MAGIC MIX

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

WEEK STARTING 14 Apr

Genre pick of the week Cover of Supernova Remix 12" Part One - Ray Mang / 9dw / Lusty Zanzibar / Gonno Remixes by U-Ka.
Groovitron waste no time and hit us with the first remix EP pulled from U-Ka's "Supernova" LP, scouring the globe for hot remix talent. On the A-side Ray Mang (Mangled / DFA) takes on the title track and delivers a fantastic body-poppin' electro jam which is completed with some classic 80's synth stabs - 'get yer lino out'. Next up, Japan's 9DW reworks 'Per Aspera Ad Astra', setting a nu-disco / Italo course towards a neighbouring galaxy while us passengers marvel at soaring synths and a dreamy piano.
 
On the flip, Lusty Zanzibar take on 'Chilling In The Spaceship On The Outskirts Of The Universe', steering away from the cosmic disco and taking us on a smooth slo-mo journey across space and time, before dropping us safely on the beach. The final mix comes from Gonno who leads conjures a hypnotic techno vision complete with all his wonderful trademark production qualities. This won't be around long, so don't sleep on it.

Erol Alkan

A Hold On Love / Bang - Tom Trago / The Emperor Machine Remixes

Here we are, still reeling at the realisation that the "Illumination EP" was Erol's debut production and drunk on the dark power inside the grooves, when Phantasy hit us with a jab-hook combo of remix EPs! This second instalment features Amsterdam house don Tom Trago and cosmic synth maestro Emperor Machine taking Erol's work to town. Tom Trago opens proceedings with his Tokyo Mix of "A Hold On Love", a minimal house cut with maximal emotional response thanks to its broad pads, stuttered vox and burbling bassline. On the flip, UK house stalwart Andy Meecham dons his Emperor Machine cap for a sprawling wormhole interpretation, bringing the crystalline synth to the forefront, and injecting the track with a sublte hit of acid funk.


A true gem unleashed from the vaults! John Davis was born in Anderson, South Carolina to musical parents, and started playing the guitar when he was seven years old. He went on to learn the bass guitar, drums and keyboards and began his musical career traveling around America singing gospel music with his father and his five brothers. In the 70s he joined the army and was stationed in Germany; when he left the army he continued to play with both local musicians and American acts who were touring the country. An experienced producer, in the early 80s Davis worked with Prince cohort Terry Lewis of The Time and in the 90s moved to Los Angeles where he played with Babyface and many other artists on the Solar Records label. The tracks compiled on the Citinite album "Flashcan" were written in 1984. John recalls, "I had a friend, Manfred Radtke, who had a small studio in Kitzingen, Germany. He offered me the chance to work in his studio and there I began to write songs in the style that I really liked, that came out of my soul and heart. One of my favourite bands was Zapp and they often worked with the voice box. At the time, music was very electronic and groups like Parliament were doing a mixture of smooth funk and electronics, and so I mixed them together to create my tracks". The resuscitation of electro's most influential producers continues with this reissue from 1984 of John Davis' best work. With a funk quota that makes Prince himself sound like a bow-legged honky...while production techniques have evolved, it's nonetheless clear that Juan Atkins' early work owes a debt to 'Laser Man', I-F has spent a lot of time listening to the warm, vocodered melodies of 'Dream Six-0', and as for Undergound Resistance's high-tech sound? Take a listen to the moody chords and angular breaks of 'Electro-?' to find out who Mad Mike's mentor is. PURE HEAT!!!

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: A double album of authentic 80s boogie / electro-funk for 12 quid?! Hope you're paying attention Il Bosco, Randy Marsh and Sonofapizzaman! A must for anyone with a penchant for all things buggy.

Felix Dickinson & Nick The Record

Unbreakable / First Fruit

Tokyo dancefloor superpower, Ene, look to old blighty for their new release, tempting two acid house survivors into the studio with the promise of good drugs, strong booze and beautiful sportswear. Cynic boss, disco don and Balearic mischief maker Felix Dickinson and esteemed vinyl dealer Nick The Record take their collaborative relationship to the next level, swapping the editing scalpel for the full studio array. And in the true acid house spirit the duo decided the more the merrier and invited the mighty Kaidi Tatham (Bugz In The Attic fame) and his magic fingers to take care of keyboard duties. On the A-side "Unbreakable" is a huge smiling groove which throws serious shapes somewhere between disco and house. A conga-led percussion percolates away alongside a sturdy bassline while Kaidi hits us with some Floating Points styled keys, layering synth lines and samples until the club's awash with melody and colour. Deep and dope stuff. B-side cut "First Fruit" goes down a completely different route, exploring the dubby end of the synth funk spectrum. The synthetic rhythm has a tropical, almost baile flavour to it, whilst the bass synth womps away like it escaped a Joker single, giving the track a disorientating weightless quality. If there were a genre heading for off the wall electro-dubstep-disco-funk then this would be the sole occupant, which is almost worth the entry fee alone. It's already a winner for DJ Harvey, Lexx and Psychemagik, so get on board!


Oooof! It's always a pleasure to hear a new Emperor Machine release, and this one's a real blinder. The man responsible for 50% of Staffordshire's energy consumption (the other 50% being swallowed up by Dean Meredith, obviously) once again fires up his impressive collection of vintage synths and dons his space suit for a voyage to distant worlds. "RMI Is All I Want" is a mid-tempo cosmic chugger in the trademark EM style, but this time features some dreamy female vocals which could easily be the sound of a space siren. The live bass is funky and groovesome to a Bootsy level, while the wigged out guitar heroics add a frazzled stargazing charm to the track. As ever, Andy combines tough edged disco beats with more cerebral cosmic melodies into alluring soundscapes that bend your mind and drive your feet. Ace. On the flip, Nu Rave survivor, electro impressario and Phantasy boss Erol Alkan copies the original mix onto 3.5" floppy and whacks it into his Amiga 600, transforming the original into a belting nugget of micro(chip) house. 


Golden Teacher

Party People / Love

After the success of their first EP “Bells From The Deep End” and their second “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, Optimo Music are very happy to present the third Golden Teacher EP featuring another sleeve designed and made by their very own fair hands. Further copies will be available in the usual pink Optimo Music house bag. Super-limited, so buy now or never!

Their latest release is a party record… Play it loud, preferably with some lasers and strobes, and LET LOOSE.

It's a double A-side release, with "Love" actually taking up the first side. A rip-roaring, tripped-out acid house workout, but with a large twist of post-punk no wave cool in the treated vocals, and a funky swing in the cowbells and percussion. "Love" has been cut at 45 so it can be cunningly played at either speed apparently, for extra added value. Bringing the pace down, "Party People" is a go-go au go go number with everyone having a go (go) on percussion, someone adding the sleaziest of analogue electro-funk keyboards, while vocalists Cassie Oji and Charles Lavenac freeform like a twin-headed James Chance. The 12" also features an added bonus track "Silver Chalice" - imagine Cultural Vibe's proto-house classic "Ma Fum Bey" with jazz-funk keys and live drumming.


Brand new (circa 2012) Sound Signature from Craig Huckaby featuring production from Theo Parrish and Pirahnahead. This is a HOT HOT HOT twelve! "Black Music" is liquid bliss Detroit house. A totally infectious hook repeating over and over while a deep spoken word talks about black music, John Coltrain and Sun Ra in a righteous and invigorating manner. Deliciously long, this is one of the tastiest hooks to come out of Detroit for ages - the searing strings, live bass and soulful backing vocals just sitting perfectly on our ears. On the flip we get "Child Of The Sun" which features another spoken word, this time about a man / boy named Peanut who everyone called Squirrel. Or is it the other way roung? Anyway, the groove this time is more leftfield and quirky, but still with enough of that Detroit funk to keep everyone’s hips wiggling in the dance. It’s also got one of those nagging thin guitar lines that Theo likes so much to extended and tweak in the mix (remember that super extended James Brown guitar lick edit he used to always play?). Anyway, after a long introduction the track drops into an amazing live jam with this catchy-as-hell bassline and live Rhodes. Jaw-dropping, the hottest Sound Signature release for a good while. Finally we get the poem acapela, tagged onto the end of the record for creative mixing and sample use. Move fast on this one... like Mummy's hot cakes they won't be around for long.

Juggy Murray Jones

Inside America / Disco Extraordinaire

Red-hot limited reissue of the Juggy Murray Jones’ super rare double-header from 1976. Released on Juggy’s own Jupiter Records, Side A features the extremely hard-to-find long 12” version of ‘Inside America’ - Jones’ blistering disco tribute to Americana which was huge at Mancuso’s Loft parties and Levan’s Paradise Garage as well as hitting big across the US and also finding a spiritual home with the soulboys of the UK. Flip over for the more relaxed but equally floor-friendly vibe of ‘Disco Extraordinaire’. Essential disco rarity - don’t sleep!

Label boss Dan Carey and JUCE have history – Carey, who worked with them on their song, ‘Call You Out’, bumped into them at an ESG show where a plot was hatched to work on a Speedy Wunderground release.

The requisite Speedy Wunderground tenets, as ever, were firmly in place – recorded in a day at Dan’s South London HQ in a dry ice and lazer filled studio, mixed the following day and quickly pressed on limited (250 only) vinyl.

Juce are London trio Georgia, Chalin & Cherish. They debuted ‘Call You Out’ earlier this year and describe themselves as ‘TIMELESS / FRESH / SOUL / LIVE GIRL BAND’. Reverb-heavy indie-disco-not-disco with a fresh pop edge - love it!


More laser-lit futuristic disco sounds teleport out of Rotterdam and onto your turntable. Dutch imprint Bordello A Parigi fire up the strip lights and strobes and drop a couple of Nuovo Italo bombs courtesy of Machinegewehr and A Visitor From Another Meaning (AKA the one and only Alden Tyrell). On the A-side Machinegewehr sets phasers to stun, hits the red button on the arpeggiator and enlists Gees Voorhees to lend her gorgeous vocals to blast us into the cosmos. The overall effect is an understated euphoria (if that makes sense), emotional and uplifting without crossing over into staduim cheese. Elitechnique's remix smooths out the more rampant moments of the original, opting instead for Sci-Fi synths, twinkling bells and soaring strings. On the flip, Alden Tyrell adopts one of his numerous aliases and drops a tasty reimagination of the A-side cut featuring Fred Ventura on vocal duties. "Neon Lights" is a classic Italo pounder with a hint of those big chord progressions loved by Kano and the bass power of Bobby O. You can't argue with comparisons like that.


Remember when we were all positive that Black Devil Disco Club was a contemporary producer pretending to be a forgotten king of Euro-disco, we backed the wrong horse. Antoni Maiovvi is not in fact the long lost heir of Italo-disco, but a native Bristolian with an eye-popping synth collection and an electro-disco obsession which borders on fetish. This four tracker on Bordello A Parigi finds the Giallo Disco boss in fine fettle, completely nailing the italo / synth pop crossover with all of those period features we love so dearly. "Trauma" gets you moving with it's staccato electro rhythm, synth vox and outstanding accented vocals. The result is something approaching an Arther Baker remix of Depeche Mode, as commissioned, arranged and mixed to be performed by the house band on a Dutch chat show in 1983. "Sacriledge" follows suit, this time introducing some fuzzy, short circuiting synth riffs to enhance the atmosphere. The EP closes with the zero gravity chug of "An Interface", a track which boasts the most Italo melody and bassline this side of '84. Shades of Rimini in the sunshine and obscure Japanese cd only compilations abound as you drift into the cosmos.


Top quality remastered reissue of Osé’s very rare and sought after old school vocoder electro jam ‘Computer funk’, a stone cold classic with an awesome phat analogue bassline and some of the best vocoder vocals ever recorded. Originally released back in ’83 on the tiny Florida label Bound Sound and produced by the great James McCauley, this is Miami electro at its finest and it’s easy to see why it’s become such a Holy Grail with DJs and collectors. Must have.


The Osmonds

I, I, I / You're Mine

Premium quality vinyl reissue of the highly collectible promo-only 12” “I, I, I” by unlikely Balearic heroes The Osmonds. First released in 1979, this fruitful collaboration between the proto-boyband and legendary pop-disco producer Maurice Gibb is a wonderful slab of chugging syncopated cosmic disco rock topped off with lush string arrangements which despite being criminally overlooked at the time of its original release, has recently garnered much favour with Balearic aficionados. Also surprisingly good is the flipside’s 'You're Mine', a more 'live' sounding affair, coming across like Steely Dan met Chicago at Studio 54 and hit the studio on the way home. Don’t miss!

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: You'll remember this off the iconic 'Down To The Sea And Back' compilation and Kelvin and Danny's cheeky edit they did for 'Osmondosis' on the 12" sampler that accompanied the comp.

Pharaohs

Island Time - Another Beach / Tornado Wallace Remixes

Early in 2013, LA's Pharaohs dropped their ESP debut "Island Time" at exactly the same time that Tornado Wallace opened his ESP account with "Thinking Allowed". The result was a Freaky Friday styled exchange, with both acts remixing each other over the following months. Finally the process comes full circle, as Tornado Wallace drops a killer rework of "If It Ever Feels Right". The Australian producer gets into the groove straight away, opting for a hypnotic bounce, which pulls you into its sprawling synthetic world before blasting you to the next level with a fireworks display of hazy pads and laser light. On the flip, Pharaohs perform the always tricky task of remixing themselves, with excellent results. The "Another Beach" version of "Ahumbo" is a churning psychedelic brew of African chant, organic instrumentation and spiralling synths, warmed in the summer sun and served up with a can of Panache as a Balearic chaser. This is my under the radar Balearic dancefloor record of the week tip, so take note. 


Bordello A Parigi pull something very special out of their rolled up sleeves here courtesy of Argentine disco connaisseur Ricardo Piccolo. The Latin lover polishes his medallion (not a euphemism) and gets ready to set the dancefloor on fire with four edits of Argentinian rare groove. Up first, "Take Me" is a rolling groover with scratchy guitar work, disco lasers and a steam kettle synth playing host to some seriously catchy vocals. Some tasty filtering, intelligent arrangement and added studio laugh track set this one apart from the pack. On the A2, Ricardo strolls up to your table and serenades you and your senorita with a heartfelt disco instrumental with hints of jazz-funk and a whole wallop of tango. I can imagine Horsemeat Disco and Terje loving this, or maybe Daniel Wang dropping this next to an Oto Gelb number. On the flip, "Bermilyia Avenue" is a fizzing psychedelic funk number, which combines a strutting disco groove with "Why'd U Fall" synth tones, wartime news reports and plenty of wah solos. And before you think it's just one for the hardcore heads, check out the gorgeous female vocals on the chorus. It's a winner. Ric closes the EP out with the slamming cosmic Jazz-funk of "In Ovni", a space age romp through disco grooves, funk backbeats, and moog madness. If this had snuck onto one of the Black Cock edits you'd be none the wiser, it's a proper out there dancefloor sound packed with soul. My kinda tackle! Limited to 250 copies.

Tuk Tuk

Chambray Record Shopper Tote

    Lovely new chambray (that's denim to you and me) tote bag from the good folk at TukTuk.

    The main compartment is big enought to carry your 12" vinyl purchases, and there's also a 7" pocket on the front for those few cheeky sevens you've picked up too.

    The main compartment has a magnetic stud fastening, and there is a phone pocket and zip pocket for all your other bit's and pieces, both in lovely check fabric (like the linings in their leather record boxes).

    It has nice long handles, big enough to sling it over your shoulder, but not so long that you can't carry it in your hand.

    Perfect!

    U-Ka is a disco outfit from Bremen, Germany featuring Alexander Mueller (keyboards) and Oleg Kozlov (guitars) as core members. The other studio players include Ric Fierabarcci (bass player for the likes of Chick Corea and Billy Cobham), Joey Heredia (drums) (Steve Wonder, Tania Maria) and Jerry Watts (bass).

    Both Mueller and Kozlov have wide ranging musical tastes which take in everything from modern Russian classical music to 70s UK prog / pop-rock scene (Yes, ELO etc) or  Frank Zappa, early German electronic and psychedelic krautrock etc. The goal with 'Supernova' was to look back to the disco era but create something synth-heavy with an altogether more cosmic twist. The result is a live sounding disco jam with gurgling analogue synth lines and Rodgersesque guitar funkiness one minute, languid psychedelic guitar licks and primitive drum machine rhythm tracks the next. The album was mixed and mastered to 1/4" tape using only analogue equipment for that authentic retro touch..


    Julien Tavernier casts the net wide and pulls in some exotic talents to soundtrack your evening at the Riviera Disco Club. This fresh platter on Bordello A Parigi is the sound of a cool breeze rolling over the sands, the sweat of a neon discotheque, the feel of his stubble on your neck. Dilemma takes on the A1, shipping in the most potent and fruity Belgian export since Liefman's reopened in the form of "Il Buffone". Wide eyed synth melodies ride high on the back of driving bass sequences, whilst tom rolls and reverb heavy claps take you back to the cinema of your youth. Next up, DJ GIO MC-505 tunes us into the Cybernetic Broadcast Service with some hardcore Italo reminiscent of the more intense Capricorn or Scotch cuts. Vocoders, sci fi synths and 808 bells do the real damage here, while buried deep in the mix are little reminders of the fondly remembered 'Scratch Mix'. On the flip, Disco Sigaretta lowers the pace to soundtrack a secret rendezvous on a space yacht. Stargazing synths and super funky keys come together with a heavyweight live bassline in orgasmic harmony. Disko Selectors end the EP in no less cinematic fashion with the emotive and heartfelt "Looking Through The Hole", a robotic tale of redemption and love. Stadium porgressions and driving sequences take your breath away either side of a breakdown with a chime melody that'll have your heart leaping out of your chest. It's time to get the chest wig out, Eurodisco is back with a bang.



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