Review: In a world where every man and his dog is putting out so-so disco edits, the Basic Fingers crew can usually be relied upon to inject some soul-flecked quality into proceedings. That's certainly the case here, as Koko cuts up much-loved cuts by Norman Connors and giant nappy-wearing Brit-electro types Imagination. The version of Connors' "Stay With Me" is pleasingly upbeat, building up from a chunky, percussive start into a hazy disco-soul singalong. The beats are reliably sturdy, but most of the original musicianship remains in tact. The version of Lee John and company's "Burning Up", meanwhile, is nothing less than a jaunty stomper, with occasional vocals interspersed between a flurry of piano solos. Hands skywards, please.
Review: 1982 was a time of bad suits, bad haircuts and Men At Work. Thankfully the music wasn't all bad, especially that coming from Imagination, a group of backing singers turned pop stars. "Just An Illusion" reached a top ten position in the UK national charts when it was originally released and has been a staple on radio stations and compilations for 25 years. But it was also a huge underground club hit in the UK before it enjoyed commercial chart success, and has been in some of the most credible record boxes ever since including the likes of Harvey and Erol Alkan. Bearing this in mind we wanted to rekindle its underground heritage by choosing a remixer away from the norm. Hans-Peter Lindstrom is anything but the norm. He was born and raised on country & western on the west coast of Norway. Now residing in Oslo, he is a multi-talented musician and over the last few years has become one of the world's hottest underground producers, making electronic music with a nerve. Taking his love of disco and house music, he has forged and unique and irresistible style. "Burnin Up" was the B-side to the chart hit "Flashback" back in 1981 but it was "Burnin Up" that received the DJ support, being hammered at the Paradise Garage by disco legend Larry Levan. When we told Dimitri From Paris about our project he was insistent that if he was going to remix an Imagination record that it would be this one. Dimitri needs no introduction as his love and knowledge of disco is legendary. The compilations he does are instant collector's items and his productions are a clever balance between disco and house. Here he delivers two superb mixes. The Red Bus Re-Dub adds a more dance floor edge with some spaced out keys that will make it an indispensable part of any house or disco set. The Re-Stretch mix stays closer to the original and will please the purists.
Review: Here's a devilishly simple but nevertheless inspired idea from Yam Who's ISM label: a 21st-centrury update of Imagination's legendary 1983 remix album Night Dubbing. While this version is nowhere near as dub-influenced as the original (which, after all, contained contributions from Larry Levan), it does contain some rather sublime new interpretations of Imagination's greatest hits. Highlights include an epic version of "Just An Illusion" from John Morales, an anthem-like version of "Flashback" from Kon, a deliciously atmospheric reinterpretation of "Music & Lights" from Sleazy McQueen and a typically deep, warm and synth-heavy re-shape of "Burning Up" from Soul Clap. Best of all, though, is J Kriv's nu jack swing-influenced remix of "Body Talk", which simply oozes the authentic feel of late '80s electro.