Review: During its late '70s and early '80s heyday, France's disco-boogie scene tended towards the eccentric. Yet despite the camp, tongue-in-cheek feel adopted by many French bands and producers, much of the music was of an impressively high standard. That much is clear from Charles Maurice's second French Disco Boogie Sounds compilation. Packed full of slick, synthesizer-driven material and punchy, horn-heavy disco-funk thrillers (see the Teena Marie style "Movin" by Jackie Esam), it's a fine collection of Gallic dancefloor treats. You're unlikely to find a better example of jazz-funk positivity than Black Bells Group's "Talk Me Mam's", while Messan's "Keep Cool" is a lesson in thrusting, up-tempo disco sweatiness.
Special Occasion - "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" (12" version)
Parenthese - "Come Back"
Russ Long - "Never Was Love"
Pacific Dreams - "Mellow Out"
Miller Miller Miller & Sloan - "Key To My Heart"
Scott Cunningham - "Blues Take You Over"
Review: On his fourth exploration of the world of global "Adult Oriented Rock", French crate-digger Charles Maurice focuses on the period between 1977 and '86. That means a greater emphasis on synthesizers, dusty drum machines and the kind of sparkling melodies that would once have drifted from daytime radio at an alarming rate. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the dewy-eyed synth-soul of Arlana's "When You Call My Name" and the breezy boogie of Omega Sunrise's "Too Hip", to the sparse Balearic bliss of Isabelle Mayereau's "Orange Bleue", the flute-laden easy listening hum of Fernando Toussaint, the sax-happy '80s sleaze of Special Occasion's brilliant "Flyin' To Santa Barbara" and the jaunty Latino jazz-funk of "Mellow Out" by Pacific Dreams.