Review: Brit-funk combo 52nd Street are undeniably best-known for their 1983 single on Factory Records, "Look Into My Eyes", which came accompanied by some killer remixes from John "Jellybean" Benitez and sailed closed to the NYC electro sound. The Manchester outfit's roots were in jazz-funk though, as this essential reissue of their 1982 debut single proves. "Look Into My Eyes" is simply superb: a warm, woozy and gently groovy affair full of attractive lead vocals, elastic slap bass, colourful synthesizer lines and dreamy chords. If you're after some more up-tempo dancefloor pressure, check out flipside "Express" - a riotous affair rich in hammered-out Clavinet lines, jaunty lead lines and energetic percussion.
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: REPRESS ALERT!: Afrodesia may come on like another dusted down gem from those dedicated detectives at Best, but it is in fact a modern construction from the talented studio trysts of Mystic Jungle and Whodamanny from the Periodica camp. These Italian producers have more than proved their knack for crafting sublime, honey-smooth jams with a nod to the golden studio era of the 70s and 80s, and they're more than up to the task on this killer 12" of heavy funking jams with a dose of boogie and a nod to Ivory Coast disco. It's quite simply perfection, rendered with love and attention to detail, but utterly natural in its feel and flavour.
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.
Breakfast In Space (Charles Maurice dub version) (4:10)
Review: Should you be hankering after some suitably positive music right now - and let's face it, most of us are - then we'd recommend checking out this fine four-tracker from French jazz-funk combo Aldorande. There are two original cuts to choose from: the languid, laid-back and undeniably sunny breeziness of "Summer Body" - all female scat vocals, bustling jazz-funk bass, sweet pianos, two-step beats and boogie synths - and the bolder, more electronic fizz of "Breakfast In Space", which reminded us a little of vintage weather report. Charles Maurice delivers instrumental Dub versions of both, naturally beefing up the basslines and adding a little extra percussive pressure.
Review: Back in 2017, Four Flies Records unearthed and released a previously unheard "Afro-cosmic funk" EP from Italian soundtrack and library music legend Alessandro Alessandroni. Three years on, they've decided to give the 1978 recording the remix treatment. Bolissa and guests Calibra 35 kick things off with a densely percussive, out-of-this-world take on "Afro-Voodoo", before Pad re-imagines "Afro Darkness" as a chugging chunk of beatdown-disco laden with colossal chords, arpeggio bass and intergalactic electronics. Over on side B the "Jolly Mare Lifting" version of "Afro Discoteca" is a veritable leftfield disco stomper notable for its low-slung bass and spacey Moog lines, while Luca's "Quirky Version" of "Afro Darkness" is the kind of hallucinogenic, Marimba-tinged number that you can imagine Daniele Baldelli playing at the Cosmic Club circa 1981.
Review: DJ friendly dancefloor cuts once again from the Gator Boots camp, with a two track EP of razor sharp heaters by the mysterious Ancient Deep, following up some great ones by G. Markus, Blue Mondays and Soul Clap. There is certainly a familiar vibe on A side cut "Underneath The Lights", a sultry late night vocal number with sleazy guitar licks, creamy Rhodes and a string section so warm it'll get the emotions running wild. On the flip, things go deeper into the night with its unmistakable hook from a right classic. It's called "Can't Stop The Jump" and is as slo-mo and lo-slung as you like it - perfect for the afterhours if we do say so ourselves!
La Tete Contre Les Murs (Marc Moulin remix) (5:24)
Review: Some years back, Permanent Vacation dipped into the back catalogue of decidedly Balearic synth-pop trio Antenna before offering up a swathe of fresh remixes. Now Discomatin have decided to explore the solo discography of lead singer Isabelle Antena, serving up two rare contemporaneous remixes of 1987 singles by Mark Kamins and Marc Moulin respectively. The former's version of "Laying On The Sofa" is superb, with the Danceteria resident layering her fine lead vocals over delay laden electro beats, warm Rhodes chords, glistening guitars and elastic bass guitar. Moulin's body-popping, synth and drum-machine fired revision of "La Tete Contre Les Murs" is arguably even better and undeniably funkier. It goes without saying that both tracks are superb.
Review: Kris Baha had a big year in 2019 with the release of his debut album on CockTail d'Amore and an EP on Pinkman, and now the Australian body music man in Berlin is back with a high-pressure heater for [Emotional] Especial. "Barely Alive" is the kind of sinewy proto-industrial cut that will appeal to fans of Ministry's earlier work, when the synths reigned supreme and there was pop to match the noir. Especial then call on a cast of remixers to interpret the track in different ways, from Timothy J Fairplay amping up the dystopian disco tropes to Das Ding creating a sleek electro-funk twist with the original's gothic undertones intact.
As The Sun (feat John Arnold & James Simonson) (5:06)
Entardecer (feat John Arnold) (5:18)
Review: John Beltran is welcomed into the MotorCity Wine Recordings family with his sun-drenched and soulful debut entitled "Back To Bahia". Titled after his MCW residency of the same name, the release combines Deep House, Jazz, Boogie, and, of course, musica popular Brasileira flavors to welcome the sunshine into your life. Housed in the MotorCity Wine 7" company jacket.
Review: Since making their debut in 2017, the Blackbones crew has consistently served up some of the most interesting, off-kilter edits around. They're at it again here, flitting between the pitched-down, percussion-laden cosmic wooziness of "Out Of Our Minds", the delay-laden new wave dancefloor revisionism of "The Re-Fix" (a version of a cut from a fairly well known early-to-mid 1980s synth-pop band), the low-slung, post-punk-era synth-pop quirkiness of "Hell Boy" and the fuzzy, looped-up Afro-Ska haziness of "For Da People". All four tracks are of course tried-and-tested edits, though there's no cheap studio trickery, just brilliantly edited and re-arranged tracks that expertly showcase their eccentric source material.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Trouble On The Land - A Love That Is Real (instrumental) (6:23)
Review: Ashley Beedle and Ray Mang aka The Boogie Twins have reworked and edited one of Paul "Trouble" Anderson's biggest signature tracks. Beedle claimed witnessing Anderson at work at his Electric Ballroom residency back in the day was a major influence, where the late selector would move through boogie, electro, hip-hop and disco, particularly the low slung groove of Trouble On The Land's "A Love That Is Real" that's featured on this 12". The pair get to work, offering a special dubbed-out edit of this rare groove classic which remains a much-loved staple of today's club scene and an example of Anderson's exceptional ear for music. This is a charity record and a tribute to Anderson, with all profits directed to Macmillan Cancer UK.
Review: Those dusty-fingered boogie diggers with long "wants lists" should be familiar with "Paradise's Love", an obscure 1982 single from one-shot outfit Bordeaux that has been known to change hands online for hundreds of pounds a go. Here it gets the reissue treatment, with the colourful, Prince-goes-AOR disco style original version (track 3) being joined by two fresh remixes. The headline-grabbing treatment comes from KON, who beefs up the bottom end, makes much of the original's carnival-ready touches (whistles and so on), emphasizes the rubbery bassline and extends it to a dancefloor-friendly seven-and-a-half minutes. Equally as impressive is the Fantasy Love Remix, which instead chooses to up the tempo and push up the original version's P-funk sounds.
Review: A new week, a new edits label, this time from BPlan & Fab_o. It kicks off in fantastic fashion with four edits that will boost your spot no end. There is loose and jumbled afro-disco on "Sweet Brasil" and then stripped back disco-house loops a la early DJ Sneak on "Aroma Club". The flip side again leans on afro for its sunny vibes with "Arabica Selection" and it might be that the best is saved until last. "West Africa" is built on funky bass riffs, with flailing percussion, chunky drums and vocal chants that will lock in any crowd.
Review: First released back in 1978 on Parachute Records, Randy Brown's debut album "Welcome To My Room" is one of the better lesser-known Philadelphia soul style sets of the disco era. The team behind Expansions Records are certainly fans, because their latest "45" offers up two of the album's most potent tracks. A-side "I'm Always In The Mood" is simply superb, with Brown doing his best Teddy Pendergrass impression atop a heavily orchestrated, dancefloor-friendly backing track. Flipside "Love Is All We Need" is a little deeper but no less sumptuous, sounding a little like Vincent Montana producing "What's Going On" era Marvin Gaye. In a word: essential.
You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too (vocal) (5:57)
You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too (instrumental Cake mix) (6:50)
You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too (6:27)
Review: The Westend treasure trove seems as deep as Mary Poppins' bag once you start digging into it. This latest trick is from 1982 and has a real sense of humour as well as standout piano playing, joyful up beat vibes and powerful drums. As vocalist Taylor and her backing singers keep remind us throughout, we can't have it both ways when it comes to love, but we can have this song as a way to get over any romantic troubles. It comes with a vocal, instrumental and original mix that all offer slightly different but equally great variations.
Review: Dynamite excel with this rare bit of superb soul from Vernon Burch. "Lovely Lady" is set to be huge on the more heartfelt dance floors out there - the rolling bass loops sweep you off your feet, hip singing claps bring the joy and the vocal is as feel good and heartwarming as you can imagine. It's a tune that just keeps on going before a special dynamite cuts DJ edit on "Joy & Pain" ups the ante with a more driving disco groove. This one is powered by big horns and funk bass riffs, big backing singers and lead guitars that reach for the heavens. Utterly irresistible.
Review: There should be no end to the amount of sunny afro disco tunes in your collection. Italian label Samosa are always happy to help with that and this latest outing by C. Da Afro is a perfect collision of soul and funk, jazz and afro styles. Opener "Afro-Disiac"'s horn leads, sultry sax lines and dub disco beats are perfection. "Smoothie" goes further with a bristling and earthy energy conjured by plenty of jangling rhythms and organic percussive sounds before the pumping and celebratory sounds of De Gama's "Re-Groove" of "Brazilian Groove" closes things out in fine fashion. Authentic, lovably loose and impossibly radiant stuff.
Review: It's been an extremely busy year for Greek producer C Da Afro already, with smokin' hot releases recently dropped on Moiss Music, Love Harder, Sound Exhibitions and Samosa. Now he's kicking off the vinyl branch of SpinCat Music with the utterly joyous grooves of "Full Level". It's an 80s-soaked ray of sunshine with boogie in its heart and more classic motifs than you can shake an FM synth at. Keeping the era but switching the style, regular collaborator JB Boogie offers up a remix on the flip that sinks down deeper into the funk of the original, but not at the expense of those sugary sweet synth lines.
Review: Bridge Boots main man Caserta has previously proved to be one of the most talented re-editors around, up there with higher profile artists such as the Reflex and Joey Negro. His latest offering, a red seven-inch single featuring new rearrangements of Diana Ross hit "I'm Coming Out", is another beauty. On the A-side he offers up a "Long Way Mix" that gives more prominence to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' killer backing track (partly via stripping it back to the groove at key points) while retaining most of Ross' vocals. On the flip you'll find a "Sing-A-Long Dub" that strips it back further during key instrumental passages to allow the Motown legend's vocals to shine.
Review: With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Caserta and the rest of the Bridge Boots crew have decided to offer-up something decidedly glassy-eyed and loved-up - specifically two fresh bootleg re-makes of Teddy Pendergass's 1978 Philadelphia Soul classic "When Somebody Loves You Back". The seven-inch singles boasts two distinctively different versions. On the A-side you'll find the "Rooftop Mix", a striped-back blend of dub disco and boogie in which Pendergrass's fine vocals rise above a rubbery bassline, colourful '80s soul synths and toe-tapping beats. Over on the B-side Caserta flips the script, layering selected snippets of Pendergrass's vocal over a deep, dark and bass-heavy house groove. It's sub-titled the "Basement Dub" and that's exactly what it is.
Review: Having previously worked his magic on classic cuts from Diana Ross, Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass - among others - Bridge Boots boss Caserta has now moved on to Marvin Gaye. He's grabbed the acapella from a classic song - in this case one of Gaye's duets with Diana Ross, "My Mistake (Was To Love You)"- and incorporated it into a brand new track. The A-side "Casey Mistake Mix" sits somewhere between early '80s boogie and the mid-80s proto-house sound created by Boyd Jarvis, Timmy Regisford and Paul Simpson. Interestingly, Gaye and Ross's vocals fit it like a glove. The flipside "Dub That Got Away" is an altogether more bumpin' garage-house workout rich in cut-up vocals snippets and wobbly analogue bass.
Review: Studio surgeons Caserta & Lucky Ry have been busy revisiting a dance floor classic that they now serve up as two different remakes. Once again it is a blue-eyed gem that forms the source material for the pair to impress with their own versions. The "70's Mix" is a laid back soul gem with big horns and smooth, smoochy vocals that will get any bar grooving. Over on the flip, the "80's Mix", has bigger drums and more tiny percussive textures bumping things up while the vocal is passed through a vocoder for that perfect future-retro feel.