Various Artists

Disco Juice, Vol. 2

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The second volume of Disco Juice shows that the first volume, though stronger overall, hardly ransacked all the goods from the catalogs of the labels run by Patrick Adams and Peter Brown during the late '70s and early '80s. The prolific producers' quietly pioneering work largely went unrecognized in the reissue world until Counterpoint came along to release these crucial documents of underground dance music. However, referring to the lovingly assembled Disco Juice compilations as mere documents would be grossly limiting, as they offer plenty of disco, soul, and old school rap that -- for the most part -- sounds terrific decades after original release. Where the first volume of Disco Juice stuck primarily to disco, the second volume opens things up to incorporate soul (Florence Miller's "The Groove I'm In," Cloud One's "Dust to Dust") and rap (Margo's Kool Out Crew's "Death Rap," Willie Wood & Willie Wood Crew's "Willie Rap," Super Jay's "Super-jay Love Theme"; as a side note, the latter two incorporate Johnson Products' "Johnson Jumpin'"). Hot disco isn't in short supply, either. "New York Moving" by Ahzz, "Roller Rink Funk" by Shift (a great roller jam that slightly resembles Michael Jackson's "Workin' Day and Night"), and "The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us" by Golden Flamingo Orchestra (a great cross between the Staple Singers and Sister Sledge) highlight the more floor-friendly selections. Despite their strength, the most astonishing aspect of the Disco Juice compilations is that they hardly exhaust the career highlights of the producers/label heads they spotlight. Putting together retrospectives of their freelance work would be a monstrous task.

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