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Reviewed this week
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Mysterious SoundCloud sensation Dr Packer returns with the follow-up to his popular Surgery Edits EP. His style - taking classic and little known disco, boogie and '80s soul jams and giving them a smooth, dubby deep house makeover - is undeniably attractive, and sympathetic enough to the original material to get the crate-diggers onside. There's plenty to excite among the six tracks showcased here, from the synth-bass laden sweetness of "Gimme Your Loving" and deep, soulful disco-house outing "2 The Bank", to the slap bass-boasting headiness of "Snap Shot" - all delay-laden vocal hits and hazy guitar solos - and wide-eyed disco release of "Running", whose source material should be familiar to all but the most inexperienced disco DJs.
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Riding high on the buzz he has generated in the last twelve months, Max Graef delivers this album to Tartelet as a man very much in demand. His style, fuelled on the foundations of sampling funk and soul to a brilliantly modern end, has more space to breathe on this LP, but still the fundamentals remain. "Itzehoe" struts on a lazy jazzed-out sizzle of drums and beautiful Rhodes notes while "Tamboule Fudgefunk" punches its way through woozy synth work and a righteous beat and "Drums Of Death" struts on a perfect disco groove replete with live instrumentation, but there's a wealth of other tempos and styles all shot through with the homespun jazz charm that Graef has made his own of late.
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Ever since JD Twitch rebooted Optimo Music, it's been the irregular transmissions from Glasgow act Golden Teacher that has hit the spot each and every time. The amalgamation of two diverse bands from the city -noise punk outfit Ultimate Thrush and analogue house duo Silk Cut, Golden Teacher first emerged on Optimo Music early last year with a pretty apt description of sounding like "Arthur Russell's Dinosaur L jamming with Bobby O, K Alexi Shelby, Liaisons Dangereuses and Imagination, with some voodoo drummers and Sly & Robbie". Steadily building up a reputation for some riotous live performances, Golden Teacher are a class above because they manage to distill this energy into their recorded output too. Party People features three such examples, with A-side cut "Love" the kind of production that sufferers of LCD Soundsystem withdrawal will embrace and cherish for years to come.
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Edit fiends Basic Fingers usually reserve their tastiest material for the occasionally used Gold Finger offshoot. That's arguably the case here, as Deejaykul delivers a sumptuously deep and soulful house interpretation of the much-played "Feeling Good" (think Nina Simone, though this version has a delicious male vocal). The A-side DeejayKul meets Soultechnic Deepa mix is particularly potent, with intricate Latin percussion, smooth pads and sensual vocal riding an effortlessly sunny groove. There's a bit more vintage US garage on the other track, where the Classic Love Deep mix laces soft-focus chords and classic organs over a typically skippy groove. Impeccable stuff, all told.
$2.22
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Editorial's policy of giving their split EPs of edits and reworks a distinctive theme has always been a bit of a winner. Here, they return to the world of slo-mo, soul-flecked edits, with a quintet of sumptuous scalpel works for our delectation. 78 Edits impresses with the winding sax, horizontal bump and head-nodding grooves of "Meet Patti", while DJ Moar offers up a slinky, electric bass-driven ride into slow disco-house territory in the shape of the Rhodes-laden "King Bob". Hot Box and P-Sol both deliver heavily compressed, filter-sporting toe-tappers for those warm-up moments where you just want to get locked into the groove, while Jona Saucedo brilliantly combines dubbed-out modern soul vocals with an attractive loop from Fonda Rae's boogie classic "Touch Me".
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There's something pleasing about the no-nonsense approach of the Killer Funk Disco crew. Their edits cut straight to the chase, chopping, looping and tweaking the key passages - percussive breaks, grooves and choruses, mainly - of their excellent source material. They're in fine form on this fifth volume in the series, which originally dropped on vinyl a few years back. Variously you'll find a perfectly pitched re-cut of a classic dubwise cover of "Staying Alive" ("Sly & Robbie Disco"), horn-totin', hands-in-the-air disco-funk ("Rescue The Edit"), string-laden low-slung disco ("Is That A Firecracker In Your Pocket Harvey...") and a slap-bass sporting disco singalong ("Mmm, Tiger..."). All killer, no filler.
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The Giant Cuts crew have been keeping the boogie side of the disco fire burning with their Disco Boogie Classics series for over a year now, and on this essential release they reach their fifth volume. Once again the source material is a closely guarded secret, but whether it's the cowbell-heavy, Rhodes-led funk of "Dance (Move Ya Body)", the smooth licks and sweltering '80s production of "Jump To The Edit", the party starting vocal on "Feel It" or the deep down disco sleaze of standout track "Limited Search", there's something here for everyone to get their own disco dancefloors bumping.
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Colorado-based producer Funk Hunk has already built up quite a following on SoundCloud for his "buff" re-edits of '80s boogie and disco classics. Here, he makes his commercial debut on the amusingly titled Nude_isco label with four cheeky scalpel jobs. There's a sensual feel about his loopy, immersive re-cut of Billy Griffin's '80s soul jam "Serious", while Junior's "Not Tonight" gets impressively chopped and reworked in an '80s edit style. His rework of Barbara Fowler's stone cold classic "Come & Get My Loving" expertly emphasizes the original's excellent synths and singalong chorus, before he gets all Tiger & Woods (with a touch more vocal and extra filters) on Cheryl Lynn's long-forgotten 1981 track "I'm On Fire".
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Safe can be London slang for 'cool', or like on this comp's sleeve, it can mean solid (which might actually also be slang for 'cool') like an actual safe. Either which way, the re-edits here are cool. There are four bangers to choose from - all party funk with added 'I swear I know this' raps, all beefed up and filtered into next week. Guaranteed to leave the dancefloor dribbling, drooling and thoroughly loving it.
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Emotional Especial return with a release from Romanian duo Khidja that comes packing some excellent remixes from senor Fairplay and Juju & Jordash! Brought to the attention of EE thanks to Hardway Brother Sean Johnston, who returned from a Bucharest DJ gig singing the praises of two young DJs, Khidja's productions are as impressive as their selections on the evidence here. "Mustafa" is more immediate with shuffle percussion, swirling sirens and acid bubbles leading to a perfect horn break. In the hands of Mr Fairplay, the track takes on anthemic qualities; the stabbing bass and build have allegedly seen howls of appreciation when it's dropped at A Love From Outer Space. "Abdul" finds Khidja in a more calming mood reminiscent of Art of Noise, though the kick and bass ensure there is plenty of rhythmic emphasis, whilst the Juju & Jordash remix edges towards a Balearic digidub vibe.
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After a brief hiatus Mangled returns in with some Ray Mang versions of a song from Italian singer Mari (Marina Conti). Mari's album 'Gentle Beauty' produced together with singer songwriter Mozez (of Zero 7 fame) was released back in 2012 on Numen Records. Ray Mang took a shine to the second single 'Free' taking the Vocals and piano from the original and re-crafting it into a stellar piece of modern euphoric disco.
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Midnight Riot boss Yam Who? isn't one to rest on his laurels, nope he's always out hunting new talent and here he's bagged Jam Master for an eponymous debut on the nu-disco imprint. Over the five tracks supplied here, the overriding vibe is all about lounging in a neon-lit Miami Vice-era nightclub, albeit one more favoured by Tubbs than Crockett. Shimmering digital synth funk is the name of the game and it's a joy to behold, with the best largely instrumental bits of anonymous mid '80s electro-soul edited and looped into a deliriously glamorous haze. Slick.
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If you're looking for a bit of variety and a high quality threshold, this EP from the ever-reliable Legendary 1979 Orchestra should be right up your alley. Contrast, for example, the liquid, Afro-tinged deep house smoothness of "Gets Deep", with the slap bass-propelled deep disco of "Amsterdam Zest", or the rubbery Balearic-meets-electrofunk-meets-deep house groove of "Love is Everywhere". Best of all, though, is the Juno exclusive track "Big Man Dub", a delay-laden, organ-sporting chunk of bounciness that boasts a terrific vocal breakdown, subtle synth-strings and some decidedly bold synth riffs. Like the rest of the EP, it's perfectly pitched.
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We've all heard of suspension of disbelief, right? Well, on "Disco Show" Boogie Culture is all about the suspension of disco-belief: the suspension of those brief grooves of pleasure tucked deep within a good disco tune, but looped and teased out forever. Meanwhile on "The Bob Groove" we learn the joys of heavy breath beat and on "Live With It" we visit the southern land of soulful diva funk. Finally things are wrapped up with the warm and luxuriant "Wind & Fire". Roll up, roll up! Get your quality edits here!
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Chopshop's Undercover Operations imprint has tended to explore floor-friendly disco rubs and house dubs. However for this newie by Fatneck, the source material for these edits journey into poppier territory: "Sandy Haired Seppaku" takes the clenched-buttock cocaine-funk of Inxs' Suicide Blonde and loops it until you find yourself dancing on tables in some bar or other. Elsewhere the mighty Prince gets worked over twice: first on the sped up electro-pop of Controversy ("Purple Kerfuffle") and Lets Work which gets teased out into the eight minute long elastic funk jam "Let's Twerk".
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Gazeebo has always done a neat line in sparse, synth-heavy space disco. Here, the veteran producer continues in this vein with "Dark Lloyd", arguably one of his strongest releases for some time. With its stripped back analogue synthesizers, delay-laden production and hypnotic groove, it sounds like vintage Chicken Lips or Emperor Machine with a dash of mid-80s New York proto-house. Brilliantly, it also features a superb vocal breakdown, which adds a little surprise soulful flavour and adds a frisson of excitement. There's little to the track, but the sparse elements combine beautifully. Impressive stuff, all told.
$0.00
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For their latest foray into the world of house-friendly disco re-edits, the We Mean Disco crew have turned to Italian newcomers Blaxxsoul and Max 909. There's plenty to enjoy, from the head-nodding, looped-up grooves of the decidedly sweet Average White Band cut-up "Wasn't Your Friends" and baggy, synth-laden disco-funk grooves of "Party No Party", to the straight-up party funk of "Back To Old" and sensual bump of Barry White rework "Never Ever Gonna Give You Up". Best of all, though, is "City Lights (Pittbull Version)", an 11-minute, filter-laden re-cut of William Pitt's Balearic disco classic in a loopy midtempo disco-house style.
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With just the one cheekily titled release to his name, Matt Karmil may not be a name familiar to all, but the rising UK producer is one that you are likely to spot with increasing regularity as 2014 rolls on. Late next month, Karmil will grace the Popnoname label with a debut album and here he becomes the first UK correspondent on Tim Sweeney's ever prosperous Beats In Space label. Spend some time with the two tracks on So You Say and you'll wonder why you hadn't heard the name Matt Karmil before, as both are richly detailed house jams with the capacity to scoop up dancefloors and take them somewhere else entirely.
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From the awesome postmodern artwork to the post-punk avant disco rhythms featured on this release, you could easily be forgiven for assuming that Frank Agrario is some long lost kindred spirit to the likes of Talking Heads. But you'd be wrong; Mr Agrario is actually Italian producer Francesco Brini who is Swayzak's former percussionist. A few years ago he got bitten buy the disco bug and hasn't looked back since. Here we get two authentically early 80s cuts - "Fireworks" being a sweaty late night punk funk grind with sultry female vocals and a serious Kid Creole obsession, and "Sacramento", upping the tempo for a piano-led badass bass twister. Hot!
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Second time around for Henry Saiz and Pional's overlooked 2011 cut "Uroboros". The original - a loose, lazy, melodic, atmospheric and borderline Balearic foray into gently building organic house - has lost none of its magical, wide-eyed, sunset-friendly feel, and should be an essential purchase for those who like their house music gentle and left-of-centre. Permanent Vacation's vintage remix - a more obviously upbeat, nu-disco tinged effort - gets another deserved airing, too. Best of all, though, is Henry Saiz's previously unheard 'Live Take', which features a trio of new attractions: a killer organ line, pulsating synth bass and judicious use of drifting choral samples. It's like a modern version of Orbital's "Belfast", and there's no higher praise than that.
Exclusives
COSMOLOGIST, The - Cosmology Vol 3 (Under The Influence) - exclusive 28-04-2014
GOLDEN TEACHER - Party People (Optimo Music) - exclusive 21-04-2014
MARI - Free (The Ray Mang Versions) (Mangled) - exclusive 05-05-2014
Exclusives
AGRARIO, Frank - Sacramento (Tom Tom Disco) - exclusive 24-04-2014
GRIFFIN, Billy/JUNIOR/BARBARA FOWLER/CHERYL LYNN - Serious (Nude_isco) - exclusive 02-06-2014
MARICOPA - Pastel Love - Part Two (Back To The Balearics) - exclusive 30-04-2014
Chris Massey DJ Chart
YAM WHO? DJ Chart
Jam Master DJ Chart
Boozoo Bajou DJ Chart
Top Labels
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whiskey disco
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