Old Rummy returns to the Bomb Strikes stable with three more essential party jams. "Work Signs" takes Justin Timberlake back to the early '70s on a Parliament-charged funk train, the epic sample session "Funky Vibrations" flips us back to the early '90s with a focus on the De Le Soul's "Roller Skating Jam". Finally we get lively with a muscular big beat jam that features the distinctive vocal tones of DJ Kool Marva Whitney's evergreen horn hook from "Unwind Yourself". Show us a sign!
Mr Scruff's Friendly Bacteria album was something of a return to form; a sprawling, soul-flecked concoction full of broken beat, jazz, dub and classic house influences. Here, two of the album's highlights get the remix treatment. On the A, "We Are Coming" - a bumpin', basement-bothering bruk cut in its' original form - is turned into a warm and wide-eyed deep house shuffler by Berlin-based Max Graef. It's an excellent revision, which weaves the original samples and keys into a fuzzy, analogue-sounding groover. On the flip, Scruff himself extends and reworks "Feel Free", turning in a hazy nu-jazz rub built around rubbery double bass and snaking, muted horns.
Warrington's Danny Worral has carved out a niche for himself delivering robust, floor-friendly re-edits that specifically rework synth-laden '80s electrofunk, soul and boogie jams. Here he presents his first album of reworks for regular home Midnight Riot. The source material is a mixture of the well known and slightly obscure, with the likes of the Whispers, Prince and the Aleems under the scalpel. Worral keeps the feel of the original tracks - including, in most cases, the vocals - giving them a little more contemporary dancefloor swing, largely thanks to extra-fat beats, subtle house rhythms and thick synth basslines. It's an attractive proposition for anyone who enjoys synth-laden '80s jams. Highlights are plentiful, from the glassy-eyed fun of the title track through to the soulful house shuffle of closer "In Your Life".
Prolific, filter-loving disco re-editor KS French returns to action with another quintet of floor-friendly revisions. The experienced Parisian impresses with opener "All My Life", a sumptuous, string-laden anthem with just the right amount of contemporary production trickery. There's more spine-tingling fare in the shape of the soulful shuffler "Do For Love", while "Supernatural" turns a disco-funk smasher into a smooth head-nodder. A Motown staple goes under the knife on the sinewy "Take Me Back", while "Think Over" is the kind of grandiose, uplifting disco fare that makes 30-something men want to whip off their shirts and pretend they're dancing in the Paradise Garage.
Dave Gerrard has cut his teeth on the mighty Chopshop label, but for his latest EP he's opted to move to Sound Exhibitions. Perhaps this explains the poppier choice of edit material as this one's straight up party fodder. The lead track is a tasteful, if quite restrained version of David Joseph's classic 1983 funk-meets-proto-house anthem "You Can't Hide Your Love". Then it's back to the '70s and the familiar hustle flute rears it head on the beefed up grooves of "Bump N Hustle". Finally "Tom Tom Boogie" goes for the jugular - speeding up "Genius Of Love" to a feverish pace.
Alien Disco Sugar is the production alias of Leonidas DeeJay, a veteran Greek DJ with over 30 years experience behind the decks. He uses that dancefloor experience to craft disco and boogie re-edits that consistently hit the spot. This latest re-edit four-tracker is an excellent example; on all four tracks, he makes liberal use of filters and delays, while tightening up the grooves a little. Our pick is probably the head-nodding shuffle of the dancefloor soul cut-up "That Gold Old Love", though the synth-laden deep disco jam "Coco" is also impressive. As for "Keep On Moving" and "You Got Me Burning Up", they're both certified dancefloor killers - celebratory edits that will easily slip into both disco and house sets.
Given the rising popularity of contemporary house records influenced by classic Italian house, it's perhaps unsurprising that Dave Lee has chosen to release a collection of classic Italo house cuts. Here, three of that compilation's best-loved cuts get the re-edit treatment. Lee dons his familiar Joey Negro alias for two perfectly pitched reworks; a shuffling and melodious rendition of Shafty's deliciously wide-eyed 1991 cut "Deep Inside of You (Soul Trance Mix)", and an undulating, electric piano-laden tweak of D-Rail's breakbeat-driven "Bring It On Down". If that wasn't enough to get you salivating, there's also a rolling, piano-laden rearrangement of Keytonics Ensemble's 1990 anthem "House of Calypso" (not to be confused with the record's better known flipside, "Calypso of House").
Aroop Roy - London based soul boy 'of many dimensions' - has been pretty silent for nearly a year. Perhaps he just went on holiday in some exotic far-flung dimension, but he's back now, all guns blazing. Brazil Breakdown Part 2 features three spicy cuts of feverish retro Latin funk, all boasting irresistible beach party grooves and seductively catchy vocals.
Super-prolific funk master Mr Bird curates and collates his many self-released jams for this Greatest Beats collection. One part edit art, two parts sample mastery, 100 parts party creativity; each well polished and dynamically constructed Mr Bird track is home to myriad elements, references and headnods to the foundations, and now is the perfect time to catch up on his work. From the Tom Tom Club nodding "Scooby Snacks" to the Busta-busting "Help Is On The Edit" via the beat-heavy Bambaataa bash "Funk U", each cut proves once and for all that the Bird is most definitely the word!
Viennese producer and Jazzsticks Recordings founder Paul SG seems to approach D&B as a blank musical canvas, onto which he can project all manner of deep, soulful and jazzy touches. This three track EP for Soul Deep Exclusives contains some of his most enjoyable material of recent times. The package's highlight is probably opener "Winter's Chill", where SG turns Payback's original into a rush-inducing chunk of melodic dancefloor bliss. While the groove recalls classic jungle, the hazy horns and intricate melodies are thrillingly picturesque. There's a more excitable - but still delightfully deep - feel about Carter hook-up "Elder", while the piano-laden "Shantrila" is a classic example of SG's jazz-flecked trademark sound. By the time the beats return after the first trumpet-laden breakdown, you'll be buzzing.
Here's something rather special: the long-await debut album from Bison, Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and pal Ben Smith's collaboration with vocalist Ursula Major and krautrock legend (and all round fruitcake) Holgar Czukay. Recorded at Czukay's legendary Cologne studio and featuring mix-downs from Conrad Idjut, Travellers is a particularly dubwise trawl through hazy, krautrock-influenced disco and horizontal Balearica. By anyone's standards, it's a deliciously intergalactic concoction; a fearlessly atmospheric blend of low-slung grooves, delay-laden horns, quirky percussion, stargazing electronics and mesmerizing, eyes-wide-shut vocals. Given the talent on show, we shouldn't have expected anything less.
In 2001 Seminal D&B figure DJ Marky released a two-track 12" called the Brazilian Job featuring full-on Latin guitars, vocals and flair - and liquid drum and bass rhythms. Nearing 15 years since that record, Random Movement keeps the sound alive with this summery two track release. Random Movement does get a little dirtier through a wobbly bassline in "Ahead Of It All" while the alternative option, "When The Daylight Comes", is darker and rolling with some subtle jungle and tribal elements, and the slightest of tear-out moments.
Though he's been making and releasing music of various styles for roughly five years, it feels like Florence-born Digi G'Alessio has really found his creative voice since he starting working under the name Clap! Clap! Having established the project last year with the Gwidingwi Dema digi release for Origami Sounds, G'Alessio has since gravitated to the like minded Black Acre with the Bristol label issuing two Clap! Clap! singles. If you're not familiar with the Clap! Clap! sound, it deftly fuses traditional elements of African music with a rhythmic freneticism that is influenced by everything from house and hip hop to footwork and dubstep. Apply this to the album format as G'Alessio does with Tayi Bebba and you have some interesting listening, especially as each of the 17 tracks is presented as a tour of an imagined island, with "each song representing a location, event or ritual."
Tomorrow Is Now, Kid! returns just in time for summer with a collection of tracks taken from a reel of tape. In My Ghetto is the debut EP of Anthony Brooklyn, who has crafted four jams in spirit of the roughness of New York City's famous borough, Brooklyn.
Danish/British collaborative creativity has reached new heights on this stunning four-tracker from RDG and Hitman. We open with "Mercenary Ship", where a hard-hitting drone-bass riff takes the lead and is followed by a wasp-like buzzing counter-strike. Dig deeper and you'll strike rhythmic double-kick bliss on RDG's "Space Age" and sharp saw-toothed turmoil on the aggy "Data Flow". For added value Subaltern have also thrown in a mesmerising rub of "Mercenary Ship" from AxH - warning: the subs are lethal!
After eight years spent honing his skills on his own Speak Recordings imprint, New Yorker Henry Maldonado pops up on Local Talk with a typically warm and breezy EP of sun-flecked deep house treats. "Violent Mood Things" delivers the perfect start, with Maldonado layering darting strings, spacey bleeps and touchy-feely chords over a rolling, Afro-influenced deep house rhythm. "True Indeed" is decidedly woozier, with minor key chords, unfussy beats and a deep bassline underpinning a female spoken word vocal (an instrumental mix is also included, for those who prefer that kind of thing). Dresden-based Uncanny Valley member Cuthead provides the EP's most enjoyable moment, giving "Violent Mood Swings" some hazy Balearic shuffle via snare-heavy beats, acid-era bass and picturesque melodies.
Since debuting on Tempa last year with Nomine's Sound, the producer has consistently impressed with his blend of classic dubstep sonics melded with subtle Eastern influences. Nomine's Chant sees the producer continue to develop this style in a more explicit way, with the title track combining bold Oriental vocals and plucked strings with the kind of subtle atmosphere you'd find on a Shackleton production. "Ninjah" is a much more confrontational track, pulling away the serenity of the title track and leaving only bold subs and murky vocals. "Syncopator" is something totally unexpected, bringing things down to 125BPM and creating something with nods to classic UK funky and bleep techno, in a manner not dissimilar to the recent productions of Beneath.
Marco Dionigi tends to give buyers a lot of bang for their buck. That's certainly the case here, with seven decidedly cosmic disco jams to choose from. The title track - a chugging, exotic chunk of atmospheric dub disco with lashings of Indian style instrumentation - is available in three different flavours. Of these, it's a toss up between the Dub and the Original Mix for us, with the former just shading it. Elsewhere, "Roccia Antica" layers backwards effects and pianos over a spiraling, wall-of-sound groove, while "Malinconia" is slow, dubby and pleasingly out-there. "Onde", a hazy ambient excursion featuring more droning sitars and "Tomorrow Never Knows" style backwards loops, is also worth a listen.
Amazingly, it's 20 years since the release of Ian Pooley's breakthrough club hit, "Roller Skate Disco". In the years since, he's shifted focus numerous times, releasing material on such labels as NRK, Force Tracks, Simple Records and Innervisions. Here he returns to Dixon's acclaimed imprint with two more tracks of woozy, heavily electronic deep tech-house. "The Beginning (Dub)" kicks things off, lacing simple electronic melodies and synth bleeps over a moody, atmospheric, late night groove. Pooley ratchets up the tension throughout, with long, drawn-out chords pushing us towards a glassy-eyed conclusion. "Floris" is a little deeper, with organ chords and melodies that seem to creep up on you slowly from behind. With a similarly hypnotic, shuffling groove to "The Beginning (Dub)", it feels like an early morning gem.
Big release for both artist and label here as London-based Australian producer Francis Inferno Orchestra comes through with A New Way Of Living, a debut album on the Voyeurhythm operation, which doubles up as its first full-length project. Having first surfaced in 2010 and dropped numerous 12"s along the way, you feel now is the right time for Griffin James to show what he's capable of over the length of an album and this is a very confident set. The dusty, sample laden house sound Francis Inferno Orchestra is known for is very much in evidence here but there's plenty of diversity shown over the seven cuts to keep you coming back for more. The daisy age goes house vibes of "The More You Like" and the weighty beat down "Rap Beef" are immediate standouts.