Review: As the title suggests, this fantastic - and let's face it, pleasingly epic - compilation showcases some of the many disco-centric cuts in the Z Records vaults, throwing in a few exclusives (see Dave Lee's fantastic, hybrid disco-boogie rework of Firefly's 'Love is Gonna Be on Your Side') for good measure. Such is the high-quality threshold that picking stand outs is tough, but our picks of a very strong bunch include the slick, boogie-funk brilliance of Crackazat's 'Sensationalized', Larry Levan's vintage, delay-heavy synth dub of Johnny Dynell's 'Rhythm of Love', the stomping disco-house release of 'Gotta Thing (2021 Remaster)' by Foreal People, Taana Gardner and Dave Lee, and John Morales' epic rework of Sean McCabe's 'Love For Life'. As the old saying goes, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: Glitterbox resident Dr Packer is a leading light of the contemporary disco scene, while Dave Lee was arguably THE key architect of the whole post-house disco phenomenon in the first place. So when the former helms a compilation on the latter's label, you'd expect great things, and suffice to say you're very unlikely to be disappointed. Hell, for this writer the deep n' sultry JN Revival Mix of early 90s classic 'Do What You Feel' is worth the price of admission on its own, but with Packer's own remixes of label favourites making up over a third of the tracklist, the collection as a whole is pretty much unmissable.
Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: Some 40-odd years since the legendary New York nightclub's late 1970s heyday, Studio 54 has decided to launch a label. Its first project is "Night Magic", a multiple-part release that features a crack team of contemporary NYC disco musicians delivering 21st century cover versions of tracks that once made the infamously hedonistic dancefloor move. EP one begins with long-time collaborators J Kriv and Adeline offering up a typically authentic (if slightly beefed up) re-imagining of Don Ray's "Lovin' Is Really My Game". The virtual B-side sees RickExpress add his effortlessly soulful vocals to another killer J Kriv production built around his famously expressive and rubbery disco bass: a delay-laden, bongo-heavy "Dub" of "Souvenirs", a track first made famous by Voyage. Both cuts are celebratory, addictive and very, very good.
Review: This excellent collection from Z Records draws together some of boss man Joey Negro's favourite label cuts of 2019, many of which he of course had a hand in either producing or remixing. There are naturally tons of superb multi-track remixes of disco gems old and new (see the versions of the O'Jays, Delia Renee, Tamiko Jones and Double Exposure), as well as fresh revisions of vintage Joey Negro house productions under other aliases (Doug Willis, Z Factor, Foreal People) and a swathe of killer cuts that join the dots between disco and house (Sunkids and Chance, Four80 East and CeCe Peniston, Bobby D'Ambrosia and Michelle Weeks). Throw in tracks and remixes from the likes of Fouk, Crackazat and Lay-Far and you have a superb collection of peak-time-ready workouts.
Review: Sometime Escort members JKriv and Adeline have already notched up one of the disco records of 2019 - the fantastic "Vertigo" on Z Records - and we'd not bet against "Yo Love" being similarly as successful. In its original and extended "Club Mix" forms, "Yo Love" sounds like a heartfelt tribute to Chic, with Adeline's headline-grabbing vocal rising above an insatiable backing track rich in unfussy disco drums, Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars, subtle electric piano stabs and, on the longer version, Roy Ayers style vibraphone solos. In other words, it's a revivalist NYC disco treat. The accompanying instrumental Dub naturally is far more groove based and delay-laden, with extra percussion hits and plenty of selected vocal snippets echoing across the sound space.
Review: Second time around for JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", a revivalist disco treat that first appeared last autumn. The still-hot "Original Club Mix" (track three) sounds like a long lost cut from Brooklyn disco modernists Escort, a band that both JKriv and Adeline were members of. It's absolutely brilliant all told - think strong choruses, Nile Rodgers guitars, jangly pianos and walking bass - as is the dusty disco-house revision from Yuksek. Best of all though is the storming interpretation from Z Records chief Joey Negro, who wraps Adeline's vocal and JKriv's bassline in colourful new boogie synths and some classic disco-funk horns. There's no doubt about it, this will (rightly) be one of the biggest disco records of 2019.
Review: Escort frontwoman Adeline is in fine form on "When I'm Alone", a revivalist leftfield disco cut that she co-produced with Morgan Willey from Brooklyn band Midnight Magic. With its walking bass, crunchy clavinets, woozy synths and fine lead vocal, it reminded us a little of Midnight Magic classic "Beam Me Up". Jacques Renault delivers a slightly heavier, house-influenced remix with subtle Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, as well as a percussion-heavy "Dubstramental" that's arguably even better. Dirty Channels offers "Remix" and "Dub" revisions that wrap the original's killer bassline in sweaty disco-house beats, while Adeline's sometime band mate JKriv joins forces with Underground System Afrobeat Peter Matson on a remix that sounds like vintage Escort with added dub delays.
Review: The Z Records crew is off to the White Isle of Ibiza and they want us to dance along at home - hence this fittingly summery selection of celebratory disco and house gems. There are naturally plenty of recent label highlights (see the cuts from Crackazat and JKriv & Adeline) and a swathe of fine tracks and revisions from boss man Joey Negro. Amongst the many highlights you'll find the celebratory disco brilliance of Bob Sinclar, Dimitri From Paris and Byron Stingily's "Love Is The Answer", the boogie/house/soul fusion of Opolopo's colourful revision of "Searching" by Roberto De Carlo and Dyanna Fearon, the soulful house sweetness of Cookie's "Best Part of Me (Unreleased Original Mix)", and Faze Action's epic, solo-laden, jazz-funk style re-make of Raven Maize classic "Forever Together".
Review: After previous outings on Get Physical and Resonance, Swedish producer Adeline comes to Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels with a three-track, four-mix EP that showcases her unique musical style (sort of techno, sort of house, but not really tech-house) nicely. 'You*re Sick' is a midtempo (bordering on slo-mo) affair sporting an alt-R&B style vocal from Adeline herself, 'Dust To Bone' is a slightly pacier, more eyes-down deep tech cut and the warm-up friendly 'Rite De Passage' has a lighter touch, but arguably the standout here is a predictably classy Dub of the title track from French house legend D'Julz.
Review: When it comes to blending classic disco and bumpin' peak-time house, few can match Joey Negro - a man who has been offering up disco-fied house jams since the early '90s. There are naturally plenty of his own tracks and remixes on "Put Some Disco In The House", an expansive collection of quality disco-house moments, with highlights including the rolling disco-boogie heat of "Put The Music On It (Original Disco Mix)", the chunky, walking bass-propelled "Dancing Into The Stars" (with Horse Meat Disco and Angela Johnson) and a slamming rework of Sessomato's jazz-funk flavoured "Moody". There's plenty of heat to be found elsewhere, too, with standouts including JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Opolopo's boogie-tinged revision of Sylvester classic "I Need You" and the spiraling disco pump of Yam Who and Jaegerossa's "Grateful".
Review: If you missed any of Z Records most potent releases this year, do not fear: boss man Joey Negro has brought together all of the label's best bits on one handy, plus-sized compilation. There's another chance to savour the Escort style Brooklyn disco revivalism of J Kriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Sean McCabe's smooth and soulful rework of Detroit Rising and Ron Trent's impeccably musically rich remix of Joey Negro's "Distorting Space Time". Synth-fired boogie goodness is also provided via a superb "Unreleased Dub" of Janet Kay's 1980s gem "Eternally Grateful" and a brilliant Joey Negro rework of the APX, while soaring, string-laden disco hits are dotted throughout the compilation. If you dig disco, house and boogie, you need this in your life.
Review: If this sounds like the work of NYC disco band Escort, there's a very good reason - both the producer "JKriv" and guest vocalist, Adeline, are both members of the band. The good news is that "Vertigo" is every bit as good as Escort's finest moments (think "Starlight", "Love in Indigo", "A Bright New Life" etc.), with Adeline providing a stellar vocal atop JKriv's killer bassline, pianos, strings and Nile Rodgers style guitars. The accompanying "Dub" rework is naturally a little heavier and more arpeggio-driven, with JKriv making great use of carefully placed dub delays and cosmic noises.