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:106

KCTDL627_2000x2000_300dpiTony Lionni
Just a Little More
Madhouse

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.

Release: November 25

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tony-Lionni/335887796621

Howie B
Frankies City ft. Joe Hirst
HB Recordings

629.5It 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.

Release: November 25

http://www.howieb.com

dotSTRIPE
Make A Wish EP
Act Natural Records

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.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/dotSTRIPE/122547971105914

http://actnaturalrecords.com

Tape Edit 006
CheckTheGuns

checkHow 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.

Release: December 2

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Check-The-Guns/137122486354660

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.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4397

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reviews:64

The Salsoul Orchestra
The Salsoul Orchestra
Salsoul Records

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.

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3771

 

Rob Pearson & Jay Dynan
The Babestation EP
ARTHOUSE

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.

release: October 8

http://soundcloud.com/arthouserecords

https://www.facebook.com/artformrecords

http://www.dj-jamieanderson.co.uk

 

Soul Camp
Wonder EP
Something Different Records

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.

release: October 16

http://soundcloud.com/somethingdifferentrecords

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soul-Camp/124710637623472

https://www.facebook.com/#!/somethingdifferentrecords?fref=ts

 

John Alvarez
Berlin Calls
Celestial Recordings

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…

http://www.celestialrecordings.net/

http://soundcloud.com/celestial-recordings

 

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