Can’t get enough of the past? Well, you’ve come to the right place. The legendary Salsoul label earned that accolade for one reason only and that was the music they released back in the 70’s and subsequent 1980’s, closing by 84 of that decade. Soaring songs, sonically reverberating instrumentation and production prowess that helped set the tone for tone for what came next. One glance over the tracklist and you can feel all that history breathing including timeless standards such as Double Exposure – My Love Is Free, which appears here with the Frankie Knuckles remix, plus the Shep Pettibone version of Inner Life – I Like It Like That. Other perhaps less well known tracks also compliment such as Larry Levan’s remix of Sparkle – Handsome Man and The Salsoul Orchestra’s – Sun After Rain with Tom Moulton’s glorious 12″ Mix. The second CD is all down to Dimitri who adds his flair to the affair care off a series of re-edits of additional releases that include the likes of fimiliar gems Love Sensation, Ten Percent, and Just As Long As I Got You. Respectfully yours.
H-Foundation feat. C1
H-Foundation aka Hipp-E & Halo mark their return to production after a few years absence with this release for DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings. The original see’s their trademark combination of hot drums and bass feel every bit as energising with pounding beats offset by a creative array of effects to engage your imagination amid C1’s commanding voice. Remixes come via Sneak’s relentless HG Dub, Tripmastaz excellent and spacey Takes Kontrol Mix, and finally Joeski’s extra-excellent percussion heavy version that seems like one extra long break-beat but is actually the most musical too.
Giorgio Moroder vs I-Robots
Me Giorgio (The I-Robots Reconstructions)
Never mind Daft Punk listen to this. Originally appearing on the From Here To Eternity album all the way back in 1977 this proto just-about-everything-relevant electronic Dance number still sounds glorious in 2014 as a Opilec Music boss, I-Robots reconstruction. Remaining deceptively faithful, while expanded from the original’s just a shade over three minutes long, this shimmering Disco production feels every bit as innovative on any of three versions available here.
Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity (1977 music video)
World Cinema In The 60s: Volume One
Cherry Red Records
The title alone should be enough to whet your appetite for this experience. But when you add the list of names whose films are sound tracked by this selection then this proves to be a must have for those that like it cinematic and jazzy, or intense and atmospheric. Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Orson Wells and Stanley Kubrick are amongst the more familiar credits while including scores from Jules et Jim and Dr. Strangelove. At times haunting, at others uplifting this swirling collection of orchestra drama and hot Jazz is perfectly suited to entertain dark corners and low winter sun. Listen below for a taste of the emotive instrumentation and vocals that lie in store….
CHARO and the Salsoul Orchestra
Cuchi-Cuchi: Expanded Edition
Big Break Records/ Salsoul Records
Maria del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, better known by her stage name CHARO, is a Spanish-American actress, singer, comedienne and flamenco guitarist (voted Best Flamenco Guitarist twice in Guitar Player Magazine). Turning up on Salsoul in 1977 this album contains a frankly jaw-dropping version of The Stones ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ but also lush Disco number ‘Dance A Little Bit Closer’ in its full glorious 12” version. It’s quite surprising/ startling to hear all that classic Salsoul instrumentation under Vincent Montana Jr’s guidance backing up such novelties as Cookie Jar but there you go, although there’s not a bad version of ‘You’re Just The Right Size’ for good measure.
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.
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.
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.
Been looking forward to hearing this LP from Mr Lionni for some time now, but while it’s no easy feat to pull off an albums worth of self-penned, captivating Dance music it’s achieved admirably here. The title track sets the tone with sassy, shuffling beats combining with funky synth lines fusing the past to the present perfectly. The notable instrumentation continues on Black Orchid as sultry strings are accompanied pulsating bass, although the long player is by no means devoid of the human voice. Robert Owens makes his presence felt on Time Stands Still, with the first single lifted from album featuring Rachel Fraser, Take Me With You doing likewise. There are some lovely instrumental sequences along the way too with Lost Souls pitching an emotive set of chords across a hypnotic array of beats and bass. The deep feel of this album will no doubt appeal to most out there, but having said that this never seems ponderous or underplayed – it’s always bang on target.
It did take a second listen but glad I did as Howie B and Joe Hirst’s magical blend of sci-fi weirdness alongside the brutal bass and pulsating tribal drumming is all quite startling. Frankies City, is all that and more while packing more atmosphere into its unnerving 4.37 than most. Authentication, is a lighter proposition/ listen but none the less a stunning one which hints at minimalism while feeling positive, and dare I say even uplifting in the process with rousing, emotional strings plus zero beats. It’s a collaboration with the visual artist from Italy, Fabio Paleari and was made for an exhibit in Turin. The art in noise.
If it’s dark, brooding intensity you’re after that you’ll find your dreams coming true with this release. Not to put too fine a point on it but the opening About Mary is a deliciously sinister, even compelling listen. Striking drum effects offset the moody, whirling drone with Borg like voices that collectively make imperfect sense. The more hopeful sounding Jazz is next with a stripped back set of punchy drums giving the only possible clue for its namesake. Make A Wish then injects more energy into the bass along with brighter keys, leaving Then It Happened to supply some vocal relief albeit via more dark tales. A captivating set of productions that may well astound you.
How could you not love this combination of fiery Latin, percussion accompanied by soaring Flute and Disco sensibilities on the JC Edit of Dream Alive? But then how could you not love the remainder either: Ups and Downs is sure-fire funky, Pass The Music On exquisitely soulful, with the proceeding second Dr Edit (edit) feeling frisky on the sizzling up-tempo vocoder led Never Let Go. Good time Disco-funk for all the family from this Dublin based label.
The Salsoul Orchestra
Magic Journey (Expanded Edition)
Salsoul Records/ BBR
Any album containing Run Away is a priceless gem as this beautifully sung and orchestrated production cutely testifies. Loleatta Holloway provides the timeless vocals and the track appears in both its album version plus the extended Danny Krivit Re-Edit. Besides that the albums succession of skillful players breathe life into everything from sassy Latin vibes through to gutsy rock n roll with main man Vincent Montanan Jr. very much at the controls. The excellent Getaway provides another instrumental excursion while the opening It’s A New Day supply’s more party-time Disco moments. This edition also features Walter Gibbons reworking of Magic Bird Of Fire which runs into eight minutes of Congo fuelled bliss, and is always worth your time.
Mic Newman & Garry Todd
The Shelter EP
Inspired by the legendary New York club the ep’s title track will transport you right back to the early nineties days of heady organ riffs and swinging drums rhythms. If you fancy the sound of that then The Shelter pushes all those buttons with chopped-up vocals and high pitched strings holding the tension, along with Acid twists and abrasive beats. Sex, Drugs & Sausage Rolls, meanwhile dispenses with the past with a more in tune reading of the present exploring hot, tribal rhythms and fizzy electronics to perfection, with an impressive deeper remix coming from Tom Craven & James Cotterill. Next, Swing Down featuring Garry Todd solo reinvigorates the tempo with an impassioned Soul vocal blazing across more shuffling hi-hats and brash snares. Burnski provides a killer remix with funkier bass and building loops driving headlong into oblivion à la DJ Pierre. The Penny Farthing Dairies is the final track from the pair this time utilising Acid notes and spaced-aged electronics to complete what is a first rate EP.
The mere fact of a collaboration between Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder and Fila Brazillia’s Steve Cobby should speak volumes in itself. The music certainly does, especially when played Loud. And it should also come as little surprise that the two names involved infuse their music with a hugely diverse set of influences, from industrial noise to Dub, to Afro-funk and Jazzy beyond. After all, Cabaret Voltaire where one of the UK’s chief instigators of electronic music from the late seventies, while Filla Brazillia carried the flag on into the 90’s and the 00’s. The album opens with the abrasive dancefloor orientated Rob A Bank Rob but also quickly plays with tempo, mood and warmth on proceeding tracks such as Scissormouth. In fact the albums diversity is its strength, plus of course the ingenious use of sound and production that clearly set Can You Hear Me Mutha?…apart.
David Shaw and The Beat
So It Goes
Her Majestys Ship
David Shaw’s ‘So It Goes’ blends together varying moments and joy and pain through the medium of his own infectious brand of electro-pop/ funk. Which, is by no means a negative term as the music balances upon a delicate edge, laced with dramatic tension and underlying moodiness. It’s as much about the vocals icy cool as it is about the hooky synthesiser riffs, which on the excellent No More White Horses and the acoustic strumming Single Serving Friend are irresistible. Released on his own imprint the album also boasts a cover The The ‘Infected’ and ends on a ten minute exploration of the title that clashes ideas together from Giorgio Moroder to Depeche Mode, and is worth every second.
One of the most captivating productions this week comes from Bluford Duck, who follows up ‘Wait’ (released on Noir Music) with this hypnotic journey into repetition. Built around a juicy bassline, fleeting vocals and crisp drums this has a certain melancholy quality which is hard to pin down, but which defies the logic by sounding heavenly. Patrick Podage & Nikola Kotevski’s remix replays the elements adding extra punch, leaving Jesus Pablo’s tinkling piano and his remix with Adam Brass to give the track yet another texture via the choice of classic chords.
You could say that they don’t make them like this anymore. You would right too. But, if they did then surely it would merely be nostalgic, indulging in retrospection and so on and on…
The point is of course that it was made in the first place and without music like this the world would be all the duller for it. Delusions, was released in 1977 and the sheer strength of the vocals and music has stood the test of durability from the then to now. It’s worth saying that these timely re-releases from bbr should be essential editions to add to your CD collection, either to inform you, or to relish. It’s all in the way that the vocals weave their sensual spell across the often sublime playing, often reaching exhilaration on moments such as Dr. Love and Let No Man Put Asunder – both replayed and sampled over the course of the nineties, and will no doubt provide yet more inspiration for this new generation. Also of note is their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Love Having You Around, plus that the various 12” remixes from the likes of Tom Moulton and Frankie Knuckles are included too to give you perspective. Produced by Baker-Harris-Young this couldn’t sound any better, or indeed any more vibrant. The sleeve notes will tell you the full story behind the headline, but for now try the links below and surprise yourself…
The Salsoul Orchestra
The Salsoul Orchestra
Listening to The Salsoul Orchestra it becomes easy to understand why some people choose to live in the past, despite 1975 seeming like such a very long time ago. Never-the-less their blend of fiery Latin inspired Disco will always stand out because of the punch it packs, and with those dreamy minor chords playing so perfectly together your imagination is left free to run riot. Can’t say there is a filler on here and if the horn blasts, string lines and Vincent Montana Jr’s sublime vibes sometimes feel noticeably familiar then that’s because some of the players have also played on various other classics, both on Salsoul and beyond. However, I guess for me three tracks are particularly indispensible: Chicago Bus Stop (Ohh, I Love It), Tale Of Three Cities, and You’re Just The Right Size. All sassy, each suggestive in their own right – the latter’s title couldn’t be more direct! And, as with all in this series of reissues from bbr the accompanying sleeve notes are essential reading. Go try it on for yourself.
Rob Pearson & Jay Dynan
The Babestation EP
It’s tempting to speculate about the meaning of the EP’s title, but…l’ll pass on that for now. The confidence of this production is obvious as the bassline and drums entice you straight from the off. In fact, it’s one of those combinations that could simply run on a loop and you would repeatedly love it. Babestation, employs unnerving sounds and fx, and feels consistently imaginative with that said killer combination running the duration alongside minimal appearances from Trumpet and deadpan voices. Naughty Von Shuffler continues the theme with its dark blend of Tech sensibilities and crisp values, while third track Neigh Your Neighbour feels friskier with perky percussion and expanding sounds. Label boss Jamie Anderson rounds things off with a deeper interpretation which, as always, hits the spot.
Berlin producers Werner Niedermeier and Sefty Sersseludis are the names behind Soul Camp Recordings and now bring their captivating sound to Something Different. The label’s been busy of late and for me this is one of their strongest releases to date with I Wonder If You Know combining atmospheric electronics together with sharp European synth lines and beguiling, tripped out voices. There’s something almost early 90’s Murk about this, so can’t think of any better compliment than that for this invigorating piece of music. Sean Danke provides a great remix by adding extra energy to the drums while retaining the sense of mystery. Leaving, Baby Don’t Go to again creatively fuse the dots together, while still feeling emotive, and surprisingly, even more powerful via the inclusion of some fevered stabs.
Something about this production lends itself to a dark room and a Function One sound system. Opening track, Gritty Tails is one of the most involving recordings I’ve heard in a while when it comes down to tension building blocks. Someone is clearly very talented. I for one can’t get enough of the explosive sounds which pepper the arrangement, and the devastatingly simple array of drums that couldn’t feel huger if they tried. In fact, I’m going to play it again – LOUDER. The two remaining tracks are no less impressive with Nocturnal coming a close second…
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.
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
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.
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.
TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) Original 12″ Version with Soul Train dancers…
Earl Young drums…
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.
The original Walter Gibbons 12” Mix of ‘Ten Percent’
Double Exposure ‘Everyman’
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.