Following a recent dalliance with Brooklyn-based Razor 'N' Tape Reserve, COEO returns to the loving arms of Toy Tonics with another solid four-track excursion. Happily, they hit the ground running with the rushing positivity of "Mydonna", a bumpin' chunk of peak-time house goodness built around some superb disco samples and a bustling groove. The accompanying, "alternate cut" smartly emphasizes some of the original instrumentation, whilst adding some subtle swing to the disco-house drums. On the flip, you'll find the deep, smooth and sensual "Torrow", and the breezy, atmospheric, piano-laden shuffle of "Coast To Coast".
Long serving re-editor Sunner Soul is one of the disco scene's more reliable scalpel fiends, releasing regular doses of hazy, good-time grooves on the Vintage Music outlet he founded some years back. Further proof of his skills - and those of his label artists - can be found on this eighth expansive Vintage Music compilation. It gathers together a scintillating selection of reworks that veer from good-time disco smashers and groovy warm-up gems, to scorching disco-funk slammers and bouncy, sun-kissed shufflers. Happily, there's a mix of old-fashioned rearrangements and tooled-up reworks, with source material that's both well known and obscure.
For the latest release on his prolific Midnight Riot label, Yam Who has parachuted in special scalpel agents Disco Troopers. The all-action All Night Long EP is a perfect showcase of their style, which blends big disco samples and even larger beats with original electronic elements inspired by acid house and Italo-disco. The EP's headline attraction is undoubtedly opener "All Night Long", which underpins surging orchestral disco samples with heavy analogue bass and crunchy house beats. The strangely familiar "Eleven" sees them expertly blended druggy TB-303 motifs with spacey chords and Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, while "Howlin" is a fuzzy, cosmic disco vocal cut for dancefloors that like their grooves wavy and psychedelic.
As the rather functional title suggests, this EP gathers together some fresh remixes of tracks from Soul Clap's superb 2016 full-length, the similarly imaginatively titled Soul Clap. Deep house veterans Doc Martin and Blakkat step up first, laying down a chunky but trippy re-make of "Funk Bomb" that sounds a little like a classic track by The Beloved. The Jolly Mare version of "Future 4 Love" is an attractive fusion of rubbery dub disco grooves and thrusting Italo-disco influences, while Obas Nenor does a terrific job in re-casting Wolf+Lamb collaboration "Dirty Leslie" as a quirky chunk of Mungolian Jet Set style nu-disco eccentricity. If you're after something a little more slick and soulful, David Marston and Myles Karp's gentle, trumpet-laden version of "Numb" more than fits the bill.
Having sold out on vinyl at the tail end of 2016, it's heartening to see Pyschemagik's epic Ritual Chants compilation series finally appear on digital download. As the title suggests, Beach is the most laidback, loved-up and Balearic of the three collections, and contains all manner of weird, wonderful and evocative fare - most of which is suitably obscure and hard-to-find. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the reggae-goes-cosmic trip of Tony Wilson's "Hangin' Out In Space", and fuzzy, calypso-rock bounce of Adrian Gurvitz's "New World", to the eccentric Balearic disco shuffle of Amini's "Habibi" and quirky electro-boogie silliness of Danny Boy's "Discomix", a 1983 Dutch release that's guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of even the grumpiest dancers.
After years slaving away at house music's coalface, Red Rack'em is now big news. Given the runaway success of "Wonky Bassline Disco Banger", now seems an opportune moment for Danny Berman to release his second full-length under the alias. Predictably, Self Portrait is an assured, confident and hugely enjoyable set, effortlessly slipping between hazy house (check Rick Wade hook-up "The Music"), analogue-rich deep tech-house jams, loose, jazz-flecked workouts (the ace "Mad House"), disco-tinged fare ("Kos Mich"), and hard-to-describe weird-outs ("Sel", "You Used To Make Me Feel"). Naturally, it also includes fine versions of his 2016 anthem, and killer recent single "Tomato Pope".
Carlos "Carlo" Alvarez returns to Good Ratio Music for the first time since 2015, and this time he's got company. All three tracks on Intermission were co-produced by Black Loops, a Berlin-based Italian who has previously released solo material on Toy Tronics and Gruuv. All three cuts here are rich, loose and funk-fuelled, with the duo doing their best to combine carefully chosen disco and jazz-funk samples with their own beats and basslines. The real killer is arguably "Venerdi", in which swirling strings and clipped guitars ride a loose-but-bumpin' disco-house groove. If you're after something altogether deeper, check the clicking drum machine percussion, gentle chords and bubbly electronics of closer "Domenica".
Having previously released music on a swathe of highly regarded labels - Correspondant, Hivern Discs and Young Adults included - Marvin & Guy pops up on Munich's long running Permanent Vacation imprint. The Italian duo is in typically eccentric mood, serving up a quartet of cuts that seem keen to avoid easy categorization. Check, for example, the psychedelia meets Itallo-disco at the Cosmic Club vibes of "Theme From 'Fire! Fire!'", the baggy and Balearic-minded shuffle of vocal curio "Mother Nature Is Calling You", and the clandestine, high octane thrills of "Moreno", which sounds like the '88 version of The KLF's "What Time Is Love" after a session in Italy's sleaziest club.
Tronik Youth's Nein is the go-to label for anyone who loves punky alternative electronic dance music. The anti EDM label if ever there was one, here they bring us Inside The Outside by the Berlin-dwelling Pardon Moi (aka James Brook & Thomas Freudenthal). The title track is a hauntingly stunning cold wave lament in the vein of early 80s band New Musik. Low Manuel turn the tune into a minimal electro-pop ballad and Dombrance fleshes it out with beefy beats and synth pads. Meanwhile "Hot" is pure late 70s analogue electronics that's given a glammy electroclash makeover by Aida.
This debut from Dutch imprint Le Freund, produced by sometime Rhythm Section International producer Duke Hugh, won heaps of praise when it was recently released on vinyl. Thrillingly, this expanded digital download edition boasts four additional tracks. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the fireside-warm broken house/space boogie fusion of "Movin' On" and analogue deep house melodiousness of "Poly Valence", to the ultra-deep hypnotism of "I Got" and the poignant melancholy of "Awake Again". Awanto 3's epic remix of "Movin On" - a feast of delay-laden percussion hits, jaunty synth bass and loved-up chords - is also pretty darn hot.
The latest Norwegian talent to join the Full Pupp family is Laars, a producer previously known for his involvement with Norse disco band Tog. The two tracks showcased here neatly fit into the Scandolearic blueprint, with Laars layering rising, blissfully Balearic synthesizer melodies over a chugging, arpeggio-style groove on brilliant opener "None". He flips the script a little on "LYSaR", clustering fizzing, intergalactic electronics, deep space riffs and jammed-out Clavinet lines around a rolling, cowbell and bongo heavy rhythm track. Willy Nickerson handles remix duties, first serving up a loose, dense, druggy and pitched-down interpretation of "None", before turning "LYSaR" into a spacey chunk of Afro-disco madness.
The crew behind Rotten City Files is remaining tight-lipped about the identity of Nozz, the producer behind their latest druggy disco salvo. Thanks to a bit of detective work, we can confirm that he's a "mysterious French producer", and that Lost Memories is his first full EP. "Lost Memories I" is a kosmiche-informed nu-disco shuffler, while "Lost Memories II" is a slightly bolder take on the same psychedelic disco template. The accompanying remix package is particularly strong, too. We're rather enjoying the outer-space madness of Marco Dionigi's re-imagining of " Lost Memories I", although Sebastien Tex's throbbing, Italo-disco informed version of "Lost Memories II" is arguably a little more dancefloor-friendly.
Original pressings have been previously spotted passing hands for well over L1000: Big Apple Band's 1976 deep funk classic has been rarer than hen's teeth for most of its 41 year life. Its sought-after status accelerated by Keb Darge for last 15 or so years - that and the fact it's an out-and-out soul-stirring, honey-vocalled, low and slow funk burner - AOTN have finally unleashed it in it full length for all of us. And we should all be eternally grateful.
Horses Do It Better not only marks the debut of Manchester-based outfit Stranger Than Horses, but also Lagoon Recordings. As debuts go, it's quietly confident. There's something undeniably eccentric about opener "Walking In Harlem", which laces a quirky, druggy spoken word vocal ("if you will suffer my soul, I will lick your funky emotions" being a choice excerpt) over a warm groove that sits somewhere between Idjuts style dub disco and hazy deep house. "Peach Beach Disco" is a far more muscular affair that gleefully pays tribute to Giorgio Moroder, Patrick Cowley, and legions of sci-fi loving 1980s Italo-disco producers.
When it comes to crafting tasty, radio-friendly disco-pop, Luxxury is a true master. His productions bristle with authentic, disco-era instrumentation, slick vocals, and the kind of hooks that will worm their way into your subconscious and remain there for months afterwards. "Feel The Night", the Los Angeles-based producer's first single of 2017, ticks all of these boxes. It boasts a strong, sing-along chorus, sharp string stabs, and some killer instrumentation from his regular backing band (think rubbery electric bass, hustling Clavinet lines, rich synth chords, and so on). It would have been nice to see the original version accompanied by some tasty, club-friendly dubs and remixes, but they may follow at a later date.
Controller marks a welcome return to action for Andy Butler's Hercules & Love Affair project following a two-year break. This time round, the former DFA and Moshi Moshi man is joined by vocalist Faris Badwan, whose weary, emotion-rich vocals - backed by strong harmonies from un-credited vocalists - are a perfect foil for Butler's chunky backing track. This time round, the Berlin-based producer has doffed an oversized cap to proto-house and Italo-disco, whilst including nods to muscular Chicago house and sparse, synth-heavy electronic disco. It would have been nice to see some remixes and extended versions, but they may appear later. As it is, "Controller" is still impressive.
Bruno 'Patchworks' Hovart's first full-length under the Voilaa guise, the Afro-disco revivalism of 2015's On Tet L'avait Dit, was rather good, so hopes are naturally high for his forthcoming follow-up. This fine teaser EP gives a taste of things to come. It begins with the authentically groovy, floor-friendly tropical disco hustle of "African Music", where punchy horns, fuzzy synths and sing-along vocals ride a killer, bass-heavy groove. Those wanting a sweatier, more high tempo outing should check the steppy beats, Afro-Cuban guitars and rich bass of "Decalement" (which, handily, is available in both vocal and instrumental variations), while "Problems" is a slightly more spaced out, reggae-tinged Afro-disco shuffler.
Cosmic disco veteran Marco Diogini has been busy in the laboratory of late. Having conducted a series of Secret Experiments, he's keen to share them with the world via this solid EP on his Quantistic Division label. "Experiment Number One" is thrillingly alien and out-there, with warped vocals samples, strange electronic noises and outer-space melodies clustering around rock-solid drums and a throbbing synthesizer arpeggio. The similarly out there "Experiment Number 2" sounds like an unlikely fusion of dark Italo-disco, Yorkshire bleep and The X Files, while closer "Robozine" is a pitched-down chunk of electronic psychedelia that should appeal to all those who enjoy Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston's A Love From Outer Space parties.
Kraak & Smaak, despite what you'd think going by their name; are in fact a trio and hail from the town of Leiden, Netherlands: consisting of Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug. They've been at it since 2003 and their careers have gone from strength to strength; the bulk of their material devoted to this very imprint: Jalapeno out of Brighton UK that is also home to The Allergies, Skeewiff and Ian Britt. New single "Stumble" is a gorgeous serving of indie-dance-electronica featuring some bittersweet vocals atop and elevating chord progressions: an all round deep groove. Hit prediction right here!
Originally operating in the 80s industrial scene, Plus Instruments have recently found a new lease of life. (Emotional) Especial are just the kind of label to jump on such deviant club fare, and on this package "Love Is Enough" gets a variety of remixes that all embrace the groups seedy ambience. Richard Sen brings a muscular thrust to the track, while Khidja takes a more delicate approach. Luke Solomon meanwhile casts his years of experience in oddball house on his steady grooving version, and then Jamie Paton taps into the industrial vein to finish the package off in fine style.