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: Last summer, Evo and Soulstice launched Adventures in Paradise with a fine 7" of tooled-up funk reworks by J Sole and J Boogie. Here, the label returns to action with two more guaranteed party-starters. Fittingly, Evo makes his first appearance on the label with B-side "Mandingo Boogie", a killer edit of a low-slung disco-boogie heater rich in rubbery bass guitar, twinkling electric piano parts, spiraling electronic effects and punchy horns. While impressive, we can imagine DJs getting far more rotations from DJ Smash's cheeky A-side, "Your Pants Are Hot", which peppers a snappy, synth bass-propelled groove with samples from a well-known Godfather of Soul favourite.
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.
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.
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.
Review: Lecce-based Marco Erroi (Common Series) returns with more of his hot edits on the second edition of the XXXV series. There's a strong, lo-slung Blaxploitation vibe going on in this volume, opening with "B Movie" followed by some trippy acapella action on the reduced, spacey and almost cosmic "Not Just A Groove". Flip over for a respectful edit of a well-known classic ("Dancing" - no guesses there!) and closer "Karon" which goes well deep and spiritual with its sweltering Afro vibe, thanks to Erroi's on-point splicing techniques. Tip!
Review: Following 2012's fourth volume that celebrated the existential work of Tim Maia, here we find Luaka Bop exploring the legacy of William Onyeabor. A high chief and Kenyan diplomat who allegedly refuses to discuss his music, he self-released eight albums in the 70s and 80s and these are some of the many highlights. Stretching from the New York-influenced post-punk synth funk of "Good Name" to the most authentic Afro fusion of "Why Go To War", Onyeabor's range not only reflects his clear creative skill, but also the ever-developing international language of music during the fruitful period he was active. Who is William Onyeabor? Press play and find out yourselves...
Review: Having previously blessed us with "Ocean Side" two years back, Benedek and Tom Noble return to Superior Elevation with two more Balearic gems. One for the night time, one for sunrise; "World Gruuv" hits the boogie spot with spiralling keys wandering freely up and down a tight shimmering synth-bass led groove. Meanwhile "Profesora" on the B brings us back into reality softly with its addictive percussive hook, aquatic backing and totally tropical taste. Imagine Art Of Noise on Claremont 56 and you're on the right route.
Review: Since serving up a tasty debut album back in 2011, Magic In Threes has provided sporadic dose of funk-fuelled delight that variously draws influence from jazz-funk and soul. The three original tracks included on the combo's first Razor 'N' Tape reserve appearance fit this formula, layering up live horns, guitars and drums with loose and heavy results. Title track "Work Tapes" is a Blaxpolitation funk affair with subtle disco flavours, "Come On Down" is an Isaac Hayes style orchestrated disco-funk roller, and the superbly summery "Chupa Cabra" sounds like it could have been made in Brazil around 1979. All three tracks are given the remix treatment, with Patchworks' Afrobeat revision of "Work Tapes" and Fouk's hybrid jazz-funk/disco-house version of "Chupa Cabra" standing out.
Review: For the last 18 months disco and boogie legend Leroy Burgess - owner of the most distinctive voice in the game - has been touring Europe with a band of Lyon-based musicians known as Saving Coco. It makes sense, then, that he would eventually go into the studio with them to record some new material. The results are impressive. The jaunty, Clavinet-heavy brilliance of "Work It Out" is reminiscent of some of Burgess' best boogie-era work with The Fantastic Aleems and fittingly comes accompanied by a Dub mix rich in piano and synth solos. "Til I Found You" is a slap bass-propelled exercise in good grooves and even better vocals. It, too, is backed by a stripped back but musically expansive Dub mix.
Review: In 1996, Dreamscape's Ed Marshall donned a new alias, Aplomb, and delivered the first fruits of his new project to New Age House Records. Only one track was ever released on a limited label promo, "Wondering". World Building's Ari Goldman, who previously put out a compilation of Marshall's work as Dreamscape, is a fan and has decided to rescue it from obscurity via this single-sided 12". The track itself is hard to accurately pigeonhole, combining as it does dense, carnival style drums, female scat vocals, warm bass, dreamy deep house chords and synthesizer flourishes reminiscent of early '80s jazz-funk. Either way, it's a sunny and groovy chunk of obscure house positivity that's well worth a place in your collection.
Review: Renowned Hamburg digger Romanski excavates three sparkling eastern gems and gives them a precision polish for his brand new edit series on his own Wonder Music series. "Zund Ab Ghee" is a sassy, slinky slice of Bollywood disco while "Lambaya Kofte" takes us even deeper into the dance as an obese acid line weaves its way in and out of the tightly plucked out line. "Pling" continues the string theme but over gentle Nordic cosmic chug that allows the perfect space for the glistening piano momentum to shine. Wonder-full (not sorry)
Review: Dark Entries' series of leftfield Italo-disco reissues continues with a double-header from prolific Italo disco session vocalist Helen (AKA Elena Ferretti), whose early excursions on obscure Italian labels Out Records and Discomagic have previously been the sole preserve of dusty-fingered crate-diggers. This EP brings together two of her finest EPs; 1983's scarce "Witch" - an exercise in bubbling, synth-pop inclined Italo-disco - and 1985's arguably better-known "Zanzibar". It's arguably the sparse, cowbell-laden "Afro Mix" - think Cosmic Club era Daniele Baldelli - of this track that steals the show, though all four tracks are shot through with that European strangeness that often marks out the best early Italo cuts.
Review: Hot Chip continue to occupy a unique space in British music. Yet despite their standing as a bunch of polymaths just as at home with pure pop as experimental diversions, what continues to truly separate them from all or any contemporaries is a rich melancholy to their sound, and it's this which looms pleasantly large on 'Why Make Sense'. The songwriting of Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard has never sounded sharper, not their beat-driven yet tastefully spare sound more addictive. Now as ever, no-one can reconcile human emotion and machine-like rhythm in quite the same fashion as this maverick outfit.
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Peoples Groove" (7:53)
Matt Hughes - "Sunshine" (6:11)
The Owl - "Pimp Talk" (6:38)
Rahaan - "Fine Feelings" (7:30)
Review: Editorial Records return with more disco infused flavours from around the world. These four nice and slow re-edits are sure fire weapons for any disco DJs crate. Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee take on Brass Construction much like Venus did on Sunshine People 15 years ago for another nice re edit. Matt Hughes' "Sunshine" is an equally good effort; wait for the drop! "Pimp Talk" by The Owl retains the sleazy grooves of the original and Rahaan's take on fine boogie workout 'Feeling Fine' does the business, as always.
Where Do We Go From Here? (Andres alt remix) (7:02)
Where Do We Go From Here? (LTJ Xperience remix) (8:40)
Review: The past six years have seen Far Out call on the great and the good to rework material by the Dave Brinkworth and Daniel Maunick-led ensemble, Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra with John Morales, Mark E, Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman, Dego and DJ Spinna among the contributors. La Vida man Andres is pulling ahead of the competition in terms of appearances on the series, having contributed two remixes in the space of a year. He's back for a third time with an alternate mix to "Where Do We Go From Here" alongside LTJ Experience man Luca Trevisi. Whilst the Andres mix of the track that featured on a 12" earlier this year was an exercise in chopped simplicity, there is a touch more complexity to this alternate take which shows off his ear for warming musicality. The LTJ take is super deep and super good!
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.