Various Artists - DJ Andy Smith Presents Reach UP - Disco WonderlandBBE
DJ Andy Smith, internationally known for collaborations with Portishead as well as his sort after DJ sets reinforced his reputation as a certified crate digger. "Reach Up - Disco Wonderland" is an ode to the seventies NYC club scene, specifically the Paradise Garage and Studio 54. In addition he resurrects a few hidden gems for us to enjoy all over again. "For The Love Of Money" a seventies classic from the Disco Dub Band has an unforgettable bass groove that drove folks to the dance floor and still resonates today. "First Time Love Affair" was an early eighties hit from the late Jimmy Ross. "Share The Night" is an underrated synth laden boogie tune that captures the spirit of NYC eighties club culture. If you want to take a trip down memory lane then you'll no doubt enjoy this disc.
Reg Dancy, 12/17
Various Artists - DJ Andy Smith Presents Reach Up Disco Wonderland Vol.2BBE
DJ Andy Smith returns to BBE with another instalment of Disco heaters. "Disco Wonderland Vol.2" picks up where Vol.1 left off and features unreleased gems and remixes from Smith himself. "Lost Without You" is infectious boogie funk from Will Sessions & Amp Fiddler. "Star Cruiser" from Gregg Diamond under his Bionic Boogie moniker is classic 70s string laden Disco. "You Don't Know" was a staple in every club in the mid eighties as a première dance track. The Crissy Kybosh remix gives it new life. Smith's compilation is filled with eighties flavour and Disco lovers will spring to their feet upon hearing these tracks again. For those unfamiliar with them, you're in for a treat.
Reg Dancy, 03/20
Various Artists - Down n WiredPerfect Toy
"Down & Wired Vol. 1" is a collection of dusty grooves compiled by the Germany based Perfect Toy label. There's a number of hidden gems here for the raw soul enthusiast "Tragedy" is up-tempo funk and the only song released by The Revised Brotherhood. "Going West" is a gritty guitar and organ grinding soul jazz gem. "Chain" is slow burning funk filled with blistering horns. While there were a number of funk and soul heavyweight groups during the seventies there were many groups that fell through the cracks. Thankfully we have labels like Perfect Toy to make sure they remain relevant.
Reg Dancy, 11/16
Various Artists - DownundagroundLa Sape
The talent from Melbourne continues to flow like water from the faucet. They're the gift that keeps on giving and "Downundaground" is evidence of that. This sparkling compilation features up and coming Australian musicians directed by veteran instrumentalist Horatio Luna. For starters the JK Group is a band to keep an eye on. "Nutha One" is spirited jazz fusion with a funky groove and a touch of broken beat. Antiphon is another group to place on your radar. "Spartan" is cosmic funk with heavy synths and an infectious groove. Big Chief is a collective of musicians that was originally a side project of the rising group 30/70. Fronted by Horatio Luna, "Later That Day" is a ten minute journey of experimental jazz infused house. The only quibble is there's only seven songs yet each track is a potent recording. Make room in your daily rotation for this one. An impressive recording that's worthy of repeated listens.
Reg Dancy, 01/20
Various Artists - DUCKM8MC Music
There are compilations that come and go and then there are some where the heat just keeps coming, track after track after track. The DUCK compilation falls under the latter. DUCK is a concept album that features producers from Derby , UK such as Atjazz, Clyde and Bleep District. This disc also serves a dual purpose not only by delivering quality music but by making charitable contributions. The proceeds from this project go to MacMillan cancer research and QUAD, Derby ’s visual arts studio. Each track contains a musical or lyrical element relating to the unassuming town that resides in the midland of England as well some live instrumentation. The disc starts out with the Brazilian mid-tempo “Teu Sorriso” (Your Smile) by YSE, ripe with wonderful guitar work by Carlos and vocals by Nego. Things heat up right after that with “I Got Soul” by Supalouisa, a energetic dance floor filler. Former Mantis recordings member and Derby native Clyde contributes to the cause with the funky “Swedish Blue”. Atjazz’s “Kidnapped in Kathmandu-rby” is a chilled out dance floor gem that has strong appeal. Make no mistake, a disc full of thumping beats like this and a worthy cause to match easily makes this purchase money well spent.
Reg Dancy, 02/10
Various Artists - Early Morning HushCastle Music
'Early Morning Hush' continues where 'Gather In The Mushrooms' left off and further explores the music of the British acid-folk scene of the late 60s, early 70s. Simple but beautifully crafted songs such as the string laced 'Peacock Lady' from Shelagh McDonald, Pentangle's 'Sovay', 'Sheep Season' by Mellow Candle and John Renbourn's 'The Cuckoo' featuring some wonderful sitar work, all standout. I'm currently hooked on Keith Christmas' 'Forest And The Shore' though, an orchestrated folk-funk trip with haunting yet alluring backing harmonies.
Andy Allen, 06/06
Various Artists - Eglo Records Vol 1Eglo
Founded in 2008 by Alexander Nut and Sam Shepard, Eglo Records has consistently delivered some of the most inspiring and satisfying future Soul and House music to date. Whether it's the progressive production of Floating Points, the beat wizardry 0f Funkineven or the stunning vocals of Fatima, every release from this label merits your attention and there's plenty of reasons why. There's the sonic grooves of Floating Points "Vacuum Boogie" and the cinematic gem "Wires". Funkieven delivers wicked beats and warped synths in the form of "She's Acid". The songstress known as Fatima is a phoenix rising and it's easy to see why with blissful soul tracks like "Innversivions" and "Visit You". Add other notable appearances from Mizz Beats and Shuanise and you have a superb album from the Eglo vault certain to provide definite satisfaction.
Reg Dancy, 05/14
Various Artists - Eglo Records Vol. 2Eglo
Volume 2 of the new Eglo records compilation celebrates ten years in the game. Initially started by Alexander Nut and Sam Shepard aka Floating Points. Shepard has moved on but Nut has carried the mantle of consistency delivering timeless gems ranging from futuristic soul, broken beat, electronica and much more. There have been some notable contributions along the way from artists who have become household names. K15, Fatima and Steve Spacek just to name a few. Spacek is featured on six tracks and each one is marvellous but "If U Wan 2 Find Me" and the cosmic flavored "The Abstract Eye" are standouts. The aforementioned Fatima's career has been ascending from the start. "Phoneline" represents her earlier work with producer Funkineven and the bottom heavy beats of "Somebody Else" is from her latest lp. Australian artists Destiny71z and Natalie Slade are two of the emerging new talents signed to the label. "Foodprogramvoltage" is irresistible left of center house from Destiny71z that combines analog and electronic thumping beats. Slade's "Humidity" is laid back soul and a prelude to her upcoming debut lp which will properly showcase her soulful vocals. There's much more to digest here so you absolutely need this in your collection. Simply put Eglo has been one of the première labels over the last decade and there's no hint that will change any time soon.
Reg Dancy, 01/20
Various Artists - Elaste Vol 2: Space Disco Compiled By Tom WielandCompost Records
This is a collection of spaced out post disco rarities hand picked by Tom Wieland, best known for his work as one half of 7 Samurai and Panoptikum, Tom has uncovered some cool electronic European gems. Some of the highlights are "Rebel On The Run" by Selection, a funk injected disco track, fueled by lively guitar work and a tight bass line. A nice boogie tune, "Take Time" by Jagg, that would easily fit into the Prelude catalogue. This was one of my favorites because of the soulful vocals, funky rhythm guitar and clever synths. "Feeling Love" by LEB Harmony has that electronic disco sound reminiscent of Cerrone from the late seventies. Not all the tracks measure up however, "Blow You Out Tonight" was just average and the vocals don’t do the track any justice. Out of place here is "Nepa Dance Dub." but it’s still a nice dub tune that provides a change of pace. All in all this is a nice foray into a collection of forgotten dance tracks that get a second life with new fans.
Reg Dancy, 08/08
Various Artists - ExcursionsRecord Breakin
Compiled by Philadelphia's DJ Junior 'Excursions' shines the spot light on some of the hottest broken-soul tracks of recent times. It opens with DJ Day's gorgeous 'A Place To Go' before touching down on gems such as 'Talking Me Down' (Domu Remix) by The Rebirth, Electric Conversation's 'Dancing', 'You Don't Know' by Part Time Heroes & Monday Michiru, Black Pocket's (Steve Spacek) 'Thank You And Credits', 'Rise' from Kamara featuring Deborah Jordan and ending with Malena Perez' 'What Do I Do'. Also included are some tasty moments which were previously un-issued or only available as down loads. Of which I'm pleased to see the stunning cuts 'Blue Skies from OK_MA featuring Nanar Vorperian and Donn's 'All The Beauty' plus Jonny Miller's killer broken-beat excursion 'Starz' included.
Andy Allen, 08/07