Review: Sam Shepherd's Melodies International imprint has barely put a foot wrong to date, serving up a string of must-have reissues. Predictably, the label's latest offering - a facsimile reissue of a thoroughly obscure but in-demand disco 7" from 1979 - is another belter. A-side "Back Into Your Heart" is particularly potent, offering a rich, cheery and pleasingly fuzzy dance through horn-heavy disco-funk pastures, with a loved-up lead vocal joined by cascading strings, intergalactic synth solos and energy-packed drums. Turn to the flip for "Dance, Dance, Dance", an urgent chunk of funk-fuelled disco-rock that's almost as essential as the majestic A-side.
Review: The Konduko label was a gem of early 80s Miami groove, playing host to a range of projects from Noel Williams. "Rock Attack" was originally credited to J. Griffith, but resurfaces here on Emotional Rescue with Williams' King Sporty & The Ex Tras billed at the helm. It's a firecracker of a tune, revolving around a stuttering electro bassline and the loosest, funkiest set of drums, sounding fresh as a daisy with a new lick of mastering paint. Meanwhile Faze Action sprinkle a little contemporary magic on the track, making a beautifully tripped out "Discomix" that sounds more like a cosmic dub extravaganza to these ears.
Review: "Where The One Is", the lead cut from Art of Tones' latest Local Talk release, sounds like a peak-time anthem in the making. Seemingly crafted using a mixture of cut-up Philadelphia soul samples, jammed-out new disco instrumentation and jazzy, ambidextrous house beats, it feels a little like a tooled-up, slightly more low-slung version of Blackjoy classic "Moustache". You'll find more low-slung, disco-fired, Clavinet-sporting heaviness on side B, where stomper "Double Wheelin" provides further guaranteed peak-time pressure. As for "Reprise Du Fonk", it appears to be a quick-fire dub of "Where The One Is" featuring even more elastic bass guitar, jazz-wise guitar licks and life-affirming electro piano solos.
Review: In recent times, Krystal Klear's EPs have wholeheartedly paid tribute to a variety of (mostly New York-based) historic clubs, artists and dance music sub-genres. While he's officially broken the spell with The Division EP - his first outing on Running Back - for the most part it's still a heart-warming, retro-futurist treat. He kicks things off with the cheery, Italo-disco revivalism of "Neutron Dance", where throbbing synthesizer arpeggio lines and mid-80s melodies are underpinned by a bustling mid-tempo house groove, before slowing things down via the Balearic synth-pop shuffle of "Division Ave". Turn to the flipside and you'll find more muscular, freestyle-meets-acid house fun (wild and mind-altering peak-time highlight "Shockzoid") as well as the baggy, glassy-eyed Balearic house rush of closer "Moonshake Mike".
Review: Koenig Saatgut supposedly appears for the first time in 15 years with this rough and ready piano house/breakbeat roller. "The Spirit" is an unabashedly big track, using a catchy 90s piano lick and sticking a brash boom bap beat underneath it. "Your Houze" is actually the smart pick here though, bringing a modernist approach to vintage, sample heavy house music. There's a whiff of French touch about this one, but mixed up with a ravey attitude that guarantees these tracks will be setting off more than a few dances.
Review: Following the runaway success of her long-anticipated 2017 debut album, Honey Dijon returns to action via a feel-good, peak-time collaboration with storied Aussie vocalist Sam Sparro, who first rose to prominence in the late noughties following appearances on Basement Jaxx records. Sparro's trademark vocal naturally takes centre stage on the opening "Disco Version", a driving chunk of acid house/disco fusion that sounds like a summer anthem in waiting. The track's nagging TB-303 lines are naturally pushed to the fore on the darker Cosmic Energy Dub, while fellow Chicagoan Cratebug flips the script entirely on his flipside rubs. Choose between the deep house/disco fusion of the "Nova Remix" and the arguably superior "Supernova Remix", where twisted but funk-fuelled acid lines rise above a stripped-back groove.
Review: Silvana Noris was tragically overlooked back in her mid 80s heyday, laying down just three singles before drifting onto pastures new. Best Italy have dug out her shimmering Din-Don single and given it the new lease of life it so richly deserves, helped a little by DJ Harvey testing the cut out on his turntable travels. Noris' vocal is a curious wonder to behold, hitting a low register and imparting a gravelly tone that sits atop the punchy boogie production. Another slice of disco manna makes its way back into the limelight thanks to Best.
Review: Italian Patrick Gibin is probably most known to you all for his Black Aroma re-edit series, and is also the resident DJ and artistic director of ROOTS Corte Radisi in Verona, Italy: a seminal and unique club. His penchant for deep cuts and dusty reworks find a fitting home on Brooklyn's Razor N Tape - bringing you the most 'respectful' edits, as always. The evocative and sunkissed soul power of "Sunrise" is stretched over the A side, On the flip, "Searching" provides a handy extension of a certain soulful 70s anthem, and "Take Flights" is a well funky boogie-down joint that's looped for pleasure. Re-edits done proper.
Land Of Hunger (Love Creation Touch Of Acid edit) (5:16)
Luther's Jam (4:56)
Space Talk (Love Creation edit) (5:19)
Review: Thus far we've had re-splices of artists as diverse as Ministry, Sade, The Police and Coloursound on the Love Creation series of edits series out of Australia. The fourth edition in the series continues on a winning streak. From the astro-funk of "Land Of Hunger" (Love Creation Touch Of Acid edit) to a lo-slung edit of a certain soul classic on "Luther's Jam" on the A side. On the flip, we've got some vocals of a legendary Indian chanteuse on "Space Talk" (Love Creation edit) which really bring the funk!
Review: Oh gosh. Following last year's self-titled sandy-toed diamond, Phil Mison's Noche Espanola hits the vibe bullseye once again with this stunning 400-only summer anthem in waiting. Fittingly vibrant, feel-good and measured with its big chords, chorus vocal and cheeky horns, this has so much to offer it oozes out over two versions and sun-kissed outro. Instant mood-raiser, this will be hammered all summer we guarantee it.
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: Alan Shelly was an intermittent feature in the late 60s and early 70s soul and funk scene, but his one-off 7" Party Freaks / Dance Together released in Italy in 1975 remains a treasured gem for those who crave the most potent secret weapons for their record crates. Of course, Best Italy are no slouches when it comes to such records and they have dutifully snapped up the original masters of these sought after jams and given the full, uncut mixes a proper, beautifully remastered airing on 12". "Party Freaks" has a raucous, West African flavour to it that can't fail to set the crowd alight, while "Dance Together" takes things in a looser, jammed out direction - both tracks are pure fire, and it's a damn good thing Best have dusted them down.
Review: Hotmood is up next on Disco Fruit with some brightly coloured tracks that sit just right in the bowl next to previous efforts from Funky Junkie, Gradient Logic and more. "Let's Ride" is low down and nasty where it counts, but also manages to be smoothly finished so as to keep the crowd happy. "Mr Funkyman" gets a little jazzier, looping up where it counts to keep the sweet, sweet groove rolling as long as needed. "My Disco Collection" is a more rugged affair rolling at a slower tempo, and the appropriately named "Clean Cuts" gets busy with a loop that could roll on all day without anyone tiring of it.
Review: Emotional Rescue do the right thing and tap up the Konduko label - an oft overlooked gem of the Miami bass scene - for one of the biggest tracks in Noel 'King Sporty' Williams' back catalogue. "Haven't Been Funked Enough" is an absolute battering ram of proto electro, staggeringly advanced for its time (it was originally released in 1982). There's also a "Rapstrumental" mix with some life-affirming instructive speech across the jam, but the real icing on the cake is Idjut Boy Nad's wild and ranging "Discomix" on the B side. It's a truly spaced out affair that sounds like it was mixed live on the desk with its rugged FX sends and woozy atmosphere.
I Want You For Myself (KON extended remix) (10:40)
Review: Acclaimed crate-digger turned disco re-editor KON has decided to launch his own reissue imprint, Kontemporary. The idea is simple: to accompany re-mastered original tracks with fresh rubs from the man himself. 12" number one offers another opportunity to enjoy George Duke's soulful, sun-kissed, disco-era jazz-funk bomb "I Want You For Myself". On the A-side you'll find Duke's own impeccable 12" version, with KON's re-edit gracing the B. Having access to the original multi-track tapes has allowed the New York-based producer to not only include an atmospheric, extended intro (a tactic regularly used by fellow rework merchants The Revenge and Joey Negro), but also give more prominence to Duke's superb piano solos.
Review: Organic Analogue broadens its remit on this killer boogie inflected diversion from Italian producer Croza. Where the label has been often associated with deeper techno and electro, it sounds right at home exploring the Moog bass licks and snappy drum programming that pours like a fine wine out of every track. "Night Heat" is the perfect lead track, all steamy synth throb and funky guitar licks, while "Feel" turns up the pressure with a proto house burner that would have set the Paradise Garage alight. Also look out for a rare appearance from AD Bourke, who cruises on to the record to deliver a blissed out version of "Night Heat" for the smokiest of sundown situations.
Review: A lot of Inigo Vontier's early material was confined to the digital realm, but now the Mexican DJ and producer is starting to get recognition on wax for his heady brew of old methods and a taste for the freakier end of the party spectrum. This 12" for Mexican label Calypso leads in with the strangely unsettling but strident "Wirikuta," before the snappy surge of tightly wound tech variation "Marakame" comes leaping into ear shot. "Maxa" marks out its own unique space with a heavy broken beat excursion, leaving it to Dreems to ruminate on "Wirikuta" for a closing remix.
Review: The fourth release on Black Rox finds the Africa-loving label looking to a fine pair of suitors to do the business on a fine pair of edits. Soft Rocks is up first, channelling all the sun of the source material into a track called "Date With The Rain". It's a sweet natured jam layered with gorgeous vocals, perfect Afro guitar licks and a bubbling organ line. Roots Unit takes over on the B side with the more tricky-to--pin-down affair that puts snaking percussion at the front of the mix and loops up some mantras and chants for a truly head-spinning end result.
Review: Los Charly's Orchestra's Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel collect a few of their finest butt-shakers and stamp them down on a big juicy 12 for all our boogie needs. "My Way", originally released last year, kicks off with smouldering, hip-slinking ease before the disco-tinged "Intermotion" gets the spotlight across two bass-slapping versions. Finally we glide back to 2015 for two takes on the sunny-side viber "The Boogie Mine". Blame it on the boogie...
Review: London's Moton have spent the last 20 years moving aimlessly and idly without fixed direction through their music collection to bring you great edits and are still going strong. They return with two huge edits by gospel/soul music authoritarian Greg Belson and veteran edit crew/Situation member Paulo Fulci. Now as 'Divine Situation', Belson & Fulci are returning to the underground sound with a slew of edits, starting with these back to back club-tested heavy hitters. Exquisite woodwind and brass sections, silky strings and classic disco vocals all wrapped up into classic cuts, already road tested to perfection by the duo.
Review: There's no doubt that crate-digger, record collector and renowned Discogs seller Zafsmusic knows more than most about the world of private press vinyl releases. This 12", originally pressed up in super-limited quantities by its' creator, Martin L Dumas Jnr sometime around the turn of the '80s, has long been a must-have for collectors with several thousand dollars to spare. The title track is particularly wonderful - a warm, breezy, loose and fluid chunk of boogie-soul that Zaf has slightly tweaked to suit the needs of modern dancefloors. Flipside "Nonstop To The Top" has a more jazz-funk feel, with intergalactic synths complimenting Dumas Jr's sweet vocal and conscious lyrics.
Review: Manchester producer Haners kicks off the Misadventures label with an assured grip of warm, discoid funk shot through with a healthy dose of 80s production finish. "Heaven" is definitely the most dancefloor ready track - a shimmering slice of laid back disco house with plenty of hooks and a dreamy, slightly dubbed out atmosphere. "Girl" is more audacious, slowing the tempo right down and riding on a brittle beat and a heavily reverbed dose of island boogie. "You" keeps things slow and easy for the gentle part of the night - a consummate smooth groover.
Review: Red Greg, on Moton, delivers a trio of edits of obscure cuts from his seemingly endless record collection. Ten-minute A-side "Movin" is an undulating disco treat built around a killer bassline, twinkling melodies, punchy orchestration and one hell of a female vocal. On the flip you'll find the jaunty, horn-heavy disco-funk bump of "Desire", a superb rework of a barely known, bilingual gem, and the spiraling Caribbean disco-funk insanity that is peak-time workout/synthesizer wig-out "Trinidad Duke". All three edits have been "secret weapons" for the dusty-fingered DJ for some time, and can now be yours for less than nine English pounds. What's not to like?
General Purpose - "Concerto De Chasse" (edit) (6:45)
Salvador Ricardo - "Cha Cha Flamongo" (edit) (4:34)
Review: General Purpose boys Len Leise and Salvador Ricardo have decided to launch their own re-edit series. For the first Also Known as Edits 12", Leise has decided to raid his own archive, offering up two tasty reworks first featured on his 2015 LL Edits EP (a 12" that now goes for silly money online). These brilliant reworks - the dreamy Brazilian Balearica of "Stars for Jorge" and equally starry, horizontal jazz-funk flex of "Desperado Dining" - can be found on the A-side, with the flip reserved for previously unheard rubs. There's "Conerto de Chasse", a heavily percussive, deep Afro-house edit from General Purpose that's also blessed with seriously tactile melodies, and Salvador Ricardo's "Cha Cha Flamongo", a Flamenco-goes-cha-cha cut that's as glassy-eyed and positive as it is loved-up and Balearic.
Review: Aroop Roy is a producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist from the UK. Be prepared for one well funky and soul infused journey on "Talkin Bout Life" which is perfect to bring in the summer of 2017. Funky elements, a serious horns section and strong vocals hold up this brilliant track. It's a more straight ahead deep house affair on the rather evocative "We Together" and actually its the kind of track you could imagine Derrick May or Dixon playing out; there are definitely elements of 'hi-tech soul' in it. The Brisa remix of Talkin Bout Life" on the flip is a worthy addition also.