dr dunks & justin vandervolgen – keep it cheap 4 (keep it cheap, 2011)

Eric Duncan’s twin edit assault continues with the latest instalment of his Keep It Cheap series. On number 3 he welcomed Felix Dickinson to the party for some murky behaviour and sleazy vibes, and for the latest edition he’s created a double header of the year scenario by making a NYC editing tag team with Justin Vandervolgen. Dr Dunks was virtually unstoppable last year, and Justin Vandervolgen’s Try To Find Me project was a major disco sensation so the bar is set at everest levels.

In the red corner Dr Dunks pays another visit to Caroline Crawford (‘Coming on Strong’ was the source for a previous C.O.M.B.I.) this time extending her sweet disco number ‘A Nice Feeling’. Long instrumental sections introduce all the lush feel good grooves of the original, creating a sultry sunshine vibe, before the vocals are let loose in a typical Dr Dunks fashion. Mined of its bottom end and treated to a little echo and reverb, her voice soars above you’re head, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

In the blue corner disco viking JVV delivers a knock out punch in the form of dancefloor haymaker ‘Versions’. It’s a low slung slice of ‘balearock’ in a 70’s Laurel Canyon vein with about 4 neat guitar riffs going on at the same time to create a sunset groove. There are bongos a-go-go and all things chuggy, and even a crazy anachronistic percussion breakdown in a heads down style. Resistance is futile to this groove.

There are only 300 copies worldwide so get it from Pic before it sells out.

C.O.M.B.i – c/d, you got love song, it a late (C.O.M.B.i, 2008)

After a quiet week for blogging last week I thought it was high time to present number two in the combi series. On sides C/D Eric D managed to take the ruthlessly effective cut and loop style he showed off with the first release and take it to the next level with two extremely good edits. On the face of it, you could argue that there isn’t a lot more going on here then some looping and extension and while this is true, it’s the choice of the loops, and the timing and dynamics of the tracks that sets this edit aside from the rest of the bunch.

On side c, Dunks took Front Page’s ‘You Got My Love’ (no stranger to an edit, check out Idjut Boys’ ‘Key to the Tripod’ release) and turned the high octane original into an extended disco workout. The guitar riff central to the track sounds like it could have been used for any number of late 90’s filter house production, and gives the track a modern sound, especially when coupled with the supercharged bassline. Then there’s those dramatic vocals sitting on top of everything which really hit their peak in the last minute of the song. A top drawer release.

The flipside presents a different kettle of fish. Things get going on a low slow grooving tip with a steady beat and head nodding bassline, extended for dj use into a ridiculously lengthy intro before the cinematic guitar swirls into place. Then the moment of realisation, it’s none other than Village People’s ‘5 o’clock in the morning’, a late night disco classic. This track is moody and groovy and straddles the slow mo disco/balearic divide perfectly. It also makes the perfect soundtrack to late night journeys.

So here in full high definition, 3d, brighter than bright ultra neon white 320 quality are these two pieces of recent disco mastery.

C.O.M.B.i. – a/b, i found morning/it come fast (C.O.M.B.i., 2007)

So this is where the c.o.m.b.i. journey started. In 2007 Eric ‘Dr Dunks’ Duncan, of Rub’N’Tug fame, put together two fairly basic disco edits and then sent them into the world on the new combi label. Since then he’s gone on a journey through disco, funk and psychedelic blues, not to mention the letters of the alphabet. On this inaugural release he slices and dices ‘High On Your Love’ by Debbie Jacobs and ‘Livin’ In The Jungle’ by City Streets into two high energy, peak time workouts. Featuring minimal use of effects these edits do more along the lines of restructuring the tracks, extending the breaks, delaying the vocals, squeezing all the juice out of the original instrumentation, and generally putting a rocket up the original tracks. Eric Duncan says the whole project came about from him trying to learn how to do an edit using a computer, rather than two cdjs, and on this release he shows off a good understanding of the dancefloor basics without displaying the fine use of effects seen on the later releases in the series.

I rate ‘High On Your Love’ as one of the greatest disco records ever released, and for me all the lengthening sort of removes some of the charm for the original, so i rarely choose to play this edit over the original. On the other hand ‘It Come Fast’ is a magnificent edit, packed full of power, always moving and changing. It pays its respects to the original, but takes it to the next level in the way the best edits can.

thomas jerome moulton – i don’t need no music (casablanca 1979, c.o.m.b.i. 2011)

over the next few weeks keep checking this blog if you want to hoard the entire out of stock and well overpriced (check discogs/eBay for a laugh) c.o.m.b.i. catalogue in 320kpbs format ripped from my own vinyls. the opening number is side O.

eric duncan has released a new instalment in its both overpriced and essential c.o.m.b.i. series. since we wrote a very good post on this already, no need for a lengthy description here. let the music ring!

it is the classic soulful tune ‘I Don’t Need No Music’ by Tom Moulton who gets the looping, chopping, drum break extension, and playfulness that only Dr. Dunks can deliver. The original is from 1979 but you will be better off with the c.o.m.b.i. version if you want to surprise an open minded crowd on your discerning dancefloor.

pure honey!

dr dunks+bastardos ‘keep it cheap’ / locussolus ‘i want it’

Today saw the arrival of two storming releases sure to put an end to any winter blues from two of the biggest names in the game.

First up is the new release from Eric Duncan’s Keep It Cheap imprint. For vinyl number 3, Eric lets a buddy in on the action as Felix Dickinson (the man behind the recent Originals comp, which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago) presents the b side “Beef” edited under his Bastardos moniker (for the more curious, the original is apparently Zeus – Cowboy on the Beach). Wait a minute isn’t this the wrong speed? Exactly, Foolish Felix has lived up to his name here and given us a slow motion psychedelic chugger. As this speed the groove is awash with reverb, the guitars sound other worldly, the vocals sound like something out of Twin Peak’s red room (The owls are not what they seem) and the synths swirl around like a 70’s horror flick nightmare. It’s smoggy and it’s dirty, a good tip to take a room leftfield, or if you want to space out at home.

On the flipside, play that funky music whiteboy, Dr Dunks gives us an edited up slinky punk funkin rendition of Modern Romance’s ‘Best years of our life’. It grooves, it moves, the percussion sounds like saucepans, the bass sounds like magnificent seven by the Clash. It’s a disco not disco belter. Essential party music.

My personal favourite of these two releases however comes from DJ Harvey’s Locussolus project. The third release from the Loco crew on the respected International Feel label comprises two powerful weapons for dancefloor detonation. On the A side (I Want It) we get straight into the groove with a bouncy bassline riding a steady beat before all many of synth melodies start to float over the top. We get treated to some vocals from Harvey himself, with a pervy call and response “You want it? I want it? etc” and then the track enters a full on head down throb, maintaining a focussed tension. This builds to a lull in the middle, an eye in the storm, before things build back up into a fizzing driving finale.

On side B (Next To You) the pace drops but the quality keeps up. The track lulls the listener into a false sense of security with some gentle keys, before dropping into some reverb heavy drums and an impeccable bassline, which soon provides the basis for a fantastic loose boogie number. This track has everything, roving world percussion, piano breaks, a liquid bassline, a steam whistle synth reminiscent of summer madness by Kool and the Gang, whispered vocals, and some Levanesque synth noodling. Sublime. Modern day JazzFunk Odyssey.

You can purchase both of these releases here, and as a treat, here is a link to a ludicrous interview with Harvey, in full on El Duderino mode…

© Patrick Ryder @ gluefactorymanchester