DISCO LOVE VOLUME 2.

DISCO LOVE VOLUME 2.

After delivering Disco Love, DJ, remixer and disco detective Al Kent dug deeper, delving into the disco archives, for more disco delights for Disco Love Volume 2. Released in April 2011, Disco Love Volume 2 was double album, released on BBE Music. This was the follow-up to Disco Love, which had been released in February 2010. It was a stunning collection of hidden disco and soulful delights, which containing eighteen tracks plus a seamless mix from Al Kent. Having reviewed Disco Love, I was left wondering whether Al Kent could better Disco Love. Then came Disco Love Volume 2, with its two discs of disco delights. Having listened to Disco Love Volume 2 constantly since I received it, it seems Al Kent has triumphed again. He’s dug much deeper than other DJs or compilers would dare to dig. In doing so, Al has discovered fourteen fantastic disco delights, some of which Al has edited. These fourteen tracks can be found on Disc One of Disco Love Volume 2, where Al Kent seamlessly displays his DJ skills. He weaves his way through the tracks, never missing a beat. On Disc Two of Disco Love Volume 2, the music is unmixed, featuring twelve of the fourteen tracks. However, this dozen disco gems can be heard in all their glory, allowing you to hear some hidden gems and forgotten slices of delicious disco. To give you a flavor of the music that can found on Disco Love Volume 2, I’ll pick some of the best tracks from the compilation.

My first choice from Disco Love Volume 2 is a track from Lenny Bailey Strings & Rhythm Inc., Do It With Me. Released in 1976, the track was released on Ren-Rome Records, the tempo is 114 beats per minute, with the track having everything you could want on a disco track. A pounding disco beat, cascading strings and blazing horns combine with a plentiful supply of percussion. Add to this, soulful, soaring female backing vocalists, a driving rhythm section and chiming guitars and what more could you want? For six minutes, this hidden gem of a track sprinkles its disco delights, unleashing its infectiously catchy, dance-floor friendly sound.

Plaza Suite’s Joey’s Tune was released in 1978 on Thunder Records and his three and a half minutes of lush, sumptuous disco. Here, the drums are subtler, the strings grander and the female vocalists are subtle soulful. There’s even a slight hustle sound, as the track glides gracefully along at 120 beats per minute. Wah-wah-esque guitars, now graceful strings and punchy horns all punctuate the track, as keyboards and vocalists drift in and out of the track. However, for the three and a half minutes of the track it gracefully glides along, with its lush seventies sound sweeping you along in its wake.

Spooky & Sue are a Dutch group who cover Chuck Jackson’s I’ve Got The Need. Released on Negram Records in 1975, this is an irresistible track. Take a sweet and soulful female vocal, accompany it with confident male vocal, add cascading strings, blazing horns and a disco beat, and you get the idea what this three minute gem sounds like. As the track reveals its delights, you quickly fall in love with its mixture of punchy horns, lush strings and the vocals which compliment each other perfectly. This is one of these hidden delights that makes you grateful that Al Kent is the crate-digger extraordinaire he is. Al Kent we salute your crate digging skills.

Anyone whose been in love and fallen out of love, needs a break-up song. For the next time, I propose Valerie Simmons’ 1979 track on Simco Records I Can Make It On My Own. This is the perfect track to sooth your broken heart. A sassy, defiant vocal from Valerie, with equally defiant, confident backing vocalists. Behind Valerie, the arrangement is impassioned and uplifting, with the rhythm section, stabs of keyboards, swirling strings and rasping horns combining perfectly. It’s then that Valerie’s vocal enters, and it’s one part defiance one part passion. Delivered in a powerful, yet hugely soulful style. This is such a good break-up song it’s almost worth falling out of love for, just to listen to it until your broken heart mends.

Sandy Barber recently had an album released on BBE Music, the same label as Al Kent’s Disco Love 2. Entitled The Best Is Yet To Come, one of the tracks is I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping On My Own, which is my next choice. Originally released in 1977 by The Otis Music Group Inc., the track was co-written by Clyde Otis, Natt Adderley and Jay Hoggard, while Jay Hoggard produced the track. The track has a similar sassy, defiant vocal to Valerie Simmons. This sassy, but soulful vocal is delivered against a backdrop of the rhythm section, guitars and swooning backing vocalists. When Sandy’s vocal enters, it’s powerful and soulful, as the arrangement reveals its combination of keyboards, funky rhythm section, rasping horns and percussion. From there, the arrangement grows, revealing its beauty and drama. By now, you realize that this is one of the true highlights of Disco Love 2. Not only that, but I can thoroughly recommend Sandy’s album The Best Is Yet To Come released in February 2012.

I can concur with what Al Kent says in his sleeve-note, that how he can resist a song with a party in the background. Neither can I, which means I’ve got to mention Bill Avery’s Disco Fever. Not only does it sound like everyone at the party is having a ball, but so is Bill Avery, on a track from 1978, released on Big Dee Records. With a myriad of whoops, hand claps and funky rhythm section, synths are unleashed, as Bill hollers, whoops and gets the party going. Keyboards, a funky bass and drums help Bill keep the party going as synths reverberate above the arrangement. Here, Bill mixes funk and disco to create a track with a real good time party sound, that’s not just guaranteed to put a smile on your face, but will get any party started.

Nasty City’s Disco Baby was released in 1976 on Hit Bound Records. The track was written, arranged and produced by Norman B. Fowler. It’s a track that mixes funk and disco over nearly seven minutes. With the funkiest of rhythm sections opening the track, cascading strings are then accompanied by a disco beat.  The band are tight, their playing proficient, as the arrangement gradually reveals its disco delights. Punchy, backing vocals enter, accompanied by equally, punchy horns, keyboards and percussion. This gives way to a pounding disco beat, soaring female  backing vocalists, luscious strings and keyboards. Add to this a funky bass line, a joyful vocal and you’ve the winning formula for delicious fusion of funk and disco.

The last track I’ve chosen from Disco Love Volume 2 is J’s When Did You Stop. It’s just one of these track that has you hooked from its opening bars. Released in 2010 on Dante Records, glorious, sweet horns open the track, while the rhythm section and lush swirling strings join the arrangement. As the tempo his 126 beats per minute, soulful backing vocalists enter, before an impassioned and powerful lead vocal enters. From there, the arrangement is sweet and punchy as the track sees disco combined with an equal measure of soul thrown in for good measure. You just can’t resist this combination of horns, strings and soul drenched vocals. It’s a catchy, hook laden and ultimately beautiful combination of Northern Soul and disco.

Al Kent’s Disco Love Volume 2 picks up where Disco Love left off in 2010. From Disco Love, Al ups the ante on Disco Love Volume 2, digging way deeper and finding fourteen new disco delights to indulge you with. Having thought Disco Love was a fantastic compilation, Disco Love Volume 2 is even better. I didn’t think that would be possible, but it is. With tracks like Lenny Bailey Strings & Rhythm Inc., Do It With Me, Spooky & Sue’s I’ve Got the Need, Plaza Suite’s Joey’s Tune, Nasty City’s Disco Baby and J’s When Did You Stop, disco doesn’t get much better. Add to that Valerie Simmons’ I Can Make It On My Own, which is the ultimate break-up songs, and then Sandy Barber’s brilliant I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping On My Own, then you’ve got seven great tracks. Apart from these seven tracks, there are seven other delicious disco delights to discover. Another thing worth mentioning about Al Kent’s Disco Love Volume 2, is Al’s sleeve-notes. His description of each of the tracks are hilarious, displaying an infectious sense of humour. All this makes Disco Love Volume 2 an unmissable compilation, and is the perfect companion to Al Kent’s Disco Love and his five disc box set The Best of Disco Demands, both released on BBE Music. This will give you a veritable feast of disco delights that are guaranteed to get any party started. Once again, we must join together and pay homage to Al Kent, DJ, crate-digger, remixer and disco detective, for discovering the fourteen brilliant tracks that can be found on Al Kent’s Disco Love Volume 2. Standout Tracks: Plaza Suite Joey’s Tune, Valerie Simmons I Can Make It On My Own, Sandy Barber I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping On My Own and J When Did You Stop.

DISCO LOVE VOLUME 2.

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