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Stafford's Dave Gerrard has been around for over 30 years so you can trust the DJ on this one. He's back on his usual stomping ground for more disco goodies on DJ Butcher's Chopshop out of Athens, Greece. He first takes the knife to the Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" on "Generation 5" (great edit this one!), then he turns in an edit of a proper soul funk classic on "Repeat The Funk" (any guesses?) but finally he gives a Bill Withers classic a makeover on "You Got The Stuff". Class!
Russian disco edit fiend Valique serves up another hot Boogie Box and we're up to number three already! Highlight's on here not limited to Princess' smooth ergonomics displayed on the re-splice of the Prince classic "Sexy Dancer", Feel The Vibe's great cover of "Get Down Tonight" looped for your pleasure by Kc/Sub and they save the best for last with Mr Faded/Blackhead's (aka McFadden & Whitehead's) 1979 classic "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". They are all 're-re-edited' by the way: by none other than Valique himself. Trust the DJ!
Everyone remembers their first smoke... All coughs and splutters and general false feelings that the illusion of big time adulthood can only bring. Here we find jungle next-genners Dutta & Bou looking back over their first puff with an introspective, harp-plucking, sample-flexing exercise in timelessness. It's joined by an equally well-measured sense of depth on the hip-hop laced "Running It" and a awesome balance of shade on "The Barrons" as tripletty jump-up gutterage switch to dream dynamics on the fills and breakdown. Those looking for a straight up blast on 20 filterless tar-ticklers should jump on "The Game"... Something which Dutta & Bou are currently big in.
The Rev's back! Parisian edit magician serves up four revised soul excursions for modern audiences to experience the second time around and in true style. On the first side he takes the knife to a couple of Gladys Knight classics, namely the feel-good "Don't Make Me Run Away" and the uplifting "Love Gives You The Power". On the flip it's George Duke's turn, "Say That You Will" is you all know is a sultry deep soul number for lovers while "Party Down" is definitely for night people; this one is pitched up for optimum dancefloor effectiveness too!
Ginger maestro Philth continues this year's all-out assault with a return to Dispatch. First we hit "The Circle" as he teams up with Wreckless for a minimal stepper that's all growls and gurgles over a dagger-blend two-step. "Yeti", meanwhile, reminiscent of the late 90s, Bad Company era of distortion and real machines and the hivemind heaviness of "Sphere Of Influence" is a dense weave of ghostly tones and precision engineered dynamics. Those looking for more of an emotional uplift and feel-good pay-off should jump straight on Philth's remaster of his own 2014 Dispatch debut "Your Love" while those looking for a barbed happy slap with sharp shards of emotional uplift should jump on SCAR's remix. What a package.
Brooklyn's Razor-N-Tape reach out to the Lowlands and coax Hans Peeman into donning his Junktion alias for a new four-track EP on their Razor-N-Tape Reserve label. Living up to it's dignified and reserved billing, this release on the offshoot finds the Nijmegen-based Peeman laying down some luscious, colourful disco vibes that will brighten up any sun laden afternoon on the terrace. Title track "Hot & Bothered" sets the tone with a summery vibe underpinned by some bumping drums, whilst "I'm wishin'" glides with a subtle house bump and some wonderful vocal touches. "Fling Cleaning" sees Peeman veer off into disco chug territory, whilst "Visions of You" ends the EP on a soulful note.
We're unsure how many parts are in this series but, reading between the lines, this could well mark the start of a new album from The Upbeats. Five tracks of raffish, stripped back sweatiness, there's no holding back: "Dr Kink" takes sonic surgery to dangerous new levels, "Pharaoh" sees them colliding with Ivy Lab to show their deeper, rolling, pensive side while "Dungeon" and "Doom" are straight up slap-fests of the highest neuro order. The hazy, soft-focus textures of "Elevator" provide the soft cushion as we crash back to reality. Looking forward to part two... And maybe even part three!
Influx:Audio is a label celebrating the thriving bass scene of their native Yorkshire. One of their shining stars is Pavv (ironically from Brighton) who has made a big splash in the UK bass scene with releases for the likes of U Wot Blud? Here they invite him to reveal his top artists and tunes happening right now and he doesn't disappoint, delivering 10 bleeding edge jams including the space-age UKF of "Things I Do" by Deadbeat UK, the percolating bass gargles of "Nod Ya Head" by Spookz and Pavv's own quirky take on wobble-heavy 4 x 4, "Everyday".
Full throttle jump-up business, Dominator and Nu Elementz finally deliver two of the subgenre's biggest ID requests this year so far. "Dimension" rides with a pulverising drill bass that fluctuates through the tones on every eight. "Spartanz", meanwhile, adds a cheeky breakbeat swing in the background as a darker, oakier bassline takes the lead with a Q&A riff before dropping into a string-laced breakdown from out of nowhere. Deadly.
Jaydan's label comes correct with its first ever multi-artist album featuring some its most exciting artists and affiliate and a widescreen snapshot of where both Smokin Riddims and underground D&B in general is at right now. Highlights include the Mind Vortex style electricity of Shifta's "Deadfall" Leaf's skippy, twisted roller "Dis Style" and the abyss-level sub bass depth plunges on Upfront & Aesthetics' "Touch" but that's just a small selection of what's on offer here. Jaydan doesn't do things by halves, Serious Selection is proof that lives up to its name.
Here come the remixes: Dub Damage look back to last year's four-year birthday album with two barn-burning twist-ups. Annix get their paws mucky on Blackmarket and Chapo's already-stunning "USS Enterprise" by switching out the classic Urban Takeover sub rolls for something altogether eviler and sharper. Meanwhile Harvest takes T>I's stripped back stepper "Grudge Fcuk" and injects it with jet engine reese that's so wide and overwhelming you might have to have a sit down after hearing it. No messing around at all on this one.
Longtime Headz affiliate and frequently Goldie's co-pilot in the studio, Heist returns to the label with his largest EP to date and its business from of the off as "Violent Rain" oozes Timeless era synth tones and drums so live and sweaty you can almost see the drummer's sweat coming from your speakers. Dig deeper for Heist's most versatile showcase in years: "In Pursuit" is all stripped back and slinky (think Enei but wider), "Sierra Mist" is a sci-fi stepper that nods towards Riya's soulful style, "Unauthorised Transmissions" is a cheeky underground squelcher, "Grebe" is thoroughbred alien funk with just a sly nod towards his more standard jump-up signature while "Ghost On My Shoulder" closes the show on a beautiful glitchy vibe that's somewhere between Culprate and Squarepusher. Properly unique, creative and immaculately produced, Heist has smashed it on this one.
Cologne-based craftsman and one quarter of the Jazzassins, Decon delivers his debut LP on SG's Jazzsticks. Covering the deeper, slinkier and soulful styles in great detail and character, highlights across this accomplished set include the hazy, cloudy textures and dubby bass of "Rough & Fast", the incredible drum work of "Simple As That", the lolloping jazz majesty of "Sugar Drop", the early 2000s liquid style string swoops of "Heavy On Your Head", the classic breaks and gully jungle wriggles and spills of "The Jam".... The list goes on.
Michael The Lion differs from the average re-edit chancer by actually recording extra musical parts for his re-tweaks. Here on his Most Known Edits EP he applies extra guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion to a selection of fairly well known 70s dance tunes. First up the immortal Love Hangover by The Fifth Dimension gets some extra bounce and fizz on "The Hangover", "Know This" sees the raw emotion of the People Choice original gently beefed up and filled out, "Fly Robert" is a chugging boogie locomotive of a tune and "Bo Knows" ends things with a Latin-tinged percussive spectacular.
Have you ever known a Fourfit EP to be bad? No, neither have we. Following the likes of Adred, Calibre and LSB, Seba continues Soul:R's age-old traditional of innovation and forward-thinking aceness with his take on the label's four track EP series: "Hide The Tears" is the emotional heart-string snapper of the set, "Dark Horse" showcases Seba's absurd drumfunk science, "Fade To Red" takes the halftime approach and gives it a toxic twist while "Desire" closes the show on another emotional flex as swooning chords counterbalance hoover-style stabs in style. Seba on Soul:R... As you'd expect, it's a winning combination.
G13 rewind to two of their many heavy-hitting highlights and revise with two killer remixes: Pacso's 2011 breakthrough bumper "The Trick" gets a turbo-charged twist from Turno as the original's dense layers are peeled away to make sure the cinematic arpegiated sample and bullish bass hook are brought much closer to the fore. Alpha's 2013 "Frozen Black" is also subverted in style by Upgrade. While the original had a relentless pace to its drums, Upgrade adds more space to the beats to let the newly-tuned bass hook really shine. Two great versions of jump-up contemporisation.
A giant among badmen: following the onslaught of his epic "Big Tune" EP last autumn, Mampi returns with another fresh exercise. "I Exist" hits with a "Gold Rush"-style hook - all electro-edged and naggier than your other half with a nasty hangover but added weight and classic D&B menace. Meanwhile on the remix Rene LaVice takes the classic "Soldiers" and gives it his own unique twist as the evocative hook that all card carrying junglists will know instantly is switched from battle mode to war mode. Batten down your hatches.
Bay Area house hero and Dirtybird co-founder Justin Martin is back following up 2013's Ghettos & Gardens with his new full length LP Hello Clouds, a collection of fine moods and grooves that see him collaborate with some of his favourite artists at the moment. He's quoted as saying "I reached out to specific artists who currently inspire me". Highlights include the title track where he collaborates with London pop chanteuse FEMME on this low slung acid groove. More great talents from London appear such as Lena Cullen, lending her fine vocals to the dark futurism of "Odyssey" and Bristolian rising star and fellow Dirtybird alumni Will Clarke appears too, lending his midas touch to "Back To The Jungle" which is bumpy and as bass driven as you could possibly imagine. The Amen break on top is totally killer too.
Ever since their first releases on 20:20 Vision back in 2005, Art Of Tones have steadily grown into purveyors of fine deep house, and you can rest assured that you'll always receive nothing but quality from them. As of late, they've been more closely associated to London's House Of Disco Records, an imprint onto which they return to herein with three smackers, starting with the disco-laced groove that is "Devil The Difference", a soulful house joint with nothing but vibes spilling from every corner. On the flip, "Boogie With Billy" adopts a similar formula to a more electronic rhythm that recalls material from the mighty 80's imprint SAM, while the 'future dub' of "Devil The Difference" twists the original into a deeper, more heady cut for the deep hours...
Bristol's X-Ray Ted is about the light and fun party jams, no cool digger's obscurities welcome here. Here he serves four guaranteed floor fillers starting with "Mild Mild West", a loose-limbed disco rendition of the Good The Bad and The Ugly theme, next "Too Good" sees Aretha Franklin get a house-shaped whoosh under her backside, "EveryMoney" meanwhile sees some vintage soul fused with classic Kelis and ODB and finally "Hold Tight" sees the show close with some sizzling neon-flecked arpeggiated disco..