Starting as he means to go on, Judge Funk debuts on Midnight Riot with some serious dancefloor law-giving on this five track banger. It's all about the 80s, with the highlight tracks including: an expertly tweaked and extended version of Shelia E/Prince's A Love Bizarre ("Wildest Dreams"), the manic energy of Klymaxx's Meeting In The Ladies Room ("Wildest Dreams") and a discreet rejig of a rare SAW Balearic mix of Princess' Saying I'm Your Number One ("Close To You").
It would be fair to say that George Clinton and company have got great value out of Louie Vega on this expansive remix EP. Amazingly, the Masters at Work man has delivered no less than nine different versions of the veteran P-Funk outfit's "Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard On You", which now also features the slick vocal stylings of Kendrick Lamar. Vega has great fun blending his rolling, soulful house grooves with Lamar's vocals and Funkadelic's original P-funk instrumentation. Each of the mixes - however similar - offers something a little different (there are two different versions of the Nu Dub, with one featuring appearances from Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley on the horns, and another a more straight-up house interpretation), and there are also various instrumentals and radio edits if that's your thing.
Young Nottingham house sensation Philip George claims that he just wants to dance. He clearly likes to dance a lot, as this new track "Alone No More" (with pal Anton Powers) comes with a whopping 11 remixes to choose from! If you don't find something here to make you dance, well, we give up! The original is pure, radio-friendly commercial dance, with breathy needy vocals and an infectious Robin S-style melody. Remix highlights include Tom Zanetti & KO Kane's more underground electro-housier and Distant Light's choppy 2-stepper.
Having taken time out to establish his Interzona13 label - a job well done, all told - Tiago Miranda returns to DJ Kaos's Jolly Jams label for the first time since 2012. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there's plenty to enjoy on The Good Times Are Killing Me, with Miranda touching on a variety of sweltering, dancefloor-friendly styles. He begins with a heavy chunk of rolling disco revivalism, the action focusing on a killer clavinet line and some tasty percussion. The second track boasts more of a Balearic piano house feel, with additional disco percussion and breakdowns to accentuate the sunny moody. As for the B-side, it's a decidedly breezier affair, with Miranda expertly combining Latin-inspired drums, chiming melodies, and a (sampled) spoken word vocal from Doors front man Jim Morrison.
Californian duo Kairos (aka Eric Yandall and Sascha Nowlin) are literally smokin' right now with their unique take on bass music burning up dancefloors left, right and centre. Following on from fellow American producer Petey Clicks, they too release an EP on the ever-savvy Night Bass. "Hotfire" features four tracks that draw on a wide range of influences, including UK garage and wobble on "I Need You", party breaks on "Pivotal" and even good old fidget house on "Yesterday".
Mr Absolutt has gone deep into the glitzy world of mid-80s soul for his latest, the "Show Girls" EP. We get the intense, male/female duet "Serious", the title track's saucy tropical grind, big-drummed pounder "Superfine" and cheap n' cheerful Italo-disco on "Bad Boys".
West Yorkshire's self-labelled deep house super hero Flash Atkins is back on Paper Recordings with more sultry late night grooves that he's steadily built his reputation on in the last few years. The original mix of "Acid House Creator" is a brilliant nu disco jam that fans of Futureboogie and Retrofit will definitely dig. While the driving funky house of Ralph Myerz mix will definitely come in handy during the peak time slot. Tal M Klein's remix however is the real highlight here; African drumming soon gives way to epic 303 acid and dramatic strings on this low slung groove. Finally the "2 Million Beats Remix" gets back on the nu disco tip that fans of Full Pupp will dig.
Wolf & Lamb's own Slow Hands aka Ryan Cavanagh is back on the successful deep house label with a new cut, and a bunch of remixers, to boot. "I'll Find Me" is a delicate bit of house magic, almost Latin in its instrumentation and contains the most seductive vocals we've heard form the man, vocals that take the tune to almost pop levels. The first remix comes from masters Soul Clap, who turn things deeper and strip the arrangement of the majority of vocals; this is followed by an even deeper and moodier dub cut form the duo. Label heads Wolf + Lamb also turn in their own reinterpretation, more of an edit than a remix, and you also get a live version from Gold Town, perhaps the most memorable piece on here. Nice!
Spoiler alert: there are no Billy Ocean covers to be found here. There are however, three brazen and adventurous cuts from Australian whiz Xanga, each unique and with its own thing goin on. The opening title track is an ominous moodscape escalating in creepiness despite featuring Tarzan samples. Next up, "This Is The Way It Starts" begins with raw tribal drums and echoey vocals before launching into a badass ghetto track. Things then get a bit tripped-out on the slow and hazy "La Luz". Hotshot Nicola Cruz also remixes the title track into stunning dream-pop, a guaranteed hit.
Here Touch Sensitive revisit the sound of the 80s, an era when every Pizza Guy got lucky when delivering the Margheritas. Sounding like a homage to Tangerine Dream's famous Risky Business soundtrack, the track is a perfectly fluffy slice of infectious chillwave. Remix-wise, it's a hard fought battle between Fantastic Man's haunting trancer, I Cube's deep and luxurious dub and the raw, afterhours left-field vibes of Sage Caswell's rework.
This Norwegian duo has put out Eps on a number of respected underground labels like Conaisseur and Afro Art, but now they take a step into the dance music mainstream with the release of Running Lights on Skint. "Running Lights 2" is a wonderfully balmy deep house affair, its melodic hooks unfolding over a hypnotic, prowling bass. On "Running Lights IV", the pair opt for a tougher approach. While a similar, heads-down groove is at the heart of the arrangement, a squelchy, tripped out acid line gradually unravels, turning Of Norway's dreamy vision of deep house into a dystopian nightmare.
Ipswich based Paul Dobson is back under his own name having seen previous work receive approval from the likes of Ministry Of Sound, BBC and Kiss FM, This time he's all about slickly produced commercial house and he does this with much skill. "Thriller" marries big chart-house pianos, gospel vocals and huge breakdowns whilst the title track opts for epic orchestration with chunky tribal beats. "Warm Heart" on the other hand is all about rippling pools of synthetic emotion and electro-house thump, and finally "Can't Control" is a melodic, Ibiza-friendly warm-up joint.
Australian commercial house act Yolanda Be Cool know how to make a floor-filling anthem. Here we find their popular hit "Soul Makossa (Money)" receive even more remix treatments - there are a whopping ten versions included. No doubt there will be something for everyone, with some of our faves including the moody carnival riot of the Zed Bias' "Hypnotic" remix, DJ Kone & Marc Palacios' steamy tribal romper and Daras/Perez/Ferrer's raw electro-house belter.
Defunct cult house label MFF is coming back and to celebrate, they're releasing some rare versions of classic from the back catalogue. First up is label owners Luke Solomon and Justin Harris, aka Freaks, whose "The Man Who Lived Underground" track is reworked by the mighty Ricardo Villalobos into a 12 minute opus full of disturbed abstract beats and voices. Turner's "Been Out" is tweaked into a New Order-style pop-houser by Tuff City Kids and finally "Freaks" return with an unreleased 1999 edit of the sleazy body jacker "Instrument".
Brighton's Titeknots is a producer with an irreverent attitude to his rising popularity (he claims to be busy not working on his album). He surely is though, and here are two more examples of non-productivity - the super sophisticated production of the elegantly orchestrated "Buzzard Walk" and the warm, layered dream-house of "Lights Down, Move Closer".
Thought it impossible to manufacture sonic sunshine? Well you've clearly never encountered Tieks. This major label commercial house dude and vocalist pal, Dan Harkana have achieved the impossible on "Sunshine" by coming up with a sing-a-long piano house anthem so summery and feel good it will give you a tan by just looking at your screen when its playing.
This London DJ didn't leave his club roots behind when he left the capital for a new life Indonesia, oh no. He just took the party with him and to prove it, he presents us with his latest commercial banger, "Blow The Snow". It's got urban-tinged basslines, electro-house beats and also features an un-ironic 2 Unlimited-style rap by Jonjo, what's not to love?
Ramsey & Fen first gave us UKG classic "Love Bug" back in 1998. Now, they've revisited the tune to give it a spruce up. Lynsey Moore's re-recorded diva vocals are still as sassy as ever, and the 2-step beats have been swapped for bounce-house and synthpop melodies to boot! Grant Nelson's old skool speed garage version brings the cred and Fen himself delvers a groovier skip-house solo mix. Finally the original "Bump" mix is thrown in for good measure. A quality package.