Following on from their successful hook up with 2020 Vision, nu-disco heroes Crazy P have now joined forces with the Classic label (how has this not happened before?!) and here we get the "Truelight EP". Spacey retro soul balladry gives way to filthy cosmic funk on "One True Light" and "In My Hands" is nasty Padlock EP-style disco of the highest order. Hot Toddy (aka Chris Todd of Crazy P) remixes the latter into hypnotic acid and band co-founder Ron Basejam turns the former into chugging, sun-warped Balearic boogie.
Given his history in the disco re-edit scene, it's perhaps unsurprising that Michael Fichman's first EP for Soul Clap contains a couple of bona fide mirrorball treats. Chief amongst these is "Get it On (Bosq Remix)", a brilliant chunk of revivalist vocal disco full of authentic instrumentation, including Nile Rodgers style guitars, a fine walking bassline and on-point percussion. DJ Bruce provides two killer, gospel inspired revisions of the track, too: the pared-back, pianos-and-bongos vibe of the "Feeling Mix" and the stretched-put, organ heavy gospel disco roller that is the standout "On & On Mix". Fittingly, both make much of Amy Douglas's inspired vocal. Elsewhere, "Side of Life" is a preacher-sporting chunk of sunshine disco and "The Changer" joins the dots between chugging dub disco and throbbing Italo-disco.
It sounds like Moderna and Theus Mago have tapped into the zeitgeist on their latest release. In particular, the title track, with its rumbling bass and cold bleeps, provides a background for a woman singing 'your techno is misogynist", first in Spanish and then in English. Hopefully it'll serve to get more labels, DJs and artists to grapple with this important issue. Elsewhere, the pair deliver a grinding, noisy workout on "Francesca (Wild at Heart)" , while they opt for a different approach on "Can You Se Her". Tripped out and stripped back, its druggy vocals and intergalactic sounds make for an inspired, unusual track.
With its flowering piano motifs, hazy chord progressions, African-influenced percussion, soulful Jinadu vocals and blissful, midtempo deep house vibe, "The Sun Comes Up" is not only one of Jimpster's most evocative releases in years, but also the undoubted highlight of the Freerange co-founder's recent album, Silent Stars. This deserved single release not only contains the peerless original version, but also a pleasingly wide-eyed, early house-meets-modern-deep house "6AM Mix" by Peggy Gou. Elsewhere, there's another airing for the warm and woozy, similarly Afro-influenced "Silent Stars" and a fluid, broken house revision of "Where You Are" by Steve Urulu. Essential stuff, all told.
Turkey's Ali Kuru specialises in slow, textured and deep beats with sultry, exotic overtones. His forthcoming LP "Egzotik" has elements of the type of noirish Mediterranean vibes peddled by Guy Gerber or David August. Here we have a selection of remixes of mainly album tracks. First up Italian cosmic legend Daniele Baldelli and Dario Piana team up for a killer electronic body music remix of "Ashoka". Next, Craig Bratley delivers a moody, minimal rework of "Zurna", "Return To Paradise" is turned into a traditional clippety-clop clap-along by Nicola Cruz and lastly "Lost Bedouin", reworked by Peter Power, recalls a million 90s chillout rooms.
Salon Des Amateurs' Bufiman makes his Dekmantel debut with two left-of-centre, broken beat mind-melters. "Peace Moves" is a lo-fi, almost sludgy dive into a synth swamp where flurries of cosmic synth licks swoon and tease above your heard. "Graffiti Moves" takes an even trippier twist over a similarly low-and-slow drum arrangement but with added sparkling percussion. Throw in two cutlass-sharp versions of and you've got yourself a watertight declaration of peace. Absurdly on-point as always from Dekmantel.
The earlier editions of the Beach Diggin' series were released in the depths of winter, but this new fifth instalment continues to buck the trend by appearing at the height of summer. Ibiza veterans Mambo & Guts are once again at the helm, providing us with 13 more 'perfect soundtracks for a lazy day at the beach' (there's also a 40 min mix too!). Highlights include the squelchy electronic funk of Raphael Toine's "Femmes Pays Douces", the sleek Italo-disco/Balearica of Andre-Marie Tala's "Sweet Dole" and the Rebles' impossibly tropical soca cover of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo".
Last year, Gentleman's Dub Club member Nick Tyson tickled the fancy of many serious selectors with two fine EPs under the Xoa alias. Both brilliantly blurred the boundaries between Afrobeat, electronica, deep house and a myriad of other classic and contemporary genres, with Tyson skillfully combining choice samples and organic instrumentation. Happily, he's at it again here, delivering another two hard-to-pigeonhole treats. We're particularly enjoying the fluttering flutes, sampled vocals, vintage synths and Tony Allen style beats of "Mass", though the hazy Afro-soul of "Mon Ecole" is almost as impressive. The accompanying remixes are tasty, too, with Glenn Astro's two-part rework of "Mon Ecole" (a spine-tingling beat-less intro followed by a wonderfully jazzy deep house rub) just edging out Ben Hauke's sumptuous remix of "Mass".
Ali Kuru took a decision some years ago not to seek publicity, preferring instead to let his music speak for itself. Egzotik, his long awaited debut album, seems to have a fair few stories to tell. Smothered in evocative field recordings made around his home city of Istanbul, the album is notable for fusing exotic Persian instrumentation with grooves and sounds more readily associated with cosmic disco, krautrock, dub, Balearica and Detroit beatdown. On paper, it's an unusual combination that should sound forced or contrived. In reality, it's a brilliant example of an artist with a singular artistic vision achieving his goals. Put it this way: it's amongst the most inspired and enjoyable debut albums we've heard this year.
In Flagranti have carved their own niche in dance music since back in the Electroclash days. This is due to their sexually charged analogue disco-funk style and sound. Here they rustle up "The Camelwalk" for Codek, a tune that sounds like a frisky Red Axes doing the soundtrack for a 70s porno with help from Bobby Konders (lots of flute!). Rayko's "Spiritual Wiri mix" features tough 4/4 drums, bass twangs, ascending arpeggios and yes, those flutes again. Inigo Vontier's mix revisits deepest, crackliest 80s Chicago and there also some cool retro beats featured in the bonus dub mix too.
Fresh from a much-charted EP on Hot Digits, Dawn Again re-emerges from the Melbourne disco scene to deliver a fine EP on Wonder Stories. The producer's naturally instinct is to keep things woozy, hazy and mid-tempo, mixing colourful nu-disco synths with a laidback, Balearic sensibility. This head-in-the-clouds vibe can be heard on both opener "Pyramid Scheme" (easily the EP's standout moment) and "Dharamsala", where a rising and falling bassline wraps itself around a densely layered drum track and exotic Indian instrumentation. Elsewhere, "432 Evergeen" is dark, moody and chugging, while Lawrence Lee Control re-imagines "Pyramid Scheme" as a stab-heavy slab of rave-era house madness.
Brooklyn's nu-disco hero Aimes (aka Aman Elli) has delivered plenty of hot dancefloor jams for labels like Wonder Stories and here he is with another, "Smiling Faces" on Spa In Disco. His original mix is a really slick slice of sunset boogie, with driving punk-funk bass and catchy vocal refrains. First up on remix duty is Rayko who adds a more melodic bassline to the mix, resulting in a cool joint that echoes early Noughties electro-disco. Elsewhere Mordisco turns in some excellent moody tech-house with lashings of pan pipes and lastly Alex Malos delivers a reliable and sturdy disco-house rework.
Babert is the latest in a long line of re-editors and remixers who think nothing of putting out a steady stream of single-track releases. We've lost count of the number of these he's put out since first surfacing a few years back, but we do know that "Fly Up To The Sky" is the fifth this year. There's no denying that it's something of a muscular dancefloor treat, with Babert wrapping a relentless electronic bassline and crunchy drum hits in bouncy piano riffs, fizzing electronics and sampled strings and vocals. The latter element is expertly teased in before soaring skywards as the track reaches its sweaty zenith.
Back in the 90s, two fresh faced young DJs Seamus Haji (Big Love) and Aydin (ATFC) met whilst working together at Uptown Records in London (with an even younger Tim Deluxe). The rest as they say, is history. They've not collaborated in ages, so now is as good a time as any to put that right. The Club mix, "Confess" delivers what the pair do best - slammin', chunky, hands-in-the-air diva house that's all about the joy. The original version, based on an old demo of theirs, is less house, and more of a pure disco jam. Good times!
Early 2016, Ashley "Arthur Jr" Stevenson debuted a new alias, The Last Trip To Gandahar, by contributing a track to the In House EP on City Fly (a label he co-founded many years back). This four-track outing is the project's first full outing, and also marks the debut of Washington DC-based label Better Listen. It's a confident and fun-packed affair, with Stevenson delivering tracks that sit somewhere between house-friendly re-edits, and sample-heavy original productions. As you'd probably expect, all four cuts are warm and groovy, making excellent use of elements of soul-soaked disco and jazz-funk tracks. It's all impeccably playable, with the flute-laden "Over Paradise" and righteous "Profound Experience" being our picks.
It's time to welcome back Spanish nu-disco veteran Ilya Santana, who has been missing in action, presumed DJing, for the best part of two years. As comebacks go, "Electric Mind" is pretty darn good. Underpinned by druggy, Italo-disco style arpeggio lines and squeezable synth-bass, the slo-mo shuffler's best asset is undoubtedly the wild variety of vintage synthesizer lines that Santana smartly layers on top. The remixes are rather tasty, too. There's a decidedly Baldelli-esque, guitar-laden "Cosmic Western" remix from Rare Wiri boss man Rayko, while label regular James Rod pushes up the tempo and emphasizes Santana's Italo-disco influences on his dancefloor-friendly revision.
Dr!ve may once have been a member of award-winning hip-hop group 6er Gaucho, but these days he's far more interested in disco and, in particular, electrofunk. "Down & Out" is a cheery number full of authentic boogie synths, crunchy clipped guitars, tasty P-funk flourishes and a fine vocal from the man himself. The accompanying remixes also hit the spot with Aux Tha Masterfader channeling the spirit of Break Machine on his synth bass and Fairlight stab-propelled "Breakdance Mix", before Dctr drops two synth-heavy nu-disco rubs. Bonus cut "The Party" - a vocoder-laden stroll through P-funk flavoured nu-disco pastures - is also pretty nifty.
Emotional Rescue's love affair with Dancefloor Records continues apace as they turn their attention to the staggeringly futuristic freestyle of Shavonne. Like much dance music of the era, Shavonne was something of a shortlived talent, but the production on "So, Tell Me, Tell Me" is next level for the original release date of 1989. On the "Clubhouse Mix" there are all kinds of classic rave samples knocking about in the mix while the "Trance Mix" pares things down to a sensual core, but it's in fact the bombast of the original "Vocal Mix" that really catches the ear. With it's pitched up vocals and nimble 808 beat programming it could easily align with Rustie and the like.
Following a loan move to Dirt Crew, Harry Wolfman returns to longtime home House of Disco. Happily, there's much to enjoy on the producer's first outing for the London label in two years. He begins with the smiling warmth of "Epiphany 5", a rolling chunk of P-Funk-meets-disco-house fusion full of whizzing synth lines, rubbery synth bass and jammed-out keys. "Y'Sul's Ball" sees him jog into bouncy disco-funk edit territory - think sweaty, live-sounding percussion, sweet jazz-funk flourishes and hard-pressed horn lines - while "Ulbis" doffs a cap towards the likes of Chaos in the CBD and Mall Grab via a dusty, jazz-fired deep house workout.
San Francisco's Roam Recordings have been championed by the likes of Eric Duncan, Timo Maas, Marquis Hawkes and Tale Of Us. Their new one comes courtesy of Neil Parnell aka Tronik Youth, who many of you may know as label boss of electro-indie dance imprint Nein Records: which he co-runs with with father and son team Ian and Jonah Considine. "Tunnel Of Hate" is darkwave Italo for smoke filled basement parties full of nu-New Romantics. The remix up next by Rigipolar further displays the burgeoning talent emerging from Mexico City and this young gun shows real promise on his brooding and atmospheric take that focuses more on the Italo side. "Insecticide" is a grating and snarling EBM slow burner to really turn the heat up later in the evening and it too comes with some killer renditions: but it's all about French legend The Hacker who delivers the real highlight on this neon-lit electro noir journey.