Review: On paper, this collaboration between veteran Balearic/disco/house fusionists Faze Action, and Zimbabwean drummer-turned-vocalist Zeke Manyika has all the makings of a humid, sun-kissed classic. Happily, "Mangwana" - a kind of late '80s Hugh Masekela Balearic afro-house jam full of punchy horns, chiming synth melodies and chanted African vocals - is every bit as alluring as you'd expect. The Waiting For The Rain-era Masekela influences are even stronger on the delicious A Vision of Panorama mix, while the Paradise '89 Dub pushes the track further towards dubbed-out New York house territory while beefing up the backing track a little. Elsewhere on the EP, you'll find two superb versions of the percussive, tropical '80s workout "Kumbengo" (including a heavy, Junodownload-only Dub), and the hazy downtempo goodness of "Chiiko".
Review: Three years on from their previous collaboration, Faze Action's Lee Brothers once again join forces with vocalist Zeke Manyika on another 12" paying tribute to South Africa's bubblegum-era sun-kissed Kwaito house sound. In its original form, "Kubatana" is warm, cheery and breezy, with Manyika singing in his native tongue over punchy horn refrains, sunny synth bass, dreamy chords and unfussy drum machine beats. There's a trio of accompanying remixes, with the Kwaito-meets-deep house dreaminess of the Rudy's Midnight Machine Mix and driving, stripped-back and delay-laden Paradise Dub standing out. Also worth checking is the slower, deeper and drowsier bonus cut "Hapana".
Review: Given the success of Faze Action's first trawl through the more sun-kissed sections of their vast back catalogue, it's little surprise to see the Lee brothers deliver a second volume. As with its predecessor, To The Sunset & Beyond shuffles around stylistically, taking in lilting Brazilian flavours (1999 single "Samba", the folksy "Struck"), Afro-influenced electrofunk (recent Zeke Manyika collaborations "Got To Find A Way" and "To Love Is To Grow"), dub disco (the Boogie Central mix of "Danae's Journey"), and, of course, plenty of cello-laden treats (a rare alternative version of "Moving Cities", the wonderful, Arthur Russell-ish "Venus & Mars"). In other words, it's a deliciously summery collection of tried-and-tested tracks. Recommended.
Review: Nu-disco pioneers, Faze Action (brothers Simon and Robin Lee) have a long and respected history, not least due to the sterling work of their legendary label, FaR. Here they collate a heady selection of sizzling bangers from their impressive back catalogue. There's a whopping 19 gems to get your teeth into, highlights including the Les Rhymes Digitales meets Studio 54 vibes of "Don't Loose Control" by Del Strange, the perky italo-disco/house hybrid "Freak For Your Love (ST House Mix)" and the Afro-jackin' acid flashback that is "Mangwana feat Zeke Manyika (Paradise '89 dub)".
Review: Though billed as a various artists compilation, this is essentially a career-spanning Faze Action 'best of' that also includes a handful of collaborations and contributions from their various side projects (Andromeda Orchestra, Rudy's Midnight Machine). And yes, it stretches all the way back to 'In The Trees'! Long-term fans will of course have much of the material featured here already, which makes the non-FA cuts even more welcome, but if you're just discovering the musical delights of the brothers Lee, then this collection is a great way to get better acquainted before delving into the full, extensive back catalogue...