Review: Veteran soul man Victor Haynes has enjoyed a long relationship Expansions, having first released on the long-serving UK label way back in 1993. "Take It To The Top" is his fourth album in total and first for five years. It contains 13 new songs penned by Haynes and produced by the artist in collaboration with Pete May. It's a typically smooth affair, with Haynes delivering effortlessly soulful vocals atop tracks that variously touch on classic soulful house ("Take It To The Top", "Strong Love"), jazz-funk ("Do I Qualify"), boogie ("Round & Round"), revivalist '60s soul ("My Sweetest Temptation"), seductive slow jams ("Giving My All To You") and acid jazz (the Incognito-ish Latin shuffle of "Help Me feel The Sun").
Everybody Disco (The Mighty Zaf '80s edit) - (7:32) 122 BPM
Everybody Disco (Part 1) - (4:18) 121 BPM
Everybody Disco (Part 2) - (3:59) 128 BPM
Review: Unlike many of their compatriots, Timeless Legend were a soul group who didn't limit themselves to a killer, one-off EP before disappearing into the shadows. Believe us when we say that this is basically what happened to most bands in the 70s. In the case of these guys, they stuck around for a series of albums and singles that have remained engrained in every collector's memory, and that now go for big bucks on the second-hand market. "Everybody Disco" is their 1979 masterpiece, a tune that encapsulates the disco movement perfectly, from the beats to the bass and even the synths. What a hummable dance anthem - grab it before the RSD 2018 stock runs out!
Review: Twin brothers Kelvis and Kendall Duffie have been writing and performing as under the name Kloud 9 since 1987. Here we have a brand new track from the Nashville duo, but rather than the gospel-orientated material for which they are best known, "Dime" evokes the smooth early 80s soul sound of acts like Kool & The Gang.
Review: Richard Searling and Ralph Tee's Expansion Records tirelessly work to release the type of quality soul long since abandoned by largely by most of the US major labels. This long player is a case in point, with the artist's moniker literally reflecting the label's 'real' ethos. Very little info is available on this mysterious act (is that Courtney Pine on the cover?), but you do get 15 top-notch cuts of cough, brassy real soul to tuck into.
Review: This is one of those original disco oddities that's a trivia-lovers dream. Mascara were a one-shot, studio-only outfit put together by Ensign Records boss Chris Hill. Their members included Luther Vandross, back in the days when the golden-voiced crooner had yet to make it big on his own (or even with Change). The album largely sunk without trace on its original release in 1979, despite opening with a brilliant, soaring disco suite ("See You In L.A"/"Jet Plane Ride"). The album also includes a curious disco cover of Bowie's "Golden Years" (really) and a brilliant, full-throttle stomper in the shape of "Coming Home Baby". Oh, and the model on the cover is none other than Paula Yeates (she of Bob Geldof/The Tube fame).