Nu-disco hero 80s Child has come a long way since Masterworks Vol 1, the inaugural release on his Masterworks label a year and a half ago. Now we have the follow-up and it reveals how the label's sound has grown. There are 26 sizzling bangers on board this time, boasting a million delirious dance floor moments. Highlights of which include the fizzy thump-funk of 80s Child's "Computerized", Peza's doomy analogue electro mash up "Filmed Message" and the smooth, synthetic boogie of "Much Too Much" by Deelicious.
Disco duo Yam Who? know a thing about re-edits, just take a listen to the endless back catalogue of their revered Midnight Riot label. Here they've recruited man about town Amp Fiddler, to rustle up an album's worth of scalpel jobs. There are 11 smooth gems here to groove to, some of our favourites including the meaty, meandering bassline and soulful vocals of "Superficial", the funky feminist clap-along "Steppin' (feat Dames Brown)" and the skippy garagey house anthem, "Funk Is Here To Stay". Sweet sounds.
Marc Romboy's esteemed tech house imprint has reached its 77th release? You bet! And it goes out all guns blazing this time around with a massive compilation with some great tracks, new and old, by the likes of Robert Babicz, Guy Mantzur, Wehbba and Stephan Bodzin. There are some pretty kick ass remixes on offer too by the likes of Adam Port, Adriatique, Nick Curly and Petar Dundov. Highlights? Head honcho Romboy's rendition of OCH's "Time Tourism", Ibadan boss Jerome Sydenham's ecstatic "Systematic Dub" and Technasia's druggy and tunnelling odyssey "Hold Me".
Nachtbraker's latest expansive EP for Heist Recordings - his first release of 2016 - boasts a host of hot, floor-friendly excursions. The EP's first two missives offer two distinctly different takes on disco-house - the throbbing sub-bass, extra percussion hits and early Daft Punk riffs of "Gotta Act To React", versus the smooth, classic disco-sampling loop-jam "Pollo Con Pollo" - before the woozy, drawn out "Intermezzlow" allows the Dutch producer to showcase the groovy, downtempo side to his work. The accompanying "Intermezzo" is a jazzy, percussive deep house variation on the same sun-kissed theme, while "Gotta Act To React (Float Mix)" re-casts the EP's opening tune as a hazy deep house bumper.
Like its' predecessors, the fifth installment in Freerange's ongoing 20th anniversary EP series contains some killer new cuts. Fittingly, it's label boss Jimpster who leads the charge, encouraging us to sway in the afternoon sunshine on the deep, tactile and woozy "Ceilings" (which also features evocative vocals from Laura Barrick). The water-side, alfresco dancing vibe is accentuated by Shur-I-Kan on "Beach Life", a hazy, wide-eyed trip into symphonic deep house territory that ranks amongst his finest productions to date. Elsewhere, Brian Ring melds Mascara-clad '80s new wave and early Chicago house on the fine "Love Taken Over", while Clavis layers dreamy marimba melodies on top of huggable deep house grooves on the delightful "Cydalise".
Even by Ilija Rudman's immaculate standards, "In Her Eyes" is something special. With the help of a spine-tingling vocal from soul man Andre Esput, Rudman has delivered a breathtakingly evocative chunk of stripped-back Chicago house. While it contains some of his usual aural trademarks - tactile synth bass, sparse production and simple, chiming melodies - it somehow feels extra special. Happily, remixer Charles Webster has stepped up to the challenge of reworking such a cracker, turning Rudman's sparse original into a dreamy, percussive, slowly-building chunk of eyes-closed deep house that brings back memories of his classic late '90s work as Presence.
Salsa was the first time that the world heard of Sven Vath and now on the 30th anniversary of its original release the Frankfurt DJ's label has reissued this mid-80s classic. Henrik Schwarz provides three reshapes; the first dub take fuses the original's quasi-mysterious synths and Vath's deadpan vocals with a snaking groove while his alternate remix is more electronic sounding and focuses on the Cocoon boss' rapping. There's also a radio edit from Schwarz which is led by a rolling steely rhythm and has a menacing EBM undercurrent. Roman Flugel's take is far slower and deeper. like one of his own acid house tracks pitched right down. And then there's the original - still a timeless paean to the mid 80s period when synth pop and proto-techno coalesced.
Talk about a transformation; former Minus mainstay and minimal stalwart Marc Houle goes from ping-pong beats and hiccuping rhythms to this deep, 80s-referencing house release. " Don't Want To Watch You Read" is a mesmerising affair, centred on a booming bass and featuring a mysterious vocal that is similar to the one that featured on Brian Kage's record on FXHE earlier this year. There is a reference to Houle's minimal past on the rushing sirens of the Golden Filter remix of "Read", but in the main this is a radical departure. The title track is a pulsing electronic disco affair, while the Red Axes remix of "Read" is an epic, EBM-fueled reshape.
A new EP by Frankfurt house hero Phillip Lauer is up next on Live At Robert Johnson. This is his first release in five years since the H.R. EP and let's not forget that great Live At Robert Johnson Volume 6 mix CD as well. The Tearsh EP features the retro emotive Summer of Love style groove of the title track, which you could imagine playing at a rave under the M5 motorway back in '89. "Antinat" continues on with the same knack for lovably cheesy 80's synth disco melodics which he explored with Fabrizio Mammarella on the Black Spuma project last year while "Jetdentist" takes things down a druggier nu-disco route more suited to the early hours. He saves the best for the last on the explosive hi-NRG stormer "Deass" which we admired in in all its camp ferocity!
Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Amsterdam-based Italian Marco Antonio Spaventi has been one of M>O>S Recordings' most reliable artists over the last three years, delivering a string of fine 12" singles for the acclaimed label. It's perhaps fitting, then, that his latest album - the Rome-born analogue obsessive's second in total - should come out on the Dutch imprint. Predictably, it's a hugely enjoyable set, with Spaventi utilizing a range of vintage synthesizers and drum machines on a series of explorations of classic deep house, Motor City techno, and the grey areas in between. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the deep space shuffle of "Luna Piena", the rising, piano-laden snappiness of "Titanic Moments", and the deep house/techno fusion of the wonderfully warm and hazy "Missing Sunlight".
Ever popular synth-pop duo, Pet Shop Boys, recently completed a successful residency at the Royal Opera House and one of the show's standout tracks was "Inner Sanctum" (from their most recent album, Super). Here in the wake of this spectacle Neil and Chris keep the party going by bunging out a remix of said anthem by none other than the mighty Carl Craig. The result is electro-fying - featuring seven minutes of pulsating Funky Town arpeggios. Its hiNRG trance that's okay to like, but as is typical with pop remixes, the vocals are retained which might put some potential admirers off.
Following on from releases from cosmic disco legend Danielle Baldelli, the latest EP on Nein comes from its owner, Tronik Youth. The title track is an infectious electronic disco groove with hints of muffled new wave vocals and an industrial rigidity to it. "Never Said, I Never Said" is slower and more pared back, as a droning groove and soaring synths crackle with electric energy. Nein has commissioned two producers to remix its boss; the first sees Cabaret Nocturne re-imagine "Never Said, I Never Said" as a sinister, stepping disco groove, while Jonathan Kusuma turns the title track into a hypnotic, sleek techno pulse.
Its 20 years of Jamie Odell aka Jimpster's revered deep house imprint and he's celebrating in great style with this 20 track compilation that demonstrates that business is as good as ever and they're testament to how much the label has remained relevant. The label head honcho himself appears of course; first with Luv Jam on the smooth and dubby "We Play Pads" and the sombre and emotive "Ceilings" featuring Laura Barrick. Other highlights include Bulgarian hardware maverick KiNK's "Roads", Detroit Swindle's fiercely bumpin' "Race Against The Machine" and Pittsburgh Track Authority's magnificent high tech soul jam "Oculus Sinister".
German house duo Hendrik Burkhard and Florian Kruse have become commonplace in Steve Bug's Poker Flat catalogue, and this seems to be firmly on-point given their deep and expansive brand of dance music. "Moments" sits somewhere between house and techno but it's more of a song with a beginning, middle and end, rather than a mere club jacker; "Black Moose", on the other hand, is darker and more punchy in its delivery and, by comparison, "Sirens" is the house pumper that can be mixed with pretty much anything you want. Effective and party-centric, as per usual.
Moderat should need no introduction should they? Riding on the success of their third album, the lead single "Running" has had a succession of absolutely brilliant remixes by the likes of Ostgut Ton maverick Shed, Bulgarian hardware freak KiNK and now it's the turn of Innervisions head honchos Ame who give the track a makeover that is effective in all its subtlety and restraint but has all the euphoric and soulful hallmarks of their signature sound.
De Fantastiske To are Ravi and Marius from Oslo, Norway who make feel good deep house vibes for fans of Arto Mwambe or Kollektiv Turmstrasse - like on the dreamy and melodic groove of "God Fallelse". The track gets a couple of kick ass remixes, such as by the likes of Yam Who? whose nu-disco odyssey ticks all the right boxes. But they save the best for last on the emotive high tech soul of "Ut Av Det BlA" which is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a Detroit freeway.
The latest release on Compost's offshoot imprint sees Dini make a return visit with two unusual house tracks. Produced in conjunction with Michael Reinboth and Beanfield, both compositions follow a distinct path. "Pouran" is more understated and less direct, as Dini teases out an off-beat rhythm punctuated by chimes and wooden percussion. In contrast, "Gohar" is sure to get all the DJ attention. Underpinned by a pulsing groove and powerful, purring bass, its veers unexpectedly into dramatic string sequences that makes the listener feel like they are being chased by a hit man down a dark alley. The fact that Dini doesn't miss a beat while all of this is happening makes it all the more impressive.
Over the last couple of years, Noo (a collaboration between Plastique De Reve man Christoph 'Daze' Deasen and Bangok Impact/Putsch '79 type Sami Liuski) has delivered a trio of killer 12" singles on Optimo Music's occasional Disco Plate series. This thrill-a-minute debut album gathers together tracks from those singles, plus a couple of previously unheard bits, and shows the duo - alongside a swathe of vocalists and musicians - cheerily joining the dots between string-laden New York disco, breakdance-era electro, boogie, Moroder-ish machine grooves, and hands-in-the-air piano house. It's a terrific set, all told, full of stretched-out floor-fillers, eyes-closed anthems, and life-affirming workouts.
Alan Abrahams delivers more splendid and spacey deep house from the future on "Say It's Going To Change" featuring his now trademark haunting vocals. Swiss high tech soul merchant Deetron gets on board for the remix which keeps on with the deep house side of things but gives it an equally advanced and futuristic aesthetic, using a completely insane processing of space delay that twists up your mind before the drop!