Nacho Patrol – The Africa Jet Band Experience (M Division MDIV07)

Rating: 8/10 Synth freak Danny Wolfers continues his explorations in soulful disco and funk under the Nacho Patrol moniker, delivering a genuine-sounding fiesta of vintage grooves. Except of the knowledge that this record has roots in black music, the references to Africa remain limited and one should not expect any tribal shakers here. Both “Stars Over Africa” and “Salambo Funk” are thriving party fare with vigorously working synth lines, known from Legowelt’s many productions. “Fuzz Party” and “Ghetto Compressor” move closer to jazz, but real bliss comes in “No Angry People” – such a happy track with fizzy synths and […]

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Thank You Michael 1

Rating: 5/10 This one lines up with dozens of other bootlegs and unofficial releases exploiting the life and creation of the King of Pop. Difficult to believe it is a honest tribute release, although the title track “Thank You Michael” tries to bow down before M.J. using the gospel style, and tiresome beats. “Thrilloop Tool”  is the best take here with a monotonous disco groove while “Dense And Home Alone” travels in paths of tribal soul. The voice of the King of Pop appears in “Start Something” that is an obvious rip-off of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”.

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Alba – Philomena (Aube 010)

Rating: 7/10 Three synth cuts that express harmony and splendor we know from the previous Aube releases. The label’s most celebrated artist Roland S. Faber has teamed up with Keen K and Aube’s co-founder Michael Künzer to produce safe tunes for those who miss bygone times.The theme of Philomena, named after Künzer’s one-year-old daughter, is presented in three versions, as floating synth interpretations with samples of human voice.“Part I” takes us back to Mediterranean resorts of 1980’s and italo-influenced piece misses only some cheesy vocals like under sunny skies you will hear my lies. The B-side opens with my pick […]

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Various – Tropical Discotheque EP (SOFR002) – 8/10

The heat is on at Sofrito; after vintage afro club funk of “Soweto Disco” they come with a 2010 repress of “Tropical Discotheque EP”, carrying the same power and emotion as known from Sofrito’s previous releases. No artist credits but four edits or reworks of thriving floor tracks: A-side is filled with two quite similar versions of “African Disco Power”, with male vocal backing. On the B-side tempo is reduced in Caribbean-sounding “Calypso Path”, while “Disco La Calle” goes a bit cosmic, being the best track of the EP.

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Black Cow – Mojito / Toni The Lefty (Black Cow 003) – 7/10

Black Cow is not an expert of animal breeding: The horned creature pictured on the label is a courageous bull, not a cow. But this observation is irrelevant because the music is worth checking. By style the seven-inch from Japan moves between soul and funk, with two quite differently sounding tracks. “Mojito” on the A-side is a shuffling percussion and rhythm exercise where we hear lively synths and vocal snippets. On the flip, soulful and latin-minded “Toni The Lefty” recalls bow-tied vocal group and shining horns in Acapulco. Because of the format the tracks are short, but neat. Black Cow […]

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Various – Soweto Disco (Sofrito Super Singles 001) – 8/10

Recent soccer tournament made the world think that for South Africans vuvuzela is the only instrument they know – definitely a grave misinterpretation. As a recent example of successful South African music, take Elvis Maswanganyi AKA DJ Mujava and his “Township Funk”. Or from earlier times, minimal and micro house artist Portable, in addition to the local rap scene. I believe there’s still a lot to discover as the music from the Southern tip of Africa.“Soweto Disco” is a 12-inch full of party feeling, offering a modernized collage of South African shaking disco and funk from late 1970s to early […]

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Dom Thomas – The Exploding Disco Inevitable (Brutal Music 02) – 7/10

After a diving session in the deep waters of exotic disco and funk, Dom Thomas has brought to the daylight a selection of more and less glittering corals. It’s not the return of golden oldies but a parade of unknown cuts and edits mainly smelling so end-1970’s.The man from Finders Keepers camp kicks the party off with tikka masala flavour in “Karma Sutra Vocal” and India sends greetings also in Bollywood-sounding “Disco Bomb”. Oriental side is further represented with two tracks full of ample oriental funk, titled “Eastern Fractal”, and extra-drums cut “Pictures Of Phuket”. Like from the workshop of […]

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The Psychic Stewardess – Spiritual Foundation (Strange Life Records 037) – 7/10

It feels like sitting in your favourite cafe and knowing the menu by heart but still enjoying familiar atmosphere and those sweet cakes. The label and the artist tell what to expect. Another strike from Strange Life Records featuring Smackos-like floating and spinning vintage synths with a certain concept, including the identity of the artist. The Psychic Stewardess is presented as “a part time stewardess and psychic from the Californian desert town of Palm Springs” but do you really believe it? Just the label boss Mr Wolfers AKA Legowelt under another guise and even less smarter detectives can recognise his […]

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Kasper Bjørke – Standing On Top Of Utopia (HFN Music 04 LP) – 6/10

A good present for a young-at-heart lady celebrating her 52nd birthday. She definitely remembers the disco days and is fond of pop music. Well, Scandinavians have done a cute record full of disco hooks, guitar riffs and honey-like vocals. I have to admit my doubts before the purchase as it sounded “too pop”, and really, the opener “Young Again” would fit well to afternoon radio shows from Dublin to Minsk, as does “Alcatraz”. The next, “Dasko Vanitas”, is different: an instrumental piece that lets disco balls shine and pours in some hefty bass, on the backdrop of well-measured beats. “Animals” […]

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Roland Sebastian Faber – Gropiusstadt EP (Aube 009) – 6/10

Every German, or more exactly Swabian, dreams of building a house. Or they did, if we consider that nowadays about a half of the population prefers to live in a rented space. Like in the Gropiusstadt region in Berlin where the apartment houses are reaching to the sky like huge walls of concrete. Herr Faber has engineered another synth record with German precision. Unfortunately A-side’s “Löffelkinder” is a lifeless disco-esque composition, where soprano ‘uh-ah’s mix the sound picture a bit. On the flip the title track “Gropiusstadt” lets the synth sing in a merry way heralding the dawn of a […]

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