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.
Review: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Review: Last time out, Longhair popped up on Claptrap with a fine EP that effortlessly joined the dots between turn-of-the-'90s dream house, breakbeat-driven deep house and colourful nu-disco. They've slightly switched focus on this Love On The Rocks label debut, adding big rays of sweltering Balearic sunshine to their usual warming and kaleidoscopic sound palette. In its original form, "The Forbidden Dance" brilliantly re-purposes the melody from a familiar old Mediterranean instrumental number (you'll recognise it when you hear it), re-playing it on sparkling synthesizer settings and layering it atop a tactile deep house groove awash with vibrant nu-disco sounds. Arguably even better is the almost beat-free flipside "Rhumba Mix", which reminded us of those bonus "ambient house" versions you used to get on Italian dream house EPs.
Akabu - "Ride The Storm" (feat Linda Clifford - Saison remix) (7:21)
The Love Symphony Orchestra - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Dr Packer remix) (7:31)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Everyday" (JN Disco Re-Bump remix) (7:28)
Art Of Tones - "Flower Child" (feat Anduze) (7:01)
Review: Like its numerous predecessors, 16th edition of Z Records' long running "Attack The Dancefloor" series is packed to the rafters with tried and tested dancefloor treats, most of which have never appeared on vinyl before. First up, Saison tackles Akabu's 2001 classic "Ride The Storm", turning it into a deep, bouncy and rubbery chunk of lilting, string-drenched house goodness, before Dr Packer delivers a subtly tooled-up take on The Love Symphony Orchestra's grandiose and sexually-charged 1978 disco classic "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Label head honcho Joey Negro provides a superb deep disco rework of one of his own productions, the Sunburst Band's 2004 summer sing-along "Everyday", while Art of Tones' "Flower Child" is a flash-fried, disco-funk romp laden with superb lead vocals from Anduze.
Review: Afro disco fresh from 79: Eko Roosevelt Louis's third album Funky Disco Music will go down as one of Cameroon's finest disco LPs. Produced and pressed by French label Dragon Phenix, it's still reasonably easy to track down, too. For a taster, grab three of its tropical charms on this Fly By Night repress: "Funky Disco Music" is an infectious vocal-led cut that's written solely to make people get down, "Ndolo Embe Mulema" struts with much more Afro rock fusion while the harmonies of "Bowa'a Mba Ngebe" are sweeter than the finest honey you've ever tasted. For contemporary kicks Riccio has expertly touched the title track for a modern dancefloor/DJ friendly punch. Perfect.
Review: Fresh from a quietly impressive outing on Cardiology, John "Freak D" Devecchis dons the Owl alias once more and offers up another must-check selection of re-edits and reworks. HE begins by cannily rearranging, tightening up and beefing up a flash-fried slab of later James Brown style funk-rock (the brilliantly bluesy, housed-up "Those Kicks"), before turning his attention to a righteous chunk of what sounds like AOR disco/deep disco-funk fusion ("Chance"). "Feel The Power" is a bouncy, piano-sporting revision of what sounds like a late '80s New York house gem, while title track "Boogie Man" is a subtle, house style remake of a jaunty, honky-tonk style rhythm and blues number.
Mystic Djim & The Spirits - "Yaounde Girls" (5:57)
Bill Loko - "Nen Lambo" (6:23)
Bernard Ntone - "Mussoloki" (4:21)
Pasteur Lappe - "Sanaga Calypso"
Eko - "M'ongele M'am"
Olinga Gaston - "Ngon Engap"
Emmanuel Kahe & Jeanette Kemogne - "Ye Medjuie"
Nkodo Si-Tony - "Mininga Meyong Mese"
Pasteur Lappe - "Sekele Movement"
Pat' Ndoye - "More Love"
Clement Djimogne - "Africa"
Review: Just when you think that the well of obscure music from around the world has run dry, Analog Africa returns to put the record straight. Pop-Makossa shines a light on a glorious but largely overlooked period in the story of Cameroonian makossa, when local musicians began to replace funk and highlife influences with the rubbery bass of classic disco and the sparkling synth flourishes and drum machines of electrofunk. The resultant compilation, which apparently took eight years to produce, is packed full of brilliant cuts, from the heavily-electronic jauntiness of Pasteur Lappe's "Sanaga Calypso" and horn-totin' Highlife-disco of Emmaniel Kahe and Jeanette Kemogne's "Ye Medjuie", to the dense, organ-laden wig out that is Clement Djimogne's "Africa".
Review: When it comes to offering up authentically funk-fuelled, revivalist disco-funk treats, former crate digger to the stars turned re-editor and producer Lord Funk has an impressive track record. One of his most sought-after releases is 2018's colourful "Knock Me Out EP", so it's no surprise to see it being given the reissue treatment two years on. There's much to admire, from the early Sugarhill Records-sampling boogie/p-funk fusion of opener "Blow Your Mind", to the talkbox-sporting P-funk revivalism of "Knock Me Out" (seemingly a reissue of a lesser-known kaleidoscopic synth-funk gem from the early-to-mid '80s), and the rather brilliant, Prince style electrofunk headiness of closing cut "Do It (If U Like)".
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: Brand new label Fat Edits succinctly sum up their MO with the title of their imprint alone. Whoever is behind the material knows how to mash up big samples and slamming drums right from the off. "West Of North" is sweaty and hard hitting with old school Chicago drums pumping away. "Love fever" recalls disco's hey day with its glossy diva vocals, here reworked over prickly drums with big horns and strings. "Who Have Nothing" is the righteous closer, with rapturous vocals getting hands in the air over tough kicks and incendiary hi hats.
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: North London deep house dons Saison are back on No Fuss Records with some sumptuous, discofied grooves that strike the perfect balance between heads-down, no-nonsense dance music and warm musicality. "Cut The Gas" rides on plenty of artfully chopped up disco licks, arranged, filtered and dropped in all the right places. "Wax On Wax Off" has a rich synth palette at its heart, clearly sporting a little Italo flavour in its bones with the smatterings of vocoder and throbbing arpeggios nestled amongst the more organic ingredients. "Top Bunk Boogie" and "What Are We Gonna Do" keep the pressure up on the B side, with the party energy in full force across both tracks and maintaining the same tasteful approach to the source material.