Review: Theus Mago's Duro label decides to look back on the last-half decade with glee in this Hard Five Retrospective bringing together a huge compilation to help remind us what life's gonna be like when we're allowed back on the dancefloor! Not just bells and whistles, Duro keeps its flavours deep with cuts from Rigopolar in the Jean Michel Jarre/coldwave vibes of "Espiral" matched by the heavy beats and juicy basslines of Max Jones's "Poche". Earlier on you'll find some rare Tyu jams - our pick being the Espacio remix to "Stephen Hawking" - next to a selection of choice Bufi cuts (we recommended the Mio remix), with Mago going deep himself in the groove-centric "Luna". Other dope jams include Bruha's 808-driven "Ladra", Sascha Funke's remix to Motel77 and Rina & Benji killer workout "Koshmaro".
Review: ISM's tenth anniversary celebrations tend towards the epic, with the Yam Who-helmed label serving up a series of bulging retrospective compilations stacked to the rafters with imprint highlights, dancefloor hits and overlooked gems. This second selection boasts 24 more tried-and-tested ISM classics, from the rubbery disco-funk bounce of Birdee's "Chemistry" and the synth-laden electrofunk revivalism of Qwestlife's D-Train style revision of "Streetlife" by Natasha Watts, to the spiraling Balearic disco throb of Pete Herbert's killer remix of Gemini Brothers' "Jeckermich" and the piano-powered nu-disco-soul of Rocco Raimundo's "Higher Lovin", featuring the smooth vocals of Stee Downes. Other highlights include the boogie-soul revivalism of Sweetooth's "Make Believe" and the hypnotic deep house/electrofunk fusion that is Mark E's fine revision of Heion's "Follow Me".
Review: Mexican label Duro is run out of Mexico for the last 10 years, founded by Theus Mago, Moisees Ramirez Olvera and Mateo Gonzaalez - aka Bufi. He returns with the third single from his Mexico 70 album which is due to be released soon after releases on labels like Discotexas and Electrique Music. He delivers the woozy punk-funk of "Brujerias" and the psychedelic (almost acid techno) vibe of "Africa Latina" venturing into the same territory as indie dance heroes like Red Axes and Moscoman have also done of late. Remixes come from Richard Rossa - who brings the goods on the moody noir antics of his remix of "Africa Latina" as does Maya Danon on her druggy minimal tech house rework.
Henry Saiz - "Balance Presents Natura Sonoris" (continuous DJ mix) - (2:23:28)
Review: Henry Saiz hails from Spain; he's a music producer who's highly regarded, someone even called him a genius once (although there is a possibility that it was he himself who said it), and here he takes the reigns of the 19th volume in the Balance Presents series. He embarrasses a legion of sham DJs too by weaving a mix that utilises vinyl, cassette, reel-to-reel tapes and over 100 field recordings. All the material here is exclusive to this mix and the hypnotic, primal trance-electro-disco-house blend is once heard, never forgotten. A genuine artist at work.
Review: Since making his name with a string of fine EPs on Electrique Music earlier in the decade, Bufi returned to action last year with a fine album entitled Revelacion. Here, a quartet of likeminded producers takes it in turns to rework tracks from that set. Spanish producer AFFKT steps up first, sneakily turning EBM-influenced chugger "Apocalipstick" into a hard-wired chunk if throbbing, Italo-disco inspired sleaze. Eskimo Recordings regulars Zombies In Miami delivers a sparse, electro-influenced revision of "New Ground", before Max Jones tiptoes the fine line between acid-flecked deep house and psychedelic nu-disco on his re-make of "Interlude". Finally, Damon Jee gives "Peaks" a thorough going over, fixing Nitzer Ebb style electronics to a dark-wave disco groove.
Review: Lisbon's Discotexas return with Mexican producer Bufi and his Revalacion LP. The solo project of one Mateo Gonzalez Bufi, a producer hailing from Mexico City who claims to have been influenced by a wide variety of genres ranging from early chicago acid house or detroit techno, to scandinavian nu-disco, to post-punk and krautrock. He's released previously on ISM, Kitsune and La Belle. Starting out with the slow burning EBM of "Apocalipstick (feat Franka Polari)" or the lo-slung acid house of "Dan's Return (feat Zimmer)", there's more variety on offer in the form of "Peaks" and its dark, slinky tech house stylings or the the brooding, Crosstown Rebels style deep house of "New Ground (feat Lalolimann)".
Review: Having focused exclusively on digital releases for its first six years, leading Mexican disco/house/Italo fusionist label Electrique has decided to press this 80th EP to vinyl. Happily, it's also available as a digital EP. An all-star concoction featuring various label regulars, it variously touches on bleep-heavy deep house (La Royale and Pato Watson's bleep-heavy "Gravy"), dirty analogue electronics (a trippy and fuzzy offering from Max Jones), rubbery machine funk (Gameboyz), throbbing heads-down fare (Bufi, Eddie Mercury) and Latin-tinged analogue disco (Juan Soto & Rocco Desentis). Best of all, though, is Thomas Jackson's Lee Scratch Perry-sampling "For The Junkies", a prize slice of fuzzy, Prins Thomas-ish organic disco.
Review: Bufi is arguably one of the most productive - not to mention successful - producers in the Mexican electronic music scene. Along with others from the Electrique Music imprint, he's been responsible for defining the Mexican nu-disco sound - a kind of fuzzy blend of vintage electronics, new-wave attitude, house sassiness, indie-dance posturing and electrofunk squelch. Here he returns with another double dose of stylish goodness. "Bees" is pleasingly sparse, creating an attractive dancefloor proposition from a handful of (excellent) elements (wide-eyed Balearic melodies, synth bass, fuzzy guitar, crusty live beats and baggy vocals). "El Techno En Tu Idoma" substitutes tactile dreaminess for the hedonistic delights of a stripped-back groove, punk-funk vocals and proto-house attitude.
Review: Mexico's Bufi has been quietly tucked away in his production bunker for the best part of a year, concocting more nu-disco potions for our pleasure. Here he again hooks up with La Royale (if it ain't broke...) for "Watch Out", which has a serious case of the Bobby Orlando's with a raw, hi-NRG bassline surfing over a solid 4/4. Yan Wagner's mix is indeed rough disco, a fine example of the kind of acidic proto-house coming out of that city right now. "Jaylo" is the kind of groove-based Italo disco favoured by the likes of Tiga. Hot Stuff!
Review: Along with the likes of Daniel Maloso, Bufi and La Royale are leading a very healthy Mexican scene that's heavily indebted to 80s disco and proto-house. This isn't the first time these two have collaborated and you can hear why - they have a genuine chemistry that results in some excellent retro dance bangers. "Paris" sees lean, mean, neon bass notes lock over 4/4 nu-disco drums in an intense mechanical groove. Hazy vocals and heavy breathing jostle for position with high drama cosmic synthlines in what's basically a dubbed-out Italo winner.
Review: By the sounds of things, if you're of the nu-disco persuasion, Mexico is really kickin' off these days. Bufi is one of that city's leading lights as can be evidenced here. "Training Tofu" is like one of those club records from the 80s that's equal parts new wave, disco and house...proto house in other words. In Ron Hardy was around today he'd be slammin this! On the remix front we have glacial electro soul from Heko, killer, Bobby O-style, electro-disco from Andre VII and cool punk-funkisms from Avanti. Top-notch all round.
Review: It seems that we're not the only ones to have noticed the recent rise of Mexican disco-not-disco, and more specifically the anything-goes fusion antics of the Electrique Musique label. ISM head honcho Yam Who has been paying close attention, and here compiles a showcase featuring tracks the label and related Mexican artists. There's much to admire, from the wide-eyed Balearic disco shuffle of Zombies in Miami and the head-nodding, toe-tapping house shuffle of Mr Jones, to the post-punk electrofunk of Avanti and dayglo Prince grooves of Thomass Jackson. Listing all the highlights is near impossible, so just dive in - you won't be disappointed.
Review: For the third volume in Electrique Music's Late Night Songs series, Bufli and La Royale join forces. "Michael" is an interesting cut, mixing elements from punk funk (the low-slung bassline), disco (the unfussy percussion), garage (cut-up vocal hits and New Jersey-ish organs), boogie (twiddly, Prelude-ish synths) and nu-disco (everything else) to create a beguiling midtempo groover. The addition of some sparse, reverb-laden vocals gives the whole thing a distinctly laidback late night vibe, though there's enough oomph to proceedings to suggest a positive dancefloor response. It's arguably the strongest track in the series to date, and well worth a listen.