In The Basement
Calling something ‘definitive’ can often make for one of those ‘rod-for-his-own-back’ problems but here compiler, Ian Dewhirst has loving selected some of the best if the Salsoul Records’ output and chosen their presentation in key original mixes and, interestingly, in chronological order from the dates the records came out. Incidentally, in January this year, the original owners of Salsoul, the Cayre brothers sold the company to the New York-based Verse Music Group. The 3CD set starts, as it should, with Joe Bataan’s ‘The Bottle’ and includes four personal favourites; Moment Of Truth’s ‘Helplessly’ and Double Exposure’s ‘Ten Per Cent’, a gloriously uplifting pair, Eddie Holman’s ‘This Will Be A Night To Remember’ – I’ll never tire of hearing those crashing piano keys! – and Carol Williams’ ‘Love Is You’, a Ronnie Walker/Vince Montana composition. There is also the first airing for one feature subject this issue, viz Loleatta Holloway with ‘Dreamin’.
The second CD gets under way in fine form with ‘Doctor Love’ by First Choice and we get a taste of slightly funkier stuff with ‘The Beat Goes On’ from Ripple, ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ from Bunny Sigler protégées, Instant Funk and Randy Muller’s Skyy outfit, ‘First Time Around’.
Over ten minutes of CD3 is taken up by the Jocelyn Brown-fronted Inner Life’s Larry Levan-mixed treatment of Ashford & Simpson’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and I wont argue with Ian when, in the liners, he calls this “...quite simply the ONLY version to play to a mass of swirling bodies at the height of the night!” For more, similarly irresistible to those swirling bodies, add in Skip Mahoney’s ‘Janice (Don’t Be So Blind To Love)’ and further classics from Loleatta Holloway and First Choice, ‘Love Sensation’ and ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’. Quick, pass the poppers!
The estimable Harmless imprint launches its new Mixology series with a surefire winner in the form of this triple-disc set, whose only brief is to make available the key original mixes released on Salsoul, the legendary disco label.
Although numerous Salsoul compilations have been released before – many of them by Harmless itself – they are all out of print, and included a mix of classic and obscure mixes.
With 31 original tracks arranged in chronological order and a playing time of 220 minutes, Mixology addresses the issue in style, and includes all of the label’s most revered recordings, among them Ten Percent by Double Exposure, Doctor Love by First Choice, Hit & Run by Loleatta Holloway, The Beat Goes On & On by Ripple and Jingo by Candido.