Review: For those with an interest in the lefttield side of European disco, the recent renaissance of legendary Italian DJ Daniele Baldelli has been an exciting development. For those outside of Northern Italy, Baldelli remained a marginal figure for many years. Although he - and, it could be argued, compatriot Beppe Loda - invented the "cosmic disco" sound in the late 1970s and early 80s, it's only in the last decade that the sound has been celebrated across the globe. This collaborative EP with fellow Italian spinner DJ Rocca is his first release since 2009. It sees the duo give contemporary nudisco a fresh new twist, adding obvious Italo, cosmic and old skool electro influences. Nowhere is this more evident than on lead track "RoBa Che Scotta", where the veteran duo add simplistic, stargazing melodies to a rough, appregiated groove. There's beauty within the heavy analogue beats and bassline, but they never lose sight of the dancefloor. Ichisan provides a slightly grubbier, disco-centric rework for those who dig straight-up nudisco. The EP finishes with the title track. Similarly melodic and intergalactic in its construction, 'Space Scribble' has an endearing, child-like quality thanks to a sprightly mix of original electro beats, swirling chords and analogue synth riffery. It's a great end to Baldelli's best EP yet.
Review: The ten millionth release from Nang Records this year proves to be just as essential as their previous output. (There may be a certain degree of exaggeration in that sentence). The Tirk offshoot once again flexes their digging muscles, throwing the spotlight on Italian producers Beppe Loda and MC1. "Counter" originally surfaced on a Nang compilation earlier this year but it was deemed worthy of extra attention by the label's decision makers, and rightly so. Beppe Loda imbues the glistening analogue burn of the original with some added synth drama on his appropriately named "Electro Monster Remix". Some mystery and intrigue is injected into proceedings via the slow burning acid bubble of Randome's remix with his/her/their true identity a scurrilous secret. To round things off, Italy's most contemporary proponent of analogue bliss, Bottin, assists Mexican apprentice Avanti in delivering a remix that glistens and shines in all the right places.
Review: The good ship Nang navigates back towards the prosperous musical archives snappily known as Tinpong for a second round of musical excellence from Venetian Bottin and Swiss vocalist Joy Frempong. Last seen giving a Duran Duran classic a high BPM makeover, the Jabberwock release is the first original material culled from the duo's studio antics recorded over a three year period from 2003 onwards. The title track itself is a low slung 80s leaning vocal disco slinkathon very much in the vein of Tom Tom Club, and comes accompanied by a near unrecognisable remix from Rudy's Midnight Machine (aka Robin Faze Action) which discards with the niceties for a full on jackin' dancefloor excursion. Elsewhere tracks such as "Cut Up" and "Diggin' Side" hint at a real versatility to be found in the remainder of the Tinpong archives.
Review: 2010 has been good to Venetian producer Bottin with releases on Eskimo, Bear Funk, Gomma and Perseo to complement remixes for the likes of Sally Shapiro, Telonius and Ali Love as well as a mix CD for Nang Records. It's the latter who dig into the Bottin archives (nee hard drives) and release this, the first fruits of an old collaborative project with Swiss vocalist Joy Frempong under the name Tinpong. "New Religion" is a skippy 140 BPM cover of the early 80s Duran Duran standard which improves on the original by the simple virtue of Frempong's breathy vocal delivery which is preferable to Simon Le Bon's. Brixtonite Marcus Marr rips apart the original and reassembles the parts as a truly impressive late night disco number, replete with a wonderfully broad sounding bassline. Not to be outdone, L.S.B. don and general UK disco standard Pete Herbert steps up with a delightful dub version that sets a dancefloor pace and leaves the most lasting effect.
Review: Under the now familiar DJ Rocca alias, Luca Roccatagliati has been serving up Italo-disco, Balearica and boogie-influenced nu-disco cuts for the best part of 15 years. It's something of a surprise, then, to find that "Isole" is his debut solo album (his previous full-length excursions were made in cahoots with Dimitri From Paris and Stefano Ghittoni). It's a colourful and hugely enduring affair, with Rocca flitting between percussive, synth-bass-propelled nu-disco goodness (Rodion hook-up "Nassau"), Balearic-minded soundscapes ("Tokyo", the acid-flecked "Favignana"), delay-laden, proto-house style New York electrofunk dubs (standout "Stone Town", produced alongside Dimitri From Paris), tropical-tinged late night jams ("Taquile") and electro-fired early '80s Brit-funk ("London").
Review: Perma horizontally inclined duo Pete Gooding and Chris Coco return to Nang for a second round of Balearic leaning bliss. "Believe" sees the duo enlist the hushed vocal talents of Peter Coyle - front man of long running Liverpudlian troupe Lotus Eaters - and he seems perfectly suited to the blissed out digital skank which might just borrow a little something from Timmy Thomas. Complementing the original are some fine remixes from Volta Cab and Ajello, with the Russian adding to his growing reputation, laying some icily chilled ethereal soundscapes over ever changing percussive rhythms and a truly warm bassline. Ajello add some much needed energy as their Plumb Center Mix showcases what they do best - twisting the vocal flex through the spaces between the pumping percussion, gurgling analogue flourishes and Italocentric basslines.
Review: Slovenian duo, Ichisan & Nakova drop their debut full length on Greg Wilson's Nang imprint. On Yugo Tempo, the duo infuse the sounds of modern electronic disco with the melodies and rhythms they found in the more traditional music genres that surrounded them in their youth. Merging the disciplines of wonky, ethnic and Balearic disco into one record, we hear indigenous melodies, Tarantino-esque guitar lines and aluminium suitcases full of atmosphere. A curious yet wholly entertaining work from the duo, this debut album is well worth checking out whatever your musical preference.
Loudery - "Book Of Brilliant Things" (James Bright remix)
Loudery, Derek Forbes & Mick MacNeil - "Wan Dub"
Review: Hitting your 100th release is a cause for celebration for any label. But how do you acknowledge such a milestone? Take a leaf out of Nang's book: not only have they revisited one of the most classic of classic Simple Minds tracks, but they've done it with two erstwhile members of the band PLUS a philharmonic orchestra! The end result is a vibrant, string-heavy soiree into shiny Chic-level funkery. Remix-wise Wan strips things back a tad and fiddles with his acid machine while James Bright adds a little analogue juice to the insatiable bassline. Happy 100th release to Nang... Here's to another century!
Review: Along with Sheffield combo Hiem, Rayko is fast becoming Nang Records' most reliable artist. It would be fair to say that his latest album, No Stopping - his fourth in total and first since 2014 - is undoubtedly his strongest yet. Blessed with some fine guest vocals from Tania Haroshka and, perhaps more impressively, Crazy P's Danielle Moore, the set features much more "live instrumentation" - most notably bass and electric guitars - than the Spaniard's previous full-lengths. This adds an extra level of musical richness to the Madrid man's synthesizer-heavy tracks, which once again flit between hard-edged nu-disco, sun-kissed Balearica, revivalist electrofunk sweetness and the kind of cosmic disco that we would once have expected to hear from Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionigi.
Review: Nang Records continue to document the history of French synth discoid duo Space, here focusing on "Deliverance", the title track from their second album from 1978. The dramatic overtones of the original will amuse and astound in equal measures when you realise that's not a male choir on backing but two sessions singers multi-tracked to oblivion by producer JP Illescuo! "Deliverance" has been sampled and covered but never remixed, and Nang make up for that with four reworks. Kompakt deity Justus Kohncke is on hand to provide two contrasting remixes - the "Wild Pitch" effort has bubbling synths and a hard house groove that latches onto the smooth vocals of Madeline Bell and doesn't let go. Kohncke's other 'Take Me Places' mix is proper mutant disco, frenetic synth stabs and rolling bass lines included. The new school of Italian disco take care of the other remixes, with A Love Supreme (Tirk) indulging his inner Patrick Cowley on the ‘Hard Disko' remix and helping Fabrizio Mammarella in crafting an expert acid crazed remix under the Heels Of Love moniker.
Review: Those unable to reach out to the Croatian coastline for the many festivals propping up on the Petrcane beach this summer can find solace in the shape of this mix CD from the ever dependable Nang imprint. Beach Sessions 2 provides a suitably slinky accompaniment to last summer's debut mix, with Nang's resident Slovenian disco merchant Sare Havlicek running through a fifteen track selection impeccably mixed and recorded live in one take. Mixing up the familiar with the unreleased, Havlicek digs through the recent output of Nang and like minded horizontal disco deviants Bear Funks with many a highlight along the way! Look out for the analogue efunk of Social Disco Club's collab with compatriot Rui Maia and overwhelmingly glistening textures of sound that filter through the excellent "Fluffy Amadeus" from Fillipson & Ulysses.
Review: Nang have really nailed it in the past year with some essential releases that vary from John Carpenter tributes to artist retrospectives to straight down discoid delights from the likes of Ichisan and Sare Havlicek. The Hackney imprint step up their game with this compilation of lesser known disco delights judged perfectly to soundtrack the summer months on a beach (or down London Fields) The laidback floatage of Max Essa is interspersed with one of Tensnake's most glorious moments in "Holding Back (My Love)" and the timeless ivory tinkle of Terje's Chaz Jankel edit. Elsewhere the arpeggiated groove of Ilya Santana's Sugar Daddy remix and the glistening chug of Diaphanoids "Weightlessmotionless" demonstrate Nang's penchant for choosing underrated gems. The sun kissed soft rock downbeatisms of "Lie Awake" from A Mountain of One closes this set perfectly.