Review: During her heyday in the late 1970s and early '80s, disco chanteuse Debbie Jacobs released some killer material (see "High on Your Love" and "Undercover Lover", for starters). "Don't You Want My Love", an energy-packed, orchestral disco smasher originally released in 1979 to promote the singer's debut album, is also up there with the best of her output. Here, the Paul Sabu produced original version gets the reissue treatment by Defected offshoot Glitterbox. Sabu's original club-length version sits astride the A-side, with Dimitri From Paris providing a "classic re-edit" on the flipside. His version sticks fairly close to the original, offering necessary nips and tucks here and there whilst steering clear of contemporary production trickery. Naturally, it's a rock solid rework from a true master of the scalpel rearrangement.
Review: It has been quite the musical transformation of Australian west coast legend Greg Packer. A veteran of Perth's electronic music scene, who long time championed the sounds of drum & bass/jungle for a couple of decades, he created the the Dr. Packer alias as an outlet for his new found love of disco and has since enjoyed some of the biggest success in his career thus far. Ahead of a full-length album coming on Glitterbox Recordings, the reigning king of disco re-edits presents four of his versions of soulful dancefloor favourites old and new, giving a flavour of what's to come from the LP. From the uplifting soul power of LaTrece's "I Want To Thank You" (Dr Packer Re Edit), a downright electrifying slo-mo take on a funky house classic to "Bad Habit" by ATFC featuring Lisa Millett, and Soul Rebels powerful 'I'll Be Good" featuring Lisa Miller.
Review: The seemingly unstoppable rise of Bruno "Folamour" Boumendil continues apace, as the Moonrise Hill Material co-founder makes his bow on Defected offshoot Glitterbox. Predictably, he's in fine form throughout, delivering a trio of musically expansive outings that sit somewhere between soundscape deep house and sun-kissed disco. There's a little of the "Patchworks" about opener "The Power & Blessing of Unity", where punchy, Afrobeat style horns, starry chords, hazy jazz-funk vocals and squelchy electrofunk flourishes wrap themselves around a rich disco-house groove. "Home Beyond The Clouds", meanwhile, is a loose and languid, filter-sporting disco-house workout (here presented in seven-minute edit form, rather than the near 14-minute vinyl version), while "Island of Recent Father" is a loved-up chunk of sunrise positivity.
Review: Sometime Escort members JKriv and Adeline have already notched up one of the disco records of 2019 - the fantastic "Vertigo" on Z Records - and we'd not bet against "Yo Love" being similarly as successful. In its original and extended "Club Mix" forms, "Yo Love" sounds like a heartfelt tribute to Chic, with Adeline's headline-grabbing vocal rising above an insatiable backing track rich in unfussy disco drums, Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars, subtle electric piano stabs and, on the longer version, Roy Ayers style vibraphone solos. In other words, it's a revivalist NYC disco treat. The accompanying instrumental Dub naturally is far more groove based and delay-laden, with extra percussion hits and plenty of selected vocal snippets echoing across the sound space.
Review: Veteran DJs and those with long memories may remember the original version of Kathy Brown's "You Give Good Love", which originally appeared on Defected back in 2002. This time round, remixers DnA Studios have jettisoned the pumping soulful house vibes of the original version, instead creating a warm and cheery version that sits somewhere between classic U.S house, Crazy P style live disco-house and good, old fashioned disco. It's a revision that hits the spot from start to finish, delivering a breezy, celebratory sing-along that should cheer up even the most stony-faced dancers.
Review: Dedicated diggers may already know Krystal Davis's 1985 boogie sizzler "So Smooth", which has become a seriously in-demand record in recent times. Original released in the midst of New York's freestyle movement, Davis's original is loose, groovy, summery, synth-heavy and oh-so soulful. Here Glitterbox gives it the reissue treatment, accompanying the original vocal and instrumental versions with two fresh remixes. KON leads the charge with a rolling remix that feels more energetic and peak-time friendly, largely as a result of the producer putting extra emphasis on the killer bassline and his own house-friendly beats. Also worth checking is Yam Who's remix, which highlights the track's inherent breeziness by adding a dreamy new intro and pushing the original fluttering synth motifs to the fore.
Review: For their latest trip into celebratory disco territory, Glitterbox Recordings has asked Aussie rework fiend Dr Packer to get busy with a quartet of dancefloor classics. He begins by putting his stamp of LaTrece's Mark Kinchen-produced 1993 cover of Alicia Myers' "I Want To Thank You", giving it a breezier and more boogie-influenced feel, before moving further towards hybrid disco/soulful house territory on a fine rub of Shuya Okino's 2011 jam "Still in Love". Flip to the virtual flipside for a pitched down, electrofunk-fired rework of ATFC's "Bad Habit" that's more in keeping with the 1985 Jenny Burton cut on which it was based, and a gently beefed-up take on Soul Rebels' tasty cover of Rene and Angela boogie classic "I'll Be Good".
Review: Almost a quarter century into his recording career, Mousse T has not lost his ability to create party-starting anthems. Whereas the majority of his previous releases have blended disco samples with beefed-up house beats, "Rock The Mic" - his first release for Defected's revivalist disco offshoot Glitterbox - is a little less wedded to the kind of chunky, peak-time anthems we've come to expect. The live-sounding drums and orchestral style instrumentation screams "disco", while the Plantlife style, P-funk inspired vocals tip a wink to hip-house. Naturally, there are a few filter sweeps to be found, but these only serve to emphasise the track's block party inspiration. Kon's remix is, arguably, even better, and adds even more disco instrumentation for extra 1979 authenticity.
Review: Unashamed boogie revivalists Qwestlife are a good fit with Defected's disco-minded Glitterbox offshoot. It probably helps, though, that "Give Me A Minute" is something of a shimmering, synth-fired treat. The "ultra-hot" boogie band, assisted by the sensual vocals of Jacqui George, are in prime form on "Give Me a Minute", which is so authentic in its' construction, vibe and instrumentation that it could have been produced in New York in 1983. Sadly, this digital download edition doesn't include the Paul Simpson/Serious Intention style "Dubbed Out" and "Bonus Beats" versions showcased on the vinyl release, though the sublime "Give Me a Minute 7 (Extended Mix)", with its subtle nods towards Leroy Burgess and Patrick Adams, will be more than enough for most DJs.