Review: Funkyjaws is the Belarusian DJ and producer Sergey Abramov, who you might have previously spotted on Kolour LTD and Shadeleaf Music, often alongside Four Walls. Now a new start up label from St Petersburg has called on Abramov to inaugurate their imprint with his incredibly funky touch, leading in with the sweaty Afrobeat thump of "Ole Ole" and following up in fine style with the sprightly "Heavy Salsa Pushka Bassline", where salsa rips, rudeboy breaks and disco strut gleefully bounce off each other. "Untitled I" and "Untitled II" continue the West African trip with another two brilliant edit workouts with plenty of oomph where it counts.
Review: Previously seen (and heard) on Whiskey Disco, Barefoot Beats and Basic Fingers, Toronto twosome The Patchouli Brothers have crossed the Atlantic and set up home on G.A.M.M. As the title suggests, this is the first in a series of re-edit EPs for the storied Swedish imprint. First up is "All Good Things", a fine re-arrangement of an obscure disco gem that comes loaded with sweeping strings, soulful vocals, killer grooves, Chic style guitar riffs and just the right amount of spacey synthesizer action. Over on the flip, they work their magic on a bustling cut that sits somewhere between the sumptuousness of Philadelphia International releases and eighties disco-funk.
Review: Petr Serkin has been delivering classy funky house variations to Freedom Sessions and elsewhere for some time now, and after a three year break his dependable touch does the business once again on this new missive. "City Worms" is a gorgeous house track that draws on classic instrumentation - slinky live bass, gossamer Rhodes chords, brushed drums and wah wah guitar chops - to create an immersive groove. "Remember That Summer" takes things deeper, using similar ingredients but spelling out a smokier mood. "Water Planet" takes on a light and breezy disco funk veneer as viewed through a misted out lens, and "Jazz Drummer" takes a mellow trip into some seriously swinging drum cuts.
Review: It would be safe to say that Kayroy (real name Finian Langham) is on a roll. This is his third must-have EP of 2019 and his second outing on Whiskey Disco. It begins with "Rosella", a superb revision of Crown Heights Affair's "Say a Prayer" that strips out most of the vocals and layers up tasteful overdubs to give the track a more cosmic and dubbed-out feel. "You're The Reason Why" is a loopy but groovy rearrangement of a dewy-eyed laidback disco classic, while "Silk & Satin" is a riotous rework of a heavy disco-funk number rich in sharp, rising horn lines, screaming guitars, sweaty drums and toasty bass. Arguably best of all, though, is the fizzing, dubbed out Italo-disco-goes-poodle-perm-rock insanity of "One Night In Prague".
Review: For the latest missive on their reissue-focused Attic Salt Discs imprint, Dusty-fingered duo Colin Volvert and Otto Kraanen have snapped up the rights to a sought-after 1984 cut from Belgian new wave band 1000 Ohm. You'll find their original vocal and instrumental versions on the A-side, with both sounding like a delightful cross between bubbly Italo-disco, Bobby 'O' style Hi-NRG and the imperial synth-pop of the Pet Shop Boys. Arguably even better than both original mixes is Vanzetti and Sacco's more dancefloor-focused flipside edit. While this does make use of 1000 Ohm's Heaven 17/ABC style vocals and cheery melodies, there's far more focus on the druggy arpeggio groove and chunky drum machine beats.
Review: Horse Meat Disco has been promising a debut album for some time, but there are now signs that it might, at last, be on its way. Here they present their second high-profile single for Glitterbox - a superb collaboration with legendary disco vocalist Kathy Sledge. In its original form, "Falling Deep In Love" is the kind of groovy, string-laden, sing-along disco treat that sounds like it could have been written and produced by Chic greats Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. It's utterly ace, all told, and deserves to be one of the tracks of the summer. On the flip, Joey Negro offers up a "Disco Blend" that combines the quartet's original instrumentation and Sledge's fine vocal with slightly more weighty, house-style drums.
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: Alberto De Santiago has already slipped out a few killer edit-rich hits, which drew favourable attention from Spanish label Night Shift. He launches the Discollection EP with the soul-soaked feel-good flavour of "Love Sauce," steeped in the finest disco ingredients to inspire impassioned expression on the floor. The heat stays right up for "Since I've Been Gone", which is packed full of Philly strings aplenty and enough dramatic drops and chops to melt even the hardest frown. "Most Expensive Diamond" and "All The Way" have that magic touch too - these are loud and proud vocal edits to get people dancing on the ceiling. You can't go wrong with classic source material like this - Never Dull indeed.
Turn Me Loose/My Design (extended version) (13:58)
Turn Me Loose (Sirs cut) (10:32)
Review: Best Records present another deep cover jam Balearic diggers will rejoice at being able to lay their hands on. Blue Night was the brainchild of Peter Miconi, who created "Turn Me Loose" in 1983. All the elements are present here, from the aching blue-eyed soul vocals to rich guitar solos and an irrepressible funk bedded down in the groove, here stretching out for a full 14 minutes of pure sunkissed bliss. On the flip, SIRS takes a careful run at the original that simply reframes the elements with a more pronounced rhythm section - this is someone who knows exactly what the track needs and declines to change anything for the sake of it. Classy stuff, as you would expect from a reissue on Best Records.
Review: With Dark Slice 02, La Dame Noir records is serving up 4 tasty re-interpretations of T21 classic "Take The Shock Away" in the line of their latest Darkness Has Never Been So Bright releases. Originally re-produced by co-founder Relatif Yann, long time resident Dawad and the amazing Mounissa on the vocal, the EP also presents 3 dancefloor remixes produced by indie band Vox Low and disco-house specialists Pete Herbert and Fred Berthet. Once again the Marseille-based, La Dame Noir record label is cultivating their love for disco basslines, sensual vocals, and new wave atmospheres.
Review: number 12 in the stable from the label you know as dessert island discs. It's more disco goodness - 3 tunes made to get down and boogie with players Bubbles the Pimp Nelly Wilson and Pierre Pressure combining for a triple threat disco threesome. It's ok we like to watch AND we like to listen, y'all! Hitch the wagon to this boogie action.
I Want Magic (Dimitri From Paris vs Cotonete 12" version) (7:15)
I Want Magic (Dimitri From Paris vs Cotonete 12" dubstrumental) (7:14)
Review: "I Want Magic" is a welcome return to action from Jalapeno's premier soul sister, Izo FitzRoy, an artist whose 2017 debut album "Skyline" brilliantly joined the dots between classic soul, rhythm and blues and gospel. This time round she has her eyes firmly focused on the dancefloor, as producer Dimitri From Paris and backing band Cotonete (whose recent LP 'Super-vilains' is well worth a listen) join forces to cast a serious disco spell. "I Want Magic" is a revivalist disco jam per excellence; a tweak on the classic Chic sound with Cotonete adding a few sneaky solos and quality jazz-funk touches here and there. Of the two versions, it's the vocal mix (side A) that hits home hardest, thanks in no small part to a stunning lead vocal from FitzRoy that celebrates the giddy goodness of dancing like you're ten years old. Expect to hear it a lot at festivals throughout the summer.
Steve Monite - "Only You" (Frankie Francis Disco Jam edit) (7:55)
Tabu Ley Rochereau - "Hafi Deo" (Nick The Record & Dan Tyler re-edit dub) (10:15)
Review: Edits in the hole! Two Afrofunk gems enjoy floor-primed refocuses: Steve Monite's Doing It In Lagos-featured "Only You" gets a little juice from Sofrito's Frankie Francis who really brings the bass out in proceedings. Meanwhile on the B Nick The Record and Idjut Boy Dan Tyler tweak the energy and sheen of Tabu Ley Rochereau's "Hafi Disco" as the drums are given a little more momentum and the chorus and horns are really brought to the centre of the action. Stunning.
Review: George and Glen Miller are undoubtedly best known for their West End Records released 1982 boogie-soul classic "Touch Your Life". They released plenty of other records that flitted between soca, reggae, disco, and - in the latter stages of their career - electrofunk. "Easing", which appeared at some point at the turn of the '80s on London label Third World, remains one of their most potent releases - and, in its original form at least, formidably hard to find. This Soundway reissue wisely replicates the track list of the original release, beginning with the title track - a deliciously percussive, musically intricate chunk of peak-time disco smothered in sharp, Afro-funk style horns and George and Glen Miller's lilting reggae-soul style vocals. The flipside "Version" strips out the vocals, allowing listeners to hear in greater detail the pair's impeccable arrangements and instrumentations (particularly the fine orchestration and rich groove).
Review: Xtra xtra read all about it! Backatcha excavate a serious New York disco boogie rarity from 82. One of the first productions by BC Records founder Began Cekic, led by prolific backing-vocalist for the likes of Chic and Talking Heads Dolette McDonald, the result is a sultry downtempo affair with an obscene slap-bass line, sweet synth sprinkles and a strut that's roomy enough for Dolette to do her thing. Complete with an instrumental, this lives up to its name. Special.
Mistura - "Do You Love Me?" (feat Angela Johnson - Joey Negro Disco Blend) (6:20)
Sylvester - "I Need You" (Opolopo remix) (7:55)
Neapolitan Soul - "Welcome To The Dub" (11:44)
Raquel Rodriguez - "We Go Together" (Joey Negro club mix) (6:21)
Review: Over the years, Z Records' "Attack The Dancefloor" series has proved to be a serious source of tried-and-tested club cuts in a disco-centric style. Volume 13 is full to bursting with must-have tracks too. Label boss Dave Lee sets the tone, donning his famous Joey Negro alias to deliver a sumptuously summery "Disco Blend" of Mistura's Angela Johnson-voiced "Do You Love Me?" before Opolopo steals the show by turning Sylvester's surging disco anthem "I Need You" into a synth-sporting chunk of revivalist disco-boogie. Neapolitan Soul's "Welcome To The Dub" is a punchy chunk of disco-house laden in percussion and cute instrumental touches, while Lee's Joey Negro Club mix of Raquel Rodriguez's "We Go Together" is a sweet and seductive fusion of jazz-funk instrumentation and celebratory disco grunt.
Review: More top class South American servings for a variety of tropical nightlife situations courtesy of the ever reliable Dylan-Thomas Childs and John McLeod aka The Patchouli Brothers on their 10th release. Treat yourself to another duo of Bahian beauties featured here by the Toronto/Montreal connection (and Beam Me Up residents) on the sultry groove of "Like A Dream". On the flip we have Bernardo Pinheiro: one of the most important Brazilian DJs in activity, with a career spanning 20 years as a creative artist producing and composing. He delivers the lo-slung and sunkissed groove of "Deixar A Peteca Cair".
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Michael Gray remix) (7:33)
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) (Michael Gray dub mix) (7:38)
Review: What more needs to be said about this timeless disco hit? A staple of DJ sets by everyone from Derrick May and Laurent Garnier to James Murphy, this Harvey Fuqua and Patrick Cowley production from 1979 is a truly timeless classic whose spirit still lives to this day on modern dancefloors. Here we are treated to a rework by Britain's undisputed king of funky house Michael Gray (Full Intention) on his Sultra label. With full respect to the original, Gray's rework injects some dancefloor dynamics for the modern sound system. You even get a bonus instrumental "Dub Mix" on the flip!
Review: Last year, obscure 1980s soul singer Garfield Fleming returned to action with a mini-album of tracks co-produced by modern boogie maestro Simon Tappenden AKA Ourra. Here we get a chance to savour once again his 1981 debut single, the much-sampled "Don't Send Me Away". It's something of a "groove"-era boogie classic, all told, with Fleming's superb lead vocal rising above sweeping orchestration and a chunky groove. It also boasts a seriously good breakdown in which Garfield's repetitive chorus vocals ride a stripped-back but percussive groove. Turn to the flip for the solid original B-side "You Got Dat Right", a jaunty slab of disco powered by honky tonk style pianos and a superb "walking" bassline.
Al Man Muntzie & The Embraceables - "We Are Steady Rockin'" (8:02)
Review: It would be fair to say that Winston is nowhere near as well known as some of the record collectors who've compiled volumes in the "Under The Influence" series (think Nick The Record, Sean P and Red Greg), but it seems his crates are every bit as deep. Check, for example, the unashamedly celebratory, slap-bass propelled disco-funk of Doug Payne and Polygon's "Holiday", the heady, high-octane disco thrills of Expose's "I Just Wanna Dance With You", the low-slung early funk-rap headiness of Jungle Band's "Jungleland (Part 2)" and the wickedly percussive salsa-disco heaviness of Suave's "Salsa Gon Gitcha". In other words, it's a killer collection of top-notch cuts that you'll never have heard before. What's not to like?
Review: Digger and editor extraordinaire John Zahl returns with three more deep dug oddities from the disco cosmos. Early 80s stadium synth boogie with Italo stamped deep into the core and some fantastic horn stabs, "Show Me Luv" kickstarts the party all synths blazing. It's backed up by an Alexander O'Neal meets-D-Train smoocher "Oh Jaaaz" before "Let Me Treble" closes the show with a vibe that you could imagine Abba sounding like if they spent a day on the beach jamming on high doses of peyote. Divine.
Review: Best strike Italo gold once again with this Maurizio 'Sangy' Sangineto production. The original of Valery Allington's Stop has more of a pop funk feel, giving the vocalist and her backing crew stacks of space to hit the right spot but the real magic here is Maurizio's production on the special electronic version and instrumental. Aeons ahead of its time, the relentless pump and near-majestic synth work sound closer to '92 than '82. Tunnelling, hypnotic, percussive and funky, this was - and still is - the sound of the future.