Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Various Artists: Disco Love (BBE Records)

Just as you know Danny Dyer probably isn’t going to turn up in a period drama, cities can be typecast too. Musically certain cities are always associated with particular genres – Sheffield and Bristol breathe connotations of electronica, Manchester the stagnant fag smell of rock’n’roll – and it’s probably fair to say that Glasgow is as synonymous with disco as Rio de Janeiro is with black metal.

But Glaswegian native Al Kent, aka Ewan Kelly, might just be about to change all that. The talented DJ is best known for his label Million Dollar Disco and its Disco Demands series – a Northern Soul and disco digger if ever there was one he has added to this with his much lauded 20-strong Million Dollar Orchestra.

Here Al kicks off the exciting new Disco Love series covering rare disco and soul over two discs (originals and remixes) of sheer delight. There’s plenty for the casual disco acolyte, as well as the aficionados as Kent delights in sharing his eclectic taste. His liner notes for Sweet Daddy Floyd’s irresistible I Just Can’t Help Myself expose this raw passion as he urges listeners to “give it three listens and you will love them too”. And it’s true, there’s so many tracks here that do what both disco and soul should do – be impassioned but tight and clean cut, show some hard graft but be smooth as the proverbial swan on the water and provide something to dance your badly laced boots off to.

The mix from Bob Williams’ I’m Alright into the classic Nite Life (Let’s Get It On) by The Midas Touch shows Kent’s skills at their exemplary best while the smooth transitions that guide the second disc through remixes of Patricia White, Quinn Harris and JNB show a style that explains his appearances at London’s Soul City and Edinburgh’s Ultragroove among other big names. Al Kent has a heartening and genuine talent for mixing and provides a disco mix that can’t fail to please in this well thought-out appearance.

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