Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - "Back It On Up" - (6:34)
Review: End of year reflections... For some labels it's just a re-hash of familiarity. For others it's a chance to really celebrate the breadth of releases. Negro's Z Records definitely falls in the latter category as we're dazzled with disco and funk sciences through the ages: From cheeky edits of disco classics (Lady Aya's "Shake Your Body") to rare funk jams like Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers "Back It On Up" (taken from Paul Phillips ace Under The Influence album) via more straight up funky house work-outs Jakatta's "Scattering Stars" and Supernova's superb futurisation of "American Dream".
Review: Following a host of releases with his Sunburst Band, Z Records boss Joey Negro is back to perhaps what's he's best known for: spinning light and soulful disco house. This second in the series kicks off with the handbaggy "Smile" by Mistura and take in thumping diva business "Every Day Of The Week", sublime techy house "Life Is So Strange", unsullied authentic disco "Power To The People", acid-jazz on "Better Things To Come" and the phaser-heavy, electro-boogie of "Begun To Love".
Review: Wisely, house legend Kerri Chandler has used the opportunity provided by this DJ Kicks mix to showcase some of his greatest influences and inspirations. For the most part, that means a slick selection of soul, jazz-funk, disco and boogie gems, with highlights including the dubbed-out, synth-heavy early electro/hip-hop fusion of Fantasy Three's "It's Your Rock (Instrumental)", the sumptuous, solo-heavy bounce of Andre Seccarelli's "Shock Number 1" and the sensual modern soul warmth of The Foreign Exchange's body. Throw in a wealth of specially created interludes, an exclusive Chandler production (the spaced-out Afro-dub deepness of "Stop Wasting My Time") and one of the Innerzone Orchestra's greatest moments (acoustic soul cover "People Make The World Go Round") and you have a suitably superb collection.
Review: Seriously - seriously - before any more words are said, just get your mitts on this LP. A seminal piece of work, it charts a decade in the life of Vision Recordings, the label at the foremost terrifying edge of neurofunk and beyond. Sharing the strobes with Black Sun Empire, Phace, Spor, The Upbeats and Calyx, and Teebee, it's hard to imagine what on earth drum and bass sounded like without these guys tearing a hole in the space time continuum every time they dropped a new EP. Black-hearted excitement from the darkest recesses of Europe. Don't pretend you don't need to hear "Diplodocus" one more time.
Review: Stil Vor Talent up the ante with some seriously dark and pummelling techno by German duo Hidden Empire who have previously appeared on Traum and Trapez. To classify these efforts as 'dark journey tracks' (the label's usual fare) would surely be an understatement. For as much the synth leads are wonky and atmosphere are nefarious, "Lost In Time" and "Get Lost" also pack a whole heap of adrenaline and aggression that could see them appeal to Drumcode fans. Next up is local lad Boy Next Door who serves up the driving peak time tech house tool entitled "Dael" while "Kuba" is more ethereal and atmospheric in its subdued approach to trance aesthetics, with those epic arpeggios working a treat.