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.
Who, What, Where, When & Why (Disco version) (5:10)
No Promises (Disco version) (6:46)
Review: Best Records do it again, dusting down a searing slice of robo-funk from the early 80s that will pop your lock every which way. B Funk was a one-off project from Mario Boncaldo and Tony Carrasco, best known for their incredible work as Klein & MBO. They released the "Magic Spell" album in 1983, and it was loaded with richly produced Italo disco and proto house sounds - there's a good reason the original release has been fetching such crazy prices on the second hand market. Now Best have cherry picked two of the finest cuts from the album, sought out the extended disco versions from Carrasco's vaults, and given them a glorious new pressing.
A Tour In Italy (Pellegrino mix - Mediterranean version) (7:06)
A Tour In Italy (Tony Carrasco mix) (7:04)
A Tour In Italy (Tony Carrasco mix - dub version) (6:14)
Review: Not to be mistaken for the charity pop behemoth, this Band Aid were a band from Bologna that released a handful of albums and singles in the early 80s. Best Italy have dug out this loose and limber slice of sunny funk and given it a spruce up with a little help from Early Sounds crew member Pellegrino, whose "Mediterranean Version" of "A Tour In Italy" adorns the A side. It's all peppy brass, dreamy guitars and a kooky vocal line about the titular tour, guaranteed to break out some smiles on the dancefloor. On the B side you can indulge in Tony Carrasco's original vocal and dub versions, all of which equally exude summery vibes to keep you warm through the winter months.
Review: The Best Records reissue campaign continues unabated as the Italian label turns to Bariocentro. While the band may have had most of their time in the spotlight in the late 70s, they bowed out with a veritable bomb in the shape of Tittle Tattle, a tightly-wound, punchy slice of uptempo 80s boogie like they just can't make any more. Feel the reverb on the handclaps, the slick guitar chops and Moog-tastic bassline and just try not getting down. This plush reissue comes packed with the radio edit, the full length version, the instrumental and everyone's favourite slice of 80s B side action, the dub mix.
Review: 80'S timeless funk boogie classic from the Netherlands, comes here as a special remastered limited edition containing the full extended version of 9:56 called Peter Frost Remix available only on the original Album plus the unreleased Faze Action Dub mix on the flip.
Turn Me Loose/My Design (extended version) (13:58)
Turn Me Loose (Sirs cut) (10:32)
Review: Best Records present another deep cover jam Balearic diggers will rejoice at being able to lay their hands on. Blue Night was the brainchild of Peter Miconi, who created "Turn Me Loose" in 1983. All the elements are present here, from the aching blue-eyed soul vocals to rich guitar solos and an irrepressible funk bedded down in the groove, here stretching out for a full 14 minutes of pure sunkissed bliss. On the flip, SIRS takes a careful run at the original that simply reframes the elements with a more pronounced rhythm section - this is someone who knows exactly what the track needs and declines to change anything for the sake of it. Classy stuff, as you would expect from a reissue on Best Records.
Review: Official remastered limited edition of Cellophane project from 1984 produced by Alessandro Novaga, one of THE major influences on Chicago House Music with his trio of releases -Drums-, -Electronic Drums- and -Faces Drums-, all essentially EPs of tough electronic bonus beats, creating the blueprint for many early Windy City productions. He was also behind other such hugely influential cuts as Stopps -Im Hungry- and -Ali Shuffle- by Camaros Gang. Here on his Cellophane album, which came after the huge -Gimme Love- single, we get what I guess you could describe as his magnum opus. The album consists of just two long tracks (or suites perhaps?) that take the listener of on an epic psychedelic italo /space disco trip like no other. Heavy use of synths and drum machines expecially on the part 3 !
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: G.A.N.G. was a short-lived studio project from Giorgio Giordano, Giorgio Dolce and Roberto Zanetti (Savage). In 1983 they released "Incantations", a plush cosmic disco burner that rides a slow tempo but hits heavy with its rich layers of synth and slick guitar licks. Best are giving it a fresh airing with this on-point reissue, bringing the chugging bass arps back into the fold of a sympathetic scene that celebrates just this kind of evocative, sensual slow-mo party fodder. The original mix elevates in the second half with a soaring vocal from Stefania Dal Pino, but if that doesn't appeal there's a purely instrumental take on the B side that focuses purely on the groove.
Review: Here's another highly desirable slice of formative party fuel from the dusty highways and byways of dance music culture, brought to you by the diligent miners at Best Records. The Gong's Gang was a one-off alias for the equally one-off Nicolosi Family, a collective of real-life brothers and sisters who knew a thing or two about classic early 80s Italo boogie. "Gimme Your Love" is a stellar jam, with Rosanna Nicolosi out front on vocals and the cascading synths and bass stewing in an intoxicating blend that should have any funk detective frothing with approval. Whether you want the full vocal hit or the subtly dubbed out instrumental, this is a jam thoroughly deserving of a second run in the sun.
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: Steve Kahn & Co. are yet another of those curios of the early 80s that Best Italy have dug out, dusted down, spruced up and repressed for your eclectic party pleasure. "Got To Have Your Loving" is a pure feel good jam at every turn - it's got a very natural, live band sound mixed by the legendary Tee Scott that especially makes the aqueous bass playing shine through. Whether you plump for the vocal or the instrumental, this is the kind of record that could set a wedding party on fire as much as a serious heads-down disco funk session. You'll no doubt get a lot of mileage out of this one, and have a great time in the process.
Review: Best Records fire up a surefire classic from the annals of Italian dance music, crafted courtesy of Italo-disco heavyweight Klein & MBO. "The MBO Theme" was originally a hit in the nascent Chicago house scene, spun by the likes of Ron Hardy thanks to its punchy synth bass and hooky Euro-vocals. This sought-after dancefloor gem has been given a faithful remastering touch, as is the Best Records way, and they've also dug out a previously unheard edit of the track named as the "Italian Version," which stretches out the club qualities of the jam for maximum party impact.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Compared to some of the ultra-obscure releases buffed up and reissued on Best, Loui$' "Magic Dance" is something of a perennial classic, but that doesn't diminish its value in getting another airing. Loui$ released a modest wedge of killer party anthems in his 80s peak, but this debut 12" in 1985 was the glittering prize. Of all the versions of this release, the rare Blow Up Records edition is the one that gets a look in here, and it's all about that special disco mix of "Pink Footpath". From gutsy analogue bass to shimmering lead pads, it's a dreamy dancefloor jam in every way.
Review: From the team responsible for Kano and the evergreen Italo hit "I'm Ready," Matakena was a one-off release back in 1983 that has since gone on to attain true cult status (i.e. monstrous second hand prices). Thankfully, the trusted bastion of reissued Italian grooves Best Records is on hand to bring the music back to the people, digging the irrepressible funk of "Nuts On Me" and "Aphrodisiac" out of the vaults and pressing it up for a new generation to get down to. This is sleazy boogie par excellence, full of liquid synth bass, steamy vocals and grooves to die for.
Review: Best Records get busy with this absolutely classic slice of early Italian disco from 1981, put together in the one-off-studio-project stylee by Al Festa, Claudio Giusti and Francesco Puccioni. The full vocal mix on the A side nearly hits the nine minute mark, and it's all gold from the chirpy horn section to the scintillating vocal turn by Sharon Russell. The influence from the Nile Rodgers school of funk is plain to hear, not least on the instrumental take on the B side, but also watch out for the gorgeous soliloquy of the "Manhattan's Piano Reprise" which is snuck on as an added extra from the archives.
Review: Best Records' own luminary Claudio Casalini was at the helm for this one-shot studio project that captures Italo disco at its most exuberant and organic. Originally released in 1984, the bassline on "Stop Your Lies" is a quintessential slice of synthetic throb from a golden era, but the electronic elements are wonderfully offset by rich instrumentation and a brilliantly camp vocal performance from the unnamed boy-girl combo. The vocal mix on the A side is strong enough for a single-sided cut, but the instrumental on the flip widens out the reach of the record and really lets Casalini's superb production shine through.
Review: Best Records are always a trusted source of reissued obscurities, but they've really outdone themselves this time. New Horizon was a one-off studio project from NYC buried in the annals of 70s disco funk, supposedly helmed by Donald Jenkins, but the chances of finding this mythical record were less than zero before now. "You" is a sumptuous jam, where each player shines in equal measure from the limber bass to the gossamer keys and stirring singers. This is soul jazz of the highest order, so very worthy of a reissue not least in its "Special Disco" guise. The vocal-less cut on the flip is just as wonderful, spinning a web of instrumentation that peaks with a wild guitar solo.
Review: The latest dig from Best Record Italy's eternal mission to release the finest Roman musical manna features noted jazz man Pino Presti taking on Manu Dibango's eternal party jam "Soul Makossa". Presti's interpretation uses oodles of gleaming 80s synths in place of the original traditional instrumentation, but fear not as the iconic brass section remains a real-world force, and sounds mighty fresh with it. Following up that cover is a sumptuous version of "Ain't No Sunshine" which is aimed square at the heartstrings of the most Balearic cruisers. "I Call Your Name / Come Back To Me" gets even smoother, the vocals capturing Mediterranean getaway romance to perfection.
Review: Best Records previously mined Pino Presti's illustrious back catalogue for the To Africa / Soul Makossa, You Know The Way and Funky Bump 12"s, and they're back with the Italian arranger's finest disco delicacies straight outta 1977. "You Know Why" is a swooning, romantic groover featuring the sultry vocals of Roxy Robinson. "Nice & Easy / Hungry For Love" is a bold, dramatic cut with striking brass stabs and a slinky bassline that wraps itself around Robinson's classic vocal. "Come On" is a deeper, Philly string laden affair of the heart, rounding out this most passionate of disco 12"s.
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: Best Records get right to the heart of true Italo disco with this body-poppin' killer from 1983. REM were made up of Paolo Alfani and Nicola Serena, both based in Florence and well ahead of the curve with their experimental electronic disco sound. Making fantastic use of the Mattel Speak & Spell for their vocal hooks, this enterprising duo cooked up a veritable club bomb with their fusion of sleek drum machine rhythms, throbbing acid basslines and romantic synth tones that would come to be widely used in Detroit techno some years later. There's a full original take of the track on the A side, while the flip features a tweaked "remix" version to give you even more of that robo-vocoder action.
Review: Alan Shelly was an intermittent feature in the late 60s and early 70s soul and funk scene, but his one-off 7" Party Freaks / Dance Together released in Italy in 1975 remains a treasured gem for those who crave the most potent secret weapons for their record crates. Of course, Best Italy are no slouches when it comes to such records and they have dutifully snapped up the original masters of these sought after jams and given the full, uncut mixes a proper, beautifully remastered airing on 12". "Party Freaks" has a raucous, West African flavour to it that can't fail to set the crowd alight, while "Dance Together" takes things in a looser, jammed out direction - both tracks are pure fire, and it's a damn good thing Best have dusted them down.
Review: Best Italy have dug out a serious gem here, tapping up Italian percussionist and composer Tullio De Piscopo and his much-coveted simmering Balearic jam "Stop Bajon," which was as big in Ibiza (and still is) as it was in its native Italy. With its insistent rhythmic thump, chanting vocals and delicate keys it's little wonder the likes of DJ Harvey love spinning it. As well as the instrumental and acappella cuts of this wonderful mid 80s gem, you also get to sample the ranging downtempo funk of "Stadera," which could almost belong to Talking Heads with its mysterious tones and limber production.
Review: Having reissued Body, Body Love last year, Best Records come back for more of Billy Woost's late 70s grooves, all lifted from his sole self-titled album and presented here in their true 'Disco Version' format. This time around it's "Vibrations" that takes centre stage, and it sounds resplendent in its widescreen vision of disco funk production at its highest possible standard. On the flip "Baobab" sounds even more potent with its killer bassline groove, dream-pop vocal trills and all round feel-good mood. Now if Best can just do the same job with the rest of the album we'll be laughing.