Can You Feel The Force? The John Luongo Disco Mixes – Groove Line Records

I’m starting to wonder if we’ve actually skipped a generation of music and care less about the present (at our own expense) every time the word Disco reappears. Because it’s blatantly apparent that for many the past is simply more exciting than the here and now providing some sense of forgone authenticity. But while there may well be some truth in that once you hit the play button on this superlative collection of John Luongo’s extended mixes all your hopes and dreams are right there: realised, shinning, glittering, beautiful. The hugely influential Boston DJ added his own distinctive dancefloor flair to a number of now classic cuts reshaping The Jacksons ‘Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)’ – complete with that elevating synth rush – alongside a wealth of other artists which we won’t see recreated anytime soon. All-time favourite Melba Moore’s exquisite ‘Pick Me Up, I’ll Dance’ sits favourably next to Dan Hartman’s epic ‘Vertigo/ Relight My Fire’, while Marlena Shaw’s heart-tearing vocal ‘Touch Me In The Morning’ sings out for the loss of soulful song writing. Santana reaches for the sun on the life-affirming ‘One Chain (Don’t Make No Prison)’ contrasting with the brash bass-heavy lines of The Quick’s sassy, funky ‘Zulu’. Finally, at the very real risk of repeating myself once again Christian John Wikane explores the fine detail of the stories life and times across the accompanying booklet. And is, par for the course, a treat to read in itself.

Release: October 27

http://www.groovelinerecords.co.uk

 

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Reviews 178

jpJP Chronic feat. Gramma Funk
Funky Shit
Chronovision Ibiza

Lifted from his forthcoming album ‘Arrival 13:36 Gate 63’ is this hotwired Disco number that serves up its additively, undulating bassline in full effect. Aided only by occasional funky percussion, high-end strings hits and a couple of excitable breakdowns this is both simple/ uncomplicated yet straight to the point. Three remixes accompany the original plus an acapella featuring Gramma Funk’s particular brand of the spoken word. First up is Gruia who adds a bouncier groove, while cutting up the vocals to reset the Disco angle. As does Danny O whose excellent driving, percussion punctuated rhythms really get under your skin. Then Italian duo Jonny N Travis fuse a more haunting, atmospherically charged version that sounds like the perfect complement to the album mix.

Release: Sept 1

Listen/ buy http://www.junodownload.com/products/jp-chronic-gramma-funk-funky-shit/3177497-02/
http://www.chronovisionibiza.com

Hollis Parker
What You’ve Done
SoSure Music

Hollis Parker’s tempting ‘What You’ve Done’ points in the direction of a forthcoming album: The Last Raw Era of which I’ll be reviewing shortly. As the title suggests this evokes the past which will come as either a pleasant reminder or possibility even a relatively pointless exercise. Or, you could just simply enjoy what is essentially quality music. Its smoky, Saxophone punctuated rhythms certainly feel emotive in that classically soulful way neatly capturing the essence of the early 90’s. Punchy beats plus guitar flourishes all go to colour in the background most effectively while the yearning vocal lines add a certain extra bite. Next, is Parker’s Lament which also the retraces deeper, more ‘soulful’ moods of the period and again sounds like good music to me (still).

Release: September 5
http://www.hollisparker.com

Ashford & Simpson
Love Will Fix It: The Best of Ashford & Simpson
Groove Line Records

It’s in the region of 29 degrees outside (hot for the UK) and this compilation of beautiful moments from Ashford & Simpson is blazing away on the stereo. Spread across two circles of vinyl it’s always striking just how well produced the music still sounds decades later, and also the supremely gifted song writing abilities of the duo, plus of course those heaven sent voices. A bunch of personal favourites are on here, not least of all It Seems To Hang On. But feel blessed, enjoy the weather, love their timeless music.

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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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