Sweden's Ture Sjolberg is a prolific chap. This is his seventh Beatfanatic album since 2004 (not counting several sets recorded under various other pseudonyms) and sees him further exploring his new-found love of progressive European nu disco, deep house and twinkling dancefloor Balearica. There are, of course, hints to his break-digging past, but the overall feel is far more Scandolearic - as if he's been casting a few envious glances to his celebrated Norwegian neighbours. When he gets it right - such as on the delicious "Can't Go Dub", the jazzy "Dancefeber" or dreamy "A Lost Place In Space" - the results are spellbinding.
Not only a crate-digger of epic proportions, Ture Sjoberg is also a prodigious producer of some of the most forward thinking disco around at the moment. This eclectic EP confirms that as he unleashes some more gems under his Beatfanatic moniker.
Title track "I Love It" is a chugging and futuristic delight, like a slowed down version of Can's "I Want More". It's simple and understated, with just a sly change on the chorus to keep you riveted to its motorik groove. "Tyler's Revenge" is faster and funkier, with a host of classy synths buzzing over the top of a rock solid Disco rhythm.
Boogie Up Yours is pure Balearic joy, combining a gentle drum pattern with huge waves of soft keys, and a lead melody that has all the intrigue and suspense of a John Barry score. The only remix on the EP comes courtesy of Daniel Savio, who brings a Skwee slant to Robots.
While Skwee has since become a worldwide phenomenon, it's good to hear the originator of the genre having so much bleepy fun with Beatfanatic, an obvious kindred spirit and fellow Swede. Electric Souls is another Disco paean, albeit with a deeper vibe that forgoes heavy beats for more intricate melodies. It's rare to find this much range on an EP from one artist, but as I Love It shows, Beatfanatic is really a world apart and right at the top of his game.
For his latest pan European disco adventure, Sweden's Beatfanatic heads to Italy and Serbia in search of remixes for his latest productions, "Goin' Out" and "Wintertide". In Italy he stumbles upon Soundcloud pests Irregular Disco Workers, who give the fist-pumping "Goin' Out" a thoroughly camp new look. Like the original on steroids, it even features a breakdown that sounds like it was lifted from "It's Raining Men". Satisfied, our hero crosses into Serbia to hook up with the brilliant Rave Charles and Funkie Junkie, who turn the blissful, panoramic "Wintertide" into something that sounds like the screaming, bearded lovechild of Justice and Hans Peter Lindstrom.
It's amazing how far Ture 'Beatfanatic' Sjoberg has come in the last decade. Once an advocate of percussion-heavy jazz and Latin beats, Sjoberg has slowly repositioned himself as a maker of heavily electronic disco. "Eurotouched" explores this path further, offering a contemporary sound that borrows heavily from the productions of Patrick Cowley, Bobby Orlando and Steven Hague. The Orlando/Steven Hague influence is most obvious on vocal cut "Forever", which sounds like "Please"-era Pet Shop Boys fused with sugary 80s Europop. "Close Enough" offers a disco take on early New Order (complete with lo-slung bass and guitars), while "Goin' Out" puffs its chest out for some strutting Cowley-esque campery.