Black Disco – Night Express (Matsuli Music)
With the international accomplishment of Hugh Maskella, not to mention Paul Simon’s Graceland, if any country has transcended its traditional fan base to reach a conventional ‘Western’ audience it’s South Africa. With the release of Black Disco, Matsuli Music music prove there is still brilliant music from the country that most us have yet to hear, by excavating long lost afro-jazz from the apartheid era. Released in 1976, the same year as the Soweto uprising, Night Express brings together the worlds of bump and jive alongside touches of Motown, Philadelphia soul and Teddy Pendergrass. According to the band, “they wanted to make music that the black and white community could all enjoy together as the regime divided us.” For more
Vincent Floyd – Vault One: Love’s Pain (Dawn Notes)
Whereas his label mates achieved success with their ghetto house sound, Vincent Floyd’s work has been unfairly ignored in house circles for nearly two decades until Rush Hour reissued Your Eyes in 2013. Floyd’s subtle, serene and impossibly exquisite productions were a million miles from the crunchy and grainy sounds of his contemporaries, especially considering it was released on the boisterous Dance Mania. Fast forward to 2016, with the popularity of labels like Mood Hut, 1080p and Voyage, who favour melody and groove rather than raw functionality, Floyd’s work finally feels in sync. On the four tracks of Vault One:Love’s Pain, Floyd does not alter his tried and tested formula, yet when you are able to craft house music this beautiful, who cares?
Escape from New York– Fire in My Heart (Isle of Jura)
When we think of disco, soulful vocals, huge baselines and a joyous atmosphere usually come to mind. Yet DJ Harvey sees it a different way. He brings together the stranger sounds of the gene emanating from Europe to create a psychedelic and proggy sound, which is unmistakably his own. If there’s a staple in sets, which best represents this unique sound, it’s ‘Fire in My Heart’. A strange but alluring hybrid of synthesizers, dubby groves and world music, which is a must-have for any serious disco collector.
Various Artists – Space Echo: The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde Finally Revealed (Analog Africa)
Like New Orleans and Haiti, Cape Verde’s unique geographical location and its diverse history has seen the country take in African, Lusitanian and Brazilian populations, resulting in a diverse and unique melting pot of music and culture. Space Echo on Analog Africa shows that there are still musical forms that have been under-documented, covering a time when the traditional rhythmic flavours of Cape Verde were fusing beautifully with the sounds of early electronics
Minako Yoshida – Midnight Driver/Town (Rush Hour)
Antal and his label Rush Hour crew continue to unearth boogie and disco delights from Japan, with two classics from Minako Yoshida. With its uplifting and joyous melody, you can imagine ‘Town’ being played by Hunee and Floating Points as the lights come on. Yet it’s the moody, synthy and sensual, ‘Midnight Driver’ that makes this a buy on sight release. Rush Hour continue to be one of the most consistently exciting labels around.