You'd struggle to find a more passionate champion of the nu-disco and re-edits scene than Yam Who. His edit-focused Midnight Riot label does a great job in spotting and showcasing talent. Somewhat predictably, this eighth installment in the label's self-titled compilation series is another winner. It features some 31 tracks, plus a bonus mix from the Dead Rose Music Company, and bristles with the kind of floor-friendly material that blurs the boundaries between electrofunk, nu-disco, house, funk, soul and, of course, straight-up disco. Given the sheer scale of the collection, picking highlights is tough, but look out for some urgent boogie business from Rayko, a dose of spinetingling, sax-laden sweetness from Goldboy, and a live bass and vintage synthesizer rinse-out from Fran Deeper and James Rod.
The Chopshop juggernaut - driven by DJ Butcher - shows no signs of slowing down. Here we have Jammin, a bulging compilation express featuring 12 sizzlers by many label favourites. There's a lot to boogie to here, and it'll all get the job done, but the best include Alkalino's cheeky house remake of Prince's Get Off ("23 Positions"), Jayl Funk's sensuous electro-boogie bomb "Do It Baby" and Butcher's own rework of Rockwell's '80s office party fave "Somebody's Watching Me". Basically all your party worries will be sorted in one with this package!
Brand new nu-disco brand from Brazil, Mareh have already established themselves as sonic connoisseurs with their annual festivals, long before this debut release. NYC don Duncan takes the lead with a stately Italo-referencing groover that builds and builds with analogue insistency, twisting, turning and evolving throughout. Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco follow on a much funkier flex. A nagging synth hook, loopy guitars and a pertinent sense of disco insistency are all tied together with a bold swing and plenty of party panache. Mareh mercy!
Fingerman, label boss of Brighton's Hot Digits, has his finger on the pulse of nu-disco talent. Here he proves it again by snapping up Louisville-based (via UK) JP Source - a talent already in hot demand. On the Tap, Nod, Shake EP, he drops four smooth sizzlers, perfect for those fuzzy late night disco basement parties. Highlights include the funky sleepy grinder "Dub Soda", the dreamy elegance of "On The Take" and Fingerman's own dubby electro-disco take on Dub Soda.
Here we have the sophomore outing for Californian edit crew, Boogie Down, who specialise in sunkissed retro West Coast vibes. Keen to make up for lack of releases, they've jammed a whopping nine scalpel jobs on to this release. We've been grooving to the whole lot here at Juno HQ, but our faves include the minimal cowbell and clap-athon "Get Up", the dreamy Supremes teaser, "Hanging On" and the squelchy G-funk synth jam, "West Side". Dope.
This third anniversary package from the good people at Vehicle is a bumper packed compilation with a whopping 24 tracks! All are retweaked big pop hits, highlights of which being reworkings of boozy party anthems such as Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting", Duran Duran's "Notorious", Tom Jones' "Its Not Unusual" and (a particularly good electro-house reworking of) ELO's "Last Train To London".
Southampton's Evil Smarty has been collaborating with the likes of Bad Barbie recently, but here he's doing his own thing. He's been busy too, chopping up five choice cuts, highlights being the mantra-like 80s funk loops of "The One", the rough and raunchy disco pumper "Hotel" and the Gino Soccio-borrowing sultry grind of "Dancer".
Basel-based trio Alma Negra has enjoyed a productive 2014, with their remixes and reworks of little-known Haitian and African jams appearing on Highlife Edits and Sorfrito. Here they deliver their first EP - a superb collection of edits laden with voodoo drums, dense percussion and tribal intent. Opener "Mao Negra" is particularly potent, and features a solid - but subtle - house kick-drum below all manner of loose and energetic African percussion and traditional chants. The more uptempo "Messa" is, if anything, even heavier - check the rubbery bassline and woozy chanting - while "Tribal Echoes" is the sort of darkroom deep house/African rhythms hybrid that you'd expect to hear on Huntleys & Palmers. Spellbinding stuff.
For this latest missive from Wall Of Fame HQ, we see label stalwart Buggin' Out sharing the love with P Sol on a rare split release. The former is up first, reworking the Isley Brothers' legendary synth soul classic "Between The Sheets" on "All I Know", before delivering "Party Girl", another killer slice of '80s electro-boogie muscle. P-Sol on the other tackles Larry Levan's mighty "Hopscotch' on "Do It Again", before wrapping things up with the slow soul grind of "Sunshine".
Despite residing in sunny Greece, veteran disco DJ Leonidas (aka Alien Disco Sugar) is fully embracing the whole, er cold thing - Christmas releases with wolves and snow and stuff. There are four winter warmers on here "Learn How To Dance" kicks things off with an infectious 70s guitar and clavinet groove that should make learning easy, "SuperFunKey" is like what the title suggests - a roaring retro funk stomper, "Master Of The Game" takes a very Chic sounding slice of slick old New York sizzle and beefs it up just ever so slightly. Finally the title track wraps things up nicely with an orchestrated slo-mo head nodder.
Apparently, deep house producer Daso - famed for his outings on Connaisseur Recordings and Still Von Talent - has been looking for an outlet to release the disco side of his work for some time. Here, he finally gets that chance with an EP of shimmering, melodious nu-disco chuggers on Dikso. Opener "Tide Waves" is particularly beautiful, with smothering strings, twinkling keys and bubbling electronics riding a sun-kissed Balearic disco groove. "Cosmic Alone" doffs a cap to Italo whislt retaining Daso's deft nu-disco touch, while standout "Ride Tide" is a Scandolearic disco gem with definite hints of Diskjokke, Blakbelt Andersen and Magnus International. Best of all, though, is Daniel Solar and Andi De Luxe's voluptuous synth-house rework of "Tide Waves".
Sounding like a killer death move in an '80s 8-bit wrestling game, Dragon Suplex immediately fits right in with the Mullet aesthetic, even before we've heard the music. Speaking of which we get four retro tinged jams, just the way label boss Casio Social Club likes it. Highlights include the smooth but tough electro-house groover, "Something Something", the Shannon-esque "Playing With Me" and the vapour trail synth-washed "Proud".
2014 has been a vintage year for Melbourne music-makers, with Inskwel, Benny Badge, Andras Fox and Tornado Wallace all delivering killer releases. The latest Victoria producer to emerge from the shadows is Roland Tings, who returns to Internasjonal with his second EP for Prins Thomas's acclaimed label. "Devotion" kicks things off, layering bold riffs and glassy-eyed electronics over a chugging, 105 BPM Scandolearic groove. There's a touch more tropical humidity about virtual flipside "Pala", an eight-minute excursion that expertly layers Balearic electronics atop a killer bassline, jungle sound effects and dense, calypso-influenced nu-disco groove. It's this second track that really makes the EP, and suggests that there will be more to come from Roland Tings in 2015.
Inventive re-edit maestro Vida G has invented edgy scalpel jobs for a plethora of recognised nu-disco labels, and now he commandeers the latest installment of Katakana's long running Edits series. We get two tracks - "Nu Soul", which sees stoner G-funk vibes fused with hazy filtered disco samples (it also gets a speedy adrenaline boost via Maikon's mix), and the choppy cut-hop of "Supa Soul", which is also remixed - this time in a swooshy trip-hop style by Timewrap.
It's just over a year since the debut release by nu-disco imprint Editor's Kutz, and to mark the occasion here we get their fourth volume of re-edits. There's quite a few crackers here, including Sleazy McQueen's clap-n-cowbell groover "Let's Make Love Tonight", Jean Claude Gavri & VinylAddicted's Balearic disco rocker "Let's Play Around" and the dreamy Mediterranean shuffle of Lillo Carillo's rework of "Le Viole".
Perhaps the most striking thing about Tronik Youth's Control+S Edits series - aside from the undoubted quality of his re-rubs - is its unpredictability. Previous installments have variously doffed a cap to post-punk madness, new beat, EBM, synth-wave and forgotten disco-not-disco. Happily, this fifth volume continues this theme. Opener "Betty Spaghetti" sounds like a long-lost, new wave era proto-house gem (all tactile electronics, wonky drum machine rhythms and hedonistic vocals), while "Coco-Nutz" comes from the weirder end of the EBM/post-punk spectrum. As for Trans-India Express, it sounds like Bollywood producers fantasizing about an unlikely alliance between Kraftwerk, Patrick Adams and Bohannon. It's seriously strange, but also exceptionally good.
San Francisco's Tal M Klein may describe himself as an Irregular Disco Worker, but the truth is he's delivered impressive nu-disco ammunition on a pretty regular basis. Maybe he's being ironic with the name then, who knows, but there are four new cuts (one original, three remixes) here to get excited about - "Blindfolded" is a squelchy, meandering analogue ditty with serious 70s soundtrack vibes. The best remixes are Jad & The Ladyboys' stripped back Juan Maclean-esque nu-disco version and, best of all, Paradisko's otherworldly deep house jam.
Re-edit hero Midnight Surfer is back with one last installment in his acclaimed Club Edits series before the year draws to a close. This time round we get four new joints, all of which are leaking funk from any and every where; our favourites this time round including the almost gospel-like anthem "Uphill Peace of Mind" and Metropol's slinky flute and brass stabs workout, "Go Get It".
We're not sure what happened to York artist Alfa Flite's infamous bass twang (perhaps the strings snapped?), but it's nowhere to be found on "Spinnin". Instead what we get is the warm and reassuring Detroit Spinners classic "I'll Be Around", gently tweaked and beefed up for some good old party action.
Nu-disco fans now have an unexpected Christmas bonus in the form of this meeting of minds collaboration between Belgium's mighty Mugwump and Relish's DC Salas. As expected "Giallo" is a moody heavy breather that is clearly influenced by the legendary soundtracks of 1970s Italian giallo horror cinema. Soft Rocks step in to add some seriously amazing drama in their massive Flesh & Fantasy mix too. Lastly things on a stoner high end with killer Balearic chug-a-thon "Hinterland". Essential!