Boomkat Product Review:
Totally wicked slab of disco funk and electroid boogie on Amsterdam’s Music From Memory, pulling out their very first reissue/compilation by a Dutch artist, Richenel, who was a something of a dance-pop-star in his home country through the late ’80 and into the early ‘90s.
Compiled under guidance from Orpheu De Jong, they’ve applied the usual MFM filter to Richenel’s sorely overlooked debut, La Diferencia, resulting four alternate takes and two previously unreleased zingers - Slave of the Body/Mind and I Won’t Bite - all taken from the artist’s personal copy.
Realised in makeshift studios and squats against the backdrop of drugs and social unrest in the early ‘80s, the flamboyant set and costume design student’s first release holds tight to a lean and deadly effective punk funk sound, wrenching a proper, soul-warming disco buzz from lo-fi gear in a way that resonates with everything from ESG and Detroit’s Witch to earliest Cybotron and Prince or the nattiest Minimal Wave numbers.
It’s headed up by a massive highlight, six minutes of adroit drum machine boogie gilded with rudest fretless bass, aching vox and viiiiibes in Autumn, and also includes alternate versions of the nagging chops on Gentle Friend and an outstanding, hot-stepping La Diferencia that sounds uncannily like Liaisons Dangereuses or that mad Velodrome 12”, but with Krishna Goineau morphing into Klaus Nomi.
The other two are completely exclusive to this 12”. Slave Of The Body/Mind is a strong stripe of bluesy boogie disco, and I Won’t Bite gets it dead right on a slow, strung-out, synthy downstroke, equal parts lo-fi soul and sleazy red light wave. A lot of boogie nuts are going to drip all over this one, and we can thankfully expect more from the Fetisj label and Richenel on Music Frtom Memory in the future. This one will more than suffice for now.