The latest volume in the Surgery Edits series is something of an epic affair, with scalpel-wielding hero Dr Packer offering up no less than eight intricate procedures. It's naturally a mixed bag, with the Australian offering gently beefed-up and quantized versions of both well-known cuts (a well-loved Marvin Gaye classic gets the treatment on "Give It Up", while "Disco Squares" is a punchy revision of a Rick James produced Teena Marie favourite) and lesser-known floor-fillers (the bubbly '80s soul flex of "Your Love Baby", the heavyweight P-funk strut of "Move That Bottom"). There's not a duffer in sight, with jazz-funk style closer "Smoov Groove" and righteous disco-funk bumper "Party Time" arguably the pick of an impressive bunch.
This collaborative EP featuring reworks by Whiskey Disco boss Sleazy McQueen and fellow Florida resident Romano Arcaini first appeared on vinyl almost a year ago. Since then, prices for second hand copies have gone through the roof, making this digital download edition particularly welcome. It's undoubtedly a very strong collection of re-edits, too. Not only does it boast the ten-minute trip into life-affirming disco territory that is "Peace, Love & Harmony" - think swinging drum breaks, strong vocals, phased funk guitars and twinkling pianos - but also a killer chunk of saucer-eyed Italo-disco sleaze ("Disco De Monda"). The final track, a Clavinet-heavy warm-up shuffler entitled "Private Life", is also killer.
Having previously included Vaudafunk tracks on a number of their multi-artist EPs, Chopshop has decided it's time for the Italian producer to serve up a full EP of his own. Flowered Shirt & Sunglasses begins with "Zora", a deliciously cheery and cheeky revision of a little-known European disco smasher from the Italo-disco era. He cannily uses extended filtered sections to emphasize key moments in the decidedly cosmic cut. "Love Is Psychedelic" is a bustling, string-drenched disco stomper, while closer "1999" sees him make merry with a lesser-known version of Pigbag's low-slung punk-funk classic "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag". When the famous horn line kicks in, there will be bedlam out on the dancefloor.
Saying that Editor's Kutz is going string would be an understatement, and although the label is only on their seventh outing to date, it feels like much longer that we've been graced with their inimitable style of disco editing. There's four cuts this time, a timeless bunch of disco groovers that have been re-moulded for the modern ear and its need for a steady but of 4/4. "Shining Bright" from VinylAddicted is any disco lover's dream come true, while Dan Johnson's "Love Affair" is a solid, fist-pumping bomb with one mighty bassline. "Stop On By" is more laid-back and cooler in its approach, but "Get Ready" is the shining star here, a deep, wet slice of dynamite funk that you could leave on repeat for hours on end.
Andalusian siblings the J&M Brothers are no newcomers to music production. Over the last six years, they've released a range of house, techno and disco tracks on a wide variety of labels. Fan The Flames sees them pop on Midnight Riot for the first time, with a quartet of tasty cuts that sneakily combine classic disco samples with their own beats, synths and musical flourishes. Cheery opener "Back To The Dancefloor", for example, embellishes samples from a killer old Peter Brown disco cut with sparkling new synths and wavering melody lines, while "Give It All" beefs up a head-nodding, 110 BPM disco-funk groove with chunkier drums and throbbing bass. Elsewhere, "You Got Me" is a sun-kissed chunk of Italo-disco/Balearic boogie fusion, while "Dubbing Funk" lives up to its' self-explanatory title.
Kiwi/German duo Snacks has been in demand of late, ever since they set tongues wagging with a fine EP for Kraak & Smaak's Boogie Angst label. Title track "Burnin" is every bit as special, with fizzing, jammed-out synth stabs, hazy trumpet lines and classic vocal samples riding a rubbery electrofunk groove. You'll find further woozy warmth on the looser, more organic sounding disco-funk shuffler "Matinee", while "Deep Fry" is a bustling, club-ready chunk of cut-up disco pump. Hot property Fouk successfully turns that track into a heavyweight, dusty house roller, while Soultage gives "Burning" the throbbing disco-house treatment, whilst retaining many of the musical flourishes from the duo's original version.
Here's something to write home about: a surprise debut album from on-point retro-futurists Tuff City Kids, AKA Running Back boss Gerd Janson and old pal Phillip Lauer. Given the opportunities for expression offered by the album format, it's perhaps unsurprising to find that they've decided against packing it entirely with hustling, warehouse-ready old skool house jams. Instead, their usual vintage synth stabs and drum machine rhythms are put to work on tracks that variously doff a cap to skewed synth-pop (Joe Goddard collaboration "Tell Me", Annie hook-up "Labyrinth"), cello-laden late night house (Kelley Polar hook-up "Aska"), acid-flecked electro ("Boilered"), early Human League tributes ("Scared"), and blissfully positive electronica ("Farewell House").
The latest E.P on Craig Bratley's impressive Magic Feet imprint comes from the man himself, ably assisted by Crazy P chanteuse Danielle Moore. Even by her high standards, Moore's vocals here are particularly husky and atmospheric, and perfectly compliment Bratley's dark, woozy, throbbing backing track (think sharp Italo-disco fused with pitched-down acid house). The accompanying remixes are predictably fine, too. Andrew Weatherall naturally steals the show by turning "Play The Game" into an epic chunk of sparse and druggy synth-pop-goes-clubbing weirdness, though Hsyertic's muscular, shirts-off Italo-disco interpretation is pretty darn tasty, too. In other words, it's a very strong E.P, all told.
The Paper Recordings household keeps coming up with the goods; each new month brings a whole heap of quality house material, and this time they've grouped together a truly special crew of producers. Futureboogie and 20:20 Vision causual, Crazy P, kicks things off by delivering a magnetic slice of slo-mo, funk house in "Last Knockers", a true gem for the boogie heads, and just a great dance tune all-round. Paper Recordings associate, Flash Atkins, goes into more progressive mood on his "Rivers Of Jordan", a house nugget with a fine layer of arpeggios for maximum club damage, and Steve Cobby's "Boule De Suif" ties this stunning little three-tracker off with some gentle, balearic house waves that push the dust into the beat - check those vintage video game sonics, too!
London party crew Reviveher is not messing around with this debut label release. They've pulled out all the stops, accompanying two original cuts from debutant Sultan Shakes - amusingly described in the accompanying press blurb as a "space-travelling lothario with a towering falsetto" - with a swathe of fine remixes. The Sultan's two versions - a humid fusion of tropical sounds, bubbly synths, disco attitude and evocative vocals - are joined by top-notch reworks from Young Marco (dub disco crossed with new age deep house), Crewdson (picked guitars and rubbery broken beats) and the Reviveher collective (synth boogie-goes-house). Elsewhere, the yearning, Balearic synth-pop of "OK" is turned into a trippy chunk of sparse, otherworldly house music by NYC's Rub 'N' Tug.
Here's a rare solo outing from French Kiss boss KS French, who supplies all the goodies on this tenth outing of his RH Edits series. We've still not quite got to the bottom of the theme of this series or what the RH stands for, but the overall vibe here is maybe a little darker and more velvety than his usual output. There are three tunes here - the sleek guitar & bass funk-noir of "The Groovy G", the 80s TV theme vibes of the loop-heavy "Mercy" and the killer closer, a punchy retro boogie jam called "Hooked Love".
Wonderful Times' third outing is another compilation style affair, with a quintet or artists vibing on the label's secret ingredient (it's love, kids). NYC scalpel fiend The Silver Rider kicks things off with the swirling, filter disco blast of "Tonite" - all grunting bottom end, punchy horns and sensual vocals - before Napoleon serves up a chunky, piano-heavy rework of Buzz Compass cut "Starborn". Those looking for some big-lung diva vocals and energy-packed Clavinet lines should head straight for JP Source and Narwhal's peak-time thruster, "Give & Take", while Kumquat's "Funky Lady" - all wild Hammond organs, rugged funk guitars and well-placed dub delays - should please anyone with a passion for floor-frilling funk.
Andrew Weatherall's Covenanza full-length, released earlier this year, was rightly praised as an atmospheric, largely impressive fusion of the veteran producer's many disparate influences. For Consolamentum, he's handed over the parts to those album tracks to some of his favourite producers, giving them instructions to stamp their own distinctive styles on his cherished material. The results are naturally impressive, with Timothy J Fairplay, Justin Robertson, Emperor Machine, Red Axes, Scott Fraser and Heretic - a rising star whose productions have been getting major rotations at Lord Sabre's A Love From Outer Space parties - each delivering fine interpretations.
Hailing from the Ukraine, Limpopo is a dude equally in love with both 80s pins-up and 80s synth disco. Although he's got a few excellent mixes under his belt, this is debut release on Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot imprint. There are four suggestively titled tracks on here, with the freeform jazz-meets-synth disco of "Hard Balls" leading the charge. Following on we get the tight clavinet and moog driven Morgan Geist-style electronic disco of "Doggy Style", the 80s theremin boasting smooth soulful grooves of "Silky Way". However it's the Full Pupp-style trancey disco of the sublime "Sitcom" that really stands out
DJ Kaos seems to keep Jolly Jams' most "hush-hush" material for the label's occasional Promo Only series. There's plenty to get excited about on this latest digital installment. For example, you'll struggle to find a more on-point early Chicago house edit than Baffopizza's sterling, gospel-tinged effort - all sweaty, jackin' beats, chunky bass and swirling vocal samples - though Kaos's own effort, a deliciously druggy, basement-bothering affair - pushes it close. Pete Herbert's contribution bubbles away impressively via waves of acid and dubbed-out synth lines, while Leo Mas and Fabrice's remix of Conor's contribution effortlessly flits between cut-up electro drums and blasts of rubbery, punk-funk grooves.
Serbia may not have a Disneyland, but it has its own DJ Disney D. A producer who deeply loves his raw, vintage soul, DJD in collaboration with mentor Tonbe, presents here his debut three track release. Passionate 60s soul is the overriding feel here, with "Yes I Know" being a charging stomper, propelled by an frenetic bassline, honky tonk piano and chanting vocals. Elsewhere "Lonely Does" is soaring and electric Rhythm & Blues and lastly "Lou Is Coming Home" is a slowly building boogie mantra. The latter is also remixed into a more 4/4 style by Loshmi. Slick!
Italy's Psycho Radio and LC Anderson are two house collectives that have stuck close to another over the last fifteen years. They both deal in straight-up electro house but, not that tacky gear, just the good shit. It's no wonder they land on the mythical Rebirth with a new EP, but the real surprise comes from the remixers at the helm of "Bad Reputation". The legendary Daniele Baldelli, one of the pillars of the Italian cosmic wave teams up with Marco Dionigi with a reinterpretation of the original tune; the result is a percussion-heavy, tribal house chugger with that same sleaziness that made the former artist so renowned. There's a Funkadiba version, too, which brings in a tighter bassline to the picture, along with an added layer of vocal swagger. BIG.
The third installment of the Paradise Row series reunites regular studio pals Dicky Trisco and Pete Herbert, following the latter's solo missive earlier in the year. Naturally, the three tracks offer cheery, floor-friendly explorations of many of the duo's well-known influences - think Italo-disco, proto-house, dub disco, Balearic and boogie - and it's hard to find fault with any of them. "I Think I Can Feel Something", which sounds like a long lost Paul Simpson production with added freestyle and Balearic disco influences, is arguably the highlight, though the Italo/electrofunk fusion of "Perfecto", and Michael style early Chicago house vibes of "Dance To Love" aren't far behind.
We've come accustomed to Nein founders Tronik Youth serving up electronic music that's on the psychedelic end of the spectrum. "Rope Dancer" configures to this stereotype, and sees the duo lace bold, alien synthesizer riffs, spiraling electronics and wonky vocal samples atop a forthright, mid-tempo cosmic disco groove. The duo's accompanying Dark Dub wanders further into skewed, late night territory, largely by further emphasizing their bold synth-work. While Curses continue the trend on their slightly pitched-down remix - check the clicking percussion and hypnotic, looped-up synthesizer motifs - Ron Basejam flips the script entirely, turning the track into a warm, feel good, disco tinged deep house shuffler.
Mexico-based Geordie Man Power has been on the rise for some time, picking up plaudits for the quality of his releases on Throne of Blood, ESP Institute, Hivern Discs and Correspondant. Now, he's decided to go it alone, launching the MeMeMe label as a vehicle for his own productions. "Tachyon" is something of a sleazy, late night treat, with the British ex-pat concentrating the action around a deliciously dirty, mutant Italo arpeggio, nagging electronic loops, and punchy drum machine percussion. DJ Tennis takes the track in a different direction, smothering Man Power's sleazy groove in melodious marimba lines, drowsy chords and elastic electronics.