Various Artists

Tropical Disco Hustle

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Compiled by Deano Sounds from Boston's Cultures of Soul Records, this funky comp proves that disco fever spread throughout the globe during the '70s, including to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. Everything here glitters, swaggers, and bounces like Saturday Night Fever character Tony Manero on a Saturday night, but the territories put their own spin on things, including Mavis John, whose "Use My Body" builds with some slowly winding, sexy reggae, coming off as Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" for the Marley crowd. Shuffling and effervescent, Levi John's "Feel Like Dancing" is akin to disco township jive from downtown Trinidad, while Merchant's "Instant Funk" is warm, tropical stuff that floats into space, coming off as Sergio Mendes meeting Giorgio Moroder uptown with Meco on the dub. Ronnie Butler sings of social justice from the Caribbean point of view on his Marvin Gaye-esque "Peace Without Love," then Prince Blackman has his way with the early hip-hop track "Rockers Delight," cutting the beat down by about quarter-speed and changing the lyrics to address the war between Rastas and Babylon. Two new cuts bring the set up to 2014 with one Whiskey Barons' rework and one Al Kent version, while buyers of the physical release get a booklet filled with wonderful album artwork, photos, and interesting essays. Reggae and soca moved on from disco and, like most of the rest of the world, evolved into more electronic and hip-hop-influenced styles, but this set is one of the few that focuses on this transitory and faddish era, so praise its existence and then get hip to these lost bits of jive talkin' and night fever.

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