Wednesday, July 09, 2014

New Releases: The Far Out Disco Orchestra - Remixes & Re-Interpretations; Frankie Knuckles - Beyond The Mix; Afrobeat Makers - Tony Allen Rhythms Revisited Vol. 2


Legendary remixes of tracks from the super disco project. Mark Pritchard, Theo Parrish , John Morales, Marcellus Pittman and many others help celebrate Far Out Recordings’ 20th year. The original album was recorded in Rio de Janeiro & finished in London and made with love by Far Out’s Favorite artists including the late legend ‘Maestro Jose Roberto Bertrami’, ‘Arthur Verocai’, ‘Alex Malheiros’ & many of Rio’s finest musicians & includes a full orchestra. This collection of remixes puts the acclaimed disco originals into some of the most capable hands in the world...With access to the original masters, internationally celebrated pioneers of dance music’s underground including Mark Pritchard, Theo Parrish, John Morales, Marcellus Pittman and 4hero worked with the foundations laid in the arrangements of Verocai, Betrami and others, turning disco masterpieces into Dj-friendly dance floor weapons, from deep house and techno to balearic, disco re-edits. Following the release of a handful of the remixes on the FOMDO 12” series, this digital release is made up exclusively of remixes, some of which have not been available until now.


Any serious fan of house music knows the name Frankie Knuckles. Like Marshall Jefferson, he commands the type of respect in the genre that Grandmaster Flash enjoyed in hip-hop. When Knuckles signed with Virgin, the enthusiasm was high among house aficionados; but in fact, his Virgin debut, Beyond the Mix, isn't the all-out dancefloor extravaganza many were predicting it would be. The CD definitely has its strong points -- including Lisa Michaels' seductive vocals on "Sacrifice" and the haunting "Rain Falls" and Shelton Becton's gutsy performances on "It's Hard Sometime" and the gospel-influenced "Soon I Will Be Done." At its best, Beyond the Mix is far superior to most of the songs heard on urban contemporary radio in 1991. But "Godfather" and "Party in My House" are routine hip-house numbers that are virtually indistinguishable from countless other fusions of rap and house recorded in the early '90s. ~ Alex Henderson


Tracks from the great Tony Allen – but completely remade here with a complicated set of rhythms and very tripped-out style of production! Doctor L features very heavily on the record (which also has contributions from Thiago Franca and Mps Pilot) – and the whole thing reminds us a lot of some of his fractured Afro Beat experiments on Comet Records from a decade ago – music that still has lots of live drums and percussion at the core (plus other great organic acoustic elements too) – but which also feels plenty free to experiment with a wide range of sounds and styles in the production – on titles that include "Sunny Sky", "Bahia Beatz", "Afro Mystic Beat", "Triffidz", "Afrobeat Block", "Running", and "Hot Soup".  ~ Dusty Groove

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