Review: Over the past few years, Qwestlife - AKA Yam Who's Andy Williams and new partner-in-crime Tom Laroye - have become go-to sprinklers of magic disco dust in the same way the likes of Dr Packer, Richard Earnshaw and Dave Lee were before them. Here, Midnight Riot gather together 11 of their best re-rubs, and just one look at the artist roster - Mannix, Ron Carroll, Andre Espeut, Nick Reach Up, Rony Breaker - should be enough to get lovers of the soulful stuff salivating, with standouts for this writer including the boogie nouveau of Jack Tyson Charles's 'Best Friend' and The Wandas' dreamy, soul-drenched 'Baby Don't You Go'.
Review: Originally scheduled for a December release, here at last come the remixes for a Situation/Andre Espeut collab that first landed back in November. The original sat somewhere on the mod-soul-acid jazz spectrum, but the remixes take us down a more uptempo route. Fingerman's Version Excursion gets the ball rolling and has something of a laidback, Nang-style nu-disco feel, before Soulfuledge bring us a percussion-led, Afro-tinged house rerub. Groovement Inc's take sits towards the broken beat end of the soulful house spectrum, before Ash Reynold steps up with a Balearic-leaning deep house take that for this reviewer is the pick of the crop.
Review: Vocalist Andre Espeut has appeared on so many Situation releases that we're genuinely not sure if he's officially a member of the band or not! Here they hook up once again, and suffice to say if you've dug any of their previous outings you'll probably be feeling this one too. Situation's uniquely soulful take on contemporary disco/boogie is in full effect on the original, a Vocal Reprise will please the more creative jocks, Ron Basejam drags us into a sweaty basement on his druggier, chuggier rub, and finally fellow scene stalwarts Chevals come with a mellower take that lets the vox and strings shine through.
Review: Sadly we fear more than love may be needed to fix 2020, but those plucky Midnight Rioters are on hand to give it a go anyway, as they serve up a 19-track compilation of disco, nu-boogie, disco-house and soulful house grooves, with the emphasis firmly on dancefloor thrills and belt-along vocals. Some of tracks are re-edits (Musta's 'I Like Dance', for instance, reworks Cheryl Lynn's classic 'Got To Be Real'), some are original productions; all are built with slinky hips and dancing feet in mind, and with cuts from the likes of Situation, Andre Espeut and Natasha Katt, not to mention Rony Breaker's soulful anthem-of-the-moment 'Change', disco dollies will be more than satisfied.
Review: Boogie-loving soul man Andre Espeut should be regarded as one of the nu-disco scene's finest voices. Yet despite adding his slick, smooth vocals to all manner of other people's music, he's yet to enjoy considerable solo success. Perhaps this new single, featuring two superb mixes from Yam Who and Tom Laroye's Qwestlife project, will change that. The opening "French Connection Remix" place Espeut's superb vocal atop a killer backing track that sits somewhere between revivalist electrofunk and "Get Lucky"-era Daft Punk. The track's inherent boogie flavour is explored more explicitly on the looser and even more synth-heavy "London Lockdown Mix", which is probably our pick of the pair (though it's a close-run thing).
Review: West Country heroes Situation have kept it local on their latest EP, which offers up a suite of previously unheard re-rubs of Andre Espeut hook-up "Beyond Compare" by Bristol-based house hero Sean McCabe. It starts with vocal and instrumental interpretations built around warming, mood-enhancing chords, jangly piano riffs, unfussy beats and the kind of slick, ear-catching electronic bassline more associated with Atjazz productions. Then McCabe offers up a superb "Vocal Reprise" take that sounds a little "fuller" and more energy-packed (thanks in part to his use of more urgent-sounding vocal snippets and grandiose chord sequences), as well as a brilliantly dreamy and locked-in Dub that sounds a little like one of Frankie Knuckles' classic remixes. The final bonus treat is definitely worth some special attention too.
Review: Contemporary boogie is the order of the day on this EP from George Kelly, an Athens-based producer who's also one-half of the duo Capitan Futuro. The original mix of 'Late At Night' finds UK soul vocalist Espeut flexing his tonsils atop a languid, rolling backdrop straight outta 1983. The Guitar Dub then brings some excellent jazz-funk six-string work to the fore - don't be surprised if this one crops up on more than a few 'Ibiza chill-out'-type comps this summer - while completing the package is a Rockfreak Pella that cheekily nods to Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel's classic 'White Lines'.
Review: Known to his mum as Larry Holcombe, Get To Know's Facebook page describes his musical influences as '80s boogie, disco, indie and house", and it's fair to say that you can hear all of the above in his latest offering. 'Better Love' is supplied in four mixes: the Radio Edit has naturally been shaped to emphasise the track's poppier elements, the Club Mix will suit more commercial floors, the Babert Remix takes things a little more underground with a throbbing 80s bassline while the standout rub comes from Cuz Electric, who drop the tempo and concentrate even more on the bottom end.
Review: For the second time, Stroud collective Situation joins forces with golden-voiced singer Andre Esput and asks, "What Is Going On?" Some of their many producer pals provide sterling remixes of the Cotswolds crew's tasty original version, which hit stores back in June. The Andromeda Orchestra step up first with a low-slung, party-hearty disco-funk version that expertly channels the spirit of Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up", before West Country deep house veterans BRS offer up a smooth, warm and groovy revision tailor made for sun-kissed afternoons, humid evenings and sweat-soaked nights. To round things things off in style, Bitter Suite peppers a broken beat influenced house groove with jazz-funk synths, spacey chords and just the right amount of warming slap bass.
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.