Episode 4 of our funky house podcast series dives into the disco funk pool, with US selectors Implicit & Suneel running the show.
Skint’s big hit makers X-Press 2 return with another collaboration driven cross-over anthem. With British vocalist James Yuill on board, “Time” signals a return to the dancefloor for the trio. Backed up by remixes from the seemingly unstoppable Riva Starr and New York based producer, Feygin who is a particular favourite of X-Press 2 themselves, this is a strong package that does the emotive original every bit of justice.
Famous vocal collaborations litter X-Press 2’s back catalogue – who could forget David Byrne’s vocals on their number two hit “Lazy” in 2002, their collaboration with Kurt Wagner on “Give It” and 2008’s partnership with Rob Harvey on the club smashing “Kill 100.” This time, the trio team up with British folktronica star James Yuill. His skills as both a songwriter and vocalist have made him the perfect fit with X-Press 2’s sound. Emotive and heartfelt, the vocal performance sets the track alight and when added to driving basslines and big chords make it an instant dancefloor hit.
The first remix comes from up and coming New Yorker, Feygin who strips the track back to the bare essentials and lets the vocal do the work. Adding ample effects to the aforementioned vocals, he creates a haunting atmosphere that pulsates its way from beginning to end. Riva Starr’s first of two reworks is a big room, driving house remix. It is full throttle territory, perfect for peak time madness on the dancefloor. His dub version carries on in much of the same vein but removes the vocals, making the driving sub bass the star of the show.
Put simply – this is a fantastic package from Skint. Alongside a brilliant original and radio edit that have the potential to rule the WMC later this month, we also get three different but equally commendable remixes.
Review: Tom Jones
Kris Menace has been a busy man. Last year’s efforts saw him stride past other stalwarts of the ‘French touch’ community. From turning out a batch of massive remixes (his euphoric space disco twist on Moby’s “Ooh Yeah” was particularly memorable) for everyone under the sun, delivering a mighty big-room WTF to his critics with the Scaler EP to releasing his own three CD retrospective compilation “Idiosyncracies”. All are apt reminders of why he’s been kicking-ass and chewing gum for so long. Makes you wonder why everyone paid so much attention to that Lifelike bro for a while.
In between dominating the house scene with his own productions, Menace finds the time to run two record labels; Compuphonic (for his own releases) and Work It Baby for developing new acts. Specialising in all things French and housey, Work It Baby has been dropping smooth, sidechained fire from the likes of Falke, Patrick Alavi and Serge Santiago for 10 years. So why not release a gratuitously awesome birthday compilation to remind the kiddies who’s boss.
Alongside big ticket tunes such as Alavi’s “Power” and Moonbootica’s “Strobelight” you’ll find a swag of unreleased and exclusive tunes from Menace, Falke, Xinobi, Jaunt/Vincent Fries and Charlie Fanclub. Princess Superstar steps in to contribute an exclusive vocal version of Serge Santiago’s “Trilogyyy” jam, “Apocalypse Rock”.
Work It Baby’s back catalogue is fully accounted for, making this an invaluable purchase for any house aficionado, it’s an instant injection of classic, disco-tinged french house and more modern ‘French touch’ house plus the odd electro-banger. Out of the bonus tracks, it’s great to see Charlie Fanclub blazing back to form with “The Rise Of The Colleseus”. The other various exclusives from Menace, Savage and Falke are a welcome nod to classic days of nu-disco and filter house, a sound that’s just as relevant today as it was last year. And the year before that. And the year before that…
Review: Duncan Byrne
Artist: James Curd
Title: In With The Old, In With The New
Genre: Funky House/Club House
Buy From: Juno Download
Exclusive to Juno, here are four tracks from Chicago-born producer James Curd. Having beaten his own path from cult indie band Greenskeepers (a favourite of John Peel), he’s made a name for himself as a DJ and beat-merchant over the last few years. In With The Old… shows off the range of styles that Curd’s got under his belt.
Anyone who was partial to his 2009 DFA single “We Just Won’t Stop” will love “Party Over Here”, a house tune anchored by a jazzy piano and brushes, with some clarinet reminiscent of vintage Mr Scruff. It seems like Mr Curd has been rifling through some pretty vintage records looking for samples, as the trad jazz vibe spills over onto “Be My Baby”, which breaks into a 50′s doo-wop vocal loop, similar to “The Wiseguys Start The Commotion”, over a classy house beat.
“Can You Get It” is a heavier, synth-disco odyssey that doesn’t lose any of its funkiness under the vocoders and big hard riffs. “Got To Have” is even bigger, complete with face-melting distortion in the vein of Justice’s “Let There Be Light”. Peppered with live drum fills and a guitar solo (remember those?), it’s truly stadium-sized.
Review: Oliver Keens
Every month the Juno experts compile the top tunes from all major dance genres, from dubstep to funk; disco to drum and bass.
We split them into two categories – for Juno Records, which contains the hottest 12″ cuts, and Juno Download, which focuses on the cream of the digital crop. Check out our November selections here.