Review: The heat has yet to settle on his Chronic EP and rising talent Acuna returns with another big hitter on DJ Hybrid's Audio Addict. This time linking with Manchester mic master Madrush MC, the pair weave two sterling cuts, both laced with venomous tension. 'Babylon System' is every bit as foreboding as and grizzly as the title suggests while 'City Lockdown' takes a deeper, more tense vibe as the pair flex between some buzzy midrange bass hits and a skippy beat. Loaded with two instrumentals for added mixing creativity, Audio Addict smash it once again.
Review: In just a few short years, Argentinian producer Alexny has racked up releases on some of the most respected disco and house labels in the game, from King Street to Moiss Music, Furious Mandrill and Spa In Disco. Now you can add UK stable Slightly Transformed to that ever-growing list, as he steps up with a supremely checkable five-tracker that ranges from the discofied deep house of 'If You Missed The Groove', via the authentically 70s-sounding mirrorball vibes of 'When You Need Me', to the rawer funk strut of 'The Funkeenator', 'The Monkey Do' and 'The Trumpeter'.
Review: Spicy legend Beatconductor takes on the croon of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" in this California Fantazy EP that also sees the vocals of one Cee Cee doing a fine job on the piano-led title-track. Fitted with extra dub and instrumental versions of both "Human' and "California Fantazy", the former offers a perfect pool-side hit for those special request moments, next to the cool, soul-jazz vibe of the latter. Indulge yourself.
Review: If warm, lounge-influenced downtempo grooves are your bag, you may already be familiar with Jacob Andersen's Bogo Ent. project. Since making his debut on Music For Dreams with the fittingly titled Debut in 2016, he's delivered a number of must-check digital singles. There's plenty to savour on his latest EP, beginning with the luscious afternoon warmth of opener 'Soul Drums', a languid 80 BPM number full of sharp horns, crunchy clavinet lines, relaxed beats, Air-style lounge keys, dreamy vocalisations and expressive flute solos courtesy of Wili Jonsson. Elsewhere, 'Toy Machine' is a druggy, synth-heavy chugger with added congas, 'Drommen' is a bouncy chunk of digital reggae, 'Baby Song' is a flute-lden afternoon delight and 'Vendio' is a sun-bright slab of nu-disco/Balearic fusion.
Review: Next up from the Bona Fido camp, we find ourselves indulging in a very tasty creation indeed, as they welcome back the sounds of Bush Doctors for a wicked new pair of remixes for 'The Spell'. We begin firstly with Jem Stone's recreation, as we are greeted by a hard hitting link up of grizzly drum textures and delicate percussive plucks, with a steadily progressing compositional feel woven throughout. We are also given the Rennie Pilgrem remix, which takes a much more stripped back approach, focussing on drifting chord progressions and subtle vocal additions, all adding the overall feel of this vibrant two tracker.
Review: Fresh from a string of releases on Toronto Is Broken's YANA, Corrupted Mind lands Liondub International for a spot on their coveted 'Street Series' collection, a series that has featured some of the most exciting names in the new generation of D&B artists. Stepping up with gusto, he's dropped a near-album sized project that ranges from brutal dancefloor weight ('Beasts') to addictive, springy, bee-like riff science ('Run') via classic early 2010s style Q&A jump-up ('Technical') With all high octane shades in between, it's another golden street session from the Liondub massive.
Review: Monk Audio UK have got a really nice little single coming your way in the shape of Hells Kitchen, courtesy of Crusty, a producer who definitely knows how to make a big D&B number. 'Hells Kitchen' features a fat main drum line and a synth-based main melody, both of which synergise really nicely to form a slick rolling tune. The flip is more stripped back but still packs a similar roughshod drum sound, underpinned this time by a pulsatingly strong low frequency backdrop. Top top.
Review: Two sexy 'n' sophisticated soul/boogie re-edits here from DiCE_NZ, a loose collective of producers and musicians helmed by Auckland-based Fat Freddy's Drop collaborator DJ Dave Ti. 'Paradise' revisits Barbra Streisand & Robin Gibb's 'Promises' from the 1980 'Guilty' album, while Odyssey's 'Don't Tell Me, Tell Her' (also from 1980, and the AA-side to 'Use It Up And Wear It Out') provides the basis for 'Don't Tell Me'. Drawing on such heavy-hitting sources you already KNOW the quality's going to be there, but vibes-wise, think 'Too Slow To Disco' for the first one and '3am at Horse Meat Disco' for the latter.
Review: For the first time since its original release in 2007, BBE Music reissues the instrumental versions of DJ Vadim's known and loved album, The Soundcatcher. Unpredictable with touches of disco and King Tubby-esque dub - to a concoction of other genres varied with brushes of blues, soul and rap, urban grime - you're never far off straight up funk or slow-mo, broken beat either. With epic piano rolls of Blaxploitation funk hitting the right spots in "Countdown", get your more modern two stepping numbers outta "Ballistic Affairs". With subtle exotic ispiratiations making into numbers like "Them Say" and "Like The Wind", don't sleep on the downtown blues of Soundcatchers, and the mutant beat centric cut ups of "Warp BT". Full of old school flavours too, the vinyl crackle, dusty samples and pop of DJ Vadim has never sounded so fresh.
Review: Frico - also known variously as Clyde Eventide, DJ Friction, DJ FK and Martin Welzer - returns to his own Replay Records with two boogie-era re-edits. 'Much Too Much' reworks the 1982 Sass track of the same name while 'Missing You' revisits a 1984 cut by Tranzit (AKA Transit), and both are so faithfully rendered that these are arguably closer to bootlegs/unofficial reissues. All the same, interest in this much-maligned period of dance music history is higher than it's ever been right now, so if you don't own the originals already this EP's definitely one to investigate.
Let Me Show You (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:05) 113 BPM
Call It What You Want (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (6:54) 120 BPM
If You're Lookin For A Night Of Fun (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (4:57) 116 BPM
Much Too Much (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (4:35) 126 BPM
Honey (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (4:28) 124 BPM
I Wanna Get With You (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:38) 118 BPM
Welcome To The Club (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (6:35) 118 BPM
Wild & Crazy (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (7:14) 120 BPM
Mighty Fine (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (4:47) 108 BPM
Throw It Down, Shake Your Body (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:02) 116 BPM
Call Me (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:27) 59 BPM
Say You Wanna (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:39) 118 BPM
Ray Of Sunshine (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (4:00) 120 BPM
Love Never Looked Better (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (5:42) 122 BPM
Pleasure Unit (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (7:46) 124 BPM
Make A Little Move (Funk Hunk re-edit) - (3:44) 118 BPM
Review: Rob Halgren is resident DJ at Denver nightclub Neon Baby, and as Funk Hunk specialises in repurposing vintage funk, disco and boogie grooves for contemporary dancefloors. With 22 tracks on offer, there's no space here to identify the source material for every one - it'd also be a fool's errand, because he's dug admirably deep and most would have us beat anyway! But what you end up with is a magazine full of fresh ammo for your funk machine gun, with the emphasis on fat-ass basslines and handclaps while the vocals range from sweet female harmonies to blues-y male growls. Worth investigating for sure.
Review: Dubstomp 2 Bass has become one of the premier destinations for UK jump-up, playing host to a whole bunch of exciting names in the scene over the few years. Now a proper flag-holder for the resurgent jump-up movement, the label is Lundy, one of the big up and comers right now who is landing with a fully fledged album, something you unfortunately don't see that much anymore. The first track - '9' - is playful yet devastating, with an upbeat and funky arrangement that lands hard - very hard. 'Give Hard' is less subtle, with pitched up synths that pummel the top end of the range and a snapping drum line that nails the bottom end. There is such a wide range of tunes here that it would be difficult for us to aptly describe them all, but needless to say that Lundy has nailed this one.