Disco

Secret Squirrel “No 2” (Secret Squirrel)

2019-01-26T20:38:07+00:00January 26th, 2019|

The Secret Squirrel returns with number two in this limited edition series of vinyl only, dancefloor delights. Having given 80s unclassic “Ma Foom Bey” the full treatment last time round, the remixing rodent this time takes Eddy Grant and the Coachhouse Rhythm Section downtown with a head nodding rework of “Nobody’s Got Time”. The intro is super looped, removing the difficulty of finding that first beat (I still haven’t managed to work out where best to run the OG from), with bursts of harmonica echoing all over the place, before that killer groove gets dropped to full effect. This edit is close enough to the original to keep it real while adding those little tweaks in arrangement and mix that leave a dancefloor begging for more.

On the B-side Herb Alpert’s “Rise” groove (you know, the bit from the middle where the trumpet drops out and everything gets real funky. You know, that bit with him clapping on the beach in the video. Oh yeah, that’s right the bit sampled for “Hypnotize” by Notorious BIG) gets treated to a seven minute extension. Filtered up, down, left and right and given that slow release treatment where all the little additions from the original come in nice and slow, this is a proper peak time groover with a bumping kick and low end. Note, this comes complete with an awesome acid coda for the last couple of minutes. The artist may remain a mystery, but these edits have revealed themselves as must have.

Cut loud and built for maximum club use. Dancefloor devastation is guaranteed!

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Buari “Buari” (Be With)

2019-01-26T20:35:57+00:00January 26th, 2019|

A surefire Afro-Funk classic, long treasured by collectors across the globe, the fantastic self-titled LP from Ghanaian singing/percussion sensation Sidiku Buari nevertheless remains a criminally hard-to find gem. We’re honoured to present the first ever officially licensed vinyl reissue of this undoubted masterpiece. Limited to just 500 copies.With access to the original analogue tape transfers, Simon Francis’ stellar mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.

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Various Artists “Italo Funk” (Soul Clap)

2019-01-26T20:43:38+00:00January 25th, 2019|

Italo and Funk! A long standing relationship that goes back to American R&B artists connecting with the Italian audience in the 60’s. At that time the Italian music market was still influential on a global scale and you could find an artist like Wilson Pickett singing in Italian (with a quite puzzling accent!) at the Sanremo Festival in 1968. The song he performed, “Un’Avventura”, was written by Ludo Battisti the biggest Italian pop star of all time, a lover of all black American music, who has recently been re-discovered by global diggers, for his psychedelic, latin, funky period of the mid to late 70’s. But the market was ready for that real funk: in 1971 James Brown performed “Sex Machine” live on national TV. Then Umbria Jazz festival opened for business in 1973 bringing the likes of Weather Report and Horace Silverto the more intellectual side of listeners. While the mainstream crowd was grooving in cinema theaters to the orchestral funk of masters like Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni and Armando Trovajoli and their soundtracks of the ‘Poliziotteschi’ B-Movies.

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Zenit “Straight Ahead” (Edition Hawara)

2018-12-14T15:53:09+00:00December 14th, 2018|

Zenit is a jazz ensemble from Krems in Lower Austria, founded in 1976 by Hannes Treiber and Willi Langer. Their music was celebrated locally, but to reduce them to their local fame would be a shame: After all, their first two LPs, ‘Stimmungswechsel’ and ‘Früchte’, quickly gained them a much wider audience of discerning listeners. Arguably, however, Zenit’s third and final LP ‘Straight Ahead’ is the most special of their records. It initially came out in 1986 on the producer’s label Spray Records, and is today one of the hardest-to-find Austrian jazz records.

 

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Transs “Hotel San Vicente” (Groovy)

2018-12-21T05:45:42+00:00December 14th, 2018|

Phenomenal only album released by TRANSS, a supergroup band project led by Fariz RM, that came out in the early 80s. A full blend of soul, funk, cosmic disco, Brazilian jazz and synth-pop. This album had a very big impact on the Indonesian music scene at that time, and quickly became the trendsetter of the jazz fusion genre throughout the 1980s.

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Antoine Kogut “Sphere Of Existence” (Versatile)

2018-12-21T05:45:42+00:00December 14th, 2018|

9 Months Of Gestation That Ignites In 7 Titles Of Contemplative Pop, Hovering Funk, Cosmic Soul Built All This: The Jazz Fusion Of Soft Machine, The Krautrock Of The Wizards Of Can, The Irresistible Languor Of Italian Crooners (toto Cutugno And Lucio Battisti In The Lead) As The Soundtracks, So Sensual, Composed By Pino Donnagio For Brian De Palma… But If Antoine Kogut Makes This References His Own, It Is Because He Considers Each Of The Titles Of Sphere Of Existence As «songs, Not Tracks». With His Deep Voice He Has The Ambition To Tell Us A Story Through Them: His Own, And That Of The World In Which We Live With As A Guiding Idea That All Phillip K. Dicks Predictions Have Come True Today. Which Ones? Youll Have To Look In The Multiple Circles Assembled By Antoine Kogut To Compose Sphere Of Existence.

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Chandra “Transportation Eps” (Telephone Explosion)

2018-12-14T15:52:20+00:00December 8th, 2018|

2LP version with exclusive tracks! Chandra Oppenheim was a child star like no other. As the daughter of famed conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim. By age nine, Chandra was staying up late at her parents’ art-world parties, collaborating in her father’s projects, and performing her own plays at downtown hotspots such as The Kitchen and Franklin Furnace.

This set the stage for Chandra’s course-altering collaboration with
members of The Dance, who were looking to form yet another project and found their muse/fuse in 10-year-old Chandra. Transportation EP, originally released in 1980 by The Dance’s own label, ON/GoGo. Balancing on razorwire guitars, liquid basslines, and dub-style melodica, the Chandra band unveiled their first four songs: ‘Opposite’, ‘Concentration’, ‘Subways’, and ‘Kate.

While Chandra’s music can be compared to her no wave contemporaries Y Pants, France’s Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Su Tissue of Suburban Lawns, or ‘Delta 5 meets the Jackson 5’, to quote critic David Ma, her lyrical fixations are truly singular. With hypnotic, chanted vocals focusing on chilling themes of mind control, multiple personalities and missing the train.

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Kuruki “Crocodile Tears” (Music Mania Reprise)

2018-12-07T00:17:55+00:00December 7th, 2018|

The next installment in Music Mania’s reprise series is this blissful 1981 Belgian synth pop anthem. The scenes described by vocalist Sally Joy as well as the melancholic keys of breathe tristesse. A dualism between such beauty and melancholy: this track was undeniably made in Belgium in the eighties, but should also appeal to lovers of Italo disco. Includes an exclusive instrumental version.

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Various Artists “Discophilia Belgica: Next-door-disco & Local Spacemusic from Belgium 1975-1987” (SDBAN)

2018-12-07T00:17:54+00:00December 7th, 2018|

Parts 1 & 2 in stock. Patrick, Raymond, Marianne, Roland, Kevin and Bert. These are among the most common and ordinary names in Belgium. Yet, these are also the names of some of the artists that appear of Discophilia Beligica, a 30-track compilation from groove-heavy record label SDBAN. Compiled by crate diggers Loud E and The Wild, Discophilia Beligica is a collection of next-door-disco and local space music from Belgium 1975-1987. The tracks on this delightfully obscure collection are from ordinary folk; most have day jobs. Yet as musicians, they go as far out as possible in to the disco universe. Not too serious or overambitious, definitely not overproduced. This is stripped-down space music, next-door disco. The choice of music is not a reflection of an actual ‘scene’. In fact, most of the bands here have probably never performed live. The tracks on this compilation are the result of a decade of crate digging in flea markets, charity shops, and vinyl trades and picking out what might appeal to a contemporary dancefloor or to deranged and perhaps adventurous earbuds. That said, there’s not many countries that can provide the wonderful diversity and weirdness of these sounds. Belgians have a great passion for music and there is an abundance of recording studios, impresarios, local radio stations and pressing plants. Bars and clubs sit side by side, providing a soundtrack for our ordinary lives and it’s here where Patrick, Raymond, Roland or Marianne draw inspiration that led them into the studio and pick up a mic, a bass or synthesizer, making music to groove to, feel sexy to and be free.

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My Mine “Hypnotic Tango” (Dark Entries)

2018-12-07T00:11:09+00:00December 7th, 2018|

We are honored to announce the next 12″ in Dark Entries Editions is one of the all time Italo Disco club classics: My Mine—‘Hypnotic Tango’. My Mine were the trio of Stefano Micheli (vocals, keyboards), Carlo Malatesta (vocals, keyboards), and Danilo Rosati (drums, keyboards) formed from the ashes of Italian New Wave group Ipnotico Tango in 1982. They shifted focus from the experimental post punk sounds towards something more commercial with which to try and enter the market, namely to make a record. At that time Carlo was studying in Bologna and he had heard about producer and arranger Mauro Malavasi famous at that time for the many hits produced for Macho, Peter Jacques Band, Change, Luther Vandross, Ritchie Family. The group handed Malavasi a demo tape and four days later they were invited to Fonoprint Studios to record their first single, “Hypnotic Tango”. Utilizing new electronic instruments like the now legendary Roland TB-303, Danilo improvised a simple but effective synthesizer bass line and passed it through the Roland Echo until something magical came out. “Hypnotic Tango” was released on Progress Record in 1983 and became an international hit across Europe and US dance clubs in New York, Detroit and Chicago, capturing the imagination of House and Techno producers. In 1987 the legendary Frankie Knuckles remixed “Hypnotic Tango” at Seagrape Studios in Chicago, with assistance from studio engineers Tommy White and Brett Wilcotts. Originally released on Danica Records as the “Powerhouse Mix” paying tribute to the Windy City club atmosphere and adding his own “sighs” in the track as well. The Hypnotic Remix This reissue presents 4 mixes of “Hypnotic Tango” including the “Hypnotic Mix” only appearing together once before in 1990 on Rams Horn Records. All songs are remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in a jacket with original artwork and includes an insert with photos and liner notes by Stefano Micheli. “Look on the floor and all is spinning round, Someone told me this was just a dance And take a chance I ain’t met before..Do you think I really have a chance?”

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Pellegrino “Zodyaco” (Early Sounds)

2018-11-23T04:51:21+00:00November 23rd, 2018|

Pellegrino presents his new project “Zodyaco”.

Inspired by the ancient mythology of the stars and their deep influence on the sea life, the record is the result of nocturnal jams in the wake of the Italian jazz-funk tradition, exotic fusion and Mediterranean mysticism.

A tribute to the stars and their reflections on the sea.

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Various Artists “Running Back Presents: Front Pt 2” (Running Back)

2018-11-23T04:51:21+00:00November 23rd, 2018|

Hamburg’s Front club was already the stuff of legend, when it was still open. In the very early nineties Boris Dlugosch was not only at the helm of said club, but also one of Germany’s finest purveyors of house music. Front was his home as well as the playground for a colourful bunch of club kids from all walks of life. Its roots went back to the eighties as a gay club and it branched out to anyone who “couldn’t even dance straight.”

The rumours about this club were strong enough to get people like Playhouse’s Ata on a road trip and have youngsters fantasizing about it. The musical menu during that time was the monster house sound from the US and the UK that rotated deepness with hysteric glamour.

Of course, Front’s sound was finely nuanced. Boris Dlugosch learned his craft from Klaus Stockhausen, who stopped his DJ career in 1992 (because “every Bratwurst wanted to be a DJ all of a sudden”) to pursue a career as fashion editor and stylist.  Stockhausen’s thing as a resident (which actually meant to play at ONE club EVERY week during that time), was a mixture between electro, US-American R&B, British street soul, new wave, and the emerging house sound. If you manage to dig up old recordings on the internet, there are striking similarities to the way classic US-American DJs would play, while adding a fierce uniqueness. On the contrary, the sound of Front is one of the most interesting, you will ever hear.

So, why a Front mix and compilation 21 years after the club closed its doors? On the one hand, because it’s story hasn’t been told yet and it’s worth telling. On the other, German clubs like Robert Johnson or Berghain – as divergent as they might be – both resembe Front’s spirit, diversity, and musical open mindedness. And finally, because dancing is still fun.

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Various Artists “Running Back Presents: Front Pt 1” (Running Back)

2018-11-23T04:51:21+00:00November 23rd, 2018|

Hamburg’s Front club was already the stuff of legend, when it was still open. In the very early nineties Boris Dlugosch was not only at the helm of said club, but also one of Germany’s finest purveyors of house music. Front was his home as well as the playground for a colourful bunch of club kids from all walks of life. Its roots went back to the eighties as a gay club and it branched out to anyone who “couldn’t even dance straight.” The rumours about this club were strong enough to get people like Playhouse’s Ata on a road trip and have youngsters fantasizing about it. The musical menu during that time was the monster house sound from the US and the UK that rotated deepness with hysteric glamour. Of course, Front’s sound was finely nuanced. Boris Dlugosch learned his craft from Klaus Stockhausen, who stopped his DJ career in 1992 (because “every Bratwurst wanted to be a DJ all of a sudden”) to pursue a career as fashion editor and stylist. Stockhausen’s thing as a resident (which actually meant to play at ONE club EVERY week during that time), was a mixture between electro, US-American R&B, British street soul, new wave, and the emerging house sound. If you manage to dig up old recordings on the internet, there are striking similarities to the way classic US-American DJs would play, while adding a fierce uniqueness. On the contrary, the sound of Front is one of the most interesting, you will ever hear. So, why a Front mix and compilation 21 years after the club closed its doors? On the one hand, because it’s story hasn’t been told yet and it’s worth telling. On the other, German clubs like Robert Johnson or Berghain – as divergent as they might be – both resembe Front’s spirit, diversity, and musical open mindedness. And finally, because dancing is still fun.

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Marti Caine “Point Of View” (Be With)

2018-11-16T22:26:17+00:00November 16th, 2018|

Marti Caine’s infamous Point Of View is a groovy blend of slow-mo funk, dark disco and precise pop. Originally released on BBC Records in 1981, it has attracted a considerable cult following this century. The odd charity shop score aside, it has been impossible to find a copy for less than eye-watering sums (often selling for over £200) and, as such, it’s an honour to present the first officially licensed vinyl reissue of this sublime record. Featuring expert liner notes written by Bill Brewster – perhaps the record’s most notable champion – this lovingly curated release is limited to just 500 copies.

Marti Caine was a popular UK TV entertainer in the late 1970s onwards and Point Of View presented her with an opportunity to proceed in a hip direction by working with British R&B heavyweight Barry Blue. His legendary reputation was secured with a string of great records, among them the first three Heatwave albums, the Balearic hit “Afro Dizzi Act” by Cry Cisco and the cult smash “Breakin’ In” by Javaroo. However, despite the array of talent working on the album, Point Of View sank without trace at the time. It’s something that Blue attributes to the bizarre way BBC Records worked, and he entertainingly expands upon this within the liner notes.

Musically, the highlights are many and memorable. Its most notorious track is the sublime soul stepper “Love The Way You Love Me”, the reason most people covet this album so profoundly. However, from the dark dubby disco of “Snowbird City” to the moody ballad “Love Is Running Through Me”, the lesser heralded tracks are nothing short of exquisite. Indeed, the chugging elegance of sleazy disco opener “Can I Speak To The World Please?” showcases a string-drenched strutting-funk that would’ve been enviable the world over. It’s that good.

The outlandish artwork – presenting a striking, green-eyed Marti treating a tiger to a headlock – has been faithfully restored and is arguably worth the price of admission alone. With access to the original tape transfers, Simon Francis’ sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g. Sadly, Marti died of lymphatic cancer at the tragically early age of 50 in 1995, so is not here to experience what we hope will be a long overdue reappraisal of the hitherto underheard genius of Marti Caine, the singer.

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Kallaloo “Star Child” (Kalita)

2018-10-25T21:27:52+00:00October 25th, 2018|

Kalita Records present the first ever and official reissue of Kallaloo’s sought-after 1982 disco single “Star Child”, accompanied by interview-based liner notes. Originally released on Jeffrey Turpin’s Trinidadian record label IDA. Kallaloo consisted of various Trinidadian musicians including Keith Alexander and Peter Wayne Barkley. Keith had been well-respected as a member of the Trinidadian group Impact, and was later to become an in-demand producer and composer under the name of Keith Diamond, responsible for various hits by Billy Ocean, Donna Summer, Starpoint and Melba Moore. In contrast, Peter was a well-known recording session drummer. An astonishing piece of Caribbean disco.

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Various Artists “Boogie On The Mainline – A Collection Of Rare Disco, Funk and Boogie From Germany” (Boogie On the Mainline)

2018-10-25T17:09:49+00:00October 25th, 2018|

The German boogie compilation “Boogie on the Mainline” presents a selection of 10 rare disco tracks from Germany plus one more tune from Austria, all of them, originally released between 1980 and 1987. Check! . The fully licenced album contains little known tunes by groups like Imagination (which you can also see on the cover of the LP), Squish, Upstairs, The Poptown Syndicate and more. As the Boogie-ish post-disco side of German music history still basically remains undiscovered as of yet, “Boogie On The Mainline” hopefully will shed some light again on 11 rare gems that were mainly published on small or private labels. The album is released on loudly pressed double vinyl with gatefold jacket on the new Artless Cuckoo sister label Boogie on the Mainline Records. It includes extensive liner notes by compiler John Raincoatman aka DJ Scientist.

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Yan Tregger “Ducks & Drakes” (BBE)

2018-10-19T00:32:59+00:00October 19th, 2018|

Originally released on library music label Musical Touch Sound back in 1979, ‘Ducks & Drakes’ is an instrumental disco LP by pioneering French electronic musician Yan Tregger. Reissued this year by BBE alongside his 1978 album ‘Catchy’, Ducks & Drakes has achieved cult status among crate diggers and DJs, thanks to its ebullient charm and rock-solid leftfield grooves.

Virtually impossible to find on vinyl for many years now, ‘Ducks & Drakes’ found wider allure in 2008 when Alexis Le-Tan selected album track ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ for experimental disco compilation ‘Space Oddities’. UK music hero Frankie Valentine brought these two magical albums to BBE’s attention and curated the project alongside the team.

Amazingly (especially given the era in which it was recorded) the album was almost entirely performed, produced and composed by Tregger himself. Presented with its beautiful original artwork and previously unavailable to all but a lucky few record collectors, we’re excited to share the disco-infused magic of ‘Ducks & Drakes’ with the world.

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Yan Tregger “Catchy” (BBE)

2018-10-19T00:32:59+00:00October 19th, 2018|

YAN TREGGER REMAINS ONE OF THE MORE CULT-ISH NAMES TO EMERGE FROM THE EXPERIMENTAL FRENCH DISCO SCENE OF THE 1970S. BUT TO A GROWING NUMBER OF OBSESSIVE CRATE DIGGERS, THE TWO LPS RECORDED FOR THE MUSICAL TOUCH SOUND LABEL IN 1978/9 “CATCHY” AND “DUCKS & DRAKES” HAVE BECOME LIKE THE HOLY GRAIL OF RARE DISCO.

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Nu Guinea “Nuova Napoli” (Ng)

2018-10-12T16:03:31+00:00October 12th, 2018|

Almost two years after the success of the album The Tony Allen Experiments and a few months after the release of the 7″ Amore (2017), the duo Nu Guinea return to the scene with a new LP published by their newborn label NG Records. After touring the world looking for sounds suitable for their vibrations, Nu Guinea decided to go back to square one, Napoli, where Massimo Di Lena and Lucio Aquilina were born and raised. They watched their city from a distance reconstructing its energy from their studio in Berlin, calibrating the synths on the meridian of Vesuvius, the volcano that has always protected and threatened Napoli. Nuova Napoli is the result of a long musical research that has become a historical investigation on the sound that shaped Napoli during the ’70s and ’80s, starting from the contamination of genres (disco, jazz-funk, African rhythms) which ended up in Nu Guinea’s DNA. In this album the synthesizers fill the spaces between the past and the future, tightening in a single body acoustic instruments, electronics and voices in Neapolitan dialect. It is the first time that the duo has worked with such a large group of musicians, some of whom are exponents of the contemporary Neapolitan scene. It is recommended that you listen to Nuova Napoli while walking in the alleys of Napoli’s historic center, around wet clothes hanging and street vendors on tiny three-wheelers.

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Louie Vega “NYC Disco Part 2” (Nervous)

2018-08-03T15:17:29+00:00August 3rd, 2018|

Grammy award winner Louie Vega is known worldwide as one of the finest creators and purveyors of house music, both as an individual artist / producer / DJ. He is back with a new album for Nervous records ‘NYC Disco. Louie was always aware of the many disco hits that had been released by Sam Weiss on his Sam Records label back in the 70’s and 80’s. But it was not until recently that Louie suggested Michael Weiss send him the 24 inch multi -track masters of seminal Sam Records disco classics like Gary’s Gang ‘Keep On Dancing’, John Davis & The Monster Orchestra ‘I Can’t Stop’, Convertion ‘Let’s Do It’, Vicky D ‘This Beat Is Mine’ as well as several others. That response, and the common drive that Louie and Michael both share to constantly promote quality music that is both song and rhythm based, inspired them to take this endeavour a step further, and to create brand new songs. When Louie’s creative energies start flowing, his team knows to rise to the occasion. The result is NYC Disco, an album that represents the full range of disco. As always with Louie the album features a star studded cast: Luther Vandross, Patrick Adams, Rochelle Fleming, Barbara Tucker, Be Be Winans, Josh Milan, Cindy Mizelle, Sharon Bryant, Anane and The Martinez Brothers. Standout tracks, well I could list them all but here’s just a few. ‘He Promised Me’, ‘Get Myself Together’, ‘Get With The Funk’, ‘ Love Fantasy’, and ‘Cosmic Disco’. Don’t miss this one!

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Randolph Baker “Getting Next To You” (Kalita)

2018-07-19T18:00:09+00:00July 19th, 2018|

Originally recorded at Jim Morris and Rick Miller’s Tampa-based Morrisound Studios, Getting Next To You features a mixture of both local Florida talent plus jazz superstar Nat Adderley and bassist John Lamb at their finest. Originally pressed in a run of just 1,000 copies, with limited distribution, the album has long been sought-after by both collectors and DJs alike, acknowledged as a true disco masterpiece. Here, in collaboration with Randolph Baker, Kalita Records offer the four in-demand tracks from the album: “Getting Next To You”, “Jazzmen”, “Callin’ Me”, and “Party Life”. The former is an in-demand horn and chant-filled disco masterpiece, which, as Randolph explains, concerns unity and “everyone on the same level… in other words, everyone just loving life”. It is arguably the song that Randolph is most well-known for in the disco and funk scene and perfect for the modern discerning dancefloor. “Jazzmen” is an instrumental track with prominent trumpet and saxophone solos working with funky basslines to produce a truly great jazz-funk groove. “Callin’ Me” is a soulful disco number featuring the lead vocals of Laurie Erickson and is “about being on the road and ensuring loved ones that you will always come back home no matter what. It was like a promise to ensure loved ones they didn’t have to worry”. Lastly, “Party Life” is a joyous disco track with a strong funk bassline and horns. Here, with access to the 24-track master tapes Kalita Records include the original version plus an unreleased instrumental take, allowing the listener to focus on the infectious bassline and make it even more ready for the modern dancefloor.

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Prana People “Prana People” (Omaggio)

2018-06-22T18:02:59+00:00June 22nd, 2018|

A relatively obscure, but endlessly playable, album of disco/funk/soul originally released in 1977 made by PRANA PEOPLE (aka brothers TAHARQA and TUNDE RA ALEEM, who had previously worked with JIMI HENDRIX). Originally out on PRELUDE RECORDS, this official reissue comes courtesy of OMAGGIO.

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Various Artists “Chebran: French Boogie 1980-1985” (Born Bad)

2018-06-22T18:02:57+00:00June 22nd, 2018|

In the early ’80s in France, the happy-go-lucky gathered the nectar of each and every new release. Believing in a bright future for videotex and loosened up by budding pirate radio stations, the new generation dreamt of dancefloors and holiday clubs. French Boogie, which preserves the spirit of these years of boodle and bunkum, is the ideal soundtrack to their dreams. What has come to be called “French boogie” is a form of synthetic funk reflecting the spirit of those days when everything seemed possible. In popular clubs such as La Main Bleue in Montreuil or L’Echappatoire in Clichy-sous-Bois — where Micky Milan could be seen behind the decks — an enthusiastic audience discovered this post-disco sonic wave, influenced as much by French pop as by The Sugarhill Gang or Kurtis Blow. In this myriad of new musicians, the very young François Feldman and Phil Barney pioneered a fresh musical hybrid. Other well-known artists like Gérard Blanc from Martin Circus (Attaché Case), Richard de Bordeaux (Ich), and Jean-Pierre Massiera (Anisette, Pirate Club, Mandrake, Groupe Scratch Man) added an eccentric touch. Singers like Agathe (the author of “La Fourmi” (included here) and of the hit song “Je ne veux pas rentrer chez moi seule”) were far more than just window dressing, giving an ironic and subversive twist to this rather harmless genre. But by 1984, French boogie was already breathless, and merged with other genres; on the one hand, rap and breakdance adapted its flow to a more urban world, especially with Dee Nasty’s broadcasts on Radio Nova, and on the other, Italo, new beat, and house began to rule dancefloors. Squeezed between the age of disco and that of modern electronic music, French boogie was a transitional phase, but it remains an amazingly refreshing testimony to the intermingling of pop and underground cultures. The genre was hastily categorized as anecdotal in spite of its pioneering synthetic groove and matchless basslines. An attentive ear will discover the poetry of the ephemeral beyond the eccentricities of the genre, as well as a certain unexpected avant-gardism. At the origin of major music trends, always cheerful and catchy, French boogie is what you need to party.

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Various Artists “Club Meduse Compiled By Charles Bals” (Spacetalk)

2018-06-08T17:24:04+00:00June 8th, 2018|

For the third volume of compilations curated by confirmed crate diggers, Spacetalk invites you to take a trip to the magical Mediterranean resort of Club Meduse in the company of Beachfreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals. A creative director, designer and curator by trade, Bals spends the majority of his spare time searching for superb, unknown, small-run music releases made between the 1970s and 1990s. While some of these are made available for other enthusiasts to buy via Beachfreaks’ mail-order service, many more make it into the racks of Bals’ private collection. With Club Meduse, Bals is sharing rare, hard-to-find and just plain brilliant gems from his personal stash for the very first time.

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Pink Rhythm “Melodies Of Love” (Be With)

2018-04-20T14:16:42+00:00April 20th, 2018|

Pink Rhythm were a mid-80s evolution of Rocca’s London-based band Freeez, featuring the great Andy Stennett and Peter Maas. “Melodies Of Love” was first released in 1985 yet, still sounding staggeringly fresh, it’s no surprise that discerning DJs call on it now more than ever. As the title suggests, it’s so melodically profound and so effortlessly funky, once you hear it, you never forget it. Accordingly, it has been growing in demand on 12″ for the past decade.

Gliding serenely, its epic, melancholic synths appeal to fans of Italo, whilst its stabbing Moog bassline and wall-shaking drums retain an unmistakable boogie / electro-disco feel. Rocca himself delivers a memorably androgynous vocal that only adds to the majesty. Backed with the strutting sax workout “Walking In The Rain”, this officially licensed, remastered 12″ – presented in a heavier sleeve than the original – is one not to miss.

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Various Artists “Night Palms” (Hobo Camp)

2018-04-20T14:16:39+00:00April 20th, 2018|

Night Palms is the first compilation from Hobo Camp. It explores the vibes of Adult Oriented Rock, G-Funk, Jazz, Boogie, and Soul; synthesizing these genres to a form more loaded and laid-back (perhaps on a careless night time stroll, returning from the dispensary or watering hole, to the jacuzzi, houseboat, or waterbed). A smoother approach to funk, similar in production ethos to many classic G-Funk tracks (where producers created or sampled the smoothest yacht-rock and jazz-funk moments to create bass heavy rap), Night Palms takes it one step further, offering original tracks that return more to the inspiratory sources of G-Funk… sonically and chillingly cruising at the perfect tempo. A vibe perpetuated by perfect night-time temperatures, mist, ocean breeze, the sound of flowing water, and the laid-back grooves that seemingly accompany it under the silhouettes of California Palm.

This LP is dedicated to designer, artist and friend, Trevor Tarczynski (RIP). The title “Night Palms” was a recurring theme in his work, and the jacket cover was created from his archives.

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AZOTO “Disco Fizz” (Mondo Groove)

2018-04-20T14:15:38+00:00April 20th, 2018|

Mondo Groove present a reissue of Azoto’s Disco Fizz, originally released in 1979. Azoto is a project by Celso Valli, one of the most important exponents of Italo-disco. He pioneered the whole Italo sound, with incredibly ahead of their time productions going right back to the ’70s. Disco Fizzcontains “San Salvador”, one of the most covered disco tracks of all time, which has reared its head under countless of remixes and cover versions, however if you dig a little deeper this album is packed full of incredible and timeless Italo disco: “Anytime Or Place” literally jumps out the speakers to get you moving, while “Exalt-Exalt” showcases their take on the darker side of electronic disco. Disco Fizz bridges traditional disco from the American ’70s with the space-age synthesizer/vocoder-powered Italian brand of disco that was beginning to invade with new innovations at that time. A must-have for any DJs.The record is officially reprinted on LP for the first time from the original master tapes.

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Basa Basa “Homowo” (Vintage Voudou)

2018-04-09T01:27:50+00:00April 9th, 2018|

Fela Kuti believed the identical twins of Basa Basa to possess magical powers, bringing luck and prosperity. Fela co-produced their first LP, and played on their second. But the wondrous powers of the Nyaku twins from Ghana reached their summit on their third album, which they recorded with producer and multi-instrumentalist Themba “T-Fire” Matebese in Nigeria. This collaboration resulted in the bewitching ‘Homowo’ album, which combines the earthy mood of the twins and the futuristic vision of Themba Matebese as well as the hot and sweaty Afro disco sound of Lagos, where the album was recorded. Amsterdam based DJ collective and vinyl shop Vintage Voudou makes the highly sought-after LP available again after almost four decades, working in close collaboration with the artists.

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Evans Pyramid “Evans Pyramid” (Cultures of Soul)

2018-04-05T23:08:31+00:00April 5th, 2018|

Cultures of Soul Records is proud to bring to you an anthology of the music of Evans Pyramid. This album features all of the officially released singles plus four previously unreleased tracks. Andre Evans was the mastermind behind Evans Pyramid, a seasoned performer and session player in Boston throughout the ’70s. Full of unique disco and boogie stylings, the LP includes all of the rare singles such as “Never Gonna Leave You,” “Dip Drop”,”No I Won’t” and “I Want Your Body,” as well as a recently discovered 45 that featured two top-notch disco tracks – “Dance A Thon” and “Rubber Band.” The album also includes a download card to four unissued tracks from the original demo tapes. Thanks to praise and adulation from Gilles Peterson, DJ Kon, the Noble brothers and Joey Negro, as well as other respected DJs and collectors around the world, Evans Pyramid is the undisputed king of Boston boogie. LP is a limited edition, individually hand-numbered pressing of 1,000. Vinyl reissue comes in a deluxe gatefold Stoughton paste-on jacket. The set includes download card to 4 previously unreleased bonus cuts.

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Various Artists “Balearic 3” (Balearic)

2018-03-29T20:36:20+00:00March 29th, 2018|

You know the summer starts right about now with the arrival of ‘BALEARIC 3,’ the third in the ongoing series of annual ‘BALEARIC’ compilations which capture the rooted and contemporary spirit of laid back Ibiza. Compiled by Ibiza fixture Jim Breese, available on 180 gram double vinyl, CD and digital formats, and presented in a stunning and collectable package.

Here’s a glorious selection of 12 bright and sun-drenched moments destined to be heard daily at the world’s coolest beach clubs this summer and inevitably soundtracking a million gorgeous sunsets in Ibiza. This edition features exclusives aplenty. There are two album-only tracks; the first is a cassette recording from Tommy Awards getting an Ambient remix courtesy of Balearic label man Jim Breese to create an any-time-you-like tranquil sunset moment. Then The Madrigal blasts off with ‘Ride To The Moon,’ a completely unique track which doesn’t take itself too seriously – incredibly refreshing to hear.

Like all volumes in the series, BALEARIC 3 captures the ineffable spirit of Ibiza – perfectly accompanying that unique moment when the golden sun meets the gleaming sea. It’s destined to be a classic, go-to album you’ll reach for again and again – the soundtrack to your summer.

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True Feelings “Love Me, Love Me” (Backatcha)

2018-03-29T20:33:56+00:00March 29th, 2018|

Rare soul-funk gem from 1981 that gets a much needed reissue – originals of this highly sought after record being rather pricey on the second hand market. Originally released in tiny quantities, the history of “Love Me Love Me” has been an enigma ever-since. When producer Smokey T recorded and wrote the track, it was the local backdrop of playing funk and soul imports in pub function rooms in the mid ’70s. Whatever informed the band members musical learning made the cut. Musically it’s streets ahead, yet had remained under the radar for years – until veteran London DJ and collector Winston found it amongst a stash of reggae records about 15 years ago.

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EKO “Funky Disco Music” (African Seven)

2018-03-16T21:23:43+00:00March 11th, 2018|

Eko Roosevelt Louis has had a music career spanning over forty years, born the grandson of a Kribi tribal chief, his musical persuasion beginning humbly with his village’s local church before his formal education at the Senegal conservatoire and Paris’ Ecole Normale de Musique. Eko then cut his teeth making jazz funk and disco records in the mid-seventies before extensive touring in and around France. In the 90’s Eko returned to Cameroon to take over his grandfather’s tribal chieftaincy, a role he still holds today. Eko also works with the Cameroun artistic societies and schools performing, teaching and even leading Cameroon’s national orchestra.

For this Africa Seven foray we take a trip to 1979. “Funky Disco Music” was Eko’s third LP. It is locked-on with the sound we here at Africa Seven like and after what seemed like ages we finally tracked Eko down in Cameroun and persuaded him that a re-issue was most definitely needed.

The LP opens up with the bright and uplifting disco-swing gem and title track “Funky Disco Music”. Punchy horns, afro rhythms and groovy bass (From Vicky Edimo) power this groover along before mixing straight into the Jazz-Funk-Disco hybrid “Ndolo Embe Mulemadolo”. Taking its cue from the age – Paris 1979 – “Une Chanson Sans Paroles” is a French power pop meets afro swing belter to keep the LP tempo high.

To close off side A is the gloriously uplifting “Bowa’a Mba Ngebe”. Dripping in positivity and goodwill this feel-good disco gem was a recent highlight of our African Airways 04 compilation. Side B opens with the afro-folk meets pop “Doi Da Manga”. Next is “Me To A De Try My Own” and “Esele Mba Musango Na Ndol’am” with their locked on bass grooves and afrobeat grooves. The LP closes with the smooth ballad jazz of “Emen’ Ango”. The heartstrings are all a flutter.

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Various Artists “French Disco Boogie Sounds Vol. 3 1977-87: Selected By Charles Maurice” (Favorite)

2018-03-16T21:31:50+00:00March 8th, 2018|

Double LP version. Gatefold sleeve. They say that good things come in threes… it must be true. Favorite Recordings present the third edition of its acclaimed French Disco Boogie Sounds compilation series. Like on prior volumes, the complete track list is selected by label head honcho, Charles Maurice (aka Pascal Rioux), who’s unearthed 13 more forgotten and hidden tracks, all produced either in France, in French, or by French artists between 1977 and 1987. With most of these titles now very hard to find in their original edition, and unknown by many, this compilation is a must have for any disco-boogie-funk music lover and collector. Features Maya, NST Cophies, Paul Fathy, Judy Carter, Janet N’diaye Lokamba, Kké, Caramel, Yannick Chevalier, J.E.K.Y.S, Silence, Wally & Shane, Zorgus, and Joël Daydé. Fully remastered from originals at The Carvery Cut (UK). Double LP version comes in a gatefold sleeve.

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Various Artists “Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul and Synth Boogie in 1980s South Africa” (Soundway)

2018-03-16T21:36:22+00:00March 6th, 2018|

Triple LP version. Gatefold sleeve; Includes a track not included on the CD version, Joshiba’s “Gloria”. Soundway present Gumba Fire, a new compilation of rare 1980s South African “bubblegum” and boogie. In 1980s Black South Africa, a local form of pop music evolved as the disco boom died down and slowly mutated. It was often ubiquitously described as bubblegum — usually stripped-down and lo-fi with a predominance of synths, keyboards, and drum-machines and overlaid with the kind of deeply soulful trademark vocals and harmonies that South African music is famous for. Compilers Miles Cleret (Soundway) and DJ Okapi (Afrosynth Records) present a selection of 18 rare, handpicked 1980s cuts that highlight the period that nestles in between the ’70s (where American-influenced jazz, funk, and soul bumped shoulders with local mbaqanga) and the ’90s when kwaito and eventually house-music ruled the dancefloors of urban South Africa. Alongside French-Caribbean zouk this kind of music has slowly been making its way into the DJ sets of many of the most open-minded selectors around the world. This compilation is in many ways a sister release to the hugely popular compilation of Nigerian boogie and disco that Soundway released in late 2016: Doing It In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco In 1980s Nigeria. The album takes its name from the band Ashiko’s track that also features on the compilation. The term is derived from gumba gumba, the term given to the booming speakers of the old spacegram radios that broadcast music into South Africa’s townships and villages. “Gumba Fire” later evolved into a phrase that refers to a hot party. Put this record on and feel the heat! Features The Survivals, Stimela, Hot Soul Singers, Zoom, Ashiko, Monwa & Sun, Ntombi Ndaba, The Black Five, Starlight, Zasha, Sabela, Condry Ziqubu, General Peter Maringa, and Ozila.

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Mono Band “Ghost Town” (Dark Entries)

2018-03-01T19:54:38+00:00March 1st, 2018|

Dark Entries Editions is proud to reissue “Ghost Town” the 1984 debut 12” single by Mono Band from Italy. The project was conceived by producer Rene ‘D’Herin and Massimo Fantinatiti aka Fantenax. They teamed up with songwriter and guitarist Luigi Venegoni aka Svengile who had previously worked with progressive and jazz-rock bands Arti & Mestieri and Venegoni & Co. as well as cosmic disco group Stratosferic Band. Treading the lines between Italo Disco and the darker side of New Wave, the trio crafted a mysterious sound. Melancholic arpeggiators, a throbbing baseline, stuttering samples, and the classic Linn drum machine run throughout the track. Vocals were handled by an uncredited Carlo Rossi who raps about a ghost town filled with fear. When female vocalist Elena Sansonetti begins to softly whisper the chorus one might get goose bumps. The trio were joined in the studio by DJ Mike aka Michele Paolino of Make Up/Mike Up, DJ Moody, Fabrice Bellini of Art Fine and producer Miceli. The song was recorded in a few days at Dynamo Sound Studio in Turin and originally released on the popular Discomagic Records. This reissue includes the original vocal version, backed with a longer dubbed out instrumental “Ghost Version” on the B-side. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The 12” is housed in an exact replica of the original sleeve with an astrological photo the planets orbiting the sun. Each copy also includes a 2-sided postcard.

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Dazzle “Dazzle” (Expansion)

2018-02-18T21:00:36+00:00February 11th, 2018|

Groove Dis Exclusive. EXPANSION releases this 1979 disco/boogie album on vinyl, this New York studio group was produced by LEROY BURGESS and STAN LUCAS with vocals by JOCELYN BROWN. “REACHING” & “YOU DAZZLE ME” are top shelf, with incredible string, horn, and synth arrangements by top players of the day. Essential.

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Johnny Jewel “Digital Rain” (Italians Do it Better)

2018-01-30T22:00:58+00:00January 30th, 2018|

Hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed 2017 LP Windswept—which soundtracked David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, Digital Rain is JOHNNY JEWEL’s s latest album. Jewel is known for his extensive collaborations with film makers David Lynch, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Ryan Gosling, as well as for his work with groundbreaking musical groups such as CHROMATICS, GLASS CANDY and DESIRE. The 19 movements of Digital Rain are three dimensional beds of analogue warmth encompassed in raw electronic moisture. The result is an expansive pallet of soft color amid canyons of jagged oscillations.

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The Vendetta Suite “Solar Lodge 23 Ep” (Hell Yeah Italy)

2018-02-25T21:01:49+00:00January 21st, 2018|

The Vendetta Suite is Belfast’s Gary Irwin. His first solo release since 2012 features six tracks all handpicked by Hell Yeah boss Marco from vast unreleased vaults. Irwin was the in house engineer for the legendary UK producer David Holmes’ Exploding Plastic Inevitable studio. Tracks from the artist such as “Hula Bop” became classic staples in Marco’s sets as Balearic Gabba Soundsystem, so he recently reached out to the Newtownards man and worded him up via Soundcloud. And here we have it – a cinematic EP that draws on a myriad musical styles and showcases Irwin’s peerless studio skills. There’s some variety on here, that’s for sure: from the cosmic balearic trip that is “Sirius”, the cheeky Madchester sounding acid dub of “Shut Up Ya Dub!” or the sublime ambient journey of “Colin Wilson Said” which is the perfect soundtrack to a comedown.

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Mori Ra “Jongno Edits Vol.4” (Hand Stamped)

2017-11-15T02:26:29+00:00November 15th, 2017|

Jongno Edits are back with their fourth release and they got two tracks of pure Korean groove, by editing wizard Mori Ra. Side A is “Heavenly Me” (edit) which is a boogie banger that embraces all the elements of the top tunes of that era: strong drum beat, slappy bass synth and a violin break down. On the flip, there’s “No One Knows” (edit) which is your perfect sunset balearic cut for this summer. The lush bell melodies perfectly match the suave voices so prepare your ascension to the clouds accompanied by delayed organs and acoustic guitar ‘where Jeju becomes Ibiza’.

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Adolf Stern “More… I Like It” (Best Record Italy)

2017-09-17T00:17:07+00:00September 17th, 2017|

Best Record Italy take the time machine all the way back to 1979 to revisit the wonderful Italo-Disco delights of Adolf Stern, whose “More… I Like It” represents the strangest end of the genre as it was taking shape. With heavily processed vocals injecting some serious strangeness into the chirpy disco backdrop, it’s the kind of track to turn heads without a doubt. “Twenty Seven” on the B-side is equally magical in its capturing of the era, with the more obvious surface elements underpinned by a truly intoxicating line in synth arpeggios. Once again Best comes up trumps refreshing the history of Italian music of all shapes and sizes.

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Obatala “Obatala” (Everland Jazz)

2017-08-20T19:45:34+00:00August 20th, 2017|

Everland present a reissue of Obtala’s self-titled album, originally released in 1977. This well produced strong disco funk album is a hidden gem. The original is on many wants lists and rarely turns up. Heady disco funk from the glory days of the Miami soul scene in the ’70s. This smoking album by the group Obatala is tight in a good way. Core funk energy mixed with some added strings and horns. A mode that’s funky club, but never straight disco at all. Titles include ‘April’, ‘Shades Of September’, ‘Disco Party’, ‘Funk-A-Fried’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘Work It Out’. A killer set throughout!

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Various Artists “AOR Global Sounds 1976-1985 Vol.3” (Favorite Recordings)

2017-06-13T23:44:05+00:00June 13th, 2017|

Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice proudly present the 3rd edition of their acclaimed AOR Global Sounds compilations series. Another brilliant selection of 14 rare and hidden tracks, produced between 1976 and 1985 in various parts of the world.

On AOR Global Sounds Vol.3, DJ and producer Charles Maurice delivers again a fine overview of the AOR and WestCoast influences for many artists in the late 70s and early 80s. Even more than on previous volumes, he selected highly forgotten productions, deeply infused with Disco and Soul flavors.

Many of these great gems were naturally produced through all the USA, often made by artists with a very short career and as private press. For example, Jeff Silna only recorded this amazing song after winning the competition of a long gone Miami radio station, the Stratus project started around 1974 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and was a band led by Bob Ackley who only released this 7” single in 1976 after recording a full album and doing a few gigs around Michigan, John Kontol (Jon Konteau), however having credits for a few productions and appearances and still acting as a musician, never released another LP after his heartbreaking experience with Erect Records, that never rewarded him for his work and even change his name against his consent, as for “Dirt (In The Sky” by 7 Days Unlimited, whose both members were from Pittsburgh area, where a lot of dirt was literally flying in the air, the song was released in 1980 on a very limited 500 copies 7” single.

But this kind of stories and waste of talent is not solely and American privilege, from Willy Santana (member of Placa Luminosa) in Brazil, and Funky Team in Sweden, to Stacey and Out Of The Fog in Canada, this 3rd edition proves again if necessary the international scope and fervor of this music scene, and the surprising amount of great music that go unnoticed at that time.

Fully remastered from originals, with great attention to sound quality as always, AOR Global Sounds Vol.3 (1976-1985, selected by Charles Maurice) is presented by Favorite Recordings in a gatefold vinyl double Lp.

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Ekambi Brilliant “African Funk Experimentals (1975-1982)” (African Seven)

2017-03-28T21:12:59+00:00March 28th, 2017|

Africa Seven ignites 2017 with an outstanding addition to their African Funk Experimentals series with this precision curation of Cameroonian Ekambi’s best work. Taken from albums such as Djambo’s Djambo’s, Africa Oumba and his two eponymous albums, the far-reaching collection ranges from downhome low-swung bluesy funk disco (“Soul Castle”) to glistening highlife vibrancy (“Lambo Lena”) by way of thumping French disco (“Nyambe”). Brilliant by name, brilliant by nature…

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Igna Igwebuike “Bomp” (PMG)

2017-03-25T20:17:59+00:00March 25th, 2017|

PMG present a reissue of Igna Igwebuike’s Bomp, originally released in 1980. “It takes a lot of swag to wear a hat as big as the hat that I.G. wears on the cover of Bomp. But I.G., a.k.a. Bobby I.G., a.k.a. I.G. New Yorker, had swag by the bucket load. That hat tells you everything you need to know about I.G. and, indeed, about Bomp – it’s a big funky slice of Nigerian cowboy disco magic. I.G. was a player in the thriving Enugu boogie scene, a scene, in the east of the country that also produced Goddy Oku and William Onyeabor. With Mr Mighty Flames, Willie N’For on bass, Austin Onwurah on drums and all the bells and whistles of the Godiac Studios close at hand, a Nigerian disco classic was inevitable. ‘Disco Bomp’ and ‘Disco Power’ are straight-ahead floor-fillers. ‘Funk Ina Ghatto’ has a slower, dirtier groove. ‘World Of Misery’ takes a slight calypso reggae detour, before ‘Take Me Home’ brings it on home, with an unabashed plea for ‘loving’ and some delightfully wonky synth lines from another Mighty Flame, Frankie Song. Bomp was I.G.’s only album. It’s a startling one-off disco boogie classic that was clear in its ambition and perfect in its execution. A bit like the hat, really.

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Image Man “Glance” (1080p)

2017-01-21T01:07:16+00:00January 21st, 2017|

Illusory house and techno from New York native Image Man, following up a release on crucial newcomer label Sunal/Perabob with another four-track 12” of live, windy, paradoxical tracks built from loops and drum machine, all recorded live.

“Glance” shifts further into a weirded out and druggily decadent realm where he’s found looping the reflections of disco, soul and ancient pop samples into his own spaced and primitive euphorias, starting out with the slowmo downbeat of “More” before the more apprehensive rhythms of “Else” end up filtering out into a pool of a reverberant samples that echoes out the second half.

“We trust in the sound we take for granted—the music wouldn’t lead us astray, would it? Emotions can lead us astray, the wanting to feel, the wishing of forever lasting, the pleading for change, the expectation of ecstasy. Just a quick glance in the mirror.”

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Daniel Grau “Disco Fantasy” (Oom Dooby Dochas)

2016-10-05T01:53:13+00:00October 5th, 2016|

Oom Dooby Dochas present a reissue of Daniel Grau’s Disco Fantasy, originally released in 1979. This 1979 release was the fourth solo effort of Venezuelan composer and musician Daniel Grau. Disco-funk with a Latin melody and rhythm approach surely was the hottest thing among the dancing folks back in the day and the rather futuristic synthesizer arrangements turn these memorable tunes into a spacey and spicy affair. The sound is perfect and the performance equals its package. The compositions are quite long all-in-all, giving it a hypnotic effect on the listener and dancer. The continuing, pulsating groove comes in a repetitive manner creating a floating atmosphere. Disco Fantasy is surely a product of its era and made for disco lovers to dance on through the simmering nights, but unlike most mainstream disco albums this record opens the gate to another dimension touching the senses of everybody in reach when it gets played on the turntable. Next to the similar massive Donna Summer works like “I Feel Love”, this is the true essence of disco music – entirely instrumental with an emphasis on synthesizer melodies instead of vocals. Drift away into your disco fantasy.

Ray Camacho Band “Reach Out” (PMG)

2016-10-05T01:42:33+00:00October 5th, 2016|

Reach Out (1979) is one of the two albums by the disco outfit The Ray Camacho Band with bandleader Ray Camacho, exploring the field of the funky club dance music happening at that time. PMG reissue Reach Out, an album which offers booty shakers in ever-pulsating grooves. The needle lowers down and hits the vinyl and a beat like flashing lights sets in. Bass guitar, drums and percussions weave a tight web of rhythm patterns that capture your body right away and set you into a state of trance. You recognize Latin influences here and there, which become obvious when the horns blow out lush harmonies and relaxed but hot-blooded melodies hit your ears. And indeed Ray Camacho actually comes from Latin music. He mixes both worlds very well on this record. Reach Out is a massive collection of sheer disco funk hits. You will dance and dance to these perfectly produced and executed songs that stick to your mind for quite a long time after the music has faded. Reach Out is an all-in-all handmade album with burning performances of all instrumentalists, with an emphasis on the extended rhythm section. If you love your funky music slick and steaming, this release is for you.

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Avalanches “Wildflower” (EMI)

2016-08-03T20:57:39+00:00August 3rd, 2016|

To listen to the Avalanches is to wrestle with time. The sample-rich music made by this group of Australian DJs makes you think about where its pieces come from, what those fragments meant to you then, and what they mean to you embedded into the group’s finished songs. There’s nostalgia and loss ingrained in every bar, and you can sense the erratic movement of past, present, and future from the first listen.

Speaking of time, there’s also the fact that the Avalanches waited 16 years to follow up their debut album, 2000’s landmark Since I Left You. To be a fan of the Avalanches, you had to be patient. Some of the delay was to be expected. Their first record was said to have thousands of samples, but you never can tell with a figure like that—let’s just agree that it contained a lot. And working with samples means submitting yourself to a longer timetable. Because while Jarvis Cocker might pick up a guitar and write eight songs in two days, building music from other music means you have to do a lot of listening. Which means sampling artists spend a great deal of time engaged in the same activity as their audience—driving around with the radio on, poised by the turntable, dropping a needle, clicking around on YouTube, walking around with headphones. And there are no shortcuts. Throw in the usual long-delayed-album mix of bad equipment, poor health, perfectionism, and clearance issues, and who knows, maybe we’re lucky to get Wildflower, the first new Avalanches record in 16 years.

It’s a music business truism that every sample-heavy instrumental act will eventually work with guest vocalists. As satisfying as it can be to assemble new music from old pieces, every producer, deep down, eventually wants to make their own primary source. Wildflower’s guest vocalists—including Detroit rapper Danny Brown, Biz Markie, rap duo Camp Lo, Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev, Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi, David Berman of Silver Jews, Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux/Black Bananas—are what set it apart from the first record. Since I Left You had huge swaths of constantly shifting sound, flowing as one epic suite, and it was often hard to know where one song ended and another began; almost half the songs on Wildflower are clearly set up to showcase a rapper or singer who have written something close to a proper song, so it’s a series of tentpole tracks joined by gorgeous instrumental interludes of the kind only the Avalanches can assemble.

At its best, Wildflower feels like an extension of Since I Left You, hewing close to its predecessor in terms of style, sound, approach, and texture—you would never mistake this for an album by anyone else. The Avalanches make music that’s open, welcoming, soft, gentle; the track construction is virtuosic, but it never wants to show off, and the beat-jacking never feels competitive. In addition to the found sounds, the album has a lot of new instrumentation, most of it presented to mix seamlessly with the samples. Film composer Jean-Michel Bernard adds orchestrations to a handful of tracks, upping the quotient of Disneyfied wonder. The general approach to production is classic Avalanches: AM Gold pop with its sweet strings bleeds into delicate disco with beats inspired by early hip-hop unpinning the whole, imbuing it with a kind of bookish innocence common to the world of indie pop. If the turntable-scratched choruses are gone, replaced by live people at a microphone, the sonic universe they exist in has, thankfully, changed very little.

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