Review: Kiwi nu-disco crew Flamingo Pier come to Miles Cleret's UK label Soundway with a track that just might take you by surprise. Sporting a somewhat 80s-sounding male pop vocal and served simply in Original and Radio Edit forms, on first hearing 'Indigo' can come across as mere froth, but give it another listen or two, give the wukka-wukking funk guitar and squelchy analogue synth doodles a chance to really drill themselves into your head, and you'll realise it's actually a very fine slab of contemporary Euro-leaning disco, redolent of both vintage Brit-funk and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult circa 'Gay, Black And Married'.
Review: Before heading into the studio, Anglo-Kiwi crew Flamingo Pier built their reputation by throwing celebrated parties that effortlessly joined the dots between a myriad of colourful, tropical-fired dancefloor styles. That's what you get on this fine EP, too. Check, for example, the ragged acid bass, tropical drums and jazzy guitars of standout "Find Your Way", the kaleidoscopic Italo-disco/boogie fusion of "Hold It" and the Fat Freddy's Drop horns, layered percussion, P-funk synths and sing-along vocals of cheery lead cut "Tell Me How". Also worth a spin is the densely percussive and suitably celebratory remix of "Find Your Way" by Leng Records regulars Earthboogie.
Review: When it comes to offering up albums of carnival-ready Latin-soul, it could be argued that Gabriele Poso is in a league of his own. Certainly, his 2018 set for BBE, "Awakening" was superb, and this follow-up on Soundway is every bit as good. The South American influences - think samba, Azymuth sytle jazz-funk, Brazilian boogie, MPB etc - naturally catch the ear throughout, alongside his extensive use of warming synthesizers, sun-kissed electronics and his own voice, which seems to get richer and more seductive with each successive release. The quality threshold remains so high throughout that it's barely worth picking out highlights: it's literally 'all good', and you really should check out the album when you get a chance.
Review: With a trademark sound that gleefully joins the dots between fuzzy New York "no wave", heavy mutant disco, dubbed-out space disco, Afrobeat and percussion-rich South American styles of music, The Mauskovic Dance Band is a unique proposition. That much is clear from this eponymous mini-album on Soundway, which wraps weighty dub disco basslines, densely layered percussion, spaced-out vocals and meandering 1970s style Moog synthesizer lines around heavy rhythms that variously doff a cap to Afrobeat, Cumbia and other indigenous South American styles. The plentiful musical highlights include the stripped-back percussive intensity of "Percussione & Spazio Sounds", the intergalactic Afro-disco throb of "Space Disco Machine" and the chugging, hallucinatory heaviness of closing cut "It's The Wrong Goodie".
Review: UK label Soundway specialise in unearthing undiscovered musical gems from around the world, and here they turn their attention to calypso and soca - respectively, the traditional music of Trinidad & Tobabgo and its electrified late 20th Century variant. The focus for this collection of 'obscure B-sides, versions, dubs and instrumentals', though, is on tracks that fuse soca/calypso with disco, boogie, house, soul and reggae. It has to said, the purported influences can at times be hard for the untrained ear to detect, but cuts like Adonijah's soul-infused 'It's Alright' or D'Rebel Band's reggaefied 'Solid' should work well on open-minded floors.