Two of post-disco’s biggest titans, The Revenge and Dan Avery, are going head to head in London soon, and we have two pairs of tickets to give away.
UK disco royalty Faze Action are back. For the fifteenth release on their own imprint, they’ve searched the globe for producers to remix tracks from last year’s well received album Stratus Energy. Kicking off in the tropical climes of, erm, Glasgow, The Revenge comes through with a druggy deep house refix of “I Wanna Dancer” replete with one of the best basslines Mr Clark has produced to date. This element is expanded on superbly in the accompanying dub version that bumps that little bit harder. From here, we are introduced to some rising talent from opposite ends of the globe, as Sao Paolo duo Boogie Central remix “Danae’s Journey” and treat your senses to a glistening contemporary disco classic. Vintage elements such as the hugging bassline and sweet vocal harmonies dovetail nicely with the crisp drum programming and key shimmers. Finally Muscovite TARAS 3000 engages light speed for a suitably cosmic sounding refix of “Starship”, which is built around an increasingly euphoric piano melody.
You have to take your hat off to Runaway – they’ve certainly been keeping themselves busy. Following hot on the heels of last month’s organ-riffic Broken Man 12” – a heavyweight chunk of NYC house that wouldn’t have sounded out of place booming out of the Sound Factory speakers during Junior Vasquez’s pomp – comes this impressive remix package. The original version of “The Fire Below” first emerged in December last year, backed by a Cosmo Vitelli remix of another Runaway track, “The Poltergeist”. While Vitelli’s remix got some props, it was “The Fire Below” that tickled most DJs’ fancy. Something of a slow burner, it fused the duo’s now famous tribal-influenced deep house beats with soft-centred piano chords, drawn-out builds and some delicious, starry-eyed synths.
This time round, they’ve asked current men-of-the-moment Azari & III and The Revenge – arguably the hardest working man in Scotland – to take care of the remixes. The former provide a trippy, late night version built around the original’s spiraling synth melodies and gratuitous use of FX. The beats are a touch more crisp than Runaway’s, but the effect is at times beguiling – hypnotic and understated in equal measure.
The Revenge, on the other hand, does his best to draw out the original’s retro-futurist leanings. His version is typically playable, fixing ultra-tweaked vocal hooks onto rock-solid beats and the sort of menacing bassline that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Belgian rave track circa 1992. Into the mix are thrown snippets of the original riff, echo-laden klaxon horns and all manner of subtle piano keys. It’s the winner here by some distance. As way of a bonus, digital buyers can get their hands on The Revenge’s ‘Bassline Dub’. Arguably even better than his exemplary remix, it strips the track down to little more than a booming old skool bassline, hurried percussion and the odd reverb-laden klaxon. As DJ tools go, it’s pretty darn handy. Matt Anniss
We are used to hearing a plethora of monikers for one artist in today’s climate of edit and collaboration-friendly production where one can slip in and out of styles and genres accordingly. Burnt Island Casuals is yet another one for two producers who already operate under a number such alias’ individually. Graeme Clark, best known under his The Revenge pseudonym (but also as 6th Borough Project, Deportivo Street Team, OOFT Music, The Hong Kong Micros, Grizzle and Cronk Family Enterprises) teams up with Harri, who himself works under a host of different names, to deliver two dazzling tracks of contemporary disco meets house for Under The Shade.
The pair have worked together since 2004, most recently when Clark mastered Harri’s 20 Years Underground compilation for Glasgow’s Sub Club, for whom he is a long standing resident. This release, however, marks their most accomplished work yet. “Scotch Hop” – a play on words that no doubt had these two Scotsman giggling into their single malt – is a typically grooving, slo-mo disco builder. The duo merge disco, house, early 80s boogie and hip-hop into just under eight minutes of groove fuelled, dancing joy. Forged using a sample from Larry Levan’s mix of Gwen Guthrie’s “Hop Scotch,” the pair set off on a gradual build up that leads on to a wonderfully uplifting ending. “Truth & Temptation” on the flip, is a more upbeat offering, running at 118bpm. Again using another killer sample, this time from The Temptation’s “Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)” Clark and Harri load the uplifting track with bags of soul and fix it to a driving disco-house rhythm to create a real dancefloor bomb. Infused with an early seventies psychedelic soul craze, much like The Revenge’s “Planets” on Jisco Music, this brings classic disco vibes to modern club music. A fruitful return from a pair who seemingly never leave the studio, “Scotch Hop” looks set to fuse BBQs, outdoor terraces and pool sides not to mention various festivals and clubs all summer long. If it was up to me, I would never let them out – but where’s the fun in that?
Review: Tom Jones
Discothèques are going mad for slo-mo disco and house at the moment, and one of the finest purveyors of this music is Graeme Clark, aka The Revenge. The Scotsman has been in rare form this past 12 months, working under a host of solo and collaborative monikers (6th Borough Project, Burnt Island Casuals among others). Juno Plus caught up with Graeme to discuss the art of editing, what he’s got in the production pipeline and Scottish beaches.
German trio Space Ranger blast off with a four tracker of wonderfully futuristic, yet classic sounding disco house. Out on Lovemonks, the “Star Wash” EP comes in the form of three original productions with one remix by the flying Scotsman, aka The Revenge.
Space Ranger are a Stuttgart based trio, whose careers span from the late eighties and early nineties (when they remixed for the likes of Kool & The Gang, The Sugababes and Kurtis Blow). Now they’ve embarked on a collaborative project as Space Ranger, pulling together from the depths of their own experiences and the music they love – whether it be disco, soul, funk or house. The “Star Wash” EP signals the start of the Space Ranger era of their lives with a sonic boom.
“Herbal Cake” opens the release in a contented and danceable mood. A charmingly chugging disco house track, it yo-yos without ever really losing its momentum. A grungey bassline and hooky string chops add a classic feel, making it perfect for the dance hall. The Revenge turns in a devastatingly subtle remix of the same track next up. By pumping a 4/4 over the track, he turns it into a more modern day, driving house tune that still shimmers its disco influence at every opportunity. “Galactic Spice” is a slower, sleazy, boogie-funk styled grinder that plods along in its own spacey style before “Phase Fever” finishes things off with a slice of disco funk. Slowly building its way up, the final track unleashes all measures of funk, house and disco into one all mighty, ass shaking number.
Review: Tom Jones
The Revenge – aka Scottish producer Graeme Clark – caps off a fine year with a complete disco overhaul of the SOS Band’s classic “Just Be Good To Me”.
Calling on the considerable vocal talents of Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, Clark maintains his trademark production style, keeping it slow and sexy throughout with a BPM count that barely sneaks into 3 digits.
Remixes come from The Revenge himself, with an epic dub mix that clocks in at just under 10 minutes.
Ron Basejam aka James Baron, also a member of Crazy P, chips in with a funk-infused remix that ups the tempo a bit. Basejam already excelled this year with his role in another slow burning disco chugger.
The digital-only Bodypop mix takes it back to the original tempo, laying on the bass nice and thick, while the 12″ offers up a very DJ-friendly “Accatool” which should keep disco jocks around the world happy this festive period.
Review: Aaron Coultate
This year has been something of a watershed for The Revenge, aka disco and house producer Graeme Clark. There were a host of releases on esteemed labels like Wolf Music, Mule and Delusions of Grandeur, some notable remixes and additional production under his 6th Borough Project alias (with Craig Smith). Time to kick back and relax then? Hardly – this Scotsman looks set to be flying higher than ever come 2010. He spoke to Juno Plus about the year that was, and talked us through the top five tunes from his “Best of 2009″ chart.