Review: Middlesborough-based DJ/producer Appo has been mixing up and chopping up tracks since the late '70s. Here he makes his first appearance on re-edit imprint Chopshop with a five-track, pick 'n' mix assortment of floor-friendly reworks that touches on Balearica, AOR and, of course, disco. In the latter category come slo-mo disco-reggae drum workout "Fantasy Island" and scream-along disco-soul anthem "Getaway". Weirdly, two of the best cuts are also the most esoteric selections. Appo must have had his tongue firmly pressed in cheek when chopping up Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman" (really) and JJ Cale's "Cocaine". Both tracks are given a surprisingly Balearic new lease of life.
Review: Re-edit heavy hitters Chopshop are back following their recent killer Greg Wilson/Groove Armada EP, and the big guns are out in force. Andrew Clarke is first up with "My Desire", an exotic funk bass and shimmering grand piano orgy. Then Yam Who? arrives at the party armed with "Quested": an immense synth-boogie looper that will slay you without even trying. Not to be outdone, DJ Butcher's "The Future Is Ours" risks weirding out the dancefloor with its twisted leftfield funk, and succeeds (possibly due to the dog barking bit). Lastly Appo ends with a classic: an arpeggiated disco cover of Chain Of Fools.
Review: Chopshop mark the completion of their first decade in the game with this 17-track compilation of funk n' breaks nuggets from the label vaults. Groove Armada and Situation both feature, but generally the emphasis is on less well-known names, who serve up a mixture of cheeky bootlegs, re-edits and original material. Dave Gerrard samples the Average White Band on 'Drop The Pieces' and George Kelly & DJ S's 'Movin' To The Groovin' takes Wild Cherry to the breakbeat party, but the majority of the tracks draw on less obvious sources of inspiration, with standouts including the big beat/lounge-y vibes of Senior Citizens' 'What A Body' and the ghetto disco groove of Appo's 'Getaway'.
Review: Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint has packed in a lot of releases over the past 12 months, as this expansive roundup of the label's second year in business proves. Featuring 27 tracks and a bonus mix by the South Coast dwelling label boss, there's naturally plenty to admire. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the rolling, head-nodding grooves of Eyeco M's "Keeping It To Myself", the killer proto-house throb of "Tonight" by Bad Barbie vs Evil Smarty, the sexy, string-drenched disco loveliness of P-Sol's "Can't You See", LTJ's trumpet-boasting funk bumper "Fat Thing", and the hard-wired, bass-heavy rework of Julia & Company's "Breakin' Down (Sugar Samba)" by Melon Bomb. It is, though, all pretty darn hot.