Reviewed this week
Following on from their successful hook up with 2020 Vision, nu-disco heroes Crazy P have now joined forces with the Classic label (how has this not happened before?!) and here we get the "Truelight EP". Spacey retro soul balladry gives way to filthy cosmic funk on "One True Light" and "In My Hands" is nasty Padlock EP-style disco of the highest order. Hot Toddy (aka Chris Todd of Crazy P) remixes the latter into hypnotic acid and band co-founder Ron Basejam turns the former into chugging, sun-warped Balearic boogie.
Given his history in the disco re-edit scene, it's perhaps unsurprising that Michael Fichman's first EP for Soul Clap contains a couple of bona fide mirrorball treats. Chief amongst these is "Get it On (Bosq Remix)", a brilliant chunk of revivalist vocal disco full of authentic instrumentation, including Nile Rodgers style guitars, a fine walking bassline and on-point percussion. DJ Bruce provides two killer, gospel inspired revisions of the track, too: the pared-back, pianos-and-bongos vibe of the "Feeling Mix" and the stretched-put, organ heavy gospel disco roller that is the standout "On & On Mix". Fittingly, both make much of Amy Douglas's inspired vocal. Elsewhere, "Side of Life" is a preacher-sporting chunk of sunshine disco and "The Changer" joins the dots between chugging dub disco and throbbing Italo-disco.



It sounds like Moderna and Theus Mago have tapped into the zeitgeist on their latest release. In particular, the title track, with its rumbling bass and cold bleeps, provides a background for a woman singing 'your techno is misogynist", first in Spanish and then in English. Hopefully it'll serve to get more labels, DJs and artists to grapple with this important issue. Elsewhere, the pair deliver a grinding, noisy workout on "Francesca (Wild at Heart)" , while they opt for a different approach on "Can You Se Her". Tripped out and stripped back, its druggy vocals and intergalactic sounds make for an inspired, unusual track.
With its flowering piano motifs, hazy chord progressions, African-influenced percussion, soulful Jinadu vocals and blissful, midtempo deep house vibe, "The Sun Comes Up" is not only one of Jimpster's most evocative releases in years, but also the undoubted highlight of the Freerange co-founder's recent album, Silent Stars. This deserved single release not only contains the peerless original version, but also a pleasingly wide-eyed, early house-meets-modern-deep house "6AM Mix" by Peggy Gou. Elsewhere, there's another airing for the warm and woozy, similarly Afro-influenced "Silent Stars" and a fluid, broken house revision of "Where You Are" by Steve Urulu. Essential stuff, all told.



Turkey's Ali Kuru specialises in slow, textured and deep beats with sultry, exotic overtones. His forthcoming LP "Egzotik" has elements of the type of noirish Mediterranean vibes peddled by Guy Gerber or David August. Here we have a selection of remixes of mainly album tracks. First up Italian cosmic legend Daniele Baldelli and Dario Piana team up for a killer electronic body music remix of "Ashoka". Next, Craig Bratley delivers a moody, minimal rework of "Zurna", "Return To Paradise" is turned into a traditional clippety-clop clap-along by Nicola Cruz and lastly "Lost Bedouin", reworked by Peter Power, recalls a million 90s chillout rooms.
The earlier editions of the Beach Diggin' series were released in the depths of winter, but this new fifth instalment continues to buck the trend by appearing at the height of summer. Ibiza veterans Mambo & Guts are once again at the helm, providing us with 13 more 'perfect soundtracks for a lazy day at the beach' (there's also a 40 min mix too!). Highlights include the squelchy electronic funk of Raphael Toine's "Femmes Pays Douces", the sleek Italo-disco/Balearica of Andre-Marie Tala's "Sweet Dole" and the Rebles' impossibly tropical soca cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo".
A self-proclaimed 'camp ass disco label', Butch Le Butch's Camp Stick Records serves as a vehicle for his most outre disco edits. Here the Super Surprise EP delivers three new scalpel jobs by Melbourne's finest. "Take You By Surprise" starts the show with a bang - almost eight minutes of soaring, anthemic diva disco loops, next is a positively, cough, supernatural reworking of a bona fide disco classic, here magicing away the layers to expose the glorious bare bones of dancefloor masterpiece. Lastly the sleek and sexy Eurodisco jam "Superman" wraps things up nicely (albeit with an out of control flute player on board!).
Salon Des Amateurs' Bufiman makes his Dekmantel debut with two left-of-centre, broken beat mind-melters. "Peace Moves" is a lo-fi, almost sludgy dive into a synth swamp where flurries of cosmic synth licks swoon and tease above your heard. "Graffiti Moves" takes an even trippier twist over a similarly low-and-slow drum arrangement but with added sparkling percussion. Throw in two cutlass-sharp versions of and you've got yourself a watertight declaration of peace. Absurdly on-point as always from Dekmantel.
Ali Kuru took a decision some years ago not to seek publicity, preferring instead to let his music speak for itself. Egzotik, his long awaited debut album, seems to have a fair few stories to tell. Smothered in evocative field recordings made around his home city of Istanbul, the album is notable for fusing exotic Persian instrumentation with grooves and sounds more readily associated with cosmic disco, krautrock, dub, Balearica and Detroit beatdown. On paper, it's an unusual combination that should sound forced or contrived. In reality, it's a brilliant example of an artist with a singular artistic vision achieving his goals. Put it this way: it's amongst the most inspired and enjoyable debut albums we've heard this year.
Fresh from a much-charted EP on Hot Digits, Dawn Again re-emerges from the Melbourne disco scene to deliver a fine EP on Wonder Stories. The producer's naturally instinct is to keep things woozy, hazy and mid-tempo, mixing colourful nu-disco synths with a laidback, Balearic sensibility. This head-in-the-clouds vibe can be heard on both opener "Pyramid Scheme" (easily the EP's standout moment) and "Dharamsala", where a rising and falling bassline wraps itself around a densely layered drum track and exotic Indian instrumentation. Elsewhere, "432 Evergeen" is dark, moody and chugging, while Lawrence Lee Control re-imagines "Pyramid Scheme" as a stab-heavy slab of rave-era house madness.
In Flagranti have carved their own niche in dance music since back in the Electroclash days. This is due to their sexually charged analogue disco-funk style and sound. Here they rustle up "The Camelwalk" for Codek, a tune that sounds like a frisky Red Axes doing the soundtrack for a 70s porno with help from Bobby Konders (lots of flute!). Rayko's "Spiritual Wiri mix" features tough 4/4 drums, bass twangs, ascending arpeggios and yes, those flutes again. Inigo Vontier's mix revisits deepest, crackliest 80s Chicago and there also some cool retro beats featured in the bonus dub mix too.
Last year, Gentleman's Dub Club member Nick Tyson tickled the fancy of many serious selectors with two fine EPs under the Xoa alias. Both brilliantly blurred the boundaries between Afrobeat, electronica, deep house and a myriad of other classic and contemporary genres, with Tyson skillfully combining choice samples and organic instrumentation. Happily, he's at it again here, delivering another two hard-to-pigeonhole treats. We're particularly enjoying the fluttering flutes, sampled vocals, vintage synths and Tony Allen style beats of "Mass", though the hazy Afro-soul of "Mon Ecole" is almost as impressive. The accompanying remixes are tasty, too, with Glenn Astro's two-part rework of "Mon Ecole" (a spine-tingling beat-less intro followed by a wonderfully jazzy deep house rub) just edging out Ben Hauke's sumptuous remix of "Mass".
If you've been to a festival this summer, it's likely that you will have heard "Surrender", the first collaboration between Running Back man Gerd Janson and Black Jukebox curator Shan. A pleasing slab of feel-good disco-house with added carnival percussion, the track's appeal likes as much in the duo's ability to place life-affirming peaks (built around colossal disco samples) in all the right places as the rock solid nature of the production. Basically, it sounds like an anthem and is fast turning into one. There's a similarly old school feel to "Gentle Place", too. The track's analogue bassline and layered, carnival house style percussion is brilliantly off-set by the kind of swirling Balearic chords and eyes-closed vocal samples so familiar from Janson's Talamanca System work with Phillip Lauer and Mark Barrott.
Also known as Jamie 3Too6, this badass Chicago dude knows his disco and delivers it in devastating quantities he does, with relish. "Blessin'" is an uplifting slice of live, drivin' funk, the kind that slayed the Garage of an evening. Digital B-side "Whole Lotta Love (Back To The Box Edit)" sounds like NOIA covering Led Zeppelin - all dirty electronic riffs and 4/4 beats that slowly escalate over the course of 14 minutes!



Early 2016, Ashley "Arthur Jr" Stevenson debuted a new alias, The Last Trip To Gandahar, by contributing a track to the In House EP on City Fly (a label he co-founded many years back). This four-track outing is the project's first full outing, and also marks the debut of Washington DC-based label Better Listen. It's a confident and fun-packed affair, with Stevenson delivering tracks that sit somewhere between house-friendly re-edits, and sample-heavy original productions. As you'd probably expect, all four cuts are warm and groovy, making excellent use of elements of soul-soaked disco and jazz-funk tracks. It's all impeccably playable, with the flute-laden "Over Paradise" and righteous "Profound Experience" being our picks.

Considered the anti-hero of disco music, Argoman literally means 'lazy man', however it's also a combination of three Italian producer's names who started the project about one year ago. Any guesses who they might be? We will leave that to you! The track "Chimicalissimo" is new wave Italo disco at its finest, featuring peak-time dancefloor energy completely produced with analogue synths and drum machines. Gerd Jason and Fabrizio Mammarella team up again as Black Spuma and their remix turns the track into a slow burning disco monster. The dub version gives more space to a melancholic piano melody that culminates through analogue arpeggios to an unstoppable build.
It's time to welcome back Spanish nu-disco veteran Ilya Santana, who has been missing in action, presumed DJing, for the best part of two years. As comebacks go, "Electric Mind" is pretty darn good. Underpinned by druggy, Italo-disco style arpeggio lines and squeezable synth-bass, the slo-mo shuffler's best asset is undoubtedly the wild variety of vintage synthesizer lines that Santana smartly layers on top. The remixes are rather tasty, too. There's a decidedly Baldelli-esque, guitar-laden "Cosmic Western" remix from Rare Wiri boss man Rayko, while label regular James Rod pushes up the tempo and emphasizes Santana's Italo-disco influences on his dancefloor-friendly revision.
Brooklyn's nu-disco hero Aimes (aka Aman Elli) has delivered plenty of hot dancefloor jams for labels like Wonder Stories and here he is with another, "Smiling Faces" on Spa In Disco. His original mix is a really slick slice of sunset boogie, with driving punk-funk bass and catchy vocal refrains. First up on remix duty is Rayko who adds a more melodic bassline to the mix, resulting in a cool joint that echoes early Noughties electro-disco. Elsewhere Mordisco turns in some excellent moody tech-house with lashings of pan pipes and lastly Alex Malos delivers a reliable and sturdy disco-house rework.
Originally released in 2007, Chicago heavyweight Ralphi Rosario released this pumping big room disco house tool which is reissued on digital in its three dubbed out versions. Another Windy City legend in the form of Lego: responsible for that anthem "El Ritmo De Verdad" back in the day appears, with his fierce and dusty rendition. The equally revered industry veteran from down under: Mr Greg Packer, dons his nu-disco alias again on a sparking dub remix of the previously mentioned version by Lego. Finally, it's back over to the locals in the form of 'Chicago's own' Jamie 3:26 with the "Disco Party Version" which does exactly what is says on the tin: we particularly enjoyed this one.
Babert is the latest in a long line of re-editors and remixers who think nothing of putting out a steady stream of single-track releases. We've lost count of the number of these he's put out since first surfacing a few years back, but we do know that "Fly Up To The Sky" is the fifth this year. There's no denying that it's something of a muscular dancefloor treat, with Babert wrapping a relentless electronic bassline and crunchy drum hits in bouncy piano riffs, fizzing electronics and sampled strings and vocals. The latter element is expertly teased in before soaring skywards as the track reaches its sweaty zenith.
Exclusives
IN FLAGRANTI feat DJ ROCCA - The Camelwalk (Codek)
DAWN AGAIN - Friends EP (Wonder Stories) - exclusive 24-07-2017
THE SWEEPS - Hide My Shadow (Emerald & Doreen)
Exclusives
VARIOUS/GUTS/MAMBO - Beach Diggin Vol 5 (Heavenly Sweetness)
AIMES - Smiling Faces (Spa In Disco)
HARRY WOLFMAN - Ulibis EP (House Of Disco)
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