Reviewed this week
While more often associated with punk-funk and dirty Italo style dancefloor workouts, Gomma's vast back catalogue contains a string of disco and boogie-inspired gems. To highlight the fact, the label has decided to release a series of EPs featuring some of its finest "Disco Jams". This first installment begins with a fine WhoMadeWho interpretation of Munk and LCD Soundsystem founder James Murphy's Sly Stone style growler, "Kick Out The Chairs", before charging into dub disco-meets-proto-house territory via In Flagranti's "In The Silver White Box". There's another chance to admire Dimitri From Paris and DJ Rocca's Prelude Records tribute, "Eros Disco Theme", while original NYC disco don Nicky Siano channels the spirit of Loose Joints on his fantastic rework of KDMS's "Never Stop Believing".
Story has it that Chicago disco legend Sadar Bahar discovered Ben (aka Cosmic Force of Clone/Creme Organization fame) Spaander's Utrecht based studio, and it's said to be housing around 60 synths. Electro fiend Spaander 'was charmed by the electronic elements in Sadar's funk and Sadar loved Ben's ideas.' They claim that nothing was sampled on these two tracks. There's undoubtedly an old school flavour to "We Are Righteous People" with its funky bass, sleazy guitar licks and bongo drums galore over spacy synths. Next up "Bouncing Atoms" gets the party started in fine form with dusty/live sounding drums, more frenetic guitar work and the mandatory cowbells going off all over the place!
Birdee: aka the Los Angeles dwelling Italian Marcello De Angelis is back, with some killer boogie-house disco flavours on a new ISM Records EP. "Meant To Be" is a funky and feel good deep disco joint, featuring vocal dynamite Alena Herel. Then there is Yam Who? dropping the remix business and in the process inject the track with some added dancefloor dynamics: for later in the night when any serious DJ needs to turn the heat up a notch or two.
Those with good memories may remember the original version of "Surrender". A big disco-house number in Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee's classic style, the Taka Boom-voiced club anthem first hit stores way back in 2001. While that release was full of filter-heavy funky and soulful house versions, this revived edition re-invents it as a sweeping, string-drenched disco treat. In other words, DJ Fudge's fresh remix is more Salsoul than Daft Punk; so much so, in fact, that it feels like a long lost relic of the original disco era, rather than a remix of a 16 year-old soulful house bomb. If you dig disco, then you really need it in your life.
Having spent much of the last two years establishing Discoalition as one of the edit scene's more reliable labels, boss man Seen On TV has finally decided to deliver a follow-up to his 2015 EP French Kiss. It's an expansive, action-packed affair, with six solid reworks to choose from. Highlights include the elastic bass and bustling disco grooves of opener "Non Stop Dancing", the saucer-eyed, loved-up boogie bliss of "French Kiss", the thrillingly loopy and intoxicating "Lazy Afternoon" (a DJ-friendly instrumental version of an early '80s cut that's notoriously hard to mix) and the hazy disco-funk warmth of the two tunes that close the EP, "Never Enough" and "Shift". The latter, with its spiraling horn lines and twinkling vibraphone lines, is particularly memorable.



Given that previous releases from the publicity-shy Sirs crew have been rather good, hopes are naturally high for their latest trip into wide-eyed, musically rich dancefloor fusion. As usual, there's a decidedly hazy, sun-kissed feel to the original version of "What a Day", which features Cinnamon Denise adding sumptuous vocals to an Afro-tinged deep house shuffler full of warm electric piano chords, live bass and Balearic instrumentation. Arguably even better is Manoo's thrillingly epic and dreamy Batacuda Remix, which not only boasts layered Brazilian drums but also some wild and wonderful synth solos. Sirs delivers an even lengthier, slightly more percussively intense tweak of the French house producer's revision, before treating us to a brilliant ambient "Reprise" crafted around swirling chords and delay-laden Fender Rhodes.



Little is known about Oli Silva and K Holiday for now, besides these two facts: they're gosh-darned funky and they're coming at us on Craig Richards' imprint The Nothing Special. Four tracks of retro-future cosmic space funk and loose drums, baggy bass and sprightly synths that jack and squiggle with minds of their own. Highlights include the ESG slappery and tight-stringed strums of "Holy Mackerel", the slinky bassline of "Women's Weekly" and subtle paranoia and trippy touches on "Mystery Shopper". Craig's bruk-edged remix is on-point, too. We're looking forward to what Oli brings next...
Denver's Funk Hunk may not be the hardest-working man in the re-edit scene, though he's certainly amongst the most productive. Happily, it seems that regardless of the frequency of his releases, the producer's famed high quality threshold remains intact. Certainly, this latest EP contains some real dancefloor bombs. Particularly impressive is his affectionately stuttering, heavily chopped-up tweak of T-Connection disco-funk shuffler "Time is Short", which revolves around the manipulation of a wealth of short, sweet samples. Elsewhere, Raydio's decidedly Balearic, sun-kissed boogie-funk jam "Until The Morning Comes" gets transformed into a rolling chunk of midtempo disco-house, while D-Train's sweet cover of all-time classic "Walk On By" is given a strings-and-synth heavy makeover that wisely emphasizes Hubert Eaves III's original instrumentation.
Recorded in 1978 but lovingly excavated from the vaults and remastered by Trad Vibe records, this third album by French band Cortex is a wealth of funky delights. Like Steely Dan, the core of Cortex consisted of pianist Alain Mion and drummer Alain Gandolfi, but for recording their number was swelled by a host of session musicians. Combining fusion with pop and rock melodies, they seriously sound like they were in the same zone as Stevie Wonder circa "Songs In The Key of Life" - the use of synth basslines and funky clavinets in particular recall the great one. Recalling another great lost album, Shggie Otis's Inspiration Information, the atmosphere is tight and warm as songs like "Images" follow some superb jazzy chord changes. "La Bulle" is a sexy and slow rocky number that owes a debt to Isaac Hayes, and sounds like the kind of thing Air listened to around the time of Moon Safari. The uptempo disco of "Running From You" is made slightly camp due to the clipped English language vocals, but it's still a hell of a tune (ideally suited for a cosmic Todd Terje edit). Closing track "Matin Gris" is the most downtempo thing on the album and a fitting send-off, with the glorious analogue phasing on the synths proving a real highlight. This is funky French rock at its best, and very deserving of a reissue and a whole new audience.
Like many producers these days, Riccio's discography includes a blend of rock solid re-edits and high quality original productions for the likes of Bosconi Extra Virgin and People Must Jam. This 12" marks his first appearance on the consistently impressive Hell Yeah! imprint. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the pleasingly loose and groovy, Afrobeat-goes-house goodness of "Afro Chemy", to the fiendishly fuzzy, Daniele Baldelli style Afro-cosmic funk of "Funky Cave". Arguably best of all, though, is epic flipside "Heather", a near 10-minute fusion of dreamy chords, slow-burning Kalimba melodies, gentle electronics and languid, mid-tempo beats. In case you were wondering, it's definitely Balearic.
"Tickling your musical testicle since 1999" is the bold claim on UV and Nen's short but sweet bio. There's certainly something strangely sensual about this official debut for Fossils, which sees them serving up a trio of cosmic-minded, left-of-centre disco edits. They begin with the mind-altering vocal refrains, low-slung disco-rock guitars and synthesizer-laden grooves of "The Bump", before re-inventing a classic peak-time disco cut as a spacey, psychedelic workout laden with weird electronic noises, effects-laden bass guitar and trippy vocal samples (the fantastically out-there and eccentric "Love Makin"). Finally, they breathe new life into a well-loved, disco-era cover of Pink Floyd's "Money", removing most of the vocals to emphasize the quality of the original's killer bassline and flash-fried funk guitars.
Long serving Sheffield twosome Hiem has a new album ready to drop. First, though, we get a taste of what's to come in the shape of "Highlife", the duo's first single for two years. It's a jaunty and groovy affair, with band member Bozz doing his best Phil Oakey impression over a dub disco-meets-synth-pop backing track rich in rubbery bass guitar and sleazy saxophones. Nang regular Pete Herbert is on remix duty, delivering two floor-friendly interpretations in his usual elastic nu-disco style. He adds some Italo-disco inspired synth solos and fizzing electronic noises, re-playing the duo's bass guitar part on his favoured synthesizer of choice. Of the two, it's the Dub that we prefer, though the vocal version is almost equally as impressive.
Macadam Mambo musclemen Sacha Mambo and Guillaume Des Bois take the reins for this one: covering the whole groove gamut we ignite with a straight-up European disco stomper ("Magic Disco") and climax with a dense, trippy, psychedelic funk piece textures with great groans and dizzying instrumentation ("Darling You're Erotic") In between we hit leftfield Spanish boogie on "Boys & Boys" and deliciously swooning slice of harmonic disco pop "Lady Samba". Each track more obscure than the last, this sums up why Macadam Mambo have developed their current spotless reputation.
'Andromeda's Eyes' is a forward moving and chugging in an almost sultry way, it feels very Bowie-esque, while the 'Bird Of Paradise Remix' has an air of brooding, dystopian darkness about it, with it's metallic clangs and slow robotic moans. 'Comets' is a slow and euphoric journey type track with a 3am eyes to the floor vibe, the kind of track that pulls you out of the rave and into your own trance like soundscape. The Two Mamarrachos remix has the same travelling vibe, but loses some of the meditative state in favour of a more electro bounce.
The re-edit scene's tallest, most hirsute scalpel fiend invites us to step aboard the Millennium Falcon for a five-track party of intergalactic proportions. There's naturally much to set the pulse racing, from the epic, proto-house style delays and sharp synth stabs of sleazy electrofunk chugger "Everybody Follows A Leader (Retro Dub)", to the hard, sax-laden disco funk romp of "Feel Good Today" and locked-in Balearic deep house trip of "Talk About Free Love". Also impressive is the hairy one's loose, jazzy and rolling hook-up with Disko Tech sort M Christian, "Sesh 1". In other words, it's another strong set of reworks from a galaxy far, far away.
Miami man His Dirty Secrets made his debut in early 2016, serving up a sextet of steamy disco rubs on Midnight Riot. On this follow-up for Masterworks Music he's reined himself in a little, though the four tracks on offer are amongst his strongest reworks to date. There's a breezy dreaminess about the killer combination of undulating boogie gass, jazzy guitar riffs, warm chords and drifting vocal snippets at the heart of deep disco opener "Floatin", while "Fantom (African Woman)" is a lolloping, organ-heavy take on an old Afro-funk gem. Meanwhile, "All The Way" is a string-laden sprint through peak-time disco pastures and "Prelude" is a groovy, pitched-down take on arguably one of the greatest disco records of all time.
More from Saskin S, a Norway-based producer who is fast becoming one of Thunder Jam's most reliable artists. Long Time To End begins with with the sweet, soul-flecked "Avenger Force", a P-funk era electrofunk jam given a subtle, 21st century makeover, before this S-man reaches for the filters to give a funk-fuelled '80s soul jam a rolling, mid-set tweak on "Extra Special". Even better is the skewed funk-goes-house shuffle of "Greenshaker", where horn and woodwind solos provide an exotic focal point. Elsewhere, he serves up an "Extended Dub" of rolling disco-boogie-meets-italo-disco number "The Chaplin Rockers" and dips into harder electrofunk territory via the ricocheting drums, booming sub-bass and thickset synths of "The Key Tone".
Exclusives
RICCIO - Right There EP (Hell Yeah Italy)
EYE O - Deux O & Debut (Public Release US)
OLI SILVA feat K HOLIDAY - Unlikely Punctuality EP (The Nothing Special)
Exclusives
AIMES - Grandiose Visions (Wonder Stories)
SIRS feat CINNAMON DENISE - What A Day (Sirsounds)
GOLDBOY - South Facing (Situationism)
Top Labels
diggin deeper
editorial
discodat
giant cuts
mullet