2019 Sep 22     
2 Bit Thugs

Disco legend John Morales serves up 10 more soul-infused gems for DJ Spen's Quantize Recordings

DJ Spen's Quantize Recordings serve up a second compilation of remixes and original productions by New York disco legend John Morales.

With a career that dates back to the mid-70s and over 650 remixes under his belt – including many for two of the most iconic US labels of all time, Motown and Salsoul – John Morales should need no introduction to any house and disco lover worth his/her/their salt. But unlike BBE's The M&M Mixes comps (which now run to four volumes) or Universal's collections of his work for Motown – and just like 2016's Vol 1 – this album isn't about Morales's past glories. Instead, it features 10 tracks that are a mixture of brand new original productions, and remixes for contemporary soul/R&B and soulful house artists.

Those coming in for the remix treatment include Ronnie Herel & Brian Power, Soulista and ReelSoul, while the originals include covers of Terri Wells' 1984 Philly groover I'm Giving All My Love (voiced by Natasha Watts), Teena Marie's 1980 Motown jam I Need Your Lovin' (in collaboration with Spen himself, under the name Spencer Morales) and Jean Carn's 1979 disco classic Was That All It Was (in collaboration with Thommy Davis and vocalist Richard Burton). The covers don't stop there, either, because the set also includes Morales's remixes of SuSu Bobien's take on Love Sensation and Tasha La Rae & DJ Spen's version of Angie Stone's Wish I Didn't Miss You.

Reviewing this collection in any meaningful way is actually quite a tough call, because the quality on offer almost goes without saying – you don't get to have a 40-plus year career in this game if you don't know your way around both the studio and the club. For the sake of being objective, I will say the one track I'm not 100% convinced by personally is the take on Was That All It Was, but then I should probably declare an interest there: one of my all-time favourite tunes, it's been covered a squillion times and Carn's original still wins every time for me!

But the other Morales-led covers and the versions of Love Sensation and Wish I Didn't Miss You are superb, the production throughout is truly sumptuous, and suffice to say lovers of soul-dripping house and disco grooves should be checking for this collection immediately.

Words: Russell Deeks

Release date: 20 September



Review Score: 9




Tags: John Morales, Quantize Recordings, DJ Spen, Ronnie Herel & Brian Power, Soulista, ReelSoul, Natasha Watts, Thommy Davis, Richard Burton, SuSu Bobien, Tasha La Rae