Review: Masterworks Music mastermind 80's Child unleashes the third volume of his Masterworks compilations. This is a two-part vinyl release with the first part featuring The Funk District hailing from Cancun, who kicks off the A side with "The Funky Joint". He gets a good ol' time shuffle going before handing it over to Parisian Oldchap for a proper low-slung boogie in the form of "To The Top". On the flip, Godfather of the western Australian dance scene Dr. Packer gets down with a wicked edit on the late night sexiness of "Your Big Chance" and fellow Mexican Hotmood goes out on a high note with smokin' hot vocal number "Raw Dance".
Review: It's been four years since A&R Edits ceased releasing music after serving up nine essential EPs between 2013 and 2015. This return to action has been masterminded by Merseyside scalpel fiends Greg Wilson ("GW") and Henry Greenwood, whose fine revision of Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance" kick-started the imprint six years ago. A-side "Disco Mondo" is a rolling revision of a lesser-known breathy disco jam of (we think) Italian origin. It boasts a metronomic groove, wah-wah guitars, elongated organ chords, congas for days and a few well-placed swirling electronic effects. Over on side B, "In The City" is a dreamy chunk of mid-tempo, Italo-disco influenced synth-pop.
Review: Two out-and-out rarities from Hancock's Columbia-era output. Strictly the sole preserve of DJ promo back in 79/80, the clue is in the title 'special' disco remixes. Smooth, soulful and arranged with such style, every element of Herbie's essential ingredients is brought to the fore in its own time with its own space. "Stars In Your Eyes" swoons with a soulful ballad feel while "Saturday Night" pumps and jumps with party-pulling allure. Simply essential.
Review: The Have A Nice Day edit crew return with another edition of their so-far sold-out and still anonymous series of craftily reimagined and wryly dug dancefloor jams. "123" takes the lead with a big Cuban twist; all loopy percussion before the big horns kick in. "120 takes a different route as we're thrilled to hear a heavily dubbed and darked out classic. Flip for more head-turners as "125" goes all out experimental boogie while "0" follows the same trippy spoken word saga as previous releases, this time offering some vital advice on personal jewellery. Tight!
Review: Manchester producer Andy Hanley has had one previous outing on Ruf Kutz but now he's adopted the Haners alias to kick 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: REPRESS ALERT: Having previously contributed to the Ruf Kutz series, Manchester-based editor extraordinaire Andi Hanley lands on Magic Wand with some off-grid treatments seriously worthy of your attention. First up on the A side is "Tied Up (Hanners edit)," which locks into a snaking, submerged and deliciously tense Afro work out for show-stopping dancefloor drama. "Happy Together" is much smoother by comparison, all laid back island boogie with cheery synth strings and ample bass sleaze to keep you warm at night. "Lucky Number" is a peppier 70s flavoured strutter that teases its ingredients out over a sustained set of riffs.
Review: Attention Vegetarian vinyl consumers - approach this excellent introduction to the I'm A Cliche canon proper from Hannulelauri with caution if the sight of bare meat causes your constitution consternation. Raw steak on the cover art aside, there's little other reason not to indulge in this brilliantly oddball take on house music from the Finnish duo. Opening track "Box To Box" splays a cheeky acid stab lead over rusted percussion steeped in off kilter rhythms, whilst deep in the machine what sounds like an elephant tries to play along in time - it's a wonderfully tongue in cheek riposte to po faced music everywhere. The accompanying remix from Throne Of Blood duo Populette does a sterling job of realigning the track to burning deep house bump that's a perfect fit for the midnight hour. On the flip the title track "Dysfunction" straddles a lysergic house pump that will prove potent in the right atmosphere, whilst Toby Tobias embellishes the track with some soulful excess via diva warbling and hand claps.
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
Mass Production - "Welcome To Our World (Of Merry Music)" (7:31)
Ron Hardy - "Cosmic Lady" (5:34)
Willie Hutch - "Foxy Lady" (4:01)
Review: The Ron Hardy edits and specials just keep on flowing. Here the theme is kept vibrant and wholly focused on disco funk feels as we're treated to three extensions from the late 70s; Mass Production's debut from 76 "Welcome To Our World" is a warm and energetic cut that digs right into the heart of the dance, Tony Silvester's "Cosmic Lady" is taken up a gear with full attention on the instrumental sections while Willie Hutch's "Foxy Lady" retains full smoke and allure. Hardy knew how to pick them.
Review: London's Soul Brother unit has been out of the picture for a little while, but you can always rest assured that the mythical Putney-based shop will come up with some solid reissue goodness. This time, the gold comes through a resurrection of Bill Harris' material, a legendary jazz trombonist who started his trade way back in the late 1950's. There's two versions of "Am I Hot Am I Cold" here, a short version for the dance, and a long version that delves deeper into the percussion, goes heavier on the drum breaks and lifts the track to higher grounds thanks to those prophetic vocals. A certified jazz-funk monster.
Review: Gop Tun are a Brazilian label and party crew operating out of Sao Paulo, and they stride into their third release with a pair of tracks that are likely to establish them on the map even more than they are already. This is the second outing for Hatchets on the label, and "Hey Benji" makes for a perfect encapsulation of the Gop Tun sound with its warm, organic sound palette, slinky disco structure and traditional Latin elements. Prins Thomas meanwhile pushes the track into a whole other realm for his remix, creating a hard-edged, heavy-grooving remix that promises all kinds of psychedelic abandon on the dancefloor.
Review: Two years on from his first appearance on Brooklyn's finest re-edit imprint, Martin Hayes returns with a second salvo of DJ-friendly disco revisions. The Leipzig producer goes for the jugular from the start, delivering a slightly straightened-out, house-friendly tweak of a celebratory disco gem on boisterous opener "Easy Come Easy Go", before serving up a sizeable edit of a slo-mo orchestral disco groover ("Tiff"). He returns to peak-time pastures via EP highlight "Turn You On", a wickedly up-tempo anthem built around razor-sharp strings, jaunty piano riffs, bustling beats and a seriously good "walking" bassline. To round things off, Hayes delivers "Love Shine", a far warmer and groovier concoction blessed with breezy piano riffs, extended percussion breaks and incessant vocal snippets.
Review: Like many producers, Martin Hayes has built his career on the twin pursuits of original, sample-heavy house production and floor-friendly re-edits. This 12" sees him reaching for the scalpel once more, delivering a quartet of killer cut-jobs for Brooklyn's mighty Razor 'N' Tape. He begins with the rubbery bass, punchy horns and sweaty disco percussion of "Get On Down", before offering a perfect balance between low-slung strut and epic, string-laden brilliance on the even better "Make Me Dance". Flip for the percussion-heavy disco-funk workout "Tight Spot", and the atmospheric funk breaks, glistening guitars and spacey delays of EP closer "Ol' Funky Music".
Review: 6 E.P.II" is the second Vinyl E.P. taken from Headman/ Robi Insinna "6" Album which was released via Relish on the 15th September. E.P.II includes on side A1 Number 9, A2 Swing Now Out Dubfeaturing TarafromIt Rough fame. First track on the B side is called Somethingwith vocals by David Shawwho just released his first collaboration with Jennifer Cardinion Correspondant. The last track on the B side Take Me To The Top Dubfeatures Bozzwellaka Hiemfrom Firm fame. The Dub versions are exclusive for the Vinyl release. Robi's cover design is again in the same line as the whole Album project, including the Artbook, Video and Screenprints.
Review: Perpetually locked into a disco groove, Pete Herbert has already impressed this year with the splendour of his releases on Nang alongside Martin Denev, but on this new 12" for Riot Gear he's stepping out on his own. The record actually leads in with the plush, romantic throb of the Yam Who? remix of "Expresso" before the original takes over with a more peppy, borderline hi-nrg approach. On the B side Bottin gets to take "No Big Thing" to task with a version rich in electro funk synthlines, while the original sports some piano house chops and enough sizzling dancefloor energy to ignite a ruckus in a retirement home.
Are You Lonely? (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson mix) (5:57)
Are You Lonely? (The Revenge Redub) (7:04)
Are You Lonely? (Yam Who? re-edit) (6:13)
Review: Classic boogie-down antics for those that know on this wonderful old school production by short lived outfit Hipnotic. Alongside the wondrous rarity that is "Are You Lonely?", it also comes with four new interpretations of the much loved and sought-after funk fuelled gem. First up, Stockholm legend Peter Major aka Opolopo delivers his usual style of magic featuring an amazing bassline and slick neon-lit production style. Legend Greg Wilson is joined by Che Wilson to deliver smooth and lo-slung rework, while Scottish disco hero The Revenge does his usual slo-mo thang, before Midnight affiliated Yam Who? goes back to the program with his respectful edit.
Aurra - "Such A Feeling" (Dr Packer rework) (6:56)
Salsoul Orchestra - "Take Some Time Out" (Dr Packer rework) (6:43)
The Jammers - "Be Mine Tonight" (Dr Packer rework) (5:50)
Review: Barely a fortnight has passed since Salsoul offered up a double-pack of Dr Packer reworks of classic tracks, but the Australian producer is already onto his next batch of vintage disco and boogie remixes. He begins by subtly beefing up Loleatta Holloway's orchestrated disco classic "Hit & Run", wisely emphasizing a relaxed but bouncy disco-house groove and dubbed-out vocal section, before going dub disco crazy on a suitably spacey, low-slung take on Aurra's boogie-era jam "Such A Feeling". Record two sees him charging towards peak-time floors via fine multi-track edit of Salsoul Orchestra's "Take Some Time Out", before delivering a fine, light touch revision of the Jammers' superb, synth-heavy electrofunk classic "Be Mine Tonight".
Review: Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel go from strength to strength, cruising their 18-wheeler disco wagon into the future without so much as a nudge on the brake pedal. "Dumb Disco Ideas" hits you straight in the face like a WhoMadeWho record produced by Tom Moulton. Hooky, pumping and precision produced, it's got 'sound of the summer' stamped all over it. It also comes complete with an insane video if you've got time for some visual titillation. There's nothing dumb about this at all.
Falling Deep In Love (Joey Negro 12" Disco Blend) (7:11)
Review: Horse Meat Disco has been promising a debut album for some time, but there are now signs that it might, at last, be on its way. Here they present their second high-profile single for Glitterbox - a superb collaboration with legendary disco vocalist Kathy Sledge. In its original form, "Falling Deep In Love" is the kind of groovy, string-laden, sing-along disco treat that sounds like it could have been written and produced by Chic greats Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. It's utterly ace, all told, and deserves to be one of the tracks of the summer. On the flip, Joey Negro offers up a "Disco Blend" that combines the quartet's original instrumentation and Sledge's fine vocal with slightly more weighty, house-style drums.
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: 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: Hotmoods hits double fingers with another stellar selection of steamy disco sizzlers. This time served up on a heavyweight 12", "Esta Noche" leads the charge with Todd Terje style melodic magic chugging away to the skies. "Shabba" features joyous vocal harmonies and splashes of synths that take you to the beach, and "Looking Back" ups the funk with busy bass playing and a lead synth that rings out with infectious happiness. Last of all, "Wanna Be Lost" gets more romantic and up close and personal with female vocals layered over elastic drums. All in all, an essential slab of wax for any disco DJ.
Review: Always adept at reading the crowd and armed with decades of experience behind the decks, well-travelled man and Discoweey label boss Hotmood makes his debut on UK-based Giant Cuts with four summery tracks on "The Rhythm EP". Combining slo-mo boogie, groove laden disco and quality house sounds, he kicks things off with the sleazy late night funk attack of "The Rhythm Is There", before going deeper on the bass-driven soul loops of "My Darling (Dina)", leading up to the thumpin' B1 cut - a remix by Doc Jam that's chock-a-block with dancefloor dynamics and closing out with a fusion of jazz-funk, disco-house and evocative tropical jazz samples on "Tropical Space". Fans of Tropical Disco, Ravanelli Disco Club and Samosa will especially love this.