Review: When it comes to exotic, off-kilter edits, you'll struggle to find a stronger series than Jonny Rock's Disco Hamam. This fifth volume is every bit as essential as its predecessors. Beards In Dust claims the A-side with "At The Dawn", a tidy revision of a druggy and "chuggy" version of a blue-eyed psychedelic funk-rock roller that comes complete with some serious sing-along sections. The heady world of Turkish music - a constant source of inspiration at the Disco Hamam HQ - comes to the fore on the B-side. Tales Of Voodoo's "Sharky" is a deliciously percussive, dancefloor-friendly fusion of Middle Eastern exoticism, funk-rock guitars and heavy disco percussion, while Esen Gunduz's "Deve Gucu" is an even sweatier, Italo Disco-era stomper that sounds like something you'd have heard in Istanbul clubs circa 1985.
Electric Mind - "Summing Up" (Massimo Beradi rework) (5:53)
Maurice McGee - "Styx" (DJ Rocca 808 edit) (6:24)
Orlando Johnson - "Turn The Music On" (Re Tide remix) (6:53)
Review: More from re-launched Italo-disco era label Full Time Records, who here present four fresh reworks of tracks from the vaults. G.A.M.M-signed scalpel hero Moplen steps up first to deliver a fine dubbed-out re-edit of Boeing's slap bass-propelled electrofunk classic "Dance To The Beat", before Massimo Beradi adds a little subtle, mid-tempo house flavour to Electric Mind's lesser-celebrated 1982 Italo-disco jam "Summing Up". DJ Rocca opens side B in some style, hammering away at a TR-808 drum machine while giving Maurice McGee's 1984 cut "Styx" an altogether deeper vibe. Meanwhile, Re-Tide turn Orlando Johnson's Paradise Garage favourite "Turn The Music On" into a muscular chunk of bass-propelled boogie-house badness.
Review: E Versions is a brand new edit-focused offshoot of Merc, seemingly allowing label boss Mark E an outlet for some of his unreleased reworks. Given the title, the spotters out there might easily guess what the source material for "Kahn" is, and it immediately calls to mind all those great reworks the Midlands-based producer did for Jiscomusic, Running Back and Golf Channel in the pre-disco edit flood era. It's complemented by the B-Side track "Mingo" which is much more indicative of the brand of hypnotic machine music Mark E is currently specialising in, and will appeal to fans of drums!!!
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray vocal mix) (8:40)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray dub mix) (6:19)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (vocal mix) (7:45)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (instrumental mix) (6:58)
Review: For their latest trick, Yam Who's Riot label has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Alton Edwards' 1981 UK electrofunk classic "I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You)". You'll find Edwards' superb original vocal version on the flip, where his part whispered, part sung vocals rise above thickset, mind-altering synth-bass, drum machine beats and some seriously punchy horn lines. The obligatory 21st century updates come courtesy of Full Intention man Michael Gray, who delivers a suitably pumped up boogie-house vocal revision before dropping a similarly chunky dub that wisely makes much of the original bassline and Edwards' whispered vocal passages.
Review: We don't know who he is. We don't know what he has in store for the future. But boy are we hooked on Elegant Borzoi. Both originals are crystal clear in their scope and cosmic sheen. Chunky, slinky and bubbling with elements of disco, house, funk, all tied up with strong shades of Balearic; "Mystique" is a tropical charmer that nods its head to the dubby lushness coming from Norway 15 years ago while "Lawnmower Woman" fuses Italo with sleazy 80s funk with a purring, catlike sense of playfulness. Remix wise Woolfy and Projections HH fatten up the bassline and add a little star gazing charm while Project Sandro brings home the slo mo bacon. Delicious.
Review: Last year, Marcel Vogel dusted down his Em Vee edit alias for the first time in three years, serving up a tasty four-pack of reworks for OYE's ongoing Edits series. It clearly inspired him to make more reworks, because now he's popped up on Razor-N-Tape with another fine selection of scalpel revisions. He begins by reworking a tongue-in-cheek chunk of disco silliness rich in spacey Moog lines and wonky vocals ("You Move Me"), before tweaking and rearranging a superb chunk of Latin-tinged tropical disco ("Spreading Energy"). "Don't Be Sabi Say" is a high-tempo chunk of Afrobeat/Afro-disco fusion full of ear-catching Nigerian vocals and bustling electric piano riffs, while "I Wish I Knew The Words" is a cheeky revision of an obscure Japanese synth-boogie number.
Review: Astonishingly, original copies of Energize's 1979 private press single "Piece of Class" have changed hands for over 500 quid online. Helpfully, Rain & Shine have decided to save us all a few bob by slinging out this licensed reissue. The title track is something of a bustling disco-funk gem - a genuinely wonderful fusion of hazy vocals, dueling horn solos, spacey synthesizer flourishes and driving bass guitar. B-side "Star of the Disco" is an even more up-tempo affair, with mazy saxophone solos, rasping horn stabs and starry jazz-funk keys riding a walking bassline and high-octane disco drums.
Review: New York City-based trio Escort are back for the first time since their Animal Nature LP from 2015. Their new track "Slide" was co-written with NYC soul artist Denitia and drives you gently with this west coast influenced roller produced by Eugene Cho and Jkriv - and featuring Adeline's wonderful vocal delivery. We absolutely adored this slick and low slung boogie-down number. For something more uplifting (and with dancefloor dynamics) you can try the classic '70s disco explosion of "Ride" (feat Brian Jackson) on the flip, which calls to mind the classic vibe of masters like Salsoul, Moulton Studios et al.
Review: Balearic disco maestro Max Essa has named his latest EP in honour of "Barkhan Dunes" - those wind created, crescent shaped sand dunes often found in deserts. Quite how this fits with the music on offer isn't explained, though the Balearic-minded music offered up is excellent. Check first "The Price You Pay (For Loving That Way)", an arpeggio-driven slab of sun-kissed nu-disco/Balearic house fusion rich in life-affirming Rhodes chords, twinkling synth lines and delay-laden saxophone solos. "Kites At Nemoto Beach" is a gently unfurling ambient soundscape full of drowsy vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Sundowning" sees Essa wrap glistening guitars and thickset synth bass around a bubbly mid-tempo drum machine rhythm.
The Funk District - "An Evening With El Diablo" (6:31)
Matt Hughes - "Get Down" (5:50)
Cody Currie - "Aquarian Girl" (5:17)
The Owl - "Funky Feelin" (4:12)
ED Wizard & Disco Double Dee - "Slippin" (4:22)
Review: More good value goodness from the Editorial label, one of the few re-edit focused outfits that manage to retain a high level of consistency. The Funk District kicks things off with a fine re-arrangement of an organ and electric piano-focused chunk of sweaty dancefloor soul ("An Evening With El Diablo"), before Matt Hughes gets busy with some elastic slap bass on flash-fried disco-funk revision "Get Down". Elsewhere, Label regulars Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee dip the tempo on the slow and seductive "Slippin", the Owl stomps his way through the P-funk style heaviness of "Funky Feelin" and Cody Currie offers up a hazy sample-house cut rich in jazzy flourishes and warm electric piano chords.
Review: We were mighty impressed by Milanese party posse Rollover's first "anything goes" edits release, which promptly came and went from stores in a matter of days earlier in the year. Happily, this follow-up is similarly impressive. Opening edit, "Boom Boom Bo", a gentle mid-tempo house tweak of a smooth, horn-sporting jazz-funk number, sets the tone, before Tagliabue impresses via the Afro-Cosmic chug and subtle Balearic tones of "Dubitalo 1976". Etna is next up, rearranging and remixing a bongo-laden tropical bubbler from the early 1980s, before headline guests SHMLSS slap on some eyeliner and turn a New Romantic gem into a sweaty chunk of rubbery dub disco goodness.
842 Colours (feat Hrdvsion - Eddie C Elektro Funk remix) (3:42)
Musli Funk (3:45)
Review: Three years on from his last acclaimed outing on Endless Flight, Berlin-based Canadian Eddie C returns to the Japanese label with another high quality full-length excursion. Those who've followed his career over the last six or seven years will feel at home straight away. Opener "Hello baby" is a quirky, break-driven head-nodder rich in dub disco bass and quirky samples, while the cut that follows, "Carbon Date", offers a deeper and more spacey take on the same heady blueprint. From then on its' a loved-up, saucer-eyed jaunt through laidback Balearic disco grooves ("In The Park"), spaced-out punk-funk ("Way Uptown"), percussion-packed Latin beats ("Batacuda"), bustling breakbeat house ("Berlina"), warped digital dub ("Dancin' Music") and spaced-out broken beat ("Listen"). In a word: superb.
Review: Kalita's obligatory Record Store Day offering is something rather special: synth-funk visionary couple Emerson and Leora Sandidge's mythical unreleased album finally sees the light of day, following Emerson's sole private press seven-inch single release way back in 1988. Those two tunes ("Sending All My Love Out" and "Why Are You So Cold?") make the cut on this belated debut set, alongside six other previously unreleased recordings from the same sessions. Their take on electrofunk, boogie and '80s soul is colourful, soulful and synth-heavy, with the included tracks veering from up-tempo club workouts (see "Raw Deal Cocaine Kills") and fizzing dancefloor pop workouts, to sugary ballads and seductive slow jams. In other words, it's a more than tidy selection of rare and unheard gems.
Review: Released deep in the throes of her tenure as Nigerian pop's 'First Lady Of Song', "Give Me A Chance" is the fifth album and the first reissue since its 1980 by the late great Christy Essien captures just why she became such a universally loved artist; Essien can tap any type of groove and make it her own. From the country blues of "Give Me A Chance" to the warm reggae bubbles of "Ife" via the afrodisco of "Rumours" and all fusions in between, the combination Christy's powerful presence and super tight band made this one of her best albums.