Review: Yaleesa Hall returns to his Will & Ink imprint with some fascinating techno derivatives on the Hayley Laura EP, although these are much more straight ahead than his usual stripped down experiments - best heard on his 2016 debut album. Beginning with the electro-bass assault of "Zoe Price" bringing that UK style sound popularised by Carl Finlow or Radioactive Man in true style. "Hayley Roach" with its splintered beats and and tunnelling sequences are reminiscent of Regis' output in the late '90s, while "Laura Pomeroy" being the the most atmospheric cut on offer here - going down a more lush and hypnotic route. This is the first solo output from the Amsterdam based producer on the label.
Review: Rather unexpectedly, the third CVX release, to date, comes through on Berceuse Heroique, an imprint which seems to be following and replicating just about any genre or sub-culture form the past, making it a perfect example of post-post-modernism in action. Zibaldone III of CVX, a serious previously restricted to the Laura Lies In label, is undoubtedly a wild and wicked concoction of nebulous sonics that are all driven by a toxic, merciless percussion which spews from all angles with a certain mechanical fashion. It's an honourable third edition of the series, and we hope this marks a beginning of a new dawn for CVX. Wicked style.
Review: Modular techno maestro and Freerotation big cheese Steevio is on fine form on "Zephyr", his first EP of 2019. He kicks things off with "Brawd", where undulating electronic motifs and faintly foreboding snatches of melody wind their way around a rolling techno groove, before offering up a swinging, off-kilter take on tropical techno rich in darting minor key melodies and jazzy sub-bass. Turn to the flip and you'll encounter two more chunks of modular dancefloor hypnotism: the slowly shifting, head-in-the-clouds throb of "Cysuron" and the melodious but off-kilter tech-jazz flex of hard-to-pigeonhole EP highlight "Rhyddid".
Review: Joe Montana aka Edoardo Fatovich is an Italian musician, DJ and producer who has been releasing music since 1993 across many seminal and now defunct labels - but more recently on Mindshake, 8bit and Claque Musique. Presenting the fifth release on fellow Italian imprint Pick.Sel here, we aren't sure whether these are some more unearthed gems from Fatovich archives or freshly made creations, but that's exactly our point - this is some timeless music on offer here. The A side features the emotive minimal tech house trip "Nute50" which could call comparisons to like minded legends such as Stewart S Walker or Akufen's earliest output. On the flip, "Little Ur Ex" is an exercise in reduced boompty business - the kind of micro-house that was popular in the mid noughties.
Review: Yoyaku Distribution's matter-of-fact YYY series continues to impress, delivering a third "mystery" 12" of the year to date. The un-credited producer gets straight down to business on side A, wrapping darting melodies and liquid electronics around fizzing cymbals, undulating kick drums and warm bass in an outer-space tech-house style. There's a slightly darker and more energy-packed feel to the flipside track, whose staccato percussion hits, restless drum machine handclaps and back-alley stabs sound like they were created with sweaty basement dancefloors in mind (despite the presence of the series' usual fluid chords).
Review: French producer Yuksek has released rather a lot of music over the last 15 years, though this appears to be his first ever collection of re-edits. You'll want to check tasty opener "How I Love To Dance", a lolloping rendition of a quirky and obscure disco number rich in Patrick Adams style instrumentation and well-placed dub delays, while the drum-heavy "The Beat" features waves of wonky percussion, a pulsating bassline and plenty of sweaty FX. Elsewhere, "Think Of You" is a head-bobbing revision of an AOR disco/disco-rock cut that sounds like it could have been re-edited by Eric Duncan, and "Dance In Disco" is a seductive Gallic disco chugger rich in heavily accented English vocals and jazzy electric piano solos.
Review: Fresh in the chem trails of his Bandulu release, the inimitable Bengal Sound crash lands back into our psyches with his disarming, not-of-this-world take on 140 music. "Young Skeleton" arrives just in time for Halloween, scaring the dickens out of us with its warped humanised tones, dusty atmospheres and distant chimes. "Coroners" takes us from the graveyard to the morgue... But with these hazy arpeggiated trinkles and eerie shimmers are we stepping towards the light or simply waking up? That's for you to work out.
You're The Only One (feat Bonnie Blanchard & The Mean Machine)
Right On Time (feat The Mean Machine)
Review: For their latest must-check rare soul reissue, German crate diggers TRAMP Records take us back to 1969 and the sole single from Philadelphia outfit Andy Aaron & the Mean Machine. A-side "You're The Only One" is a superb chunk of bass-heavy soul full of energetic drumming, fuzzy horn motifs, inspired lead vocals by Bonnie Blanchard and sax solos from none other than Grover Washington (then a young musician and member of the Mean Machine). Equally as potent is instrumental flipside "Right On Time", which is a riotous funk workout that boasts more lung-busting solos from an on form Washington.
Review: Many disco-era modern soul collectors regard, Larom Baker's "You're The Best", which initially appeared in 1978 on an impossible to find, single-sided 7" single, as one of the style's genuine "Holy Grail" records. It's good news, then, that Athens Of The North has secured the rights to reissue it, releasing the full studio version (rather than the shorter edit that was released all those years ago) for the very first time. It's a genuine gem, with Baker's deliciously breezy West Coast soul vocal seemingly floating over a killer backing track rich in hazy horns, bustling slap bass and crunchy Clavinet lines. Turn to the flipside for the more disco-minded "Train Of Thought", one of a string of recently discovered Baker recordings that form the basis of a forthcoming album of previously unreleased tracks.
You're Doing It With Her (When It Should Be With Me) (2:45)
Cry Myself To Sleep (2:06)
Review: Rhetta Hughes (Los Angeles, California, November 9, 1953) is a R&B singer and actress. She starred in the Broadway musicals Dreamgirls, Don't Play Us Cheap and Amen Corner: for which she was nominated for a Tony Award in the category for Best Actress in a Musical in 1984. She also appeared in the films Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, The Wiz (as a member of the choir) as well as the film version of Don't Play Us Cheap. She was also seen in the TV version of the musical Purlie, and appeared in an episode of Law & Order. In addition, Hughes had two entries on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart including "Angel Man (G.A.)" which hit #1 in 1983. "You're Doing It With Her (When It Should Be With Me)" is the kind of soul classic that the late Amy Winehouse could have taken her cues from while "Cry Myself To Sleep" appears on the flip.
Review: Ooof! Two forever-scorching disco gems from the one and only Cheryl Lynn. This extended version of the screaming funklet "You Saved My Day" has only been available on rare promo, while the full version of her seminal party jam "To Be Real" enjoys pride of place on the B. 40 years young and still untouchable.
Review: Clarence Mann is from Alabama. He was 14 years old when he completed his first recording with a high school choral group on RCA Records. After high school, he sang with various bands while attending college. In 1973, he released his first single entitled "Man's Temptation / Have Faith In Me" on T&M Records followed by "Please Accept My Love" and "You Met Your Match" respectively. After his solo career, he joined the group True Image as lead vocalist. Their recordings were released on a subsidiary of the famed TK Productions. The group continued with the independent Alabama label Juana Records when T.K. closed its doors. True Image released two singles in 1980. After these recordings Clarence Mann did several different versions of the song "Come What May". The original recording was recorded by John Gary Williams in 1973 and was released on Stax Records. Although Clarence Mann did several versions of it, only two of them with True Image have seen the spotlight.
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: PPU may have expanded its remit to issue contemporary acts like Pender Street Steppers and, soon, Beautiful Swimmers but the label is still digging through the soul and boogie archives of forgotten US acts. The work of George Franklin Smallwood has provided a source of much inspiration for Peoples Potential Unlimited over the years with the archivally minded label issuing several singles, a DVD and a Christmas album from the local Washington DC artist. Here PPU grant Smallwood's soul gem "You Know I Love" it's first 12" release having first surfaced at some unspecified time in the early '80s and is worth investigating for the drum machine heavy dub version on the flip!
Review: Two Arista classics from 79/78 respectively, the cult (not to mention heavily sampled) charms of Pittsburgh soul queen Hyman are presented immaculately right here on this heavyweight vinyl double-A. "You Know How To Love Me", taken from the 79 album of the same name, is a straight up disco stomper that should be recognisable to all with its distinctive horn fill and rousing backing vocals while "Living Inside Your Love" (from her 78 album Somewhere In My Lifetime) is a slinkier, sultry affair with some sizzling scat vocal flare and harmonies that will have you weak at the knees. It's all love.