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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