A new mix from perennial party faves Soul Clap is always a cause for celebration, but there's something extra-special about this particular exercise in dancefloor nostalgia. Nice 'N' Ripe Allstars sees them revisit the bulging back catalogue of Grant Nelson's Nice 'N' Ripe label, an imprint that has tracked the rise, fall and subsequent rebirth of UK garage since its' birth in 1993. Soul Clap's mix - an action-packed 30-track affair featuring some of their own edits and remixes of classic cuts - does a great job in showcasing the best the label has to offer, flitting between early US garage style jams, loose soulful house, sturdy two-step, bass-heavy speed garage and the kind of long-lost jams which should be bitten by today's retro-minded house producers. In doing so, it offers an impeccable history lesson.
Austrian duo Klaue & Tatze make their debut on Bear Fresh and the result is an instant flex back to garage's mid-90s golden era where bold soulful vocals and funky grooves ruled the roost. With heat steaming from every organ lick and bass drop, it's an instant floor-strutter. Remix-wise Scullious adds subversive, sludgy bass tones while Dosage adds more beef to the beats and polishes up the organ licks nicely. Euphoric soul throughout. Bring it down? Bring it up more like!
'Tough-house' legends Jaymo and Andy George set up their Moda Black label to specifically cater for the dark and mysterious sounds of sweaty basements in the late, late hours. This time round they're taking the reigns themselves two provide a pair of quality bangers. "Tales From The Basement" is pure 21st century hip-house featuring a beefy rolling bassline and chopped up rhymes. "Henrys Treat", goes down the disco route with looped string samples soaring to dizzy heights above a skippy groove that's sure to get the whole club grinning in unison.
Finland-based funky experimentalist Rico Tubbs has pulled out all the stops in his latest dancefloor-shaking journey. From hardcore jungle, wobble and garage to dubstep and even funky house, there's a bit of everything mashed up in here, as long as it's got a decent bouncy beat and a hook fit for the hungriest dancefloor inhabitants. Channelling early Rustie and Doorly, there's no denying that this is a fun release. Each track as mad as the last, with samples from '90s mixtapes, dub soundsystems and what are potentially spaceships, if Tubbs isn't manhandling some dance tent at a major festival in 2014, the world will be missing out.
This meeting of minds between party-orientated DJ Krissi B and RnB vocalist is a match made in dancefloor heaven. "I Want U" is a fizzy bang of handbaggy beats, hypey melodies and a touch of bassline bottom end. Lou's infectious vocals are all over the different versions of the song, including the hands-in-the-air original, the dark and fast wobble banger of the EJ Da Farda mix and best of all: Krissi B's own 2-step garage mix.
A perfect cut of crisp bass-driven house music from Bristolian Niall Cropper, "Forever" is the freshest way to enjoy this season's must-have deep house sound. Not content with the overblown '90s sampling or big bouncing bass usually found within the resurgence of his chosen genre, Cropper's picked an intimidating, creeping bass to slide underneath progressively euphoric verses of synth melodies and vocal snips. Impossible to resist, this will be the soundtrack to your Saturday night for months to come. Includes the radio edit.
Genre-hopping from hardcore, drum & bass and house, Whistla has spent some time describing all the many ways in which he loves dance music. Perfecting his four to the floor Garage sound in "Love is You (Love Issue)" he fuzzes through wobbling bass and sharp-suited synths, making sure there's no way any dancefloor could resist. Meanwhile "Crazy Delight" is a breakbeat love affair, bringing back the '90s in an almost emotionally nostalgic way, pushing a bumping bassline with retro synths like woah. Excellent work. Go get it.
Judging by his name, DJ DJ Booth certainly knows how to have a good time, and the folks over at Activia Benz have scouted yet another ace talent in the funky house domain. From deep to pumping, the EP is a certified floor-filler, with "Ur Wasting My Time" riding at the top and containing one hell of a bassline! All four tracks are ridiculously fun but "Heaven" is the one that'll turn some heads - broken garage beats and extraterrestrial sounds aplenty - and even contains a wonderful, straight-ahead remix by A G Cook.