Various Artists

Disco Giants, Vol. 9

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Over half of the 20 tracks on PTG's ninth Disco Giants compilation were released in 1986 or 1987, just before journalist Barry Michael Cooper -- inspired by Teddy Riley's 1987/1988 production work for the likes of Keith Sweat, Johnny Kemp, Today, and Guy -- coined the term new jack swing. In fact, five of the tracks came out on MCA, just before Guy debuted on the same label in 1988. It's Riley progenitors Kashif, Paul Laurence, and Morrie Brown, however, who dominate this set with their actual presence. During the early '80s, Kashif and company perfected their own form of sophisticated, electronics-enhanced, groove-oriented R&B, though their sound had little to do with hip-hop. Some of their fine if less-recognized work circa 1982 -- Howard Johnson's "Keeping Love New," Melba Moore's "Mind Up Tonight," Evelyn King's "Back to Love" -- is featured here. Stephanie Mills' "(You're Puttin') A Rush On Me," produced by Laurence, is among the best of the 1987 material beside the Whispers' L.A. Reid and Babyface collaboration "Rock Steady." Another nice mix of major and minor hits, this volume is also highlighted by Loose Ends' "Magic Touch," Gwen Guthrie's "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But the Rent" (the Larry Levan mix), and Sybil's "Falling in Love" (an unjustly forgotten Next Plateau release).

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