Bileo – You Can Win (Athens of the North)
If you’ve listened to MCDE’s Boiler Room set at Dekmantel, you will undoubtedly recognise this one! The man from Germany played some amazing cuts during the session – from Andres’ ‘Just a Player’ to the Underdog edit of James Brown’s ‘I’m Satisfied’ – but with its opening salvo of triumphant horns and uplifting vocals, Bileo’s ‘You Can Win’ was a definite standout. Unearthed by DJ Fryer’s Athens of the North imprint, the track was first released in 1979 to minimal fuss, but with love from Gilles Peterson, Moodymann, Glenn Astro and more, it has finally received the attention it deserves. It just makes you think that digging through just those dusty soulful 7s is always worthwhile as one day you might just find a little gem like this one.
Fela Kuti – Zombie (Knitting Factory Records)
Curated by Brian Eno, last month saw the re-release of some of Fela Kuti’s most famous works, which includes everything between the 1971’s London Scene to I.T.T in 1981. Eno reportedly said that he didn’t understand polyrhythmic music, until he first heard Kuti and was “dazzled by the groove and rhythmic complexity of the Afro-Beat Legend”. If you have never heard Kuti before, ‘Zombie’ is one of his funkiest, political and most accessible works, blending afrobeat and American jazz to brilliant effect. A must-have record for anyone who loves their soulful vibes
Love Club – Hot Summer Nights (West End Records)
Alongside Prelude, Salsoul, and Casablanca, West End Records played an important role in the development of disco and its most renowned tracks – such as Arthur Russell’s/Loose Joints ‘It’s all over my face’ – were staples at Larry Levan’s legendary Paradise Garage. Produced by Jay Dixon, ‘Hot Summer Nights’ is one of West End’s lesser-known cuts, possibly because it was released in 1983 when, in many peoples’ eyes, Disco went from an underground subculture to be commercialised and subsequently unpopular. To fresh ears in 2014, this track has everything you want from an electro-funk disco stomper: huge drums machines, sultry female vocals and a cheesy, yet brilliant rap about “telling a girl that she has nice, curly hair”. As a chat-up line it probably didn’t work for the dude at the time, or anyone since, but does add unmistakable charm to ‘Hot Summer Nights’.
Those Guys – Love Love Love (Basement Boys)
Before Maurice Fulton became the introverted genius who gave the world timeless material like ‘Jump Bugs’, he was a key member of the legendary crew Those Guys, alongside Teddy Douglas, J Steinhour and DJ Spen. During the 90s, the collective released an abundance of sublime material time from ‘Tonite’ to ‘I Walk Alone’, but nothing is more stunning or ambitious than ‘Love Love Love’. Originally released in 1996, the track is a 10-minute builder beginning with a sample of Jean Luc Pony’s ‘Computer Incantations For World Peace’, which was also used in Todd Terje’s remix of ‘Dollie Jollie Baleric Incarnation’.
DJ Nori – Nomad (Flower Records)
Despite being one of the most well-respected DJs in Japan since the late 80ss, it wasn’t until Maurice Fulton remixed his track ‘Happy Sunday’ last year that Western eyes and ears focussed in. Thankfully, now comes the reissue of this 1993 track, which sheds further light on this most elusive of talents. While ‘Happy Sunday’ was a funky club banger, this one’s more of a downtempo, atmospheric affair which utilises a delicate shuffling beat and a sample of flamenco-style guitar to beautiful effect.
Listen as a full playlist here.