It's become something of a cliche to point out Rayko's restless productivity, but it's nevertheless true that the Spanish producer does release rather a lot of material. To be fair to the Madrid man, this four-tracker for Midnight Riot is one of his stronger efforts. He begins with the life-affirming pianos and gospel vocals of "Hallelujah", before providing a sun-kissed re-dub of Fleetwood Mac's Balearic classic "Big Love" (here re-titled "Alone"). "That Sound" delivers an attractive blend of wiggly boogie synths, sharp riffs and fuzzy rock guitars, while "Get Loose" is a mostly instrumental re-recording of the Aleems' breakdance era electrofunk classic of the same name.
The Wah Wah 45s label is responsible for rescuing of the work of long forgotten Canadian/Haitian pianist, Henri-Pierre Noel. Both his 1979 debut Piano and its early 80s follow-up One More Step have been rediscovered and repressed by the label, and here we get a selection of cuts from the latter all reworked by the French producer The Reflex. There are four killer reworks here - the pumped up Afro-disco belter, "Funky Spider Dance", the boogie-up clavinet heavy take on "A Fifth Of Beethoven", the ramshackle island grooves of "Back Home...Sweet Home" and toughened up raw funk of "Diskette". Class.
For clubbers of a certain age Tonja Dantzler's "In And Out Of My Life" will bring a nostalgic tear to the eye, but the younger generations will enjoy hearing it for the first time thanks to Defected's decision to re-issue this 1993 house classic. Presented here is the almighty monster of the original AV8 mix, which is all multilayered diva vocals, raw 909 beats and a classic retro organ bassline, peerless dance music really. Also included is a newer edit of Armand Van Helden's remix by Shan & Gerd Janson and finally a contemporary, less raw deep house update by Dario D'Attis.
Cult boogie act The Layabouts first worked with vocalist Portia Monique on their Future Retro album and such was the chemistry between them, they reunited in 2013 for the positive anthem "Colours Of Love". Now 90s house veterans Mood II Swing have come on board to remix the track and the results are perfect. There are two different vocal mixes - the smooth and warm disco house of the main mix and the edgier piano house of the Swing "Alternative Vocal Mix". Also are two dubs of the latter, the real winner here being the trippy and deep Swing Dub.
When a compilation helps define a new sound, it often gets even more interesting when that style evolves into all kinds of weird and wonderful hybrids further down the line. Immoral's Future Bass series is at that point now with it's third instalment. There are 16 different musical excursions here, highlights of which include Matt Thomas' mercilessly hard slam-athon mix of Aaron Jackson's "Bubble Goose", DJ Jayms' sinister doom-bass reworking of Dr Dre's Next Episode "The Heist" and The Cook, The Thief's totally deranged techno-disco mash-up, "Lil' Black Book". Sounds like the scene has never been so fresh and diverse.
UK legend DJ Zinc making funky house? You better believe it! The man behind several anthems with the Ganja Kru and Try Playaz gives us the sexy dancefloor energy of "My Energy" featuring Alex Mills' soaring diva vocals and is testament to the guy's mojo. With this many years in the business he's capable of making hits of any style and expect to hear this one bringing down the house at a superclub near you soon!
Italian house duo Elio Alaia Aurelio Gallo are pretty stoked to already have had their track "Who Is He?" hyped on Traxsource Live by John Julius Knight. It's a sure sign that this thumping feelgood house reworking of a Bill Withers track is destined to be a club hit from the get go. Backed by a warm lolloping bassline, the tune boasts soothing soulful vocals and ominous trumpets that fuse together seamlessly.
The latest release on Hot Since 82's label comes from German duo Booka Shade. On this occasion, the pioneers of the 'trance house' sound turn the controls over to the remixers - with excellent results. French producer Olivier Mateu, aka Rodriguez Jr is best known for his releases on Mobilee and follows a similar approach to that work here. A pulsing, hypnotic groove and crisp drums provide the backdrop for a velvety vocal that rises like plumes of smoke over the arrangement. At the other end of the spectrum is the Denneyas ERD remix. More steely and driving, it still features evocative vocal lines like 'I tremble, you falter', but these breathy niceties are aligned to detuned but catchy hooks that recall Booka Shade's own sound.
Veteran New York producer Tommy Bones has been enjoying something of a renaissance of late, thanks largely to a string of EPs on Strictly Rhythm. Here, he returns to the re-born NYC imprint with two more tried-and-tested club jams. First up is "Aisha", a classic, Danny Tenaglia style basement bothering house jam full of atmospheric chords, undulating electronics, muscular bottom-end, and a suggestive female vocal. He flips the script on "T's Jazzy Joint", doffing a cap to NYC deep house pioneer Pal Joey and a swathe of New Jersey producers via bouncy beats, rich organs, eyes-closed synthesizer solos and a killer vibraphone line.
Perhaps as a taster of the variety of styles we might expect to hear on their forthcoming debut album, Infinity Ink (Ali Love and Luca Cazal) have followed up the rampant acid of Too Strong with a very different beast altogether. "How Do I Love You" is apparently their take on the Queen Latifah track of the near-same name "How Do I Love Thee"; in the hands of Love and Cazal it get turned into a future-bass-synth-soul-ballad propelled by a gentle bounce. It's the beguiling vocals of rising UK singer-songwriter Yasmin that make the track though.
Returning to Salted Records is honey voiced vocalist Lisa Shaw. Here she presents "I Can't See It", co-written and produced by Miguel Migs. The tunes is presented here in two very different incarnations. First up is the Miguel Miggs Vocal mix, which begins as deliciously deep and sultry late night disco house before sweeping into arpeggiated synthiness. The "Deluxe Dub" version meanwhile, gets grittier with some seriously dirty jackin' funk vibes added to the mix.
When Batongo first emerged a few years back, much was made about the mysterious producer's Euro-dance roots, and the fact that he'd produced a number of '90s hits' under an undisclosed alias. These days, most have forgotten these unlikely roots, choosing instead to celebrate his contemporary efforts. Certainly, you'll struggle to find anything more beguiling than "Say Yes", the breathtakingly simple piano-and-pleading vocal number that opens his latest EP. He's on more familiar dancefloor territory with the all-action, warts-and-all disco-house pump of "Ah Yes", though it's the dreamy intricacy of deep house closer "La Notte Dei Tempi" - all drawn-out ambient house build-ups, sampled radio chatter, jazz loops and fizzing beats - that really stands out.
German producer Tocadisco is currently celebrating his 20th year in the music biz. He has notched up 1000 remixes, seen his name on millions of record sales and has played all over the world. Despite all this though, he has only released three albums to date. Now he's back with LP number four and it features 12 brand new originals to check out. Highlights include the moody bass lines and clattering percussion of the low-slung "Wolves" (featuring DJ Roland Clark), the sinuous muscle of the deep and proggy "Collywobbles" and the peak time acid meltdown "One More Track".
There's a vaguely political slant to the latest Burlesque release, well socio-political at least. Duo Ohmyboy and Wollstein have paired up to deliver "Fuck Privacy", which the label claims is 'a remarkable statement that addresses the tension between transparency and privacy'. Whilst the jury is out on that one, we can agree that it's a sizzling slice of almost retro-sounding electro-house, complete with the kind of classic ascending/descending sing along bassline and white noise swooshes beloved of house DJs a decade ago. Berlin's Umami steal the show though with their atmospheric and deep robotic house rework.
Fans of Brett Easton Ellis classic American Psycho will recognise Dorsia as the famously exclusive restaurant that nobody could get into. This Dorsia however, makes house music that everybody can get into, no guest list required. Released on the mighty Southern Fried, "Chateau D'if" is this duo's most high profile release yet. Despite only boasting two tracks, the quality is strong with this one - the title track being a titanium-plated melodic house anthem (soulful vocals, infectious piano stabs, 4/4 beats) without ever straying into cheesy territory. The true star here though is the deeper "Anxious", which features lower, moodier melodies and evocative synth work. Sublime.
Italy's Traxx Underground are making the most of their exciting new signing, Siggatunez, by scheduling a three part release for their debut. Street Session Vol 1 gets things off to a good start too, featuring three deep jams - opener "From The Bottom" is the fastest track here, almost ten minutes of thumping house kicks, bouncing bass and warm jazzy loops," If" is soulful and laidback, propelled by a hazy groove and closer "Latenight Tale" is a silky blend of clean guitar and Fender Rhodes noodling. Here's to the next two instalments!
When it comes to house music, there's definitely an 'Israeli sound' and duo Jos & Eli have it nailed. Here they serve up a short one-tracker that, despite them having "Unlimited Options" at their disposal, sees them cut to the chase and deliver a warm repetitive bass line draped in deep silky atmospherics and propelled by simple propulsive beats. It basically conjures up images of balmy and mystical nights at the far end of the Mediterranean. Also included is a remix by Andrea Botelini, which adds a little electro fizz to the whole thing.
With a moniker that can be interpreted both as the loving practice of a vinyl junkie or just, well, the practise of another kind of junkie, Wipe The Needle like to play with audience expectations. Here though, they have produced a smooth, uplifting soulful house gem complete with the strong diva vocals of Michelle Weeks. Also supplied is a remix by Opolopo which gives the track some much-needed grit and bass, resulting in laser beam sounds and low end gurgles aplenty. Of the three incarnations of the mix here, our money's definitely on the dub version. Dancefloor mayhem guaranteed.