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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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.