MAGIC MIX

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

WEEK STARTING 20 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of In A Dream by The Juan MacLean.
Successfully weathering electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house and whatever we can call the sound of today, The Juan MacLean have surpassed it all and created the best album of their career.

The dance world way too often privileges the new and not many dance artists write albums as good as ‘In A Dream’, the third full length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. They never feel totally in step with the moment but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there’s always something exciting to say about the music, regardless of the release date.

Let’s start with Nancy Whang. Nancy’s voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan MacLean records but this album is her triumph. You get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs but emotions run wild.

Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers are abundant. This is a DFA record, after all. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another distinction is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that’s remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xLP Info: Deluxe vinyl pressing in gatefold sleeve.

As summer fades and the nights draw in, the young lovers of the world need to keep themselves warm through til the morning. Lucky then that "Café Romantica" is here to soundtrack seductions, trysts and lingering embraces, whatever the weather. Man of the moment Andras Fox reconnects with Oscar Thorn on Dopeness Galore for another collection of stripped back, sultry and smooth proto-house grooves, decorated with rippling percussion, intricate and exotic melodies and Oscar's gorgeous vocals. Over the course of eight tracks, the Australian duo take us back to the old school and show us how it's done properly thanks to Nu Groove inspired rhythm sections, street soul motifs and Italian keys. From warm and uplifting floor pleasers to deep and intimate bedroom teasers, Andras and Oscar mack out in perfect harmony. 


WOLF invite two old friends back for the fourth release in their top notch white label series, playing host to Ron Basejam, Danielle Moore and Chicago Damn for one hell of a party. The A-side sees Ron step up with a beautiful piece of soul sampling, low slung house, topped off by the sugar sweet vocals of fellow Crazy P-er Danielle Moore. Sleek, warm and grooving, this is the perfect track for sunset and sunrise in the bar or on the terrace. Chicago Damn rocks the flipside with a proper peaktime jam, which comes on strong like a classic cut with rolling beats, vocal samples and disco loops. Strutting its stuff at the intersection between NY ballroom and Detroit basement, this is one of those killer cuts you can easily pitch up or down a few notches to suit your set. I cannot wait to play this out!


B.W.H

Livin' Up / Stop (Official)

Initially listed as HM1001 now re-released on Archivio Fonografico Moderno. This is an official 2014 of B.W.H's 1983 offering 'Livin' Up'! Melancholic and ultra funky synth lines together with an ultra fat bass and unique vocals for one of the most significant record from the golden age of Italo disco! Don't miss it!


The diabolical double act of Les Disques De La Mort and Kill The DJ, two labels joined at the hip make their first ever collaboration and it's well worth the wait. The evil twins introduce CAR the latest project from Chloe Raunet, a melange of dark electronics, chugging beats and the swirls of her spectral vocals. Friend of the LDDLM family, Roman Flugel steps up on a remix tip and drops a ripsnorting synthetic driver. There are bleeps, there are subs, and Chloe's vocal drifting on top of a general electronic monster. Kill the DJ may have commissioned the Planningtorock remix but LDDLM loved it so much they stole it for this vinyl release. Jam has made the song hers, pitching down the vocal, punking up the bass grove and adding sumptuous disco strings for some seriously danceable high art! Manfredas' remix of "Angelina" has been given extensive road testing by Ivan Smagghe over the past year. A tricky one to describe, this stomping remix incorporates gloomy synths and mournful bells as it advances unrelentingly. A cross between a panzer and Rondo Veneziano on acid, this is one for those who dare. Finally, Robert Johnson and Hivern wunderkid, Benedikt Frey delivers a brilliant acid rendering which just builds and builds. A million miles away from plastic warehouse cliches, this growling remix channels C.A.R.'s scowl and sneer with devastating results. Could this mark the return of electroclash? Watch this space.


Quality reissue of Codek’s highly sought-after first release from 1980. This hard to find 12” version features the incredible full length six minute version of ‘Me, Me, Me’ a funky slo-mo new wave floorfiller that originally found favour with Baldelli, Loda etc. on Italy’s early eighties cosmic scene as well as the equally great instrumental ‘Demo’ version on the flip. Somehow bridging a sonic wormhole between Ian Dury, Talking Heads and David Bowie…Unmissable!

Fantastic limited reissue of one of the holy grails of the Balearic scene. Recorded in 1981 by Guy Cuevas, a Cuban-born DJ living in Paris, every track is a killer. Side A features the full seven minute 12” version of ‘Ebony Games’ an epic Latin-tinged disco-funk floor-filler and for most, the stand-out track. Lush piano chords, tantalizing flute passages and a delicate picked guitar line accompany the most sensuous of vocal deliveries, taking cue from Sylveter's seductive falsetto. Side B’s mesmerising dubbed-out "Everywhere Is My Home" screams of early evening indulgence, the sludgy 80s beat carrying the exotic vocal chants and wigged-out synth parts beautifully while more of Cuevas' unique voice supports the track. Finally the sweet rays of "Inside My Mind" radiate slowly onto the listener. Swapping vocal duties with a female backing trio, Cuevas rolls out a soft, sunny, almost Bosa Nova pop ballad. Essential!

The new DJ Rocca release for Italian Records takes you on a cosmic trip through space time to a place where synth pop meets Italo disco and when the machines used to run the rhythm.This is a proper journey to the hottest point of the galaxy, the centre of that burning star, the sun! The muscular throb and thrust of the "Original Flying Mix" give us a tanned and toned demonstration in lycra clad space exploration, paying particular attention to the marauding bass sequence, stargazing synths and vampish vocals. Hardcore Italo fans will be made up with the immersive dub experience on the B-side, packed as it is with synthetic energy and added space dust. The legendary production team of Leo Mas & Fabrice close the set with their own version of the zero gravity party starter, showing a subtle hand and accomplished control of the mixing desk to provide a definitive remix of the track.


Welcome reissue of super-rare Balearic gem ‘Spanglish Movement’ from little known band Hot Pepper. This obscure Mexican release has garnered a cult following for side B’s massive afro-Cosmic anthem ‘Ritual Song’ - a nine a half minute epic throbbing slo-mo disco workout huge with DJs and collectors in the know and a firm dancefloor favourite for its pounding drums, heady synths and rhythmic chants. An awesome track but don’t overlook the LP’s other delights - ‘No Me Presiones’ is a superb slice of crazy swirling dirty space disco with a relentless energy while over on side A we have the Latin-tinged ‘Wrong Way’, a captivating Balearic-style instrumental disco odyssey packed with hi-octane percussion, superb guitars, firing brass and lilting synths plus joyful bubbler ‘Let The World Be Happy Again’. Don’t miss this essential exotic disco rarity!


Following hot on the heels of the sell out success of INTO26HYR (or Prins Thomas's remixes of Crimea X for those who don't speak catalogue numbers), here's another exclusive merger between Internasjonal and their Italian friends. This time Thomas dishes up a 'Diskomiks" tribute to Margot, Riccone's finest dancefloor electronica project. The dream team of Pepe and Giaga Robot has previously graced Border Community, Kill The DJ and recently Les Disques De La Mort, but this remix 12" on Internasjonal could well eclipse the rest. Prins Thomas snatches up the previously digital only career highlights and gives them his own idiosyncratic twist, elevating and expanding the originals into his own galaxy. If you've been following the Norwegian's career in the past couple of years, you might have noticed a progression from the space disco sounds of his early years to a full on exploration of cosmic techno. Fitting then that on EP opener "Randomizziami Sto", Thomas finds the centre point between the two styles, combining a trademark sequenced bassline with weight synth riffs and a solid beat. As the track progresses Thomas shifts into hyperspace, leaving a trail of pitch shifted melody in his wake. "Merdona" picks up the deep space transmission, emerging from a black hole with reversed melodies and clattering percussion before transforming into a mind bending vision of celestial euphoria. Flip the disc and Thomas is at it again, combining techno and disco with a masterful flourish to transform "Goblin" into psychedelic groover boasting a girth bassline and lengthy delays. While that hypnotic riff rolls on below, a salvo of space age tones erupt in the night sky. This one's already in my bag and I havn't even talked about the EP closer! You can make your own mind up about that one, my copy's in my record box already!

Italian synth wizard Massimiliano Pagliara accompanies his recent LP "With One Another" on Live At Robert Johnson with this vibrant two track tribute to a couple of close friends he lost in the last year. Continuing in the fine vein of cross genre form he displayed on that long player, "Major Fun (For Joshi)" is an acid fuelled Italo-disco groover with just enough star gazing synth work and off kilter guitar to ensure the Adriatic crowds will lose their shit. From the first clatter of the reverb heavy kit you just know this one is gonna be massive. For B-side cut "Your Love Away (For Luck)" Massimiliano is joined by fellow Egyptian Nipple Jules Etienne as they take a techy journey through Italo's back streets, encountering sleazy synth washes and dubby vamps on the way. A retro futuristic paean to the darker side of dating, voiced through hushed vocals and spiralling synths, this B-side secret weapon is the bastard love child of a Balihu classic and vintage Juan Maclean. It's that good!


Awww yeah! Essential reissue time baby as another early 80s NYC classic is plucked from the West End vaults and bestowed upon us. The post disco/boogie dream team of Matinelli and Todd are in full effect on this glorious groover, and the Raw Silk girls are in fine voice. Get up and get down as your ears are filled with sparkling synths, a bouncy bassline and the most seductive vocals this side of Jessica Rabbit. And for those who like to get fully subterranean, the killer dub mix on the flip, "Just In Time & Space" is an immersive interstellar journey which taps into the veins of disco, boogie, jazz-funk and dub in true West End fashion. Remastered and sounding better than ever, this is a classic in the truest sense of the word. A true late night, early morning gem.


Craig Clouse, aka Shit & Shine, follows up his stunning "Powder Horn" and "Find Out What Happens When People Start Being Polite For A Fucking Change" with this brand new set of pure heat for Gangsigns. Clocking in at just over 31 minutes, this brand new release pushes on from the last just that little bit further, chopping and screwing it’s way from the dancefloor to the slow jam in six easy steps. From the all drums blazing assault of "Be Careful" to the Drexciyan groove of "Can't Be Trusted" via the biggie click of "Catapilllar" this is red hot from the get go. Then do the flip for the KDJ bounce of "Geenskul", the smoothed out "Welly Too Far Away" and the looped funk that is "What’s Wrong With Me" and you got end to end burners. Once again Craig Continues to be one of the most important and original producers out there.



STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: More cough-syrup swiggin', chopped'n'screwed southern disco and Texan house jive. Essential tackl for the fReAkz!!!

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd 12" Info: 180g vinyl

Fantastic all killer no filler compilation of sun-drenched gems from pop-soul legend Tina Turner. First up is the super cool mid-tempo house groove of Justin Strauss’s 12” Dance Mix of ‘Afterglow’ from 1986 which hit big across the dancefloors of Ibiza. Also included are outstanding covers of Led Zepplin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and a great extended mix of Ann Peebles-penned ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’. Rounding things off we get a brilliant dubbed out instrumental version of ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ from the Mad Max soundtrack.

We all know Fred Ventura, and it’s nice to see that he is coming back again with a new track, co-written and co-produced with Phil R., having been a respected deep house and electronic music producer for years, is now well known for owning the only Italian factory of vinyl records: Phonopress. The track is a classic Italo disco anthem, and there is an alternative, more 'Italo-funky-disco' version in the B-side. The sound and the track’s structure overall are the typical ones from the mid 80’s. This record is a must-have for all Italo-disco lovers, oldtimers, Fred Ventura’s fans and collectors. Beautifully pressed, and with a full picture sleeve, this has ‘future Italo disco classic’ written all over its erogenous zones. A bit like “Every Time Feel Alright” by Andy Romano a few years ago (now goes for £50+ ont discogs). Don’t sleep!

Like all good parables Jane Weaver’s sixth solo album, a concept album called ‘The Silver Globe’, is as multifaceted as it is beguiling. Part coming of age / part cautionary tale and part romantic paeon, this twelve track synth ridden post-apocalyptic prog pop opus is based on tightly embroidered, non-linear recurring themes and inspired by esoteric stories, cosmic imagery and refiltered past experiences.

Written from the optimistic vantage of a long-standing female independent artist, in an desperately evolving industry, Jane’s latest set of self penned pop abstractions combine mechanical rock / recycled European cinema / empyrean vocalisations and an arsenal of rescued vintage synths to create a futurist narrative backdrop of a allegorical post apocalyptic landscape.

‘The Silver Globe’ features collaborations with David Holmes, Australian space rockers Cybotron, Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy), Suzanne Ciani and Andy Votel, as well as a recycled chunk of an 80s Hawkwind track.

STAFF COMMENTS

Philippa says: The Manchester-based singer-songwriter returns with a wonderful self-produced album that augments her previously folk-tinted sound with krautrock, space rock, cosmic disco, Eastern European cinematica and Moog-pop. Seductive and beguiling, 'The Silver Globe' is Weaver's most accomplished album to date!

Bastedos returns with another helping of their signature weirdo disco not disco (but disco) cut-up cuts. This time the painstaking editing comes from AM, Last Waltz, and Bastedos themselves. Side A brings us "Sit On This", a rolling, chugging, clapping, marimba-ing (!) disco workout in the vein of Material ,which pulls you along through a peak time vocal, a sexed up guitar break, and some chopped-up chanting, all the way to its inevitable hands in the air piano finale. The B-side opens with the celestial choral stylings of "No Smoking On The Moon", whose soft synths and tough bass play with each other beneath B-Movie fx and ecclesiastic organs. The sound of a space age disco cult... from the past. Closing the EP is the unpredictable brilliance of "Magicke", the extended soundtrack to the opening of the gates of hell. Shuffling go-go perc, syncopated drums and fuzzed out chords play out under Satan's saxophone, before giving way to a damned (damned fuzzy that is) guitar, sounding out the call of Cthulu. Believe me when I say this is as Balearic as it gets, the original is a little cut tucked away on the Ghostbusters OST!

The mysterious Boogie Down Express return with more red hot edit business, this time expanded and extended to the 12" format. Four directs hits from across the musical spectrum on one fat and frisky hunk of wax. Getting the party started we have an instrumental edit (which does include vocals - go figure?) of Sheila B Devotion's camp-cosmic-classic "Spacer", a driving synth disco cut that's as Barbarella as it gets. This new version ditches some of the frillier, sillier motifs for a nonstop dancefloor wig out, top! Next we take the interdimensional portal from the Hi-NRG dancefloor of late 70s France to the tropical realms of Wally Badarou's synthetic world. "Endless Race" reshapes Badarou's uplifting island groove from his classic "Echoes" LP into an unrelenting club experience. On the flip we fly first class from the Tropics to Ghana to catch up with Highlife legend Charles Amoah, and his warm and smooth "Schratch My Back". This break heavy refix is gonna have everyone shaking their shit on the floor. And what better moment to drop a sleek groove bomb from the one and only Atlantic Starr, whose "Love Moves" gets given the dancefloor grope it always wanted!


A three tracker from Copenhagen’s Music For Dreams and an unusual new house direction for this normally quite Balearic label. All 3 tracks still have that definite White Isle feeling however, James Moor’s ‘Spirits’ kicking things off in an irresistible funky style, perfectly blending melodic bass with dark emotive elements. Electronic artist Hess is More's classic ‘Yes Boss’ (more than 9 million views on You Tube) is here revamped by Serge Devant with a very groovy B-line and mad vocals creating that after-hours DC10 feeling and already getting support from Jamie Jones. Born in Ibiza, Valentin Huedo is former resident DJ at Cafe Del Mar, now resident at Blue Marlin and this release is his debut for Music For Dreams. ‘Running On Grass’ is all flowing pads, rolling beats and a beautiful little melodic hook with spot-on production and an Innervisons feel. Sounds great on the dancefloor or on headphones - a true testament to Huedo’s versatility. Limited edition. Move quick!


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