit Phantom Island has turned to the label's in-house producer and "sound wizard", Florin Buchel. As you'd perhaps expect, there's much to admire on the producer's first single under his given name, particularly A-side 'Proper Distance'. This sees guitarist Roger Szedzalik add glistening, sun-soaked jazz solos to a dreamy, sunset-ready backing track rich in liquid synths, reggae bass and bubbly electronic beats. The leisurely, Balearic-focused vibe continues on the flip, where Buchel peppers a delay-laden drum machine beat with fretless bass, gently unfurling synthesizer melodies and flecks of echoing instrumentation.
Review: Over the years, we've become accustomed to hearing Bottin push the boundaries of sleazy, analogue-rich nu-disco and revivalist late-night Italo. On this edit outing he successfully switches focus, delivering four re-rubs of a suitably Balearic persuasion. After opening with the huggable grooves, dreamy chords and hushed spoken word vocals of "Manifesto Balearico", the Italian producer brilliantly dubs out some slap-bass-propelled post-disco oddity ("2 Palmy Days"), before reworking a suitably cheeky chunk of Italo-disco/sleazy synth-pop eccentricity (the ace "Got Headphones"). To finish things off, he offers up "OK! Goodnight!", a fine fusion of glassy-eyed female vocal snippets and what sounds like replayed sections from Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra".
Review: A new one from Paris' Favorite Recordings. After two acclaimed LP's as Mr President released over the last decade, Bruno Hovart is back. One Night is soul and disco with a modern touch, fitting all the criteria to become an instant club classic. With special guest vocalists like Jennifer Zonou (Hawa), Cindy Pooch, Celia Kameni (Saving Coco) and Sabba MG - who you may recognise from previous releases. The title track is a sexy, loungey and jazzy deep house joint reminiscent of early noughties grooves on Naked Music or Hed Kandi. Plus, there's also a wonderful rendition of Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's classic 'Gabriel'.
Review: Expansion is pushing the boat out for Record Store Day 2020. Chief among the label's must-check RSD releases is this 12", which offers up fresh re-edits - courtesy of an un-credited re-editor - of two sought-after cuts by late-'70s and early '80s West Coast fusionists Halo. The headline attraction is undoubtedly the fresh edit of the ultra-rare extended mix of 1981's 'Let Me Do It', a warm and groovy modern soul/boogie jam primarily known for its' familiar "let me do until you're satisfied" vocal refrain. The band's shorter original version is also included in the package, alongside a shorter re-edit of their sparkling, synth-heavy 1988 single "Life". In keeping with the more celebrated A-side, it's an energetic, life-affirming earworm.
Review: Following two sterling turns from Dedication feat Danielle Moore and Smith & Mudd feat Quinn Lamont Luke, Adventures In Paradise returns with another effervescent, vocal-led bomb. Soma World team up with Falle for an energising track that fold high life, funk and Kwaito house into a potent blend given voice by the infectious singing of Falle. As well as the original version of 'Want This', we're treated to two remixes by Ray Mang, who dubs the track out into a simmering, bass-rooted groover that captures the moody allure of a picture-perfect sundown moment.
Review: Paul Robinson had a rich and varied life in soundsystem music, from working with the Freedom Sounds label in Kingston to forming lovers rock outfit One Blood. Of his few solo releases under his own name, this early 80s treat was geared towards the smooth sound of Brit funk, with a crisp boogie groove down low and a cool mood on top. "Come On Sister" is the perfect easy going party starter, which sports a tasteful dubbing out on the instrumental version that bolsters this Emotional Rescue re-release. Always ones to draft in a choice remixer, the B side here goes to Bruno who teases out the original groove for an extended trip before the vocals kick in.
The Funk Is Back (Ilija Rudman Disco club mix) (3:31)
Review: Back in 2015, Imogen offered up a 12" featuring two rubs of fresh Brand New Heavies tracks by label co-founder Ilija Rudman. Five years on, they've decided to repeat the exercise, this time on a 7" single, with the long-serving Croatian applying his magic touch to cuts from the legendary British jazz-funk band's 2019 set TBNH. On the A-side he delivers a near perfect, cowbell-laden, stripped-back disco rework of 'Beautiful', which comes topped off by a superb lead vocal from Beverly Knight. Over on the flip he gets his mitts on jazz-funk-meets-disco-funk number, 'The Funk Is Back', successfully stripping it back and emphasizing the track's excellent instrumentation and floor-slaying percussion breaks.
Review: Belarus' Iner launches a new label with a strong cast of international names all pushing a deep and distinguished strain of house music for those who want soul and invention in equal measure. Tilman is up first with 'Sweet Dreamer', a mellow, looped up roller. Sune's 'Flutes' takes a breezier approach shaped out by fluttering jazz funk motifs. Yann Polewka celebrates the sweetest Philly strings and some classic vocal licks for a disco-infused burner you can't help but love. Iner himself keeps things loose and organic on the wonderful 'Respectfull Kind Music', while Scruscru goes for a sleek approach to chopped up funky house. That leaves it to Buzz Compass to get heady and hazy with the bass-leaning cuts coursing through 'That Nighter'.
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Far Beyond" (6:37)
Review: Following on from the bumper compilation on Z Records of all the label's greatest hist, boss man Joey Negro offers up a third volume of 12"s. He goes first with a nice loose mix of 'Love Hangover' that bumps in all the right places. Opolopo's 'Get On Up' is a dazzling cut with cosmic chords and long legged drums that move you to your core, then Joey is back with a slick dubwise version of the classic TW Funkmasters cut 'Love Money.' Last of all, 'Far Beyond' is a reflective closer with far-sighted chords and a late night glow.
Marcel Vogel & Tim Jules - "Just Because (feat Javonntte)" (5:22)
Detroit Swindle - "Time" (5:49)
The Message - "Feel The Love" (7:44)
PBR Streetgang - "Madame Z" (6:18)
James Curd - "Lets Get Get Get It" (7:21)
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell draft in a sublime cast of sympathetic operators for a second volume of From Hell With Love, providing you with eight perfectly formed tracks that straddle the divide between cosy, home-friendly house and dancefloor delectation. Laville's moody vocal turn kicks the record off in style on Austin Ato's 'Control', while Waajeed works his broken beat magic on 'What You Know'. Elsewhere Detroit Swindle bring a tougher slant on soul-rooted house music to the table, while PBR Streetgang aim straight for your pleasure centre with the soaring 'Madame Z'. And that's just the half of it.
Review: Balearic titans Chris Coco and DJ Rocca team up on this new slab for Faze Action which celebrates all the finest qualities of these two veteran maestros. 'Discoteca (Heavy Fun Dub)' pours plenty into the mix, from sizzling disco and dreamy dub to slick 80s motifs, and yet it all comes off feeling very chilled indeed. 'Brute' plays around with analogue synths and raw drum machine punch to create a slow but intense cosmic workout, before Faze Action themselves step up to rework 'Discoteca' into a lean and mean club tool. For those who want to skip the breathy vocals, there's also an instrumental mix of 'Discoteca' included on the B2.
Beastie Boys vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:11)
Review: On his last two singles on Soopastole, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul smashed together elements of Stevie Wonder and Redman/Method Man, and James Brown and Crooklyn Dodgers. For his latest trick he's decided to pepper an edited version of "People All Over The World" by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB, with raps from a stone cold classic Beastie Boys tune. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but the Beasties' flows work perfectly over the flanged guitars, undulating bass and unfussy 4-to-the-floor Philly Soul grooves of the MFSB track. You can hear his instrumental rework of that track on the flip; it's so good that it's arguably worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: For the latest edition in their ongoing series of golden-era hip-hop seven-inch reissues, Mr Bongo is taking us back to 1992 and Positive K's biggest hit - the 500,000-selling ode to unrequited love, "I Got A Man". Lyrically impressive, with the Bronx mic man delivering both male and "female" rap parts (the latter via voice-changing studio trickery), the song owes its success in part to a beat that makes great use of a funky loop from A Taste of Honey's "Rescue Me", which famously also formed the backbone of Funky Four + 1's early hip-hop classic "That's The Joint". Over on the flip you'll find the hazier and jazzier "SHakin", whose killer beat boasts judicious lifts from tracks by Wade Marcus and the D.O.C. In a word: essential.
When The World Is Runnin' Down (Mr K 7" edit) (5:35)
Review: The Mr K Edits series continues to be a hotbed of crucial dancefloor wares, taking stone cold classics and giving them a gentle refinement to make the grooves stretch out that little bit longer. The latest in the 7" series focuses on The Police and two of their finest jams - the first is no stranger to revisions, covers and remixes. "Voices In My Head" has been tackled by many, not least 90s hip house upstart KC Flightt, but here the original version goes on a version excursion that brings out the best in the tune. On the flip, "When The World Is Runnin' Down" shimmers with uptempo new wave refinement that should set any open minded dancefloor alight.
Stand On The Word (Mr K live acappella edit) (3:51)
Review: Gospel music has had a long relationship with the underground dance floors of New York and New Jersey, sharing an emotionally charged spirituality that is central to devotees of each. Sitting at the nexus of these worlds is "Stand On The Word," a praise song that opens an album privately pressed by the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights in 1982. Who exactly recontextualized the churchly platter for the spiritual dance floor is a matter of some contention. Was it the born-again Walter Gibbons, a member of the congregation who lived nearby at the time, and then perhaps Tony Humphries, who worked at a local record store that carried the LP? But in an ocean of gospel dance music, this one distinctively sticks out as an underground dance classic. For this special release, Mr. K has trimmed his rare Japan only "Stand On The Word" 12" release from the crystalline intro to the beloved standout vocal lines to an ear-catching alternate piano outro, making it readily attainable on 7-inch for the first time. An astounding acapella fills the flip side with crackling handclaps and thundering foot-stomps, sounding as if it was recorded at church, or the final hour of the 718 Sessions (same thing). A better example of the sacred and secular crossover connection would be difficult to find.
Love Is The Message (7" Classic edit By Mr K) (5:32)
I Can't Turn Around (7" edit By Mr K) (5:24)
Review: The tunes on this 7" have legendary status and are hard to find in original format. But Mr K serves up a couple subtle but essential reworks here that mean you don't need to look any further. Opening up the a-side is 'Love Is The Message', a perfect soul drenched and funky groove train that never lets up, with big sax lines and chunky drum breaks carrying you as far as you want to go. The flip side 'I Can't Turn Around' is a mainstay of the early house scene and has classic status to this day with its broad horns and tender male vocal.
Review: You can always rely on Razor N Tape to serve up scorched soundtracks heavy on the samples and blended beats. This latest collection carries on from previous Pools releases with more heat-damaged chords, laidback grooves and the sort of jazz-funk instrumentation that has you reaching for the cocktails even on a drizzly afternoon in the North. The MPC beats drip with funk and cool, zoned out pads carry your mind away and the sun kissed vibe is utterly real. If you want to deny the existence of autumn and keep dreaming about lazy afternoons by a pool you don't own, cop this one tout suite.
Review: Marcella Bella's 'Nell'Aria' is an evergreen slice of Italian disco, originally recorded and released in 1985. On this POPART release, the swooning romanticism and crisp production of the original version sounds better than ever as the high profile Italian diva Bella soars over a full-fat arrangement loaded with bombast. Keeping things interesting, we're also treated to a 2017 update 'Aria Latina' which injects some Latin energy into the classic. Meanwhile, the B-side is given over to an extended edit of the original by Francesco Cicchini, who takes the track to the stratosphere with a tasteful treatment
Review: Emotional Rescue are turning their attention to King & City, a label that dealt in the UK-rooted take on reggae, lovers rock, at the turn of the '80s. First up is this sublime cover of William DeVaughn's evergreen, much-covered soul classic 'Be Thankful For What You Got'. This take is breezy and hopeful, but still shot through with a certain sense of longing in the tight riddim backing up the sweet vocals. On the flip, Emotional draft in one of their favourite remixers, the mighty Lexx, to deliver a disco mix that teases out the original and amps up the dub-outs for maximum groove satisfaction.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label shows no signs of slowing as it ramps up a killer new salvo from debutant artist C Scott. "Climb On" is an uptempo workout to capture the absolute peak of the party in the funkiest of ways, while "Hands Free" provides an apt alternative with its slow, organ-led whimsy. Disco remains the backbone of the sound here, whatever tempo the track rolls at and wherever it may head. "Stuttering" demonstrates this perfectly with its heavily treated, head-spinning FX still capturing that classic good-time mood, while "At Ease" finishes on a life-affirming canter of Rhodes led celebration.
Joey Negro presents The Sunburst Band - "Only Time Will Tell" (feat Angela Johnson) (5:52)
Mid Air - "Ease Out" (The Revenge edit) (7:31)
Joey Negro - "Do What You Feel" (JN Revival mix) (4:49)
Review: If you're looking for some high-grade, tried-and-tested disco and house fare, we'd strongly advise grabbing this second vinyl sampler celebrating 30 years of Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro's popular Z Records imprint. It begins with the insatiably sweaty disco-house hedonism of Doug Willis's down-low 2014 classic "Crystal Lover" - which, surprisingly, has never appeared on vinyl before in this original mix form - and ends with the Revenge's loopy, sort-after, synth-fired re-edit of Mid Air's early '80s disco-boogie classic "Ease Out". In between you'll find Lee's 2015 "JN Revival Mix" of his classic early '90s U.S garage/soulful house jam "Do What You Feel", and the similarly inclined and deliciously sunny "City Connection Mix" of Lee and the Sunburst Band's Angela Johnson-voiced "Only Time Will Tell". As the old cliche goes, this is "all killer, no filler".
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Try My Love (On For Size) (Dr Packer extended remix) (8:16)
Review: Simon Marlin returns the source with one of his biggest tracks as The Shapeshifters in years. Loaded with the belting gospel-level charm of the currently unavoidable Teni Tinks (who's also sung and recorded with the likes of Dr Packer, Ghetts and Stormzy) it's an authentic nod to the enduring legacy of late 70s Salsoul or T.K Disco. Soulful, singalong, oozing positivity and tailored strictly for the dancefloor; this has been huge at all Glitterball and Defected parties this summer. Try it on for size...
Review: Ian Ash - a resident DJ of the World-famous Montreux Jazz Festival - is also known as "H" and Sunny G and he is a new singing to the Boogie Butt Records label. For his first outing he delivers a massive boogie house track with filtered vibes, lush synths and live sounding drums. His mix of 'So What U Want' really is a thing of joy, with camp vocals from R&B singer Djemaili that work their way into your affections and noodling riffs that will have you miming along. The flip side is a Lord Funk remix that brings dance floor busting electro funk vibes and is sure to work in any setting from the beach to the pool to the club.
Bishop Jeff Banks & The Revival Temple Mass Choir - "Jerusalem" (album version) (6:10)
Bishop Jeff Banks & The Revival Temple Mass Choir - "Jerusalem" (JC edits & Overdubs) (14:16)
The Gospelaires Of Dayton, O - "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves" (Edits & Overdubs main) (11:05)
The Gospelaires Of Dayton, O - "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves" (JC edits & Overdubs instrumental) (6:49)
Review: While it initially started as a compilation and DJ mix series, Joe Claussell's gospel-focused Praise project has now spawned a string of EPs featuring rare tracks and new 'edits and overdubs' reworks by the Sacred Rhythm founder. The latest instalment begins with a wickedly percussive, predictably righteous live recording of a gospel slammer by Bishop Jeff Banks and the Revival Temple Mass Choir, which Claussell then turns into a 14-minute epic. He builds from a sparse, twinkling, piano-heavy start, before introducing weighty house drums and wild organ solos as the track progresses. Over on the flip it's all about 'God Helps Those Who Help Themselves', a turn-of-the-80s gospel disco slammer which Claussell successfully extends (the 'Edits and Overdubs Main' mix) and then dubs out (the accompanying instrumental).
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Danilo Braca & Bahia Alegria remix) (5:05)
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Danilo Braca instrumental Saudade Bossa mix) (5:26)
Samba Du Scujonamentu (Eld Russell Reggae Basement mix) (5:56)
Review: A true product of 2020, Dino Simone wrote and recorded 'Samba du Scujonamentu' during Italy's early lockdown as a "lucky charm" of hope and positivity. Now the track enjoys a swathe of remixes that take this heartfelt ditty in new directions, from the easy groove of Massimo Berardi's version to the tender, soul stirring musicality of Danilo Braca and Bahia Alegria's Latin-influenced take rendered across three distinct mixes. There's also Simone's light-hearted original to enjoy, plus Eld Russell's swirling, heavily treated 'Reggae Basement Mix' for those who like things dubby.
Review: Emotional Rescue return to the work of Noel Williams as King Sporty. The Miami-based Jamaican made some seminal, stunning music that presaged the increasing importance of synthesisers in disco and dance music overall. This time the label have decided to give a regal airing to a cut previously only available squeezed onto the Deep Reggae Roots LP. "Safari" is a heady brew that keeps a necessary skank in the groove while channeling the nagging funk of The Meters and heading somewhere exotic. At just under four minutes, it's the kind of jam that warrants an extended treatment, and who better to do a respectful job than Lexx, who more than doubles the run time of the track on the B side.
Review: Mind Fair have been around the block with their strain of disco-infused house music, stopping off at Golf Channel, International Feel and Kinfolk amongst others, so you know they've got you covered for classy edits that are actually useful and interesting. This heavyweight drop for Magic Wand kicks off with the righteous stomp of "Holding On" before dropping into a reworking of uptempo jazz funk classic "Feeling Good" by Francine McGee. "All Night Soca" beefs a classic cover of Lionel Ritchie up for the dance, while "Mastermind" finishes the record off with some cool and deadly funk.
Make It Hot (Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco remix) (6:56)
Review: JKRIV and The Disco Machine's Make It Hot gets the remix treatment here with mature disco don Ray Mangler's going first. He lays down train-track grooves that never let up and overdubs with shimmering chords and steamy vocals that will work any party into a lather. JKRIV then steps up with a retro-future mix packed with gauzy chords and old school keys before veteran Pete Herbet steps ups with Discky Trisco for the most upbeat, candied and accessible version, and possible the best.
Review: On Discs Of Fun & Love's fourth release, the crate-digging imprint has dipped its toes into the wonderful world of gospel for the very first time. The songs are taken from Rubenstein "Ruby" McClure's notoriously hard to find sole solo album, "Rubenstein", and their reissue is sadly given extra weight by the recent news that "Mother" McClure passed away in July. A-side "Joy" more than lives up to its' title, offering an uplifting slab of gospel-soul perfection topped off with a sublime lead vocal from McClure. Bandleader Fletcher Washington handles lead vocals on the soulful brilliance of gospel-blues flipside "Somehow (Make a Way)", a track that's every bit as essential as the "A".
Review: Moot Booxle first appeared on NYC Records a couple of years ago alongside Windy City, an alias of label boss James Reeno. The latter has played his part in the producer's solo debut, too, mixing each of the three tracks on show. The undisputed highlight is undoubtedly lengthy A-side 'Transmootation', a deliciously hazy and head-soothing slab of electro/deep house fusion full of bubbly jazz-funk electric piano solos and meandering, intergalactic synthesizer solos. Booxle ups the tempo on flipside opener 'Uno Mama', which smothers a proto-house style groove in energetic electrofunk synth sounds, before repeating the trick on the Boyd Jarvis style brilliance of 'Galactic Matriarch'.
Review: Amsterdam label Music from Memory started their 12" series in order to present music that "was never available in this format but might just feel more at home there". The debut in the series from obscure San Francisco artist Joel Graham set the bar high, and we are happy to report this latest 12" featuring the work of UK artist Michal Turtle is just as good! A precursor to a wider retrospective planned on MFM, Are You Psychic? features two tracks from the early 80s Turtle improvised in his parents living room using various bits of gear and will delight anyone with a taste for discovering obscure electronic music from days gone by. B side track "Astral Decoy" is a particularly delightful production!
Review: Kon and Reflex combine for a cheeky 12" dedication to Michael Jackson for the fourth release on the Boston selector's increasingly on point Star Time label. Edit heaven or what? Reflex calls shotgun and reworks "PYT", amping up the vibe with much crisper drums and a whole lot more space present on that classic chorus drop. Meanwhile on the flip King Of Nothing takes "Get On The Floor" and gives it a modern day party refix complete with full-bodied dynamics, juicy slap bass and very cheeky disco bubbles in the background. Two more essential Michael Jackson edits to add to your collection.