Eros Volume 1 (Eros, 2011)

This week the second instalment of the Eros edits has landed at Piccadilly Records (specifically here) and so I thought it was fitting to give a taste of what these releases are all about. I know nothing about the label or the people behind the edit, but what I do know is that the first E.P. contained 4 choice cuts that covered the broad spectrum of the Discofutura dancefloor. Philly soul, italo, mid tempo disco and aciiid all got a facelift for dancing pleasure. For me the two real weapons on the E.P. were B1 and B2 (no track names or I.D. info I’m afraid, I’m slipping in my old age). B2 is a real Chi-Chi-Chicago acid banger suited to bouncing off the walls of some dark basement with all the elements of jack you could wish for. B1 on the other hand is a smooth and soulful disco edit, extending and looping the mournful strings over the intro then dropping some heart-wrenching vocals to take things to the next level. For sampling pleasure you’ll find it below, and I urge you to pick up one of the remaining copies from Piccadilly.

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William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got (Onur Engin Edit) (Square Records, 2010)

Here’s a top quality E.P. from last year that’s earned itself a return to my record box over the past few weeks. Onur Engin is Istanbul’s (or is it Constantinople?) finest purveyor of soulful edits and has been going from strength to strength of late. His choice of source material is always impeccable and his subtle style gives some wonderful tracks the extra power they need to sit comfortably alongside today’s peak time numbers. This E.P. on Square is the perfect example of his selection and style, taking on 4 glorious soul cuts, Diana Ross’ ‘Brown Baby’, Gene Harris’ cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘As’, João Donato’s slice of latin funk ‘O Morro Não Tem Vez’ and DeVaughn’s timeless ‘Be Thankful…’ and enhancing the groove and warmth of each of the productions modernising but without losing the authenticity and appeal of the originals. The pick of the bunch is the ‘Be Thankful’ edit, sped up enough to fit into a set, but without losing its tone, looped and extended with some lovely touches like the chimes over the intro and with those glorious vocals soaring over the top. The original was already a classic and it’d be foolish to call this an improvement, but it is fair to say that this is the version you’d use to bring a dancefloor to tears, rather than for home listening.

fat camp – don’t blame us 4 the boogie (disco sucks, 2005)

As well as being a DJ History head honcho, Lowlife spinner and dance music archiver in chief, Bill Brewster also makes up production duo Fat Camp alongside Paul Noble. Together the duo have notched up their fair share of releases over the last decade, retouching and re editing everything from classic funk and disco joints to the smoothest of contemporary r’n’b.

This track is the Fat Camp take on Tweet’s 2002 track ‘Boogie 2nite’, which became an all conquering handbag house smash hit when covered by ‘Booty Luv’. The pair up the tempo of the Tweet original while retaining some of the funk percussion and add a tasty boogie bassline befitting of the track title. Once the sultry vocals of the original kick in the crowd will be in the palm of your hand.

bicep – mystery meat e.p. 4 (mystery meat 2011)

Eagle eyed followers may have noticed that this label is a pet favourite of mine. There have only been 3 releases so far, but each is of the highest quality, and the uninitiated should head here for a profile of the label. The existing records are to be joined soon by a new 4 track of reworks by Bicep (of Feel My Bicep fame). I owe props to a being called phantom for bringing this great news to my attention in the comments section of our blog.

As for the music, Bicep takes things down a sleazy disco funk back alley. It’s the sound of hot summer nights and neon lights in the mid 80s. As you would imagine the heritage of the tracks is fully befitting of the intrepid crate digging that’s been on display at Feel my Bicep over the past few years.

First up is a fully loaded version of Margie Joseph’s 1982 post disco number ‘Knockout’. Judging from the short soundcloud sample, the percussion has been given a little extra oomph ad the verses have been dubbed out to allow the wicked groove extra room for manoeuvre. Add to all that some tasty drops and you’ve got a sure fire hit. Be sure to check the original out, it’s a classic. Next for the chopping block is the tasty boogie number ‘Sweet Somebody’ by Shannon. Sped up to a more playable tempo and with some 808 additions bringing the jack to go with the acidic bassline, this is an electrified mid tempo number built for dancefloors. Howard Johnson’s smooth electro funk groover ‘Say You Wanna’ makes up track 3, with things sticking fairly close to the original up until a huge echo/delay/filter mind altering breakdown. For fans of electro from 5 years ago, SebastiAn used this track for Arabest, which is a definite highpoint on his later than never debut album Total. Closing things up is a boogie number going under the title ‘Hit and Run’, which I’m sad to admit my ignorance over it’s original, I’m only human. Great synths and bassline, brilliant vocals and some nicely worked filtering make this a strong number to finish the set.

All in all, the brilliance of this E.P. will lie in the excellent selections of tracks to refine. Each is a great slice of dimly remembered 80’s funk, bridging the gap between disco and house whilst packing that glorious bass sound at home in every great boogie track. The edits are done in a respectful way, with each alteration serving to bring things up to date a little and to extract the best grooves out of the originals. Bicep’s addition to the Mystery Meat buffet is both welcome and top notch. Keep your eyes peeled for this release.

paul simon – diamonds on the soles of her shoes (tangoterje edit) (supreme records, 2006)

I recently had a discussion with an old friend about Todd Terje’s recent burst of top class activity, and when our conversation turned to our good old favourite Terje edits, I was amazed to hear that my friend did not know this classic.

Paul Simon’s Graceland LP, regardless of your take on the accusations that he mugged the musical heritage of a continent, pulled off the miraculous trick of perfectly marrying American country/folk songwriting with African rhythms and sounds. Of course, other musicians had experimented with polyrhythms before, but no one had done so in pursuit of a making something that at its heart was a traditional American pop record. The record may as well be the soundtrack to the collective unconscious.

When I first heard this edit slipping dreamlike in the middle of a mix, i had a nigh on religious experience. Caked in reverb, the Ladysmith Black Mambazo chanting immediately takes you to church, surrounded by hypnotic rhythms, shimmering guitars, all leading up to an exhilarating drop putting you in the centre of swirling echo. Then that deep wriggly bassline makes you move, softens you up before that warm familiar voice from your childhood guides you into the light. This is my all time favourite Todd Terje edit; he takes a song I’ve loved for as long as I’ve listened to music, and makes it even better. Here it is, ripped from a vinyl pirated from an mp3, in as high a quality as that allows.

maxxi soundsystem – criticize (kojak giant sounds, 2011)

 

first stormer of the year which have been doing the rounds among the socialites of the re-edit scene, has arrived to the shops and disappeared the same day. as usual, and perhaps a merchandise strategy, the finnish label kojak, seems to not want to sell their records in great numbers.

new kids on the block maxxi soundsystem drop two edits to the ever growing collection. a timeless one and mediocre the other. the latter is a weak version of ‘papa was a rolling stone’ that only adds a vocoder to the vocals. so totally avoidable. i do not find much originality on this one plus it is uber recognizable and very predictable.

the surprise, the great surprise, lies on the alexander o’neal take. the 1987 original gets pumped up with a respectful driving beat and a retro 1980s flava and lively bassline. altogether taking this, already a stormer, to new heights. As said, consider this 12″ a one sided one. Find a copy on discogs. Success guaranteed.

Appreciate this gem right here.

 

duff disco – fame (duff disco)

Duff Disco took us all by surprise last month.

Two giant edits of Bowie’s ‘Fame’ and Red Hot Chillie Peppers. The second release is on its way now. And it sounds like an essential purchase. Since The Revenge and 6th Borough Project seem to have sacrificed quality for quantity, mysterious Duff Disco has taken the relay and moved forward.

If you dug Stevie’s ‘Love Light in Flight’ edit by The Revenge from couple of years ago, these two retouched classics follow the steps. Big bassline, mid-tempo rhythm track, plenty of dub and the right doses of vocals. It just works.

Watch out for the second release. Same formula but equally effective.http://duffdisco.bigcartel.com/