Aroop Roy - London based soul boy 'of many dimensions' - has been pretty silent for nearly a year. Perhaps he just went on holiday in some exotic far-flung dimension, but he's back now, all guns blazing. Brazil Breakdown Part 2 features three spicy cuts of feverish retro Latin funk, all boasting irresistible beach party grooves and seductively catchy vocals.
Over the last few months Jalepeno have been carefully building the hype around their recent signing, West London soul sensation Alexia Coley. "Drive Me Wild" marks the final push before the big arrival of much anticipated album Keep The Faith. It's a rip-roaring lead single too - all swaggering brass sections, Stax records and vintage American sounding vocals. There's loads of remixes too, the best of which include Valique sumptuous house remix and Marcus Jakes's Ayia Napa-friendly retro garage dub.
After two years of blood, sweat and tears, Spanish re-edit producer Fernando "Nelue" Gomez is finally in a position to present to us his debut LP, "Both Sides". The first thing to notice about the record is that (in his own words) it's "100% original disco/funk/Balearic/soulful/house". There are 11 tracks in all, featuring guest appearances from the likes of Max Essa, Cavaliers Of Fun, Ribal Rayees, Angie Cervantes and Ryan Peel. Highlights include the sizzling electro-house of "Right Through You", the portentous space-disco of "Tired Of Your Lack Of Empathy" and the low key synthy Balearica of "John & Mary".
One listen to "Leh Go" and the listener would be forgiven for thinking that Summer was only starting, such is the sheer joy bursting out of the thing. The single is the follow up to their debut smash, "Tun Up", and with its delirious fusion of Trinidadian soca, tropical bass, lots of bonkers percussion and an irresistible vocal, it's bound to repeat the trick. There's a bevy of mixes too; highlights include: Herve's almost retro sounding fidget house banger, Jay Monetero's Euro party house version and Jus Now's very own drum assault, the "Thunderstorm mix".
As the title helpfully suggests, this excellent collection on Dennis 'Kaos' Kaun's Jolly Jams label gathers together some of the best remixes of his work. It's a simple concept, executed well, with Kaun selecting his personal favourites from the last decade. There's naturally plenty to enjoy, from the rip-snorting punk-funk-meets-dub-disco onslaught of Brennan Green and Sal P's version of "Cerebral" and Dr Dunks' dense, percussive, acid house-meets-disco interpretation of "Horny Morning Loop", to the hazy Balearic bliss of Elitechnique's classic rework of "Kosmicher Ruckenwind" (sadly, there was no room for Quiet Village's 23-minute remix of the same track). Throw in high-class versions from Tiago, Lexx and Arttu (the latter dropping a crusty chunk of skittering machine funk), and you've got an essential selection.
Bradley Carter and Chris Brown, aka Ruff Driverz, first released this vintage dance gem back in 1998 where it broke the top 20. Now (14 years later) "Deeper Love" is ripe for a 21st century makeover and Wideboys have been awarded the chief privilege. They've risen to the challenge, and there's eight new versions to choose from - certainly enough to ensure repeat chart success - including a storming retro speed garage VIP mix, Dank's pounding trancey electro-house blazer and Donaeo's deeper piano house workout.
The legendary Defected imprint continues its incredible pace with a remix EP of tech-house dons, The Black 80s. Joe Goddard provides the stunner here, transforming "Give Me Something" into a moody, spectral vocal house tune that'll penetrate your head faster than a bullet. Jullian Gomes, Overnite and Hollis P Monroe all have a go at the same track, each one bringing a different strand of 4/4 delight to the equation. Another whopper from the NY institution!
CR2 clearly sees big things in store for Jumpstar's "We Did Alright" with a huge remix package already in the pipeline. In the meantime we get the original, which features Ron Carroll, and its echo guitar-laden, synth washy sunset house at its finest.
After a string of freebies on Cold Busted, Russian duo Bar F6 step over to Timewarp associates Kraak with their first full EP. Three originals, two remixes, myriad vibes, A Photo Frame certainly establishes the duo's abilities with more clarity than anything they've done before; the title track is a sludgy, dubby gem that struts and breezes with star-gazing pensiveness, "Over & Over Again" is a choppier, jazzier sunshine vibe while "Dancefloor" sees the Russians in a slinkier, shimmering peaktime mode. Remix highlights include Quincy Jointz sultry swing on "Over & Over" and Jazz K Lipa's slick D&B repurpose of the title track. Those pianos!
Martin Brodin continues to sharpen his knife with unity and unicity on this release. Eschewing the usual beard-strokey obscurities and picking stone-cold classics is a dark art and only commendable when done as creatively as these twists on the Brothers In Rhythm classic. First up is Martin with a proper piano-slamming Balearic beauty. Next up is fellow Scando Jarle Brathen with a headier, late '90s tech-charged rendition. Both give an entirely new lease of life to a classic every raver will chow down on. Such a good feeling!
A cheeky one-tracker leaked ahead of the full EP later this year, UWB has scored quite the coup here; garage pioneer EL B has put down a timeless classic house groove and Damien Soul has complemented all its subtleties with a heartfelt (but not too over-the-top) vocal. The result is a late night excursion with robust low-end nuances and just the right level of emotive pull. Bring on the full EP!