Al Kent

Disco Love: Rare Disco & Soul Uncovered

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Put together by Al Kent -- not the Detroiter closely associated with Golden World, Ric-Tic, Motown, and Westbound, but the Scotsman born Ewan Kelly who is behind the Million Dollar Orchestra and Disco Demands series -- Disco Love: Rare Disco & Soul Uncovered is another BBE release fostered by a desire to unearth every super-obscure ‘70s dancefloor tune. As Kent writes in the liner notes, most of the inclusions weren’t released on 12", disco’s dominant format, and a fair portion of the contents don’t fall into the categorization of straight-ahead disco. But Kent handily molds the tracks into a discreetly blended sequence with an easy flow, and the result is fairly off-center and packed with grit -- not surprising, given that the recording and pressing budgets were merely a fraction of those of the larger independent and major labels. If there is a relatively known or familiar selection, it’s Black Rock's “New York City Bump,” and that would be because it was mixed by disco pioneer Tom Moulton and is based on B.T. Express' number one R&B single “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied).” While nothing is bound to make you wonder “Why wasn’t this a hit?,” there’s charm to spare, even when the material is prone to making the most hobbyist-tolerant discophile curl into a ball (as with Patricia White's “Sweet Disco,” a shrill thing with random, off-beat mallet work and dueling saxophones that pierce). The best of the lot is Ross Carnegie & Co.'s “F Minor Disco” (also present on the second Disco Demands compilation), a pretty hot slice of mostly instrumental jazz-funk. Only the most dedicated disco freak is likely to get something out of it all; those looking for Chic-like elegance or Patrick Adams-level low-budget ingenuity need not check for it. Eight of the 14 cuts were re-edited by Kent, and a second disc features all 14 in unmixed form.

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