Review: Having previously persuaded some of the re-edit scene's biggest names to contribute reworks, Razor-N-Tape has now recruited the Grand-daddy of the scalpel scene: 1970s disco original Danny Krivit AKA Mr K. He begins with "Stuff", a deliciously epic revision of an atmospheric and joyous disco cut rich in snaking synth solos, evocative instrumentation and glassy-eyed vocals. Krivit teases the tune in slowly, eventually cutting loose as the nine-minute edit reaches its final few minutes. Side B is all about "The Story", a jaunty and musically complex instrumental disco number that contains some fantastic orchestration, spacey 1970s synthesizer flourishes and heady female backing vocals.
Isabelle & The Rain (Mr K 7" Breakdown edit) (5:28)
Review: 1971: Isaac Hayes redefines what a movie theme can be with the worldwide sensation "Shaft," single-handedly making wah-wah rhythm guitar and racing hi-hats a prime ingredient for the decade of music to come. The huge success of "Shaft" meant Hayes was in demand to bring his vision of cinematic funk to other films, and in 1974 he scored (and starred in) the Blaxploitation B-movie Truck Turner. It's from this soundtrack that "Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile" is drawn. The progression Hayes made as a composer is clear: "Pimpmobile" uses complex layered guitar lines with brass and string sections that build and cascade over each other and takes the "Shaft" formula to an entirely new level.
The song became a firm favorite with funky DJs in the '70s, from the refined space of Mancuso's Loft to Bronx and Harlem jams. Indeed, when the Zulu Nation DJs began spinning at a downtown roller disco / dance club called The Roxy in the early '80s, it was firmly entrenched as one of their favorites. Another resident DJ at The Roxy was Danny Krivit, who was already well acquainted with the song and the effect it had on dancers. For this latest addition to Most Excellent Unlimited's steadily expanding catalog of Mr. K 7-inch edits, the master editor distills the sprawling nine-minute original down to a fit five-and-change, maintaining all the muscle that made this one a perennial champion of New York City's varied dancefloors.
The quirky "Isabelle And The Rain" was also a key cut for deeper DJs, uptown and downtown, albeit often on bootlegs as the original was, and remains, extremely scarce. Very little is known about the obscure jazzy cut, the work of a largely anonymous bunch of Los Angeles studio veterans led by keyboardist Mike Lang, whose electric piano solo is the song's defining feature alongside the driving drums, which get plenty of space to shine on Mr. K's Breakdown Edit.
The audio fidelity and peerless editing of these essential tracks - virtually nonexistent on 7-inch vinyl before now - makes the latest from Most Excellent Unlimited a can't-miss addition to the playout box of any DJ with a funky floor to rock.
Review: Dualismo Sound has a great track record when it comes to unearthing and reissuing gems from Italy's small but vibrant Afro-Cosmic scene. This 12" from Meo (real name Daniele Mei) is another. Both A-side tracks were initially released back in 1987 and are appearing on vinyl for the first time since. "Cikuana" is a jolly, synth-laden affair that inhibits similar sonic territory to some of Tullio de Piscopo's 1980s work, while "Alturas" does a great job in wrapping Flamenco guitars and new age synths around a rubbery electronic bassline and gentle drums. Epic flipside "Fiesta", meanwhile, was first featured on 1986 album "Sesta Traccia" and makes great use of both evocative fretless bass (a staple of Balearic records from that period) and snaking sax lines.
Review: Always adept at reading the crowd and armed with decades of experience behind the decks, well-travelled man and Discoweey label boss Hotmood makes his debut on UK-based Giant Cuts with four summery tracks on "The Rhythm EP". Combining slo-mo boogie, groove laden disco and quality house sounds, he kicks things off with the sleazy late night funk attack of "The Rhythm Is There", before going deeper on the bass-driven soul loops of "My Darling (Dina)", leading up to the thumpin' B1 cut - a remix by Doc Jam that's chock-a-block with dancefloor dynamics and closing out with a fusion of jazz-funk, disco-house and evocative tropical jazz samples on "Tropical Space". Fans of Tropical Disco, Ravanelli Disco Club and Samosa will especially love this.
Don't Want This To Be Over (feat Satchmode) (5:16)
Sommeron (feat Imugi) (4:39)
Twilight (feat Izo FitzRoy) (5:47)
Echo Park (2:33)
Same Blood (feat The Palms) (4:54)
Say The Word (feat Nic Hanson) (5:44)
24 Hr Fling (feat Wolfgang Valbrun) (3:48)
Sweet Time (feat Izo FitzRoy) (3:29)
Guilty Discomforts (feat Wolfgang Valbrun) (4:39)
Out In The Daylight (feat Gavin Turek) (3:14)
I Think (feat Berenice Van Leer) (3:01)
Naked (feat IVAR & Berenice Van Leer) (5:26)
Review: Since debuting in the early 2000s, Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak have established themselves as one of Europe's premier purveyors of eclectic, funk-fuelled dancefloor positivity. It's little surprise then to find that their new album "Pleasure Centre" - their sixth studio set in total - is another joyous romp. This time round, they've drawn more influence from West Coast style blue-eyed soul and yacht rock while continuing to offer nods towards boogie, P-funk, synth-pop, '80s soul, jazz-funk and Rotary Connection (see the superb "Twilght", with vocals by rising star Izo FitzRoy). It's a wonderfully warm and attractive blend, with the result being a superb collection of dancefloor cuts and heady downtempo numbers that all adds up to their best album to date.
The Klub Family - "When I Fall In Love" (feat Sybil - Knee Deep Disco club mix) (6:35)
Whitney Houston - "I'm Every Woman" (Clivilles & Cole House mix 1) (10:43)
Review: The glorious Defected affiliated label land party Glitterbox continues to bring back some of the colour, gloss and glamour that made early house and disco so great with this second edition of their Hotter Than Fire series. Melvo Baptiste once again selects a load of fantastic tracks that brim with soul, diva vocals and timeless basslines. Highlights are plentiful throughout, but our picks of the bunch are "Chic Mystique" awashed with serious 90s New York vibes, all out Soul Train groover "Gotta Keep On Trying" by Tenderness and Jungle Brothers who bring some of their street wise hip house styles to the throwback "What 'U' Waitin' 4?".
Review: Melbourne producer Hysteric is becoming a go-to man for those looking for killer re-edits of obscure, left-of-centre Italo-disco and synth-pop oddities. Here he serves up a fresh batch of reworked gems for new label Fuego International, following inspired outings on Bordello A Parigi and Public Possession. The title track is a steamy, exotic Italo-disco gem blessed with electrofunk flourishes and AOR disco guitars, while "Discotheek De Marathon" is a throbbing, synth-heavy chugger that makes great use of extended drum solos and synthesized cowbells. Flip for the sweet, Afro-Italo fusion of "Pescara Beach", and the pitched down, electro-influenced new wave shuffle of "Southend Pier".
Review: Return to 2001: Swiss brothers Shakedown drop an iconic house anthem that debunked the standard XXL funk du jour with a much spacier, synth-based 80s boogie sound. Still relevant and heavily played, Defected have commissioned three on-point artists for the 2018 contemporisations: Peggy Gou gets her acid tweaks on, Tiger & Woods pitch down the vocal and dust off the Street Sounds electroid feel and Purple Disco Machine cooks up an unapologetic funked up house jam that wouldn't have gone amiss on Classic back in the day. For good measure Shakedown return with their own signature Galactic Boogie version that pumps with strong Moroder tendencies. Good night.
M&M Vs Andrei Swipe - "Analog Express" (Don Carlos remix) (7:29)
Review: There's an undeniable air of quality that lingers over the 12"s emerging on 14th Level Of Paradise, the mysterious label presenting originals, edits and repressed tracks for true house devotees. First up is a little known track from Sasha Makin and Suntetic, given a shimmering polish by Don Carlos and Steven Perri to become a heavy funking masterpiece, before Joe Claussell drops in a percussive dub delight on Monday Michiru's "Higher". On the flip, Vincent Inc and LA get things pumping with the slow but chunky, jazz-licked "Red Room", before Carlos returns for another deep house reverie as he remixes M&M and Andrei Swipe's "Analog Express".
Review: Hold tight for another dose of seriously sassy Italo brilliance lovingly reissued on Best. This time it's Plustwo and their outrageously fun "Melody" getting the treatment, with the A side given over to the catchy vocal version and the previously unreleased dub version. "Stop Fantasy" on the flip is another sugar-coated trip through poppy dancefloor perfection, with some cheeky acidic undertones for those listening with the right ears. You'll recognize this one as a crossover hit that's snuck up in deep digging sets - now you can get your mitts on it too.
Review: You'd probably have to take out a loan to buy an original, second-hand copy of Master Force's sole single, 1979's "Hey Girl", so this dinky reissue is more than welcome. The title track is a dewy-eyed slice of two-step soul sweetness rich in Curtis Mayfield style lead vocals, glistening guitars and trumpet solos that sound like they've been lifted from an early Herb Alpert recording. Arguably better for dancefloor plays is "Don't Fight The Feeling", a Clavinet-heavy disco-funk affair that boasts some brilliant group backing vocals and heaps of authentic New York flavour.
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: The Fantastic Voyage label kicks off with a summery joint from RFX, otherwise known as Pharmacy Records mainstay Romain FX, straight out of Hong Kong. There's an undeniable African lilt to these tracks, shot through with a classic 90s house twist - just check the infectious bump of "Indaba Kabani". "Gambian Neptune" has a snappier feel, channeling the vibe of 80s extended dubs with its strident drum section and bombastic atmosphere. "Nigerian Charon" has an interesting mixture of vibes going on, part Art of Noise mash up and part peak time synth sizzler, while "Sudanese Xena" heads into the heat of night, conjuring up a seductive, swirling mood to get truly lost in.
Instant Funk - "I Got My Mind Made Up" (Late Nite Tuff Guy remix) (7:21)
Orlando Riva Sound - "Body To Body Boogie" (Late Nite Tuff Guy edit) (5:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "Ooh I Love It (Love Break)" (Late Nite Tuff Guy Muscle edit) (6:42)
Review: Salsoul has always been good at getting contemporary producers to reinterpret classics from its bulging catalogue, with recent years bringing fresh edits and reworks by The Reflex, Moplen, DJ Pope, Dimitri From Paris and Late Nite Tuff Guy. Here the latter returns with a second helping of tastefully tooled-up revisions. The Australian producer kicks things off with a warm and woozy hybrid disco/house take on Instant Funk's "I Got My Mind Made Up" that's quite a departure from the original mix. Over on side B, he turns in a languid and groovy, mid-tempo house version of Orlando Riva Sound's overlooked "Body To Body Boogie" before successfully revising Salsoul Orchestra's much-loved "Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)" whilst retaining most of the original vocals and instrumentation.
Review: Glaswegian disco overlord Al Kent is particularly fond of dusty, hard-to-find records that combine great grooves with the kind of sugary, flowing orchestration that marks out some of the greatest late-'70s dancefloor records. It's these records that he tends to re-edit. He's at it again here on a surprise two-track GAMM outing. Check first A-side "The Light Of You", a peak-time ready Stevie cover version disco cut that adds a myriad of instrumental solos to a heavily orchestrated backing track originally recorded by latin disco soul outfit LaSo. It's rather good, all told, as is the wild flipside Latin jazz-funk workout "Sing A Song". It's pretty sweaty and even boasts some serious eyes-closed guitar solo action (along with tons of authentic South American percussion).
Review: REPRESS ALERT! Best Record Italy take the time machine all the way back to 1979 to revisit the wonderful Italo-Disco delights of Adolf Stern, whose "More... I Like It" represents the strangest end of the genre as it was taking shape. With heavily processed vocals injecting some serious strangeness into the chirpy disco backdrop, it's the kind of track to turn heads without a doubt. "Twenty Seven" on the B-side is equally magical in its capturing of the era, with the more obvious surface elements underpinned by a truly intoxicating line in synth arpeggios. Once again Best comes up trumps refreshing the history of Italian music of all shapes and sizes.
Review: To accompany the reissue of Man Jumping's Jumpcut album, Emotional Rescue offers 2 remix EPs that showcase the band's music with versions by contemporary producers.
Starting with stalwarts and friends in duo Khidja, it's not often you can put together a reissue that modern day wunder producers have requested, however, that is precisely what occurred. Badgering over several years about their love of Man Jumping and how they should be revered, when the call came that the reissue was happening, Khidja were the first names down.
After breaking through on sister label [Emotional] Especial way back in 2013, the pair have gone on to much acclaim with releases for Malka Tuti, Hivern Discs and DFA to name (drop) a few.
Handed the tapes, their love of Man Jumping's virtuoso playing is evident in these amazing remixes. Walk On, Bye takes its Reich meets Pop aspirations and drifting across 9 minutes of laidback but bass heavy rhythms, intricacies of clarinet, sax and trumpet are stretched and fused to repetition perfection.
Following, Down The Locale's jazz roots is developed, recast and updated, extenuating the bass, while piano and vocals interplay over scattered, skipping drums to become a latter day 'contemporary dance' odyssey.
Review: The second EP of remixes from Man Jumping's reissue on Emotional Rescue features luminaries Bullion, Reckonwrong, Gengahr and William Doyle with their reversions of songs from the Jumpcut album.
Nathan Jenkins aka Bullion follows his recent rerub of Thomas Leer (ERC072) to provide two remixes. His remake of In The Jungle keeps the originals (leftfield) dance floor roots, but sprinkles the ubiquitous warm glow and off kilter fun(k) that he evokes; while his retake of Walk On, Bye drifts back, highlighting intricate percussion; congas, bass and vocal atmospherics along some breezy swing.
Reckonwrong is next; turning the bossa vibes of Sqeezi into his own new wave meets italo reversion; topped with his unique 'under the cupboard stairs' vocals. Funky, driving, this overlooked star adds to his cannon for Whities, Pinkman and DEEK.
After a string of impressive releases for Trangressive / Beggars, Gengahr make a surprise addition, lifting Down The Locale from deceptive beginnings to anthemic heights, adding echo-laden guitar and vocals to the original's underbelly, before a bass break and return lifts to the heavens.
Finally, William Doyle provides perfect closure. Moving away from his East India Youth moniker (XL Recordings), his output has drifted towards ambient introspection, however, here points to addtional layers; rebuilding Belle Dux On The Beach with added bass, guitar, drums and finally vocals that culminate in a prefect 'to the skies' outrospection.
Review: Emotional Rescue presents the music ensemble Man Jumping, with a reissue of their experimental, post-minimalist meets pop debut album Jumpcut, to be followed by 2 special remix EPs featuring Khidja, Bullion, Reckonrong and more.
Formed in 1983 out of the disbanded The Lost Jockey (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), Man Jumping's aim was to move on from the unwieldy nature of that collective to combine the 'systems music' of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young etc with rock, funk, dance and world music and create a new cross over.
Consisting of studied musicians and created from theory as well as technique, the liberation from formal restrictions took shape over four years that spawned 2 albums and one 12".
Released on Bill Nelson's 'Cocteau' label in 1985, Jumpcut's was critically praised but destined for more discerning ears. The 7 songs - including here a 12" mix of Aerotropics - developed from 16 stave manuscript into live recordings straight to tape, with no sequencing to keep their live feel intact.
Carefully planned but made in the moment, members Charlie Seaward, Glyn Perrin, John Lunn, Orlando Gough and Shaung Tozer's legacy is demonstrably durable, a testament to their originality of thought to an idea of what might be rather than an imitation of what has been.
Review: For the last 18 months disco and boogie legend Leroy Burgess - owner of the most distinctive voice in the game - has been touring Europe with a band of Lyon-based musicians known as Saving Coco. It makes sense, then, that he would eventually go into the studio with them to record some new material. The results are impressive. The jaunty, Clavinet-heavy brilliance of "Work It Out" is reminiscent of some of Burgess' best boogie-era work with The Fantastic Aleems and fittingly comes accompanied by a Dub mix rich in piano and synth solos. "Til I Found You" is a slap bass-propelled exercise in good grooves and even better vocals. It, too, is backed by a stripped back but musically expansive Dub mix.
Review: Whatever you think of the Unlimited Love series - and a few record collectors have grumbled online about it - you can't argue with the quality of the rare cuts they offer up. Volume 26 in the series is, of course, another must-have. First up is New Love Ltd & Interstate 95's positive and punchy disco-soul number "So Much To Talk About", quickly followed by another superbly soulful late 1970s dancefloor number, "That Friday Pay (Part One)" by Sonny Jenkins And The New York Potpourri Strings. The rare hits keep coming on the flip, where Sugar & Spice's boogie-era disco-funk number "The Beast (Instrumental)" comes accompanied by the low-slung brilliance of World Quake Band's "On The One", a 1980 B-side from a record that regularly changes hands for L140 a pop.
Review: After the 4 young producers completed their second Hamburg residency, they enjoyed increasing popularity in Liverpool with the growing re-edit movement. However, they were also growing tired of the monotony of numerous appearances at the same clubs night after night. In November 2018, during one of the group's frequent performances at Sugar Night Club, they encountered Driller, a local record-label owner and club owner. He later recalled: "I immediately liked what I heard. They were fresh, and they were honest, and they had what I thought was a sort of presenceA... star quality.
Review: Best just keep coming with the Italo heat, once again tapping into that golden year of 1984. Funky Family was a one-shot studio project that left a much-vaunted record in its wake. The visionary nature of "Funk Is On" is impossible to ignore - from the noirish mood to the physical thrust of the arpeggios, the diva vocals and tough 4/4 groove, this is house music in all but name. Whether you want the vocal cut or the instrumental, Best have you covered - either is going to set the dancefloor alight.
Review: There's not a lot of info about this one other than it's a "mysterious" re-edit that's been setting alight the DJ sets of some serious selectors on the European electronic disco underground. Whoever is behind it, and whatever the original source material may be - we've not got a clue - "Koy Jaye" is astonishingly good: a throbbing chunk of glassy-eyed, shirts-off Italo-disco/Bollywood fusion that layers exotic Indian vocals and snaking horn lines over druggy arpeggio style bass and a stomping drum machine rhythm. It's the kind of thing capable of sending dancefloors crazy at four in the morning, and there's always room in the record bag for jams like that.
Review: Surprisingly, Don Blackman originally wrote and recorded "Just Can't Stay Away" to play as the recorded message on his girlfriend's answering machine. He later included it - tweaked and turned into a mid-80s style boogie banger reminiscent of his work during that decade - on his second and final album, 2002's CD-only "Listen". Here it finally gets a vinyl release thanks to reissue specialists Melodies International. If you're a fan of boogie, electrofunk and synth-soul it should be an essential purchase, not least because it's every bit as good as more celebrated Blackman productions made earlier in his career. There are "Stereo" and "Mono" mixes to enjoy, with the former naturally offering a more refined and intoxicating listening experience.
Review: Dinky-Di is a modern disco ensemble conducted by Waq Takahashi with just a few key releases spread out across the past 15 years. Now Million Dollar Disco main man Al Kent has cherry picked one of the hottest jams from their oeuvre and given it a special rub down - the kind of treatment that warrants a single-sided 12" no less. In Al's hands, 2005 track "Gold Wave" becomes a sizzling party monster that romps along for more than 10 minutes. With scintillating peaks, heavyweight drum breakdowns and sumptuous musicianship throughout, this is how an epic disco bomb should sound in 2019.
Review: Disco Fruit come correct once again with that bright and bold house sound to get everybody shaking their thing. 84Bit's "Mamma Jamma" is an impossibly catchy, diva-led funky house jam with pristine production that harks back to the glory days of radio-friendly house music with more hooks than a fishing tackle shop. Hotmood keeps the vibe of the original intact but edges a little more club-ready bite into the mix, master editor Dr Packer takes a subtle approach that keeps the disco vibes front and centre, while Tonbe cools things down with a filter riding version.