Review: Camarao Orkestra may be based in Paris, but their hearts are always in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. The incendiary live band has a new album on the way (their last dropped three years ago) so to get us in the mood Favorite Recordings has served up this suitably steamy workout. In its' A-side original mix form, "Nacao Africa" is a mid-tempo chunk of low-slung Latin boogie rich in drunken trumpet lines, sweet female vocals, Marcos Valle guitar riffs and weighty dub disco bass. Patchworks man Bruno Hovart handles remix duties, first offering up a sweet two-step soul/laidback boogie revision before slamming down a hypnotic, stripped-back and delay-laden "Late Night Dub".
Candy & The Kisses - "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" (2:39)
Val Simpson - "Mr Creator" (2:11)
Review: Candy & The Kisses burst onto the Northern Soul scene with their first single and all-time classic "The 81" co-written and produced by the late Jerry Ross. "Are You Trying To Get Rid Of Me Baby" is a storming soul number that went under the radar for the most part, but is good as any of other hits of theirs like "Chains Of Love" and many others. Flipside "Mr Creator" co-written by Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson was taken up by The Apollas in 1967 on Warner Bros. and went on to become an all-time classic.
Review: Captain Over (real name Greg Surmacz) rather brilliantly describes himself as an "intergalactic skengman" who crafts "broken beats out of space debris". Here he makes his label debut on Darker Than Wax with his first fully instrumental EP (much of his previous work featured grime MCs). He opens the 12" strongly via the shuffling broken beats, alien electronics, warm chords and eight-bit melodies of "4D", before skewering the drums further on the wonderfully bass-heavy and out there "Deep Blue". Over on side B, "Mind's Eye" is an off-kilter chunk of spacey bruk positivity, "New Life Forms" boasts some sparkling synths and bleepy "space debris", and "Take It Too Far" is an on-point broken beat roller rich in Sinclair Spectrum beeps and rich, jammed-out chords.
Review: The well regarded Whities label invites you deep into a darkened world of coldwave soundscapes on its next 12". There are Arabic overtones to Carl Gari's music here, both explicitly in the meditative vocals from Abdullah Miniawy, but also in the exotic synth drones that hang heavy in the air. It makes for a spiritual eight track affair that has a beautifully bleak and spiritual feeling: tracks are largely empty, absorbing affairs with only suggested rhythms moving you forward. Part organic and human, part mechanical and synthetic, Whities 023 is a bewitching and otherworldly listen of the highest order.
Review: Calvin Carr's wonderful gospel-soul has been a digger's favourite for yonks, often being cited and used by the very best selectors in the game. This 1878 single, originally out on Philadelphia United Records, is aptly named "Without Christ" and it offers listeners, dancers and lovers an opportunity for positive redemption. Much like the rest of the gospel world, this is perhaps the best way to convert people into enlightenment and keep them positive - there is absolutely no way that this disco-tinged gem cannot make you jump up with joy and excitement. The instrumental cut is pretty killer, too. BIG.
Review: PPU come through with some more of that late '80s soul, looking to Cool Waters man Napoleon Cherry. Indicative of its time; the post synth boogie and theatrics of the early part of the decade are swapped with a much deeper, more subtle delivery and instrumentation that sat well with the likes of Soul II Soul and Massive Attack. Napoleon underplays his vocals throughout, allowing the synths to truly shine. More shine for your shekels? Flip for the instrumental and look out for a full retrospective of Cherry's work coming on Music From Memory!
My Forbidden Lover (Dimitri From Paris 12" version) (6:30)
I Feel Your Love Comin' On (Dimitri From Paris remix) (8:16)
My Forbidden Lover (Dimitri From Paris instrumental) (6:29)
I Feel Your Love Comin' On (Dimitri From Paris instrumental) (8:15)
Review: It was 2010 when Dimitri From Paris first got his hands on the parts to some of Chic's biggest hits, with some of the resultant revisions appearing on an expansive "Chic Organization" box-set. Glitterbox has been reissuing them all over a series of 12" singles, with this volume boasting the Parisian's vocal and instrumental versions of both "My Forbidden Lover" and "I Feel Your Love Comin' On". The latter is a deliciously dubbed out affair that pushes the track's heavy electrofunk-meets-disco-funk groove to the fore, with flashes of Nile Rodgers' razor-sharp guitar riffs and echoing vocal snippets rising and falling throughout the mix. It's the versions of "My Forbidden Lover", complete with stunning orchestral breakdowns and extended instrumental breaks, that really set the pulse racing, though.
Review: Electro Wayne's mid 80s-focused Circuitry project get busy on Peoples Potential Unlimited with two starlit synth boogie originals; "She's Just That Type Of Girl" is a playful east coast funk flex with a slight freestyle touch to it. Harmonies, light touches on the keys and exceptional drum production, it's a sassy slice that will warm-up any floor. "Under Pressure" lowers the tempo but thrusts up the sensual urgency with great percussion and come-to-bed spoken word. Authentically done.
With More Love (Special edit instrumental version) (6:42)
Review: Originally released back in 2009 in its' epic 13-minute original form, "With More Love" remains one of Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's most endearing tracks - a gorgeous chunk of sun-kissed spiritual house rich in fluid piano solos, sunset-ready classical guitar solos, undulating bass, non-verbal vocal harmonies and the producer's bouncy Afro-Latin house beats. Happily, Clausell has decided to reissue the track, offering up two scaled-down versions that fit on one tidy seven-inch single. On the A-side you'll find the "Special 7" Edit", a six minute blast of ultra-positive dancefloor bliss that's about the most positive thing we've heard in ages. Turn to the flip for a previously unreleased instrumental take that strips the track back further, allowing the gorgeous piano solos and busy bass guitar more room to breathe.
Review: Last spotted on wax together 16 years ago on New Standards, Italian kindred spirits and diggers Conte and Petrella collide once again. A culmination of many records savoured and ideas shared between the two friends, this 12" is long overdue and fizzes with fusion. "African Spirit" is focused on a rolling tribal MAW style house rhythm with Gianluca adding his signature trombone with staccato finesse while "New World Shuffle" is a much dreamier, smoky affair that sounds perfect any time between sunset and sunrise. Spiritual.
Review: Nicola Conte and Gianluca Petrella follow up last year's beautiful "African Spirits / New World Shuffle" with two more lavish instrumentals. "Sun Song" lives up to its name with wave after wave of heated musicianship from the belting harmonies to the light-touch keys. "Nigeria" taps deep into the source too as it drives us through the heart of Lagos with full horns and sweeping keys. Spiritual, sun-splashed and vital.
Review: Given that Tom "Contours" Burford has spent much of the last year making collaborative cuts for Banana Hill that draw on tropical rhythms and native African musicianship, it's probably unsurprising that his return to Shall Not Fade should also feature some of the same influences. It's nominally a deep house EP, but the set's three original tracks are much more nuanced and open-minded than that. Check, for example, the layered hand percussion and polyrhythmic instrumentation on the jazz-funk influenced deep house brilliance of "Lisbon" and the tropical-tinged, intergalactic sci-fi house of "5th Planet". The B-side boasts two versions of "North West": the lilting horns, music box melodies and soft-touch percussion of Burford's original, and the Herbie Hancock inspired bruk-up business of Kaidi Tatham's superb revision.
Review: First released last summer, Cotonete and Roberto Di Melo's "AEIOU" is a deliciously warm and woozy chunk of jazz-funk/revivalist Latin disco fusion that sounds like it was recorded in 1978 rather than 2018. This time round, Dimitri From Paris is at the controls, offering up two arguably superior "Special Disco Mixes" that not only boasts more audio clarity around key instrumental parts (particularly the horns, walking bassline and previously buried Clavinet lines) but also add some fizzing new electrofunk synths. As a result, the A-side vocal version sounds like a disco scene anthem in waiting, while the high-octane flipside dub is percussive, sweaty and full throttle in the best possible way.
Don't Let Love Walk Out In Us (T Groove mix) (3:47)
Review: Paul Craver's smooth strain of jazzed-out house music has been MIA since 2013, and we're glad to hear some of it back on our charts with such fervor. The man returns to Sundae Soul Recordings with two fine-ass cuts, the first of which is an edit of a certain track called "Back To You" (unnamed for legal reasons), and it's one of those seductive soul ballads that sounds just perfect on the dancefloor. On the flip, T Groove drops a mix of "Don't Let Love Walk Out In Us" and, once again, we have a lovely blend of disco-leaning soul on our hands - perfect for just about any situation involving lovers and the moonlight. Gorgeous.
Review: Another tape extracted from the Sony vault for the first time since the record was released in 1980. A floaty disco masterpiece by an American group that has been on the soul scene for time, but deserves a broader appreciation. Edinburgh's Athens Of The North (premium licensed rare music done right!) present this in a rare issue format, with the emotive and uplifting soul power of "Just You & Me" on the A side and the beautiful ballad "Blame It On Me" on the flip - apparently most original copies are missing this track. How the band never made it past one single is a complete mystery, as both of the tracks are incredible.