Review: Alan Dixon, who's resident DJ at Savage in London, returns to Gerd Janson's Running Back with an EP that's unsurprisingly long on keys action. 'Acid Drop' gets the ball rolling, opening with a squelchy, early 80s-sounding synth bassline before unleashing a deluge of hands-in-the-air rave/Italo-house pianos from around the two-minute mark. The accompanying Swimming Mix tones down the 80s bass and adds a shimmering synth top line, giving the track something of a Balearic prog feel, while elsewhere 'Poye Loco' is a druggy, hazy nu-disco chugger and 'Rudy's Selector' is a midtempo, contemplative piece, both also heavily laced with piano.
Review: Alan Dixon has been in tremendous form of late, delivering must-have EPs for Midnight Riot and, most recently, Lumberjacks In Hell. There's no doubt that this outing for Running Back - produced in cahoots with regular Ashley Beedle collaborator Darren Morris - is his most high-profile release to date. It's also rather good, particularly the glassy-eyed Italo-disco muscularity of "La Danza" - all driving arpeggio-style bass and mind-altering electronic motifs - and the solo-laden, mid-tempo Balearic house brilliance of closing cut "Star Dance", which sounds like something Phillip Lauer might conjur up. There are two real standouts for us, though: the driving, 1989 style piano house rush of "Moments" and the colourful, beat-free bliss of sunrise-ready bonus cut "Ambient Braindisk".
Review: Fresh from turning in a killer remix of the Soup Dragons "I'm Free" alongside Midnight Riot boss Yam Who, Alan Dixon returns to the label with a feisty four-track missive. He fires from the word go, with bounding, energy-packed opener "All We Need Is Dance" delivering a brilliantly bouncy revision of a shirts-off, turn-of-the-'80s San Francisco disco smasher. The thrills don't stop there, either. "Let Ya Feet Rock" is a thrilling combination of elastic slap bass, synth-fired disco-boogie instrumentation and sturdy beats, "Dance Across The Floor" is a seductive 129 BPM deep disco workout, and "Forever" is a riotous re-edit of a stone cold classic that sounds like an end-of-night anthem in the making.
Review: Alan Dixon's rapid rise continues via a fine EP on Lumberjacks in Hell that brilliantly showcases the producer's signature style. The heart of the EP is Maleke O'Ney collaboration "Whatcha Gonna Do", a driving, bass-heavy disco-house number whose restless, life-affirming piano solos, sustained organ chords and non-stop bassline sound like they were inspired by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' classic "Don't Leave Me This Way". Choose between the original mix, a sing-along friendly vocal version and a tidy Marcel Vogel rework that sports some seriously sexy Clavinet lines, sweeping disco strings and some suitably heavy house drums. Arguably best of all, though, is Dixon's new version of Frank Hooker's gospel-fired disco obscurity "Rise and Shine", a track he successfully tools up for contemporary dancefloors.
Review: Bizarrely, Running Back boss Gerd Janson describes this multi-artist EP as "a sampler for a hypothetical mixtape". Perhaps he should make that imaginary mix a reality, because all four cuts are quality. Check first the throbbing and pulsating brilliance of Storken's "Lille Vals", which sounds like an Italo-disco obsessive's take on Bobby Orlando's mid-1980s work (with a little NYC freestyle thrown in) before donning your extra-special dancing shoes to shuffle along to Alan Dixon's new dancefloor "Drums Mix" of his synthesizer soundscape "Ambient Braindisk". Zombies In Miami predictably deliver the goods on bleeping, synth-laden nu-disco throb-job "Panoramica", while Hokaiido's "Talisman" offers the perfect combination of delay-laden proto-house drums on steroids, bold freestyle bass and cheery synthesizer melodies.
Review: Since 2006 Permanent Vacation has earned its reputation for releasing some of the best in contemporary house, electro, disco and leftfield music, showcased and celebrated most with their various artist compilations. As lockdown in some parts of the world begins to ease, maybe a sixth Permanent Vacation is in order, which this time introduces a fresh cast to the series with our ears drawn to the abstract dub, drum and rhythm tracks of Bawrut, and Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rae in the tripped out "The Bukit Have Eyes". Smallville's main man in Paris Jacques Bon turns in a stair-sailing synth number of breezy, uplifting house in "Reverse Flight", with techier drums and club tracks coming from DJ Kuesse ("Tropicana Girl") and the au courant electro sounds of Eliott Litrowski's "Spray", and Sedef's Adasi's "Tender Trip" a highlight too.
Review: Six years has passed since Tensnake established the True Romance label, so this retrospective "best of" is arguably long overdue. The ten-track set is naturally dominated by his productions, with highlights including the dreamy Italo-disco revivalism of "Hello?", the slap bass-propelled Balearic disco cheeriness of "All In All" and the seductive electronic sensuality of "Desire". Elsewhere, there's another chance to savour Tiger & Woods superb mid-tempo proto house meets Italo-disco revision of Sunrise Highway's "Some Kind of Fool", a deserved airing for Phil Gerus' synth-laden jazz-funk workout "Make Time" and some stellar disco-house from T.U.R.F (the excellent "Never Get Enough".
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: There's no high concept behind Midnight Riot's latest compilation of label favourites and unheard cuts, just a desire to deliver "summer burners" to "make your body move". As usual, label boss Yam Who has gathered together a selection of original productions, re-edits and remixes that prioritize frenzied limb shaking. Highlights include a deliciously deep and woozy, Joey Negro style M+M rub of Soulpersona's "Sunset City", a bouncy, boogie-meets-nu-disco revision of Hypnotic Lovers' "Chemistry" by Birdee, the sax-laden disco-funk shuffle of Stephen King's "Hold On To You", some soaring peak-time disco edit business from Alan Dixon and a suitably cheery, talkbox-sporting rework of an underground disco classic by long-serving edit crew Drop Out Orchestra.
Review: While gospel has always been a strong influence in the worlds of house and disco, the volume of spiritually charged dancefloor tracks has rocketed in recent times. Hence this fine compilation from Midnight Riot and "gospel supremo" the Showfa, which gathers together new, recent and overlooked gospel-fired dancefloor jams. We're particularly enjoying Yam Who and Alan Dixon's brilliant new version of the Soup Dragons' "I'm Free" - think classic, Balearic-era baggy house with more prominence given to the London Gospel Choir's vocals and Dixon's wild organ lines - Le Visiteur's low-slung re-edit of an old gospel-disco gem ("Let The Sunshine") and the rubbery boogie-gospel-goes-filter-house excitement of Benjamin Ferreira's "What U Will". That said, there's barely a duffer to be found amongst the 19 tracks on show, with the emphasis rightly on celebratory positivity throughout.
Review: Get your skates on: there's a roller-disco at Midnight Riot HQ and everyone's invited! Naturally, there's heaps of highlights to be found on the imprint's third tribute to the early '80s roller-boogie sound. Amongst the 19 party-starting gems on show you'll fid a brilliant BB Boogie collaboration with original electrofunk sensation Leroy Burgess (the wonderfully soulful "Tonight We're Gonna"), a storming disco-house rub of Tom Vine's "Disco Scene" by Classic chief Luke Solomon, a fantastically rubbery P-funk excursion by C Da Afro and a typically expansive and musically rich Al Kent revision of Soundersons' "He Doesn't Love Me". Throw in killer cuts from Rayko, Sweetoth and Kellini, and you have another stellar collection of skate-ready jams.
Review: Anyone who's ever thought that disco's had it's day, well they clearly need to check out Le Spank, the latest bumper packed compilation from Yam Who?'s mighty Midnight Riot label for irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Yes the YM? duo have rustled up a whopping 20 summer jams to soundtrack out summer and boy are we grateful! Highlights include the hot-to-the-touch neon boogie of Qwestlife's "Streetlife" rework, HIfi Sean's campy hiNRG remake of "Shari Vari" and the deep, late 80s Brit house vibes of "Cant Get Enough" by Alan Dixon. Party all summer long!