Reviews: 161

The Salsoul Orchestra Story
40th Anniversary Collection
Groove Line Records

WOW! Three cd’s worth of the Salsoul Orchestra. Or, to put it another way, heaven on earth. The clue is of course contained within the title: Salsoul from the infinitely influential record label for a start, secondly the word Orchestra and all of the musical prowess which accompanies the noun. I love that you can simply switch the music on, then get lost in a world of soaring strings, driving beats and bass, and yes occasionally sleazy, though always sensual, uplifting lyrics. At times there’s the sheer romance of it all, at others hard and heavy grooves drive it all home. Needless to say if you haven’t yet experienced the soulful joy of ‘Take Some Time Out (For Love)’ featuring Jocelyn Brown or the classic rhythms of Shep Pettibone’s mix of ‘Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)’ then here’s the chance. A wealth of talent informed the orchestra’s production’s and remixes too from Larry Levan to Tom Moulton to Walter Gibbons. And, with arrangements from the likes of Vincent Montana Jr., Bunny Sigler, and Patrick Adams this newly remastered exploration of their sights and sounds from 1975 to the early eighties is both exceptional and essential.

http://www.groovelinerecords.co.uk

Oskar Offermann
Le Grand To Do
Mule Musiq

“Music is the direct access to the soul” sounds like a good a place as any to start this review of Oskar Offermann’s spellbinding new long player. Fuelled by an undulating funkiness the album delves into all sorts of landscapes which reach ambient depths to edgier heights. Sometimes purely atmospheric without the reliance on beats, sometimes up-tempo and energising such as on ‘Carol’s Howl’ there really isn’t any identifiable rule book being followed – good. What you do get is an exciting travelogue of gritty, booming, speech laden, probing, emotive music which embraces funky breaks as much as it does sizzling electronics. Further.

Release: November 13
http://oskaroffermann.com
http://www.mulemusiq.com

V/A
Pop Ambient 2016
KOMPAKT

kom_345_sleeve.inddTo label this as merely ambient may do a disservice to the rather glorious, beautifully textured music that lies within. However, let’s go with Pop Ambient, although as the selection of tracks doesn’t display any melodic resonance perhaps that doesn’t quite accurately describe what’s going on either. Never mind. This 2016 edition of the long-standing series of atmospheric brilliance maintains breath taking standards as distinct layers of sound lift and drop all five senses with immaculate precision. The second track typifies the inclination with who else but The Orb’s epically charged ‘Alpine Dawn’ stretching sonic boundaries via all sorts of expanding ideas. You will also find the caliber of artists such as Stephan Mathieu and Mikkel Metal alongside Max Würden’s deeply involving ‘Unterwasser’. A truly wonderful compilation of music which talks its own melody.

Release: November 13
http://www.npr.org/2015/11/04/454651591/first-listen-various-artists-pop-ambient-2016

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Reviews: 108

Ending the year on a high with a couple of classic albums recently re-released. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, enjoy, or otherwise, Magazine Sixty’s reviews and views on… 🙂

The Salsoul Orchestra
Heat It Up
Big Break Records/ Salsoul Records

Not sure if the close-up of a rather pert bottom in denim hot pants is something that will grab your attention or not, but bypassing the acceptable face of 1982’s front cover and onto the music. Formed from former members of Philadelphia International house band, MFSB, The Salsoul Orchestra under Vince Montana Jr. went onto score some truly classic Disco moments, although by the time of this release the world had moved on somewhat – however that’s not to underplay Patrick Adams stellar production of the album. None the less, this does contain some era defining tracks such as Jocelyn Brown’s sublimely vocalled, ‘Take Some Time Out For Love’ and the sassy string enhanced tones of Carol Bramble’s, ‘Comin’ at Cha’. As thankfully is the way with this series of remasterd reissues from BBR the twelve inch mixes of the relevant tracks are also included, which in this case has the added bonus of Shep Pettibone’s version of, ‘Ooh I Love It (Love Break)’ and his extended remix of, Seconds featuring the timeless Loleatta Holloway.

Buy http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4458

Bunny Sigler
Let Me Party With You
Gold Mind Records/ BBR

Opening with the album’s title track Bunny Sigler sure knows a slinky funk groove when he hears it. Indeed, Instant Funk’s apt name pays testament to the music they played to back up Sigler’s captivating vocals, while spreading a smile firmly across your face – and never a dull second across its twelve and a half minutes! Of course it’s also all helped out by Tom Moulton’s production prowess lending the album a tougher groove that still sounds just a hot as it doubtless did in 1978. The proceeding Your Love Is So Good comes a pretty close party-time second but decide for yourself below.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4394

Joe Bataan
Salsoul (Expanded Edition)
BBR/ Mericana Records

I love this album from start to finish simply because it drips with the sort of summertime rhythms that make you wish you where somewhere else. Plus, that it contains one of my favourite tracks, Latin Strut, but also that this album gave one of the best dance labels to emerge from the 70’s its name (Bataan co-founded Salsoul Records with the Cayre brothers but soon relinquished his stake). Great impassioned, raw vocals adore the fiery horn, piano and guitar drenched long player throughout giving it that gritty ‘sound of the streets, 1974’ feel, that may sound unprocessed and dated now but is always relevant via its sheer soulful energy.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4457

Have a Happy Christmas & a Happy New Year!

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reviews:63

Scarlett Nina
The End EP
Turquoise Blue

One of the reasons Dance have been so very exciting over the past number of years is down to the sheer breadth of music which reside within the House Music bracket. Not that that hasn’t always been the case of course, there’s just something particularly exhilarating about the clash of ideas being generated between the USA and Europe –  just as much as the revived sounds of the early 90’s continue to reinvigorate the genre too. What that in mind Scarlett Nina’s amazing sounds and devilish moods fit the bill perfectly. The End, sends shivers along with staccato guitar notes and sinister, tripped-out voices inducing a powerful reaction to this notably original production. As you might expect Tone Of Arc the remix is stunning with pulsating organ and vocal treatments building the tension with typical aplomb, while the Special Case version twists the bass into something altogether more sinister on their equally impressive take. Who Am I To Disagree, explores the same atmospheres with electronic funk and the remix comes from David K Marabunta Remix whose haunting techno also fits the bill.

release: October 1

http://soundcloud.com/turquoise-blue-recordings/sets/scarlett-nina-the-end-ep

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Turquoise-Blue-Recordings/192161454150065

 

 

Waze & Odyssey
Dance, Yeah, How?
This Is Music Ltd

And so the story continues with this killer production from Waze & Odyssey whose deft blend of classic House influences are creatively put to the test. This moves beyond a simple revival of sounds by developing its theme with expansive pads and clever vocal twists that complete the moody yet uplifting arrangement. Love the thumping Kick drum and chiming, deep bass which underpins the rich mood generated by the remaining sounds. Try for yourself.

Release: exclusive to Beatport Sept 24. October 8 on general release

http://soundcloud.com/wazeandodyssey/dance-yeah-how

https://www.facebook.com/Waze.Odyssey

https://twitter.com/wazeodyssey

http://www.thisismusicltd.com/

 

Maigret Jnr
Sick Friends EP
Make Mine

Gently side-stepping Dance music for the duration of this limited 7” vinyl and digital EP we revisit Maigret Jnr once again purely because this is so f**king good. For lovers of slightly melancholy, though conversely, uplifting music will greatly benefit from what’s on offer. You may already know the anthemic beauty of Always Again, which starts with the prophetic line ‘Silence is Golden’ but if not its swirling strings and heart beating drums are a joy to behold.  New track, Breathe feels every bit as good covering the same territory emotionally, with poignant piano and rich baritone vocals sounding just as impressive. While the title track, Sick Friends dares to lift the sound with a heavier beat and bassline, although while this doesn’t have quite the same impact it still works neatly.

release: Sept 30

http://soundcloud.com/maigretjnr

https://www.facebook.com/maigretjnrmusic

http://makemine.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/makemine

 

MFSB
Love Is The Message
Philadelphia International Records/ bbr

If this album only contained two tracks it would still be worth its weight in gold. For within just under eleven minutes of music this 1973 release went a long way to define what became known as the Disco sound. The first track Love Is The Message is simply a seminal classic featuring Early Young’s masterful drumming, who alongside the striking keyboards, emotive Strings, strident Bass and blazing Saxophone cumulates into a sequence of one of my (and many others) favourite all time dance grooves. It all sounds so effortless, yet so completely stunning. The second track TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) featured for a time as Soul Train’s theme and also provided a hit single for the label. Again the instrumentation is flawless, supremely funky and must have felt oh so good way back then, as it also does right now. Plus of course, it featured the sassy vocals of The Three Degrees. Both tracks appear in their original, and more importantly, their extended form with Tom Moulton’s epic reworking of ‘Love Is…’  adding vocals from The Three Degrees while highlighting the keyboard and rhythm section with devastating flair – a genius at work. While TSOP again expands the rhythm section into something seminal and heavenly. It really doesn’t get much better.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak-exd.asp?id=3806

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak.asp

https://www.facebook.com/BigBreakRecords

Love Is The Message (Tom Moulton Mix)

TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) Original 12″ Version with Soul Train dancers…

Earl Young drums…

 

Double Exposure
Ten Percent
Salsoul Records/ bbr

Next to Philadelphia International Records, Salsoul was the other 70’s American dance label which had the greatest impact and influence both then and today.  Their debut album featured the powerhouse vocals of James Williams, Joseph Harris, Charles Whittington, and Leonard ‘Butch’ Davis whose range spanned the very depths of Soul to the dizzying heights of explosive Disco. Produced by one time Philly producer (the legendary) Norman Harris the album features three timeless cuts that defy history: Ten Percent, Everyman, and My Love Is Free. All of which pack more emotional punch then most music can muster today in terms of emotion vocally, alongside poignant funkiness. Although,  that’s not so surprising as the players included Early Young, Vince Montana Jr. and Bunny Sigler amongst many significant others. The package also contains the first commercially available 12” single (1976): the superlative Walter Gibbons version of the title track which sounds every bit as powerful as production does today, along with Tom Moulton’s gorgeous mix of My Love Is Free, and Joe Claussell’s remix of Everyman. Despite the fact that these tracks overshadow the remainder of the songs that shouldn’t deter you from soaking up the rest, as they all display those wonderful voices and sumptuous grooves in their full glory. A truly classic album.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3774

http://www.doubleexposureonline.com/debio.htm

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak.asp

https://www.facebook.com/BigBreakRecords

The original Walter Gibbons 12” Mix of ‘Ten Percent’

Double Exposure ‘Everyman’

 

Instant Funk
Instant Funk
Salsoul Records/ bbr

And last but certainly not least this week is this gem from Instant Funk which also appeared on the Salsoul label. Released in 1979 their second album again contains a classic which defined the band: Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl). Appearing both as the album version and with the full Larry Levan remix, which clocks in just shy of ten minutes, this proves to be peerless funk. Everything about this production is just right from the fanfare of Horns which intro, straight through to the sassy percussion, and devastating bass and guitar combination upon which the soaring vocals aim skyward. Again, the remainder of the album has plenty of other gems such as Crying and the hard-core Don’t You Want To Party, while they explore notable Jazz-fusion on Wide World Of Sports. The band also played on the likes of ‘Shame’, Archie Bell & The Drells ‘Let’s Groove’ and South Shore Commission ‘Free Man’ so the familiarity of their playing just goes to prove how good they where/ are. A classic production from Bunny Sigler and engineered by Bob Last.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/bigbreak.asp

https://www.facebook.com/SalsoulRecords

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