MAGIC MIX

disco . italo . cosmic . disco-not-disco . boogie

WEEK STARTING 18 Aug

Genre pick of the week Cover of Dreeme by Moton 37.
Diesel and Jarvis return with a massive three tracker of off the beaten track edit goodness. Where they find them, who knows, but thank god they do. Our dynamic duo start the session with some gentle foreplay in the form of "Dreeme". This spacey Balearic roller is nothing other than a shimmering dub of Max Berlin's super sexy "Elle et Moi"! Diesel and Jarvis drop those pervy vocals leaving the funk pianos and coastal accordion line to do the talking, resulting in a sunkissed soother for warm summer days. On the flipside we kick things up a gear and head to the cocaine cool of a European discotheque circa 1981 thanks to "She & He", the kind of dusty disco rock Harvey sprinkles booger sugar on and eats for breakfast. Last but not least the ultra funky "Step" enters the room, slips something in your drink and takes you to bed with its slow motion charms. Emanating from the crossroads between Baldelli's thick and druggy cosmic sound and Larry's sexed up funk, this one will have you hooked in no time.


Throughout the late 70s and early 80s Indian artist Babla & His Orchestra created a musical revolution throughout India, and then the western world. Covering famous Bollywood movie title tracks of the time and giving them the new disco touch, Babla created the 'Disco Dandia' movement which saw him tour the world and become a household name in India. Pressings of this album have become incredibly rare over the years as they were never seriously collected or preserved in India… you can rarely find this album for under £150! Babla's famously diverse musical arrangements, heavy sitar funk and moog bleeps have won him a whole host of fans from breaks collectors to modern disco beardo's. Metro Area used "Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi" on their recent Fabric mix CD!

Beatconductor

Beatconductor Reworks

KAT Records celebrate their 20th release in wicked wild style by welcoming Sweden's Beatconductor to the fold with this fresh to death white vinyl 10" that sounds even better than it looks. Probably best known for his work on GAMM, here Beatconductor keeps up his impeccable record of delivering immaculate reworks with this movin and groovin two tracker. First up we have 'A Message Of Love', a gospel tinged disco stormer of a track that's largely based on Ashford & Simpson's fantastic live outing of 'The Boss'. Crisp conga led beats, piano hooks, horn sections, that in-famous vocal hook and more break downs than your average AA man can shake a spanner at all add up to this being an epic 8 minute gospel dance floor experience. On the flip we have 'Boogie Love', a cheeky reworking of Lulu's finest moment (yes Lulu) 'I Love to Boogie', which when released as a single in 1979 failed to get in-to the Top 75. There is a seriously infectious (84 bpm) groove going on here making this a contender for the sassiest release of the year. Beatconductor beefs up the break, stretching and teasing before the rather ace vocal comes in and takes hold. Brilliant stuff from Beatconductor and KAT and here's to the next 20 releases !


FORMAT INFORMATION

10" Info: Limited White Vinyl 10"

A hypnotic, sludgy and seductive slow motion groove led along by one of Italo disco's most swooningly understated yet affecting vocal performances. Another cult classic delivered to us this week; caring, catchy and welcoming. Juxtaposing thick, tape saturated drums along with wobbly pitch bent bassline against the sugary sweet vocal was a stroke of genius! Ridiculously infectious. If ever there's been a record crying out for a proper reissue it's this one. Asteroid bunny!

When Sonar Kollektiv is presenting musical diggings you can be assured some real gems show up. And what a revelation is the Cosmic disco by Venezuelan producer Daniel Grau! An elusive monographic showcase of his very productive creative period between 1978 and 1982 will be released as a double CD on the Berlin quality imprint later this year. Now, prior to the showcase compilation, a handful of selected remixes see the light of day – as a proof of how relevant Grau's music is still today. The opening of this firework is a real stunner on its own: One of the innovators of nu-disco, Daniel Wang himself, is returning after a brief sabbatical!

Together with also Berlin based Jules Etienne (one half of Egyptian Nipples) Danny “The Dancer” Wang takes two tracks of Daniel Grau's comprehensive back catalogue to task. “Robot Mágico” off the 1978 album “El Sonido Magico De Daniel Grau” does sound in its reinterpretation by the two disco aficionados as if it was recorded just yesterday. In the same smooth and sophisticated way comes the renovation of “Disco Fantasy” off the album of the same name from 1979. Still, the Non Disco Remix somehow reminds of Wang's groundbreaking releases on Environ and is funky and catchy to such an extend that DJs probably would love to play it three times in a row. Well, the bar is set very high for the upcoming Daniel Grau remixes. But Sonar Kollektiv wouldn't be Sonar Kollektiv if you wouldn't already know exactly that there are more hot irons in the fire.


After blasting us with a plethora of late 80s and early 90s house reissues from across the pond, we're heading east and to the Med now, to early 80s Italy as we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of a massive Italo disco revival! One of many hard to find and generally very expensive records; in the pre-discogs days, travelling to Italy on holiday with the missus was actually a covert way of digging for new material; with DJs like Il Bosco, Balearic Mike, James Holroyd and Kelvin Andrews all making frequent visits to the country and taking illicit, highly secretive steps to cover their tracks (often spinning said partner a line like - 'you relax by the pool my dear, I'll go get us a nice bottle of plonk' - whilst feverishly hitting the €1 bins). "On And On" by Decadance is regarded by many as the pinnacle of Italo disco, with aficionado's citing the space age, lovelorn lyrics and the coldwave darkness mixed with pure emotional energy combining to make the ultimate dancefloor bomb. Classico!! Strictly limited.

DJ Nature

Let The Children Play EP1

Following a brief hiatus from the world of original material following 2012's flawless "Return Of The Savage" (Record of the year for me and Dave Walker) I'm buzzing to see that there's some new material on its way. For those who don't know, non-native New Yorker Milo Johnson has been operating at the top of his game since his involvement in Bristol's Wild Bunch Soundsystem in the eighties. Since then he's been the world's foremost expert in rough house, packing his jazzy productions full of gritty soul to the delight of true heads. This new 12", the first of two taken from the CD only "Let The Children Play" album is no exception. A-side cut "Let The Children Play" balances fragile and emotive horns and guitars (think Miles' "Sketches Of Spain") with a murky bassline and those raw and organic drum sounds we've come to expect. Rhythmically intricate, warm, jazzy and impossible to keep still to, this is gonna get a hammering from all the jocks that matter. On the flip, "Why Not?" picks up where the A-side left off, but this time Milo pairs up the cool sax with some nasty little funk licks, while the sound is filled out by expansive pads and tumbling percussion. If you like your house musical, soulful and bumping, then this is the record for you. 

DJ Nature

Let The Children Play EP2

Jazzy Sport do the do and release the second 12" plucked from DJ Nature's wicked (but sadly CD only) "Let The Children Play" full length. Setting the mood on the A-side is "No Talk", which gets you grooving immediately with a heavy foot and rattling snares. Soon enough that old ivory's tinkling above long rhodes notes and we're in full basement soul mode. If you were one of the lucky ones to have grabbed a copy of his Groovotica Mix then this might ring a few bells.  On the flip is the chunky and bumpy "Fool 4 Love", which reprises the vocal sampling style of "Return Of The Savage" above an onslaught of shaker, conga, bongo and chimes. A funky bassline wriggles away down south, while some proto house synth strings take you to the dancefloors of your youth. Quality stuff!

London producers Jamie Blanco and Chris Stoker launched their Ess O Ess project with a sell out debut on the up-and-coming Love On The Rocks imprint. For their second release the duo traverse to Japan's refined Ene bringing their psychedelic swelter with them. "Re-Enter" summons you through the dense darkness of the jungle undergrowth into a moonlit hollow for a star strewn ritual soundtracked by brooding bass, chunky percussion and twinkling melody. A transcendant and immersive experience for the Adriatic crowds I reckon. On the flip the mysterious and anonymous engineer Man Power applies his expertise to transform "Re-Enter" into a driving, almost progressive house monster, which sheds a few of those crystalline melodies in favour of a stuttering synth tone. 


Khemistry

Can You Feel My Love / Whatever It Takes

The Expansion label's new 7" series begins with Khemistry’s “Can You Feel My Love” from the genius team of Willie Lester & Rodney Brown (writers of Sharon Redd “Can You Handle It” and Bobby Thurston “Check Out The Groove” among others)

Khemistry were a Washington group assembled by Lester & Brown. Both the great songs on this 7” come from their 1982 self-titled debut album for Columbia Records.

“Can You Feel My Love” has been one of Lester & Brown’s most enduring soulful dance records since its first release but has never been released as a single... until now!

'Lectric Workers

The Garden / Robot Is Systematic

A fantastically frantic Italo-disco bomb with all the ingredients and hallmarks of a true dancefloor gem of its era (male vocal, female sensual vocal in foreign language, driving bassline, space aged synth and hard energy). Combining two hits from this cultishly adored band, "Robot Is Systematic" rides fast and hard and screams of coming up off strong drugs right in the middle of the dancefloor, spinning round in circles and generally getting right at it. Apparently the drug of choice at Baldelli's Cosmic club was heroin but this reeks of a huge PCP toke or massive wiff of popper's and is hard to deny its erotic flavour. "The Garden" continues with the sexualized theme and high energy vibe, utilizing octave bassline, squelchy lead lines and a chorus that leaves nothing to the imagination to create another slice of camp dancefloor magic. Massive!

Nana Love

Disco Documentary - Full Of Funk

Though the iconic imagery of disco feels distinctly tied to the United States, the style had a wide-reaching influence that made it’s way to Africa. While Africa was already no stranger to the pulsing rhythms of funk, Afro-beat, and highlife, the rise of disco added a slick sheen to the music, with musicians from all over the continent incorporating elements of the genre into their sounds. Would there ever have been a Studio 54 in Ghana in late 70s, these would have been the recordings that would have packed the dancefloor with their deep root in disco, soul and funk!

The third instalment of BBE's “Masters We Love” series, the label's crate-digging journey led them to the original producer Reindorf Oppong and what could possibly be one of the most ‘mysterious’ Afro-disco records produced in the late 70s; Nana Love’s “Disco Documentary – Full Of Funk”. The original master tapes were uncovered (and luckily in great shape) and in the process of restoring the tapes, un-released material was discovered, enriching this very special package. Nana Love’s work, is a testament to the music’s most redeeming qualities: great musicianship, funky basslines and killer breaks. As a singer / songwriter in the leading role throughout, she (with production by Reindorf Oppong) lends a wonderfully balanced approach to the arrangements. The result is a set of tracks that are positioned carefully at the forward thinking crossroads of disco, boogie and soul and funk… Her band included 6 of the original Boney M members as well as the legendary Harry Mosco and was recorded in London in 1978, in the same studio as Boney M recorded alongside David Bowie.

This album makes us think; would there ever have been a Studio 54 in Ghana in late 70s? If so these would have been the recordings that would have packed the dance floor with their deep root in disco, soul and funk!


Niama Makalou Et African Soul Band

Kognokoura - Inc. Daphni Edit

Disco Mali! Sofrito present a unique slice of Afro-disco from the celebrated griot, Niama Makalou, recorded in the late 70s.

Descended from a family of griots (traditional Malian praise singers), Niama Makalou moved to France in the mid 70s where she cut this, her one and only vinyl release. At the time Paris (like much the rest of the world) was swept up in disco fever, so along with a group of Malian musicians the date was set to cut a piece of disco, griot style. The resulting mixture of off kilter hand claps, raw string arrangements, Balafon flourishes and Bambara vocals combine with a heavy disco groove to produce a one-off piece of cross-cultural dancefloor mayhem.

On the flip Daphni (aka Caribou) crafts an extended version that distills it into a stripped down and dubbed-out groove.

STAFF COMMENTS

Philippa says: Loving both sides of this Afro-disco 12", but especially Daphni's (Caribou) stripped-down flipside edit. Grab it while you can!

Limited vinyl reissue of the amazing ‘Rock Africa’ album from 1977 by Malinga Five, a short-lived group made up of French, Caribbean and African artists. Released in France by Barclay, this hard-to-find afro-funk LP spawned a number of disco hits including an exhilarating up-tempo version of Black Blood’s ‘Marie-Terese’, plus the unstoppable bubbling funk magnificence of ‘Kalimbo‘ later remixed by Bob Sinclar and the superb ‘Kaloule Woman’, a beautiful joyous track laced with intricate guitars and percussion with a great soulful vocal. Standouts aside, the whole album is fantastic from start to finish including hi-octane percussion workout ‘Tambouye’, laid-back funk groover ‘Good Time’ and blissful sensuous ballads such as ‘Song For My Lady’, the elegant jazz-funk of ‘Vin Eve Nou’, afro bubblers such as ‘Kou Ma Ho’ and Mankchine DouDou’ and the synth-heavy ‘Malinga’.


Eclectic, eccentric and electric Porto DJ Rui Murka finally makes the transition from selector to producer with the sunkissed beauty of "Amigos". The intricate percussion wears the hint of heat haze through its dubby echo while the rhythmic pads and lilting bassline ensure there's enough groove to keep the Balearic floor moving. Rui adds a scratchy funk rhythm guitar and some Chris Rea soloing to create a stunning fusion of island attitude and jazz-funk style that'll find plenty of room in my sets as we head into the Indian summer. Rui's hometown homeboy Tiago drops by to lend a hand in the remix department, pushing the tempo to a respectible 120 bpm and suplimenting those smooth guitar licks with a head nodding low slung bassline. The result is a beefy platter of psychedelic disco which finds itself totally at home on Tokyo's Ene! Hot on the heels of his entry in the Telefonplan directory, Vahagn drops by to offer his own interpretation of "Amigos" and close the EP in style. The Portuguese producer opts to stick fairly close to the original, but adds deep and atmospheric pads and a laid back house beat to create a sunset gem worthy of any of the world's coastal bars.

Ooof! Douglas Ruff Esquire dons his Tron suit and dives into the Lectric World, armed only with a modified tape deck, hardware backpack and narcotic vape stick. In between Disc Battles and the occasional joyride on a Light Cycle, our intrepid analogue explorer found the time to synthesise three cosmic cuts for the android club kids. First up, "Magnetic Atmosphere" sees the Mancunian producer in peak time haze house mode, pairing a shoulder rolling bassline with hissing hats and strung out pads for an immersive dancefloor trip. As the saturation express rattles along the redline we suddenly find ourselves onto a detour into the late night world of subdued and jazzy piano ruled by Ahmad Jamal. This one's already causing dancefloor chaos at the hands of Marcel Vogel, Beautiful Swimmers and Ruffy himself, so get onboard before you miss the chance. On the flipside Doug drops the pace and unloads a couple of 5AM cosmic-synth jammers for all the smokers out there. To start we're treated to the Radio 1 approved coastal groover "Ruffy's Day Out", which picks up right where the Ruf Kutz boss left off with "MV LOOK" and "Sorta Rican" on Porn Wax. Making excellent use of the Enya patch on the D50, our man takes us for a moonlit stroll on a tropical beach before getting hot and heavy in the undergrowth. And for dessert, what better than the deeply skewed boogie of "Late Cruise", a deep head nodder which serves its blunted funk nightdubbin' style resulting in a window rattling banger which sounds like a SNES robot battle between Dam-Funk and Wally Badarou. And that's not all folks, the Lectric Sands crew round the package off with their own echo drenched FXxx up of the title track, which will work wonders on the drug affected mind.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Cassette crusader Ruf Dug drops by the Lectric World to cook up a trio of hardware hits ripe for the picking. Hissy, hazy and hot as they come, this is the real deal.

Silvetti / Bataan

Spring Rain / The Bottle (La Botella)

Silvetti was born Juan Fernando Silvetti Adorno and was a Grammy award winning Argentinian pianist, composer and arranger / producer. But, he is best known to music fans for his 1977 disco instrumental “Lluvia De Primavera” (aka “Spring Rain”). Peppered with Latino pianos, luxurious strings and breathy oohing and aahing, it's the perfect example of Salsoul's expansive orchestral disco sound.

Bataan, born Bataan Nitoliano, was raised in Spanish Harlem, New York, where he ran the Dragons street gang before being sent to a correctional facility. Upon his release he turned to music and after a successful run with Fania Records he co-founded the Salsoul label which spawned his 1975 Latin-fused interpretation of Gil Scott-Heron’s immortal “The Bottle”.The perfect mix of disco, jazz-funk and Latin, this instrumental version of "The Bottle" is a classic.


Inspired by a German documentary about the emerging breakdance phenomenon in Los Angeles, the 1984 film Breakin' is for many a reference point for the explosion of hip-hop in the United States and across the world. With it's colorful cast of characters and dazzling array of dance moves, the movie became an international hit and the soundtrack captures the sounds that inspired a entire generation of breakers and B-boys to push their craft to new heights. Anchored by the Billboard Top 10 hit single “Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us Now” by Ollie & Jerry, the Breakin' soundtrack pulses with the electro-funk beats and early hip-hop flavors - including The Bar-Kays “Freakshow On The Dance Floor” and “99 1/2” by Carol Lynn Townes - guaranteed to get the dancefloor rocking. Featuring additional appearances by Chaka Khan (fronting the end of night anthem "Ain't Nobody" with Rufus), Re-Flex and a young LA rapper named Ice-T (who also appears in the film), the Breakin' soundtrack is an essential album for all breakers, poppers, lockers, B-boys, and B-girls, or any fan of hip-hop, electro and disco. In continuing their commitment to producing first-class reissues of landmark records, Get On Down is proud to present Breakin' in a brand-new LP release.

Chi town legend Glenn Underground continues to hit us with nothing but the best on this fifth edition of his private edit series. As ever, the Strictly Jaz Unit founder is in full effect working his magic on some classic disco shit! Up first is an endlessly grooving rework of The Trammp's classic "Can We Come Together". Armed with a handy collection of Paradise Garage acapellas, Glenn locks us into a spaced out voyage of disco hypnotism, topping the Trammps groove with dubby snatches of NYC Peech Boys and Ms Grace Jones as we fall deep under the cosmic spell of the mirrorball. On the flip Glenn treats Side Effect's 1977 album track "Private World" to a proper dancefloor extension, tweaking the EQ to reshape the cut into a full bodied floor burner and reshaping the arrangement to delay the ecstacy of the chorus until the final third. Closing the set is Glenn's raw, rough and ready to rock your socks off edit of multi-instrumentalist disco genius Geroge Bussey's 1979 gem "Come On Over Tonight". As you'd expect from a man who plays drums, bass, guitar, clavinet and saxophone and worked as a session man and arranger for the best in the business, this cut is brimming with musicality and nuff solo wig outs. Glenn's dancefloor edit simply gives us more of all the good stuff, with an arrangement perfectly suited for the modern floor. Another winner from the heart of the underground.


Shir Khan returns to his cultishly adored Black Jukebox imprint, presenting 4 heavy jams for the terraces to the clubs. Brussel's dwelling Mickey launches proceedings with that imitable Black Jukebox style - merging a plethora of tip-of-the-tongue samples with a perfectly deployed bassline and hip-shaking precision on the drums. "LA Anyway" is a darker, techier workout, using small catchy loops and even catchier vocal snippets to get us eyes-wide-shut dancing under the speaker stacks. We head south to Paris next where The Mekanism's "The Touch" gets us wiggling around with nice congas and swirling strings before dropping into those trademark filtered breakdown hooks. Hands in the air people! And then comes the drop. I don't know if this is what's soundtracking Ibiza these days, but it bloody should be! Forget mindless repetitive clicky ket-house and get these euphoric sun-blushed jams on the terrace at Space now please! Philly's Matpat closes proceedings with yet another edit of Donald Byrd's "Love Has Come Around". We'll let him off for milking this already nearly-dry teat as Matpat injects some firm house beats behind and a stupendously infectious female vocal hook (not from the Byrd original) which actually makes this a more than worthy addition to your house collection. Shir Khan rides again! - Don't sleep...



The latest edition of Tugboat Edits chugs across the disco seas and arrives at the shore of our fair shop, ready to party like a sailor on leave. Volume 5 hails from the twin cities of Chicago and NYC split and features the scalpel skills of Tim Zawada and Chrissy (Chris E. Pants/Chrissy Murderbot) taking on a quartet of disco, Italo and new wave originals. TZ starts the party with his dubby and sprawling rework of "Summertime", taking the cruiseship vibe of the original and ramping the whole thing up a few hundred notches. Disco lasers and Linn drum rolls abound, as TZ loops up those camp string vamps and takes us on an ecstatic ride to the heart of the dancefloor. Now the place is starting to simmer nicely, he tags in his party partner Chrissy who sets to work stretching the rattling breakdown from Modern Romance's "Everybody Salsa" to create a looped up, strung out swirl of off kilter rhythm. On the flipside he goes to town dubbing out Mike Mareen's Italo classic "Dancing In The Dark" to create a thick and throbbing dark dancefloor pounder that would sit perfectly in the middle of a Ron Hardy mixtape. If the B1 was in there for the benefit of the darkest moments of post peak intensity, then TZ's effort on the B2 is there to see the party out in style. What better way is there to induce mile wide smiles than with a little hit of the B-52's. Tim chops, snips, flips and flops some super loops from "Good Stuff" to make a weird and wonderful singalong bomb.



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