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Philadelphia International - The Re-edits (Harmless)It's worth reading Jay Negron's accompanying note with this release before listening, as he explains the principle of the re-edit in Philly soul - ultimately a technique used by DJs to draw out each song to a longer length, ideally without losing the spirit of the original. Each of the 're-edits' selected here adds a bit of extra production, but nothing that harms the overall effect of the song. So now that's clear, it's easy just to sit back and enjoy two hours of fabulous unmixed music. CD1 ('Uptempo Good Time Philly') is a feelgood cracker, with Billy Paul's 'Only The Strong Survive' glistening in its J*Ski production, the timeless McFadden & Whitehead favourite 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now' given extra shine by The Noodleman, and the sultry 'Dance Turned Into Romance' hinting at a touch of electro as it moves from The Jones Girls through the mixing desk of DJ Friction. The second disc ('Mellow Slinky Philly') eases back a bit and enjoys the piano led groove of Jean Carn's 'If You Wanna Go Back', another Jones Girls winner in 'Nights Over Egypt' and a fabulously full bodied piece of work from Deep&Disco, who give The O'Jays' 'Darlin' Darlin' Baby' a very persuasive makeover. Excellent, life-affirming stuff.

Ben Hogwood

5 out of 5

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