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SWITCH GENRE
 
Reviewed this week
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Another week, another new set of high grade re-edits from the Midnight Riot label. This time round, label boss Yam Who hands a debut to Stafford-based Dave Gerrard and Rob Bairstow's Greyskooledits project. Predictably, they head straight for peaktime dancefloors with opener "Saving My Love In", a brilliantly cut-up, hustlin' rework of a well-known disco classic. They dip the tempo a little on "Hesitate", impeccably stretching out and tweaking Salsoul Orchestra's "Runaway" for modern dancefloors. Even better is "Definite Strangeness", a brilliantly dubbed-out, beatbox electro tweak of Barbara Mason's "Another Man", while "Who Do You Think You Are" sees the duo brilliantly chop-up funk classic "Mr Big Stuff" in a vintage hip-hop breaks style.
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Veteran Italian DJ/producer Kiu D has enjoyed an eclectic career, producing D&B, nu-jazz, house and dubstep before turning to funk and disco re-edits. Here, he delivers more of the latter for Hotbox Boogie, building on the success of previous releases for Masterworks Music and Special Edition. He kicks things off with "Looking Good", a sparkling chunk of straightened out '70s funk madness, before the World of boogie-era proto house on "Don't Mind" and "Splendid Idea" (the latter boasting delicious jazz guitar and vibraphone solos). Elsewhere, check the rolling disco-funk warmth of "Bad Idea" and the bass-heavy romp of Groovemarket hook-up "House Party".
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While he'd been building a reputation for a few years already, it was 2009's In The End (I Want You To Cry) EP for Running Back that first thrust Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski towards the spotlight. Some six years on, Gerd Janson has decided to put together an expansive new package of remixes. There's plenty to enjoy, from Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco's breezy, guitar-laden boogie rework of "Holdin' Back (My Love") and Prins Thomas's dense-but-wonky, Scandolearic disco revision of the same cut, to the bright-and-breezy, rush-inducing melodiousness of Lone's sublime rework of "In The End (I Want You To Cry)". Tiger & Woods' remix of "Holding Back (My Love)" - all relentless build followed by thrilling boogie-meets-house release - is also pretty darn special.
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Disco/house fusionist P-Sol has long since established himself amongst the higher echelons of the re-edit community, with releases to his name on such labels as Hot Digits, FKR, Editorial, DiscoDat, and Masterworks Music. Here he pops up on Rebel Hearts with another trio of tried-and-tested reworks. The Brooklyn-based producer begins with "Take It Off", a smooth, low-slung disco-funk bumper that sounds like a blazed take on Soundstream. There's more of a celebratory feel to the filter-heavy bounce of "Going Way Back", an impressive re-imagining of Odyssey's "Going Back To My Roots" that focuses on short, lesser-known excerpts of the 12" version. Finally, he returns to disco-funk for a heavyweight re-interpretation of "Bus Stop" - entitled "Don't Stop" - that makes great use of the original organ solos.
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The latest curator of the esteemed series of groovy re-edits is none other than rising star, Ree Keen. There's four reworks featured here, all of which perfectly capture the noted diversity of his influences. Opener "Blue Devils" is all bluesy looped nonchalance, "Smooth Changes" is a party ragtime jaunt through Annie-style musical swing. "Horny Me Swing" is a mash-up of Mousse T and big band jive that's as improbable as it sounds and "Paper Bossa Loser" fuses vintage Beck with chiming, sunkissed bossa nova. It shouldn't work, but it does!
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Here's the latest installment of the French re-edit crew, Rebel Hearts, ever-popular compilation series. There are five new cuts from label regulars to enjoy, including the infectiously happy "Geto Disko" by Givenchy Edits, the tough funk stomper "Shoot My Love" by Mr Given Raw and Jay Airiness' beautifully frothy digital-Italo-disco gem, "Shared Love".
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Two years on from his last outing on Eskimo Recordings, Vita 'Aeroplane' De Luca returns with a pair of tracks that pay tribute to the uncomplicated, life-affirming cheeriness of early piano house. "Page One Is Love", featuring a vocal sample from Chicago pioneer Jamie Principle, sounds like an attempt to fuse together as many classic house influences and references - plus vintage US garage organs - as possible. "Dancing With Each Other" inhibits similar territory, with the addition of sparkling nu-disco synths, early Daft Punk melodies and a heavy bassline. The pick of the accompanying remixes comes from Cassara, who re-casts "Page One Is Love" as an intoxicating chunk of baggy, Balearic house.
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Leeds-based Deelicious impressed with his debut EP for Dimitri Ferrari's Sound Exhibitions label, Neon Disco, so naturally hopes are high for this outing on Tonbe's Disco Fruit imprint. Like its' predecessor, This Is That is full of sparkling, sun-kissed disco reworks that perfectly navigate the tricky waters between reverential rearrangement and the heavier demands of 22st century dancefloors. Some familiar favourites get a going over in the shape of "Why Did You Do It" and "I'll Be Around", a lightly tooled-up version of the Spinners' classic of the same name. Elsewhere, he digs deeper in the crates for inspiration, delivering a flute-laden chunk of filter disco-house ("This Is That") and a bright-eyed chunk of celebratory disco ("Tear Drops & Heartache").
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Following an excellent Springtime outing on KAT Records, scalpel specialist Deadly Sins returns 'home' to the Giant Cuts label he's run successfully for the last half-decade. Those who heard that KAT EP will feel right at home, as some of the cuts here appeared on that vinyl-only affair. Regardless, there's much to admire, from the hazy, Clavinet-heavy Afro-disco goodness of "Afro Groove", to the rolling sweetness of "Get Orf My Laaand" (a rework of Curtis Mayfield classic "Give Me Your Love"). Mary Wilson rework "Groovy Mary" is a red-hot disco-funk smasher, while "Ooh Eye" delivers a smart, dancefloor-friendly rearrangement of Crown Heights Affair's brilliant "Say A Prayer".
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International Feel's love-in with Balearic veteran Jose Padilla continues, as So Many Colours album track "Lollipop" gets the remix treatment. Padilla kicks things off by delivering an extended, 12"-friendly version, where sun-kissed pianos, twittering synth-flutes and - of course - hazy guitars wrap themselves around a tactile Balearic disco groove. The accompanying remixes are of an impressively high standard, with Dream 2 Science's drifting, soft touch deep house remake - every bit as luscious, analogue-rich and evocative as his early '90s productions - really impressing. French maverick I:Cube delivers two reworks; a straightforward Remix that adds a little warehouse-friendly bump whilst retaining Padilla's gorgeous melodies, and the looser, baggier "Casiotone Reprise".
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Since first joining forces at the tail end of the noughties, California-based duo Simon 'Woolfy' James and Dan 'Projections' Hastie have become masters of the Balearic blend, delivering albums packed full of hazy, picturesque gems that join the dots between a multitude of sun-kissed styles. They're at it again on this third full-length for Permanent Vacation. Across the 11 tracks, they variously fuse, mangle and doff a cap to flamenco, dub disco, AOR pop, stoned West Coast rock, chugging Italo, lilting downtempo grooves, reggae, deep house, post-punk dub funk, and folksy pop, all whilst retaining their now familiar beach-friendly sound. Station's greatest moment, though, is "Who", a blindingly good - and suitably baggy - cover of Odyssey's 1974 Balearic anthem of the same name.
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ISM boss Yam Who has high hopes for Bubblegum, a previously unheard "red hot disco" outfit based at Fossil Studios in Hackney. There's certainly plenty of promise on this debut single, with both original tracks hitting the proverbial sweet spot. "Hold On" is a synth-laden mid-tempo delight, with hazy vocals and a lolloping, head-nodding groove. The looser, more up-tempo "On & On" is, if anything, even better, with punchy horns and clipped guitar riffs adding additional energy to the classic disco groove. Label boss Yam Who's remix of the latter - built around his own rubbery synths and a toughened-up groove - is also superb.
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There are few record collectors and DJs with crates quite as deep as Psychemagik. They've already proved this beyond doubt via a trio of brilliant Magik compilations for Paul Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label. Magik Sunset Part 2 continues this run, gathering together another double-album's worth of fantastic obscurities from the worlds of stoner disco, left-of-centre rock, psychedelia and Balearica. As usual, there are some genuine "how did I not know about this record" moments, from the star-kissed Balearic jazz of Fabio Fabor and saucer-eyed white boy reggae-rock of the Trepidants, to the Flamenco-tinged AOR disco shuffle of Jack Adkins' "Sunset Beach".
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Given the success of The Very Polish Cut-Outs re-edit series in breathing new life into forgotten musical gems from Poland's past, it's heartening to see Vehicle aiming to do the same to vintage Yugoslav disco via the Ex-Yu series. This second installment comes from B.G Baarregaard (under the new Disco El Pogia moniker) and Serbian record collector Funky Junkie, who join forces to rework to previously unknown Balkan nuggets. Opener "Wandering" is sweet and groovy, with indigenous vocals riding triumphant horns and razor-sharp strings. While there are a few contemporary production tricks - think filters and a chunkier groove - it's a pleasingly respectful rework. "Weekend Phobia" is, if anything, even better, stretching out and rearranging a hearty chunk of disco-funk-meets-AOR brilliance.
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The second release on the curiously named wewillalwaysbealovesong [sic] comes from Roy Comanchero, whose beach-inspired debut EP, Lucid Memory, was one of Running Back's more intriguing releases of 2014. "Mick" is similarly inspired, offering a decidedly saucer-eyed fusion of rolling marimba melodies, shimmering synthesizer chords and breezy beats. It feels like the flipside dub of a long-forgotten 1980s Balearic gem, which is no bad thing in our opinion. The original comes accompanied by a trio of reworks from re-edit scene stalwarts. Eddie C leads the way with a slower, dreamier and even more picturesque interpretation, while Rayko turns it into a chugging slice of synth-heavy electrofunk. As for DJ Steef's version, it subtly beefs up the original in search of a bigger dancefloor response.
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The Giant Cuts crew come through with a late bunch of cuts for the warm months, a collaborative collection of tracks to mark their first Summer Heat series. London disco nutter and label regular Deadly Sins delivers six cuts in total, starting with the sublimely funky "Keep It Hot" and ending with the synth-heavy "Dance Star", an instantly hummable tune that's full of good vibes. DBC serves up three equally charming and effective disco tools, the killer in the lot certainly being "Jump Dub", an instrumental boogie attack with a dubby twist.
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Franco-American relations are successfully exploited once more as Paris label Rebel Hearts seeks out the scalpel talents of Brooklyn's DJ Given Raw on the Shake Some Boogie EP. Man like Given Raw has evidently impressed the Rebel Hearts posse with his prior contributions to several split releases on the label this year and fully grasps the chance to display his edit prowess on what is his full debut. Lead track "Gimme Some" is the sort of jazz funk floor burner you'd hear midway through a Mr Scruff marathon set, whilst "La Street Vie" toughens up the bottom end of a well-loved disco classic. The sublime strings that glimmer throughout "Keep On Doin" suggest DJ Given Raw is a firm advocate of the old adage "save the best til last son".
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Soulful disco house action on offer here courtesy of Los Charly Orchestra, a London based collective led by Venezuelans Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel. Want some music wedged between classic Salsoul Orchestra and Joey Negro's Sunburst Band? Los Charly Orchestra are for you! Vocalist Xantone Blacq adds another dimension to "All Around The World" channelling a vibe similar to falsetto legends such as Kenny Bobien. This digital release features two convenient edits of "All Around The World" and for those wanting more; two extended mixes.
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Having already introduced Venezuelan great Daniel Grau to a wider audience via a brilliant retrospective comp, Sonar Kollektiv have been busy getting contemporary producers to reinterpret his disco-era, jazz-funk gems. The simply titled Reworks boasts 19 re-imaginings of Grau's tracks from an impressive selection of studio talents. Tuff City Kids, Mark E, Max Graef and Debonair deliver suitably sunny deep house tweaks, while there are more reverential takes from Soul Clap (whose jaunty, sun-kissed remix collaboration with Bosq is a highlight), Marcel Vogel, Jacques Renault and Daniel T. Best of all, though, are the soaring disco re-makes from Ray Mang and Danel Wang & Jules Etienne. The latter pairing also deliver a brilliant, electrofunk-influenced "Non Disco" mix of "Disco Fantasy".
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Spanish disco outsider James Rodriguez comes through with his James Rod moniker, and launches the first release of the newly crowned Golden Soul imprint. The dude offers five downtempo disco nuggets, and his beats shift from starry balearica to slow-burning boogie. Our picks from the lot have to be "Bass For The Lovers" for its deep, sweltering licks of low-end and string-heavy hooks, and the mid-tempo scorcher that is Cuts Shakes More Shakes" - surely a winner on the ol' PA!
Exclusives
DISCO DEL POGGIO/FUNKY JUNKIE - Weekend Phobia (Vehicle) - exclusive 31-12-2030
LEE, Ed feat ALISON DAVID - I Am Someone (Compost) - exclusive 11-09-2015
DEADLY SINS - Afro Groovy EP (Giant Cuts) - exclusive 07-09-2015
Exclusives
ROD, James - Golden Pleasure EP (Golden Soul) - exclusive 31-12-2015
THESE EYES - Soca Hustle (Invisible City Editions)
BUBBLEGUM - Hold On (ISM) - exclusive 04-09-2015
Jay Airiness Venice Beach DJ Chart
Jose Padilla DJ Chart
VinylAddicted DJ Chart
Dave Lee Joey Negro DJ Chart
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