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Reviewed this week
Russia's pre-eminent re-edit Tsar, Valique, is a very happy man now that his Vehicle label has reached its 10th anniversary. He's very much the kind of man who celebrates in style and here is no exception - he has collected a jaw-dropping 64 of his best edits from the last decade, all for this album. Some of the very many highlights here include the warm and full disco-house vibes of his Al Green Green rework "Good Or Bad", the kitschy Eurodisco confection "Still You" and the dubbed-out soft-synth orgy of his reinterpretation of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love". Here's to another decade of disco joy!
Given that he founded the label two years ago this month, it's something of a surprise to find that Heart Breaker is Danny '80s Child' Worrall's first release on Masterworks Music. As usual, the five re-edits on offer mine the producer's vast collection of '80s electro, P-funk and synth-soul for inspiration. Opener "Dancing Real Close 2 U" is a subtly beefed-up rearrangement of a P-funk/'80s soul fusion, while "The Next Step" is a Tiger & Woods style electrofunk-goes-house loop jam. He changes the formula a little on the organic disco cheeriness of "Love Is U", before reaching for the hairspray on the Jam & Lewis-on-steroids vibe of "Closer 2 Your Luv".
There's naturally been plenty of hype surrounding The Black Madonna's "He Is The Voice I Hear", which originally dropped on a single-sided 12" at the tail end of 2016. It's undoubtedly the fast-rising Chicagoan's best record to date, and feels like an unashamed tribute to Patrick Cowley's fine productions for disco icon Sylvester. While there are mournful notes - check the extended, beat-less piano intro -it doesn't take long to turn into a deliciously muscular, Italo-disco style chugger laden with razor-sharp strings, bubbling acid lines, and the kind of fluid piano solos that were once a hall mark of Frankie Knuckles' remixes. In other words, it's a fine contemporary disco record from one of dance music's most notable DJs of recent times.
DJ Butcher's Chopshop greets 2017 with a stonking new EP of big hit reworks by DJ S. The lead track here is "Last Train To The Disco" which takes a 70s ELO masterpiece and just gently beefs it up for modern dancefloors. This approach continues on "The Drug I'm Thinking Of" where Roxy Music's sleazy ode to prowling nightclubs in search of lust has its original bass lines and breaks ever so carefully teased out to great effect. Lastly "More Love" is a cheeky Balearic jam, originally by Tony Pacino that gives Julio Iglesias a run for his money.
Sunner Soul is clearly determined to start 2017 in a positive mood. His first EP of the year urges us to have a Good Time, with the producer doing his bit to spread sunshine via a string of impressively warm and summery re-edits. He begins with a blissful ambient tool - perfect for mix intros and such - before expertly reworking a global disco shuffler ("Fuwafuwa Groove"). The swirling peak-time disco of "Good Time" is next, followed by an expertly executed cut-up of Evelyn 'Champagne' King boogie classic "Love Come Down" that offers a subtle nod towards Tiger and Woods. The sweaty disco-funk bump of "Ready To Back" and horn-heavy groover "Rescue Of Time" complete an excellent package.
Given the success of Red Rack'em's hard-to-beat "Wonky Bassline Disco Banger", we were initially skeptical of this remix package. Happily, all involved have done a good job in offering a fresh slant on one of the club hits of 2016. KiNK steals the show with a version that strips out much of the original's disco flavour, instead combining Rack'em's wonky electronics with trippy new noises and freakishly druggy elements. The result is a fine chunk of heavyweight weirdo-house. Classic chief Luke Solomon joins forces with the mighty Eats Everything and Lord Leopard on the virtual flipside, serving up a skewed version that veers from loose disco-house warmth to brain-melting electronic wonkiness, and back again.
Aussie adventurer Tornado Wallace seems to be getting better with age. Over recent years, he's delivered a string of brilliantly evocative, sun-kissed releases for the likes of ESP Institute, Beats In Space and Second Circle. Lonely Planet is his debut album, and it could well be his strongest release to date. The seven tracks are dreamy, trippy and atmospheric - we'd expect nothing less - and draw on a far wider palette of Balearic influences than we've heard on previous experiences. Coupled with a new-found desire to include more live instrumentation (particularly glistening, Peter Green style guitar passages, drums and exotic flutes), the result is an album that's as evocative, dreamy and humid as anything he's produced to date. In other words, it's a great album and comes highly recommended.
2017 has started with a bang for fans of French Kiss Records label boss KS French. First was a new instalment in the "Supa Funky Edits" series and now we have a rare full solo EP from man himself. Here on the Bad Soul EP French goes for a vintage soul influenced sound, particularly the sassy and brassy James Brown-sampling opener, "Godfather Edit". Elsewhere there's a nod to his fellow countrymen Daft Punk on the Edwin Birdsong-sampling "Cola Freak Baby", the stomping, bass-fuelled shakedown of "Party Noize" and woozy sax-led boogie on the lo-fi "Give It Up".
Greek DJ Alien Disco Sugar supplied us with six calorific musical Mutant Candies just before Christmas. Now it's January and we're watching our disco waistlines, so the follow-up, Vol 2, only boasts three Candies - but boy, do they still taste good! "Super Jock" begins the EP with some soft, beach bar grooves - plenty of percussive breaks and a rolling bass line. Next "Keep 'Em Burning Hot" is a sultry and sparse boogie-down, with a live band propelling some on-fire female vocals. Lastly "Get On Up And Do It Again" is a Paradise Garage-style slice of chunky funk. Sweet!
By anyone's standards, ESP Institute enjoyed a hugely successful 2016, delivering a string of fine singles and killer albums from Moscoman and Lord of the Isles. This first digital missive of 2017 is equally as impressive, and comes from the previously unheard Nancy Azzuro. Opener "Grace" is undoubtedly impressive; a rolling trip into 21st century dub disco territory blessed with killer percussion work and an addictive electronic bassline. "Illustrations & The Large" is a deliciously woozy and melodious chunk of softly spoken Balearic deep house, while the loopier "Teen Bee" fixes ghostly melodies onto a loose and warm disco-house groove.
Since making his debut some years back, Fabiolous Barker's reworks have appeared on many of the nu-disco scene's leading edit imprints, including Midnight Riot, Masterworks Music and Alpaca Edits. This expansive compilation draws together some of the London-based Argentine's finest scalpel moments to date, offering mostly freshly re-mastered versions for extra-loud dancefloor pleasure. There's naturally plenty to enjoy, from the elastic, pitched-down disco-funk of "Sexy Thing" and the soaring disco camp of "Love", to the all-instrumental sleaziness of Sylvester rework "Liquid Gold", and the quirky P-funk throb of "Bottoms Up". He's also included a number of his hip-hop sampling disco mash-ups, all of which are also tried-and-tested dancefloor gold.
Fresh from an acclaimed outing on FACES, Giovanni Damico pops up on Marcel Vogel's inspired Lumberjacks In Hell label. The Italian producer is naturally in fine form here, with "Tanzania" - a breezy, house-friendly rework of what sounds like a Tanzanian boogie cut - being one of the most addictive and life-affirming edits we've heard this month. You'll find more wiggling synthesizer lines on the deliciously dreamy and evocative deep house shuffler "I Need Me", while "Are You Somebody" is a successful exercise in subtly beefing up a low-slung disco-funk number. As if that wasn't enough to set the juices flowing, he completes a brilliant E.P with the jazz-fuelled deep house smokiness of "Humans After All".
There's not much info about this latest offering from the Giant Cuts camp, other than that the four tracks are "classic disco modifications". In practice, that means expert cut and paste re-arrangements of the kind of vintage disco material that was once all the rage in New York City. Check, for example, the early Leroy Burgess vocals, rising orchestration and extra-percussive groove of "Nut Butter", the "Open Sesame"-era disco voodoo of "Aladdin's Groove" - here made even more alluring by the addition of some tasty dub delay - and the break-driven disco-funk thrills of "Wooden Doll", which sounds like a rework of a forgotten T-Connection cut. Also superb is the celebratory bounce of "Dance Party", which smartly focuses on a rubbery groove, layered percussion hits and memorable vocal passages.
Just like Freddie Mercury once sang, Mr Given Raw wants to break free. Normally always found sharing a release with his old pal KS French, this time MGR can be found snuggling up to Chuggin Edits for the "Groovers Only EP". It's evens Stevens too, with both producers providing two tracks each. Mr Raw is up first, delivering the thumping, chunky funk of "Groove Traveller" and the slow, bassy disco anthem "Love Soul". CE follows all that with the breezy and brassy boogie of "Stop Cruisin" and the glam rock disco stomp of "Boogie Action".
A French DJ with a cheeky sense of humour, Steef tends to alternate between disco edits and original productions. Here, after a break of quire a few months, we get the latter with two tracks of original box jams. "Palpitany" is a chunky, slow burning, electro-jazz-funk-shuffle with gradually ascending Fairlight melodies and acidic squelches. The Survet mix of "Canebiere Man" meanwhile does dip into some vintage sampling for a long and trippy Italo-disco mantra with heavy cosmic overtones.
Jay Airiness is the latest alias of DJ Moar. Known for his work with his nu-disco group Venice Beach, he, as he claims himself: always has his eyes on the groove. With a fresh vision of club music, he has had releases thus far on Diggin Deeper, Editorial, FKR & Rebel Hearts. Starting this fine EP off with "Grand Baie", a deep and summery nu-disco jam reminiscent of Max Essa, he then gets stuck into the funky and filtered funk sleaze of the title track: those vocoded vocals are wicked! "Priceless Love" goes for some more retro vibes from the '80s which is totally bittersweet and irresistible. Then, on a final note, Reverso 68 main man Pete Herbert serves up an always impressive rendition, in this case the title track which has us counting down the days 'til summer.
A producer well known for his unapologetic love of all things 80s, Slynk greets 2017 with this new one-track offering. "Things That You Do" is a light and breezy jaunt into mid-80s boogie territory, featuring a 'slinky' funk bassline that meanders around punchy drums, warbly voicebox excursions and trumpet from the Herb Alpert school of Diamonds. Time to order a Mai Tai, don a loud Hawaiian shirt and start moving! Infectious stuff.
Bahnsteig 23's productive run shows no signs of letting up as we round off 2016, with the label following up on Albion and Etbonz by turning to the considerable talents of Alexis Le-Tan under his Le-Fan guise. The Les Edits Du Golem regular turns up the heat on this wildly inventive record, touching on all kinds of styles in the process. "Swiss Cottage" is a slow swinging slice of new wave on a mission, while "Bruzzano" fires off samples in a mad cap Art Of Noise fashion. "Den Tempst" is a more bombastic kind of stomper, and then "Sondrio" veers off into moody soundtrack territory.

Helmed by Asaf Samuel and Katzele, Malka Tuti transmits cosmic boogie sounds from Tel Aviv that come from lesser-known sources. On their fifth release they turn to The Kloom, a loose-fit operation of unknowns making a debut appearance with the powerful strut of "40 Gram Beton". Mixing slow disco grooves with ranging synths and warm piano notes, it's an infectious track that provides a prime jump-off point for the cast of remixers that round out the release. Die Wilde Jagd adds a more mechanical coldwave pulse to the track while Khidja gets lost in a swirling trip of a version, with the label throwing in a radio edit as a bonus.
In 2016, Disco Funk Spinner and Goby both released impressive EPs on Thunder Jam. Here, the well-loved edit imprint has asked them to create fresh dancefloor gold out of the same source material, Starpoint's 1983 electrofunk/80s soul jam "It's All Yours". Disco Funk Spinner steps up first, looping up key vocal and instrumental passages from the Starpoint track. These, combined with some subtle new drums, give the re-edit a slightly more house-centric feel while retaining the synth-heavy swing of the '83 original. Goby's 'Dub Touch' is fully in keeping with original '80s electrofunk dubs, featuring as it does a killer mixture of chorus vocals and synth grooves.
Exclusives
ETBONZ - BAH 032 (Bahnsteig 23) - exclusive 02-02-2018
JEANGA & GEORGE - European Repetitive Beat (Greco-Roman)
CORBI/REYNOLDS/SANTIAGO/HANCOX/GRAY - Melon Bomb Presents Tasty Cuts EP (Hot Digits Music) - exclusive 30-01-2017
Exclusives
ALIEN DISCO SUGAR - Mutant Candies Vol 2 (Digital Wax Productions) - exclusive 01-01-2030
EVIL SMARTY/SEEN ON TV/UNOUZBECK - Body & Soul EP (Discoalition) - exclusive 30-01-2017
FABIOLOUS BARKER - Re-Edits, Reworks, Remixes & Another Mistakes Vol 1 (Ganbatte) - exclusive 20-01-2017
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