Take Me To The Top (Michael Gray Sultra remix) (7:18)
Take Me To The Top (Michael Gray dub mix) (5:33)
Review: As many of you may know, Advance's "Take Me To The Top" is something of a boogie classic; an Italian record from 1982 rich in soulful vocals and squidgy synths that sounds like it was recorded in New York rather than Napoli or Rome. Here, long-serving house producer Michael Gray (he of Full Intention fame) gets his hands on the original and delivers a couple of contemporary updates that are pleasingly reverential to the source material. The A side "Sultra Remix" has a few tasty contemporary touches - looped sections, chunky beats, special effects - but is otherwise fairly faithful to the sun-kissed, synth-laden original mix. While rather good, it's the flipside Dub that really set our pulses racing, not least because it emphasizes the elastic bassline, loved-up chord sequence and colourful electrofunk electronics.
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.
Review: Initially released in South Africa in 1982, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley's sophomore set is now regarded as a boogie-era Highlife classic. Here issued on CD for the very first time via Mr Bongo, the album features the Ghanaian star brilliantly joining the dots between driving disco-funk, jazz-funk, intoxicating slow jams, calypso, dub reggae and his beloved highlife. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, with standouts including heavy percussion jam "Simigwa", the boogie-dub skank of "Adwoa", the down-low grooves of "Walking Down The Street" and the killer disco highlife anthem "It's High Life". Simply essential.
Review: REPRESS ALERT!: Best may be best known for jazz and disco reissues, but they're also dab hands at unearthing forgotten gems from the annals of Italian deep house too. The Countach were last seen in active service back in 1990, dropping just two singles but making sure they were bona fide classics. "Aqua Marina" has plenty of lashings of jazz funk rubbed into its loins, not least on the "Sweet Dream Version". The "Paradise Version" nudges the key of the club mixes and ramps up the reverb, and then the "Original Studio Version" switches up the mood with an organic, live band groove on this crucial 12".
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.
Review: Scorchio: Best return in time for the summer with one of the funkiest productions Maurizio 'Sangy' Sangineto has ever conjured. Sleazy electro boogie with just the right balance of Italo and soul in the mix, "Baby Come On" was a solo expedition by Armed Gang's James Otis White Jr. who hits the juiced-up bass-led groove in consummate syrup-toned style but gives the groove all the room it needs to let loose. Spacious, sun-kissed and profoundly funky, this couldn't have landed at a better time.
Review: Given his credentials and track record, it's unsurprising that original disco and boogie artists are willing to let Joey Negro play around with their biggest hits. His first stab at this kind of multi-track remix, 2014's Remixed With Love, was such a success that he's decided to unleash another swathe of revisions over two vinyl double-packs. This "Part B" edition features some killer reworks, including a sublime, on-point rearrangement of Gwen McRae's "Keep The Fire Burning" and a rolling, dubbed-out version of Grace Jones' "Pull Up To The Bumper" that rivals Larry Levan's classic remix. The veteran producer also successfully turns Pockets' "Come Go With Me" into a classic soulful house rub, and pushes Thelma Houston's "I'm Here Again" further towards disco anthem territory.
Patti LaBelle - "Music Is My Way Of Life" (Joey Negro Funk In The Music mix) (7:51)
The O'Jays - "I Love Music" (Joey Negro Sweet Music mix) (8:10)
Loose Change - "Straight From The Heart" (Joey Negro Straight To The Groove mix) (6:46)
Kleeer - "Open Your Mind" (Joey Negro Seeekret mix) (8:59)
Christopher Cross - "Ride Like The Wind" (Joey Negro extended disco mix) (8:38)
Willie Hutch - "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" (Joey Negro Return Of The Mac mix) (6:38)
Cheryl Lynn - "You Saved My Day" (Joey Negro Tell The World mix) (8:51)
Norman Connors - "Stella" (Joey Negro Jazz Ride) (6:21)
Review: Two years have passed since his inaugural Remixed With Love collection but Joey finally delivers another immaculate collection of official edits and reversions. A quick squizz at the artists he's refixed will confirm (if any confirmation is necessary) Joey's weight and authority: Cheryl Lynn, Willie Hutch, The O'Jays, Patti LaBelle, Kleeer and many more go under Joey's crafty knife. Extensions are made, beats and fine-tuned, percussive breakdowns are polished and subtle dubby elements are brought to the fore. Even the most ardent of Dave Lee collectors may have a few holes to fill right here.