Review: ** REPRESS ** As the name suggests the groove of Soundhacks's Soundstream 12" is a bit less hard cut-up styled but more floating. This doesn't necessarily mean a lack of energy, funk and fun. Expect peak hour house tracks in full effect. Do not expect just another 'French filter house' record. Remember: it is Soundhack who is in charge here. Full satisfaction guaranteed!
Red Ken - "Big Love" (Big Four Letter Word mix) (6:17)
Review: Psychemagik love Fleetwood Mac. Their love is so enduring that the dusty fingered editors/DJs/revered record collectors have gone so far as to found Fleetmac Wood, a club night dedicated to the work of Fleetwood, Nicks, McVie and the various other manifestations, where anything goes so long as it's Fleetwood Mac related. Their remix of "Dreams" has been getting playtime at the night - and by other well regarded DJs - and finally makes an appearance on this limited 12". What's immediately noticeable about the Crystal Visions Remix of "Dreams" is how much they add to the track without messing with the original's essence - it's also a lot more inventive than Psychemagik's 2009 edit of "Everywhere" which shows how far they've come in three years. Flip over for a great extension of Juno's favourite Mac moment "Big Love" from AOR Disco's Red Ken.
Review: Berlin-based Korean Peggy Gou has been surprisingly quiet since first bursting onto the scene back in 2016. Here, she returns to action having graduated from Technicolour to parent label Ninja Tune. Many may already have heard EP standout "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)", a percussively ambidextrous beast based around a bouncy, off-skilter, snare-heavy rhythm track. It has been much discussed online after Gou included it her recent Resident Advisor podcast. On the B-side you'll find tracks representative of her developing style, which draws together elements of European deep house, electro, early '90s U.S house, the rubbery disco eccentricity of Maurice Fulton and the instinctive polyrhythms more often found in traditional African music.
Review: We can think of a fair few disco diggers who will be more than a little annoyed by this re-issue. Originally released on the obscure La Shawn label back in 1980, "Take Me I'm Yours" is widely considered to be one of Patrick Adams' best productions. It's certainly something of a dusty gem, with Mary Clark's soulful, country-tinged vocals simply soaring over a reggae-tinged, string-drenched disco groove. It would have been nice to have seen original flipside "You Got Your Hold On Me" included, but it's not a major issue; given the in-demand (and hard-to-find) nature of the A-side, we should be pleased it's come back round again.
Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: The mysterious nut-gathering disco fiends at Secret Squirrel continue their razor-sharp edit work with two more incredibly funky slices of nu-disco. Side A is a spirited fusion of wah wahs, filters and a tight vocal loop from Ike Strong's "Boogie Land" while Side B is a slower, acid-tickled jam that takes Blair's "Nightlife" and brings it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Both are stunning and are guaranteed to sell out like the previous SS editions.
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: It's been a hot minute since Al Kent dropped some of his sweet and soulful dancefloor instinct on us, but he's back in style on his reanimated Million Dollar Disco label. "Pick Me Up (Say Goodbye)" takes Gladys Knight & The Pips' tender "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Say Goodbye)" and gives it a supremely pitched dancefloor injection. Upping the tempo and rolling out an organic disco beat, Knight's vocal gets a whole new backdrop without losing the emotional heft of the track. A truly heart-melting cut for that sentimental, cut loose, late end of the party.
Review: Championed by Richie Hawtin & Ricardo Villalobos (featured on his Cocoon mix CD 'Taka Taka') the A-Side is armed with a highly infectious melody, beefed up with big, bouncy funky bassline. The B-side has trippy hypnotic sounds that echo in & out of the fluid melodies.
Review: Acid Jazz has pulled off something of a coup here by persuading legendary '70s soul man Leroy Huston to part with a couple of previously unreleased cuts. A-side "Positive Forces" was recorded by Hutson in 1977 and sits somewhere between the sweeping, orchestrated bliss of Philly soul, the soaring dancefloor celebration of disco and the loose-limbed instrumental goodness of jazz-funk. It's an absolute stunner, all told, and sounds like it was tailor-made for spins at sweltering summer festivals. On the B-side you'll find a previously unreleased instrumental version of 1975's "All Because of You". While a vocal-free version has previously been released, this particular mix includes a little more drum action at the beginning to assist with mixing.
Review: There's a fair chance you'll already have heard "Cola", experienced production duo Camelphat's collaboration with vocalist Elderbrook. The original version, with its rumbling bass, atmospheric builds, subtle bassline house influence and "she sips the Coca-Cola" refrain, has become something of an anthem since first appearing on digital download earlier in the year. For this first vinyl release, Defected has packaged the now-familiar original mix with a trio of reworks. The most impressive of these comes from German veteran Mousse T. He brilliantly re-casts the track as a bumpin' chunk of celebratory disco-house complete with thrilling piano riffs and an elastic bassline.
Review: More from the matter-or-fact Breaks & Beats seven-inch series, which offers up DJ-friendly "slight edits" of funk, soul and disco classics built around extending the drum breaks in sometimes hard-to-mix classic cuts. The tenth volume in the series kicks off with a mix-friendly tweak of Vaughan Mason's roller-boogie anthem "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" that expertly stretches out the previously all-too-short instrumental intro. Over on side B, Bad Bascomb's odd but brilliant country-funk hoedown "Black Grass" gets a similar treatment, with Breaks & Beats' un-named re-editor sneakily extending sweaty drum breaks here and there throughout the track. Given the quality of those breaks, this is a very good thing indeed.
Review: Oooh! Angie Stone's "Wish I Didn't Miss You" definitely belongs in the canon of all time modern soul classics. Taken from her 2001 second album Mahogany Soul, the Swizz Beats produced track made optimum usage of an O' Jays sample and was instrumental in that LP going gold and propelling the former D'Angelo collaborator to stardom. It also inspired countless official and under the counter remixes with Blaze's perhaps the most recognisable. So yes this reissue on 7" from Outta Sight is worthy if you don't have the original in your collection and features a housed up remix from Hex Hector on the flip.
Review: Mushi 45 is keeping tight lipped about the story behind their latest release - so much so, in fact, that we can't ascertain whether it's a reissue or a new production. Given the label's history, we're thinking the former, though it's hard to find any reference to the record, the artist or the producer. Either way, the release is fire - a killer chunk of Afro-funk blessed with heavyweight drum breaks, punchy sax solos, celebratory African vocals and super-funky bass. In classic funk style "Ashadwa" is split into two parts; the first boasts chant-along vocals, extended drum breaks and a genuine "party in the studio" vibe, while the second is more instrumental and stripped back with greater use of snaking saxophone solos. In a word: essential.
Review: Straight form the heart of London via the mind of Detroit, the ever-consistent Soul Brother crew have laid down another stellar reissue here through Dee Edwards' gorgeous "(I Can) Deal With That". Originally out on the much-coveted De-To label in 1977, the original mix is a delicate, whaling soul monster that'll melt your heart from its first guitar riff - Edwards' voice is truly magnetic over the slow-burning percussion. There's a more stripped-down 'Strings' version to act as the cherry on the cake - you just gotta.
Review: Fizzing all over the shop like an F1 winner's magnum, Frank Timm celebrates 20 years of Sound Stream with this outstanding slab of uncut floor jams. No messing around, just straight up disco house music. At points plain trippy ("Flash Back"), at others straight up sexy ("Love Remedy", "Get Down") but always unifying and obese in width and weight ("Disco Advisor" especially) Timm has cleared the board right here with the full range. Essential.
Steve Monite - "Only You" (Frankie Francis Disco Jam edit) (7:55)
Tabu Ley Rochereau - "Hafi Deo" (Nick The Record & Dan Tyler re-edit dub) (10:15)
Review: Edits in the hole! Two Afrofunk gems enjoy floor-primed refocuses: Steve Monite's Doing It In Lagos-featured "Only You" gets a little juice from Sofrito's Frankie Francis who really brings the bass out in proceedings. Meanwhile on the B Nick The Record and Idjut Boy Dan Tyler tweak the energy and sheen of Tabu Ley Rochereau's "Hafi Disco" as the drums are given a little more momentum and the chorus and horns are really brought to the centre of the action. Stunning.
Review: Repress! GAMM flex back sixteen years to the very beginning with a rerun of their first ever release. Cue label mainstay and firm friend, Fredrik Lager AKA Stockholm groove monster Red Astaire who launched the label in style with these two cult edits; "Follow Me" takes D'Angelo to some pretty psychedelic places while "The Wildstyle" struts with serious sentiments of 'unity' and some of the strongest JB chops available on 45. A timeless record that sparked the tales of both Red Astaire and GAMM. Not to be slept on.
Review: 2015 is fast turning into Henry Wu's year. Having already delivered killer 12s of baked deep house/instrumental hip-hop fusion for Ho-Tep and Odd Socks, he now pops up on Rhythm Section International with another brilliant EP. While as deep and blazed as previous excursions, there's a sun-bright freshness to the pleasingly varied selections on offer. Contrast, for example, the deep space, boogie-house slickness of "Yellow Brick", the bruk revivalism of "Neezy (Wok)" - think I.G Culture after a few too many bongs) - and the brilliant deep house/jazz-funk fusion of "Dubplate Special". Arguably best of all, though, is the Latin jazz-goes-deep house warmth of "Croydon Depot". Everyone will have a different personal favourite, though; it's that kind of EP.
Review: Last year, obscure 1980s soul singer Garfield Fleming returned to action with a mini-album of tracks co-produced by modern boogie maestro Simon Tappenden AKA Ourra. Here we get a chance to savour once again his 1981 debut single, the much-sampled "Don't Send Me Away". It's something of a "groove"-era boogie classic, all told, with Fleming's superb lead vocal rising above sweeping orchestration and a chunky groove. It also boasts a seriously good breakdown in which Garfield's repetitive chorus vocals ride a stripped-back but percussive groove. Turn to the flip for the solid original B-side "You Got Dat Right", a jaunty slab of disco powered by honky tonk style pianos and a superb "walking" bassline.
Review: More from top-drawer rework merchant DJ Soopasoul, whose cheeky revisions on his Soopastole label are consistently on point and dancefloor-focused. For his latest trick, the long-serving DJ/producer has decided to apply his magic to one of the greatest disco records of all time and a "foundation record" of the hip-hop scene: Chic classic "Good Times". The A-side edit sounds like it has been created using the multi-track parts, as dubbed-out vocal sections ride stripped-back grooves and portions that variously showcase the track's original strings, Nile Rodgers' guitars and Bernard Edwards' killer bassline. The flipside "Part 2" version is similarly minded but more like a disco dub in feel and execution, with the maestro drenching vocal sections in delicious amounts of delay.
Review: Given her runaway success in recent years, it was almost inevitable that Peggy Gou would launch her own record label sooner or later. Wisely, she's chosen to kickstart said imprint - the freshly minted Gudu Records - with her first EP of fresh material for over 12 months. A-side "Starry Night" is an unashamedly positive and life-affirming affair, with Gou placing bouncy piano riffs, sultry South Korean and English vocals and Boyd Jarvis/Paul Simpson style synth-bass atop a snappy, late '80s style house rhythm. There's a similarly retro-futurist feel to the equally loved-up "Han Pan", where Gou's attractive vocals once again catch the ear alongside heavy analogue bass, chiming synth lines and Kwaito influenced drums.
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
Review: You'll struggle to find a more loved-up and life-affirming chunk of proto-disco brilliance than The Sisters Love's 1973 "Give Me Your Love". The record's lasting impact can be seen in the number of times that it's been reworked, re-edited or bootlegged over the years. Here it gets an official 7" reissue via Soul Brother Records. It sounds as good as ever, with the all-female group's now familiar vocals rising above Blaxploitation style guitars, fluttering flutes and powerful horns. It's a celebratory release, and then some. This time round it's accompanied by a lesser-known gem, "Try It, You'll Like It", which first featured on the B-side of a 1973 single. This is a powerful chunk of conscious funk/soul fusion of the sort that was incredibly popular during the period it was recorded.
Review: The Kalita crew step up with another finely chosen reissue gem from the history of African dance music, this time welcoming Ghanaian disco maestro Okyerema Asante to the fold with two utterly infectious party starters laced with ample feel good vibes. "Sabi (Get Down)" is a slinky groover with a killer bassline and sweet guitar licks for the heads down crew to bust out some serious moves. "That's My Girl" is a more sizzling affair with a brighter outlook, riding high on soaring brass and woodwind and packing a heartfelt message of love that everyone can vibe with.
Tecumsay Roberts - "It Makes Me Dance & Sing" (5:44)
Commy Bassey - "We Want Togetherness" (4:37)
Review: Triassic Tusk's "Screamers, Bangers & Cosmic Synths" series of crate digging comps has seen the Scottish crew showcase some seriously hot, little-known music. Mukatsuku have joined forces with the imprint to give a 12" release to two potent Afro-disco smashers that recently featured on volume two of the ongoing compilation series ,now remastered and sounding better than ever. On side A you'll find Liberian artist Tecumsay Roberts' bouncy 1979 Afro-soul/Afro-boogie number "It Makes Me Dance & Sing", where spacey Moog solos rice above a funk-influenced dancefloor groove. On the flip, the fun continues via Commy Bassey's Clav-happy, Nigerian sounding Afro-boogie roller "We Want Togetherness", a positive plea for unity that's as relevant now as it was way back in 1980.Juno copies come in an exclusive branded card sleeve with an additional obi strip not available at other retailers .As played/charted by Red Greg,Marcel Vogel, Craig Charles,Faze Action,Kalita,Cedric Woo,JKriv,Prins Thomas,Floating Points and Dom Servini so far.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best Italy turn their impeccable reissue powers towards a surefire burner from 1984 given the stamp of approval by the likes of David Mancuso, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy back in the day. "Come Back Lover" was actually mixed down by another legendary DJ - Tony Humphries - and it shows. Even the original mix plays out with an extended, floor-focused flow that captures the creative energy at work at this epochal time for DJ culture. As ever with Best reissues, there's a plethora of alternative and dub mixes to suit any spinner's specific requirements, with the groove front and centre every time.
Hot Chocolate - "Heavens In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac" (The Revenge edit) (7:23)
Gwen McRae - "Keep The Fire Burnin" (The Revenge edit) (7:46)
Review: Second time around for The Revenge's brilliant re-edit of Hot Chocolate's "Heaven's In The Backseat of My Cadillac", which has become something of an in-demand item in the decade that has passed since its initial release on Jiscomusic. It remains one of the finest reworks of the modern era: a mid-tempo, sing-along stomper that's guaranteed to rock the party every time it's wheeled out. On the B-side you'll find something even more rare: the Scottish producer's never-before-properly-released (and much sought-after) take on Gwen McRae's "Keep The Fire Burning". This naturally retains all of the key ingredients of the classic original version, adding a rolling house beat and some suitably saucer-eyed chords to make an already loved-up cut even more seductive.
Review: In the face of all those Clone reissue compilations, Tresor are doing the right thing and digging into their own archive of seminal aquatic machine funk from Detroit electro legends Drexciya, and stepping up with the Hydro Doorways EP is the kind of power move that most labels can only dream of being able to make. From the cinematic drama of "Quantum Hydrodynamics" to the textbook boogie down synth abandon of "Polymono Plexusgel", not forgetting the heavy-on-the-one throwdown of "Lost Vessel" or the alien gurgles and peppy pace of "Species On The Pod", or the... oh you know the drill. This is timeless, essential business for anyone that takes electronic music seriously.
Review: In a rare exception from their usual hyper-obscure archive finds, Best Record have opted this time to give a proper reissue to a diggers favourite which enjoyed a second turn in the spotlight via a Dimitri From Paris compilation on BBE. Radiance and Andrea Stone's "You're My Number 1" is everything a boogie jam should be, from the liquid funk of the bassline to the snap of the drums - we defy anyone to stay off the floor when this pearl drops. It's no surprise to know it was mixed by the legendary M&M Productions team, featuring disco mix champion John Morales. The original is ace, but the extended dub mix on the flip is the one that will have the heads freaking out.
Review: Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD has been on fire of late, delivering a string of deep and jazzy EPs for such labels as Rhythm Section International, Church, Mule Musiq and Amadeus Records. Predictably, this two-tracker on the freshly minted Youandmusic is equally as inspired. A-side "Global Erosion" is a warm and relaxed affair, despite the presence of rolling, Afro-tinged drums, with delay-laden horns drifting across the mix in evocative fashion. The duo's African influences are brought to the fore on "Global Explorer", a rolling, far-sighted affair full of dreamy deep house pads, twittering panpipe melodies and dense tribal percussion.
The One O Ones - "Radio Cosmos 101" (Bals edit) (4:27)
Gemini - "Take A Chance" (4:34)
The Clean Hands Group - "Night Fly" (4:24)
The CVQ Band - "Whatever You Do" (instrumental) (4:38)
Miss - "Hip Hop" (3:06)
Metal Voices - "At The Banks Of The River" (3:44)
The Clean-Hands Group - "Shake It On" (4:03)
Gigi Flag - "Nymphomaniac" (instrumental) (5:58)
Eddy La Viny - "Havan' Hamac" (3:43)
Review: BeachFreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals is a man who knows about records - and obscure European ones at that. Club Meduse, his first compilation for Spacetalk (a label with a track record for producing these kinds of killer, crate-digging comps), is loosely designed as the soundtrack to life around a mythical (IE imaginary) Cote D'Azure resort. Musically, it gathers together the kind of hazy, soft-focus and life-affirming cuts that you would have heard at resort discos in the mid-to-late 1980s. Suffice to say that Bals' selections tend towards the rare, magical and undeniably Balearic, from the glassy-eyed, cascading jazz-funk of the Keyboys and loved-up post-boogie sweetness of Gemini's "Take a Chance", to the sparkling Euro-electro of Miss' "Hip Hop" and pitched-down drum machine chug of Gigi Flag's "Nymphomaniac (Instrumental)". Essential.
Review: During the "rare groove" boom in London during the 1980s, Linda Williams' 1979 album track "Elevate Our Minds" became something of an anthem. Curiously, it was never released as a single at the time, making this surprise 7" edition something of a bonus for those still searching for the track. It remains a fine song, with Williams' brilliant vocals rising above bossa-influenced beats, warm bass, luscious boogie orchestration and gentle Latin style horn lines. The flipside features "City Living", the title track from the very same 1979 LP that "Elevate Our Minds" was taken. It's far funkier and more elastic in feel, with horn arrangements and a chunky groove reminiscent of some Teena Marie tracks from the same period.
Review: Way back in 2007, Mike Huckaby released an EP that joined the dots between Detroit deep house and dub techno all made exclusively on his Waldorf Wave synthesizer. Some nine years on, he's finally got around to releasing a follow-up. My Life With The Wave Volume 2 eschews the dub techno influences of old, instead focusing on the fluid, rich, soul-flecked Motor City deep house he does so well. He begins with the looped, minor key melodies and strutting grooves of "Let The Dancer Do His Thing", before increasing the rhythmic intensity via the cymbal-heavy waviness of "Phuture". Flip for the sun-kissed breeziness of "Baseline 313" - all repetitive electric piano motifs, handclap-heavy percussion and tribal vocal samples - and the fluttering, picturesque deepness of "Another Fantasy". All four tracks are good, but then when does Huckaby ever let us down?