Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from each new album in Joey Negro's "Remixed With Love" series, namely fantastic new revisions of classic disco, boogie, soul, electro and jazz-funk classics created using the original multi-track tapes. This third volume naturally contains a few inspired revisions of well-known cuts - a riotous take on The Fatback Band's "Do The Bus Stop", an astonishing, dubbed-out version of the Temptations' "Law of the Land" and a soaring, life-affirming rearrangement of Patrice Rushen's "Never Give You Up" included - but also some suitably smart tweaks of lesser-known gems. These include a sublime revision of the APX's '80s gem "Loose Yourself To The Groove" and an insatiable take on Mass Production's "Shante" full of jammed-out electric piano solos and rubbery electric bass.
Review: Though not as celebrated as some of its contemporaries, Patrice Rushen's 1980 single "Never Gonna Give You Up" is undoubtedly a breezy, sweet-as-sugar disco treat. It arguably didn't need remixing, though if there's one man guaranteed to give it a great makeover it's housemaster turned disco don Joey Negro. He delivers killer vocal and instrumental versions, both of which give more prominence to the original beats, killer bassline, spacey synths and horns, waiting to introduce the sweeping orchestration - a dominant feature of Rushen's 1980 version - until the later stages of the track. They're the kind of mixes Tom Moulton may have produced back in the day, and there's no higher praise for a disco remixer than that.
Review: Most active from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, Patrice Rushen's discography has spanned jazz, R&B, jazz-funk, soul and pop, but it's the jazz-funk/disco fusions she delivered for Elektra Recordings in the late 70s/early 80s that remain her best-loved work. Here, 15 tracks from that period are gathered together, with favourites like the evergreen 'Forget Me Nots' and 'Haven't You Heard' (reworked in the late 90s by Daddy's Favourite) snuggling up alongside less over-played but equally high-quality cuts like the jazz-funk piano groove that is 'Number One' and the ultra-smooth boogie of 'Feels So Real'. Smoochers like 'Where There Is Love' perhaps sound a little less relevant in 2019, but this is still a very classy collection indeed.
Review: Ever a duo of fine taste, Mobb Deep have sampled many a musical gem. There's too many collected here to name them all (25 in total) but some of the album's many highlights include Giorgio Moroder's snowblind and slick Scarface disco on "Tony's Theme", the cavernous '70s funk rock of "Dirty Feet" (as famously pinched for "Shook Ones Pt II"), another "Cavern" this time Liquid Liquid's punk-funk masterpiece, and the hysterical intimacy overload of Prince's "If I Was Your Girlfriend".
Review: Consider Strictly Breaks and Notorious B.I.G. partners in crime: the former being the chief compiler of original tunes sampled by classic hip-hop artists and the latter being the late hip-hop hero known for his impeccable taste in sampling. Here we get a whopping 36-track collection of vintage joints later to be employed on many Biggie classics. Highlights include Fred Wesley's tight, groover, "Up 4 The Downstroke", Grover Washington Jr's twang-bass attack "Hydra" and Herb Alpert's legendary jazz disco slinker, "Rise".
Review: If you missed any of Z Records most potent releases this year, do not fear: boss man Joey Negro has brought together all of the label's best bits on one handy, plus-sized compilation. There's another chance to savour the Escort style Brooklyn disco revivalism of J Kriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Sean McCabe's smooth and soulful rework of Detroit Rising and Ron Trent's impeccably musically rich remix of Joey Negro's "Distorting Space Time". Synth-fired boogie goodness is also provided via a superb "Unreleased Dub" of Janet Kay's 1980s gem "Eternally Grateful" and a brilliant Joey Negro rework of the APX, while soaring, string-laden disco hits are dotted throughout the compilation. If you dig disco, house and boogie, you need this in your life.
Review: !K7 Records bring us the seventh in their '!Kollections' compilation series, and it's an album that's every bit as eclectic as the label itself. Accordingly, there are tracks here spanning a range of genres from Afro-folk (Red Axes' 'Abidijan') to stomping techno (BETON's sat-nav vocalled 'Directions') to jazz (Idris Ackamoor's 'Land Of Ra') to out-and-out synth-pop, but highlights for househeads include Gerd Janson's electro/Italo-inspired take on Yovav's 'Running Wave', the retro piano stylings of Anja Schneider's 'All I See' and the stunning Joey Negro Re-Grooved Instrumental of Patrice Rushen's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.