Let’s face it you’re going to hear the word Disco at least once as you course the veins of this glorious experience, which places the music somewhere around the mid to late nineteen seventies. But even before we even get to the music you first encounter this wonderful story, in this instance, illuminated by Al Kent whose supremely informed sleeve notes are almost as exciting as the music itself. The album’s title comes from the revered Vince Aletti who epically charted the genre’s progress through his columns for After Dark and Village Voice. Starting with the story behind Leon Collins’s 1974 release ‘I Just Wanna Say I Love You’ and the inspired role DJ John Luongo played in Disco’s ever evolving timeline the feature details the driving force that DJ’s played in the literal shaping of the sounds heard on the dancefloor. Filling in some overdue gaps in the chain of events he moves into more chartered territory with Double Exposure’s now infamous ‘Ten Percent’ an extended edit which formed the very first publically available twelve inch single. But of course that isn’t even half of the story as this compilation of DJ mixes from the era proudly lays testament to America’s instigators without whom we would be at a definite loss today. The prime difference with what you will hear here and what has been happening with Disco re-edits currently is that these tracks are what actually occurred there and then, not some re-imagination of the past, which makes this collection all the more significant, real even. Featuring the likes of Walter Gibbons, Tom Savarese, Bobby Guttadoro and Jim Burgess this proves to be indispensable listening both for those that like to remember plus for those who don’t want to forget.
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.
Le Grand To Do
“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.
Pop Ambient 2016
To 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.