MAGIC MIX

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

WEEK STARTING 19 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of Serious, Sirius Space Party by Ednah Holt.
Freshly excavated from the West End vaults comes Ednah Holt's 'Serious, Sirius Space Party', a thundering, slo-mo, bass-heavy slab of NYC electronic funk that will sound familiar to those who paid close attention to what the maestro Larry Levan was doing in his sacred booth at the Garage in 1981, or to those who tuned in to peep what the master Afrika Islam was doing on his now semi-religious, hip-hop blueprint 'Zulu Beat Show' on WHBI. That's right, you can guarantee if those 2 guys were playing your record in the city at the same time then you had an underground 'hit' on your hands. The fact that it crossed over from the discotheques to the streets and back again speaks of the appeal of this super heavyweight jam, the legendary team up of Kenton 'Kenix' Nix, Larry himself on the mix, and former Ritchie Family vocalist Ednah Holt makes for some heady listening. One for the after hours dancers, B-Boys and B-Girls and lovers of the downtempo workout. A true and essential NYC classic.

Dusty archives, the backrooms of record stores, private reel to reel stashes, master tapes - these are the environs of the Dynamic Range experience.
Dynamic Range is a new label focused on unearthing deep Soul, Funk and Disco jams that continue to resonate with todays dancers and DJ's. Time spent scouring the bowels of the majors and independents has unsurprisingly resulted in numerous gems being added to the DR wants list. High quality, fully licensed reissues are the order of the day, always taken from the correct master source and re-presented to hungry record heads the world over. To repeat, this is a fully legit operation - Avoid the sharks at all costs!

For their second release they treat us to one of the finest moments in George Benson's catalogue, the Theo-approved "The World Is A Ghetto". His 1977 version of the classic 'The World Is A Ghetto' features beautiful string-laden production and of course, Benson's languid guitar playing that graces the wonderful Claus Ogerman arrangements effortlessly. As well as being an underground disco classic, this amazing groove has been sampled by numerous contemporary producers, most notable Moodymann, Kanye West, Bob Sinclair and many more, a testament to the lush production and soul contained within the grooves of this classic. This repress is programmed exactly like the '77 disco promo 12" that record pool members and DJ's would have received and due to licensing constraints it features the same 9 minute 41 second mix on both sides.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Soothing, swooning, soulful and sublime, George Benson's "The World Is A Ghetto" is arguably the finest disco soul cut around, and absolutely slays a dance floor. This 12" press is cut loud and proud folks.

Curtis & Dondi

Magic From Your Love / Don't Be Afraid

Curtis & Dondi, brothers by name & nature, epitomise the strength of musical talent that Chicago was nurturing during the late 70's & throughout 80's. The track 'Magic From Your Love' is currently getting played by DJs such as Jeremy Underground and this is the first time it has been widely available.

Fantasy Love Records established as a label in 2018 with a focus on the obscure and danceable sounds of the 80s. The point of the label is to revive the sounds of private/small pressings as well as unreleased tracks from groups who recorded boogie/steppers/disco via carefully illustrated vinyl releases & via digital for both collectors & DJs.

Wonder Stories head over the pond for their impressive 24th release probing the Aussie / UK collaboration between Dawn Again and self-confessed footy fan Rothmans. Psychedelic and transient, these non-linear tracks seem to dip and dive out of a thick celestial aural swamp - itself the product of years of decomposing dance music artifacts left to fester undisturbed in the wilderness and unperturbed by current fashion and trends.

Hoisted in for remix duties, Timothy J. Fairplay submits a tumbling, shimmering rendition of "Timeless Odyssey" which sees hi-hat patterns smudge out of time while concentric arps and angelic keys spiral around a centre of gravity.

Emile Strunz meanwhile tackles "Rainbow Perch", wrestling it into a floaty 4/4 techno stomper with a buoyant optimistic and slightly New Wave outlook which recalls The Field and much of Kompact's exquisite catalogue. 


Brooklyn based, DJ Monchan, steps up to perform some surgical edit wizardry on four mouth-watering tracks for the ever-dependable Razor-N-Tape.

‘Reaction Control’ kicks things off with a joyous disco gem, DJ Monchan extending and echoing those killer grooves to create a whirlwind of dancefloor delight. Next up, ‘Dance It All Out’ has a touch of the exotic highlife sound to it but reworked into a DJ friendly, irresistibly bouncing jam.

Flip it and it’s back to the late-night NYC soirees of the 70’s with ‘Can’t Promise’ channelling that pure unadulterated fun into an ethereal edit of magnetic proportions. Taking the final slot of RNT042 ‘Get Down With Your Love’ closes out proceedings with a silky smooth soulful heater.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Top draw disco edits from the well established Razor N Tape. Prolific as they come and keeping the competition well behind. These are sure fire for the discerning disco DJ who wants that perfect mix of dancefloor friendliness and unearthed rarities! Best of both worlds, folks!

Energize

Piece Of Class / Star Of The Disco

Rain&Shine proudly present ENERGIZE, a band out of Marin County, California in 1979. Previously unobtainable even for top DJs due to rarity, Rain&Shine gives this double A side modern soul/disco 45 an official re-issue treatment. About ENERGIZE (words by Dan Hays - Guitarist, Songwriter):

ENERGIZE came to age in a post-hippie era, where musicians went back to playing covers in bars. However Marin was still inexpensive and it was possible to pool money together to buy studio time.

That's how ENERGIZE formed - working musicians led by the superb producer and guitar player, Archie Williams (son of Archie Williams Sr - a passionate educator, WWII air force pilot and 1936 Olympic champion) Dan Hayes - songwriter and guitarist, and John Isabeau - lyrics and our executive producer.

John is now a successful Hollywood producer, Oscar documentary award winner, and resides in James Brown's former house in Las Vegas.

The record also features a hugely successful blues vocalist who has asks to remain uncredited. Archie, John and I now have grown children and a few grandkids as well and getting a kick that 40 years later, our self-produced record has found an audience. Far Out.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Two mega high roller disco bombs with the label 'rarity' hanging proudly on them. This is a high caliber reissue and unfortunately we are not getting many so rush in!

Mosaic is a heavy new three tracker from a band whose reputation exploded this spring with the release of debut album Murmuration.

Lead track Mosaic is full of the warmth of this heatwave-summer, syncopation and groove in abundance. Driving melodic lines and keyboard atmospherics suddenly give way to one of James O'Keefe's most powerful guitar solos to date, wild and psychedelic.

Transcoso brings the band to the downtempo magic that they have become much loved for. Heavily inspired by Azimuth, an hypnotic beat from drummer Jonny Drop eventually builds to a euphoric, almost slow disco climax for the final section.

'Mariposa' is a timely tribute. Debuted at their London album launch this take on the Freeez classic (although the live version in particular) explored a little more of the South London, Brit Funk influences that really drive the band.

Huey Morgan (BBC Radio 6 Music)- Beat of the Week, Record Of The Week and one of the records of the year so far (“All Meat" show), Tony Minvielle (Jazz FM), Shy One (Balamii) Thris Tian (Worldwide FM), Patrick Forge (NTS Radio), Dom Servini (Soho Radio/Netil Radio) Murmuration - Release of the week on Vinyl Factory,

It's clear, from how tight and precise tracks like 'Cannonball' sound, that this is a group of music heads doing what they love. We love it too. Lonely Table

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Moody synthesisers one minute and then upbeat rapid tempos the next! Creating this alluring jazz and cold wave focused album. Original and beautifully done. Love this!

Blair French returns to Rocksteady Disco after last year’s brilliant "Standing Still Is An Illusion" for another 12” of mind, body, and soul music. “Public Park” starts off the release, with flutes, guitars, and African marimbas abound, presenting itself as the song of the summer. “Spirit Guides” follows, taking listeners and dancers on a spiritual Afro-jazz odyssey. The flip features two versions of “Public Beach”, a communal ritualistic dance track cum Detroit jit / footwork cut (!!!) with a massive bassline, pulsing percussion, and harmonized chanting, bringing to mind Shangaan Electro's hi-nrg tribal offerings with an added element of urban edge. Mega!

Garagen Uwe

Balayage

"Balayage" is Garagen Uwe’s first release on the Berlin-based label Beatbude. It’s a two-hits-single that comes with stickers and a business card and is really quite good!

Landing on some three dimensional, digital landscape the sounds are soothing and languid. "Balayage" sees the ancient rhythms of house music, opiated and re-delivered 66% slower than their original intention as dizzying and exotic synthwork paints a multi-coloured environment onto the sonic canvas.

"Ombre'" re-packages instrumental bedroom boogie into a more beguiling and coastal-leaning idea. Delicate guitar picks jostling against thick analogue synths and twinkly Casio melodies to conjure up that perfect moment of horizontal bliss. Watch you don't get yer towel wet...

Recorded at Miami Nice Studios (GER) and mastered by Kelly Hibbert (CRC) this comes fully endorsed by us here at Picc HQ. 


Igor B

Aguas De Septembro

Rocksteady Disco's second cut this week comes from Igor B who drops "Águas de Setembro" which apparently marks the transition from Summer to Autumn.

The source material for these tracks comes from two classics of Música popular brasileirac - which Igor transforms into modern dancefloor bombs!

"Ponteio" should be vaguely familiar with anyone with an interest in vibrant soundtracks and classic earworms; that fluttery, Summery flute melody capturing the soul of anyone lucky enough to hear it. Add rich strings, upright bass and a bustling percussion section and you've got yourself a slice of post-Tropicalia dancefloor fun that everyman and his dog can get down too. Surely coming to a Mr. Scruff / So Flute! / Banana Hill DJ set near you!!

"Cisco Dois" is a more electronically powered upgrade; digital kicks and glassy arpeggios supplementing the organic material contained within. There's still a hefty dose of human perc and primal rhythms, but the overall feel is much more geared towards late night house music action.




Piccadilly-approved synth-dub-psych-popsters Peaking Lights drop their first release of 2018, joining the ever expanding ranks of the Dekmantel family. As long terms fans of the Californian duo might expect, it’s a kaleidoscopic melting-pot of dainty dub, experimental and leftfield beats, with wondrous sunny soundscapes that blend together the unconventional home-fashioned electronics, and windswept vocals that have defined Peaking Lights to date. 'Sea of Sand' is the band’s first record in three years not released on their own imprint. With six tracks, exceeding 30 minutes in total, the extended EP is a prelude to a forthcoming LP. With a DIY aesthetic and approach to analogue instrumentalism, Peaking Lights retro-digital sound is one that sits perfectly with Dekmantel.
The record kicks off with the quirky, upbeat pop track 'Blind Corner', followed by slower Italo-like 'Hypnotized'. There’s a wavey-krautrock sound on 'Shift Your Mind'; a glowing romanticism on 'Read your mind'; and a celestial ambience embedded through 'Noise of Life. The record concludes with the sonically divine harmonic piano track 'Sea of Sand', perfectly setting the template for the EP. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: It's been a little while since we heard from Peaking Lights, and it seems they've spent their downtime refining their take on hallucinogenic synthery. Dubby, dreamy and superbly psychedelic, "Sea Of Sand" is another analogue delight from our favourite synth duo.

Gospelhouse from heaven! Yes - this is a very special record: NYC's Phenomenal Handclap Band meets London's Ray Mang - the psychedelic soul disciples meet the disco champ by way of remix.
Ray Mang is a hero to fans of underground disco: remixer, collector, producer, DJ - he is part of that magic circle of London DJ connoisseurs around DJ Harvey. He has the magic disco touch, and has applied it to great effect to PHB's "Judge Not". He did a fresh, new take on house-heavy gospel disco that is sure to fill any dancefloor. Try it!

For those who don't know New York's almost legendary band: The Phenomenal Handclap Band is led by producer Daniel Collás, and consists of some of New York's finest new soul & disco musicians. Some of them used to play in the Amy Winehouse band and others can be heard on some of Mark Ronson's productions. Their biggest moment was when they released their single "15 to 20" some years ago (on Gomma Records) and Paul McCartney wrote them a letter about how much he loved that song when he heard it on BBC Radio 1.

On "Judge Not" they come up with dazzling piano lines, a deep rare funk rhythm section, and a street corner gospel choir that brings you to your feet.

Ray Mang heard the original version of this song and was hyped to become involved in the remix, and the pairing is complementary to say the least.
Many of you know PHB from their collaborations with such luminaries as Peaches or Marcos Valle or Bryan Ferry, a prime appearance at the Glastonbury Festival, and direct support on Bryan Ferry's US tour.
The group is currently finishing a new album.

Esther Phillips

Home Is Where The Hatred Is / I've Never Found A Man

Firstly, Esther’s cover of Gil Scott-Heron’s timeless masterpiece ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’. A haunting tale of addiction filled with the rawest of emotions, that can only truly be covered by someone who has fought that same battle with dependency. The pain in Esther’s voice completely conveys this vulnerability and does Gill Scott Heron’s original total justice. Heart-wrenching and completely absorbing in its honesty, it’s a sincere portrayal of the demons both artist’s faced in their lives.

On the B side, an adaptation of Eddie Floyd’s ‘I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)’. Phillips’ trademark soulful tones suit this sweet serenade so well, with the passion oozing from every word she sings. Sit back, relax and prepare to have your heart melted all over again.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: Two Esther Phillips grand classics. One on each side. Essential staple record for any DJ and music lover out there. I am getting one!

Stamping the passport this time round we have DJ Ric Piccolo by way of Buenos Aires, who takes lost and obscure Argentinian records and injects them with a turbo shot of discoid overload. If you've just got onboard the Passport to Paradise spaceship, don't fret- PTP13 is the perfect introduction for the aspiring cosmic voyageur.

Ric Piccolo kicks off with the heady throes of 'Fuck All Nite' . You've heard it before but you can't remember where. Take the advice- this is your 3am matchmaking tool. Then head onto A2, 'Passage', where the wind whistles through tropical vines and monkeys play Moogs on the rainforest floor. TIP!

On the flip side we have '1, 2, 3..', sounding like the lost credit track to a 1980s Latin horror b-movie, where flare-clad zombies with glasses of fernet rock and sway with drunken senoritas. It could well be. Finally, B2, Venus rounds of the release in true cosmic disco style.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: What's not to love with a song title like 'Fuck All Night'. Beyond the title, it is a great 12". It reminds me a bit of Serge Santiago, read that as Italo feast. Great edits all round.

Edizioni Mondo as a label, has the goal to produce music that is descriptive of concepts, images and environments. Inspired by library music, a genre frequently used as theme or background music in radio, film and television in that very same period, the name MONDO has its roots in “MONDO MOVIES", an Italian movie genre born in the 60’s. Mondo movies are characterized by documentary-like content that addresses several topics from around the world ("mondo"). Numero nove comes courtesy of ROTLA. Also known as Mario Pierro and Raiders of the Lost Arp, “Waves” is his third contribution to Edizioni Mondo. Downtempo, trippy, playful and pardon us, balearic, it's the soundtrack to the fading summer or the one starting somewhere else in this universe. Accompanied by remix works from label head L.U.C.A. and balearic (again!) mastermind Mark Barrott with his Sketches form an Island Healing Hands, it's the most balearic (three's a charm) record you will hear this side of the summer (wherever you are).

London's, Latin-Funk / Tropicalia fusion pioneer: Spiteri & music partner Stephen Alpert open up their recordings from the Abbey Road Studios archives (1979) and pass them to Los Charly's Orchestra for a brand new re-processing, connecting the true chemistry of the old school with the current LCO technique, which founders: Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel have been crafting for more than a decade now, inspiring music lovers and producers all around the world.

From the origins of the Ronnie Scott's Latin Jam, to playing at the opening of Amnesia - Ibiza alongside (at the time up and coming talent): Bob Marley..., Spiteri lived it all in an authentic experimental fashion.

A few years later, that Spiteri legacy spread it's roots back in his mother land Venezuela and Latin-America, laying the foundations for a new generation of Latin sounds and fusions where bands of the calibre of Los Amigos Invisibles were to be born.

Los Charly's Orchestra meets Spiteri in order to pay tribute to all those years of creative effort with a new series of Re-works, where the emblematic tracks: Amor & Disco Samba set the scene for an initial chapter.

“Give Me Your Love” by Sylvia Striplin is an iconic album of the early 80s and was first released on Uno Melodic Records, a label belonging to jazz and soul legend Roy Ayers. Sylvia previously sang with Aquarian Dream as lead on “You’re A Star” before joining Roy as a member of the group Eighties Ladies. “Give Me Your Love” is soul, disco, boogie and ‘rare groove’ all in one. This is an album of timeless gems which on both LP and CD has exchanged hands for hundreds of UK Pounds in both original and reissue formats. These are signature tracks from a golden era of music.

As a delightful taster for his upcoming debut album called “Between A Smile And A Tear” on Music For Dreams, Danish artist Be Svendsen launches his new vocal driven - the weird and wonderful deep disco single ‘Drop The Gun’ World premiered by Pete Tong on BBC1, and already harnessing great momentum in Ibiza and the summer festivals, this crossover track is very likely to stick in your head. Produced, arranged, mixed, played and sung by Be Svendsen.


Sprechen sie rhythm? It's time for a new dance...

Welcome to the wonderful weird of Talking Drums - a home for poorly executed dance moves, misjudged vibes and narcotic bravery. Semi-Cosmic, way wonky and oozing grooves, this is music for the fringe class.

The party starts with a tripped out tribute to an Italian inspiration. 'C60 Lato A' sees the crew pluck a couple of killers off a well worn Cosmic tape, leave them out in the sun a little too long then stick them back together with an experimental blend of UHU and fufu. Springy bass, spangled brass and mangled electronics make for a motherload of funk, fried just long enough to make the walls melt. Bendy....

Over on the B-side the crew come through with a little bathsalt boogie, pitched down and loved up for all the slow dancers and romancers out there. Strutting like a stoned fox, 'Get Serious' wraps rubber-limbed bass around propulsive percussion, gets hooky with the horns then slaps you silly with its x-rated synth-smut. Pinched from the pound bin and taped over a CH 5 classic, this disco drooler will loosen up even the stickiest floors.

Freshly dressed and pressed to impress, the Drums are talking....

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: MASSIVE off kilter disco business from a new local firm here. Afro-electronix and space walking boogie twisted into the kind of wobbly cosmic tackle that brings on peak time enlightenment... Get yer orders in!

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Super limited white label repress imminent.
Hand Stamped - No Messing.

Bubbha Thomas & The Lightmen

Country Fried Chicken

    Drummer, bandleader and activist Bubbha Thomas had toured America with R&B revues, served as a session musician for Peacock and Back Beat Records, and played straight ahead jazz with legends before the political and social upheaval of the late 1960s led him to a path first charted by Coltrane. Country Fried Chicken, his fourth LP with his Lightmen band is his most accessible, a mixture of funk and spiritual jazz. Contains second disc with bonus tracks: alternate, synth-lead mixes of songs from his first two LPs as well as rare and unreleased disco and boogie tracks. Extensive booklet, download card for WAV files and footage of live performances included. 

    Womack & Womack

    MPB - Missin' Persons Bureau

    Any Melodies International release causes a certain amount of hullabaloo, but their latest disc has had eager customers beating down our door in anticipation. Dedicating their 11th release to both soul and house royalty, the digging crew have licensed a pair of tough to track down Frankie Knuckles remixes of Womack & Womack soul classic M.P.B. Originally appearing on their late 80s "Conscious" LP, "Missing Persons Bureau" is a beautiful slice of modern soul all about a lover running out on you. Though the Womacks were initially apprehensive about the idea of a rework, Island impressario Chris Blackwell won them over and sent the masters to all time house hero Frankie Knuckles, who turned out a pair of pearls. Working his magic for 9 A-side minutes, Frankie splices the club soul of the original into a slow and soulful house groove, flipping our lids with a wondrous SH101 bassline, subtle percussion, bright vamps and a sparing use of the original instrumentation. Spacious and special, this is up there with the legend's Loose Ends remix. If you're peaking already, I suggest you call to mind the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre (something to keep the wolf from the door), because the money shot is over on the B-side. A long time Balearic holy grail, Frankie's Folk Version takes some of the 'Hallucinagenic' sound design he brought to "Ain't Nobody", applies it to the Havens's style guitar and vocals, then gradually introduces synth bass, subtle drums and some very familiar piano to create an absolute masterpiece. As good as any of Frankie's productions, and the best moment in the Womack and Womack catalogue, this is total must have tackle.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Melodies International come through with an ESSENTIAL reissue here, delivering some psychedelic folk splendour courtesy of Frankie Knuckles sublime 'Folk Version' of MPB. Soulful, grooving and folky in a Richie Havens kind of way, this is a must have record for soul fans, house heads and the Balearic crowd.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd 12" Info: REPRESS!

    History revealing compilation project centering around the legendary Front Club in Hamburg Germany that existed from the 80´s - late 90´s - a leading club in terms of music selection, mixing technique, rave culture - in a very important period of time.

    Eponymous resident DJ´s Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch take a close look back at that time, guide you through the history, the early beginnings and absolute key moments of house music club culture in Germany.

    37 legendary tracks make up the CD release - many of which have not been on sale forever and a day while the vinyl, set across two volumes, selected 16 of the hardest hitting numbers for an unmixed selection for the DJs and collectors alike.

    Hamburg’s Front club was already the stuff of legend, and the story is important now, 21 years later as not many peoiple know how house music infiltrated Germany to give techno some competition on the dancefloor. With Front you wouldn't have Robert Johnson or, to some extent, Parorama - house and disco simply were not celebrated in large numbers until Front, Stockhausen and Dlugosch opens minds and record boxes to the soulful sound. 


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP 1 Info: LP Part One.

    2xLP 2 Info: LP Part Two.


    Happy New Music Friday everyone. Loads of great releases out today and we some new banners up too… https://t.co/U3FlW0AnpM
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