Review: Michael The Lion and Amy Douglas' self-titled EP on Soul Clap was arguably one of the best disco-focused releases of 2020, so hopes are naturally high for this remixed version. To kick things off, Jamie 3:26 and Danou P get to work on 'James is the Message', combining sturdy but loose drum machine beats with glorious disco instrumentation and a killer bassline, before Crazy P's Jim Baron dons his Ron Basejam guise to turn 'Willing' into a mid-tempo, jazz-funk influenced disco shuffler. Best of all though are the Patchouli Brothers reworks of 'Find a Way', where Steven Klavier joins Douglas on vocals. The Canadian duo re-imagine the cut as a synth-heavy fusion of nu-disco, proto-house and gospel, in the process delivering a sure-fire dancefloor anthem for summer 2021.
Review: Given the retro-futurist feel of Michael The Lion and Amy Douglas's recent collaborative EP, it's perhaps unsurprising that Soul Clap requested remixes from original disco mixer John Morales. He provides vocal and dub remixes of two tracks: "Find A Way" and "Drink You Up". It's his "M+M Remix" of the former the kicks off the EP in fine style, with the NYC remix king layering hazy chords, crunchy Clavinet lines, jaunty strings, toasty bass and Douglas's superb vocal a particularly percussive disco groove. A slightly more spaced-out "Dubish Mix" featuring plenty of early 80s style arrangement tricks follows, before Morales dances his way through the synth-laden disco skip of "Drink Me Up". The "Dub Mix" of that, a far more stripped-back but still excitement-filled affair, is also superb.
Review: Three years ago full-throated disco diva Amy Douglas made a guest appearance on "Get It On", the standout track from Michael The Lion's first EP on Soul Clap. Here they go one step further by joining forces for a full EP of collaborative cuts. They hit the ground running with "Drink You Up", a tasty slice of wonky NYC dub disco with typically strong lead vocals from Douglas, before soul man Steven Klavier joins her behind the mic on the effortlessly soulful and groovy "Find A Way". Elsewhere, "James Is The Message" is a fuzzy slab of horn-heavy disco-funk, "Social Love Song" is a triple-time glam-disco stomper and "Willing" is a laidback soul ballad.
Review: Throughout his long and distinguished career, Luke Solomon has not made a record quite as disco-fired as "Light You Up". In its' original form, the track wraps spoken word verses from beat poet Queen Rose and chorus vocals from bourbon-loving Brooklyn singer Amy Douglas around a killer Blaxploitation-era disco-funk groove. Here Louie Vega is giving the honour to remix it with an extended disco revision that's breezier, groovier and full of superb musicianship.
Review: Label boss Luke Solomon returns to Classic with his first original offering in three years. On "Light You Up", Solomon recruits the poetic talents of Queen Rose and his recent disco cohort Amy Douglas - who's no stranger to Classic having collaborated with Juan Maclean on the Peach Melba project. For its live and loose feel, Solomon brings in long-time friend Andy Neal on bass and guitar and Powerdance bandmate Danny Ward aka Moodymanc behind the drums. With its sleazy guitar lick and absolutely fine vocal work over those snaking rhythms and liquid bass: it's already being championed by the likes of Horse Meat Disco. The track was mixed down by West Coast deep house legend Lance DeSardi for Builders Of Paradise.