Todd Terje & The Olsens come correct with their first recorded material after an extended bout of them treating festival audiences to some of the Norwegian's best-loved material, not to mention some killer cover versions. Indeed it's the latter, oft-derided method of recording that forms the basis of this delightfully-presented double pack (we love a good Big Trouble In Little China reference) as Terje and the group rip through renditions of some disco standards from Martin Circus, YMO, Vangelis and more. Given Terje's lengthy range of official and under-the-counter edits, news of this new project makes perfect sense to us. In addition to these cover versions, Olsen have also commissioned some remixes with arch Terje colluder Prins Thomas involved along with Comeme artist Daniel Maloso.
Few re-edit series of recent times have been quite as consistent as the Editor's Kutz EPs. We can happily report that they've maintained these high standards on volume six. Vinyladdicted and Sleazy McQueen join forces on the opener, a rolling, head-nodding stoner rock re-cut that makes excellent use of subtle disco-house trickery. Regular studio buddies Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee do an excellent job in looping up and dubbing out Marcus Valle's Balearic disco classic "Estrellar" (here re-titled "Stellar Dub"), while The Silver Rider chops between drum rolls and charity shop disco thrills on "Good Lovin' Baby". Finally, Doc Jam turns a well-known disco staple into a Soundstream style cut-up disco-house shuffler.
DJ Kaos doesn't put out many re-edits these days, but when he does, they're invariably superb. This seven-track set of fresh reworks contains some of his finest scalpel work to date. The headline attraction is undoubtedly "Midnight Patrol", a brilliant rearrangement of the Valverde Brothers' 1978 disco cover of JJ Cale's "After Midnight" that makes much of the winding synth solos and gospel backing vocals. There's plenty of other killer material throughout, though, from the synth-laden cosmic disco throb of "Stranger", and 135 BPM tropical drum workout "Ocean Rhythms", to the '70s rock surge of "Psychedelic Supermarket" (a tasty re-cut of The Who favourite "Eminence Front"). All killer, no filler.
KNG, the partnership of KS French and Mr Given Raw is back with three new disco edits, and they're summer sizzlers the lot of them. "Got To Get" is a bawdy, swingin' swagger of vintage disco-rock, whilst "Get It On" introduces tougher French house beats and loops to the mix. Lastly "Brown Groove" turns its filters to 11 for a low-slung cocktail house jam. Groovy!
Having previously plied his trade on a number of New York-affiliated imprints (Wurst, Night People NYC and Nervous offshoot Nurvous amongst them), Eli Escobar makes his debut on Transatlantic label Classic. Opener "Phreeky" features contributions from regular collaborators Vanessa Daou and Nomi Ruiz, and is little less than a killer combination of classic piano-house grooves, party-starting disco samples, relentless cowbells and choice old school vocal samples. It's something of a belter, all told, and one of Classic's strongest releases of recent times. Escobar continues this retro-futurist feel on the Masters At Work-via-Detroit-and-Chicago vibe of "Can't Stop Dancing", where vibraphone solos and whispered female vocals ride an Andres-styles deep house rhythm.
Le Smooth seems to be a new addition to the Rebel Hearts stable, with little information available online about his or her identity. NYC Edits appears to the mysterious scalpel fiend's debut release, and is packed full of low slung dancefloor treats inspired by The Big Apple. Opener "NYC Stars" is a chunky, mid-tempo disco-house collaboration with label regular KS French, full of snaking saxophone solos and bumpin' beats, while the dustier "Hard To Find" makes merry with an obscure old NYC funk jam. Best of all, though, is "Smile On My Face", a cracking re-cut of an urgent, string-laden, constantly rising disco bomb that should raise the temperature out on the dancefloor.
Following the recent release of Luxxury's double A-side "Hold On"/"Take It Slow", which featured reworks from J Kriv and Crackazat, Deep & Disco presents four more remixes. Greg Wilson delivers two collaborative versions; an acid-flecked deep house-meets-disco tweak of "Hold On", and a hazy, dubby, stripped-back interpretation of "Take It Slow". Arguably the most impressive remix on the package, though, comes from Aficionado Recordings and Music For Dreams artist Vision of Panaorama, whose version of "Take It Slow" is little less than a sparkling, slow-burning Balearic delight. While it retains some elements from the original - notably the bass, guitars and live drums - the additional synths and electronics are little less than sublime.
Chicago's Kenya is a housewife who became an esteemed Christian soul singer following a 'cosmic enlightenment' that showed her the way. Having heard "Let Me" (from her My Own Skin album), Joey Negro has signed her up, enlisting Sean McCabe to rework the tune for the right kind of dancefloors. Clocking in around nine minutes, the "vocal mix" a smooth and luxurious ride through vintage jazzy house, dripping in golden-toned Fender Rhodes chords. Elsewhere there's the aquatic sounding '90s retro house of the "Let Me Out Dub" and the Brand New Heavies-esqe organic jazz-funk of the "Classic Soul Mix". Chic.
Grecian DJ/producer C Da Afro is beginning to build up an impressive discography. Impressively, Midnight Riot is the 20th label he's released on to date. Soul Grooves is his first EP for the imprint, and contains a quartet of floor-friendly tracks that sit somewhere between remixes, re-edits and original productions. So while "Soul Groove" is based heavily on Matsubara's Paradise Garage fave "S.O.S (Society Of Soul)", C Da Afro has added a swathe of new synthesizer parts to compliment the original's killer jazz-funk guitars. We must presume the same process has been followed on the tactile electrofunk bomb "I've Got This Feeling", and the almost overpowering synthesizer bliss of Balearic boogie closer "You Mae Me Feel So Good".
George Kelly's most recent appearance on his Our Records label was something of a slick, soulful treat, with vocalist Andre Esput lending his honeyed tonsils to a pair of luscious nu-boogie gems. "Uptempo Cruise" is an altogether different beast. The "Club Version" is warm, rich and melodious, with Kelly peppering a shuffling nu-disco groove with jammed-out Rhodes keys, dreamy chords and undulating, acid-style electronics. The Grecian DJ/producer completely flips the script on the "Acoustic Mix", retaining the Rhodes lines but replacing the electronic groove with fantastic, Bossa-influenced live drums. This replacement rhythm gives the track a breezy, summer-fresh feel that's wholly in keeping with Kelly's hazy keys.
Rather unhelpfully, Nein are keeping quiet about the identity of those behind the Earl Grey project. Regardless of who's in the hot seat, it's an excellent EP. "One Night Affair" is particularly good, delivering a deliciously druggy and heavy blend of post-punk dancefloor rhythms, weirdo synth lines and mind-bending electronics. Naturally, In Flagranti takes these elements and runs with them, turning in a remix that's even darker, moodier and heavier. The EP also boasts two versions of "Sugoi": the Emperor Machine style, wonky analogue funk of Earl Grey's original version, and a deliciously spacey, synth-laden re-make from Aimes & Perdido.
The latest full-length excursion on Marco Dionigi's Quantistic Division label comes not from the man himself, but rather a trio of 30 year-old Italians. While they claim to have been drawn together by a love of house music - and many of their previous releases were in that style - Back From Space is an altogether more cosmic affair. Blending metronomic house rhythms with psychedelic electronics, trippy synthesizer lines, ambient flourishes, cosmic rock guitars, Italo-disco arpeggios and spacey melodies, the album drags the classic Italian cosmic disco sound into the 21st century. There's much to admire throughout, from the trippy post-Italo throb of "Atmosphere", to the whistling melodies and heavy house beats of "New Era".
The man behind the Magic Source project, German producer Bjorn Wagner, is best known for creating revivalist funk and soul under a dizzying variety of aliases. Magic Source, though, takes a different approach, with Wagner applying his magic touch to the world of cosmic disco. Earthrising is the project's first full-length, and is built around straight-to-tape recordings of Wagner and his numerous musical collaborators. Undeniably dusty in feel, the album's seven tracks variously touch on Afro-funk, Space style French cosmic disco, hustling disco-funk, Caribbean disco-funk, and tricky-to-pigeonhole workouts. As you'd expect, it's wonderfully played and produced, with Wagner capturing the spirit of the original era, whilst putting his own distinctive spin on proceedings.
While Nteibint's "Hide In" is a fine slice of cheery, melodious nu-disco/synth-pop fusion, it's the accompanying remix package that makes this an essential purchase. Ewan Pearson, in particular, is in fine form, delivering vocal and instrumental versions that drag the track kicking and screaming towards the dancefloor. Both make excellent use of particularly psychedelic acid lines, sturdy beats, sharp violins and some killer disco cowbells. Both are little less than total overhauls, and testament to Pearson's quality as a producer. Zombies In Miami do a fine job on their remix, too, which sticks a little closer to Nteibint's original while ladling on the atmospheric chords.
Uj Pa Gaz (aka Erlind Hoxha) is an Albanian musician who cut his teeth in bands with names like Germs. This is his new solo project though, and this time round he's on a slow and moody Balearic tip. "KuKu" is a brooding, meandering, slo-mo funk jam with lots of tension building guitar motifs, relentless percussion and an ominous chant. "On Rugs" is longer at almost seven minutes in length, and features delayed guitar chimes, more intense drumming and an overall Belgian new beat vibe. The title also reappears in a brighter electro-house-style remix by Did Virgo.
Here, old friends and regular studio partners Marco Dionigi and Danielle Baldelli once again join forces to deliver some distinctly Italian dancefloor thrills. While the duo's cosmic roots shine through on the druggy, synth-heavy pulse of "I Can't Escape From You", and pitched-down, Clavinet-heavy Afro-cosmic trip "Amandi Tereo", it's the most obviously disco-centric "Sit Back" that really sets the pulse racing. The EP-opening "Funky Mix" is particularly good, and focuses the action on "Superstition"-style jammed-out clav riffs, sparse drum machine percussion, and some deliciously hazy effects. In contrast, the "Dark Mix" is more obviously electronic, with winding top lines wrapping themselves around the duo's bubbly beats.
Argentine scalpel fiend Fabiolous Barker is rightly regarded as one of the best re-editors in the game, an opinion more than validated by this first EP for Tonbe's Disco Fruit stable. He does a terrific job in building excitement on the sweaty, horn-heavy disco slammer "Back On Love", before dipping the tempo and subtly rolling out the grooves on the boogie era disco-funk shuffle of "Delicious". Speaking of boogie, he expertly stretches out a Jheri curl-sporting 80s soul/synth disco classic on "Don't Turn Around", before making merry with all manner of synth and electric pianos on the rubbery, instrumental disco-funk flex of "Get Down".
Norwegian duo Kohib and Kahuun are back with EP2. The 'two beardy and nice chaps' from Bergen and Tromso respectively join forces on four excursions through the deeper shades of house and nu-disco. There's "Sangefjell" with its infectious arpeggio and tight rhythm, but the remix of it by Kohib gets more on the disco vibe and works a treat! "Pittsburgh" by Kohib is definitely the standout; this is one seriously dark journey track; epically wonky melody in tow and will create some serious dancefloor drama. Kahuun returns the favour, lending a deft hand on the remix which delves into exotic drum and bass flavour of the liquid kind.
Hailing from Australia but based in East London, Rohan Bell-Towers has become one of the artists most readily-associated with Marvin and Valentino's Public Possession label. I'm Coming Up is the seventh PP release bearing the Bell-Towers name and the title cut sees him whipping up some forthright club tackle. There are plenty of sliced up soul-enriching samples licking about the jam, but the focus is on straight up house rhythms that scream out for peak time play. There's a more esoteric lilt at work on B-side cut "I'm Always Down For You", which slows things down a touch and works in some choice vocal choppery and a bassline to die for and is complemented by a remix from rising talent Kris Baha.
This fine Jolly Jams release gathers together a quartet of largely overlooked DJ Kaos productions, all of which have previously been released on other labels. While few remember the breezy, post-punk disco sweetness that was 2009's Rong Music/DFA Records released "Love The Night Away", or for that matter the slipped new wave-meets-Italo-via-Balearic fusion of 2011's "From Inside", both are undeniably excellent. Best of all, though, are the two contrasting versions of "Kosmischer Ruckenwind", which originally appeared on Clone's Loft series. The shorter "Part 1" is actually a tasty dancefloor-friendly remix by Eltechnique, but it's the stretched-out, 12-minute original (here dubbed "Part 2") - a blissful exercise in krautrock/kosmiche, full of bubbling synth lines and glistening guitars - which stands out.