Voice of the Kano project and former percussionist of Eric Clapton, George Benson and Chaka Khan, Glen White in 1982 wrote and arranged “Be Free”, one of the most intriguing and elegant Italian disco / boogie song together with the producer Louis “Gigi” Figini (former member of project “Koxo” alongside the unforgettable Leonardo Re Cecconi). An overlooked gem by the West Indian artist brought back to the musical community!
Love N Music is an original classic Italo Disco with an Hi-NRG touch. The original song starts with a sweet female voice that seemed to be an hymn to love, a strong pre-house atmosphere soon introduces an extravagant synths as a prelude to the hot bass-line combined with the Italian rap of Celeste. Many of you will recognize its melody used in 2002 by Felix da Housecat on his tune “Happy Hour”. RIS is another one superbe collaboration by Tony Carrasco (Klein + M.B.O.) and the always excellent Aldo Martinelli. Remix by the dj and Danish record collector Flemming Dalum.
Be With Records work with Ian Willson to reissue his self-released, West Coast classic Straight From The Heart, privately pressed and originally released in 1985. This is the only album Ian ever put out. A magical blend of AOR/sophisticated funk/synth-boogie/spiritual jazz and modern soul, it’s a spellbinding record of many colors. You might already know Straight From The Heart for the dubby-disco paranoid-Balearic anthem “Four In The Morning”, and it’s easy to assume this is probably just another one of those one-track LPs. But this is an impressively slick record from start to finish. Album opener “Think About It” is all sorts of right. It’s emotional. It’s tops-off. It’s funk in its purest form. And take the proto-modern-funk of the title track (half Dâm-Funk/half Dâd-Funk). The shimmering, spiritual bossa-jazz of “If I Were You” serves as the album’s soaring centerpiece. A gorgeous suite of cosmic vibes to get Gilles frothing, it sounds like nothing else on the record which makes sense given that it was recorded a couple of years earlier, and is the only track on the LP that wasn’t recorded in Ian’s own studio. Side B opens with the propulsive ode to love that is “Two Is Better Than One”. Wonderfully sparse when it needs to be, it’s also richly percussive and that special kind of California-warm. Frenetic, speaker smashing synth and horn workout “Funk Invasion” dares you not to dance and “A Game Called Love” is heavily indebted to Prince with its lush, deep funk stylings. The sweeping sax-drenched instrumental “Song For Katelyn” is head-nod, beat-heavy AOR for that melancholic magic hour. It all adds up to the ultimate BBQ record. Almost all of Straight From The Heart was recorded over a few months between 1983 and 1984 on Ian’s brand new Otari 8 track in the Oakland, California studio he built just the year before. Only “If I Were You” was recorded elsewhere, at Bay Sound in 1982. Ian produced the album himself and played all of the instruments, except for the guitar of his longtime friend, Peter Fujii. Tower Of Power, Average White Band, Earth Wind & Fire, and Stevie Wonder was the list of influences Ian gave when asked. Why did he put the record out himself? Simple, he had no idea how to go about getting a record deal. The original tapes have long since been lost. This reissue was remastered from Ian’s one-and-only pristine copy.
After Nu Guinea’s LP, Nuova Napoli, and Napoli Segreta first compilation, NG RECORDS follows up with an exploration into the unknown groovy side of Naples by releasing Napoli Segreta Vol.2.
Famiglia Discocristiana, DNApoli and Nu Guinea team up again selecting more tracks from their archives, for a new compilation containing 9 mysterious Neapolitan tracks, found in the most hidden corners of remote flea markets around the Vesuvius.
But forget classical Neapolitan songs, “‘O Sole Mio” or “Luna Rossa”… Forget about what you expect to find once you land in town… oh and also forget about Google maps. Take a dodgy local guide, keep your eyes open, and follow it to enter the secret downtown, the underground, the routes that no satellite can detect, but beware there is no easy way out.
Napoli Segreta Vol.2 is a musical journey into the sonic landscapes of Naples that you have never heard of before. A variety of genres merging soul, disco, funk, blues, new wave, afro-beat and boogie, including lyrics in Neapolitan urban slang, instrumental tracks with progressive flavour, and also some unexpected covers!
On his debut mini-album, Pellegrino goes for a periplus around mediterranean savors, dispensing a multi-flavored cocktail of fast-moving disco groovers, spacey jazz-fusion experiments and sun-bleached funky melters
Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve. Z Records continues its commitment to unearthing the obscure and long forgotten tracks from the last 40 years through the ever-popular Under The Influence series. Following on from Red Greg, Paul Phillips, James Glass, Nick The Record, Sean P, Faze Action, and Winston. It’s now the turn of one of the Italy’s most impressive collectors; Woody Bianchi. The story behind Z Records’ Under The Influence series is this: being a seasoned record collector Z label boss Dave Lee/Joey Negro has made the acquaintance of many of the worlds other vinyl junkies. People that may be unknown to the general public but are hardcore enthusiasts who have built some of the best collections of soul, funk, and disco on the planet. The idea of UTI isn’t solely about big name DJs compiling albums but to give a musical platform to those who have the knowledge to put together a track listing of killer tunes. Woody Bianchi is a prolific DJ, producer, remixer, and record collector. His international collaborations with Bob Sinclar, Todd Terry, Arthur Baker, Full Intention, Eric Kupper, Jocelyn Brown, Marshall Jefferson, and many others have created a remarkable profile for him. He has released over 300 productions worldwide and has toured side by side with many of the scenes greatest names. Here you have the pleasure of delving into his vast collection and plucking some of the rarest records out, with many of the tracks costing hundreds if you were actually able to find the originals. As always with ZR compilations a lot of time and effort has been spent on creating these masters from the original vinyl, cleaning them up, removing all the clicks and pops resulting in the cleanest sounding copy possible.
Hector Sithole recorded a series of singles during the peak of the Zamrock era with the band On Paper. These singles did fairly well locally but over the years have been overlooked and missed by fans and collectors. Featuring rock, afrobeat and soul elements fused with proto-disco sounds that would create a bridge into Zambia’s short-lived disco scene. Hector’s music will appeal to fans of HARRY MWALE and OSAYE. Taken from the original master reels and pressed at 45 rpm for the best possible sound, we’ve limited this release to 300 copies housed in paste-on covers. Highly Recommended and released for the first time ever as a full length.
Various ”Taiwan Disco – Disco Divas, Funky Queens And Glam Ladies From Taiwan In The 70s And Early 80s” (Aberrant)
Disco divas, funky queens, and glam ladies in ’70s and early ’80s Taiwan! Due to its extremely complex history, Taiwan in the ’70s saw the creation of some incredibly special music in which the sounds being created at the moment from the west collided with the special sensitivity of Taiwanese musicians, creating a delicious mixture you’ll need to hear to believe. Taiwan Disco shines a light on the music created by Taiwanese women during those years (’70s and early ’80s) to present a mind-blowing collection of songs with sounds ranging from wild funk to apace glam, exotic disco or fuzzed-out soul. Here’s the ticket to some crazy Taiwan nights, get those dancing shoes ready, it’s time to shake it! Features Wu Xiu Zhu (吳秀珠), Hua Yi Bao (華怡保), Cui Tai Jing (崔台青), Zou Juan Juan (邹娟娟), Chen Lan Li (陳蘭麗), Wang Xiang Ling (王祥齡), Tian Lu Lu (田路路), Liu Guan Lin (劉冠霖), Wu Xiu Zhu (吳秀珠), Luo Yan Li (駱豔麗), Yu San Shan (于三珊), and Zhang Bei Xin (張蓓心).
Mannequin Records present a new press of Decadance’s “On And On (Fears Keep On)”, one of the most iconic underground Italo-wave tracks ever. Produced by Franco Rago and Gigi Farina, the masterminds behind cult Italo disco projects ‘Lectric Workers, Wanexa, Expansives, Atelier Folie, Peter Richard, and many more, the single was originally released in 1983 by Proto Records. Permeated by a dark and eerie synths, a perfectly programmed Roland TR-808, and an outstanding analog production, “On And On (Fears Keep On)” belongs to dark Italo disco or Italo wave. Remastered by Rude 66, 2018, Berlin.
2020 repress. Following their self-released debut EP, Flamingo Pier (DJ residents Luke Walker, Dominic Jones, and Bradley Craig) have crafted four dance floor-worthy tracks influenced by the boogie, disco, Afro and classic house. Slick, rolling disco synths and punchy drum machines are woven in with Afro-centric percussion and dreamy vocal chants, for an exotic disco-boogie journey from start to finish. Early support for the EP is already coming from Bill Brewster, JD Twitch (Optimo) and Ray Mang. The EP is being released to coincide with the Flamingo Pier Festival in Waiheke, New Zealand.
LaRombé is one of the most talented songwriters I have come across in my years of working for Jazzman and Athens of the North. Having gone through much of his tape archive it obvious what a powerhouse of song writing and composition this man is. LaRombé music is of the strongest calibre all the way, from his first release in 1979 to present day. All of his Soul, Disco & R&B stands the test of time. It’s easy to have one record that with luck ends up great but another thing to write record after record with great hooks you can’t leave alone. Athens of the North is very proud to present ‘From Philly’, Vinyl comes with sleeve notes featuring interview and photos.
Revolution (Live Disco Show In New York City) is the fourth and final BBE reissue of Sidiku Buari’s unique and sought-after body of African Disco albums.
Side 1 is (possibly!) ‘live’ throughout, from a 1979 show at the (possibly mythical!) La Cheer Nightclub, NYC, but very well recorded for a ‘live’ album with clean, bright top notes, sharp percussion and heavy bass-lines. Keep The Rhythm Going segues into Ofey Karambani reminiscent of the Kongos’ massive Loft Club floorfiller Anikana-O, whilst This Is Music and Disco Soccer keep up the 120-140bpm pace to complete a side that rocks enough for the lazier DJ to play from start to finish without lifting the needle!
Side 2 consists of four very varied tracks all recorded at Aire L.A.Studios, the two openers Revolution and Together We Can Rebuild It (Ghana Motherland) being polemics against government and army corruption, and a battle-cry for Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, who ruled the country for a brief period in 1979 when this recording was made, later serving as Ghana’s President from 1981 to 2001. Then there’s a perennial crowd-pleaser Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Side 2 rounding off with the super-heavy Afrobeat-Disco groover, Happy Birthday.
Originally a national athlete, winning silver and gold medals in the Senegal All Africa Games and West African Games in 1963 and a bronze in the All African in Congo Brazzaville in 1965, Sidiku Buari then moved to America on a music scholarship at The York Institute, obtained as a result of his athletic achievements. When one of York’s music teachers, Irvin Mechanic, heard him singing in the Ga language- he suggested putting a rhythm section behind the songs, recording them, and seeing what the American record buying public thought of them. Four classic albums followed in quick succession, after which Buari’s solo output abruptly ceased.
But it was an ending that held within it the seeds of greater musical achievements to come. In 1990 he was appointed to the board of the Musicians’ Union of Ghana, later becoming its President from 1999 until 2007. In 2019, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pan-African Republic Honorary Award Society for ‘meritorious contribution to the development of music and movie industries in Ghana’.
Rare ‘live’ album from Ghanaian Disco legend Sidiku Buari, never before reissued. In-demand from collectors across the world, this is a heavyweight Afro-Disco album. Full global press and radio campaigns.
Mystic Jungle & Whodamanny present their Afrodesia project born from a close collaboration between Periodica Records and Best Record Italy. Afrodesia took inspiration from the italian afro-movement that lasted for few years during mid-eighties expecially from those songs produced at the legendary Les Folies Studios in Milan.
In a genre that has classically been driven primarily by hot twelve-inches, it can sometimes be hard to find a disco album that delivers the goods from end to end—let alone a disco LP that could be described as “perfect.” Does such an animal even exist? We’re pretty sure it has to, and we can probably think of a few candidates ourselves.
Cultures of Soul Records presents Sparkle’s self-titled album which many disco aficionados would put into this category.
Sparkle was a female vocal trio from Connecticut, assembled by the producer Harold Sargent, erstwhile drummer of the sterling funk band Wood, Brass & Steel, and creator of manifold drum breaks that would go on to be sampled for decades. Originally released in 1979, the album and the group are fittingly titled as the music is a scintillating, radiant collection of shimmering disco and dazzling funk, performed by Too Much Too Soon—the multiracial R&B band that featured Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the writing/production team that would discover Rihanna and power her career to global dominance fifteen years later.
Also on hand is musical prodigy Rahni Harris, whose Sargent-assisted club classic “Six Million Steps” is also included on the album.
The result is an album that by far exceeds the sum of its parts, delivering a truly transcendent disco experience. The album goes in a gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes and unreleased photos of group.
Sometimes a single is released that reaches such dizzying heights of success that it becomes a pinnacle of the decade they’re indelibly tied to. Groove Is In The Heart by dance-house trio Deee-Lite is one such single. The infectiously quirky, and eminently danceable track is prominently based around samples of Bring Down The Birds by Herbie Hancock, and Get Up by Vernon Burch, among many others, (Courtesy of dual producers DJs Dmitry and Towa Tei) paired with top-tier guest contributions from JB’s veterans Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, background vocals from Parliament-Funkadelic’s own Bootsy Collins, and even a guest rap from Q-Tip, not to mention frontwoman Lady Miss Kier’s own siren-like vocals. All disparate and disconnected elements, but ones that would come together to form dancehall greatness, and chart-topping success worldwide for Deee-Lite. Groove Is In The Heart managed to reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but excelled at its best on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, where it reached to the #1 spot. On top of its success in America it was a smash internationally, climbing the heights of the charts in the UK, Canada, Australia, and a vareity of other countries. It remained in heavy rotation for much of 1990 on MTV as well. As the decades went on, Groove Is In The Heart would be ranked among the greatest dance tracks of all time, as well as one of the greatest songs of the 1990s by VH1, Pitchfork, Buzzfeed, and many more. Groove Is In The Heart was a potent single for Deee-Lite to lead with, but the album bearing it was nothing to slouch at either. The group’s debut record, 1990’s World Clique was released to major commercial and critical success, owing just as much to its addictive hybrid of seductive retro aesthetics, modern dancefloor flair, and esoteric, socially conscious messaging, on the back of celebratory club staples like Power Of Love, Good Beat, E.S.P., and of course Groove Is In The Heart. World Clique would reach top 20 charts in the US, UK, and Canada in sales, as well as earn rave reviews from NME, Chicago Sun-Times, Rolling Stone, and Slant Magazine, who called it an “essential pop album.”
Never Before Reissued On Vinyl! After the smash success of Deee-lite’s debut record World Clique, and their now-iconic dance club hit Groove Is In The Heart, anticipation was high for a follow-up from the New York-based dance music trio of vocalist Miss Lady Kier, and producers DJ Towa Tei and Super DJ Dmitri. For their sophomore record Infinity Within, Deee-Lite opted to venture in a different direction of sorts. The club-embracing disco-funk sounds and groovy vibes of World Clique were ever present,but while that record contained themes of global togetherness, Infinity Within took a more socially aware route, with politically charged themes of environmentalism, (To show their bonafidese, Infinity Within was one of the first titles to be issued in an ecologically friendly Eco-pak.) sexual liberation, voting rights, and critique of the juidicial system. Taking major inspiration from the ancient Chinese divination text I Ching, Miss Lady Kier would later explain that Infinity Within was a natural progression for the group, not a departure.
2019 repress; Double LP version, part 1. 15 tracks on 180 gram gatefold 2LP with liner notes. Artists: Chakachas, Mad Unity, René Costy, Alex Scorier, Open Sky Unit, Plus, André Brasseur, Les Hélions, Chicken Curry & His Pop Percussion Orchestra, Placebo, Black Blood, S.S.O. (feat. Douglas Lucas & The Sugar Sisters, Nico Gomez & His Afro Percussion Inc., and Chocolat’s. The best Belgian dance tracks from the beginning of the ’70s. Dire times, they were, full of poverty and hardship. To make a living out of popular music was a near-impossibility in a small country like Belgium. This precarious situation, though, proved to be a blessing in disguise for creative minds. When it’s hard to get your hands on some money, trying out as many things as you can seems the logical thing to do. On the other hand, if there’s hardly any money to be gained anyway, you may just as well play what you bloody well like. That’s what Belgians like to do anyway. Moreover, living in a country where virtually every musical wave passes through also inspires. In the early ’70s, those waves were (Afro-)funk, soul, and Latin. The situation as a whole was a favorable one for some visionary musical entrepreneurs. Jean and Roland Kluger created a musical dynasty, American-style, with successful acts like Chakachas and Two Man Sound. Their rival, Marcel De Keukeleire, scored worldwide hits with Amadeo, Chocolat’s, and “The Birdy Song.” Relying on zealous energy and a shamelessly commercial logic, every effort was aimed at success, so they jumped on as many international bandwagons as they could and tried out their own variants on the local market. Nearly every style in the post-war scene is represented here: Hein Huysmans’ jazz-funk, the jazzy prog-rock of Cos, or the fusion of Open Sky Unit. And of course there’s Marc Moulin, a name that needs little or no introduction. This is the missing link between the variety orchestras of the ’60s and the electronic triumphs of Telex in the late ’70s and early ’80s. These tracks offer the same sense of adventure and slightly surreal pigheadedness that are also present in the best Belgian contributions to dance music. Think Front 242, Technotronic, or Soulwax/2manydjs. This is the ground they built upon.
Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve. The motor hasn’t had time to cool down and the belt drive is feeling the fatigue. But Charles Maurice is the kind of DJ who just can’t let a turntable rest. After steaming up the slipmat with three sexy compilations of French Boogie, Charles Maurice is back with Volume 4. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, while France was still firmly tuned into variety-show pop, a few enlightened ears and souls picked up the hypnotic beat of funk from across the Atlantic. These first warrior monks spread the good word in discotheques, jumped on newly available frequencies to fill the airwaves and — in some cases — took up instruments themselves to unabashedly build on the U.S. model. In a short decade stretching from the late ’70s to the late ’80s — just a blip on the scale of music history — they turned out material in abundance. Lush productions with colorful covers, groovy typeface, and creative photo shoots, but first and foremost, they made music weaned on, spoon-fed and imbued with funk. Music defined by a groove with a robotic beat (Djeneba) that clearly hears hip-hop banging on the door, where layers of synthesizers, handclaps (Eric Chotteau), horns, and African percussion line up and follow the all-powerful lead of the swelling slap bass (Cyrill). This is music that tells everyday stories, both humorous and lovelorn (Serge Delisle), often packed with pheromones just waiting to be released on the dance floor or sofa (Chris O’Hara). Shaped by synthetic textures, these productions are also spiced with Caribbean and Creole arrangements that reflect the West Indies’ critical contribution to French Boogie (Wai Kop, Acayouman). With his immaculate tailoring, slicked-back hair and clipped moustache, Maurice has once again transformed himself into a hi-fi stylus to explore the groove traced by this specifically French musical style. From 45 to 33 rpm, he has traveled the black spiral to bring a new selection that proudly features a number of rarely-heard pieces and even an unreleased track by Marco Attali. True to form, Monsieur Charles carefully crafted this fourth volume from his personal collection of impeccably restored and mastered vinyl recordings. Charles Maurice: where French elegance meets uncompromising musical taste. Also features: Dwight Druick, David Simon, Shen Et Les Shendys, and Aries.
Various Artists “Cosmic Discotheque Vol. 2: 12 Junkshop Afro Disco Funk Gems From the 70s” (Naughty Rhythm)
Welcome back to the magic world of Cosmic Discotheque! This brand-new second volume in the series will take you in an amazing journey through the Afro side of the ’70s disco productions. Certainly, bands like Osibisa, Kongas, and Barrabas with their special mix of Afro-jazz-funk and tribal-freak-rock, helped to spread this unprecedented blend of sounds, that along with classic disco music, were in fact the most danced rhythms throughout the European dancefloors of the era. As in the first volume, Naughty Rhythm Records keep focusing on less known artists and unearthed little gems selected from forgotten dusty singles B sides. Exotic atmospheres and highly hypnotic tribal rhythms are the main ingredients of this Cosmic Discotheque Vol. 2. Twelve Afro-disco singles, all so infectious that it’s impossible not to dance to. Stuff that you will be definitely looking for at the next local flea market. Features African People, Beryl Cunningham, Songhoi Band, Ramasandiran Somusundaram, M’bamina, Max B, Tribe, The Starlights, Tumblack, Luky Pistoia, Kinkies, and Black Blood.
Here comes the Best train with a payload of disco delights from the depths of time, and this is one trip you don’t want to miss. “Il Veliero” is a club classic immortalized in so many great versions, from Lucio Battisti’s original version to the epic cover by The Chaplin Band, but here’s LAMA’s English language version “Love On The Rocks” from 1983, which gives the infectious melancholy an electro injection. On the flip things take a more ominous turn with the gothic Italo tint of “Nineteen Ninety Three” – camp and dark hearted in equal measure, and utterly magnificent
New pop-up Keeps Going takes us on an intercontinental genre spanning ride through the tempos. Eight nuggets lovingly re-touched, tweaked, tucked and tailored for the floor, shore and record bore by the gentle hand of Any Gram. It’s bell ringing! It’s hammock swinging! Stick it in your fumando and inhale!
Dig This Way Records and Sleeve Records have combined forces for this one, to make the impossibile, possible: a reissue of Dibson & Essody’s ‘Justice’. Originally recorded in ’82 and stamped on the distinguished Nigerian label Wilfilms, this extremely rare, revelation of music was meant for sharing and the two labels will be doing just that. Reworked and remastered, this 7 track dance floor masterpiece is coming to a turntable near you. Following the 1960 Nigerian liberation from Western colonization, Nigeria began to use music to vibrate everyone into a place of harmony and community. The majority of pressings that came out from within the Nigerian state paired disco, funk infused beats with strong, political lyrical statements. In this release from Dibson & Essody, the political undertones of ‘Justice’ blended with the smoldering grooves of ‘Music Lovers’ and ‘Let Your Body Move’ classify this disco under the monumental must-haves of Nigeria from the early 1980s. The audio is taken from two copies of the original LP and restored by Davide Bassi at Press Rewind Studio in Italy.
Be With Records present a reissue of Samuel Jonathan Johnson’s My Music, originally released in 1978. My Music is a stellar spiritual soul/jazz-funk gem, recorded by keyboardist-singer Samuel Jonathan Johnson in 1978. The epitome of a cult classic, it didn’t do much upon its release but steadily found an audience over the decades that followed. This is music that shares the jazzy R&B DNA of contemporaries like Roy Ayers and is an intoxicating blend of mellow moments and more groove-heavy tracks. Spacey keys and lush production give it a luxurious, enveloping warmth. My Music opens with the gorgeous title track: an indulgent slow jam opus. Introducing you to Johnson’s compelling musical vision, it features a rich mélange of production techniques. Dripping in strings, horns, backing singers, popping funk bass lines and swooshing synth waves, it’s an unusually structured cosmic two-stepper that has an irrepressible groove. Accordingly, it’s been a favorite with the diggers and it was sampled by The Alchemist for Jadakiss’s “We Gonna Make It”. The up-tempo “Sweet Love” bubbles over with joy, its uplifting lyrics backed by infectious bass and jazzy Fender Rhodes lines. It follows a cover of “What The World Need’s Now Is Love”, taken at a funereal pace that transforms it into a heartfelt plea for love and understanding. After a full-minute-long opening of lush cinematic strings and horns, “Because I Love You” makes space for Samuel’s voice, accompanied by some keys and just a sprinkle of guitar. It builds back up and then mellows its way out to a jazz lounge finish (in all the right ways). The feel-good ebullience of the Stevie Wonder-esque “It Ain’t Easy” closes out the LP’s first side. The second side bursts open with the heavy bounce and disco-funk basslines of “You”, a slightly off-beat string-laden dancer with insistent horns and a piano-assisted groove. Next up is “Just Us”, a legendary steppers track that could be heard oozing out of deep soul radios and funk sound systems back in the late ’80s. “Yesterdays and Tomorrow” is a moving original ballad that is followed by an exquisite high-stepping paean to mom in the form of “Thank You Mother Dear”. The thumping easy-glide of “Reason For The Reason” brings the album to a close. Mastered by Simon Francis and cut by Pete Norman. Sleeve artwork restored by Be With Records. 140 gram vinyl.