ISM Records' two Futurism EPs have proved so popular that label boss Yam Who has decided to use them as the inspiration for an expansive compilation of previously unreleased gems. Unlike the label's other popular strand, Midnight Riot, there's always been a bit more of an open-minded, eclectic feel about the Futurism releases. This is no different. Whilst rooted in nu-disco and deep house, Futurism: Shades of Space also touches on 21st century jazz-funk (Manmademusic), bongo-laden spiritual house (Nu Ak's "Fly Away"), fluid garage (Nega Tiv's excellent "Liquid Call"), woozy Balearica (Ben La Desh and Plan DAqua), block party boogie (Questlife feat Wildstyle, Freekwency) and nu-jazz (Hamish Balfour). More importantly, the quality threshold remains high throughout.
This sampler for the second volume of ISM's Futurism series is packed with synth-laden boogie-house treats. PBR Streetgang man Bonar Bradberry impresses with opener "Stop & Look", a classic chunk of synth-laden house goodness that has "festival banger" written all over it. There's also a rather tasty DRMC rework of "This Way Up", which offers a surprisingly deep and sparse vibe. Even better is Damir K Ragina's "Funk Divine", a driving chunk of electrofunk revivalism that seemingly storms through its six-minute duration. As if that wasn't enough to get the juices flowing, there's also a tasty Free School rework of "Set It Free" that's worth the admission price alone.
It seems that we're not the only ones to have noticed the recent rise of Mexican disco-not-disco, and more specifically the anything-goes fusion antics of the Electrique Musique label. ISM head honcho Yam Who has been paying close attention, and here compiles a showcase featuring tracks the label and related Mexican artists. There's much to admire, from the wide-eyed Balearic disco shuffle of Zombies in Miami and the head-nodding, toe-tapping house shuffle of Mr Jones, to the post-punk electrofunk of Avanti and dayglo Prince grooves of Thomass Jackson. Listing all the highlights is near impossible, so just dive in - you won't be disappointed.
Yam Who? tirelessly releases the finest electronic disco through his own label ISM. Sometimes it's in the form of compilations and sometimes its stuff by the likes of Sleazy McQueen or Spektrum. Now and then he even gets time to release his own work. This is such a case and it's an impressive collection of all his official reworks of other artists. Highlights over the 12 tracks include his souped-up version of an '80s cover by Natasha Watts, the slick electro boogie rework of a Bobby Electro tune and the soulful retro house of his Erik Rico re-rub.
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