Review: While he may be one of the most prolific re-editors around, Belabouche rarely fails to deliver the goods - a point emphatically proved by the Italian artist's latest outing on regular home FKR Maison du Groove. He begins by inviting us to "A Party", a gleefully celebratory romp through bouncy peak-time disco-funk pastures rich in sing-along chorus vocals, clipped guitars, crunchy Clavinet lines, rolling drums and a fresh analogue bassline that's weightier than Homer Simpson after several foot-long sandwiches and gallons of Duff beer. "Happy Not Happy" is a slightly looser and groovier (but no less cheery) workout featuring house style drums, filter effects and ear-catching trumpet lines, while "One Night In Napoli" is a languid shuffle through spacey Italian disco complete with jazz-funk horns and intergalactic Moog lines.
Review: Sometime Katakana Edits artist Belabouche has previously released some of the highest quality material FKR Maison Du Groove has to offer. Predictably, his latest five-track assault is another must-check for those who like their edits rolling and funk-fuelled. Highlights include the razor-sharp guitar riifs, fizzing P-funk grooves and insatiable slap bass of "Get Funky", the throbbing Italo-disco goes disco-house stomp of "Funk A Freak" and the heavy horn lines and lolloping grooves of high-grade Afrobeat rework "Afro Dialects". Elsewhere, closing cut "Mirage" is a head-nodding mid-tempo revision of a Santana style workout, while "Bullshits" is a muscular re-edit of what sounds like an old Grace Jones workout from the iconic artist's "Warm Leatherette" period.
Review: The mysterious Belabouche is back after top releases on the likes of Paper Disco, OBM Rec. and Thunder Jam in recent times. For Katakana Edits' 64th edition, he serves up a bunch of respectful edits here optimsed for maximum dancefloor potential. First up is "Sneakin Up Behind You" and indeed its groove certainly will in super lo-slung fashion. Some deep down and dirty funk action awaits you on the sexy-sleazy "Once You Get It" and prepare to venture into the exotic on the sultry latin action of "O Preguicoso" featuring some mad rhythms.
Review: There's always been an authentic feel about Belabouche's re-edits. While the Italian producer does occasionally beef up the bottom end or add the odd bit of additional percussion, his reworks feel like traditional scalpel jobs. That's certainly the case with the material showcased on this sixth volume in his Bela Edits series. It can be heard in the rich, jazzy looseness or the organ and synth-laden, sunshine disco shuffle of "Liquore", the dub-wise Brazilian boogie brightness of "Do Ben", and the elastic bassline, sharp horns and celebratory vocals of "Cause It Feels Good". Arguably best of all, though, is the sax-and-organ heavy Afrobeat shuffle of closer "Afrobeats".
Review: With the possible exception of slo-mo sensation LTJ, Belabouche is Italy's finest scalpel specialist. He usually digs deep for source material, and the resultant reworks are both reverential (largely steering clear of over-quantized drums and filter tricks) and dancefloor-friendly. This third EP of edits for FKR is full of tasty morsels, from the freshly baked party grooves of cheery funk shuffler "Jam On Sun" and the sensual '80s soul loveliness of "My Life", to the soaring, string-laden peaktime disco of "At The Park". Best of all, though, is opener "Turned On", a mid-tempo chunk of horn tootin' disco that shuffles, throbs and climaxes in all the right places.
Review: Italian edit stallion Belabouche is back and he's brandishing possibly his most funky work yet. "Give It Up" starts things in a celebratory mood with tough kicks connecting with bass twangs and all sewn together nicely with smooth diva vocals, "Disco Strut" is sassier and slower too - just a laid back disco-rock jam, "Coming To You Live" features layers of percussion that form a muscular chassis of a particularly cool vintage disco motor. Finally it's all about some serious space boogie on the dancefloor seducer "Get Up An' Dance".
Review: Those who follow Belabouche on SoundCloud will know just what a prodigious re-editor he is; not a week seems to pass without a clutch of new scalpel works from the talented Italian producer. Here he brings his effortlessly soulful, loose-limbed approach to Yam Who's Midnight Riot label for the first time. All five tracks are excellent, with the baggy, string-drenched disco-soul bump of "Slide Into Your Heart" and dubwise funk thrust of "Money Runner" standing out. He mixes up the tempos well, with the EP's two slower moments - the sinewy jazz-funk headiness of "Open Your Mind" and intoxicating, horn-heavy "The Way We Live" - being particularly potent. If you're after edits that match dancefloor chops with an easy soulfulness, this should be an essential purchase.
Review: Respectively Italy and France's most prolific editors, Belabouche and KS French, return to FKR with a quartet of super-tight disco jams. Belabouche aims straight for the top with two stone-cold takes on James Brown ("Loud Funky") and Sly & The Family Stone ("Let Me"). Elsewhere Monsieur French Kiss tightens his funk belt with the slippery licks of "Supa Funky" before dropping into horn heaven and harmony heaven a la People's Choice with "Do It Like". Super funky indeed.
Review: Since launching in 2017, Toulon-based imprint Act of Sedition has become renowned for the quality of its re-edit releases, many of which appear on rarely seen seven-inch "double-packs". This time they're trying something a little different by gathering together a swathe of previously unheard reworks on a must-check digital compilation. It's a fine set that touches on a number of interconnected styles and sounds, from loved-up Balearic nu-disco (Nu Pilgrims "Soul Shadow (Withers Shakedown)") and tooled-up Afro-disco heaviness (Belabouche's bouncy "Hey Africa"), to rushing revisions of stone cold disco classics (Monsieur Von Pratt's "Why", Reece Johnson's stomping "Piece of Mind") and head-nodding, toe-tapping soul (Mr Doris's "Hercules").
Review: Katakana Edits first compilation, 2017's "Crate Diggin", was an epic collection of high-grade re-edits, mash-ups and reworks packed to the rafters with tried-and-tested dancefloor treats. This belated follow-up is even more epic, with the popular label squeezing in no less than 50 tracks that variously touch on riotous disco-funk, dub disco, new wave, disco-rock, deep funk, Afro-boogie, swamp funk, Latin beats, boogie, pitched-down chuggers, boogaloo, hip-hop and everything in between. You'd expect that standard to be high - it is a "best of" collection after all - and it is. If you need an instant armoury of scintillating club cuts, look no further.
KS FRENCH - "HaPpiness Your Love" - (4:44) 120 BPM
KS FRENCH - "Glad Bae" - (5:30) 117 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Roma My Way" - (6:24) 100 BPM
KNG EDITS - "God Soul" - (6:50) 118 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Damn Girl" - (4:58) 114 BPM
BELABOUCHE - "A Party" - (6:38) 120 BPM
MR Given Raw - "Boogie Magic" - (4:56) 114 BPM
KS FRENCH - "Love Vibration" - (6:35) 114 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Give Me What You Got" - (6:36) 116 BPM
KS FRENCH - "FunkyMama" - (5:15) 118 BPM
Review: The 'French Touch' sound was a short-lived phenomenon in the late 90s/early 00s - or so musical history would have you believe. Mais si le French Touch est mort, vive le French Touch! For seven years now, French label FKR Maison Du Groove have been proving that you can't keep a good sub-genre down, and here the best of their output over that time is collected together in one place for your listening and dancing pleasure. So: if you dig deep, dusty, looping disco grooves you'll love this album, whereas if you're not a fan of same, then you definitely won't. Not much more to say, really.
Review: It's been almost eighteen months since the last instalment in Paper Recordings' superb Trash The Wax series, so this fifth volume is well overdue. As usual, bosses Ben Davis and Chris Massey have done a terrific job gathering together a sterling selection of hot-to-trot modern disco cuts from a mixture of heavy hitters and rising stars. Highlights include the Balearic bustle of Rayko's rubbery and groovy "Toxic Avenger (Mix 1)", the strobe-lit Italo-disco throb of Fever Few's "Them Persians", the Barry White style slow disco sensuality of "Music Saved My Life" by Fantasy Love Affair, the body-popping electrofunk/nu-disco fusion of From Beyond's "Old Steel" and the glistening, Clavinet-heavy bounce of Kooky and Damoon's standout "Why Do You Always Take Your Time?"
Review: Thunder Jam's latest release is something of a sprawling epic; a 23-track "Invasion" featuring some of the hottest names in the re-edit and nu-disco scenes, alongside contributions from lesser-known talents. There's much to admire throughout, from the low-slung boogie bass and cut glass disco strings of Phil Da Burn's "Wallflower" and the spacey synth-funk of Funk Bank's wiggly "Jamming With The Thunder", to the bouncy disco/New Jersey garage fusion of BOI's "The Gift" and the straightened-out sunshine soul of Dee Bunk's "Little Brown Eye Girl". Throw in solid contributions from Don Dayglo, Belabouche, C Da Afro and Andy Buchan, and you've got a pleasingly varied set of floor-friendly excursions.
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his brilliant "Sunny Bigler" single, Leon Sweet has been installed as the man behind the decks for the second volume of Paper Disco's Trash The Wax series. Sweet's two-hour DJ mix is excellent, of course, but it's the unmixed tracks - a combination of unheard bits and recent Paper gems - that make this compilation essential. Expect a range of re-edits and original tracks that variously touch on nu-disco, Italo, boogie and, of course, house. Highlights are plentiful, and include a trippy slow acid version of The Balearic Beat Boy's "Waiting For Me", a typically rubbery mid-80s soul re-cit from 80s Child, and a killer, filter-heavy rework of Melba Moore by Neil Diablo.