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.
Wewantsounds present a reissue of Donna McGhee’s Make It Last Forever, originally released in 1978. Donna McGhee has been one of the key female singers of the New York disco scene, gracing several cult albums with her superb singing. The Brooklyn native began her career singing gospel in her grandmother’s choir from an early age. Her first break in the industry came when she was spotted by bass player Johnny Flippin, who invited her to join his band. The group was none other than The Fatback Band led by drummer Bill Curtis. This was 1975 and the album was Raising Hell. McGhee’s vocals can be heard throughout the album, including the dancefloor classic “(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop”. She stayed with the group for another few years recording Night Fever in 1976 and touring across country. Following an encounter with producer Greg Carmichael, Donna McGhee jumped ship and started working with the prolific producer and his partner Patrick Adams. A string of collaborations followed with singles and albums: Donna can indeed be heard singing with Bumblebee Unlimited, Universal Robot Band, and on Phreek’s classic self-titled album from 1978, singing on the track “May My Love Be With You”. In 1978, After Greg Carmichael set up his own label, Red Greg Records, he and Adams decided to get McGhee in the recording studio and produce her first solo album. With the pair playing most of the instruments, they got five tracks out of the session. The result, Make It Last Forever is an all-time Adams/Carmichael classic: funky disco arrangements with a touch of synths over a pulsating groove magnified by McGhee’s superb sexy singing. All five tracks have become classics in their own right. “I’m A Love Bug” was a remake of Bumblebee Unlimited’s cult favourite from 1976, “Love Bug” (also released on Carmichael’s Red Greg label) while “Make It Last Forever” was later re-recorded by Inner Life (featuring Jocelyn Brown). “Do As I Do” and “Mr. Blindman” keep the groove going and finally, we have “It Ain’t No Big Thing”. The remake of a 1976 single by Personal Touch, produced by Adams for his PAP label and arranged by Leroy Burgess, it is one of the highlights of the album and is a superb catchy composition which has now become a true underground disco standard. An essential disco album. Newly remastered audio.
The Word is one of the better-kept secrets of 1980s Austrian disco music. Yet once you put the needle on this record, you notice that it sounds oddly familiar. The awe-inspiring signature piece “Lobster” has the same analogue, slow-moving aesthetic as Zenit’s timeless “Waiting” that was featured on Edition Hawara’s first release. The same goes for the three other wonderfully unconventional, proto-electronic songs: “Easy”, “All my life” and the eponymous “the word”. And there are even more commonalities with Zenit’s LP: The vocals are Linda Sharrock’s, who here teamed up with Karl “Charly” Ratzer and Peter Ponger, the twin brother of legendary Falco producer Robert Ponger. The result of this collaboration is, well, also quite legendary. How this kind of sound emerged in Vienna in 1984 is still a bit of a mystery, but clearly all the stars were aligned when Sharrock, Ratzer and Ponger were jamming in the studio. We at Edition Hawara are very proud to share this secret with you. Just as there are very few lobsters in landlocked Vienna, there are very few records like this out there.
Here at Athens of the North you know we love Disco, what you might not know is that my friend David Haffner (not only the deepest of disco heads but a great D.J as well) helped us license many of the rare Disco 45s on the label. It is about time David gets the shine he deserves so we asked him to compile some of the songs he helped licence for the label alongside new songs which we have here’Disco With A Feeling’.
So what is ‘Disco With A Feeling’? It’s hard to quantify a sound, but our definition would include 70s Soul or Modern Soul 45s that fit into the disco sound, soulful and magical. The whole LP is straight up dance-floor fire, no matter who you are or where you’re from – a soul boy, disco lady, or a house head you are going to feel the heat of these club smashers.
Officially licensed and remastered reissue!
Tempo Dischi’s second release is one of electronic music’s seminal albums; 1978 Italian space disco album: Automat by Automat.
A year after the release of Oxygène by Jean Michel Jarre, a milestone for electronic music, “Automat” was released in Italy, a timeless record that has influenced the years to come. Released in 1978 by EMI Italia, the album has been produced by two veteran italian songwriters and composers, Romano Musumarra and Claudio Gizzi after meeting Mario Maggi, one of the major innovators in the manufacturing of electronic instruments in Italy. Maggi invented the first programmable monophonic synthesizer ever made: the MCS70. Its sounds have been the basis for the production of the whole Automat album. That synth was used only for this record and remained a prototype, leaving a halo of mystery behind this record.
The album moves in the furrows of an atypical space disco, with abstract classical arias alternating with more sustained rhythms, which combine electronic experiments, progressive psychedelic journeys with cinematic themes. The A Side, composed by Gizzi is an electronic disco-tinged suite divided into three parts (The Rise, The Advance, The Genius). Ater a brief spatial intro, the insistent arpeggio expands into a soundtrack theme with a sumptuous melody, which slowly fades away to make room for a progressive psychedelic journey. The B Side, composed by Musumarra, is made by three tracks, including ‘Droid‘, one of the most representative songs of the electronic music of the early eighties. A magic sequence between the bassline, the electro drums, and the spatial disco theme with a futuristic and cinematic mood. This is a record that has influenced the music of our days and after 40 years may still sound contemporary.
Should you find yourself taking a Thames-side stroll in the shadow of the City of London, keep an eye out for the headphone-clad figure of Ilan Pdahtzur. While be-suited bankers and frustrated office workers scurry home to their families, Ilan can frequently be found casting admiring glances towards the blinking lights of towering skyscrapers while filling his ears with the synthesizer-driven sounds of lesser-known 1980s dance music.
Ilan, an avid but little-known record collector best known for sharing the artwork of obscure and under-appreciated early-to-mid ’80s club cuts on his popular Instagram feed, has been digging for vibrant, kaleidoscopic records since his teens. Now, thanks to Spacetalk, he’s been given a chance to offer a glimpse into his neon-lit nocturnal musical world. The result is Night City Life, a killer collection of 1980s synthesizer songs inspired by Ilan’s admiration for the glow of London’s late night skyline. Over the course of 13 essential tunes, Ilan escorts us on a vibrant sprint through rare Italo-disco, steamy South African synth-boogie, fizzing American freestyle, oddball Austrian electrofunk and so much more.
There are naturally a fair few sought-after cuts present, but also a fine selection of under-appreciated gems that for one reason or other have been all but ignored since they were released three and a half decades ago. In fact, some selections are so obscure that barely any information exists about them online. Check for example Preludio’s “Mysterious Nights”, an evocative fusion of slow electronic grooves, dreamy chords and twinkling piano motifs previously buried on a lesser-known album of unremarkable German synth-pop, or the dollar-bin brilliance of Fragile’s sweet synth-pop gem “We’ve Got Tonight, Boy”, a cut that Ilan says is capable of “wrapping itself like tendrils around your soul”. He’s not wrong.
At the other end of the scale you’ll find the ultra-rare Italo-disco breeziness of Friend of Mine’s incredible “Just Your Pride” and Mac & Monica’s soulful 1986 South African synth-boogie cut “You’re So Good To Me”, copies of which regularly change hands for hundreds of pounds online. Ilan originally reached out to the men behind the record last year to tell them how one of their other forgotten gems had been played on a Boiler Room session; naturally, they were thrilled.
There’s plenty to admire elsewhere on the compilation, too, from the waves of analogue synths, bubbly melodies and bobbing beats of the instrumental dub version of Brian Tatcher’s “Hot Love” – a cold-war era cut inspired by the idea of love blossoming in the midst of a nuclear meltdown – to the Bobby Orlando-esque freestyle bustle of Janelle’s “Don’t Be Shy (Dub)” and the sparkling post-boogie brilliance of Jarmaz’s “Night City Life (Disco Remix)”, a track Ilan has listened to countless times while admiring the midnight skyline of his home city.
Wewantsounds present a reissue of Yukihiro Takahashi’s debut solo album Saravah!, originally released in 1978. One of the key Japanese albums of the ’70s, it was released at a key time when, following his tenure with Sadistic Mika Band, Takahashi had just joined the nascent line up of Yellow Magic Orchestra. A sophisticated mix of disco funk, synth pop, ambient, French exotica, and bossa nova, the album has the stylish feel of a night out clubbing in Paris circa 1978. It’s the missing link between the city pop scene of the late ’70s and the synth sound of YMO which was about to revolutionize the world. The month before recording the YMO debut album that would help alter the course of music, Yukihiro Takahashi entered the studio with his fellow band-members Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono to record Saravah! together with the cream of the Japanese scene. He drew his inspiration from globe-trotting French musician Pierre Barouh who had introduced Bossa Nova in France in 1966 with “Samba Saravah” (featured in soundtrack the Oscar winner A Man And A Woman which he co-wrote) and subsequently launched Saravah Records. Saravah! starts off with a couple of French and Italian exotica classics (“Volare” and “C’est Si Bon”) with delicious touches of synth while “Saravah!” is a nod to Pierre Barouh, a languid bossa nova with beautiful soulful strings arranged by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album gets hotter with “La Rosa”, a superb mid-tempo ambient funk featuring Shigeru Suzuki’s fluid guitar. Next is an amazing exotica-synth version of the standard “Mood Indigo”, announcing the midi revolution that was to come before things get funkier shortly after with Ryuichi Sakamoto’s superb up-tempo disco instrumental “Elastic Dummy” featuring soulful strings and horns with solos by Sakamoto and guitarist Tsunehide Matsuki. The album then moves on to the ambient synth pop of “Sunset” before switching back to disco funk with “Back Street Midnight Queen” which, like “Elastic Dummy”, has become a dancefloor cult classic. Saravah! ends on a perfect note with the beautiful “Present” a perfectly crafted pop song which Takahashi wanted to do in a city pop mode, featuring a superb melody and high-class arrangements.. Newly remastered by renowned engineer Mitsuo Koike. Features original artwork with photos by Masayoshi Sukita (David Bowie’s Heroes (1977)); includes four-page insert and a new Introduction by Benjamin Barouh (of Saravah Records).
Mechanical Fantasy Box is Cowley’s homoerotic journal, or as he called it, “graphic accounts of one man’s sex life.” The journal begins in 1974 and ends in 1980 on his 30th birthday. It chronicles his slow rise to fame from lighting technician at The City Disco to crafting a ground-breaking 16-minute remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” to performing with Sylvester at the SF Opera House. Vivid descriptions are told of cruising in ‘70s SoMA sex venues to primal highs in Buena Vista Park and composing pornophonics in his Castro apartment. The entries are introspective and show a very out-front, alive person going through the throes of gay liberation post-Stonewall. French-born artist and Berlin resident Gwenaël Rattke works in collage, silkscreen, photography and Xerox graphics. Rattke’s collage works borrow from the visual codes of the 60s and 70s. Intricate, ornamental and excessive, they present “an imagined past fired with beauty and sexual freedom.” For this book Rattke created 25 original illustrations inspired by selected entries, 3 street maps documenting locations mentioned herein and 4 collages of photos, ephemera and notes Patrick stuffed inside the journal. We’ve included Patrick’s doodles too, as well as introductory essays by Josh Cheon, Theresa McGinley and Jorge Socarrás.
A winsome and dizzying spin on disco pop, recorded in westernized Iran during the last moments before the 1979 revolution. All but criminalized in the wake of Ayatollah Khomeni’s theocratic repression, Hamlet Minassian’s solo masterpiece is a testament to the Middle East’s forgotten dance music culture. This six-song, 44-minute LP hybridizes Euro attitude and Armenian traditional songs to create long, hypnotic proto-house, seemingly beamed in from another dimension.
Emotional Rescue announces the second EP of music from one of the label’s favourites as part of a non-defined series where two of their (un)classic songs are remastered, reappraised and reinterpreted with new versions by a contemporary artist for reinterpretation today.
Thomas Leer is a respected and revered musician in both experimental and electronic circles. Having moved from Scotland to London in the late 70s, he moved away from playing in punk based bands, to debut his self-financed ‘Private Planes’ 7” in 1978, before releasing the cult-album ‘The Bridge’, with Robert Rental, the following year.
Signing to Cherry Red, he released the heralded ‘4 Movements’ in 1981 and followed with ‘All About You’ in 1982, and it is from these 2 EPs that this release is sourced. The release starts with Saving Grace from the latter, a long famous “Cosmic classic”; it’s mid-tempo, spacey, lifting repetition is the perfect soundtrack for those Baldelli trips straight to the stars.
This is backed with Tight As A Drum, a quintessential Leer production, where Teutonic drums is overlaid with sequencers and synth tones to elevate the song to some kind of disorientating outer-dimensional dub, while his lucid, spoken word vocals instill degradation and reinvention.
Asking Bullion to offer his own take on these two songs was the perfect pairing. A revered artist in his own time, the warmth and depth of his versions takes the originals to his own inner world; sampling, rewiring, reprogramming, resigning and replaying. An EP for the floor, the head and the heart.
Bigwax Records is proud to launch its label, Les Masques, with a reissue of the only album from an obscure band from Marseille, The Students. Released in 1985, “Students In Summer” reflects the carefree attitude of a bourgeois youth cradled in FM hits, new wave, Sade and Stranglers. These medical students regularly left their own Mediterranean shores to surf the Basque coast. Lo-fi, sunny and ultra-cool, this rarity of French pop eighties is here remastered from the original tapes.
The definitive collection from the legendary disco producer who put the late, great Donna Summer on the map, and whose talents as composer, performer and producer led to Grammy and Academy awards and numerous collaborations with many artists worldwide. Featured collaborators on these recordings include American singers Paul Engemann and Joe Esposito (of Brooklyn Dreams), Chris Bennett and Keith Forsey. Hits include From Here To Eternity, his most successful UK solo single at No.16, Chase, a No. 33 US / 48 UK single from the 1978 movie Midnight Express, and Lady Lady from the soundtrack of 1983 movie Flashdance. In-depth liner note by Michael Heatley details the many different vocal and instrumental techniques Moroder used to create his music.
If ever an album could transport you to the hazy sunshine and imagined halcyon paradise of Southern California in the mid-1980s, could capture the early evening warmth of hanging at an inclusive boogie jam as it approaches “magic hour” in Santa Ana or Anaheim, then it’s Vaughan Mason and Butch Dayo’s Feel My Love. A brilliantly produced deep slung, low rider funk classic originally released on Salsoul in 1983. It’s a masterpiece of “funk love music”.
Yes, this is indeed a perfectly formed five track “mini LP” of unparalleled heat, but there’s one song here that, above the rest, represents Orange County boogie-funk. A straight killer beloved by all that have had the pleasure of moving to it. A track that can fill up a dance floor within seconds of its starting. That song is the eternal title track, “Feel My Love”.
This is a work of art that made people fall in love with the funk. It transcends the limitations of genre. “Feel My Love”’s deceptive simplicity makes it perfect to drop during a house set, a classic funk party or at a west coast rap jam. It’s sexy, deeply emotional, melancholic, hopeful, passionate and just radiates so, so much raw energy. This is music.
The rest of the record is hardly filler though. Opener “Oh, Love” is a dizzying, emotional slow jam. With heaven-sent vocals riding gorgeous, sweeping keys that alternate between sweet twinkling lines and funk-fuelled stabbing. It’s sensational. A rollerskating jam named “Rollalong Songs” is an ultra-swish piece of dance floor dynamite. Its slick drums, staccato piano and neck snapping claps underscore Dayo’s buoyant vocals. It’s essentially “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll Part II”.
The flip begins with “Party On The Corner”. Smoother than silk vocals, day-glo synths, a bubbling bassline and guitar licks that surely received the Prince seal of approval. It’s another example of how Vaughan Mason and Butch Dayo flirt with perfection so routinely. The most majestic closer, the kaleidoscopic, cow-bell-assisted synth-funk heater “You Can Do It” is a proto-rap groover that truly smokes.
This prized LP is a stone cold jam and finding original copies on vinyl at affordable prices has been tough for years. Mastered brilliantly by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman and with lovingly reproduced artwork, this fresh Be With reissue ensures this legendary LP now sounds, looks and feels as sensational as it should.
Street Soul Brasil, compiled by Augusto Olivani features songs from prominent artists of the era’s urban street movement, at their creative epochs. A great compilation that reflects the influence of international pop at the time!
Part mellow pop, part R&B, adorned by melodic drum machines and hints of national rap, this noteworthy work comprises of ten original tracks fully licensed and extracted from the master tapes for your listening pleasure. It’s a soulful compendium of sounds, memories, and feelings from Augusto’s own universe, translated into his first ever compilation under the Hello Sailor Recordings catalog.
Augusto Olivani has been digging through Brazil’s forgotten music treasures since a young age.
He is best known for his work as a DJ, digger and producer under his musical alter ego, Trepanado, head of Selvagem (legendary party running for the past 8 years) and captain of his own imprint Selva Discos.
Ray Lugo and Peace & Rhythm have teamed up again, this time to issue Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra’s fifth album, 100 Fevers/Ciento Fiebres. Ten dance-friendly cuts mashing up styles and moods. Afrobeat, Latin funk, cumbia, samba, disco, soukous, protest and party jams are the launch points, but as Kokolo fans have come to expect, there’s a whole lot more heat in the grooves. As with previous Kokolo releases, Spanish and Portuguese vocals are in as much evidence as English. Special guests include Nigeria’s Jo Jojo Kuo and Elani from Brazil. Every tune is danceable but has its own vibe from up to down tempo, protest to club culture, social justice to hedonism. Though not exactly a reunion album — the band haven’t stopped recording and touring together in one form another for the past 18 years — bandleader Ray Lugo contends 100 Fevers is the best representation of what this Afrobeat orchestra has always been, an “eclectic mélange of influences that reflect what is going on within us as a band as well as in our lives at that particular moment” which “further expands Kokolo’s search for the funkiest groove”, a quest that Lugo hopes “never ends” but which he feels has benefitted by the band stepping back and “letting our sound ‘breathe’ a bit and return with a fresher outlook.” Includes insert featuring an interview with Lugo, full credits, and lyrics.
Originally release in 1976 from Vigor Records. Legendary cosmic disco, rare funk classic! Includes prototype disco loft/garage classics “Zone” and “Can You Feel It”. The Rhythm Makers were composed of Emanuel Rahiem Leblanc (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Keith “Sabu” Crier (bass and vocals), Herb Lane (keyboards and vocals), and Kenny Banks (drums and vocals). The group released one album, Soul On Your Side in 1976 on the DeLite Records subsidiary Vigor Records, from which the group had one major international dancefloor hit, “Zone”. At the time that Kenny Banks was replaced by Paul Service in 1978, and the group’s manager suggested that the group name be changed to “GQ”. They would sign with Arista Records. 2019 remaster from original master. 180 gram vinyl; Original artwork with Japanese high quality jacket; Made in Japan.
Originally recorded in 1981, this album is best known for its tropical boogie bomb ‘Let’s Talk About It’. Having drawn attention from diggers for quite some time, it’s finally available again on vinyl. Besides this killer boogie tune five other tracks from the album that have remained unknown to most people complete this French boogie / reggae / zouk re-issue.
“Produced by the legendary Patrick Adams, the studio-bound disco unit Cloud One made its debut in 1975 with the spectacular Atmosphere Strut. At a time when most music was recorded with a full army of studio musicians, Cloud One records were mostly played, arranged and mixed in their entirety by Patrick Adams himself! The ability to ‘work on his own’ allowed the music to feel more experimental than the work he did on major labels at the time. While there’s been other compilations, this is the first official P&P collection dedicated to the work of Patrick Adams as Cloud One. Spaced Out compiles the best of Cloud One’s output with songs from their Atmosphere Strut LP, their Funky Disco Tracks EP and a number of known 12″ singles, as well as some hard-to-find titles like ‘Patti Duke’, ‘Don’t Let My Rainbow Pass Me By’, and ‘Flying High’.”
Pacific Breeze documents Japan’s blast into the stratosphere. By the 1960s, the nation had achieved a postwar miracle, soaring to become the world’s second largest economy. Thriving tech exports sent The Rising Sun over the moon. Its pocket cassette players, bleeping video games, and gleaming cars boomed worldwide, wooing pleasure points and pumping Japanese pockets full of yen.
Japan’s financial buoyancy also permeated its popular culture, birthing an audio analog called City Pop. This new sound arose in the mid ’70s and ruled through the ’80s, channeling the country’s contemporary psyche. It was sophisticated music mirroring Japan’s punch-drunk prosperity. City Pop epitomized the era, providing a soundtrack for emerging urbanites. An optimistic spirit buzzed through the music in neon-bathed, gauzy tableaus coated with groove-heavy strokes.
Pacific Breeze is an expertly compiled collection of choice cuts that range from silky smooth grooves to innovative techno pop bangers and everything in between. Long-revered by crate diggers and adventurous music heads, this music has never been released outside of Japan until now. Including key artists like Taeko Ohnuki and Minako Yoshida, as well as cult favorites Hitomi Tohyama and Hiroshi Sato, the long-awaited release also features newly commissioned cover painting by Tokyo-based artist Hiroshi Nagai, whose iconic images of resort living have graced the covers of many classic City Pop albums of the 1980s.
Many of the key City Pop players evolved from the Japanese New Music scene of the early ’70s, as heard on Light In The Attic’s acclaimed Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973, the first release of the ongoing Japan Archival Series. In fact, you could say City Pop set sail with a champagne smash from Happy End, the freakishly talented subversives who included amongst their ranks Haruomi Hosono and Shigeru Suzuki, both featured on this compilation. As Michael K. Bourdaghs noted in his book, Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon, this music was, “Deconstructing the line between imitation and authenticity.” Some of the best City Pop teeters in this zone—easy listening with mutant exotica, tilted techno-pop, and steamy boogie bubbling beneath the gloss.
We welcome Ed Longo and his studio project The Applied Arts Ensemble debut on Early Sounds with The Other Fantasy, the result of many recording sessions that took place in different places around Europe. Conceived with a strong jazz-funk, fusion and boogie sound it has been conceptualized around the idea that the schizophrenia of the internet-age, the visions of Otherness (the undiscovered lands, the primitive happiness, the impossible love) permeate the collective consciousness and the idealized Other loses any correspondence with the physical world.
The Five track EP kicks off with a slinky jazz funk, balearic mover entitled “Camera Dans La Nuit” that weaves the influences of Wally Badarou, and early Brit Funk bands such as Freeez and Light Of The World into a melodic affair that could’ve come straight out of the summer of 1981. In fact the second cut (“Une Vie Elegante”) wouldn’t have been out of place on Level 42’s Early Tapes if Wally Badarou had taken said band to sunny climes to record it.
The B Side eases us in with the phasing pads and circling arpeggios that we’ve come to expect from Rudy’s Midnight Machine. Taking more of a Pat Metheny influence and combining it with a steady early 80s Jazz Funk feel ,which is all underpinned by Robin’s thumb bass line.
It’s the bass that get’s the main feature in the middle cut on the B Side. “Secret Garden” is a melodic and reflective track with bold bass guitar melodies being held up by the ebb and flow of piano arpeggios. The finale, entitled “Shifting Sands”, harks back to the previous two EPs with more electronic synth bass and drum machine textures, with a guitar solo giving us the required organic relief.
With early DJ support from Hunee this release is set to be the sound track of the summer.
Jayda G will release her debut album “Significant Changes” via Ninja Tune. Musically it’s a blend of vintage drum machine funk drawing heavily on Chicago’s house blueprint – as evidenced by new single ‘Leave Room 2 Breathe’ featuring vocals by life-long friend and frequent collaborator Alexa Dash.
The album is a natural progression from a string of EPs both solo and alongside her friend and mentor DJ Fett Burger (Sex Tags Mania), often appearing on the Freakout Cult label the two ran jointly until 2018 and most recently her newly minted JMG Recordings imprint. Also renowned for her high-energy performances as a DJ, the past 12 months have seen Jayda play London’s formidable Printworks venue alongside the likes of Marcellus Pittman, Moodymann and Omar-S; be invited by The Black Madonna to play at her Warehouse Project takeover; and perform at festivals like Field Day, Kala, Melt!, AVA and the xx’s Night And Day.
Growing up some 6 hours outside Vancouver surrounded by an abundance of nature sparked an early interest in biology and the natural world, a passion that has endured and intensified to this day and is inextricably intertwined with her musical output. In 2018 she completed her Masters in Resource and Environmental Management specialising in environmental toxicology, wherein she investigated the effects of human activity on the Salish Sea killer whales (orcas) of Vancouver, in her native British Columbia. It was also the year that she finished recording her debut album as Jayda G: “Significant Changes”. The title of the album was the most used phrase in her final thesis and exemplifies how intertwined her work in science is with her work in music. “I’m trying to bring my two worlds together… to bridge the communication gap, engage people in a new way”, she explains. “I don’t know if people in the electronic music world will want to talk about the environment but I think I should try! I think it’s our duty to use a platform like this in a positive way, that’s our social responsibility.”
Le Très Groove Club present a reissue of José Pharos’s Boucles Rythmiques. After launching Le Très Jazz Club, Fuzati (Klub des Loosers) and Modulor are now starting Le Très Groove Club, their new label dedicated to vinyl reissues of groove masterpieces. This second release keeps on honoring Jacky Giordano’s work, who appears under his José Pharos pseudonym and goes disco on Boucles Rythmiques. On this record, which is under-the-radar of many record library collectors, Jacky Giordano goes disco but in a melancholic and low-fi way, even if some tracks could have been on his Pop-In Devil’s Train library, which makes this sound library so unique.
Judy Pollak’s late 70s LP is extremely rare and charming piece of music. Not just a Soul and Funk LP, sprinklings of folkiness in Judy’s vocal make this a fairly unique and fantastic listen, no wonder it can hit $1000 when it comes up for sale. Recorded in 1977 at PAC 3 Studio, Dearborn, Michigan, where bands such as Al Hudson, Floaters, C.J. & Co and many more recorded. Judy used to hang out on the music scene and was introduced to the band via a mutual friend and Sax player Charlie Gabriel. 33 1/3 who were from Detroit got together with Judy who was living Living between Southfield, Michigan and North Carolina at the time and this LP is the result.
Mystic Jungle is back with 4 killer tunes!! Four slabs of stylish and edgy electronic Italo-Disco cuts by the head honcho of Periodica Records and Futuribile Record Club. Four essential exotic tunes coming straight from his West Hill Studio in Italy.
After many years the long lost Apocalyptic Disco Funk offering has been unearthed and re-released for the world to hear. Rob’s prophetic pre-apocalypse disco message, Hellfire, was originally released as a promotional LP by Nigerian label Taretone. Though a seminal work by Rob, disco stylings had fallen from vogue on the Nigerian dance floors. With the local airwaves dominated by artists like Félix Lebarty, Rob’s promotional release was shelved, and never got to see a full-scale commercial issue. Ultimately the master tapes were lost by Taretone and the album was doomed to obscurity for decades until its recent rediscovery by Tambourine Party Records.
Hellfire is both a disco burner and a frantic warning about the impending end of the world. From the downtempo title track Hellfire to the floor-filling Glory be to Jesus, Rob will be sure to get his message across. Once the needle is dropped it is hard to deny that even if the world is coming to and end you can die happy listening to this album.
Kumasi was a band from 1980’s South Africa. Comprised of Ray Phiri (song-writing, guitar, vocals), Jabu Sibumbe (bass), Lloyd Lelosa (keys) and Isaac Mtshali (percussion) this was a lost project from the members of SA heavyweight bands “The Cannibals” and “Stimela”. They penned Kumasi somewhere in-between the transition from “The Cannibals” to “Stimela” due to being contractually unable to record music with any label besides their major, Gallo. Kumasi remained an anonymous effort until now.
Where “The Cannibals” were a funky and traditional outfit, and “Stimela” led there sound more into jazz fusion territory, Kumasi is pure disco funk precision. Both of the former groups had touched on the Kumasi sound, but only “I Know You Feel It” really lets the band shine their talent on a tight set of dance-floor gems.
With the uninhibited vocals, unwavering rhythm section, and even a touch of humor, Kumasi pulled off one of the finest early 80’s disco LPs from their country. Were happy to present to you six Kumasi classics!
The italian disco funk masters from Periodica come with a sweet new ep by Pascal!
Two new disco-dub joints by Pascal inspired by the fresh breeze of an oceanic archipelago, plus an obscure cosmic-boogie reinterpretation of the previously released “Nero di Seppia” by label honcho Mystic Jungle and the Casio wizard Manny Whodamanny. A West Hill studio production.
The 2nd installment from the label is an anthology of guitarist, composer and producer Yuji Toriyama, regarded as one of the pioneering Japanese fusionists alongside Hiroshi Sato, Ryo Kawasaki and Yasuaki Shimizu. Toriyama has not enjoyed as much recognition as his contemporary, after shunning a solo career in favour of pop and TV arrangements in the 90s and composing video games soundtracks like Street Fighter II and Final Fantasy XII.
Choice Works 1982-1985 represents his first reissue title, with Kay Suzuki compiling work from three rare albums to showcase the best of Toriyama’s sound, most appealing to modern ears. Drum machines and live drums combine to create rich depth, complimented by the boogie tenacity of funk fusionist Toshiki Kadomatsu and the crying spiritual solos of Pat Metheny. It’s no coincidence that Metheny and Toriyama used the same Roland GR-300 and G-505 synth guitars.
LM-1 funk boogie A1 ‘Night Together’ is lifted from Aerobics LP (1982), a TV soundtrack where Toriyama collaborated with keyboardist and producer Ken Morimura. Vocoder mellow funk A2 ‘Stranger in the Night’ and slap bass sexy fusion B1 ‘Donna’ come from his self-titled third solo album Yuri Toriyama (1983). Pat Metheny inspired one man production of B2 ‘Maze’ and balearic boogie down B3 ‘Bay/Sky Provincetown 1977’ are taken from subsequent solo album A Taste of Paradise (1985).
Time Capsule is a new reissue label that unites the record collectors and DJs of the brilliant corners and Beauty & The Beat communities in London. For each release, Kay Suzuki works alongside one co-curator to reinstate and repackage the music they hold dear into perfectly restored historic artifacts.
For the first release, brilliant corners regular and Meda Fury signing Ryota OPP curates the reissue of Il Guardiano Del Faro’s 1978 album Oasis.
Born 1940 in Milan, Federico Monti Arduini was a child prodigy who studied piano and was already performing at concerts from the age of eight. He composed pop songs for other artists which sold millions of copies, but his own solo success came after he encountered synthesizers in the early 70s.
Viewed as a precursor of New Age sound art, Arduini was one of the first producers in Italy to use the Moog synthesizer and a meeting with Bob Moog in New York only added to this obsession. He was also an early adopter of the tradition among electronic producers to use a moniker to disguise his identity. Il Guardiano Del Faro (translated as “the guardian of lighthouse”) is a nod to the small Italian fishing town Porto Santo Stefano, where Arduini created his studio in the mid-70s.
He produced a number of albums from this seaside idyl of electronic instruments and tape recorders, but Oasis stands out from the pack. Released in 1978, it became a cult classic for its experimental sounds and emotional expressions. Spiritual synth sounds cover the album in a dreamy haze, oscillating between ambient and psychedelic. Sparing deployment of the Roland rhythm box gives dance floor favourites ‘Disco Divina’ and ‘Oasis’ touches of space disco and even teases proto-house elements like the great Sun Palace.
Double LP version. Midnight In Tokyo is a compilation series that aims to be the perfect companion to nights in Tokyo, collecting tracks by Japanese artists that sound best at night. Vol. 2 (STUDIOMUL 006CD/LP, 2018) focused more on ’80s jazz fusion, but the latest installment, Vol. 3, picks up where Vol. 1 (STUDIOMUL 001CD/LP, 2018) left off, bringing together forgotten soul, disco, and new wave gems. The compilation opens with Japanese rare groove classic “More Sexy,” a provocative song by Yoko Hatanaka. “Kimi No Yume,” from the album Yume No Yonbai (1984) by Masumi Hara, is one of the best Balearic acid folk songs to come from Japan. “Silhouette Call” is an electric bossanova track in the vein of Antena, from a rare album called Octopussy (1982) by Yuki Nakayamate, a singer-songwriter who worked with Motoharu Sano. “Theme Of High School Student” is a dubby cut featured in the Japanese film Kougen Ni Ressha Ga Hashitta (1984), written by Atsuo Fujimoto (Colored Music), one of the key artists in the recent wave of global interest in Japanese music. “Get To Paradise” is a stone-cold funk jam by Mari Kaneko, who was known as the Janis Joplin of Shimokitazawa. Following that is one of Japan’s greatest new wave disco tracks, “Hannya”, taken from Tomoko Aran’s popular third album Fuyu-Kukan (1983) produced by Masatoshi Nishimura, who was part of Friends Of Earth with Haruomi Hosono. Masako Miyazaki, whose rendition of Seawind’s “He Loves You” is a fan favorite, puts her own spin on Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy,” singing in her accent-heavy English, giving the song an undeniable character. “Watashi No Koukoku” is a certified disco-boogie classic by Junko Sakurada. The Brazilian-esque jazz fusion, “Sunshine Bright On Me” is by fusion group Kangaroo, who were often billed as “the japanese Shakatak”. “Stranger’s Night” is a synth-pop number by Maiko Okamoto, which bears a suspicious resemblance to Rah Band’s “The Shadow Of Your Love”. Electro-pop disco “Singing Lady”, off the sole album by The Fad sounds like something Giorgio Moroder could’ve cooked up. “Magic Eyes” is a disco anthem recorded by Tetsuji Hayashi’s disco project, The Eastern Gang. Following that is Japanese soul gem “Crazy Baby,” found on a rare 7″ entitled Minato No Soul by Rinda Yamamoto also composed and arranged by Tetsuji Hayashi. Closing out this collection of 14 Japanese rare groove goodies is “I’m In Love”, a bittersweet mellow dance number by Tomoko Aran.
NON Worldwide co-founder Nkisi rolls out an instant modern classic with 7 Directions for UIQ. A masterful debut album informed by African cosmology and Congolese rhythms, it’s aesthetically comparable with music ranging from Æ’s Incunabula to The Connection Machine’s Painless, Lee Gamble hyperprisms and William Bennett’s Cut Hands, but ultimately it’s peerless in the (hyper)modern field. Specifically referencing the writings of Kongo scholar Dr Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau and the African cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, 7 Directions is offered as a gateway to hallucinatory mind states via aerobic mysticism. Ultimately it is focused on the idea that rhythm has the capacity to modulate and experiment with conditions of perception, and to disrupt predetermined expectations, and does so in the belief that new movements of energy can determine collective behavior and generate new possibilities for knowledge production and dissemination – perhaps even supposing rhythm’s potential for premonitory pattern recognition. Nkisi’s notions about dance music’s relate to its potential for transferring and conveying energy, both negative/ecstatic and abstract/intuitive, so it’s a rare pleasure to hear her limn those ideas so beautifully, effectively and open-endedly through 7 Directions. In each part she inimitably unlocks and retunes the body’s rhythmic anticipation with breathless batteries of incredible polyrhythms that arguably make the majority of Western dance styles sound like rote line dance music for folk with little imagination in their bones. In each direction Nkisi’s drums writhe and rattle in a simultaneously ancient/futuristic style – ancient because they explicitly reference percussive traditions older than Western civilization, and futuristic because they’ve never been presented in this way before, alloyed with cosmic synth pads that draw lines from Detroit to the Lowlands and back to the source, way out in the cosmos. But rather than closed systems for study and analysis, Nkisi’s tracks feel like living, bristling organisms or virulent systems that only become activated with user participation, where those ideas can begin to take root, grow and mutate via kinesis. Even if one doesn’t dance in public and saves 7 Directions for the living room/bedroom/holosphere, listeners will get the best out of this album by putting something in themselves, by shutting their eyes and dancing with it. Mastered by Mike Grinser at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin. Design by Dave Gaskart, photography by Susu Laroche.