MAGIC MIX

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

WEEK STARTING 24 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of Red Laser Records EP 10 by Various Artists.

Various Artists

Red Laser Records EP 10

As we boldly enter a new decade, we cap off the pingin' naughties with another four bangers for your intergalactic nappers on this, the tenth instalment of our various artist EP series!

Red Laser Corp. engage tractor beams once again and beam up an elite squadron of galactic firepower for another of their well-lauded V/A EPs. Featuring two new ascending space cadets, ready to prove their worth on the universal playing field, alongside well-decorated star commanders Ste Spandex and Franz Scala; this latest Manctalo mission is destined for undisputed interplanetary acclaim.

First up, it's local interstellar fugitive, RL regular and black listed hardware abuser, Ste Spandex; whose titular tribute to one of dance music's most notorious labels is as fitting and arresting a piece of glistening, space disco-tek as its namesake deserves. Centered on triplet synth shards and a rugged acid line, Spandex-patented perx snap, crackle and pop as the track careers through the asteroid belts protected by a capacious force-field of electrostatic energy.

New signing Baba & Ganoush deploy a sleek, Euro-disco themed energy ball named 'Stockholm'. It's epochal synth array referencing classic Italo disco whilst revealing a precision sign-writing maturity that belies the fact that this is indeed the duo's first release!
Spurting tantalising synth solos and interlocking leads from its holographic sphere, you could easily been sent spiralling into the speaker stacks, eyes-wide-shut upon hearing this piece - note RLC will not be held liable for any injuries sustained!

Next we enter the cockpit of Berlin-residing, Italo-maestro Franz Scala, who on his debut sortie for RLR, directs the mother ship towards an innocuous star cluster where Ka Zan’s 'Give Me Your Heart' is on permanent repeat. Scala utilises advanced time shift and audio defragmentation devices to re-engage its citizens with this hardcore cosmic climax, transforming it into an erupting supernova of Italo that blasts so far it's now detected across our own stratosphere.

Ondata's Martin Lefteri and Szymek Lawik are two new rookies snapped up from London and whose 'Feel The Drive' parties have established an alliance with Red Laser Disco members nationwide. Delving perilously into deep space via some meticulously programmed sequences and a dark, cold synthesis method, the pair show a fearless exploration of the outer cosmos on this initial exercise for the label. .

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: The nation's favourite returns. No. 1 purveyers of the finest Manctalo © (hell, they invented it!), Red Laser drop another various artists EP showing off their 2020 roster and the firm look in good stead for the year ahead; spreading their net across the globe. Check!

The next official reissue oozes the feelgood factor, a reggae disco cover of ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Jamaican artist Yvonne Archer. For the first time since the original release in 1980 the full length original 12” mix gets the reissue treatment along with the Lovers Rock leaning ‘Checking Out The Way I Feel’.

On the flip Jura Soundsystem provide 2 edits, a main edit that pulls back on the electric guitar from the original and a Dub adding subtle delays and sparse use of the Vocal to let the groove work its magic. This is the first of two 12”s licensed from producer John Rubie that will appear on Isle Of Jura in 2020.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Obviously "Ain't Nobody" is mindbogglingly brilliant in its original form, but how about a cosmic reggae cover from the digital era. Yep, also totally amazing! You also get a neat lovers rock cut from the original single and a pair of reworked versions from the Jura crew! Fans of reggae, cosmic, Balearic, pop, enjoyment all need a copy!

London's Aroop Roy is enjoying a fruitful period of work, with new label Neon Danza asking the Afro-funk-disco-house wizard to contribute a selection of reworks to kick off the label. 

"Tabu Afrique" is an unstoppable 80's Afro-disco monster, with sassy vocals and Soukous guitar licks. "Magia" is an extended mix of a Brazilian classic with epic vocals and uplifting mid-tempo groove. Finally "Na Boko Samba" is on a deeper tip, featuring an infectious chorus, and equally catchy synths and an 80's house beat.

Beatconductor

Yugo 001

After a little lay off the Beatconductor is back to punch your disco ticket, turning out a super limited, hand stamped and effin' MEGA single sided 12". Raiding the crates to plunder a gorgeous bit of Yugoslavian jazz, BC extends the late night groove, applying a little "Sexual Healing" percussion, shining a spotlight on that sublime guitar hook and generally taking us to poolside paradise. The bass is warm and weighty, the vocals shimmer with a soft rock star wipe and the tender brass adds more than a little sax appeal. Probably the best Balearic end of set smasher since "Jonny Hates Sax"....

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Insanely limited and utterly exceptional edit from Beatconductor here, transforming a guitar led slice of Yugoslavian jazz into the very definition of Balearic. Do. Not. Sleep.

Following a trip into the heart of Max Santilli’s Sydney studio, Into The Light Records’ ‘International’ series returns to Europe for an audience with former Peur Bleue, Versatile and Wisdom Teeth contributor Benoit B.

The Berlin-based producer has previously won praise for his atmospheric and evocative approach to electronic music, which priorities melody, texture and vibe over form and function. "Notes of Love", his first EP for Into The Light, was deliberately designed as a 'soft journey for the ears', with Benoit B opting to layer up only the most essential musical elements in order to guarantee sparkling, crystal clear sound and an overriding clarity of purpose. More recently, a 10" for Firecracker sublabel Unthank saw the producer head to dark leftfield dancefloors with a heady concoction of EBM and mutant warehouse stylings.

Compare and contrast the sunrise-ready new age synthesizer melodies, bustling synth-bass, Fairlight style stabs and shuffling breakbeats of "2090", the Vangelis Katsoulis style bliss of "Polar Nights", the Art of Noise style ambient collage that is "Czechoslovakia" and the intergalactic, post-electro pulse of "Cowboy Dan", whose rubbery synthesizer lines and electronic motifs somehow manage to be both funky and foreboding; and we find find a multifaceted artist with an already dazzling catalogue!

Yet for all of these stylistic twists, “Notes of Love” is a coherent statement of intent from a producer whose personal musical vision remains as clear as ever.


Star Creature x Fantasy Love team up for this banging update of an absolutly raging, in-demand rare groove dancefloor filler. Remastered from the original session tapes stems, "Paradise's Love" was one of two incredibly rare 7"'s released on the fleeting Rainbow Records label in 1982 (the other one, Axis' "Foxy Lady" from '84 is just as sought after). Owned by few but desired by many, SC and FL do the right thing and reissue this piece of high charged boogie for all to enjoy. Precision editor, Kon is even invited in to re-splice - accellerating it even further down the disco-boogie superhighway and keeping more than faithful to the original jam's vibe. Cut nice and loud across heavy 12" wax these two stalwarts of modern boogie might have even outdone the original version here!

Form and orderly queue, chances of owning this record don't come around often! 


Music From Memory are back with more essential action on the archival tip, this time combining the ultimate techno-tropical tonker from Curt Cress with the finest dancers from his most celebrated solo LP "Avanti" - providing those with a thirst for the deeper dancefloor experience with the best of Cress in one easy place.
Prolific as a percussionist and producer, Curt Cress came to fame during the 70s, lending his rhythms to a who's who of German prog groups, jazz rockers, fusionists and popstars, before finally stepping out on his own with the "Avanti" LP in 1983. Inspired by his time with the fusion groups, the burgeoning NDW scene and cutting edge synths, Cress swept through backbeats, breakbeats, syncopation and solos, providing melodic intricacy via tumbling mallets and otherworldly electronics. The three tracks which make up the B-side on this retrospective 12" all appear on the second side of "Avanti", and give an instant impression of the impact, accomplishment and ambiance of the LP. "Sundance" sprints through syncopated hits, tumbling talking drums, ace electronic passages and a hypnotic mallet refrain made for dancing feet. Taking a tougher approach, "Power Vein" thumps out the toms, rock snares and white noise hats in true mechanical funk fashion before "Flying HIgh" offers us dreamy Asiatic melodies, bouncing Linn idents and an intricate, ever changing web of pure percussive joy - a true dancers' delight.
From a DJ's point of view, all this was just foreplay ahead of Curt's '92 12" "Dschung Tek", pulled from a point in his career when the veteran drummer was experimenting with techno and tribal house, with the confidence to have a little fun. Played with passion by Ruf Dug, Talking Drums, Basso and Bufiman over the past half decade, "Dschung Tek" takes us on a trip through the undergrowth, pairing warped synthetic metal hits, a pounding beat and all sorts of tropical tropes (birdsong, cicadas, crickets) with a gurgling sequence a bit like an army of ants chomping their way through a DX7. Add in an elephant trumpet, ace pads and a break with a fly swatter and you're having the time of your life.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: My favourite and most played dance record ever, and the essential Talking Drums track! Play "Dschung Tek" loud enough and you'll actual land in Jumanji! If that weren't enough to have you buzzing harder than an irate mosquito, the flip pulls three of the best tracks off Curt's excellent "Avanti EP" and gives them a fresh pressing for club use. Top!

Michael David

There In Spirit - Inc. Jex Opolis Remix

Michael David first stuck his digital pin in the musical map back in the blog days as one half of indie-dance duo Classixx (who did that killer version of Phoenix' "Lisztomania" if I remember correctly), before branching off for a standalone 2015 single as Cinema Paradiso. A serene and sublime single arrived under his given name last Autumn, proving once again that It IS Balearic! Now the LA musician continues to demonstrate his musical evolution with his best work to date on US label Cascine.  
On "There in Spirit / Rain II", there is a bending of organic instruments. Guitars chop and glimmer. Beats cascade and push forward, but always with a sense of gentle resignation. This is the sound of a mind searching through time, exhuming memories and emotions ‘ good and bad ‘to try and know, recapture, reclaim, and most importantly, feel. The music on both singles was recorded primarily on an Eloquencer sequencer and mixed in part by Joakim. The b side features two new takes on Rain II ‘ an alternate, slow version and a remixed version by fellow seeker, Jex Opolis. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Uber Balearic business here from Michael David, who fuses Fairlight sequences with nuanced percussion and delicate guitar across two gorgeous A-side cuts. The B-side serves up a slow version of 'Rain II' for the sundowners out there, before Jex Opolis gets the acid breaks on.

A heady mix of digi killers, digital roots, dub, electro, and unlikely vocoder magic, "Love Lives Forever" is the first ever compilation of Miami reggae-not-reggae diva Dhaima.

The record gathers a collection of the original Natty Queen’s seminal ’80s and ’90s recordings, including her big 1982 chune “Reggae On Sunset,” the Ninakupenda-issued “Don’t Feel No Way,” the previously unreleased “Loving You Is My Thing,” and “Surrender” - the last song recorded before her untimely death in 2000. Then you make it to the last track for the killer "Sweat Til Your Body's Wet", a dope digi-dub stepper on the theme of "Reggae On Sunset".

Pressed loud on vinyl in a long-playing format to mash up your home speakerbox.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Coloured LP Info: Transparent Purple LP.

When was the last time EDMX served you what you expected? Maybe you drop the needle down in anticipation of some slick boogie-inflected synth pop and get walloped in the face with hellfire techno. Perhaps you were itching for body-popping electro and got cerebrally hijacked by pagan coldwave.

On this latest magnum opus, his first on Queen Nanny. Ed Upton is in the mood to get down low in every sense of the word. On the frequency range, this is a record dripping with lard-fed bass at every turn. The arrangements too are devilishly low in channel count – raw riddims with just a few key ingredients to do the necessary damage. Then there are the tempos, which predominantly set cruise control at 90 BPM and glide.

It’s not hard to tell where EDMX’s inspiration has sparked from on this album – in the spirit of celebrating the compatibility of oddball sonics from all corners of the globe, he’s patched his sound into a specific vibe and struck gold with some of the most distinctive riddims you’re likely to hear all year.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Ed DMX does a digi-dub album and absolutely nails it! It seems obvious now it's here, given Ed's outboard inventory; but we didn't anticipate just how well he'd pull it off... Extemporary!

Brookside return with two killer edits of a pair of signature First Choice cuts from Brooklyn legend DJ Spinna and Tokyo edit wiz T-Groove.

These DJ friendly versions of ‘Smarty Pants’ & ‘Are You Ready For Me?’ maintain all the essence of the originals yet rework them for the modern dancefloor. Backed with the original versions giving you maximum choice in the mix.

New York vocalist Kosmo Kint joined the Toy Tonics crew. Born in Trinidad and raised in New York City, Kosmo has been part of the recent Brooklyn scene, singing in several projects in NYC before moving to Berlin two years ago. To find like minded people to create new lyrics driven dancemusic.

In Berlin he teamed up with the Toy Tonics boys and now TT boss Kapote and the crew are working with him in Berlin Kreuzberg to find a new R&B & Disco influenced style of electronic dance music.
The first release is a collabo between french talent Mangabey and Kosmo Kint - produced by Kapote.
The 2 songs have a chilled L.A. G Funk Vibe that makes you think about certain Dr. Dre productions from the 90ies combined with some broken beats and 4 to the floor house vibes.
The song might remember some french touch tracks too and some might think about that West London early 2000 "Dego" Vibe maybe. Anyway, its new and there is not a name yet for that style. Let's see where the TT crew will bring Kosmo Kint sonically over the next years.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: New to the Toy Tonics label Kosmo Kint, alongside Mangabey have dipped into all the genres going - Disco, House, R&B, Broken Beat, Funk, Electronic and created two tracks of pure dance music hits. TT bringing the vibes to Piccadilly!

'Pender Street Steppers Productions (PSSP) proudly presents a sweet new double single. One side describing a relationship in its infancy and the other side its end. Not letting the truth stand in the way of a good story. Dubs included at no extra charge. Please enjoy and thanks for everything.' - Mood Hut.

Our favourite Canadian Riviera dwellers are back with more sun-kissed boogie-house pleasure. It could only be Pender Street Steppers responsible for "Falling". Effortless, hardware driven and with a melancholic vocal contrasting against the serene dusk calm emanating from the machines and rhythm boxes. Distinctly 'live' as per their previous output, PSS reaffirm the songwriting structure in dance music showing that you can achieve depth and character whilst still working within house music's formulaic framework. As always - hats off to the lads!

"Our Time" takes things deeper into the night, with a nocturnal framework driven again by the group's authentic hardware. Creeping through the cityscape with another well placed vocal part working in dynamic harmony with the rest of the piece. PSS make some of the most subtly brilliant music that just grows and grows in your headspace.

We'll still be spinning this one well into 2021.... Recommended! 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Timeless stuff from the now buy-on-sight Mood Hut crew. Hitting a mellifluous sweet spot between boogie, house and street soul; with a glowing internal radiance and heartfelt vocal utterances. Injecting some real song writing into house music's oft-repeated framework.

Hot on the heels of a fine outing on Hivern, Italy's Manuel Cascone, better known as Steve Pepe brings his hypnagogic brand of tribal electronics to Sacha Mambo's home of metal music. A firm fixture in Rome's underground for years now, Steve's previously found himself in new wave, pop, avant and experimental bands, experience which presumably informs the singular fusion of genres and styles we find on this double LP. Syrupy, spaced out synths meet ethno-wave flutes, clattering machine drums collide with organic polyrhythms, found sounds pan wildly and re-modeled vocals top sub tickling basslines on this skewed shamanic masterpiece, taking us on a real trip.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: If I had commissioned him myself Steve Pepe couldn't have come up with an LP more relevant to my interests than this one. Fourth world flutes, light industrial idents, brain-mulching fx and cosmic synths all coalesce into a killer double LP of tribal electronic bliss.

Mark Seven's Parkway series makes a triumphant return! The highly respected producer / DJ / remixer saves some of his best pieces for this label and packing four hot new tracks, there's somewhat of a furor around this latest release!

Kicking things of in tradition MS fashion, "A Gift Dub" sees his patented boogie drums rattle and shake through darting keyboard stabs and the occasional piano refrain. Add some funky perc patterns and a rugged bottom end, plus a shed ton of tape delay and you've got one of those early evening burners just primed to get the crowd warmed up... Yes Mark!

"Tranquility Dub" utilizes much the same palette for a nocturnal, paradisiacal trip that reminisces over the very first Petrcane site in Croatia with its palm-flecked licks and star-lit groove - magical.

"No Time Dub" and "Secret To Success Dub" both grace the flip side with the kinda rock solid boogie-house we've come to expect from Mark Seven. Drums that could chip chunks out of caves, synths squelchier than being slimed on the Big Breakfast and sweeping tape delays that take you off into the stratosphere!

There's no one quite like Mark Seven and this new EP is sublime - check!




STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Highly proficient excersises in new boogie and proto-house by the master Mark Seven. Rock solid and ready to DANCE!

Unknown Artist

Les Edits Du Golem 11

The infamous series returns! Les Edits Du Golem return with a special 7" release featuring two spaced out francophone oddities. On the A-side we have a wonderfully crooned, kinda Balearic and undoubtedly cosmic slow disco burner lamenting an evening getting lost while disco dancing. Think Brel or Gainsbourg attempting some seventies seduction after at least two tabs of acid. On the flip, things simmer down even further with a doped out dad rock track complete with proggy space whistle, nebulous pads and the slowest of drumbeats.

Celebrating over a decade in the edits game, Les Edits Du Golem can always be relied upon to bring forth the obscure! Recommended. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: It's always a good day when a new Edits Du Golem drops, and this 7" edition is a space age smash. Both sides are slow, syrupy and swaying cosmic bombs with a touch of Gallic humour. It's the kind of tackle you'd expect to hear on a Harvey Sarcastic Disco mix.

DJ Andy Smith returns to BBE Music with a second stunning installment of his compilation series "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland".

'Volume 2 takes the baton from Volume 1 and runs with it' says Andy. 'It brings new disco heat, with unreleased tracks & remixes by myself, Full Intention & Nick Reach Up, Crissy Kybosh and Bad Bikini vs Disco Circus. These fresh takes rub nicely alongside tried and tested original tracks from the golden age of disco for all to enjoy.'

In the two years since the first volume of "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland" was issued, Andy’s ‘Reach Up’ DJ collective have been busy with performances at festivals such as Bestival, Festival No.6 and Eastern Electrics, as well as a host of club gigs from London to Lisbon and many spots in between. Their monthly South London Soul Train residency in Peckham, London is now in its third year, while their monthly Soho Radio show has been streamed and downloaded by thousands of Disco lovers Worldwide. Just like Volume 1 before it, "Reach Up – Disco Wonderland Volume 2" takes in forgotten boogie, funk, dance-floor soul and early house gems from the 70s and 80s, as well as a few contemporary productions created with a nod to the classics. Ranging from obscure West Indian pop artists to Chicago Disco royalty, "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland Volume 2" searches high and low to find the heaviest grooves and purest deep-down good vibes.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Andy Smith might look like Barry's boiler repair man! (sorry Andy!) but he does have an excellent collection of disco, boogie and house music; all of which is presented here for our enjoyment. Yes Andy lad!

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xCD Info: An exclusive DJ mix is included on the CD version for maximum 'Reach Up' pleasure.

Returning for Volume 2 of the sought-after series, Glitterbox Jams is back with another red-hot delivery of dancefloor gems, ready to become a record box essential for all discerning disco DJs. Delivering two tracks previously unavailable on vinyl and a pair of previews from the imprint, Volume 2 opens with Mike Dunn’s irresistible "Natural High". Featuring Mike’s unmistakable Windy City drawl, this stripped-back disco-house jam sees Mike flex his musical muscles with traditional analogue techniques. Up next, a silky-smooth disco number and exclusive first listen of enigmatic duo Body Music’s latest output, where pair team up with the ferocious voice of Amy Douglas. On the flip, another forthcoming Glitterbox release powers through, as French production maestro Yuksek turns his hand at remixing Risk Assessment’s "Remember Me", featuring the mystical vocals of Jemeni G. Recounting tales of Studio 54, self-expression and long nights spent on the dancefloor, this exhilarating cut makes a perfect fit for Glitterbox’s ethos of acceptance and open mindedness. Finally, the unmistakable bounding bassline of Seamus Haji’s "Boogie 2nite" delivers a dose of Saturday night fever, rounding off this sublime release from the Glitterbox camp.

Due to its extremely complex history, Taiwan in the 70's saw the creation of some incredibly special music in which the sounds coming at the moment from the west collided with the special sensitivity of Taiwanese musicians, creating a delicious mixture you'll need to hear to believe.

"Taiwan Disco" shines a light on the music created by Taiwanese women during those years (70´s and early 80's) to present a mind-blowing collection of songs with sounds ranging from wild Funk to Space Glam, exotic Disco or fuzzed out Soul. Here's the ticket to some crazy Taiwan nights, get those dancing shoes ready, it's time to shake it!

Various Artists

Unlimited Love #26

Disco / soul / boogie 'reissue' *cough* specialist Love Unlimited open up another highly collectable drawer of musical antiques, dating primarily from the late '70s / early 80s.

New Love Ltd & Interstate 95's high paced, orchestral disco-soul track, "So Much To Talk About" gets stamped next to "That Friday Pay" by Sonny Jenkins. Sugar & Spice's "The Beast" gets an instrumental outing on side B, keeping boogie heads bouncing before we conclude the session on World Quake Band's "On The One" from 1980 and possibly the most expensive in original form of the records presented here.

As always copies are limited!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Killer set of expensive & hard to find disco hits for the working DJ or cash-strapped collector. Not available on discogs!!


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