Review: This 7" double-header delves into the vast vaults of Bobby Orlando, a prolific New York producer whose muscular mutations of electro, Italo-disco, freestyle and Hi-NRG were popular in gay clubs around the globe. He specialized in "concept groups" - made-up acts fronted by session singers who were hired in to front the tracks he produced. Two of these concept acts are showcased here. On the A-side you'll find "Yum Yum (Eat 'Em Up)" by The Beat Box Boys, a stripped-back and slightly silly - but undeniably fun - electro workout from 1985. On the B-side you'll find an edited version of the Latin Rascals dub of fine 1985 freestyle cut "Set Me Free", which was credited to Teen Rock and bears some similarities to Orlando's early productions for the Pet Shop Boys.
Review: Pal Joey is a legendary New York house producer. Whatever alias he assumes - and there are many - you can be sure of real quality, and this 7" features two of his best: As Soho he offers the jazzy keys and funked up house loops of "Hot Music" which samples Wynton Marsalis's "Skain's Domain". On the flip, he becomes Earth People and serves up pure house joy on "Dance" with its ebullient vocal yelps, party starting sax lines and timeless chords. It's the sort of celebratory, end of the night weapon that will send people home in absolute raptures.
Review: First released on green vinyl in 2008 and almost impossible to find since, "Synthetic Substitution" is an instrumental cover version of a celebrated Melvin Gill tune by The Undercover Brother, AKA Kenny Dope collaborator Victor Piagneri. The A-side "Instrumental Mix" re-creates the original version's famous groove, layering it with Clavinet lines, fluid pianos and spacey synth solos not evident on Gill's early '70s original. Arguably even better is the "Melody Mix", which adds in some fine George Benson style jazz guitar solos while retaining the familiar breakbeats, bassline and pianos. If you missed out first time around, we'd recommend copping a copy.
Impeach The President (UB instrumental mix) (4:19)
Review: Nubian Crackers member The Undercover Brother (AKA veteran Queens, New York-based beat-maker Victor Piagneri) fires up his U.B.'s project and delivers another taster for the forthcoming "Ultimate Covers w/Breaks" LP. On the A-side you'll find his instrumental interpretation of Frederick Knight cut "Uphill Peace Of Mind", a heavy, stripped-back revision rich in killer drum breaks, Red Hot Chili Peppers style funk-rock guitars and life-affirming piano solos. Turn to the flip for Piagneri's vocal-free version of The Honey Drippers' 1973 anti-Nixon anthem "Impeach The President". He allows the track's much-sampled opening drum break a little more room to breathe, before carefully layering up Hammond organ riffs and a snaking saxophone solo that effectively replaces the original vocals.