Review: Though not as celebrated as some of its contemporaries, Patrice Rushen's 1980 single "Never Gonna Give You Up" is undoubtedly a breezy, sweet-as-sugar disco treat. It arguably didn't need remixing, though if there's one man guaranteed to give it a great makeover it's housemaster turned disco don Joey Negro. He delivers killer vocal and instrumental versions, both of which give more prominence to the original beats, killer bassline, spacey synths and horns, waiting to introduce the sweeping orchestration - a dominant feature of Rushen's 1980 version - until the later stages of the track. They're the kind of mixes Tom Moulton may have produced back in the day, and there's no higher praise for a disco remixer than that.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from each new album in Joey Negro's "Remixed With Love" series, namely fantastic new revisions of classic disco, boogie, soul, electro and jazz-funk classics created using the original multi-track tapes. This third volume naturally contains a few inspired revisions of well-known cuts - a riotous take on The Fatback Band's "Do The Bus Stop", an astonishing, dubbed-out version of the Temptations' "Law of the Land" and a soaring, life-affirming rearrangement of Patrice Rushen's "Never Give You Up" included - but also some suitably smart tweaks of lesser-known gems. These include a sublime revision of the APX's '80s gem "Loose Yourself To The Groove" and an insatiable take on Mass Production's "Shante" full of jammed-out electric piano solos and rubbery electric bass.
Review: Most active from the mid-70s to the mid-80s, Patrice Rushen's discography has spanned jazz, R&B, jazz-funk, soul and pop, but it's the jazz-funk/disco fusions she delivered for Elektra Recordings in the late 70s/early 80s that remain her best-loved work. Here, 15 tracks from that period are gathered together, with favourites like the evergreen 'Forget Me Nots' and 'Haven't You Heard' (reworked in the late 90s by Daddy's Favourite) snuggling up alongside less over-played but equally high-quality cuts like the jazz-funk piano groove that is 'Number One' and the ultra-smooth boogie of 'Feels So Real'. Smoochers like 'Where There Is Love' perhaps sound a little less relevant in 2019, but this is still a very classy collection indeed.
Review: These days you'll find her topping the bill at the world's leading jazz festivals, but back in the late 70s and early 80s Patrice Rushen was just another aspiring young disco/boogie chanteuse. It was 1982 album 'Straight From The Heart' that spawned 'Forget Me Nots' and propelled her to international stardom, but it's the album before that, 1980's 'Posh', that Strut is reissuing here. Stylistically very similar to its more illustrious successor, it's the perfect chance to get better acquainted with a supremely talented female artist who, despite some considerable successes, never quite attained the household name status that she surely deserved.
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
Review: If you missed any of Z Records most potent releases this year, do not fear: boss man Joey Negro has brought together all of the label's best bits on one handy, plus-sized compilation. There's another chance to savour the Escort style Brooklyn disco revivalism of J Kriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Sean McCabe's smooth and soulful rework of Detroit Rising and Ron Trent's impeccably musically rich remix of Joey Negro's "Distorting Space Time". Synth-fired boogie goodness is also provided via a superb "Unreleased Dub" of Janet Kay's 1980s gem "Eternally Grateful" and a brilliant Joey Negro rework of the APX, while soaring, string-laden disco hits are dotted throughout the compilation. If you dig disco, house and boogie, you need this in your life.