Review: London-based reissue label Kalita is here to take you deep into the hidden corners of African grooves, kicking things off in style with this infectious selection of cuts from Ernest Koffi, otherwise known as NST Cophie's, recorded in Paris and released on a private press LP in 1980. "Bian Kou" is a loose and limber disco funk number with impeccable slap bass, while "E Clolo" brings a more rounded, distinctly 80s flavoured production. Taking over the whole B-side, "Miokouna" takes on a more distinctly Afrobeat-minded demeanour and beams the Ivory Coast sunshine into your ears with irresistible force.
You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure (Alton Miller mix) (5:17)
Get Your Ass Off & Jam (Marcellus Pittman remix) (6:46)
Cosmic Slop (Moodymann mix) (9:26)
Music For My Mother (Andres Wo Ahh Ay vocal mix) (5:23)
Super Stupid (Dirtbombs version) (4:30)
Music 4 My Mother (Underground Resistance mix) (5:41)
Undisco Kidd (Gay Marvine edit) (5:46)
Take Your Dead Ass Home (The Fantasy version) (7:46)
Let's Take It To The Stage (Amp Fiddler Laugin @ Ya mix) (6:11)
Standing On The Verge (Anthony Shake Shakir & T Dancer remix) (5:37)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr club mix) (6:43)
Be My Beach (Mophono & Tom Thump mix) (6:08)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr dub) (5:55)
Let's Make It Last (Kenny Dixon Jr edit) (7:32)
Looking Back At You (Ectomorph Stripped & dubbed) (6:12)
Maggot Brain (BMG dub) (10:09)
Review: Given the brilliantly simple concept behind this fine compilation - contemporary Detroit producers remix Funkadelic - we're rather surprised nobody's done it before. With 17 varied re-rubs stretched across three slabs of wax, there's naturally plenty to enjoy. Highlights come thick and fast, from the deep house/P-funk fusion of Alton Miller's take on "Get Your Ass Off and Jam" and Andres' loose, hip-hop influenced revision of "Music For My Mother", to the thrusting loops and heady late night hypnotism of Anthony Shake Shakir and T-Dancer's version of "Standing on the Verge". While many of the versions stay relatively faithful to the original, the more "out-there" interpretations - see BMG's outer-space ambient dub of "Maggot Brain" and Moodymann's epic revision of "Cosmic Slop" - are also consistently impressive.
Review: Having made his name with a string of fine rework releases on the acclaimed Tugboat Edits imprint, Guillermo "Hotmood" Gonzalez makes his first appearance on Whiskey Disco. Disco De Los Muertos ("Disco of the dead", if our Spanish is up to scratch) is predictably full of cheeky dancefloor moments that should appeal to both house and disco DJs alike. Our pick of the bunch is probably the low-slung "Playing The Groove For An Hour", where fizzing synth stabs ride a ridiculously rubbery slap bass riff and rolling house groove. That said, the deeper and dreamier "The Camel" is rather good, while the horror-tinged Mexican funk-goes-house fare stretched across the A-side is both rock solid and highly playable.
Review: Evil Smarty has been lurking around Disco Fruit some time, and now gets to commit some serious grooves to wax in the form of this fierce four-tracker. "This Is" is a sure fire hit not least because of the killer speech about genre-fluidity, not to mention the sassy groove behind it. "If It Feels Good" is a bright and brash funker riding at an easy tempo, while "Feel The Fire" weaves a little acid magic amidst the bombastic disco heat. "The Get Down" might just be the clincher though, whipping out a low-slung version that rides easy at 98 bpm but keeps the soul sizzling at a peak level the whole way through.
Odyssey - "Native New Yorker" (Dimitri From Paris Super Disco Blend) (7:04)
Dan Hartman - "Relight My Fire" (Dimitri From Paris DJ Friendly remix) (9:54)
Review: There will be some who glance at this and think: "do we really need new edits of two stone cold classics?" Ordinarily, perhaps not, but these versions are by Dimitri From Paris, one re-editor and remixer whose disco "blends" and rearrangements consistently breathe new life into well-known cuts. Take his version of Odyssey's "Native New Yorker", for example. With access to the original master tapes, he's been able to reconstruct the track in his own distinctive style, inserting string-laden breakdowns and playing around with the instrumentation in a classic, Tom Moulton style. The Parisian veteran takes a different approach on the flipside version of Dan Hartman's grandiose disco thumper "Relight My Fire", straightening out the beats to give an original peak-time anthem a much more house-centric twist.
Review: Nyra's Canoe series continues to serve up the finest disco flavoured edit heat, reaching for some absolute gems and giving them a club friendly re-rub that will ensure their place in your record bags for aeons to come. "Love Safari" is everything you want a classic disco stomper to be, all slinky basslines, sustained Philly strings and chants of "Africa". "Music Is The Way" sees Nyra getting more intricate with his editing scalpel, letting the filters and phasers run wild with glorious, delirious results. "Tears I Can't Hold" pushes the tempo up while maintaining the sweet soulful vibe, screaming out for a mix with some hardline Detroit techno in a DJ Bone stylee.
Review: Long-serving disco-house fusionist Hot Toddy (AKA Crazy P co-founder Chris Todd) is in a loved-up mood on this rather tasty three-tracker. Surprisingly, it's his first solo single for some five years, and his first for House of Disco. It's the breezy, funk-fuelled A-side "In The Genes", in which Todd expertly fuses together elements most often found in proto-house, NYC boogie, early house and disco-funk records, that stands out, though the standard naturally remains high elsewhere. "Love Music", for example, is a wonderfully sauced-eyed stroll through dreamy deep house/disco fusion, while closer "Love Can Set You Free" sits somewhere between stripped-back disco-house, percussive boogie and Idjut Boys style dub disco.
Review: Firecracker boss and screen-printing don Lindsay Todd keeps looking far and wide for inspiration. Here, he's scratched beneath the surface to deliver a fine EP of skewed tropical synth-funk from Naples-raised, Mystic Tribe affiliate Fillipo Colonna Romano ALA Modula. Coming on like Prince jamming with Paul Simpson, Daniel Baldelli and fellow Italian synthesizer lovers Nu Guinea, the five tracks ripple with ricocheting, delay-laden drum hits, squeezable synth bass lines, humid electric guitars and the kind of kaleidoscopic synth solos that are capable of making grown men (and women, for that matter) go weak at the knees. It's a hugely vibrant, colourful and attractive affair that's undoubtedly amongst the best things Firecracker have released this year - and that's saying something.
Review: Emotional Rescue once more on the hard to find party curio tip, this time tapping up the work of one Ken Ramm whose 1984 burner "Spark The Universe" was previously fetching handsome prices online, and with good reason. The funk is loose and limber on the track, not least when it comes to the bassline and psyched-out worldly percussion. The dub mix pushes out into trippier territory, and then Emotional bossman Chuggy takes the reins on the flip for his own Disco mix of the original. Whichever version you plump for, you're onto a winner.
Triangle Des Bermudas (Massimiliano Pagliara remix)
John's Job (Rhythm track)
Review: Jules Etienne has been skirting around labels such as Apersonal Music for a few years, but here makes a strong statement with a new record for CockTail D'Amore. "Triangle Des Bermudas" is a swinging yet cosmically inclined jam powered by warm synth arpeggios, which regular collaborator Massimiliano Pagliara then nudges up into crafty deep house territory. "Cuban Omlette" is a delicate affair that interweaves pattering percussion and nagging synth lines to make a particularly heady brew before "John's Job" finishes the record off with a richly layered drum track that should have DJs across the board getting tricky in the mix.
Review: By Athens of the North's standards, these two tracks from short-lived '70s disco-funk outfit Pure Essence are not that obscure. In fact, label boss Euan Fryer has stated that he chose to lead with album track "Third Rock" because he thinks it is better than the more sought-after "Wake Up". Certainly, "Third Rock" is something of a gem - a warm, California blue-eyed soul style workout full of flanged guitars, jazzy solos and a Steely Dan-goes-disco groove. Of course, the even hazier "Wake Up", with its' politically charged lyrics and immersive production, is also superb. We would expect nothing less from the reliable and on-point Athens of the North.
Río Porque No Fue Un Sueno (Ray Mang’s extended instrumental)
Review: Venezuelan groovesters Los Amigos Invisibles have been infecting the house music world with the Latin-flavoured disco and funk since the 90s, and still their sunkissed sound resonates with younger generations. On this occasion it's Balearic operation Apersonal that turn to brighter days with the six-piece, riding high with original jams "Stay" and "Rio Porque No Fue Un Sueno" on the A side. Meanwhile on the flip Ray Mang turns out remixes of the original versions that keep the feel-good ingredients intact, providing you with some surefire heat well in advance of the summer months.
Review: For the fifth volume in their Tonic Edits series, the Toy Tonics crew has handed over the reins to label regular and sometime Razor 'N' Tape contributor COEO. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout. Opener "Orlando Magic" offers a tightened up, re-arranged take on a killer chunk of highlife disco, while "Cabrio Magio" appears to be a tooled-up take on a killer South American disco stomper. On the flip you'll find the rubbery electric bass, Chic style clipped guitars and eyes-closed vocals of "1981", as well as "She Keeps It Good", a superb P-funk/boogie rework which sees COEO brilliantly tease out the groove via some seriously cut-up loops.
You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure (Alton Miller mix)
Get Your Ass Off & Jam (Marcellus Pittman remix)
Cosmic Slop (Moodymann mix)
Music For My Mother (Andres Wo Ahh Ay vocal mix)
Undisco Kidd (Gay Marvine edit)
Super Stupid (Dirtbombs version)
Take Your Dead Ass Home (The Fantasy version)
Music 4 My Mother (Underground Resistance mix)
Let's Take It To The Stage (Amp Fiddler Laugin @ Ya mix)
Standing On The Verge (Anthony Shake Shakir & T dancer remix)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr club mix)
Be My Beach (Mophno & Tom Thump mix)
You & Your Folks (Claude Young Jr dub)
Let's Make It Last (Kenny Dixon Jr edit - mono)
Looking Back At You (Ectomorph Stripped & dubbed)
Maggot Brain (BMG dub)
Review: Given the brilliantly simple concept behind this fine compilation - contemporary Detroit producers remix Funkadelic - we're rather surprised nobody's done it before. With 17 varied re-rubs stretched across two hugely entertaining CDs, there's plenty to enjoy. Highlights come thick and fast, from the deep house/P-funk fusion of Alton Miller's take on "Get Your Ass Off and Jam" and Andres' loose, hip-hop influenced revision of "Music For My Mother", to the thrusting loops and heady late night hypnotism of Anthony Shake Shakir and T-Dancer's version of "Standing on the Verge". While many of the versions stay relatively faithful to the original, the more "out-there" interpretations - see BMG's outer-space ambient dub of "Maggot Brain" and Moodymann's epic revision of "Cosmic Slop" - are also consistently impressive.
Vamos Pintar (Let's Paint) (Max Essa Slo Mo Bubble dub)
Vamos Pintar (Let's Paint) (Max Essa extended club mix)
Vamos Pintar (Let's Paint) (Paradise 90 dub)
Review: Faze Action teams up with Nina Miranda for the jazzy disco tones of "Vamos Pintar", and the results are magic. This is unabashedly joyous, flamboyant dance music rich with vibraphone licks, synth stabs and a catchy vocal hook about painting, which Max Essa then slows down to a Balearic strut on his "Slo Mo Bubble Dub" mix before offering up a more energetic "Extended Club Mix". The real gem on the record comes on the B2 "Paradise 90 Dub", which faithfully champions the Larry Levan school of party music, and everyone knows that means guaranteed club heat.
Review: Lisbon bred, Munich dwelling Lino Rodrigues aka Alkalino, began DJing in the late 80's. Skip forward almost 30 years, through countless worldwide residencies and numerous vinyl and digital releases and we find him at the top of the international disco/nu-disco edit craze - with releases on multiple labels such as KAT, Wall Of Fame and Whiskey Disco. Further proof of the guy's expertise is the fact that he'll be a guest at Ableton's massive LOOP summit in Berlin this year. He returns to his esteemed Audaz imprint for the fourth edition of his Reworks series. You can count on the guy to deliver 'respectful edits' much in the vein of Jkriv, Sleazy McQueen or Late Night Tuff Guy. Starting off with a known deep disco joint that's been ergonomically retuned for modern dancefloors on "Need Some Love" while "Break Out" delivers some always handy soul power (on the funky tip) to get some hands in the air. On the flip, we've got some sultry Brazilian vibes on "Mandinga" which is your secret weapon for next Summer's round of open air parties.
Review: The final part of Dark Entries' long-running series of archival Patrick Cowley releases showcases tracks originally recorded for Afternooners, a late '70s gay porn film by director John Coletti. As with previous Cowley releases on Dark Entries, the double album also contains previously unheard material rediscovered from the Fox Studio archives. It's another essential collection of atmospheric synthesizer music in the producer's distinctive style, all told, with tracks ranging from the whistling cheeriness of "Hot Beach" and the sparkling, cowbell-laden throb of "One Hot Afternoon" to the dubbed-out, semi-ambient dreaminess of "Bore & Stroke" and the humid, upbeat "Jungle Orchid".
Cooper Saver & Patrick Holland - "How About" (7:28)
Eddie C - "Don't Rush" (2:57)
Dane - "Space Up Your Life" (5:08)
El Molito - "Sunny Days In The Chocolate Factory" (5:08)
Review: Here's something of a rarity: a 12" outing from Canada's Common Edit, a label best-known for releasing sneaky 7" singles. Wisely, the label has decided to use the format to serve up more tracks - four, to be precise - with a swathe of scalpel wielding label talent at the controls. Cooper Saver and Patrick Holland kick things off via the Balearic boogie brilliance of synth-laden roller "How About", before Eddie C lights up something fat and fragrant, dips the tempo and goes all jazz-funk on Brazilian disco slow-jam "Don't Rush". Flip to the B-side for the majestic, Clavinet-laden peak-time disco rush of Dane's "Space Up Your Life" (chuckle) and the atmospheric Blaxploitation hustle of El Molito's "Sunny Days in the Chocolate Factory".
Journey To The Light (part 1 - DJ Nori edit) (4:13)
Journey To The Light (part 2 - DJ Nori edit) (3:19)
Review: Subject to edits from such luminaries as Ashley Beedle and Danny Krivit, Brainstorm's most iconic cut "Journey To The Light" gets extended to the point of two parts by Brooklyn editor and selector DJ Nori. Part One is all about the Detroit dynamos' ability to hit sizzling high notes on the chorus and drop into swooning jazzy verses while Part Two is more of a groove-based, stripped back version where the instrumentation and backing vocals are brought right into the light. Stunning.
Review: In the super saturated and competitive scene of disco edits, it takes a lot to differentiate yourself from the pack. Enter New York City's Razor N Tape. What do they bring to the table that is different, you may ask? They offer up what they call 'respectful edits'. Got it? There are the ones you can trust and play with confidence. On this volume they present Al Tone, who are known for their eponymous rework series. The duo comprised of Chicagoans Al Bumz and Tone B serve up some lovely Afro boogie on "Feelin' Irie" and some pitched up soulpower in the form of "Simone Manuel". On the flip, there's a familiar hook on the vocal driven deep disco resplice of "Groovin'" then they take us home with the Theo-esque looped sax and falsetto gallup of "Wishes".
Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony - "Spanish Boogie"
The Project Club - "EL Mar Y La Luna" (Lovefingers remix)
DJ Pippi - "Ibiza World Inspiration" (feat Antonio M Jemenez)
Tony Esposito - "Danza Dell'Acqua"
No ID - "Love Mecanica (Not Love Game)"
Tore - "She's A Lady"
Gatto Fritto - "Invisible College"
Review: Many claim to be "Balearic" DJs, but few genuinely are. DJ Harvey certainly is, as his triumphant summer residency at Pikes in Ibiza proved. If you didn't get a chance to check out the lauded veteran in action on the White Isle, fear not, because The Sound of Mercury Rising is almost entirely made up of music he championed over the summer. As you'd expect, it mixes notably obscure or overlooked gems from the distant past (Elkin & Nelson, the brilliant disco mix of Eighth Wonder's Pet Shop Boys' produced "I'm Not Scared", the Spanish-themed disco of Van McCoy, a killer Tony Esposito cut, and so on) with more recent fare that have tickled Harvey's fancy (the Idjut Boys, Gatto Fritto and the producer's own Locussolus project).