Album review \\ Joey Negro’s ‘Produced With Love’ is unapologetically disco
If there was such a thing as bassline burnout you’d think Joey Negro, aka Dave Lee, would have been off the scene a long time ago. Far from being funked out though, Lee has been mining disco nuggets into dancefloor golddust during his almost twenty-five year career. Yet, he has only ever released a single album of original solo productions, 1993’s Universe of Love. After more than two decades of remixes and re-edits, 2017 sees Lee getting back to the studio to continue on his love theme with the LP Produced With Love.
On this latest offering, Lee brings together elements of the different styles he has developed through identities outside of his Joey Negro moniker. Free Base has the anthemic quality that earned him a chart hit as Jakatta with American Dream, featured on the soundtrack for 1999’s American Beauty. Moving away from these rave-influences, Lee channels the feel good funk of Chic and another of his creative collaborations, The Sunburst Band, on Must Be The Music and Stomp Your Feet. There’s also a touch of house on Distorting Space Time, reflecting his early-naughties incarnation Raven Maize, and things get further into electro on It’s More Fun To Compute.
Lee makes no apology for keeping disco traditions alive. Retro strings and sparkling piano chords still rule, as evidenced by Dancing Into the Stars, featuring London’s Horsemeat Disco, and on Anyway, featuring the vocals of ‘70s disco-R&B artist, Melba Moore.
There’s method in these multiple musical personalities. Produced With Love is an album that bumps within the rich disco spectrum, showcasing its diversity and making it ready to fly in your Summer party playlist. No doubt extended mixes will weave their way into Joey Negro’s own DJ sets, curated and produced with love.
JS | Lorna Cole