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Born in Roma in 1959, Guiseppe 'Peps' Cotumaccio arrived in South Africa when he was two years old. He was the mastermind behind the band Sweet Reaction, singing and playing keyboards. In the early 80’s, the group used to back various artists including one of the South African top singer Neville Nash. Both artists were on the same record label: Music Team. Throughout his lengthy career, Peps has collaborated with Johnny Clegg, Ronnie Joyce, Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse, P.J. Powers, Mark Alex, Neville Nash, and Mara Louw just to name a few.
The lead singer of the band, Dion Williamson, started performing in Johannesburg’s nightclubs and got quickly very successful, always in demand! People loved his gravel and sensual voice as he used to sing some of Joe Cocker’s popular songs. Unfortunately, during the Apartheid, the South African Government were not allowing black and white audiences, and the band split.
On this "Big 5 Boogie #2", Enoch Ndlela produced 2 modern soul killers. Recorded in 1981, "Take It Easy", where the music is evidently influenced by Willie Hutch, is a rich syrup of deep soul, gravelly vox and gentle smatterings of guitar. It a late night smoocher, red lit and sweaty arond the collar.
On the same side of this 12”, Simbad & Fred Spider enjoy a fat broken beat version of the track. The London based Aroop Roy has become somewhat of a rising star of late, here he retains most of the the flavour of "Take It Easy" and just powers it up a little with some housey drums that take it from the backrooms and to the festivals!
Side B starts with a superb composition from the band: “African Sunrise” where Dion Williamson is on top form. Slow but highly frenetic jazz funk vibes with rising strings, wriggly Rhodes and wicky-wicky-wicky wah-wah guitar! Soooo funky! To finish off, the well-known Kid Fonque from Johannesburg, who recently moved to London working for the glorious house record label Defected, couldn’t wait to produce a super grooving, deep house refix that shimmers with elation.
Ridiculously strong second record from this label - defo one to watch - recommended.
Matt says: Multi-faceted EP that'll work for purist soul / funk / afro dancers as much as house heads and your clued up Dekmantel crowd. Really nice vinyl pressing on this one two - almost like they had the rotary mixer in mind!
1. Sweet Reaction - Take It Easy
2. Sweet Reaction - Take It Easy (Simbad & Fred Spider Remix)
3. Sweet Reaction - Take It Easy (Aroop Roy Rework)
4. Sweet Reaction - African Sunrise
5. Sweet Reaction - African Sunrise (Kid Fonique Remix)