Review: 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.
Review: Fans of this Parisian nu-disco chap, a member of Venice Beach no less, might be in for a shock with this new release. With a swift change of direction, "Jazz Soul Scent" (the clue's in the title) sees DJ Moar deliver five tunes of authentic jazzy soul and RnB. With lazy late '90s beats (think Fugees or Erykah Badu) gently guiding some choice neo-soul and accomplished vocals from Sarsha Simone, this is a different but credible departure for Moar.
Review: A special dedication to his formative days praying at the good church of hip-hop, cutting and pasting in Sunday school, Venice Beach member Moar gets down and does the caterpillar. An eclectic ensemble of loops and compositions, this lick shots from Senor Coconut to Bambaataa and back again with its frenetic arrangement of swinging drums, cheeky samples and crafty editing. Highlights include the bongo and fuzz box fusion of "2 vs 2" and low-swung bass shuffle and swing of "Bump On". Moar please!
Review: In recent years, Guy Cuevas' 1982 EPs, Obsession, has become something of an in-demand item amongst Balearic diggers and post-disco collectors. Given the eye-watering online prices for original copies, it would be fair to say that this reissue is more than welcome. Like the Paris-based Cuban's original '82 EP, this edition boasts three contrasting mixes. First, you'll find the loose, languid and groovy "Nassau Mix", a sun-kissed fusion of leisurely boogie grooves and chanted Cuban vocals. Then, you'll find the horn-heavy "London Mix", which breaks out into an extended Latin percussion jam midway through. Naturally, both mixes are superb. Finally who's better than Jay Airiness brings his own disco experience touch on this classic.
Review: Regularly found doing the business for Rebel Hearts and Editorial, there can be no doubt that Jay Airness' disco edit credentials are up there with the best. On this EP for Trad Vibe there's no holding back, as "Turn Off TV" lays the cheeky samples on thick and the rhythm section gets a serious buffing for maximum soundsystem impact. Veering between hip hop-esque sampling and plush melodic content, it's a full-bodied jam that demands your attention. DJ Color C2 delivers an equally exuberant remix with a motorik thrum, while FabioLous rubs a leaner concoction out of the component parts.
Review: Jay Airiness is the latest alias of DJ Moar. Known for his work with his nu-disco group Venice Beach, he, as he claims himself: always has his eyes on the groove. With a fresh vision of club music, he has had releases thus far on Diggin Deeper, Editorial, FKR & Rebel Hearts. Starting this fine EP off with "Grand Baie", a deep and summery nu-disco jam reminiscent of Max Essa, he then gets stuck into the funky and filtered funk sleaze of the title track: those vocoded vocals are wicked! "Priceless Love" goes for some more retro vibes from the '80s which is totally bittersweet and irresistible. Then, on a final note, Reverso 68 main man Pete Herbert serves up an always impressive rendition, in this case the title track which has us counting down the days 'til summer.
Review: We've had the Beatles' White Album, Prince's Black Album and Dangermouse's Grey Album and now Moar 'gets back' to the beginning. Despite having produced for 20 years, his White Album is actually his first long player. Completely instrumental, we get 20 self-produced tracks that reveal beat-led jams inspired by African, Asian and American music. Worldwide jams.
Du Plomb Dans L'aile (instrumental) - (4:45) 85 BPM
Guy Ribes (instrumental) - (3:37) 106 BPM
On Ira Pas (instrumental) - (3:30) 96 BPM
Au Bout Des Levres - (3:19) 92 BPM
Derniers Maux (instrumental) - (4:15) 83 BPM
Review: LA's Moar returns to the sultry Trad Vibe imprint alongside relative newcomer Artisanal, and the pair have landed with the instrumental version of Gamma, a magnificently balanced breakbeat album that menaders off into more downtempo spheres. In all honesty, this is pure LA fire, the sort of gear you'd blast out the speakers with the hood down. It's a shame about the weather in the UK. But, crucially, this music is nothing but vibes so, wherever you are, it should bring through some of that crucial Californication for the soul. Cop it, son! Recent Los-Angeles finding, Turbotito, is making some proper waves on Bordel - cold, freezing waves that we love. Back on Bordel, this is a remix affair, spear-headed by the artist's original version of "Different", a bittersweet electronic lullaby for the lovers. The first remix by Norwegian legend Kasper Bjork comes through with a punchier drum machine and a little less vocal action, while the Gemini Brothers launch a more progressive house reframing, and Kasper Bjork's dub mix closes things off with a deep, heartfelt groove. Bliss.
Review: Parisian label Trad Vibe have always marched to the beat of their own bass drum, and here's a reminder of how they've lasted ten years, now at 30 releases strong. The French Evolution features 11 tracks including unreleased tunes and remixes by DJ Cam, 20syl (C2C/Hocus Pocus), Venice Beach, Lord Funk, Blanka (La fine Equipe / Juke Box Champions) as well as material from brand new artists LS Brigandes (NYC), Moar & Elodie Rama, DJ Suspect & Doc TMK and Madjir. Not bad for a label who originally released material on vinyl only.