Review: Acid house was a popular music and youth culture phenomenon that started in Chicago in the mid-1980s and went on to change the musical landscape around the world. You've probably heard of it. Aimes, the man behind US label Wonder Stories has certainly heard of acid house - and we're guessing he liked what he heard, because here he delivers 14 tracks that pay the genre what we're assured is the sincerest form of flattery. To be fair, there's more to 'Let's Melt' than mere pastiche - rather than a simple back-to-88 homage, this is acid house given the benefit of 21st Century production values and the 3.5 decades' worth of stylistic innovation that have happened since. But at the end of the day it's still an acid house album - and one that you should probably add to your collection forthwith.
Review: Roam Recordings was set up by Jason 'JP Soul' Peters and Jeni 'Jeniluv' Erickson in 2001, and has since put out records by the likes of Demarkus Lewis, Rhythm Plate, Hesohi and Dino Lenny. For their 100th release/20th anniversary, though, they've avoided the obvious 'best of' route and instead serve up 21 brand new tracks coming from a mix of familiar names (Emperor Machine, DJ Rocca, Tronik Youth) and newcomers. The overall vibe leans towards cosmic and Italo disco, but that's a very broad-brush picture - there are tracks here that could, variously, be filed equally well under house, techno, electro, Balearica or prog. Psychedelic electronic disco at its best.
Review: Wonder Stories' founder Aimes (real name Aman Ellis) has been responsible for many of the label's most potent singles to date, so it seems fitting that he's delivered the imprint's first full-length excursion. As debut albums go, Let's Melt is something of an epic, with 19 unmixed tracks and a bonus DJ mix that stitches it together into one seamless journey. That's no criticism though, because the quality threshold remains high throughout. It's an album rich in analogue style synth sounds, rubbery disco bass, warning electronics and punchy, unfussy beats, with Ellis' cannily blurring the boundaries between nu-disco, deep house, angular acid, neo-Italo, Afro-electro, ambient, spacey jack tracks, off-kilter soundscapes and much more besides.
Juan Soto - "Oh Ziggy, Wil You Ever Win?" - (6:44) 113 BPM
Ilya Santana - "Obscure" - (5:08) 109 BPM
Alex Arcocha - "Take Me Out" - (6:57) 126 BPM
Aimes - "Cafe Disco" - (6:55) 118 BPM
Review: As the title suggests, Spa In Disco's latest multi-artist extravaganza is aimed aquarely at dancefloors, though in these times is more likely to inspire bedroom DJs to dance around their kitchens or living rooms. There's plenty to get the juices flowing amongst the eight tracks on show. Check first the rubbery bass, sparkling pianos and summery nu-disco vibes of Future Feelings' rushing "Bold Drink", before turning your attention to the revivalist Italo-disco chug of Sauco's "Orion" and the hard-wired, acid-flecked analogue chug of Ilya Santana's superb "Obscure". Highlights elsewhere on the EP include the revivalist electrofunk chunkiness of Juan Soto's "Oh Ziggy, Will You Ever Win", the dreamy Balearic breakdowns of Rayko's "Jungle" and the up-beat nu-disco cheeriness of Aimes' "Caf? Disco".
Review: Night Noise Music has decided to start a compilation series. Enitled "Night Noises" (we see what they did there), each volume will offer up previously unheard cuts from label stalwarts and guest artists they admire. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on this launch edition, from the gently bubbling acid lines and glistening guitar riffs of Tuiloxi's chugging dub disco opener ("Winter Afro Acid") and the druggy Italo-disco/proto-house flex of "Quirked" by Aimes, to the weighty and exotic disco pump of Jack Carel's Bollywood-inspired "Eastern Journey" and the throbbing cosmic disco psychedelia of Roe Deers' dark and pulsating "Prince". Superb stuff all told.
Review: We were full of praise for Aman "AIMES" Ellis's first batch of Wonder Edits, a formidable four-tracker that landed last month. Predictably, there's more floor-friendly goodness to be found on this swift follow-up. This time, Ellis eases us in gently with the stepping, post-freestyle Brazilian goodness of "Batonga", before beefing up the beats for a disco-house take on a string-laden Bollywood Disco staple ("Jimmy"). He's back in synthesizer-wielding mode on the bright-and-breezy Euro-disco chug of "Take Me Up", while "Dancing" is a swirling, pumping, delay-laden and decidedly full-throttle fix-up of a well-known Bee Gees anthem that sounds like it's capable of causing a commotion on most danceflors.
Review: With his Wonder Stories label going from strength to strength, Aman "AIMES" Ellis has decided to launch a re-edit focused offshoot. It's perhaps fitting, then, that Wonder Edits first release comes courtesy of Ellis himself. All four tracks hit the spot, with Ellis getting just the right balance between old-fashioned scalpel rearrangements and contemporary, house-inspired loop jams. We're particularly enjoyed the choppy but celebratory disco-funk of "Makin' Moves" and swirling, vibraphone-sporting slo-mo disco closer "Lovin". In between, you'll find solid revisions of two better-known boogie-era gems, including Maze's proto-house classic "Twilight".
Review: More from Brooklyn-based, Alabama-born AIMES, a producer who has spent the last few years carving out a niche as a purveyor of "spacey nu-disco with synth-pop sensibilities". This outing on Roam boasts two original AIMES productions: the mind-altering acid bass, psychedelic electronics, sci-fi synth chords and rolling drums of the decidedly sleazy "Machination" and the breezier - if similarly acid-fired - bustle of twisted peak-time throb-job "Devious Maneuvers". You'll also find remixes of both tracks, with Lauer's hypnotic revision of "Machination" - all intense acid lines and glassy-eyed chords - being just a little more potent than Steve Crook's heavy and hypnotic take on "Devious Maneuvers".
Review: AIMES is the production moniker and musical alter ego of Alabama born, Brooklyn resident, Aman Ellis. Fresh off releases on Wonder Stories, Spa In Disco and Pole Position, his signature brand of "spacey disco" with synth-pop sensibilities is on fine display once again for new imprint eclectics who rein him in to follow up great releases recently by James Rod, Mr BC and Coyote. Featuring the deeply emotive boogie-down antics of "You Should Be Feeling Wonderful , the sunkissed balearica of "Sun Lit Lazy" and a couple of pretty awesome remixes. Our favourite was certainly by the UK legend Chris Coco who serves up blissful, neon-lit island dream on his fabulous rendition here of "Bomba Espacio".
Review: Wonder Stories is a NYC based label, blog, and sometimes party. The boss man readies its first release of the year. AIMES is the production moniker and musical alter ego of Brooklyn's Aman Ellis. His music features hints of new-wave, Italo and cosmic disco. Lush synths and washed out vocals juxtapose big kicks and silky bass lines. This is very much the case on his electrifying new single "Grandiose Visions" featuring adrenalized arpeggios, shimmering vintage synths and all round uplifting vibes. The Maffia Soundsystem affiliated DJ Rocca turns in a groovy balearic tinged rendition (which we can't wait to drop next Summer) while The Beat Broker remix can almost match the energy level of the original, but with the inclusion of those hands in the air style house pianos on this sexy deep house rendition.
Review: To celebrate hitting 20 releases, Wonder Stories has decided to put out the label's first compilation. Wonder Buds is largely made up of arguably overlooked back catalogue highlights, but also includes a handful of previously unreleased tracks to appease regular label-watchers. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the jostling Italo-disco/nu-disco fusion of Pop District's remix of Steve Cook's "Notice Me" and the boogie-influenced cosmic disco chug of DJ Rocca's Aimes rework (the brilliant "Notice Me"), to the foreboding psychedelic disco-chug of Curses' "Brains Bones Blood" and the acid-fired pulse of Los Fugazzi's "Paralel" [sic]. Oh, and the saucer-eyed, Balearic-inspired nu-disco dreaminess that is Mighty Mouse's wonderful remix of Air Zaire's "Love '94".
Review: Brooklyn's nu-disco hero Aimes (aka Aman Elli) has delivered plenty of hot dancefloor jams for labels like Wonder Stories and here he is with another, "Smiling Faces" on Spa In Disco. His original mix is a really slick slice of sunset boogie, with driving punk-funk bass and catchy vocal refrains. First up on remix duty is Rayko who adds a more melodic bassline to the mix, resulting in a cool joint that echoes early Noughties electro-disco. Elsewhere Mordisco turns in some excellent moody tech-house with lashings of pan pipes and lastly Alex Malos delivers a reliable and sturdy disco-house rework.
Review: Since launching as a Tirk sub-label in 2009, Nang Records has gone on to outlive its parent label and become one of the most reliable imprints in nu-disco. The label's progress has traditionally been charted by compilation series The Array, with new volumes appearing every 12 months or so. This latest installment is naturally packed with highlights, from the sparkling disco-soul of Hot Toddy's remix of Situation's Andre Esput hook-up, "Get To Know Me", and the contemporary Italo-disco throb of James Rod's "Steelerr", to the quirky Balearic bliss of Cardmoth, the synth-heavy wooziness of Deepkey, and the trippy, acid-flecked thrills of Aimes' "A View of Istanbul".