Review: Having previously blessed us with "Ocean Side" two years back, Benedek and Tom Noble return to Superior Elevation with two more Balearic gems. One for the night time, one for sunrise; "World Gruuv" hits the boogie spot with spiralling keys wandering freely up and down a tight shimmering synth-bass led groove. Meanwhile "Profesora" on the B brings us back into reality softly with its addictive percussive hook, aquatic backing and totally tropical taste. Imagine Art Of Noise on Claremont 56 and you're on the right route.
David Last - "All That's Left" (feat Lavender - dance mix) (5:51)
Review: Besides its inimitable name, Hobo Camp has had a pretty unbeatable first few years in the game, switching up the electro sound with shades of loopy house and techno. These guys have released over two dozen EPs since 2016, and are showing no signs of stopping if this new collaborative release is anything to by! Pumping the vibes through with utter ease, Run The Length Of Your Wilderness is a daring, rip-roaring amalgamation of tech-driven sounds that span just about every quality corner of the game. "The Industrial City", from Cherushii, moans and weeps with a fragile acid bassline over broken percussion beats, while Nackt's "Next" floats at a house tempo, driven forwards by a winding bass from the darkest corners of the 4/4 game. On the flip, Roche's "One For Cherushii" bigs up his counterpart with a deep, aqueous house chugger, and David Last's "All That's Left" drops a clean, sparkly prog house groover for the lovers.
Review: As with its' 12 predecessors, the latest compilation style EP from publicity-shy French diggers Unlimited Love gathers together an impressive selection of sought-after gems. This time round, many of the cuts are taken from eye-wateringly expensive and hard-to-find private press records. Check, for example, the fizzing 1982 boogie of Jeancy's "Reservation", the sweet breeziness of Karizma's "Will You Dance With Me" (an original 7" copy of which would set you back around L300) and the skewed, orchestra-smothered quirkiness of Marion Javius's "Waiting in the Wings". Elsewhere, Makonde's "Manzara" is a heavy chunk of psychedelic-minded Afro-funk, while Neo Experience's sumptuous "Human" is a lesser-known chunk of Philly soul bliss.
Roger Damawuzan - "Loxo Nye" (Pushin Wood remix) (5:39)
Napo De Mi Amor - "Cacatchoule "Berceuse Bassari"" (3:04)
Sewavi Jacintho - "Miade Dua" (5:35)
Review: Hot Casa's latest must-have release is a veritable smorgasbord of Togolese treats. It focuses specifically on obscure soul music made in Togo in the 1970s, with two hard-to-find original cuts being joined by two contemporary re-edits of similarly obscure classics. The EP opens with Bosq's smooth, dancefloor-focused tweal of Yta Jourias's breezy, horn-heavy tropical soul workout "Adome Nyueto", before Pushin Wood takes over and adds a little contemporary electronic bounce - and some particularly colourful synths - to Roger Damawuzan's "Loxo Nye". Over on side B, Napo De Mi Amor's "Cacatchoule Berceuse Bassari" is a fuzzy soul shuffler rich in bright, Juju style guitar solos, hazy vocals and Hammond organ stabs, while Sewavi Jacintho's "Miade Dua" is a sweatier and heavier concoction powered by loose-limbed drumming and sun-kissed instrumentation.
Mistura - "Do You Love Me?" (feat Angela Johnson - Joey Negro Disco Blend) (6:20)
Sylvester - "I Need You" (Opolopo remix) (7:55)
Neapolitan Soul - "Welcome To The Dub" (11:44)
Raquel Rodriguez - "We Go Together" (Joey Negro club mix) (6:21)
Review: Over the years, Z Records' "Attack The Dancefloor" series has proved to be a serious source of tried-and-tested club cuts in a disco-centric style. Volume 13 is full to bursting with must-have tracks too. Label boss Dave Lee sets the tone, donning his famous Joey Negro alias to deliver a sumptuously summery "Disco Blend" of Mistura's Angela Johnson-voiced "Do You Love Me?" before Opolopo steals the show by turning Sylvester's surging disco anthem "I Need You" into a synth-sporting chunk of revivalist disco-boogie. Neapolitan Soul's "Welcome To The Dub" is a punchy chunk of disco-house laden in percussion and cute instrumental touches, while Lee's Joey Negro Club mix of Raquel Rodriguez's "We Go Together" is a sweet and seductive fusion of jazz-funk instrumentation and celebratory disco grunt.
Review: NYC-based Japanese groove guru Takuya returns with two alluring, highly cosmic funkers and a whole stash of dope remixes. "Spacetak" lives up to its name in every possible way. Big juicy synths that flap and fold over a nicely slouched groove; this will aid and abet many people looking to lose their minds this summer. "Sun" is also fittingly titled thanks to its premium vibrancy and latent feels (not to mention a wry bit of slap bass) Remix-wise Tronik Youth get all dubbed out on "Spacetak" while Jonny Sender whips us back to early 2000s City Rockers vibes with some superb use of the trumpet elements. Talk time is over.
Natasha Kitty Katt & Dennis Probert - "Master Of The Moon" (5:40)
Glitter In The Dark (6:17)
Review: Edinburgh's Natasha Kitty Katt has previously proved to be a more than reliable source of contemporary disco sleaze. Here she returns to action after a 12-month absence with another batch of throbbing, floor-friendly cuts. Chief amongst these is opener "Master of the Moon" - co-produced by regular collaborator (and daddy Kitty Katt) Dennis Probert - which elevates the Winners' underground disco classic "Ready For The Future" to dubbed-out new disco-house heights via new beats, synths and tons of trippy effects. It's a party-starting winner, all told. Similarly impressive is chunky and throbbing flipside "Glitter In The Dark", a bouncy dose of Italo-disco/house fusion rich in thrusting arpeggio bass, glassy-eyed synthesizer melodies and sweaty layered percussion.
Review: Nebraska's Friends & Relations series continues to deliver the goods as another no nonsense slab of sample-a-delic house delights lands on our platters. There is a fine balance struck between familiarity and obscurity on these edit-esque productions, where you might well recognise the odd break or sample, but Nebraska applies a deft touch to keep things mysterious and fresh. There is funk spilling out of the grooves like you wouldn't believe, from rugged basslines to heavy vibing keys, with splashes of dub FX and a little cosmic dust sprinkled on top for good measure. Heads down business for serious dancers, and the DJs that love to keep them locked in.
Review: Brooklyn-based Razor 'N' Tape has some serious pulling-power these days. Having already released material from Dirtytwo, Mr V, Loz Goddard, Kraak & Smaak and Fouk, the New York imprint has managed to score an EP from Mister Saturday Night regular Nebraska. Predictably, it's a party-starting affair from start to finish. Bouncy, horn-heavy disco-house A-side "Drill Deep" - a weighty chunk of unashamed peak-time goodness - leads the way, with beatdown-tempo shuffler "Keep On Keeping On" snapping at its heels. This bubbles along tenderly via swirling disco orchestration, before bursting into life midway through thanks to the introduction of a sublime female vocal. "Instant Pressure", a chunkier, dub-flecked fusion of dewy-eyed soul and low-slung acid bass, is also superb.
Lenny Fontana, Tension - "A Place Called Heaven" (Joey Negro dub Groove) (6:58)
Jay Denes, Ada Dyer - "You Make Me Whole" (Joey Negro Rhodes dub) (5:17)
Julian Sanza - "To Love" (5:16)
Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie, Andrea Mendez - "Bring Me Love" (Eventual dub) (6:56)
Review: Some serious no-nonsense house grooves for all true-school DJs to cop, dug out from the annals of club music history. Things kick off good and proper with Joey Negro's insanely powerful "Dub Groove" mix of Lenny Fontana's "A Place Called Heaven". Negro's on the buttons once again with the classic, pumping "Rhodes Dub" of "You Make Me Whole" by Jay Denes and Ada Dyer. On the flip, Julian Sanza drops the squelchy boogie inflected "To Love" before the record ends on a serious bang with the dream team of Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie and Andrea Mendez's "Bring Me Love (Eventual Dub)". This is as actual house as actual house can get - the real deal, crystalised in four evergreen gems pressed on one handy record.
Lonnie Liston Smith - "Space Princess" (JN Space Goddess mix) (10:44)
Lonnie Liston Smith - "Space Princess" (JN Break mix) (3:52)
Gwen McCrae - "Keep The Fire Burning" (JN Special dub #3) (6:49)
Wardell Piper - "The Power Of Love" (JN Power Of The Boogie mix) (7:11)
Review: Thanks to soaring demand on the second-hand market, Joey Negro has decided to re-press this killer collection of disco remixes that originally appeared on a limited-edition Record Store Day release. All four were created, but not released, during the making of his superb Remixed With Love albums. The A-side boasts two versions of Lonnie Liston Smith classic "Space Princess"; an epic, peak-time disco revision and a brilliant beats version (the "Break Mix"") that consists of little more than punchy percussion, trippy effects and bags of energy. Turn to the flip for Negro's impeccably delay-laden, New York style dub of Gwen McCrae's "Keep The Fire Burning" and a spine-tingling, sing-along rearrangement of Wardell Piper's lesser-celebrated disco-boogie classic "The Power of Love".
Dance Your Blues Away (The Mighty Zaf edit) (4:32)
Review: Originally released in 1979 as a B-side to The Neville Brother's "Sweet Honey Dipper", "Dance Your Blues Away" saw Ivan go solo for the first time on this sultry modern soul jam. Laced with a plucky bass and just the right smattering of sleaze, it set the foundations for Ivan's extensive solo career. It also provides the perfect groove tools for The Mighty Zaf to work his editor craft and beef up the vibe with subtlety. Keep on dancing!
Review: Best Records are always a trusted source of reissued obscurities, but they've really outdone themselves this time. New Horizon was a one-off studio project from NYC buried in the annals of 70s disco funk, supposedly helmed by Donald Jenkins, but the chances of finding this mythical record were less than zero before now. "You" is a sumptuous jam, where each player shines in equal measure from the limber bass to the gossamer keys and stirring singers. This is soul jazz of the highest order, so very worthy of a reissue not least in its "Special Disco" guise. The vocal-less cut on the flip is just as wonderful, spinning a web of instrumentation that peaks with a wild guitar solo.
Review: The Super Disco Edits camp have pulled off something of a coup here, securing the rights to a previously unissued 1987 cut from studio duo New Jersey Connection, whose sole 1981 single, "Love Don't Come Easy", has long been a favourite of boogie DJs. "Red Light Green Light", featuring the breezy vocals of Cynthia Wilson, sounds like a long lost boogie classic: all sugary-sweet backing vocals, rubbery bass guitar, twinkling '80s soul synthesizer melodies and punchy drum machine percussion. The A-side vocal version is accompanied by a tasty instrumental mix, in which the focus switches to the NJ twosome's superb production. File under: "must have".
Review: The Chordz EP brings it with 3 hot new modern Boogie tracks.
Label Hero Newman opens the release with the title track 'Chordz' - a synth-fuelled dancefloor banger, reminiscent of Harvey Sutherland's recent work. Flip it over and Ourra (aka Simon Tappenden aka 'Pop Out N Play') brings us a truly Tropical treat reminiscent of Palm Trees, Pina Coladas and 80's Miami sunsets. Last but not least, Keyboardist for Brian Ellis, Adam Chini plays 'Horizons of Funk'... a lush down tempo synth funk number bringing the EP to the perfect close.
Review: ** REPRESS ALERT ** Although arguably best-known for her portrayal of communications officer, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura on the original sci-fi television program Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols is likewise a formidable vocalist who also garnered a solo spot during a brief stint with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra. This 7" houses two infectious, vintage soul numbers - "Know What I Mean" and "Why Don't You Do It Right?" - and they sound as sweet as they did over 50 years ago. A valuable collectible for Soul, Northern fans as well as any true Trekkie.
Review: Father & Son Records And Tapes have already had a strong 2016 with releases from Naphta, DJ Sajko and Das Komplex, and now the Polish label rounds off the year with a stunning album of style-spanning wares from Niemoc. Paramaribo is the first physical release for the emergent artist, and it sports all manner of instrumentation feeding into a wholesome, heartwarming whole. There's a danceable pulse propelling these tracks, and the likes of "Lustro" head more overtly into club territory, but by and large this is an album of plaintive melodics to tug at the heart as much as the feet.
Review: A seminal 81/83 record that epitomised so many sounds and melting pots: synth wave, Italo, New Romantic, electro, proto house... The list of worlds this groundbreaking song traversed is remarkable. Here Dark Entries compile the four versions that were cut during its two key release phases on GC Recordings in 1981 and 1983 in all their remastered glory. Smouldering, moody and still relevant to so much going on musically, this is true piece of history.
Review: Following killer releases from lesser-known talents like Aristidez, Colossio and Thomass Jackson, Mexico's premier modern disco label Calypso commence a new project that sees them celebrating some of their favourite cities around the world. The journey starts in Tel Aviv, where a range of underground producers present the kind of freaky disco-not-disco sounds that get dancefloors frisky the world over these days. Niv Ast keeps things simmering and sensuous on "Rainey Heart," while Rina gets locked into a dense chug of sweaty sonics and solid rhythms. Naduve has a slower, percussion-led groove rolling on "Hex Mex" that will inject spice into any adventurous warm-up, and Middle Sky Boom finishes the record off with the tense and teasing "Marble Arch".
Review: Fizzy boogie from Minneapolis circa 1982; Nobody cut through with a raw, energetic sound and countered with soothing, evocative soul that shimmers with their gospel roots. "I Saw You" sits somewhere between Prince and Rick James but polished with super freaky female front vocals, it's wholly unique and backs up the first pressing's pricetag of $500. "Heaven's Love" is the perfect counter with its emphatic harmonies and stately instrumentation. A serious timepiece from AOTN.
Review: Hawaiian legend Al Nobriga played a vital role in the island's club and chart scene throughout the '70s and early '80s before chasing his dreams to Nashville (and consequently shattering them). Long before the brutal crush of industry reality, he recorded several albums including They're Playing My Music in 1977 of which these two tracks come from: "My Last Disco Song" lives up to its title with it sturdy dancefloor hook and polished sense of funk while "Break Away" shows Al's softer side as we sail on yacht across positively Balearic shores.
Review: Here's something to savour: two killer, previously unheard P-funk style workouts from regular Rick James collaborator and former Motown artist Bobby Nunn. Both the lolloping, horn-laden, Prince-esque brilliance of "Cherry Pie" and the more stripped-back, synth-fired "Got My Eye On You" were apparently recorded in Nunn's home studio at some unspecified point in the early 1980s, before being forgotten for the best part of four decades. They're well worth checking, as is Nickee B's rework of "Got My Eye On You", which brilliantly strips back the track further in order to allow Nunn's brilliant electronic instrumentation a chance to shine. If synth boogie's your bag, you need this in your life.
Review: The mysterious NY Underground label and production team are keeping tight-lipped on their identity. What we do know is they love editing, dubbing and reworking Big Apple house and disco tunes and are good at it, too. Following a number of sold out EPs they come correct again with number 9. "New York Underground IX (part 1)" is a tense dance floor workout with acid prickles and flashes of synth that are perfect for strobe lit spaces. Part 2 then goes disco, with stomping drums you will likely recognise driving along some exotic synth lines and steamy vocal work. Top tools.
Can't Fake The Feeling (12" instrumental mix) (5:25)
Review: Long-serving soulful house and jazz-funk band Reel Peeple has decided to inaugurate a new series of disco and boogie covers. On the A-side of this first EP they serve up vocal and instrumental covers of Evelyn 'Champagne' King electrofunk classic "I'm In Love". Although these are largely reverentially faithful to the King's version (even down to the synthesizer settings), they also feel a little more loose and groovy - thanks in no small part to the band's drummer. On the flipside they opt for a more traditional disco sound on their versions of Geraldine Hunt's "Can't Fake This Feeling". Aside from the additional of some synth strings and warm Rhodes chords, they too are pleasingly faithful to their source material.