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A decade has passed since Tom Bioly and Benjamin Frohlich launched their Permanent Vacation label with a compilation of the same name. This fourth instalment sticks to the same formula as its' predecessors, serving up evocative, emotion-rich music that's tickled the fancy of Bioly and Frohlich over the last two years. Predictably, there's much to enjoy throughout, from the hammock-fresh laziness of Carrot Green's dreamy "Vodou", and the instrumental, Balearic synth-pop of Fantastic Man's "Seaside Special", to the tribal drums, jazz bass and ghostly chords of Benedikt Frey's "Lucid Dream". They predictably finish with a flourish, following Mapache's hallucinatory deep house shuffler "Let Me Sleep", with the dubby Balearic beauty of Suzanne Kraft's blissful "Tiles".
Razor 'N' Tape has been slowly expanding its' outlook in recent years, focusing on original productions just as much as re-edits. Here, they've pulled off something of a coup by snapping up two fresh cuts from Dutch heavyweights Kraak & Smaak. There's the clipped Chic guitars, jaunty analogue bass, undulating Syclops lead lines and gravelly soul vocals of "Way Back Home", and the filter-heavy disco-house throb of "Seb's Party". The package also includes two tasty re-rubs apiece from Ben Sun and Tiger & Woods. Sun offers up a smooth, nu-disco/deep house fusion, followed by a chunkier, classic house sounding affair, while Tiger & Woods offer two superb variants on the same throbbing, electrofunk-meets-Balearic piano house template.
Crazy P man Jim Baron once more dons his Ron Basejam alter ego, delivering a strong virtual double A-side for Bristol's Futureboogie Recordings. Opener "Time" not only features some decidedly cosmic spoken word vocals from Vern, but was also co-produced by PBR Streetgang man Bonar Bradberry. In typical Baron fashion, the track is a loose, warm and inviting affair that effortlessly blends live instrumentation (guitars, bass, Clavinet) with a rolling dancefloor groove. "The Carrington Spirituals" is an altogether more urgent affair, and sees the experienced producer offering a typically attractive, horn-heavy take on loopy disco-house.
We all need our own personal headspace from time to time, however the Yam Who? duo behind Midnight Riot have gone one step further and given Balearic Headspace. Volume 'Uno' contains 18 slinky white isle gems to groove to. Highlights include the slow Euro-beat grind of opener "Bestinspace" by Emmanuelle Kant, Massimo Vanoni's "For Your Love (Cosmic Inspiration mix)" features uber cool raw electronic arpeggiation, swirly Moon Safari acoustic vibes on "Come Outside (Sweet Love)" by Laurels & Hardlies and the stompin' beats and slappin' bass of "Love Echo" by Camino.
Having recently plied his wares on Spain's Rare Wiri, Dim Zach joins forces with fellow scalpel fiend Deem for another five-tracker on Paris's FKR. The duo begins with the beefed-up, Barry White style disco sensuality of "Love Me Less", before dipping the tempo for a Beatdown-speed saunter through the Flamenco-disco world that is "Spanish Heart". The similarly Latin-tinged shuffle of "Cuban Barman" also impresses, while "Fake Darling" is a rolling disco-funk number full of attractive vocal harmonies, clipped guitars and rubbery bass guitar. A fine EP is rounded off by "Why", a solo re-edit by Dim Zach that successfully reworks a well-known, West Coast groover.
Two years on from his last appearance - a co-production credit on Bra Zil's "Gaeira" on Smilax - Mitiko pops up on Disco Fruit with an eight-track edits E.P. He's clearly been spending plenty of time hanging out in the summer sunshine, because "Soul Baby" is packed to the rafters with groovy, laidback gems that sound tailor-made for hazy afternoons and sultry sunsets. Highlights come thick and fast, from the chopped-up, hip-hop style production and slick guitars of "Let U Know", to the sumptuous, string-drenched disco shuffle of "As U Grow Up", via the effortless jazz-funk bliss of the title track. Check, also, the energetic builds of "Cure For This", a tasty rework of Diana Ross's much re-edited disco classic "Love Hangover".
In the past Romanian producer Heion (aka Razvan Ghenciu) has dabbled in both disco and house. Here though, he returns from a bit of a break with a new EP, In The Moment, which also introduces a jazzier tone to his sound. The title track kicks things off with laid-back Mediterranean moods - gentle percussion, warm synth washes and jazzy keys tinkling away. Elsewhere "Hot To Trot" ups the tempo and adds shimmering arpeggios into the mix, "Embrace It" meanwhile embraces the live and loose funk bass and finally The Model reworks Hot To Trot into deep trance-tech.
Earlier this year, noted e-zine Ran$om Note launched their spin-off label with a rather tasty acid house 12" from the previously unheard Bawrut. Here, the two tracks from that 12" get the remix treatment. Perhaps the headline attraction is a pleasingly trippy, breadown-heavy interpretation of "Ciquita" from Moscoman, though Dan Beaumant and Posthuman's acid-laden reworks of the same cut are both arguably stronger. Nu-disco veterans Reverso 60 turn the same track into a Balearic acid shuffler, while the Days Of Being Wild remix of "1-2-3-4" is a woozy, Italo-fuelled bubbler full of robotic vocals, ricocheting drum machine hits and spacey pads.
Those who were following the fortunes of the Nordic Traxx label in the late '90s and early noughties may remember Gavin Froome. He was a regular contributor to the Canadian deep house imprint for many years, before disappearing from view in 2003. Don't Come Home marks his return after 13 years. "Don't Come Home" is as assured as you'd expect: a warm, rich and comforting chunk of hazy, sun-kissed deep house featuring a lusciously soulful vocal. The Revenge successfully draws out the original's subtle disco touches on a pair of Balearic-minded house re-rubs, while Froome's own remix of "Erupt The Quietus" is a soaring, evocative, string-drenched chunk of knee-trembling trip-hop soul.
St Petersburg may not exactly be a hotbed of disco, but it certainly has its' fare share of scalpel-wielding producers. Gradient Logic is amongst the most successful, with previous releases on Vintage Music, Disco Fruit and Rebel Hearts to their name. Here, they pop up on Ganbette with another solid selection of floor-friendly reworks. Highlights include the Jacksons-go-disco-house cheeriness of "Brand New Day" (which is also accompanied by a fine, Soundstream style Dub Mix), the purple-coloured "2Night" (a tweaked and rearranged version of Vanity6's sleazy, Prince produced "Nasty Girl"), and the blue-eyed '80s soul shuffle of "Why Do I Believe".
For its 4th release, Malka Tuti is welcoming J.A.K.A.M. to its ever-expanding family. Born in Tokyo Japan, J.A.K.A.M. has been been one of the leading figures developing the music scene in Japan from the early 90s as a DJ, producer and a band member. His wide variety of musical influences ranges from house, hip hop, drum&bass, techno, reggae, jazz, rock and world music. With combining these different styles of inspirations and tradition, he creates the most unique time and space on the dance floor, a kind of fusion of early tribal house (recording live instruments in the studio), world music with a pinch of shamanic spiritual vibes. On his ep for Malka Tuti he delivers 2 Original epic tunes, followed by a smokey dub version by Versatile Records boss Gilb'r and a total dance-floor smashing remix by Aussie prodigy - Dreems.
Teched-out house excursions delivered to you by the Shmlss duo here, courtesy of the Nein label from Germany. This material is more than capable of surpassing DJ tool use, and "Adriatic Swing", for instance, is full of enough wonder and sonic mystique to render it totally accessible to the listener as well as the dancer. The same goes for "4am At The Kebap Shop", a leftfield slice of subtle acid with a Balearic lift at its core, followed by the more progressive tones of "Trippy Forest". Remixes from Bawrut and William Earl twist these tracks onto new heights, the latter of which stands out in particular thanks to its rugged beat muscle and placid atmospherics. Lovely.
While he's yet to really taste international success, Disiac has been operating at the fringes of the bootleg mash-up scene since the tail end of the noughties. This five-track EP offers a showcase of his skills in melding elements from many different cuts into cheeky new, floor-friendly shapes. As ever with this kind of exercise, some tracks work a lot better than others. In this instance, we'd recommend "Give The Funk", where high octane rap vocals are expertly combined with elements from all manner of classic disco cuts, and "Hey You", which throws together Cream riffs, re-sung Rolling Stones vocals and one of disco's most famous horn lines.
Lavish gospel disco action from AOTN: longstanding gospel writer Calvin Bridges gets the 45 salute he deserves with two powerful 1978 flashbacks. Reminded by Floating Points just how relevant and timeless "The Power Of Your Love" sounds, AOTN bossman Fryer has licenced its vibrant, floor-shaking sermon with complete blessing from Bridges himself. "He's Alright", already a staple for Fryer for years, enjoys the coveted b-side status; with its big piano roll intro and gutsy gospel vocal, if there's a bad vibe in sight after dropping this then you're in the wrong job. Mighty.
Adjowa's house training began with an early release on Bristol's Happy Skull label and took further flight with a fine outing on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid Dubs division (remember that nutty Max D remix?). Adjowa now returns with some fresh flexes for Happy Skull and his sound seems to have shifted somewhat, going instead for a deep and intricate form of house with a psychedelic edge. "Heartstrung" is a lovely piece of trippy tribal house, while "Sylvie Always Goes In" has more in common with '80s boogie, and "Penny Black" strips everything down to some warm, summertime funk that could appeal to a whole variety of dance DJ's. Lively, positive and incandescent music for the soul.
Self-described as being 'a fancier label', O'rs is an imprint of Filbert (Leipzig) and Florian Seidel (Berlin). Here they present five breezy summer jams by Ranko. Looking to L.A. and vintage boogie for inspiration this EP is tailor-made for happy-go-lucky summer vibes. Some of our favourites include the azure-sky-surfing synth pads and squelchy funk of "Me & My Birds", the fuzzy, distant beats and dreamy voices of "Foreva We" and the muted g-funk grooves of "Glittering Beach". Perfectly chilled like a fine white wine.
Since the departure of Dominic Butler, Factory Floor's Gabriel Gurnsy and Nik Colk Void has consciously moved away from the Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire inspired sound with which they made their name. On 25 25, their third full length, they continue this voyage. While there are occasional reminders of their industrial roots dotted throughout the album, the most obvious influences this time round are acid house and no-nonsense European techno. Their tracks have always been subtly shifting, full-throttle, groove-based affairs, of course, but this time round they seem more intent on sound-tracking breathless, 4am dancefloor moments, rather than showcasing their arty, experimental roots. That all of the eight tracks bang hard is a given.
Sometimes the summer hits that shine brightest are the ones that arrive latest to the party. We may be deep into August now, but that hasn't stopped Cardiff's Pole Position from rustling up this sizzler, Josefine, the debut release from Sunth. In fact the name 'Sunth', presumably a fusion of 'sun' and 'synth', perfectly captures the sunkissed joy of this tune - all tropical percussion, warm chords, retro house bass lines and laid back synth washes. This is the sound of suncream and cocktails.
Mark Bailey recently adopted the Man 2.0 alias after building up a big following online for his productions under the Manmachine201 moniker. Interestingly, this is his debut single. His style - dark, moody, electronic disco with clear EBM and industrial influences, and a few psychedelic touches - is perfectly suited to Nein Records. Choose from two contrasting original productions: the sparse, acid-flecked, electroclash-influenced, late night wobble of "Are We Live?", and the distorted, "Crackdown"-era Cabaret Voltaire-meets-techno aggression of "Party In Your Spine". Dimitri Veimar and Bizzea both successfully remix that track, with the latter's trippy, stretched-out interpretation - ushered in by four minutes of near beatless build-up - being particularly alluring.
Fizzy boogie from Minneapolis circa 1982; Nobody cut through with a raw, energetic sound and countered with soothing, evocative soul that shimmers with their gospel roots. "I Saw You" sits somewhere between Prince and Rick James but polished with super freaky female front vocals, it's wholly unique and backs up the first pressing's pricetag of $500. "Heaven's Love" is the perfect counter with its emphatic harmonies and stately instrumentation. A serious timepiece from AOTN.
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HEION - In The Moment (ISM) - exclusive 26-08-2016
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