Review: Fabrizio Esposito was born in Naples / Italy into a family of passionate musicians and vinyl collectors. His father played guitar in Tony Esposito's band who was responsible for some classic Italo tracks from the early 80's. He spent his early childhood immersed in his grandparnent's extensive vinyl collection which he has since inherited, this collection heavily influenced Fabrizio and made him a fan of Italian Wave, Italo Disco, Neapolitan Funk, Soul and Disco. After all these years working in clubs and with artists Fabrizio decided it was time to realise his other dream and become a DJ and producer himself fusing together his rich musical heritage combined with his clear vision for the future, creating his own unique sound. Fabrizio explains that since he was 14 he had always been behind the scenes of parties, from a PR to a promoter, always watching the djs and producers working to create the party around them. Since this time he has always been an obsessive vinyl collector, its in his blood, so now it's time for Fabrizio to share his own passion for music with the world.
Fast forward to summer 2019, Fabrizio made his Ibiza debut DJ'ing alongside DJ Harvey and Pete Gooding at La Torre and soon after Fabrizio finished his debut track 'This Way' which was premiered by Harvey at his now 'Mercury Rising' party at Pikes.
Review: To celebrate 30 years of his influential Z Records imprint, Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro has put together an epic, digital-only compilation of label highlights, plus a string of vinyl samplers featuring some suitably sought-after remixes. There's naturally much mouth-watering fare on offer on sampler one, from the classic disco celebration of Lee's string-laden, multi-track rework of Patrice Rushen classic "Haven't You Heard" (a mix as strong as any by Tom Moulton), to the modern deep house-soul flex of Lee's edit of Atjazz's terrific rework of overlooked Sean McCabe classic "Reach Out". Sandwiched in between you'll find a smooth, peak-time ready tweak of Akabu's "Another World" by Andre Lodemann, as well as the squelchy disco-boogie brilliance that is Hot Toddy's P-funk re-make of the Sunbrust Band's "Taste The Groove".
Review: "Mothership Connection (Star Child)" by funk legends Parliament was the third and last single released from the group's highly acclaimed 1975 album of the same name. After six years and much fanfare (including some from George Clinton himself), this sought-after KON remix is finally on 7" with a new EQ on the A side and a handy instrumental dub on the flip titled "Mothership Konnection" (see what he did there?). According to the man himself, "another sure shot rework from the stems ... recognizing the pure genius of George Clinton and crew, P-FUNK. So many layers in this session, it's amazing how much is really going on musically".
It All Began In The East (The Sacred Rhythm version) (11:48)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Koto version) (3:39)
A Dance For Gratitude (Joaquin's Congo Arts Drum version) (7:15)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Meditational mix) (3:18)
Review: Two years ago, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell donned his occasional Mental Remedy alias and offered up "A Journey To Noi", a decidedly spiritual album that mixed Japanese instrumentation with his usual ambient and deep house sounds. On this 12", Clausell offers up some heady new interpretations that - like much of his work over the last decade - are built around the percussive power of African rhythms. The opening "Sacred Rhythm Version" of "It All Began In The East" is particularly potent, with Clausell cloaking a warm, organic and percussive Afro-house beat in distinctive Japanese Koto melodies and jazzy piano flourishes. We'd also recommend the formidably heavy, drum-laden rework of "Dance For Gratitude", whose Latin American bassline and simmering synth-strings are almost as addictive as the weighty groove they sit upon.
Rafael Cameron - "Let's Get It Off" (Dr Packer rework) (6:13)
Ripple - "The Beat Goes On & On" (Dr Packer rework) (7:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "You're Just The Right Size" (Dr Packer rework) (6:07)
Review: UK born, Australia based DJ and producer Dr Packer is back with more of his on point edits. He tackles some serious disco heavyweights here on Salsoul and first off, disco diva Loleatta Holloway and her mega-hit "Runaway" gets a fresh 2020 update with some soul uplifting studio skills. A heavy funk remix of Rafael Cameron's "Let's Get It Off" is next, with the original still taking centre stage, then the shimmering and glistening disco gold of Ripple's "The Beat Goes On" follows before in-house collective The Salsoul Orchestra also get treated to some elegant orchestral work and a sultry vocal hook.
Review: Emotional Rescue return to the work of Noel Williams as King Sporty. The Miami-based Jamaican made some seminal, stunning music that presaged the increasing importance of synthesisers in disco and dance music overall. This time the label have decided to give a regal airing to a cut previously only available squeezed onto the Deep Reggae Roots LP. "Safari" is a heady brew that keeps a necessary skank in the groove while channeling the nagging funk of The Meters and heading somewhere exotic. At just under four minutes, it's the kind of jam that warrants an extended treatment, and who better to do a respectful job than Lexx, who more than doubles the run time of the track on the B side.
Review: More from the mysterious Ron's Reworks series, which appears (though it has never been confirmed) to have been launched in tribute to late, great Chicago DJ Ron Hardy. The shadowy scalpel fiend (or fiends) behind the series begins volume three with "Revelation", a sparkling rearrangement of a life-affirming, piano-laden number that sits somewhere between jazz-funk, Latin jazz, spiritual jazz and disco. It is, beyond a shadow of doubt, one of the most positive tracks you'll hear all month. Elsewhere, "Games You Playing" is a synth-sporting slab of disco-funk heaviness, and "Bada Bongo" a percussive, break-driven, bongo-laden workout guaranteed to get limbs moving on the dancefloor.
Review: Pioneering disco outfit First Choice built up a fine arsenal of hits in the 70s and 80s. Amongst them was their epic "Armed and Extremely Dangerous" which now gets two new versions served up by Brookside. Hot Mix 5 and Chicago house legend Ralphi "The Raz" Rosario is the man doing the work and the brings big drums and vocals with some superbly soulful keys next to Craig J Snider. On the flip, the band's most iconic tune "Love & Happiness" gets a rework by Mike Maurro. It is more soulful and warm, laced with big drums and sweeping pads.
I Know You Care (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (5:18)
It's Your Love (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (4:01)
Review: In soul connoisseur circles, Ethel Beatty will forever be remembered for her sole single on Roy Ayers' Uno Melodic label, which first slipped out in 1981. This Expansion Records reissue - pressed on white vinyl in a Juno exclusive - proves why it is still so well thought of. A-side "I Know You Care" is super-sweet, with Roy Ayers' immaculate production wisely focusing on Beatty's lovelorn vocal, and a disco era deep soul groove that's effortlessly warm and tactile. Also impressive is flipside "It's Your Love", Beatty's sugary but emotive rendition of a Dee Dee Bridgwater and Ayers composition that features some skittish, jazz-dance friendly drums and all-round soothing and seductive vibe.
Review: Long time disco diva Gwen McCrae is an eternally in demand artist whose music reconnects with each new generation. "All This Love That I'm Givin'" is one of her biggest hits and for good reason. Now it gets a special 7" release on stunning yellow vinyl. The soaring vocals do most of the work but the tentative stabs help bring the funk. It's a totally different vibe on the flip with "Maybe I'll Find Somebody New", a much slower and more sensuous tune with luxurious strings and wind instruments complimenting her smooth and seductive vocal work.
Evil Smarty - "The Groove To Make You Dance" (5:52)
Mitiko - "What Have You Done For Me" (6:04)
Loshmi - "Soul Food" (5:55)
Review: When you need the brightest, boldest takes on the disco edit tradition, look no further than Disco Fruit. The label's inexhaustible resources for peak party material continue in style with this sampler 12", which brings together four different artists with their own foolproof recipes for a damn good time. Hotmood takes no prisoners in laying down a delicious disco groove on "I Love To Boogie", while Evil Smarty loops up the funk to perfection on "The Groove To Make You Dance". Mitiko takes on a timeless classic with "What Have You Done For Me", focusing on the heavy new jack swing beat of the source material to create a new club banger. Loshmi rounds the record out with "Soul Food", a mellower offering but still holding down a groove for those more seductive moments.
Review: The first instalment of the Gallery edits series, which landed in stores at the very end of 2019, was an artful, off-kilter treat, so we're expecting big things from this eagerly awaited follow-up. A-side "Stop" is simply superb: a clattering, delay-laden, dub disco style revision of a poodle perm-sporting bunch of early-to-mid-'80s electronic disco laden with percussion hits, ear-pleasing synthesizers, druggy, arpeggio-style bass and familiar-sounding vocal snippets. It just keeps building throughout, suggesting dancefloor pandemonium is almost guaranteed. Flipside "Remember" is rather good, too, with the mystery audio art lovers re-wiring a deliciously camp, over-the-top electro-disco stomper.
Review: Floridian modern soul band Rivage recorded just one single and a sole album during their early '80s heyday, and both are apparently amongst Athens of the North boss Euan Fryer's favourite records of all time. It makes sense then that he has decided to reissue their album, "Sittin' On It" - an ultra-rare affair from 1981 that is here presented for the first time with an alternative photo cover (apparently the band hated the original cover). There's plenty to get the juices flowing across the eight tracks, with our highlights including "Sha Na Na", a punchy call for "soul for the people" blessed with brilliant horn arrangements, the Clavinet-sporting disco-funk cheeriness of "I Need Your Love", the deliciously celebratory title track and sweet, flute-laden closer "Strung Out On Your Love".
Review: German nu-disco don Purple Disco Machine has been phenomenally successful in recent years, and there's every chance that this single - a collaboration with little-known British indie band Sophie & The Giants - will raise his profile even more. "Hypnotized" certainly sounds like it has serious crossover potential. In its original "Extended Mix Form", the track is an attractive chunk of radio-friendly mid-tempo nu-disco/80s AM radio synth-pop fusion that comes complete with a catchy, sing-along chorus. Roosevelt smartly gives the track a little more organic disco warmth whilst retaining the prettiness of Purple Disco Machine's original synths, while Loods aims for hands-in-the-air peak-time bliss on a cheery retro-futurist big room house take.
Fun Kool - "Jam Now" (feat Eruptia & Anna Dee Tee) (5:29)
Brothers In Arts - "What's Wrong" (6:56)
Review: When sourcing material, the prolific Tropical Disco edits and rework series has largely relied on a small handful of reliable producers, most notably Sartorial and Moodena. Significantly, neither are present on this action-packed four-tracker, with the imprint instead showcasing the work of some genuine rising stars. Javi Frias kicks things off in fine style via the gently beefed-up, low-down disco-funk sleaze of "Push Me", before Hurlee adds a humid South American twist via the carnival-friendly hedonism of "Brasilia". Over on the flip, Fun Kool aims for arms-aloft peak-time disco perfection on EP highlight "Jam Now", while Brothers In Arts' "What's Wrong" is a filter-sporting slab of weighty disco-house goodness.
Double Exposure - "My Love Is Free" (The Reflex Revision) (8:13)
Instant Funk - "I Got My Mind Made Up" (The Reflex Revision) (7:25)
Review: Salsoul is a label as iconic as they come and decades after establishing that reputation it continues to deal in only the most original house and disco heat. The Reflex is a famous king of the remix who here adds his own vital spin to two new revisions for Salsoul Records. The Frenchman first up takes on Double Exposure's "My Love Is Free" to craft a layered remix that builds with a sick guitar riff and warm bass. Then comes a re-edit and remix of "I Got My Mind Made Up" that has chunky percussion and punchy drums. All in all a worthy addition to any collection.
Los Conquistadores Chocolates (Moplen Dizco Delight - part 1) (8:46)
Los Conquistadores Chocolates (Moplen Dizco Delight - part 2) (8:02)
Review: Johnny Hammond's "Los Conquistadores Chocolates" is a seminal slice of long form jazz funk from 1975, which has long been coveted by collectors and DJs and flexed over by dancers for decades. Now expert disco archaeologist and multi-track remixer par excellence Moplen has taken this holy grail to task with a respectfully epic two part opus that takes up both sides of this 12" on High Fashion. This is editing as carried out with utmost reverence for the source material and the hands-on ways in which the pioneers first carried out this ritual of extending the groove. If you need a lesson on how an edit should be done, look no further.
Review: The latest must-have missive from Naples' Early Sounds collective comes courtesy of founding member Pellegrino S. Snichelotto and his collaborative studio project Zodyaco. This time round keyboard player and fellow producer Daryo Bass joins him in the studio for a sun-kissed skip through hybrid jazz-funk/disco pastures. The A-side "Damecuta Version" of "Caucciu" is the kind of rich and opulent Balearic disco we dig, with the pair regularly flitting between dancefloor jazz-funk and arpeggio-driven, Italo-disco type sounds. The flipside "Migliera Version" is an altogether looser and more loved-up affair that sounds like a jam session between Tullio Di Piscopo and Pat Metheny.
Review: Since he last appeared on Razor 'N' Tape six years ago via a digital-only debut single, Dino Soccio has built up quite a catalogue of re-edits, not to mention a reputation as one of the scene's more interesting editors. It's for this reason that we're not surprised that his return to Aaron Dae and J Kriv's rework imprint is so good. It sees him offer up a quartet of killer cut-jobs that bounce between sumptuous, string-laden, French language Afro-disco (the superb "Fred's Groove"), sparkling up-tempo disco-boogie brilliance (the awesome "Star Beaming"), languid deep disco warmth (the dubby, spaced-out goodness of "Laid Back") and ultra-sweet, reggae-influenced Afro-boogie heat (sublime closing cut "Forgot").
Review: By now, we shouldn't need to tell you that the Tone Be Nimble-curated "Soul Is My Salvation" series of gospel soul obscurities is nothing less than essential listening. He's dug out two more little known gems for the sixth volume in the series, and once again they're simply unmissable. The A-side sports the Gospel Miracles' little-known 1985 treat "Building Up Myself", a Leroy Burgess-esque chunk of soulful warmth full of intricate musical flourishes (including a bassline reminiscent of that Burgess's Universal Robot Band used on "Barely Breaking Even"). On the flip you'll find a more driving chunk of gospel soul-funk fusion from 1977 - the equally inspired "Don't You Worry" by Serenity, a pretty much unknown combo whose music was produced by sometime Barry White collaborator Doug Lambert.
Peter Huntingdale - "Rocking You Eternally" (3:40)
Christine Lewin - "Juicy Fruit" (3:56)
Pure Silk - "Don't Let Love Get You Down" (4:24)
Al Charles - "Outstanding" (5:51)
Karen Dixon - "I Want To Be Free" (6:06)
George Posse - "Touch A Four Leaf Clover" (feat Toyin Adekale) (4:24)
Misses Misty - "Mellow Mellow Ride On" (8:39)
Trevor Hartley - "The Look In Your Eyes" (4:48)
Family Love - "Do Me Baby" (5:20)
Michael Prophet - "Body Fusion" (3:43)
Michael Gordon - "What You Won't Do For Love" (4:52)
Simplicity - "For The Love Of You" (5:35)
Review: Edinburgh's Athens Of The North label is endlessly flawless and this time around they pull together the special lovers rock covers they put out at the end of last year onto a superbly strong 12 track compilation. It arrives just in time for the warmer months and has been curated by Sam Don and overseen by label boss Euan Fryer. Standouts include Christine Lewin's lush take on the heavily sampled "Juicy Fruit" while the lo-fi bliss of Al Charles's "Outstanding" is another one to swell the heart and sooth the soul. For more sentimental moments check Family Love's "Do Me Baby." Overall, though, this is a must buy.
Review: Five months after launching his "Sir Cuts" series via the much-played "Love EP", Daniel Klein AKA SIRS returns to action with another collection of "personal edits". There's much to get the disco juices flowiong throughout, from the grandiose but lo-fi disco cheeriness of opener "Nottingham Forest" - wait for the extra-percussive drum break...it's a stunner -to the shimmering, synth-laden Euro-disco throb of "Magic Mirror" and the electric piano-laden electrofunk fizz of closing cut "Wicked". Interestingly, the source material tends towards the quirky and obscure, while the scalpel-style edits offered-up are far more reverential than most (in other words, there's no cheap studio trickery or needless filter sweeps). In other words, it's a fine selection of dusty disco and boogie gems.
Review: London's longest-running re-edit imprint returns to action, and fittingly it's label co-founder Diesel at the controls (albeit with fellow founder and old pal Dave Jarvis adding input via an "Executive Producer" role). A-side "US Lover" is simply superb: a blue-eyed, turn-of-the-80s AOR disco gem laden with heady horns, squelchy synth bass, swirling strings and heady harmonica solos. The Balearic disco fun continues on the flip, where the bleep-laden bluesy disco number "Hysteric Glamour" comes accompanied by the sunny, synth-laden instrumental disco oddity that is "Marabou". Deep cuts, subtly tweaked for extended dancefloor pressure: what more could any disco lover desire?
Review: Glyne Braithwaite has been a fixture of London's soul-fired house and disco scenes for decades, though it's only in recent years that he's started to make his mark musically under the Risk Assessment alias. His latest EP is naturally focussed around his cover of Captain Rapp electrofunk classic "Bad Times". Braithwaite's version (which, we think, features vocal snippets from a previous cover) is fairly faithful, though his version of the headline-grabbing bassline is altogether weightier (a good thing) and the included guitar solos much jazzier (also a good thing). On his remix, Riot label boss Yam Who takes the track to even greater heights, largely by adding production polish and some sparkling additional synths. Two rock-solid flipside re-edits of original disco-boogie gems complete a tidy EP.
Review: Arthur Russell and Nicky Siano... You'd donate a crucial limb to be in the studio when these were conjured, right? Expertly extended with full emphasis on the groove, Sleeping Bag have treated the heritage with the utmost respect. The guitar and horn noodles and dynamics of "Tiger Stripes" are given heaps of space to do their thing while the percussive groove takes on an even more hypnotic edge. Meanwhile on "You Can't Hold Me Down", the scratchy, unrelenting guitar rhythmic backbone remains the main focus while more attention has been paid to the drums, most notably the weightier kicks. A very respectful revisitation.
Review: The second release from the newly emerging If It Ain't Jazz label comes from Swedish producer Opolopo. For this one he takes two classics from the jazz-disco world and adds his own distinctive spins. The results soar into the stratosphere on golden chords and humid pads, funky drums and gliding grooves. Both are timeless reworks that will do plenty of damage on a wide range of dance floors. This marks another noteworthy release for this small but well formed label.
Review: As it fast approaches its 50th release, Leng does more of what it does best with a dazzling new disco EP from Tigerbalm. This is a new solo project from Nicola Rose Robinson, one half of the British duo, and she here blurs the boundaries between tropical disco, downtempo and Balearic sound worlds. The music here was said to have been started don travels in Indonesia and Alex Searle (bass and lead guitar) and Patrick Dawes (percussion) later added their own skills. Infectious, lush, and joyous, the original is another classic with fine remixes to bolster the package.
Andrew Kitchen - "Attack Of The Boogie" (TZ & Hersh edit) (6:46)
J Parker Band - "Live Lady" (TZ edit) (5:08)
Mister - "I Wanna Thank You" (4:50)
Henrietta Thomas - "I Want You (Right Now)" (4:45)
Review: We're used to Star Creature offering up authentically synth-heavy nu-boogie gems, but here they change tack with a little help from Chicago's Boogie Munster Crew. "Attack of The Chicago Boogie" sees them gather together some ridiculously rare private press gems originally recorded by Windy City musicians during the boogie and electrofunk era. They first offer up a fresh TJ & Hirsch re-edit of Andrew Kitchen's thrillingly squelchy and spacey "Attack of the Boogie", before TZ goes solo to rearrange J Parker Brown's deeper, warmer and more soulful lo-fi synth boogie treat "Live Lady". Over on the flip, Mister's "I Wanna Thank You" is a glossy, horn-sporting slab of polished boogie brilliance, while Henrietta Brown's "I Want You (Right Now)" is a bustling and up-tempo affair heavily influenced by jazz-funk.
When You Touch Me (vocal - Larry Levan mix) (10:40)
When You Touch Me (instrumental - Larry Levan mix) (11:05)
Review: Taana Gardner had plenty of huge disco hits in her arsenal and for that reason was a voice frequently heard at cult stateside clubs like The Loft, Studio 54 and Paradise Garage throughout the 70s and 80s. Larry Levan of course was one of those who gave her such a big platform and here we're presented with two of his mixes of her "When You Touch Me" single. The vocal is an intense jazz-funk ride with mad keys and a groove to die for, all with those sensuous vocals up top. The instrumental is no less intense, but allows the skilled instrumentation and bristling arrangement to really shine through.