Various: ‘Disco Giants 12’ (PTG/Vinyl-Masterpiece)

  • Home
  • Reviews
  • Various: ‘Disco Giants 12’ (PTG/Vinyl-Masterpiece)

For connoisseurs of ’80s soul and R&B – who like their drum machines trash-can-lid-loud and their synth sounds raspy and robotic – this latest instalment of Dutch label Vinyl-Masterpiece’s ‘Disco Giants’ series is like going to groove heaven or being transported to the world of the Beverly Hills Cop movies. The 2-CD set contains twenty full-length 12-inch club tracks, opening with BB&Q Band’s ‘All Night Long (She’s Got The Moves I Like)’ and closing with Connie’s ‘Funky Little Beat.’ In between are sandwiched some terrific cuts that you won’t find on your bog standard ’80s dance compilation – like Hush productions mixboard maestro, Paul Laurence’s ‘Strung Out,’ Jenny Burton’s jazz-funk-tinged ‘Bad Habits,’ Vesta Williams’ ‘Don’t Blow A Good Thing’ – a track that affirms what a great set of pipes the late singer possessed – Junior Giscombe’s ‘Not Tonight,’ and Alexander O’Neal’s ‘What’s Missing’ (an overlooked gem from his first album). More great cuts come from Khemistry (‘I Can’t Lose With The Stuff I Use’), Cheryl Lynn (‘Shake It Up Tonight,’ one of the set’s more organic songs, boasting a ‘real’ rhythm section, real strings and a killer bass line), Colonel Abrahams (‘I’m Not Gonna Let You’), Cashmere’s jazzed-up ‘Let The Music Turn You On’ and the magnificent Glenn Jones whose ‘Meet Me Halfway There’ oozes soul power despite being propelled by a mechanised rhythm section. That goes for most of the songs here, where the expressive quality of the vocalists bring the human factor to machine-tooled musical backdrops that often seemed cold and clinical.  Though not to every soul fans’ taste, this assemblage captures a particular moment in time and does it very well. Those were the days…

(CW) 4/5