Review: When Joey Negro dons his Akabu guise, you know he's about to lay down a timeless house groove. He did it with "Sax My Bitch Up", he did it with "Life Is So Strange", and, with the help of Alex Mills' dulcet tones, he's doing it with this, too. Rolling with a classic analogue bassline and deep dreamy chords, the "Strip Mix" is an instant hip-wiggler with serious 'zone-out' potential while the "Warehouse Mix" adds more texture and a hollow harmony to the bass a la Robin S. Everybody wants something...and your dancefloor wants to hear this!
Review: It wouldn't be summer without every house label under the sun releasing an Ibiza-themed compilation. To be fair to Dave Lee's long-running Z Records imprint, they've been delivering White Isle-themed collections every summer for many years. Given that their sound - a blend of funk-fuelled grooves, soulful house, tech-tinged anthems, disco re-edits, boogie revivalism and classic US garage influences - is well suited to sun-drenched alfresco parties, it's little surprise to find that Z Records Presents Ibiza 2015 is rather good. While much of the standout material comes from Lee himself under a variety of guises (check, in particular, the Doug Willis jam "Crystal Lover"), there are also top-notch cuts from Sean McCabe, Opolopo and Fibre Foundation, whose cover of disco/boogie classic "Weekend" is simply superb.
Review: The release of Dave Lee's annual Essentials collection on Z Records - a kind of "best of the year" from his now 30-year-old imprint - is fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as family arguments, disappointing presents and undercooked turkey. Predictably the 2020 edition is once again up to scratch, with the much-loved Essex producer showcasing some seriously good disco, deep house, soulful house and revivalist dancefloor jazz-funk. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the rushing, sunshine soulfulness of Crackazat's 'Waterfalls', the Vision's 2020 re-rub of Jakatta and Seal classic 'My Vision', Michael Gray's extra-percussive disco-house take on Hi Voltage's 'Let's Get Horny', the celebratory brilliance of Art of Tones and Anduze's 'Flower Child', and the Shur-I-Kan's previously unreleased instrumental rework of Mistura's 'Smikle For Me'.
Review: Released on Joey Negro's Z Records, Rio spinner DJ Meme whips through thirty of the best from Z on this new mix - available either as individual unmixed tracks or as one continuous mix. Always a haven for the best soulful and funky house, Z Records highlights such as JN's mix of Doug Willis' "Power To The People", Sean McCabe's mix of JD73's "Think Twice" and Akabu's "The Phuture Ain't What It Used To Be" make for an effortlessly bumping and uplifting voyage.
Review: Unbelievably, this much-sampled classic will be 20 years old next year. No doubt there'll be more new mixes on the way then, but in the meantime there's this very serviceable refix from deep house men-of-the-moment Saison. The London duo wisely leave those very familiar sweeping, string-like pads and Ms Clifford's spoken vocal to retain centre stage and concentrate their efforts on the bottom end, supplying a bassline and tough-but-muted drums to make the track more easily programmable for a new generation of DJs...some of whom won't even have been born when it was first released, but let's not dwell on that!
Review: Z Records clearly don't do things by halves. Eschewing the usual format for remix albums - a CD's worth of reworks - Joey Negro's imprint is offering up a whopping 26 different versions of tracks from his debut Akabu full-length, The Phuture. So, where to start? Jimpster's touchy-feely deep house take on "Searchin" is as good as place as any (handily, it's the opening track). Elsewhere, look out for a splendid, soundscape mix of "Phuture Bound" by Ame, a tight and percussive builder from MCDE, a delightful Detroit techno-meets-electrofunk rework from Octave One, a skippy, old-skool garage excursion from Lovebirds (surprisingly) and solid contributions from Spirit Catcher, Shur-I-Khan and Andre Lodemann.
Review: Recently, Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee has successfully mined a rich seam of boogie and New York synth disco in his house productions. This collaboration with vocalist Joel Edwards continues that trend, fusing sparkling electrofunk synths and a deliriously positive vocal from Edwards with chunky house bottom end. The results are faithfully solid, offering a sharp and synth-heavy take on Lee's traditional disco-house sound. On the remix front, the usually synth-boogie heavy Spirit Catcher flip the script, this time turning in two versions dripping in cute disco touches and colossal old skool garage organs. As remixes go, they're pretty special.
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: Throughout his long career, Swedish producer Andreas Saag has flitted between deep house and nu-jazz, crafting a melodic, musically rich and soul-flecked trademark sound. He's a good choice, then, to compile and mix a collection of Z Records' deeper moments. There's much to admire on this unmixed version (Saag's mix is included as a bonus cut), from the flowing keys and fluid grooves of the Swede's own remix of The Sunburst Band v Atjazz's "When The Lights Meet The Sky", to the string-laden beauty of Andre Lodeman's rework of Akabu's "Another World". Highlights come thick and fast, with further notable selections from JD73 (remixed brilliantly by Tornado Wallace), Jupiter Beyond, The Sunburst Band (reworked by Recloose) and, of course, Joey Negro.
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
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".