Review: Alden Tyrell dusts off his Italo guise for another synthetic sojourn into all things dramatic and cinematic. "Dance Of The Happy Shadows" sets the scene; a Vangelis-themed disco set 50 years in the future. "I Rarely Talk To Strangers" is a more introspective journey with a Moroderish arpeggio peppered with staccato cosmic chords. Both parts of "J Is For Jupiter" drive us towards the tunnel-end light. Overwhelmingly positive chords hit hard on the first part before a spiralling Terjeian hook drives the very final stretch.
When I'm Alone (JKriv & Peter Matson remix) (6:14)
Review: Adeline is undoubtedly best known for being the front-woman of Brooklyn-based disco band Escort, an outfit whose members also included Razor-N-Tape co-founder JKriv. It makes sense, then, that her latest solo single is appearing on their "Reserve" offshoot. Co-produced by Midnight Magic man Morgan Willey, "When I'm Alone" is a revivalist leftfield disco cut rich in "Beam Me Up" style walking bass, ear-catching guitar riffs and lolloping drums - all topped off by a fantastic vocal from Adeline. Jacques Renault delivers a slightly heavier, house-influenced remix with subtle Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, while Dirty Channels offers a more bustling but still pleasingly organic sounding disco-house take. Finally JKriv joins forces with Peter Matson on a remix that sounds like vintage Escort with added dub delays.
Review: Exploring the sounds emanating from South Asia, Masaala is a new label with a fresh outlook. The first release features Manchester-based producers Raheel Khan and Adesi turning in some powerful edits that will appeal to anyone seeking invigorating sounds from further afield. Khan's twist on "Mast Qalandar" sounds like a striking version of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Mustt Mustt". Adesi offers up the lions share of the edits though, channeling South Asian sounds through grooves ranging from the fierce disco stomp of "Sansani" to the low slung funk groove of "Nah Nah Nah". "Kammata" has a more dense rhythmic complexity at its heart, and "Kuchi Kuchi" collides traditional sounds with contemporary broken beat to brilliant effect.
Review: Kevin Gorman aka Adesse Versions brings his cut and paste ethos to Brooklyn edit series Razor-N-Tape with a varied pair of heaters. On this wicked two tracker, the label takes it back to their early format of one track per side: and these two cuts can certainly carry it! On this side we've got "Bumpin' NYC" a lo-slung disco classic with that proper New York City vibe, if ya catch our drift? On that side, we have a lovely little number in the form of "Sistem" that flips an afrobeat sample into a dark and groovy club track with even a little bit of acid for good measure.
Review: Mancunian Kevin Gorman used to make some great minimal techno on his Mikrowave imprint but has since moved on to create some of his best music under the Adesse Versions moniker. With a slew of fine edits and remixes under his belt, he presents us with a killer cover and tribute that's set to be one of the summer's biggest anthems. A tribute to the seminal New Order classic "Blue Monday", Gorman retains the very same Moog bass and ARP strings from the original, over a groovy breakbeat and a vocal reminiscent of Bernard Sumner himself. It was an ambitious feat, but Gorman manages to pull of an impressive rendition here, which also comes accompanied with a handy instrumental version on the flip.
Review: Unpredictable Dublin label maintain their capacity to surprise here, digging into the vaults of Ethiopian funk mob to reissue their 1984 accidental houser "Kalatashew Waga". Originating from the sole Admas album, Sons of Ethiopia, "Kalatashew Waga" has grown into something of a cult player amongst the more considered selectors over the years and gets pressed up for 12" by Major Problems replete with a fresh remastering job from the master Thomas P. Heckmann. Fans of the gliding style of lo-fi boogie PPU specialise in will love this track. Complementing the original, Major Problems have scored a brand new remix from long term Admas fan Andras Fox that brushes the track with some soft-hued new age bliss.
Review: 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.
Review: Earlier in the month, Parisian producer Afshin joined forces with Kiss My Black Jazz and served up a brilliant, two-track missive of jazz-funk and blues-house reworks on G.A.M.M. Here they reunite for round two. This time round, they begin by reworking a shuffling, chant-along Afro-Brazilian gem of unknown origin, extending the carnival-ready percussive intro before unleashing the shuffling, sun-kissed samba rhythm and some of the sweetest vocals this side of a sing-along in a chocolate factory. Over on side B they give a similar tune to a killer chunk of reggae-funk fusion rich in warm dub bass, bongo-laden beats, bluesy guitar solos, fuzzy horns and James Brown style guttural vocals.
Trouble In My Way (Afshin & Kiss My Black Jazz edit) (7:42)
The Riot (Afshin & Kiss My Black Jazz edit) (6:00)
Review: Something a little different from G.A.M.M here, as Parisian DJ Afshin joins forces with the mysterious Kiss My Black Jazz to offer up two incendiary edits. The real surprise killer is A-side "Trouble In My Way", which subtly turns a blues-era recording of a traditional slave sing-along into a handclap-heavy chunk of infectious gospel-house brilliance. It takes a little time to build up, but when the heavier beats drop midway through you'll have dancers eating out of the palm of your hand. Flipside "The Riot" sees them make merry with a Hammond-heavy chunk of 1960s jazz-funk, extending and reworking the cut to make it suitably sweaty, heavy and life affirming.
Review: West coast vibe fiend Air Zaire foretells the coming balmy season with four crisp, sunny side edits. Each reaching deep into the Latin melting pot, highlights include the sandy toed, horn laced Balearic bliss of "Canguelo Perro", the unabashed soulful disco uplift of "South Of Sunset", the lolloping funk and warehouse rattling fusion of "Shojo Showdown" and the dreamy pipe fronted "Midnight Sun". Shades till summer and beyond.
Review: In the super saturated and competitive scene of disco edits, it takes a lot to differentiate yourself from the pack. Enter New York City's Razor N Tape. What do they bring to the table that is different, you may ask? They offer up what they call 'respectful edits'. Got it? There are the ones you can trust and play with confidence. On this volume they present Al Tone, who are known for their eponymous rework series. The duo comprised of Chicagoans Al Bumz and Tone B serve up some lovely Afro boogie on "Feelin' Irie" and some pitched up soulpower in the form of "Simone Manuel". On the flip, there's a familiar hook on the vocal driven deep disco resplice of "Groovin'" then they take us home with the Theo-esque looped sax and falsetto gallup of "Wishes".
Review: The Bahnsteig 23 crew are flying towards the end of the year with a salvo of essential wares from their established crew and new faces alike. Sweden's Albion Venables has been doing the business on labels such as Ambassador's Reception and Macadam Mambo for the past seven years, and his first turn on Bahnsteig doesn't disappoint. In a flurry of eclecticism, the mood veers from the bubbling kosmische tones of "En Trance" through to the schlocky funk of "Schwarzen Mer", mixing live band dynamics with quirky electronics and keeping the groove delightfully authentic. The diversity maintains on the flip as "City People" taps up a moody New York flavour and "Die Marinette Der Zeit" strikes a more classic funk note.
Review: Swedish producer Albion Venables has been building up a formidable bank of oddball disco, boogie, wave and other groove-oriented delights on labels like Ambassador's Reception, Macadam Mambo and People Must Jam. After first appearing on the ever-excellent Bahnsteig 23 in 2016, he's back on the label with some more head-spinning obscurities from the outside tracks of synth music. "Poupee Mecanique" is a jovial French bopper, while "Balearo" cuts a more organic, reclining figure with its chugging bass plucks, laconic guitar and dreamy keys. "In Coherence" channels some funky AOR sass, and "OVNI" heads into heavy prog funk territory, rounding out a veritable wild card of a record.
Review: After coming to light with his crucial edits on Les Edits Du Golem, Alexis Le-Tan has gone on to become one of the shining lights on Bahnsteig 23's roster of deviant discoid dissenters, and he's burning up as he comes careering onto the label's 45th release. "Agre" is a steroid-injected blast of 80s firepower, all stomping drums and a dazzling assortment of dancefloor-engineered synth parts. "Pune" is a slower, groovier jam but it's no less striking in its make-up. "Hubli" takes a more unusual path away from the party, into a hard to define zone somewhere between soundtrack, home listening jam and un-nerving warm up-not warm up. "Kulem" finishes the EP off on a more steady tone, but still the rich, glossy production details come spilling out of this bombastic jam just like the other tracks on this loud and proud record.
Review: There's a fair amount of mystery surrounding this release, which the accompanying press release claims was designed for "cruising through the Tuscany countryside, riding shotgun in a vintage Alfa [Romeo]". So what's on offer? A-side "U (I Got It)" is a bouncy, stop-start disco-house affair that sits somewhere between vintage "French Touch" house, original Italo-house and the pumping antics of DJ Sneak. "Cocchetti" offers a slightly more disco-centric riff on the same all-action formula, with the mystery producer making great use of some seriously soaring 1970s orchestration, while "Cornae" sounds like a cross between Tiger & Woods and the elastic, synthesizer-heavy nu-disco favoured by DJ Rocca and Sare Havlicek.
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik main mix) (7:17)
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik 5am mix) (9:07)
Review: Martin Brodin's MB Disco imprint continues to deliver the good stuff, this time featuring two utterly essential Psychemagik mixes of Alico vs Cagri's "Les Mondes Engloutis". These mixes actually first surfaced on a digital-only release back in 2013, but now they've been buffed up for a full vinyl pressing, and rightly so. A side "Main Mix" is a full bodied, emotional banger with a lead drop to get crowds waving arms and singing along wholeheartedly. Our pick is the "5am Mix" on the flip though, where the synths take on a more shimmering nocturnal tone without losing that bright and bold character that will land this 12" in all manner of record bags this summer.
Review: Portuguese Munich Machine and edit king Alkalino delivers Wall Of Fame's first solo release with four tasteful reworks. On the A side, the Audaz main man serves up the '70s disco/rock fusion of "What To Do" and the uplifting soul heaven of "Can't Take It No More". On the flip is the funky disco fusion of "Lover Is Back" (channelling the heyday of The Big Apple way back when!) meanwhile "Things Will Come Your Way" offers up some sexy latin/bossa vibes. After a lengthy catalogue of releases available exclusively on Juno Download, we're happy to finally see of this guys efforts on wax!
Review: Munich's Portuguese maestro Lino Rodrigues aka Alkalino returns with the third volume of his edit series on Audaz where he's made the transition to the vinyl format finally! On the A side he takes the razor to a certain classic by The Escorts on the uplifting and summery feel good jam "Make Me Over". On the flip there's "La Mia Musica" an early '80s electronic pop ditty that sounds like a Spanish version of "Popcorn" by way of Bobby Orlando. Two respectful edits by one of the current heroes of the scene, who after DJing for 30 years is finally getting worldwide recognition.
Review: There's no complex concept behind the latest four-track EP from the reliable Whiskey Disco camp, just a quartet of killer re-edits crying out for peak-time plays. Highlights wise, we're particularly enjoying the hard-spun Afro-disco grooves and well-placed dub delays of Alex Zuiev's "Afro Magic", though Alkalino's quirky opener - a thrillingly dubbed-out take on a tongue-in-cheek, left-of-centre disco treat - is also superb. Elsewhere, Love Drop sticks heavy new house beats underneath a stone cold classic (listen to the clips and you'll be able to identify the source material in seconds), while Terrence Pearce crafts a space-disco epic out of undulating Afro-disco grooves, bleeping synth melodies and some seriously cosmic effects.
Stop (Dino Soccio 'Pleasure Of Love' New mix) (8:14)
Stop (Special Electronic version) (6:27)
Stop (vocal Soul version) (4:34)
Review: Valery Allington's 1982 debut single, "Stop", has long been considered an Italo-disco classic. Here it gets the reissue and remix treatment, with LA resident Dino Soccio's 2018 revision - first heard on a hush-hush edits EP - taking pride of place on side A. His version is pleasingly muscular and driving, underpinning the original's throbbing arpeggio style bass, sprightly electrofunk riffs and headline-grabbing vocals with heavy new drums. Also great is the vintage "Vocal Electronic Version" - a sleazier, bongo and kick-drum-driven affair rich in alien synth lines, two basslines (one squelchy, the other hypnotic and driving) and swirling chords. Also impressive is the sparser and slower "Soul Version", which includes a sneaky musical cap-doff to another Italo-disco classic.
Review: Best strike Italo gold once again with this Maurizio 'Sangy' Sangineto production. The original of Valery Allington's Stop has more of a pop funk feel, giving the vocalist and her backing crew stacks of space to hit the right spot but the real magic here is Maurizio's production on the special electronic version and instrumental. Aeons ahead of its time, the relentless pump and near-majestic synth work sound closer to '92 than '82. Tunnelling, hypnotic, percussive and funky, this was - and still is - the sound of the future.