Evil K’Neil – To Rack & Ruin Vol.2 (Rack & Ruin, 2011)

After a hiatus that seems to have lasted a lifetime, I thought I’d get back into the blogging groove by posting about some of the records that have been doing it for me of late.

Up first is this 12″ served up by Manchester’s own Evil K’Neil, the El Diablo’s Social Club main man. Neil presents, edited for your dancing pleasure, two certified, electrified, amplified disco funk jams in the shape of ‘Party’ by Harari and ‘Get A Little’ by Patrick Cowley. In its original form ‘Party’ is a classic funk cut, much loved by Rub N Tug and an El Diablo’s classic which they say ‘sounds like Hot Chocolate coming up on Mitsubishis at the Loft’, and who could argue with so vivid a description. Neil stretches the groove out and adds some intro and outro, throws some echo over the drums and generally creates a heavier dancefloor vibe. Nicely played.

Cowley’s ‘Get A Little’ is less pounding than you might expect from the Hi’NRG party maestro, combining a playful groove with some camped up and vamped up vocals and the trademark synth brilliance, and once again Neil has done the business squeezing every bit of dancefloor energy out of the original, with some super drops. This was a standout crowd ignitor at our most recent Discofutura party and should not be missed under any circumstances.


delegation – heartache no. 9 (ariola, 1980)

In the words of Timbaland, ‘it’s been a long time, shouldn’t have left you without a dope beat to step to’. After some time spent without the internet as discofutura towers moved from south to central, here’s a true groover to get things going again. Rub ‘N’ Tug dropped this classy slice of disco on Beats In Space last week so I dug it out of the moving boxes and frisbeed it through the router and straight into the internet. For you.

Delegation – Heartache No. 9

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.

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