Review: As far as collaborative delights go, this really takes the cake. Miami boogie wildcard Noel Williams, aka King Sporty, throwing it down heavy with legendary Jamaican reggae axe man Ernest Ranglin - as you might expect, the results are incendiary. "Soft Touch" has a hint of the cosmic about it as it romps through insanely catchy chorus chants, stirring brass stabs and Ranglin's sweet licks. "Keep On Dancing" has a more uptempo feel, "In The Rain" slips into a laid back reggae skank and "Be What You Want To Be" turns the vintage disco heat back up. Throughout this wonderful mini LP, the duo switch between each other's strengths and bring out the best in each other, like all good collaborations should.
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: Don't get mad, go nuts... The sneaky Secret Squirrel team return for their 21st mission and it's every bit as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as everything else they've ever stashed. The A-side leads with a peppy horn-fired strutter that shoves us deep in the heart of the hottest dancefloor imaginable. Flip for an intimate, smouldering piece of end-of-the-night soul from 1979. Trust us, once you get a close hold of it, you'll never want to let go.
Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian (6:06)
Folle Vendredi Soir (6:14)
Review: Moscow-based editors Olta Karawane let loose on Special Delivery with five exceptional intergalactic sleaze jams. Each one sprinkled with their own sonic stardust, highlights include the sultry cake-listing koshmiche mash of "Les Portrait Le Diacre Astvatsatour Sarkissian", the Moroder-goes-b-boy-on-Omicron-Persei-8 jitters of "Farine" and the peg-leg post-punk and woozy Tropicana of "Oinj". Topped off with an epic synth chariot of fire "Racaille", it's another remarkable trip from one of Russia's most enigmatic disco acts.
When I'm Alone (JKriv & Peter Matson remix) (6:14)
Review: Adeline is undoubtedly best known for being the front-woman of Brooklyn-based disco band Escort, an outfit whose members also included Razor-N-Tape co-founder JKriv. It makes sense, then, that her latest solo single is appearing on their "Reserve" offshoot. Co-produced by Midnight Magic man Morgan Willey, "When I'm Alone" is a revivalist leftfield disco cut rich in "Beam Me Up" style walking bass, ear-catching guitar riffs and lolloping drums - all topped off by a fantastic vocal from Adeline. Jacques Renault delivers a slightly heavier, house-influenced remix with subtle Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, while Dirty Channels offers a more bustling but still pleasingly organic sounding disco-house take. Finally JKriv joins forces with Peter Matson on a remix that sounds like vintage Escort with added dub delays.
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.
Review: Will Buck makes his bow on Whiskey Disco after appearing on sister label Lovedancing (with PRTMNTO) on the Soul Sides EP ?last year. Buck is in fine form again on this new offering, opening with the infectious groove of "21212" (listen out for a familiar hook that has been respliced to perfection) - topped with a killer brass section, too! Elsewhere on the EP, move to the sexy late-night deep house of "Touch Down", sultry vocal disco on "Make Your Move" and the aptly titled after-hours shuffle of "Harmony (6AM Mix)", reworked by label head honcho Sleazy McQueen himself.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best may be best known for jazz and disco reissues, but they're also dab hands at unearthing forgotten gems from the annals of Italian deep house too. The Countach were last seen in active service back in 1990, dropping just two singles but making sure they were bona fide classics. "Aqua Marina" has plenty of lashings of jazz funk rubbed into its loins, not least on the "Sweet Dream Version". The "Paradise Version" nudges the key of the club mixes and ramps up the reverb, and then the "Original Studio Version" switches up the mood with an organic, live band groove on this crucial 12".
Review: Having made its bow on digital download last autumn, JKriv and Adeline's brilliant "Vertigo" finally makes it to wax. The original Club Mix sounds like a long lost cut from Brooklyn disco revivalists Escort, a band that both JKriv and Adeline were members of. It's absolutely brilliant all told - think strong choruses, Nile Rodgers guitars, jangly pianos and walking bass - as is JKriv's throbbing, delay-laden Dub. In between you'll find a dusty disco-house revision from Yuksek and a storming interpretation from Z Records chief Joey Negro, who wraps Adeline's vocal and JKriv's bassline in colourful new boogie synths and some classic disco-funk horns. There's no doubt about it, this will be one of the biggest disco records of 2019.
Review: Ricardo Medina has popped up intermittently through the years as a wielder of hefty deep house, and so it goes on this new 12" for Wonder Stories. Take snappily titled "Mcoolaid", where the synths ping out bright and bold while the acidic bass and slamming drums keep the pressure at a constant peak, or the dark and nasty throb of "Fuego". Medina means business, and he's unabashed in his aim towards the big room peak time tech house crowd. "Techmoreno" keeps up the intensity, which gives Alejandro Paz the necessary ingredients for an equally smoking remix for the crafty jackers out there on the floor.
Review: Having made a strong impression with the first two releases on BROMUR, Bogdan steps over to Not An Animal to flex his discoid pecs once again. He leads in with the understated Italo thrum of "Parovoznikov," riding a stuttering arpeggio and leaving plenty of room for the punchy drums and fluttering synth touches. Justin Van Der Volgen does a sensitive job of the remix, embellishing the core of the track with delicate chime refrains that add a tenderness to this muscular club jam. "Listopad" is a more mellow affair, but there's no shortage of fuzzy, vintage lead lines to bathe your ears in. Kito Jempere does a more drastic reinterpretation with his version of "Listopad," injecting a little acid and proto house bite into the track.
Review: Bottoms up! The Silver Rider and the Funk District saddle up for a two-way trip on the latest Whiskey Disco joint. Texan transdimensional traveller Silver Rider steps up for the A with a main course and a punchy side plate. "Woman" is a big War-style disco funk piece with precision spoken vocals and horns while "Hustle Up" is a stripped back wriggling bassline DJ tool guaranteed to disarm. Flip for the B to a trip into the heart of Mexico as the Funk District fires heated shots: "Imaki Ra Reo" is straight up Latin disco while "The Root Of Evil" takes us on an African International adventure for a stunning afrobeat finale.
Review: The latest dusted down archival dig from Emotional Rescue is by Politrio, a short-lived new wave / post punk band from Italy who released one album in the mid 80s. The focus of this release is their cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," which originally appeared on the Amnesty International P.E.A.C.E Benefit Compilation in 1987. It's a wild take full of rampant guitar wailing and limber slap bass that teeters towards the 80s funk rock of Faith No More et al, and that's no bad thing at all. On the B side of this 7" Double Wave gets busy in the edit, offering up a stripped back version for the spinners.
I've Been Waiting For You (DJ Duckcomb Discomix) (7:33)
Review: Emotional Rescue heads to the Caribbean and the effervescent boogie funk of Glen Ricks. The Jamaican groover originally released the much sought-after "I've Been Waiting For You" in 1983, and it's been hard to track down ever since. Whether in its full vocal form or the beautifully dubbed out instrumental version, this is a seriously sunny slice of good time party music that stands up to any boogie classic you care to mention. LA's DJ Duckcomb steps up for a Discomix of the original that draws on the vocal and instrumental takes to sustain that balmy vibe for even longer - the selector's dream!
Review: Best known to the world at large for their disco evergreen "Lady Marmalade," the powerhouse trio of Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle are revered in the deeper dance underground for a couple of epic soulful rock workouts that have been known to provoke life-changing moments on the dance floor. With New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint producing and leading an all-star band with the Meters at its core, "What Can You Do For Me" and "Messin' With My Mind" crackle with energy and rise to thunderous crescendos that rival a gospel revival. Mr. K's edits acknowledge these songs' long history in NYC DJ culture, dating from the Gallery and the Loft in the mid-'70s and running unbroken to today, with masterful extensions that push the inherent energy even further without ever becoming repetitive or obvious. Most Excellent Unlimited is proud to present these sure shots on loud and carefully mastered 7-inch pressings, an essential addition to any gig box or collection.
Review: Since 2012, Munich duo COEO has served up a swathe of sample heavy, disco influenced house EPs for such labels as Let's Play House, Toy Tonics, Lagaffe Tales and Razor-N-Tape Reserve. Here they pop up on Razor-N-Tape's main edit label with something different: a quartet of traditional scalpel works from their personal stash. First up is the elastic, horn heavy disco-funk of "Express Lane", which is quickly followed by the skewed Arabic boogie-funk brilliance of "Libyan Sun". Over on side B, "Don't Oho" is a breezy revision of a sun-kissed Afro-disco workout that sounds like it would be capable of causing a commotion in the club, while "Move Your Body" makes merry with a warm, rich and intoxicating early '80s boogie-soul jam of unknown origin.
Review: On wax by dope demand! This Razor-N-Tape 2013 release has been a cult classic for many years but never seen the light of the 12"... until now, thanks to the constant pestering of the Discogs community. All three tracks from the original release are here but it's "Where You Belong" that most are after due to its beautiful spacious beats, sweeping strings and awesome Dionne Warwick vocal texture. The whole release is charmed, though; "Here's To You Mr. Robinson" gets a little smokey on our souls while "Makes Me Feel" should get us all very blissed out. Do not sleep on this one, it won't hang around.
Review: Mukatsuku's ongoing "Afro Series" continues with a fine limited edition 45 containing two funk-fuelled floor-fillers. In fact, you'll struggle to find a more celebratory and life-affirming workout than Eko's "M'Ongele M'Am" licensed from Nubiphone & Africa Seven, a Makossa-fired Afro-disco gem rich in punchy horns, driving Afro-boogie bass, lilting synthesizer lines, Mariachi style trumpet solos and the kind of chant-along vocals that should put a smile on the face of even the most miserable of dancers. Over on side B, Georges Ouedraogo's "Deni" is an essential Clavinet-happy killer chunk of Afro-funk/Afro-Disco fusion from Burkina Faso. As played by Floating Points,The Allergies,Faze Action,Antal ,Lego Edits & Red Greg so far...
Walter Whisenhunt Orchestra - "Love Is A Hurting Thing" (feat Gloria Ann Taylor) (7:18)
Review: Sometimes, incredibly rare and expensive records don't live up to the hype. We can safely say that Gloria Ann Taylor's "Deep Inside You"- a superb, disco-era chunk of sexually charged soul - is not one of those records. Very few original copies were pressed, which not only explains the eye-watering second-hand prices but also the numerous bootlegs that have appeared over the years. This, then, is the record's first licensed reissue. It's worth picking up, not only for the sublime title track, but also for bonus cuts "What's Your World" - a laidback, super-sweet chunk of laidback West Coast soul - and the lushly orchestrated "Love Is A Hurting Thing".
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: Multi-track re-edits, where producers utilize the instrumental and vocal parts found on studio master tapes, are all the rage right now. While the Rephlex crew and Joey Negro are the most famous exponents of the art, Galaxy Sound Co regular Kadena has previously proved to be rather adept at it, too. Here the little-known producer channels the spirit of original disco remixer Walter Gibbons, first to provide a lolloping, groove-based revision of Instant Funk's intergalactic Salsoul classic "I Got My Mind Made Up" (side A), and then to deliver a similarly minded take on First Choice's "Let No Man Put Asunder". Like its A-side companion, it's warmer, looser and predominantly instrumental, with judicious use of key vocal passages.
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.
Review: The latest transmission from the Lumberjacks stable taps up London-based producer Alan Dixon, who tackles a soul-stirring gospel belter from Frank Booker on the A side. Whatever your spiritual persuasion, "Rise & Shine" can't help but inject a little joy into your life. On the flip, Dixon turns the piano house power up to 11 with the life-affirming thrust of "Whatcha Gonna Do", featuring Maleke O'Ney on vocal duties. Completing the set, Lumberjacks head honcho Marcel Vogel drops in a remix that twists the original into a loose and limber jazz-funk-house odyssey of epic proportions.
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: Almost a year to the day since their last essential re-edit outing, Prescription Pricing Authority returns to G.A.M.M. with two more floor-friendly slabs of contemporary scalpel science. A-side "Pick 'Em Up" is a rolling, filter-sporting revision of a down-low disco-funk classic rich in bouncy pianos, soaring female chorus vocals, metronomic drums and punchy horns. It sounds like a peak-time monster in the making, which is never a bad thing. They up the tempo on flipside edit "Cali '76", a tidy, DJ-friendly rearrangement of a horn-sporting chunk of polyrhythmic jazz-funk that boasts some suitably spacey synth solos and horn lines sharper than your average razor.
Review: First up on the freshly minted Bacalao imprint is Bosq, a Ubiquity Records contributor renowned for his blends of funk, soul and sweaty South American music. While the heavy horns featured on this release were recorded in Bogota, the producer's usual Colombian flavour takes a back seat as he joins forces with Kaleta to deliver two covers of Fatback Band classics. First up is "Goin' To See My Baby", which is re-imagined as a fuzzy funk workout rich in rasping horns, tropical guitar flourishes and woodblock-driven Latin disco percussion. Arguably even better is the duo's cover of "Backstrokin'", which is given a Barrio-funk flavour complete with prominent bass, heavy-hitting horn motifs and excitable lead vocals.