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: Best Records sure love their jams from 1983, and they've dusted down another impeccable Balearic curio from one hit wonder Flayer. Originally released on F1 Team, "Wanna Get Back Your Love" sets adrift in a truly dazzling bed of woozy pads and airy vocals that have pure escapism at the top of the agenda. On the A side, this hypnagogic adventure stretches out over a wonderful eight minute extended mix, while the B side features two alternative versions that offer subtly adjusted, abridged versions to give you many different ways to run at this heavy-lidded blast of balladry.
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.
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Since first pitching up on Disco Halal two years ago, Simple Symmetry has released some of their most cosmic and psychedelic cuts on Moscoman's distinctive imprint. They're at it again here. Check the high-grade arpeggio-driven sleaziness of "Gilgamesh", where hallucinatory electronics, exotic lead lines and twisted vocal samples rise above unfussy beats and an impressively driving bassline. Further examples of dazed dancefloor psychedelia follow, with the Turkish pysch/cosmic disco pulse of "Fight" ushering in the raw and intoxicating Middle Eastern throb of "Enkidu". To round off the EP, Adam Port provides a slightly chunkier re-edit that cannily makes the most of the track's squelchy bassline and eyes-closed psychedelic guitar solos.
Review: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.
Review: Gallic producer Yann Polewka has previously impressed via sizzling singles on Roots For Bloom, The House of Love and Cardiology, so hopes are naturally high for this outing on Ravenelli Disco Club. We shouldn't have worried. Title track "Le French Touch (69 Mix)" is the kind of celebratory, sample heavy disco-house cut that could have been made by a previous generation of French producers - all bumpin' beats, filtered disco samples and restless bass. On his jazz deep house remix, Cody Currie filters the disco samples out further while adding some psychedelic acid lines. Polweka gets a chance to showcase his skills further on side B, first via the hot-to-trot peak-time disco deepness of "Cannabliss" and then through housed-up Jimmy Ross revision "The Rebound Love Affair (featuring Paul Rudder)".
Tonis Magi & Music Seif - "Sa Haara Kinni Mu Kaest" (3:30)
Els Himma - "Keskoo" (2:44)
Valter Ojakaar - "Rasked Veosed" (4:05)
Uno Naissoo - "Marss Eksprompt" (2:49)
Gunnar Graps & Magnetic Band - "Leidmine" (3:17)
Eesti TV & Raadio Estraadiorkester - "Keskoosamba" (instrumental) (4:10)
Tarmo & Toomos Urb - "Valgud Peeglis" (feat Vanemode - short version) (4:59)
Eesti Raadio Estraadiorkester - "Malestuste Teel" (instrumental) (5:41)
Review: Several years deep into their quest to amplify their homeland's rich funk talent, Eastern European collective Estonian Funk Embassy level up with this exceptional compendium of tracks written and recording during Estonia's time under Soviet control. The first time most of these records have been released and distributed beyond domestic release, it's a total treasure trove of grooves ranging from upbeat, big band-led swing ("Keskoosamba"), thigh-slapping horn-heavy funk ("Rasked Veosed"), smokier, lounge-lapping jazzier influences ("Naed Vaid Oma Silmi"), sleazy disco funk ("Sa Haara Kinni Mu Kaest" and many shades in between. Capturing Estonia's musical legacy in all directions, this is a genuinely unique record.
Review: South Carolina's John Zahl aka Jaz returns. He's said to be a DJ/Episcopal Priest from Charleston, South Carolina who digs deep, uncovering vinyl gems from the mid-80s with lots of drum machines and tons of fun weirdness - as heard on his many mixtapes on Soundcloud. Some of that material gets featured on this collection of edits here for P&F Recordings, who make a departure from original compositions in favour of these four beautiful downtempo edits by a modern day master of the craft. From the low slung boogie funk of "Dancing In The Sunshine", to the neon-lit '80s R'n'B of "Here We Go" and the slo-mo rock swagger of "Push Comes To Shove" - there's all you need right here!
Review: Deep and sensual balearica on offer here from The Balek Band, brought to you by Beauty & The Beat - the in-house music label of the 'freeform psychedelic dance party' hosted in various east London venues over the years by Cyril Cornet, Jeremy Gilbert & Cedric Woo since 2005. The Balek Band are a French outfit - the side project of Vidock (Abstrack), accompanied by Samuel Creach (bass) & Zeppo (percussion). Together they create soundtracks for your perfect island dream as heard on "Tometsi", the deep down polyrhythmic spiritual entrancement of "Diconiels" .....
Review: Just shy of a year after their last Electropical escapade, Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel return with another fiery fusion of afrobeat, Latin, funk and disco treats. This time recorded in the Bolivar Film Studios, Caracas with Venezuelan drum ensemble, we're treated to two new originals and two exceptional updates. "San Juan" hits with a sleazy, dreamy groove and yearning vocals crying over the top while "Electropical" is an immense hit of percussive magic that gradually opens up into technoid chords that no crowd will hear coming. Flip for a loose-limed and sparkly take on the proto house blueprint "Spacial Paradise" and contemporary, heavier hitting take on their 2011 evergreen dancefloor kiss "Sexmachina". Get on the scene...
Review: Acid Jazz has pulled off something of a coup here by persuading legendary '70s soul man Leroy Huston to part with a couple of previously unreleased cuts. A-side "Positive Forces" was recorded by Hutson in 1977 and sits somewhere between the sweeping, orchestrated bliss of Philly soul, the soaring dancefloor celebration of disco and the loose-limbed instrumental goodness of jazz-funk. It's an absolute stunner, all told, and sounds like it was tailor-made for spins at sweltering summer festivals. On the B-side you'll find a previously unreleased instrumental version of 1975's "All Because of You". While a vocal-free version has previously been released, this particular mix includes a little more drum action at the beginning to assist with mixing.
Rebel Nation (Felix Da Housecat vs Chris Trucher remix) (6:10)
Review: One of the musical highlights from Louie Vega's NYC Disco album, "Rebel Nation" is a collaboration between grammy award winner Louie Vega, legendary multi-platinum producer Patrick Adams, and Nulu Records president, international DJ and artist Anane. Patrick initially had the idea for the song after seeing a recent Star Wars movie. Louie saw the vision of what it could ultimately be with live music additions, and Anane added the inspired lyrical content and vocal performance. In Louie's own words, "I call Anane a chameleon, because she transcends so many different sounds with her voice. She gave the track just the right feeling vocally. It's a very punk-rock approach; the kids speaking out, all kinds of people making the statement, Get Up! Stand Up! Let's Rise! Rebel Nation."
Lauded critically and on dancefloors worldwide in its original album version, the track has now been given the all-star remix package treatment with contributions from Danny Krivit, Carl Craig, Soul Clap and Felix Da Housecat X Chris Trucher.
Review: Having built up a rock solid reputation via a handful of fine rework EPs on his own Orange Tree Edits imprint, Jimmy Rouge has been snapped up by Aaron Dae and JKriv's Razor-N-Tape imprint. He's in fine form on this label debut: A-side "So Long" is a quirky but undeniably peak-time-ready affair, with hazy, dewy-eyed vocal snippets and bold, Moog style synthesizer motifs rising above dusty, full-throttle drums and a warm, metronomic bassline. He moves further towards shirts-off disco territory on flipside "Movin'", a thickset and energy-packed affair whose mind-altering, delay-laden vocal snippets will appeal to all those who enjoy the output of the Idjut Boys and DJ Harvey.
Review: Earlier in the year, Samosa Records launched the "Funk Purpose" series via a multi-artist collection of top-notch edits. Volume two will be released in several parts, with this rock solid EP the first to drop. Glaswegian scalpel fiend Al Kent kicks things off with "Where", a superb traditionalist rearrangement of a soaring, orchestrated disco-funk cut that has the potential to become a screaming, soul-fired anthem this summer. Raw Slavs opt for a loose and groovy, slightly housed-up vibe on their succulent disco re-edit, "Born In R", before the Tropical Disco Records crew takes on side B. Moodena and Sartorial's "Got That Feeling" is a bumpin' disco-house revision of a soulful disco groover, while Hotmood's "700 Copies" is a deep, bass-heavy jaunt through cowbell-laden jazz-funk/house fusion.
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best Italy turn their impeccable reissue powers towards a surefire burner from 1984 given the stamp of approval by the likes of David Mancuso, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy back in the day. "Come Back Lover" was actually mixed down by another legendary DJ - Tony Humphries - and it shows. Even the original mix plays out with an extended, floor-focused flow that captures the creative energy at work at this epochal time for DJ culture. As ever with Best reissues, there's a plethora of alternative and dub mixes to suit any spinner's specific requirements, with the groove front and centre every time.
Sexy Merlin - "See You In The Dark" (Jamie Paton remix)
Guy Schalom - "Habibi" (Jamie Paton remix)
Blancmange - "Feel Me" (Jamie Paton remix)
Gatos Negros - "Overdrive" (Jamie Paton remix)
Review: Jamie Paton has been a regular fixture on [Emotional] Especial since the label first came to light, conjuring up a seductive blend of leftfield dance music with a broad range of influences. This time around he's turning out some of his remixes, leading in with the sweaty, dense throb of Sexy Merlin's "See You In The Dark". Guy Schlalom's "Habibi" by way of contrast becomes a lighter confection peppered with bubbly synth lines and an almost poppy persuasion. Blancmange's "Feel Me" has a more cosmic lilt in its voluminous tones, and "Overdrive" by Gatos Negros drifts out on an off-kilter kind of boogie for all manner of deviant dancers to get head-nodding to.
Review: Pleasure Unit is doing a damn fine job building up a catalogue of discoid deviance from the likes of Skatebard, Lunar Concept and Loose Change, and now it's the turn of debutant project Field Of Dreams to lay down some 80s-tinged grooves for the smoother kind of dancefloor. "Pourquoi" features Queenie, and it shows off the individual heritage the two producers in Field Of Dreams have (one was in 90s chart toppers D:ream no less), all plush chords and slinky grooves with an alluring French vocal thread coursing through the middle. "Draw The Line" is a more synth-rich affair that leans towards the moodier end of acid-tinged disco, and then "Line Drawn" drifts out into Balearic boogie of a dubby nature, providing plenty of variation for the warm up or melt down dancefloor.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: Camarao Orkestra may be based in Paris, but their hearts are always in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. The incendiary live band has a new album on the way (their last dropped three years ago) so to get us in the mood Favorite Recordings has served up this suitably steamy workout. In its' A-side original mix form, "Nacao Africa" is a mid-tempo chunk of low-slung Latin boogie rich in drunken trumpet lines, sweet female vocals, Marcos Valle guitar riffs and weighty dub disco bass. Patchworks man Bruno Hovart handles remix duties, first offering up a sweet two-step soul/laidback boogie revision before slamming down a hypnotic, stripped-back and delay-laden "Late Night Dub".
Review: Surely the freakiest house party in town, Bahnsteig 23 is the gift that keeps on giving. The relentless release schedule keeps up right here with this unmissable missive from Cherrystones, a learned selector and all round sonic oracle who regularly rubs shoulders with Andy Votel and that ilk of muso's muso. As you'd expect there's a rich spread of vibes on offer here, from the Afro-disco rub down "Simba Dub" to the Eastern psych lilt of "Belly King". "ExOhSkeletons" brings out some gutter punk styles and loops them into a strangely hypnotic form, and "Topical Meat Wave" imparts some pan-seared drama onto a French disco-funk. "KonGkinG" is a shouty new wave funker, and then the record wobbles out on a suitably deep B3 cut for the weirdos, all Oizo-esque synth blurts and sloppy live drum grooves.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Etwas stirs in die Ostlich. Edits and verks of twist sounds. Synth pop, cold wave, neu wave, minimal wave, industrial, neu beat, soundtracks and a selbst Balearen. Freiheit! Als erstes is hero of old Cybernetic Broadcast (CBS) and (Intergalatic FM) radio. Jonny 5 and his verstorbenen Blindsign blog and mixes were a steigen'n'steigen to rescue us from boring neu disco. Schieben his search and discovery for harder, but musical soundscapes. 4 edits is a geschmack. Start brave on the floor feel with the Neu Beut Euro Pop thumper Kaka Kaka. Geschleift, verdreht thoughts. Black Hole is hours spent in Eastern Bloc basements graben in the search for drahts. Stoned indeed, immaculate synth electronic battle cruiser, hart percussion, cut gesang and break. Ready for the percussive finale in Horizon's Change. Was Auch Immer. Bahnsteig!
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.
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.
Review: Scorchio: Best return in time for the summer with one of the funkiest productions Maurizio 'Sangy' Sangineto has ever conjured. Sleazy electro boogie with just the right balance of Italo and soul in the mix, "Baby Come On" was a solo expedition by Armed Gang's James Otis White Jr. who hits the juiced-up bass-led groove in consummate syrup-toned style but gives the groove all the room it needs to let loose. Spacious, sun-kissed and profoundly funky, this couldn't have landed at a better time.
Pat Thomas - "Enye Woa" (LeonxLeon Keyed Up mix) (7:20)
Ebo Taylor - "Atwer Abroba" (8:14)
Ebo Taylor - "Atwer Abroba" (Leo Nanjo remix) (5:03)
Review: Comet's "Disco Highlife" re-edit series continues with an EP that draws together original tracks and reworks from two of the Highlife scene's biggest stars: Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas. The latter can be found on side A, with the tipsy, synth-driven highlife-boogie fusion of "Enye Woa". This is in turn re-edited by LeonxLeon, who has not only extended the original track but also added some superb new spacey synth solos. Turn to the flip for Ebo Taylor's richly percussive, Hammond-laden disco-highlife bubbler "Atwer Abroba" and Leo Nanjo's brilliant remix, which re-imagines the track as a rubbery chunk of Highlife-house drenched in dub delays.
Review: Faze Action last teamed up with Zeke Manyika, formerly of 80s funksters Orange Juice, for the effervescent "Mangwana" back in 2016. Now they're back in collaboration for more classically rooted house music with a deeply infectious African twist. "Kubatana" is punchy where it counts, but it's a light and springy proto house burner first and foremost, with Manyika's vocal sounding as smooth as silk in the middle of the mix. "Hapana" is equally rich in musicality and personality, albeit on a more simmering, meditative tip. On the B side, "Kubatana" gets reworked by Rudy Midnight Machine and Paradise, who turn in distinct versions without losing the overall 80s aesthetic that powers the release.
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: The fourth release on Black Rox finds the Africa-loving label looking to a fine pair of suitors to do the business on a fine pair of edits. Soft Rocks is up first, channelling all the sun of the source material into a track called "Date With The Rain". It's a sweet natured jam layered with gorgeous vocals, perfect Afro guitar licks and a bubbling organ line. Roots Unit takes over on the B side with the more tricky-to--pin-down affair that puts snaking percussion at the front of the mix and loops up some mantras and chants for a truly head-spinning end result.
Review: It's been a hot minute since Al Kent dropped some of his sweet and soulful dancefloor instinct on us, but he's back in style on his reanimated Million Dollar Disco label. "Pick Me Up (Say Goodbye)" takes Gladys Knight & The Pips' tender "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Say Goodbye)" and gives it a supremely pitched dancefloor injection. Upping the tempo and rolling out an organic disco beat, Knight's vocal gets a whole new backdrop without losing the emotional heft of the track. A truly heart-melting cut for that sentimental, cut loose, late end of the party.
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.