Review: Sometimes the road gets too rough. Sometimes you just have to slap a senior member in your family due to the high levels of gully coming into your ears. Whatever you do when things get too stinky, however you deal with the body-blowing pressure of absolutely foul tracks, we know you're going to do it to this new EP from Perez who is on such a roll right now it's crazy. Following his dubstep EP "Last Rites" comes this awesome back-to-dnb-grit session. "Trinity" is just utter high voltage darkness, "Phantonym" takes things even deeper with some proper gruesome bass bubbles while "SWRV" takes us back to Alix's soulful side and "Vibrations" plays the perfect game of contrasts and shade. What an EP.
Review: Leeds legends Audiojack return to Josh Butler's ORIGINS RCRDS to deliver some riveting new material, after a slew of top releases for the likes of Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations and Knee Deep In Sound over recent years - not to mention running their own well respected Gruuv label. They deliver two tracks, with "No More" kicking off proceedings with its soulful Detroit inspired vibe, not limited to an epic and emotive chord progression that has to be heard. This is followed up by the high-octane adrenaliser that is "On The Run". This proves that the duo are still true experts of rocking the main room at peak time - slinky and hypnotic UK tech-house at its best.
Review: Oh gosh! Bladerunner touches down with an epic six-track collection on his own Hi Resolution. Running his gully gamut from emotional to electrical to energetical, everything you could possibly need from a Bladerunner EP is right here... The subtle euphoria and piano-touched emotion of "All My Love", the total skin melting sizzles and bassline burns of "Intensity" and the techno-like insistency and dynamism of "Breathe" are just three of many highlights here.
Review: The nu-disco scene's premier scalpel-wielding wookee returns with a sixth selection of roaring reworks for Seamus Haaji's disco-house inspired Re-Loved label. The experienced editor hits the ground running in some style on "Let It Go", a bold, slightly loopy and undeniably low-slung affair that cleverly combines lifts from a familiar disco favourite with what sound like vocal samples from a completely different record. "Overhanging Love" is his driving, sweaty and life-affirming take on Diana Ross's most potent disco hit, while "Boogie Strut" turns a wedding disco favourite into a driving, bass-heavy chunk of disco-house heat. Finally, "Funktion" is an extra percussive chunk of late night dub disco heaviness that's by far and away the EP's standout moment.
Review: Camargue is one of the techno classics from the 90s - a track that appealed to hardcore fans and UK techno geeks alike. So what happens when it gets remixed a quarter-century later? Maceo Plex turns in a drum-heavy, rolling take on the original, while the Keith Carnal take is a high-paced, pulsating workout. On his version, Enrico Sangiuliano chooses to drop a siren-led banger, while label owner Adam Beyer's collaborative remix with Layton Giordani has echoes of the 90s trance sound. Best of all though is Camargue co-creator The Advent's take, where he drops the original's unmistakable hook over a bruising techno rhythm.
Review: Within the nu-disco scene there's been plenty of hype around Hot Digits' latest EP, a quietly impressive four-tracker from previously unheard producer Curtis Scott. If you listen to the clips, it's easy to work out why. Opener "Right Time" is a vibrant chunk of disco-boogie business rich in effects-laden liquid bass, glistening Chic style guitars and chant-along male vocals, while "AJ" is the kind of bass-heavy, pitched-down slow disco jam more associated with Mark E and Italian producer LTJ Xperience. Scott heads peak-time bound with the wonderfully tactile and groovy "Get Over" (a dub disco/deep house fusion affair built around samples from a France Joli classic) before reaching for the synths, sunglasses and glistening guitars on fine '80s revision "Rio Scandal".
Review: For the moment, Damian Lazarus has dispelled with his Ancient Moons collective. Instead, he's gone back into the studio alone and crafted some tracks tailor made for creating "moments in the dark". Lead cut "Moment" is a curious but undeniably quietly impressive affair, where fragile female vocals and gentle melodic elements weave in and out of relaxed tech-house drums and wobbly sub-bass. In contrast, "Diamond In The Dark" is largely beat-free: a tipsy chunk of psychedelic folk music laden with weird effects and trippy spoken word snippets. The package also contains a trio of tidy remixes, of which the standout is undoubtedly Satori's loose-limbed, broken-house revision of "Moment".
Review: For those inspired by Diynamic Music's trademark brand of European tech-house/deep house fusion, the label's semi-regular "Four To The Floor" EPs are essential listening. Predictably, the latest volume - the 15th in total - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. Veteran producer Dino Lenny kicks things off with the arpeggio-driven dark room thrills of "I Lost Appetite" - all electronic bleeps, doom-laden chords and rolling drums - before Doctor Dru offers up the similarly pulsating, trance-inducing heaviness of "Kloeppel". The Organism's "Roast" is a fuzzy and forthright chunk of vaguely panicked electro-house, while Budakid's "1991" wraps moody chords and rushing lead lines around a snappy but tactile rhythm track.
Review: Although he's contributed numerous tracks to recent compilations, this three-tracker from Frank Virgilio is actually the enthusiastic label-hopper's first single since the spring. He begins by applying his magic touch to a prime slice of horn-heavy purple funk, wrapping the original's flash-fried guitars, tasty trumpets and scat style vocals around a chunky disco-house style groove. He dips the tempo - but not the floor-friendly intensity - on "Cat In Rio", a low-slung dub disco affair that boasts a suitably heavy bassline and plenty of sun-kissed, samba-soaked synths, while closing cut "Matt's Ring" is a loopy, disco-house style cut-up of Matsubara's "SOS", a jazz-funk/disco fusion classic that used to get regular rotation at David Mancuso's legendary Loft parties.
Review: For the latest missive on his largely reliable Spa In Disco imprint, Mallorca-based DJ/producer Fran Deeper has turned to a lesser-known talent, label debutant French Toast. There's little solid info online about the artist, but we can confirm that "Didgeridoo" is rather good. It's not a nu-disco cover of the Aphex Twin cut of the same name (though that would be pretty cool), but rather a sleazy late night ITalo-disco workout rich in faintly foreboding arpeggio lines, mangled male vocal snippets and spiraling electronics. Atlantico House Caribe delivers the obligatory remix, adding extra bongos and congas and a few droning didgeridoo noises to make a tough and trippy workout even more psychedelic.
Review: Spain's Fabrice Henri, AKA Guts, returns to French label Heavenly Sweetness with a seven-track EP showcasing his trademark blend of world music, jazz, electronic and hip-hop influences. The title track is a sprightly Afro-funk jam that gets a light-touch house makeover on the Poirier Remix, while a rawer funk sound characterises 'L'Origine Du Monde'. Latin/Afro house vibes are the order of the day on the two rubs of 'Mucagiami', 'Corner' is a straight-up Afro workout, while last but by no means least there's 'Nou Menm', a jazzy funk/soul cut with Afro percussion and a spoken, French-language male vocal.
Review: Now relocated to Mallorca from Mexico, Spa In Disco bring us two cuts that'd work in deep house or disco sets alike, albeit we're definitely at the more experimental, synth-y end of either spectrum. 'Gatta' itself opens with a muted kick and hand percussion before introducing the throbbing, Italo-ish synth line that plays throughout, augmented by big bass vamps, trippy synth-strings and more frantic percussion work. 'Forests Wind' is a more stripped-back affair made up a laaaa-rge synth bassline, shakers galore, other assorted hand percussion and several competing keyboard parts. Quirky stuff that defies easy categorisation.
Review: Having spent much of the last few years working alongside pal Glenn Astro, Hodini re-boots his solo career via a first appearance on Wolf Music Recordings for two years. He begins in typically smooth, hazy and groovy mode via the jazz-sampling deep house bounce of "Velved Groove", before getting busy with his MPC on the hybrid deep house/R&B/hip-hop flex of bumpin' number "Special Shoutout". Hulkhodn lends a hand on the head-nodding hip-hop beats of "Doggo Content", while "Where's The Wine" is a bassline-driven chunk of stripped-back deep house par excellence. Closing cut "One4fries", a more percussive and forthright jazz-house cut, may well be the strongest moment on an undeniably brilliant EP.
Review: I Gemin has been busy this year, contributing to compilations and multi-artist EPs from such labels as ISM, Midnight Riot and Editorial. Here the Russian producer strikes out on his own via what we believe to be his first outing on Slightly Transformed. The title track is a great example of his self-proclaimed "intelligent house" approach, combining woozy, sun-kissed soul, disco and jazz-funk samples with occasional filter trickery, a warming bassline and relaxed (and some would say rubbery) house beats. The slightly bolder and more up-tempo "Easy Love" is similarly groovy, with the producer wrapping punchy horn lines, wah-wah guitars, jazzy horns and occasional female vocal snippets above a more rolling house rhythm.
Review: Igor Gonya has enjoyed a productive year so far, delivering EPs on Moodyhouse, Moiss Music, Moulton Music, Gents & Dandys and Good Luck Penny. Now the Russian producer can add Discoweey to that list, too. As you'd expect, he's in a chunky disco-house kind of mood on virtual A-side "To Make Your Heels Sparkle", a bouncy and entertaining affair in which bustling new beats underpin groovy and occasionally spaced-out sections of a tried-and-tested disco classic. Gonya shakes things up on sax-laden second cut "Mel Brooks", which sees him conjure up a head-nodding house cut crafted from hard-wired funk loops.
Review: Spain's J&M Brothers co-own the Good Stuff Recordings label, but here they come to London's uber-hip Midnight Riot, bringing two fine slices of contemporary, sample-based funk action with 'em. 'Work It Out' centres around fluttering funk guitars and a "we can work it out" vocal sample, while brass fanfares buried discreetly in the mix keep the funk factor high without it being too obvious or cheesy. The accompanying 'Party Time' revisits a "get up... it's party time!" vocal sample that'll be familiar to lovers of classic NYC garage, pairing it with a jaunty looped, Wild Cherry-ish six-string lick.
Review: For his latest outing on Golden Soul, James Rod has decided to pay tribute to Italian dance music in his own special way. First up is "Cootutto (Italian Boogie Madness Edit)", a loopy, head-nodding and toe-tapping tweak of what sounds like an early '80s Italian tribute to George Clinton/Bootsy Collins style P-funk. "Splendido Splendente (Rettore Super-House Re-Edit)" offers a more forthright and funky excursion into loopy, filtered disco-house territory, while closing cut "Ok OK (Italo-House Re-Edit)" re-invents a chiming chunk of synth-powered boogie as a kaleidoscopic romp through nu-disco/peak-time house fusion.
Review: Given that he's most associated with the more tech-tinged Nightnoise label, we were a little surprised to see Jamie Porteus popping up on sun-soaked, Balearic-minded disco imprint Citizens of Vice. Perhaps we shouldn't have been, because "Way Hey" is superb - a deliciously sunny, mid-set workout that wraps glassy-eyed Balearic guitars and bold synthesizer motifs around a chunky groove that reminded us of the Cure, the Police (as in the band, not your local neighbourhood coppers) and all manner of obscure 1980s European Balearic disco records. Over on the virtual B-side, Something Sanctified channels the spirit of Canadian Balearic synth-pop heroes The Junior Boys on a mix so luscious and tactile you half expect it to spring from the speakers and give you a hug.
Review: UK house veteran and former Hacienda resident Jon Da Silva's production CV is a lot shorter than you might expect! Here, though, he comes to Chris Massey's Manchester-based Sprechen with four solid jams that blend house, disco and electro influences. Opener 'Mutebird' is the missing link between Balearica and Detroit techno, 'Dub Is All We Need' looks to the classic sound of mid-80s Chicago for inspiration, 'Mancunian Way' is a floor-friendly deep houser with bright chords/stabs and buzzy, rave-y bass, and finally 'Drones In The Key Of Chi' is an instrumental nu-disco workout, with subtle production nods to the likes of Moroder and Robotnick.
Review: Silver City/The Spirals veteran Sanza links up with NYC label AntiDEEPressant for his latest opus, which comes complete with remixes from Vincent Inc & LA and Christian Lamper. Sanza's original is a deep, druggy chugger that sits right on the deep house/disco cusp, with a lil' hint of prog to boot. A much more straight-up disco sensibility informs Vincent Inc & LA's remix, which comes dripping in funk geetar chops, while Lamper opts for a dreamier, more late-night vibe. Vincent Inc & LA's rub is the obvious pick for disco lovers, then, but all three takes are eminently playable.
Review: There's something so, so nice about D&B that combines vocal loveliness with gully undertones, and that's exactly what KC and Christina Tamayo have done here. The title track starts off beautifully laid-back, with a simple piano line leading you in onto the rattling percussion and guttural, funky bassline. There's an old-school roughness to this that we're digging a lot. The flip is similar in its rough and tumble sonics, this time not dropping out of nowhere but slowly building itself up, the momentum finally releasing on the drop into a hail of energy and force. Tamayo sounds fantastic throughout, so shoutout to her, KC and the Innovate crew.