Having built up his reputation via a series of well-regarded re-edit releases, Australian producer Greg Packer has recently impressed with EPs of original music on Hotbox Boogie and Hot Digits. Here he returns to the latter with the expansive Diagnosis: Disco, a collection of tracks that expertly joins the dots between warm disco and slinky deep house. Highlights are plentiful, from the baggy, filter-heavy '80s soul shuffle of "Enuff Love" and the spiralling, near Balearic rush of "Hypnotizing", to the energetic throb of the gloriously synth-laden "Keep Doin' What You're Doin". Label boss Fingerman has a pop at remixing lead cut "Trip To The Galaxy", layering Packer's warm original elements with twinkling pianos, delay-laden vocal snippets and immersive deep house chords.
Manchester's label/clubnight combo El Diablo has a knack for releasing some pretty heavyweight edits, but this eighth installment of its To Rack & Ruin series really ups the ante. With DJ Rocca teaming up with N2B, we are treated to four precision scalpel jobs, all of which really tease out the bassy loops. Highlights include seven minute opener "Get Up" - a dubby odyssey into misty lands of shuffly beats, incessant basslines and wah-wah guitar aplenty. Also the suspended tension of Balearic mind-trip "Weird Safari" and the '80s slap bass aerobics of "Mr Rossi's Backpain" are worth checking out.
Given the quality of Session Victim's 2012 debut album, Haunted House of House, expectations are naturally high for this follow-up. Like its predecessor, See You When You Get There takes a widescreen approach to deep house, with the German duo drawing on a myriad of influences, from jazz ("Hey Stranger"), soundtracks ("Crystal Maze") and evocative downtempo beats (the impeccable title track), to Atmosfear-ish jazz-funk ("The Most Beautiful Divorce In The World") and, most notably, classic Balearica (see the druggy pop of "Hyuwee" and deliciously slow "EOS Place". Best of all, though, is "Never Forget", a glorious blues-house epic laden with smoky vocal samples and thrilling piano motifs.
Solid Fool is one of those pesky "mystery artists" that are so prevalent these days - a well-regarded Austrian producer who wishes to remain nameless. Here Comes The Sun marks his debut for Yam Who's Midnight Riot imprint. His style neatly sidesteps easy categorization, utilising classic (and obscure) disco, funk, soul and electrofunk samples alongside nu-disco synths and weighty deep house grooves. It's a formula that guarantees fun-times and funk aplenty. Opener "Here Comes The Sun" is particularly good - a bumpy, thrill-a-minute fusion of P-funk bottom end, shimmering synths and vocals lifted from a classic cover of the well-known Beatles record. Elsewhere, "Lone Gone" is a delicious, toe-tapping head-nodder that adds a reggae swing to a killer disco groove, while the epic "Lovechild" is a 12-minute exercise in slowly building disco release.
Whilst the other acts on the Digital Wax label have soared ahead putting out EP after EP, the mysterious Midnight Surfer has been content to lurk in the shadows, quietly releasing new installments in his acclaimed Club Edits series. Here we have the third installment and it boasts four feverishly reworked rare disco joints. Highlights include Isaac Hayes' slinky romantic ramble "That Loving Feeling" and the catchy Bee Gees-style jam of T Con's "Let's Do It Today".
Originally featured as a straight up, Loose Ends-style cover of Dennis Edwards/Siedah Garrett's 1984 glistening tropical soul hit, here we get some killer new mixes of "Don't Look Any Further". First up, Hot Toddy delivers some infectious, late night trippy disco-funk (even more spacey in its dub form). Peter O, meanwhile, produces a beguiling slice of warped, palm tree synth-pop and I Said No serve up some eccentric soul-pop vibes.
We're not sure where DJ Butcher keeps finding these rare and juicy joints to carve up for his Chopshop, but find them he does! His latest missive is "We Feeling Good" and totally upbeat beat slice of late '70s block rockin' disco-rap from the era of Sugarhill Records. Instrumentals and acapella versions are also supplied for maximum fun.
Label boss Valique takes a back seat for the latest Vehicle release, instead shining the spotlight on Serbian DJ/"walking encyclopedia of soul, funk, disco and jazz music" Funky Junkie, and London's Arcadion. Having bonded over a fondness for long lost ex-Yugoslavian music, the pair decided to compile a series of compilations of such gems, tweaked and edited for the 21st century, and "Ex-Yu Edits Vol 1" is the impressive first volume in the series.
For his latest release, Lord Funk shifts his amorous intentions from his hometown Paris towards the slightly less glamourous London. Judging by the soft focus affection all over these retro funk tracks he's definitely smitten with the capital, but the sound is firmly rooted in early '80s America. Highlights include the stark electro-disco of "It Turn Me On", the shimmering silk sheet digi-funk workout "Piccadilly Circus" and The Odyssey-esque dry-ice grind of "London Town".
The scarily prolific KS French - France's most productive maker of house-friendly disco re-edits - returns with the third instalment of his ongoing Super Groove series. As usual, there's plenty to tickle the fancy of those looking for tried-and-tested, club-friendly interpretations of classic and little-known cuts. "B Rappin" does an impressive job of tweaking Blondie's "Rapture" - working the groove hard and abandoning most of the vocals - while the standout "See My Baby" offers an addictive interpretation of a familiar, low-slung disco-funk groover. Elsewhere, check the celebratory horns, hustling groove and thrilling vocals of "My Music". While KS French has added his usual metronomic house beats, it's deftly done.
Historically Samurais were a pretty tough bunch - really tough - so you shouldn't name your record after them unless you're pretty hard. Thankfully Swifft Edits bring the muscle here, with four nuggets, all solid enough to crack a tooth on. Seemingly all sourced in Japan, P&C's "Superstar" is lilting Euro-disco of the melancholy kind, Minachan's "Light It Up" is flute-laden Loveboat funk, whilst Akko's "Doshaburi" is all about the breaky organ-led '60s grooves and Tabo's "4am" is a vocally layered sojourn through rainy late night Tokyo backstreets.
A relative newcomer on the re-edit scene, La Tuerie now finds himself getting another boost with a release on Disco Tech's DiscoDat imprint. He's come up with the goods too, rustling up four tough but tasty nuggets of disco-house. Highlights include the lazy jazz funk loops of "Fall", the slow-slam of ecstasy houser "Love X Love" and the deep garage of "Back For More".
Famed across the country throughout the '90s as one of the first promoters to import big US house DJs, Hard Times' relaunch has been a refreshing reminder of house music's heritage and longstanding influence beyond the current cookie-cutter deep house bubbles. For its second release it takes us back to 1996 with eight different remixes of Karen Pollard's criminally overlooked classic. Each version slaps, but highlights include the grunting bass rumbles of Mineo's mix, the tunnelling sub drone of Mat Playford's mix and the rising refrain of the bass hook on Spen and Soulfuledge's mix.
Two slick, sweet disco funk edits from Jimmy The Twin's Boogie Cafe imprint. Afro Pancake takes "Nothing To It" and embraces every shimmering slap bass wobble while Jimmy takes "Crazy Glue" and twists the whole emphasis onto the slippery synth boogie bass and purring vocals. Guaranteed to massage your dance into submission, speedy attention is imperative. Don't touch that dial, don't turn away!
Having recently impressed with the superb "Flash" on Craig Bratley's admirable Magic Feet label, Rich Lane returns to his Cotton Bud imprint with "New Best Friend", a bubbling chunk of new beat-inspired nu-disco. The original version laces a wonky, pitched-down spoken word vocal over sharp synths, bubbly electronics and a bassline that's reminiscent of some of Chicken Lips' classic productions on Kingsize. It's a kind of hymn to the joys of dancing with strangers, which is no bad thing. There's an alternative Instrumental included, too, which sounds even more like Chicken Lips jamming with the Confettis in Ghent, circa 1989.
Germany's Soultronic has always delivered unique, smooth-but-raw productions and the Soul On Fire EP is no different. Over three expertly tweaked edits we get the '80s digi-soul referencing dream-beat of "I Want You", the French touch thump of the joyous "Soul On Fire" and the disco mayhem of "I Learned The Hard Way".
Doctor Music recently released his Party Has Just Begun album on Timewarp, but this restless disco soul has already returned to his Katakana Edits series, releasing this, the 20th installment! "The Real Thing" is a slice of feelgood quality disco with an amazing, totally liquid bassline and golden honeyed (largely) female vocals. Looks like we'll be playing this one for months!
Social Assassin first appeared nearly a year ago as a B-side on a single by this Argentine producer, and now it's back in remixed form (actually in six remixed forms to be precise). There's a variety of approaches taken here, our faves being Mijo aka La Royal's pulsating Italo disco version, Fernando's depressed Moroder take and Did Virgo's super slow body music grinder. Great tune, great to have it back!
The productive Milos Djordevic once again dons the Tonbe alias for his seventh EP of 2014. Like many of his singles, the Forgotten EP sees the Serb join the dots between disco, house, soul and boogie with the assistance of some killer samples and more than one eye on the dancefloor. The real killer here is "Without Action", a swinging, bumpin' house jam that makes great use of a driving but rubbery boogie bassline and crunchy funk guitars. There's more of a classic disco feel to the sweltering grooves, compressed bass, deep house chords and clipped guitars of "After Vision", while "Expectation" layers deliciously tactile P-funk synths over a dreamy, evocative deep house groove.
Casual Connection shouldn't be a new name to those who pay close attention to the international re-edit scene; his debut EP Sugar - released in October on DiscoDat - delivered a range of sacharrine-sweet reworks of '70s and '80s gems with a solid dancefloor focus. Here, the Perth-based producer appears on York's Alpaca Edits with "Your Wish", a sprawling tribute to an '80s soul classic that makes much of the original's chiming melodies, popping drum machine percussion and yearning vocal. The addition of some decidedly cosmic electronics and a stretched-out groove works wonderfully, making "Your Wish" something of a surprise gem. If you enjoy the sugary-sweet taste of '80s soul and R&B, this should be an essential purchase.