Hi-Tension (1978) S/T (LP) Island Records (ILPS 9564)

Hi-Tension
Hi-Tension
Island(ILPS 9564)
1978
Producers: Kofi Ayivor & Alex Sadkin
(Title track produced by Ayivor & Chris Blackwell)
Rating: ***  (Noteworthy)

This English disco-funk outfit found considerable success at home, where both the title track and “British Hustle” were hit singles and dancefloor favorites, but they were mostly ignored in the States where disco fans preferred England’s Hot Chocolate, the German sound, or their own artists.  The band eases into this set with “You’re My Girl,” picking up the pace for “Searchin’,” slowing it down again for “Autumn Love,” before cutting lose on the instrumental “Power and Lightning.”  After that, they continue with the rollercoaster, the second side opening with the pure disco sound of “British Hustle,” slowly it down slightly for “If It Moves You” before launching into “Hi-Tension,” which like “Power and Lightning,” should appeal to fans of funk, the two guitarists and four percussionists burning a groove through the superficial, the horns and organ helping out, punching holes through the disco haze.  This is stylish disco-funk, and fans of bands such as EWF should give this album a listen.

This sole album by this UK outfit is mostly known for the dance cuts “Hi-Tension” and “British Hustle,” but the instrumental “Power and Lightning”  and slower cuts such as “Autumn Love” deserve attention too.  “British Hustle” was timely, but other cuts are more timeless.  While this band wasn’t breaking new ground with this album, they picked the right influences and the right musicians.

— winch

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