It's time to raise a glass of something cold, fizzy and boozy to the long-running G.A.M.M imprint, which celebrates a century of releases with a trio of new disco-era Michael Jackson reworks from regular contributors Moplen and The Reflex. As usual, The Reflex hits the spot, playing around with the original parts to deliver a punchy, floor-friendly extension of Off The Wall cut "Burn This Disco Out" that sounds like some mythical, long lost Tom Moulton remix. Moplen weighs in with two versions of Jacksons' banger "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)"; a DJ-friendly effort that begins with easily mixable grooves, and a superior, mostly instrumental 'Remix' that builds up masterfully via a sumptuous, orchestral intro.
Every now and then we bestow an unofficial 'outstanding achievements in professional moniker' award. Philly Vanilli are pretty much guaranteed to hold on to this title for a long time to come. "The Sould Groove Experience" is their latest missive for Manolo Brigante's Austrian We Mean Disco! imprint and it's packed with reworked '70s soul gems (eight to be precise). Highlights include the shimmering Fender Rhodes slow jam "Soul Food", the rolling phasered guitar freak out "I Need Da Funk" and the campy Eurodisco effervescence of "To Be In Love".
Montenegro-based DJ Mr Goju takes great pride in promoting the hottest in nu-disco, modern funk, soul, swing and jazz through both his weekly radio show and record label. Here he rustles up another label comp boasting new work from three artists. Napz provides two tracks; the noodley piano-led "Sunset" and the organic big beat of "System Senegal". Elsewhere we get flute-led '70s cop show funk ("Wyndham Earl's Secret Soundgarden" by Madball Scientists), and the awesomely moody Eastern-tinged dubstep ("Takasim" by Le Cercle).
Bart Gori is a man who likes to deliver short, sharp disco punches. His latest musical uppercut is "Givin' Up", an almost seven minute-long 70s funk jam that sees a loose backbeat perfectly complement by a taut, guitar-and-horn section showdown. Perfect vintage funk vibes.
Freestyle mainstays Speedometer are back... And they're brandishing a brand new album. "No Turning Back" is the lead title track. Featuring velvet vocals and sharp scat spits from James Junior, it's a soft-but-stern statement of intent that drags us in gradually and refuses to let us go once we're hooked. Those hungry for Speedometer's more upbeat party feels, flip for "Orisha's Party" where the groove is so tight and fizzy you can't but think of MJ's "Wanna Be Startin' Something". For good measure, The Reflex has also joined the party with a luxurious extended house shakedown that's primed for the season and beyond.
Last year's Disco (A Fine Selection Of Independent Disco, Modern Soul & Boogie 1978-82) compilation from Soul Jazz offered undeniable proof that few diggers deserve their reputation as much as Dutch discotheque scholar Disco Patrick. Given the reception, it's no surprise to see that the London label have commissioned Patrick to undertake a second assessment of the genre's lesser known gems with the focus here on the years 1976-80. The first of two double LP vinyl samplers to accompany the full CD release finds Pat pulling out gems like the extremely pricey Skip Jackson curio "Micro Wave Boogie" and T.K. Disco treat "Cosmic Funk" by Mad Dog Fire Department. Any current disco spinners will savour Patrick's efforts here.