Last time round, nu-disco producer Valique went all out pop for his choice of re-edit material. Here he's thankfully chosen to explore more obscure material for these six tracks. '70s disco seems to be the main source of inspiration, highlights of which include the futuristic auto-funk of "Machine" (by the Jackson 5), the tightly clipped percussive riffs of "Bear's Holiday" and the sleazy Euro disco of "Still You".
Man like Recloose returns to Delusions of Grandeur, having debuted on the label in fine style with last year's Don't Get Me Wrong EP, and it's a welcome one as It's Too Late is the New Zealand dwelling producer's first EP of 2013! Despite this prolonged absence, Recloose has clearly lost none of the energy that drove his DoG debut, with all three tracks here demonstrating a real vibrancy that will immediately provide a lift for any dancefloor experiencing an element of lag. The title cut bounces along with the sort of finesse you'd expect from a producer of Recloose's calibre, whilst the heavy slab of filter disco "You Just Love You" highlights his arrangement skills. Fans of Cardiology era Recloose should head right to "Backtrack" and bask in its brilliance.
It's been sometime since we've heard a solo EP from Erol Alkan - in fact - this is the first time we've heard a solo EP from Erol Alkan. After years of remixing, editing, collaborating, and non-stop DJing, his debut proper comes through his own Phantasy Sound label. "A Hold On Love, with it's progressive, filtered chords, is one for the festival stages of summer, while "Bang!" sees Alkan deliver some dubby, jacked up techno similar to John Heckle. Alkan then provides some left of field sampling techniques in the breakbeat-driven zapping synths of "Check Out Your Mind".
EPs of original material from Terje Olsen are infuriatingly infrequent, but when they do appear they're rarely less than fantastic. Predictably, this two-tracker is a bit good. "Spiral", in particular, is something of a peach, a soaring, wide-eyed, 10-minute rush of appregiated synths, Scandolearic melodies, spine-tingling positivity and sturdy disco drums. It's a bit like "Inspector Norse" after a fistful of happy pills and too many nights spent listening to Lindstrom's Where You Go, I Go Too (check, in particular, the glorious breakdown around the six minute mark). Virtual flipside "Q' is, if anything, even happier, delivering a smile-inducing mixture of cheery analogue synths, drawn-out, trance-like builds and tactile electronic grooves. Impressive stuff, as ever, from the Norwegian disco don.
Leaders of the world's number one reggae-influenced drum & bass label Jungle Cakes Ed Solo & Deekline have banded together to present their storming debut compilation mix Welcome To The Jungle. The Mick Jagger-approved pair (well, he was loving it at Glasto) set the tone with opener "Bad Boys", a tune that has dominated dance sets all year. Slotting in epic remixes throughout the 31 track monster from Serial Killaz, Stickybuds and Eddie K, vocals from Top Cat, Darrison and Rubidan, two continuous mixes and a set of FX to boot, this is a bumper pack of jungle fun. Pick your venue and mash it up.
There is little doubt that Detroit Swindle have positively owned modern high-end house music since ripping onto the scene back in 2012, kicking Dirt Crew, Murmur, Tsuba and more into touch with their red-blooded productions that pack pounding drums, punchy bass and swooning chords into crafty grooves of the most commanding kind. They're at it once again for Freerange after last year's Creep, kicking off with the joyous explosion of the title track with its righteous diva vocals, tasty Rhodes lines and hooky beat. "Under The Spell" keeps the same garage shuffle but homes in more on the bittersweet chord tones as a source of their soul, but there's still room for a marginally more restrained roller in the shape of "Woman". Crue twists things up with a murky remix of "Unfinished Business" that ditches the melodics in favour of pure rhythmic thrust.
Given that "Dust to Dust" is coming out on Dicky Trisco and Pete Herbert's Maxi Discs label, we probably shouldn't be surprised that it's a gorgeously positive chunk of sun-flecked Balearic disco/house fusion. The first single from the previously unknown Professor Angel Sound and the 13th Tribe (not to be confused with the Ninja Tune-affiliated artist of the same name), "Dust to Dust" blends bouncy synths, bubbling bass and saucer-eyed melodies with baggy disco grooves and saucy guitars. "Ashes To Ashes" is similarly sun-drenched, though operates at a slower, groovier tempo. Dicky Trisco and Pete Herbert each remix the title track, with the latter's Reverso 68 style interpretation being the EP's undoubted highlight.
The clue's in the title - Essential Selection. Tru Funk's repertoire is so large it now stretches all the way to the sun and back, but this is the label at their most selective, digging deep into their two year history for the very best party gems. Highlights across the 20 track compendium include the psychedelic twangs and infectious hooks of "Mambo No 14", the squishy early-Plump DJs style funk of "Funky Ass Beat" and BMD's ace version of Jamie Lidell's "Little Bit Of Feelgood". No party will be complete without this collection; dancefloor shenanigans guaranteed.
With an intrinsic link to the Futureboogie crew in the live arena, long-serving UK house crew Crazy P bring their broad sound to the label with gusto, maximising on the skills the component member possess. Most apparent of these is Danielle Moore with her arresting croon shining through the most on "Clouds", and also popping up in snippet form on "Burning". There is a spread of different moods at work across the tracks from seedy electro tones on the first track to the sizzling disco flavour of "Virtuality", leaving plenty of room for Outboxx to lay down a blissful slice of keys-rich deep house in their inimitable style.
Self-proclaimed "complete package" Craig Charles (actor, poet, DJ, radio host, stand-up) seems to be enjoying life as Britain's most famous funk and soul fan. Here, he curates a second installment of his Funk & Soul Club compilation series. Predictably, there's plenty to tickle the fancy, from the reggae-soul-house shuffle of Lack of Afro's remix of Hidden Jazz Quartet's "High Heels", and the psychedelic funk madness of The Bongolian's "The Riviera Affair", to the celebratory release of Jessica Lauren Four's "Happiness Train" (featuring a brilliant vocal from old Jocelyn Brown), and a pair of ripsnorting cover versions (Cookin' On Three Burners' fantastic take on Numan's "Cars" and Hot Eight Brass Band's famous remake of the Specials' "Ghost Town").
The lead track on this EP by Bristolian producer Boofy perfectly captures his take on instrumental grime, with a tune that is a wreck of nerves laced with paranoid synths. 'Warzone' begins where the last track ends and ups the ante on sinister mechanical beats and apocalyptic atmosphere. There are two remixes too: Hi5ghost goes for demented hard beats and Nativ keeps it simple with some classic tropical 4x4 action.
The Glue got tongues and ears wagging with their debut (solo) EP Love Generator, back in July. Since then things have been quiet, but that's all changed with the arrival of this new eponymous three-tracker, and it's worth the wait! "Pink Ink" is total early 80s Essex electro-soul joy. With added 21st century thumping kick drum, "Something Ain't Right" ploughs a similar field, but relies less on the boogie, instead sounding like an early hip-hop/electro-pop jam. However it's the sublime "Places", all deep, ecstatic proto house that truly mesmerises.
Only Swamp 81's second full length release in its four year lifespan thus far, Boss is Dave Jones' third transmission for Loefah's label under the Zed Bias moniker after debuting on Swamp in 2011 with the now sought-after double pack Stubborn Phase. Like that release, Boss sees Jones engage in more of the sort of heavy set garage-indebted house music he's so good at. Tracks like "Eingang", "Boss Skank" and "We Are There" (which features the vocals of house legend Roy Davis Jr) could easily slot into most contemporary house sets, while the likes of "Ye", "Cupper", "We're There" and "Flamm" offer the kind of darker, more syncopated material that will have fans of muscular bass music salivating.
Subculture Records boss Matteo Cavo returns to Renegade Hardware with another quartet of intense, tech-tinged D&B smashers. The Italian doesn't do things by halves, so expect full-throttle rhythms, murky bass, intoxicating electro noises and distortion aplenty. On the title track, he channels the energy and attitude of Krust's "Warhead" into a fierce atmospheric stepper, while "Slinky" delivers a rolling exercise in the joys of dense percussion. MC Nuclear adds his slick raps to the near-anthemic "Crank It Up" - the EP's most hedonistic cut by some distance - while "iMaz" is a jumpy tribute to intergalactic jungle of times past. Tasty.
Katakana Edits regulars Timewrap return to the ever-reliable label with another trio of dancefloor-focused reworks. Perhaps the headline attractions are the two alternate takes on Duran Duran's '80s classic "Girls On Film" (here re-titled "Girls on Drugs"). Both versions (vocal and Dub, the latter of which is our pick) make much of the original's restless punk-funk bassline, tough (but tasteful) new drums and plenty of delay. Arguably even stronger, though, is "Yakayaka", a stretched out, tweaked and teased version of Monyaka's odd (but essential) 1983 reggae-boogie cut "Go Deh Yaka (To The Top)". Stitching together the best bits of the original and dub with new electronics and even more dubwise effects, it offers an excellent, dancefloor-ready alternative to the '83 12".
Given that Italian funk-breaks duo Skeewiff have been plugging away for some 15 years, a 'best of' is definitely in order. For the uninitiated (or even those who lost track of their output years ago), Greatest Wiffs offers an excellent summary of their career to date. Their sound - a fun, funky an unfussy fusion of floor-friendly breakbeats, kitsch '60s easy listening samples (see the triumphant "Soul Bossanova"), horn-totin' soul, heavy funk and Blaxpolitation attitude - is unfussy and joyous, unconcerned with the vagaries of fashion. As a result, Greatest Wiffs is a good old-fashioned blast of party-starting fun.
Few albums are so rich in funk and soul they can spawn two worthwhile remix albums, but few outfits run the groove gamut with the same authenticity and clout as Timewarp's in-house production team. Whisking the original off to far-away party pastures, each version brings a whole new lease of life to the originals. From the mesmerising percussion and sharp organ blasts of Soopasoul's take on "Ghetto Drunk" to MSdoS's jazz-flecked D&B twist on "Bullshit" via the deep space cosmic funk bubbles of Angel Funke's remix of "Hipsko", each of these resonates with quintessential remix science.
Ame bring out the bells and horns for the duo's latest two track EP which begins with the twists and turns of "Tatischeff", a Balearic-tinged bassline-driven progressive house production tipped with euphoric touches of Italo disco. "Den Ratta" on the other hand opts for something percussive, and clocking in at almost nine minutes, allows Ame the time to confuse, love and tease the dancefloor into climax the Innervisions way.
Released just weeks after his debut album on SectionZ, Ohmtrix continues his rich vein of form with a trio of absolute killer grooves on the ever-tasty Bacon Dubs. "No Tears" flips and twists around a dark vocal that sounds like it was taken from Metal Gear Solid. Gnarly, gritty and blessed with an understated breakbeat buried deep in the background, it's both deep and demonic in equal measure. Elsewhere we get jaunty and harmonic with the head-turning "Mammoth" while "Inside My Head" goes straight for the jugular with its slamming half-step and punishing bass plunges. For added value Mesck jumps on board for a sharp and savage take on "Mammoth". All bass bases covered - and more.
Who'd ever have thought that when the nights grow dark and cold, the exotic disco we turn to for warmth would be supplied by a Siberian producer? Well, it's true, and here, Alexander Chebankov aka Sunner Soul delivers three more sizzlers to keep the frostbite at bay. This time produced without his pal Banana Lover, "Hey" is all laid back and loungey guitar funk, "Mysterious Investigator" is seriously cool bass and bongos driven disco-fizz and "Street Madness" wraps things up with shimmering and golden phaser-heavy looped grooves. Hot!