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Reviewed this week
There are no holidays to be had at Punks HQ this year, what with the release of their BBQ Beats comp and a new single from Left/Right +Jacq. Following on from the huge Can't Stop, this new jam, "Lies" will only keep the hype coming. The original is pure cinematic gothic vibes with brooding bass hums and morbid vocals. The remixes are livelier affairs however - Billy Kenny drops the BPMs a tad for his riotously sleazy tech-bass monster of mix. A tough act to follow, but Aloka brings it with a remix full of stark drum and bass-meets-breaks mayhem.
Famed for their Stank Soul Edits vinyl series, Mako & Mr Bristo return on Funk Blasters with the mightily titled, Electric Bongo Disco. The name captures the vibes on here pretty well - four vintage cuts loved for their breaks gently souped up for modern dance floors. Opener is "Sugar Hill Bongos", which lovingly updates a Sugarhill Gang classic. Elsewhere "Hype Fresh Mine" is poppy disco meets hip house, "Refried Beans" is a sweet vintage B-boy gem and "Electric Ruffneck" really goes there, sampling Edie Grant and somehow making it actually sound cool! Now that's talent.
Summers in the air round Stanton Warriors' Punks HQ with the release of their cocktails-friendly BBQ Beats compilation. It's a fruity mix for sure, with opener "Lip Pop" by Luki coming across like eccentric ghetto-pop. Elsewhere we get sizzling tropical Latin bass on Bombo Rosa's "Salto Batida", brooding, sultry UKF on Skapes & Jamie George's "Serious", haunted breaks on the Warriors' own "Where's The Beef?" and the dreamy melancholy of the freestyle pop jam "Move My Soul" by Mafia Kiss and Alison Levi. A decent summer collection if ever there was one.
Spain's Rob Yospeed is a fun lovin' guy who compares his music to Super Mario Brothers. When he's not playing video games or eating his beloved fajitas, he also makes music. Here he rustles up three more party bangers for the folk at Hot Cakes. First up is "Bass In Your Face", a collaboration with Wahuu that sees the pair deliver some tough bass bumps, heavy breaks and plenty of attitude. "Twisted" meanwhile adds some EDM-ish builds to some classic funky drummer shizzle, something that's explored even further in the electro-bounce of "I'm Not Dead". Impressive.
Denmark may not spring to mind when thinking of the late, great Rick James and his breed is glittery funk. However its Danish label Breakbeat Paradise that Go-Go addict Morlack has chosen to release his James-referencing Touched It EP. This one even comes with a special video featuring the James-meister in his spandex-clad prime. In short this EP is packed with five retro boogie edits, highlights of which include the pitch-bent boogie stomp of the title track, the tight digital synth funk of "Take A Ride On The Soft Side" and the quirky groove mania of "Take A NY Trip".
For the seventh volume in Optimo Music's Disco Plate series, JD Twitch has recruited Alex Warren AKA Kiwi, whose previous releases on Blase Boys Club were particularly well received. "Throw Down" is arguably his most ambition cut yet: a cover version of Carmen's cult 1986 electrofunk jam of the same name that comes in two contrasting versions. On the virtual A-side you'll find Warren's original version, where Ciara Holder's confident, nuanced vocal rides a chunky synth bassline, clipped guitars, sparkling synthesizer flourishes and an unfussy, toe-tapping drum machine rhythm. Arguably even better is the Latin Freestyle mix, which sounds like a long lost Latin Rascals production with additional, spine-tingling piano riffs.
The Boogie Freaks have an agenda of 'bringing the old school back'. They're very at it too, with a impressive back catalogue to boot. Here they deal with The Mean Green, the root of all evil, with The O'Jays' funk classic For The Love Of Money being the source material. The main mix slows everything down to a hazy Balearic grind, all sun bleached hypnotic beats, filters and that inimitable vocal mantra. Audio Jacker snaps us all out of it next though, by delivering a strong, beefed-up remix that features some pretty intense moments of breaks-fuelled abandon.
When DJ Impact first dropped The Cole Train on 42TF back in 2014, people stood up to get down. Now the mighty tune returns with the remixes, and it's party time all over again. We've got five remakes here to tackle, starting with the woofer-shredding bass frequencies of the breaky VIP. Elsewhere highlights include the spooky-horror wobble of Moony's mix, the machine gun drums of Tigs' fresh rework and the mayhem of Cre8's hardcore DnB version. Safe.
Fort Knox's Qdup is all about the party jams. However he likes to take his time in delivering them. "Bodyrock" sees his first new release on over a year. But it's worth the wait, being around four minutes of achy, breaky party beats, cheeky record scratching and lots and lots of funk. Also the accompanying Warp VIP mix toughens up the beats and cuts back on the sonic ornamentation for those who like their jams less cheeky.
Relative Dimensions is an (almost) award-winning label led by 'the infamous gynaecologist of beats, Doctor Hooka'. Not every label can lay claim to such a boast, however RD are no ordinary label, and here they present the follow-up to Vinyl Messi's recent debut. There's four new sizzling joints here to enjoy. "Rock Yo Mama" is an intense LL Cool J rework with heavy percussion and 303s everywhere. "Shut Shit Down" is a collision between noisy breaks and hip-hop, "You Found Me" is an unlikely hybrid of said breaks and, Axwell, and finally "Afrosmacked" combines ravey chaos with Afrojack's radio-pop.
VINYL MESSI - Bangers & Mash Volume Two (Relative Dimensions) - exclusive 31-12-2030
BAYMONT - A Little Stronger (Ravesta) - exclusive 29-08-2016
QDUP - Bodyrock (Fort Knox US)
SHADE K - Black Missile & Sh*t Again (Remixes) (Elektroshok)
KANEVSKY - Digital EP (Adapted)
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