All I Do (Ryuhei The Man 45 edit instrumental) (4:05)
Review: Japanese live outfit, A Hundred Birds has a thing for creating classic covers. Over the course of their career, they've recorded countless covers, including organic, string-laden interpretations of techno scene staples such as "Blackwater" (originally recorded by Octave 8) and "Knights of the Jaguar" (The Aztec Mystic). Last year they offered up another warm and wonderous cover, this time of Stevie Wonder classic "All I Do". Here it gets a new lease of life courtesy of scalpel fiend Ryu The Man, who has delivered tightened-up, floor-friendly vocal and instrumental edits of the warm, rich, soulful and undeniably summery cover version. Both are rather good, though it's the vocal version that will win over dancers.
As The Sun (feat John Arnold & James Simonson) (5:06)
Entardecer (feat John Arnold) (5:18)
Review: John Beltran is welcomed into the MotorCity Wine Recordings family with his sun-drenched and soulful debut entitled "Back To Bahia". Titled after his MCW residency of the same name, the release combines Deep House, Jazz, Boogie, and, of course, musica popular Brasileira flavors to welcome the sunshine into your life. Housed in the MotorCity Wine 7" company jacket.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Falling Deep In Love (Joey Negro 7" Disco Blend) (4:06)
Review: For the last two years, legendary London crew Horse Meat Disco has been teasing the release of its long-awaited debut album via a series of scintillating singles featuring guest vocals from the likes of Amy Douglas and, even more impressively, Kathy Sledge. Here they offer up their second collaboration with the legendary disco diva. "Jump Into The Light" is little less than a tribute to the Chic sound featured on the greatest Sister Sledge records, with Kathy Sledge delivering a typical fine lead vocal over Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars and glittering orchestration. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy Joey Negro's cut-down "Disco Blend" of previous single "Falling Deep In Love", which adds a little house flavour whilst retaining the crew's disco instrumentation.
Review: Fresh from the release of his tribute to hip-hop culture's dancefloor roots, the essential "Disco Rap" single, DJ Moar returns to familiar territory with a guest-packed album of boom-bap beats, blink-and-you-miss-them skits, and deliciously deep rap songs. Moar's backing tracks ripple with warm and woozy instrumental flourishes and jazzy samples, while the accompanying raps, from MCs including Napoleon Da Legend, Dirt Platoon, Sadat X and LS Brigandes, are on-point and entertaining. Such is the all-round quality, in fact, that it sounds like a long-lost set from hip-hop's golden age.
Review: Berlin's shadowy Pina Edits collective can usually be relied upon to deliver dancefloor-friendly material that brilliantly breathes new life into fairly - and sometimes very - familiar cuts. That's certainly the case on this must-check seven-inch single, which opens with a brilliant cut-up concoction that brilliantly stitches together loops and grooves from Steely Dan classic "Peg" with head-nodding house grooves and vocal samples from a sweaty disco-funk gem. Arguably even better - if less obviously party-starting - is ludicrously percussive flipside "IBO", which builds slowly via waves of drums before introducing drowsy deep house chords and some decidedly Balearic flourishes.
Please Don't Make It Funky (The Patchouli Brothers Re edit) (5:05)
Review: "Please Don't Make It Funky" is one of those delicious curiosities that dusty-fingered crate diggers unearth every now and then. Recorded and released in limited qualities in 1980, it was apparently an attempt by Frank Pisani, then a veteran American singer who had last tasted success in the rock and roll era, to capture the disco/jazz-funk zeitgeist. While it was a commercial flop, the track is undeniably attractive and fun, with squelchy synth sounds, ear-catching horns, fluid piano solos and Pisani's blue-eyed-soul vocals rising above a tidy groove. This surprise - but most welcome - reissue backs Pisani's cheery original with a fresh re-edit by the Patchouli Brothers. This includes some filter trickery and a DJ-friendly arrangement, but otherwise sticks close to the original mix.
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:56)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Review: With no less than nine releases on the label to their name already, Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors. Here they deliver another fantastic "45" packed with righteous grooves and life-affirming jazz moves. It's the latter that comes to the fore on side A's "Flute Thing", a sweet and seductive drift through picturesque jazz territory with some additional loose-limbed drum solos edited in halfway through. "Do What You Gotta Do" on the other hand is a simmering, string-laden soul treat rich in killer instrumentation, sumptuous orchestration, chunky grooves and hazy vocals. It's a fine edit of a superb cut and easily the record's standout cut.
Peaches Mann - "Get In Rhythm With God's Love" (3:43)
Review: By now, you should be familiar with the "Soul Is My Salvation" seven-inch series, which sees gospel-loving DJ Tone B Nimble showcase some of his favourite gospel-soul, gospel disco and gospel boogie gems. This fifth 45 in the series is just as essential as its predecessors. On side A you'll find Fay Hill's 1981 single "I Know Who You Should See", a languid, jazz-funk era shuffle through glassy-eyed gospel soul pastures blessed with one of the most addictive choruses we've heard this year. Over on the flip there's a chance to enjoy Peaches Mann's synth-heavy, ultra-soulful gospel boogie number "Get In Rhythm With God's Love", a more upbeat affair whose many highlights include killer slap-bass, D-Train style synth solos and an infectious rhythm.
Pink Family - "Don't Give Your Life Away" (AI-Tone extended mix) (5:00)
Review: Rain & Shine's "Soul Is My Salvation" project is something of an epic: an eight-part series of "dancefloor friendly gospel songs" curated by veteran Chicagoan DJ Tone B Nimble (real name Anthony Fields). This first part - "Chapter 1" - opens with a sublime, gospel style sing-along cover of Sister Sledge classic "We Are Family" that sounds like it was actually recorded in church. It's brilliant, life-affirming stuff. Over on side B, scalpel fiend Al-Tone offers up an extended version of obscure New Zealand group The Pink Family's 1979 cut "Don't Give Your Life Away" - a warm-hearted - some would say righteous - disco workout that's almost as good as the A-side. We await the next volume in the series with baited breath.
Review: Those heavyweight funksters at West Loop Chicago are back again with more crucial heat for your boogie bag. This time the mysterious international cabal of edit heads have slipped from City Volts over to Vong45 - a label that may or may not also be under their control. The name tells you all you need to know - seven sweet minutes of luxurious grooves edited with a soft touch to keep the musicality smooth and flowing across both sides of this 7". Anyone who takes the classic '70s sound seriously will be jamming to this - buttery smooth and hot as hell, just how we like it.
Review: Milton Wright's perfect deep Soul classic "Keep It Up" has always been a top shelf record, everything about it is almost flawless! Whether it's Milton's silky vocal delivery, the incessant guitar driven back beat or the total space Funk vibe of his omnipresent ARP-2600 synthesizer this record has it all. Originally released on TK Disco's more Soul and Funk orientated Alston label which was home to many legendary artists and records, this 1975 sunshine classic never fails to make people move. A classic rare groove indeed. "The Silence That You Keep" takes up side-B, a jazzy, flute driven love song that again features Milton's perfect voice and some fantastic arrangement. A real gem of a record, with the original 45 changing hands for over L100 a time in used condition.