Review: San Francisco's Honey Soundsystem are doing a good job in unearthing long-lost Patrick Cowley productions. Having previously joined forces with Dark Entries to release the pioneering producer's soundtrack to gay porn flick School Daze - and soon, a compilation of his other work for pornographic movies - they've decided to go solo on this 12". Kickin' In features a trio of previously unreleased Cowley disco workouts, recorded between 1975 and 1978. The real killer is the title track, a typically epic, 15-minute excursion that fuses Cowley's throbbing, masculine synthesizer lines with vocals and instrumentation from disco band Loverde. Flip for two groovy, low slung disco workouts that are, rather surprisingly, free of Cowley's usual Hi-NRG arpeggios. Instead, there are live basslines, organic percussion and decidedly sleazy spoken word vocals from the great man himself. In a word: essential.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Marcel Vogel has decided to celebrate the first five years of his edit-heavy Lumberjacks In Hell imprint in the only way he knows how: by putting together a sumptuous double-pack stuffed with fresh new material. In keeping with the way the label has developed in recent times, the eight tracks blend the boundaries between original productions, illicit remixes and straight re-edits. There's a celebratory, life-affirming feel throughout, from the rubbery bass, D-Train synths and rolling house grooves of Giovanni Damico's "The Break Down", to the bluesy deep house brilliance of Borrowed Identity's "Queens Bridge". Highlights are plentiful elsewhere, too, from the hustlin' electrofunk-meets-disco of Vogel's own "Come On", to the killer synth solos and fuzzy bits of Tim Jules' thrilling "Slap Beat".
Review: REPRESS ALERT! Stuart Leath's Emotional Rescue label is returning to the dance in a big way this Spring, with a couple of killer reissues of long forgotten Caribbean disco jams. This first one is, predictably, essential, with former Blue Beat chanteuse Lauren Aitken's 1978 disco-reggae killer "Sexy Boogie" being the centre of attention. Curiously, it was only a B-side first time around, but rightly deserves greater exposure. Aitken is in fine form singing over an undulating disco-reggae groove peppered with sweet guitars and twinkling pianos. Soft Rocks man Piers Harrison gets his scalpel out on the flip, turning original A-side "Hoochie Coochie Man" into a yearning dub disco chugger that largely dispenses with Aitken's vocals.
Review: Not a lot is known on the mystery baker behind these two scrumptious funk cakes besides the fact that Despacio have been spinning both sides... And the fact they're both delicious. "Uganda" is a percussion heavy slam-jamboree that switches into a juicy bass-driven disco groove midway. "Uriah", meanwhile, is a chugging, star-gazing Moroder homage that adds more layers and textures with every bar. Tasty.
Review: Long-standing French funk veteran Vas delivers another deep disco dispatch... "Wizard Funk" lives up to its name with a ballsy, almost dubby stomp and a bassline so juicy it could grow flowers in the desert. "Cream" dims the lights, dips the tempo and slowly strips off every musical garment to reveal a slinky, naked bassline. "The Moment" is subverted repurpose of Inner Life's Salsoul standard "Moment Of My Life" where the groove and backing vocals hog the spotlight. Ending on a sweet, skanky high, Vas brings this show to an end with a beautiful rework of Keith Hudson & Family Man's "I'm Alright". Sporting a new coat of drums and a tripped out synth lines, it's an instant soul soother... And a great way to end an awesomely broad EP.
Painel De Controle - "Relax" (extended Waxist version) (5:54)
Rabo De Saia - "Ripa Na Xulipa" (Charles Maurice extended version) (5:28)
Famks - "Labirinto" (Nick The Record extended version) (6:17)
Review: France's Favorite label dabbles in all things funky and disco-flavoured, and this time they've decided to go with a Brazilian edge on their latest 12". Painel De Controle begins with a Waxist mix of "Relax", a chilled-out boogie monster with sultry vocals, while "Ripa Na Xulipa" by Rabo De Saia is more uplifting and heavy on the disco strings. Finally, Nick The Record rewires "Labirinto" by Famks into a subtly electro-fied boogie nugget. Nice!
Review: New Zealand-based DJ/producer Frank Booker is no newcomer to the world of the floor-friendly re-edit. Having previously released killer scalpel works on Razor 'N' Tape, KAT and Disco Deviance, he's decided to launch his own edit series, Down In The Basement. As usual, there's much to enjoy, with Booker extending and working killer grooves, often with the assistance of healthy servings of dub delay. Highlights are plentiful, from the low-slung, percussive dub disco flex of "Track 1" and midtempo disco-funk bounce of "Track 2", to the riotous funk of "Track 4". All are expert revisions, with just the right amount of house style bottom end amongst the original grooves.
Let's Do It (A Louie Vega interpretation - Louie Vega Dance Ritual mix)
Let's Do It (A Louie Vega interpretation - Louie Vega Boogie mix)
Review: Leroy Burgess's family-affair Convertion dropped this snake-hipped, piano-pumping, early hip-hop/boogie jam in 1980. Back to the future and Master At Work man Louie Vega does the honourable thing and offers up two very distinct edits on this must grip Nervous 12". First up is the Dance Ritual mix that fully displays Vega's classic soft-but-stern jack dynamic, whilst the B side Boogie Mix veers off into more sprawling territory as the tempo eases down slightly and the attention is focused on the slinky percussion that really made the original such a DJ favourite in the first place. Just do it.
Review: Ant Plate of Rhythm Plate infamy has been putting out records under the deftly punned YSE Saint Laur'Ant name for the past four years, racking up 12"s for Whiskey Disco, Editorial, and Pickpocket that showcase his crate-digging, beat-chopping, soul-dripping expertise. Given that several of these records now command a pretty penny on the second hand market you'd be best advised to not dally when considering the merits of the latest YSE Saint Laur'Ant transmission for the newly minted Vinyl Only label. The Stonewall EP features four expertly teased exercises in low BPM bumps with closer "It Beats The Music" our pick of the bunch!
Vinyladdicted & Sleazy McQueen - "Free (From Social Narcotics)" (5:49)
Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Stellar Dub" (5:11)
The Silver Rider - "Good Luvin' Baby" (7:19)
Doc Jam - "In Your Eyes" (5:28)
Review: There's usually plenty of A-grade material to be found in the Editor's Kutz EPs, and this sixth volume in the popular re-edit series is no different. Chief amongst these is The Silver Rider's "Good Lovin' Baby", a chunky disco-funk roller - slightly straightened out for contemporary dancefloors - that boasts a terrific, string-drenched breakdown. There's also something deliciously glassy-eyed about Doc Jam's "In Your Eyes", a tasty, house style loop-jam that expertly cuts up a familiar disco classic. Elsewhere, Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee provide a dubby take on Marcos Valle's Brazilian boogie classic "Estrelar" ("Stellar Dub"), and Vinyladdicted joins forces with Sleazy McQueen for a trip into groovy, AOR disco territory.
Review: The seventh edition of KON's Star Time series shines some light on one of Michael Jackson's lesser know moments, a 1978 cover version of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" which is presented here in two differing versions. Kon's original "Who Shot Ya" version displays the Boston man's sublime editing skills in all their glory and just wait for that Nile Rogers guitar line to come in around the 5 minute mark. Thatmanmonkz takes care of the remix, steering proceedings into housier territory whilst there is a Jacko bonus to close out the 12". On "Inhuman Nature" Jacko's vocal floats out over a '90s style production from Kon that will please fans of SWV.
Review: Feel good deep house on offer here yet again from Hamburg imprint A Room With A View, adding to their illustrious discography which this far has included such greats as Andre Lodemann and Joel Alter. This cheeky Dutch duo present us with "Heavy On the Bacon" which is further testament to their sense of humour in all its sultry and funky late night sense of groove. On the flip "Coconuts" is on the deeper side with all its funky mono synth leads doing their magic over a funky bassline. This would be ideal for fans of other Hamburg imprint Dessous; there's something about the north of Germany, what more can we say!
Review: It's something of a pleasant surprise to see French veteran Ludovic Llorca popping up on the second volume of House of Disco's HODSTASH edits series. Under his Art of Tones alias, the one-time F Communications stalwart turns in a couple of house-friendly cut-ups of classic tracks. "Unlimited Love", for example, offers a head-nodding, toe-tapping rework of Love Unlimited Orchestra's slow dance classic "Love's Theme", while "Stepping In & Out" successfully chops and tools up a similarly familiar disco classic. House of Disco regular Harry Wolfman continues the theme on the flip, delivering a banging version of Prince classic "Erotic City", before closing proceedings with the sweaty P-Funk-goes-tech house chug of "Schoolin".
Review: A limited yellow vinyl funk odyssey from Record Store Day, "I Get Lifted" is taken from KC & The Sunshine Band's second album (1975) Still sounding shiny and floor-minded, the original stands the test of time incredibly well. Todd Terje's edit, however, takes it to another level; upping the tempo (and, possibly, the key), he's extended the right places, added a little more emphasis on the kicks and made sure we can't miss the breakdowns and instrumental sections.
Review: After establishing his reputation as one of the re-edit scene's deepest diggers a few years back with a series of 12" singles on Ambassador's Reception, Swedish producer Albion Venables recently returned with an excellent EP of unlikely edits on Macadam Mambo. Here he returns home to Ambassador's Reception with another collection of high-grade disco reworks. As usual, you'd be hard-pressed to guess the source material, but there's plenty to enjoy. "Burnin' Disco" re-cuts a wonky Balearic pop gem as a startling fusion of dub disco, exotica and tough electrofunk, while "Flamingo" twists a similarly eccentric cut into a winding, Flamenco-disco gem. Finally, "Mustang" provides some deep, soulful and stretched out instrumental disco complete with evocative guitar solos, rubbery bottom end and killer synth solos.
Review: It's well known that People's Potential Unlimited boss Andrew Morgan has some serious crate digging skills. Even so, he continues to amaze with the obscurity and quality of the releases he chooses to reissue. Serious collectors have long sought out "Let's Ride" by guitarist Willie Lee Jnr under his occasional Junei alias. Originally released on 7" back in 1987, it's a killer chunk of synthesizer-heavy electrofunk blessed with some serious eyes-closed guitar solo action. Flipside "You Must Go On" - originally the A-side of the '87 release - is fantastic, too, offering a near perfect blend of sun-kissed Balearic attitude and smooth '80s soul grooves.
Review: Rothmans are back with release 9 of their ever growing vinyl only, retro football themed label and this time paying homage to the silky smoth Italian Maestro Paolo Rossi we have Berlin based Israli outfit Naduve. The debut release from this Naduve & friends finds Rothmans bringing another new dimension to their already beautifully diverse rosta with another unique record. 2 original tracks and in support on remix duties they welcome Manpower & The Claydermans to the Rothmans family. The first track Miracles From Erdine sees the guys bringing that slowed down chuggy sound that Rothmans are well renowned for whilst Nein ups the tempo a little more with a fat italo beat whilst both remaining to bring with them a unique sound oozes the Tel Aviv vibe. Bringing up the rear we have Manpower doing his thing the only way he knows how with a classic Manpower take on the track that enevatibley ends up kicking as hard as a Paolo Rossi penalty, and The Claydermans finish off the record with what can only be described as an absolute banger. If anyone wondered what the connection is between Tel Aviv & Berlin then I dont think you will hear a record this year that exemplifies it better than this . Rothmans score the winner yet again!
Review: If you wanted someone to affectionately mangle "Inspector Norse", Todd Terje's now ubiquitous summer anthem, you would probably pick Pepe Bradock. The Frenchman predictably turns in a fine version that re-casts the Norwegian's cheery original as swinging, eccentric chunk of oddball house. It's a fine effort, and while it does contain those famous synthesizer lines, they're pleasingly twisted and work wonderfully with Bradock's typically shuffling drums. He remixes "Swing Star", too, turning the album track into a weird and wild deep house bumper. Elsewhere, there are contrasting versions of "Strandbar"; a cheery, suitably bouncy re-make from Joakim, and a rather colossal, soaring interpretation from Eric 'Dunks' Duncan.
Review: Kon reworks 2 quintessential Rene & Angela tracks in a pure analogue production: SSL board, warm tube compression, then hit to tape. A sure-shot for the dancefloor with all of the elements of a future classic and a nod from past.
Caught Up In The Rapture (PIXELATED Anita On Acid re-edit)
Day To Day (Alkalino edit)
Hidden Rung (The Silver Rider edit)
Review: Disco Meze is the latest platter served up by Sleazy McQueen's evergreen Whiskey Disco operation, and it's a various artists affair with contributions from Vinyladdicted, Jean Claude Gavri, Pixelated, Alkalino, and The Silver Rider. It's Vinyladdicted and Seaside Edits don Gavri who are first up with a lovingly filtered exercise in peak time disco with "NYM" - just wait for that synth solo to burst out!! Up next, Pixelated goes deep into the disco with the fine "Caught Up In The Rapture" which is pretty much an endless tease, whilst "Day To Day" from Alkalino could easily be laid over a bumping DJ tool. The Silver Rider's effort, "Hidden Rung", will appeal to fans of the Whitney tweak Genius of Time did a few years back.
Review: New music from Morgan Geist will always be celebrated thanks to his role in Metro Area, and more recently Storm Queen, and the New York producer is certainly on effervescent form with this debut 12" under his new project The Galleria. The four track Calling Card 12" finds Geist calling on the spirit of freestyle, club dubs, razor-edits and bubblegum-pop R&B there is something immediately satisfying to each one of them. Hyperdub artist Jessy Lanza provides some thrilling vocals to both original versions of "Calling Card" and "Mezzanine", the latter is a particularly sweet proposition, and Geist also contributes some superb '80s style dubs.