Review: DJ Kaos seems to keep Jolly Jams' most "hush-hush" material for the label's occasional Promo Only series. There's plenty to get excited about on this latest digital installment. For example, you'll struggle to find a more on-point early Chicago house edit than Baffopizza's sterling, gospel-tinged effort - all sweaty, jackin' beats, chunky bass and swirling vocal samples - though Kaos's own effort, a deliciously druggy, basement-bothering affair - pushes it close. Pete Herbert's contribution bubbles away impressively via waves of acid and dubbed-out synth lines, while Leo Mas and Fabrice's remix of Conor's contribution effortlessly flits between cut-up electro drums and blasts of rubbery, punk-funk grooves.
Review: Germany's DJ Kaos, AKA Dennis Kaun, returns to Jolly Jams with a nu-disco cut that's likely to divide crowds right down the middle. 'Unofficial', you see, is a cover of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' rendered in the style of 'I Feel Love' - and for many on the more chinstroke-y side of the contemporary disco scene, that's gonna be several steps towards the cheese counter too far, for sure. But you know what they say about horses and courses, and if you're someone who mostly plays to commercial crowds, this could probably be quite a useful one to have on standby. Comes accompanied by a more downtempo/reprise-style remix.
Review: Presumably DJ Kaos spent much of lockdown crafting fresh re-edits of trippy little-known tunes, because his latest four-track selection of heady reworks is arguably his strongest release for some time. We're particularly enjoying the urgent, vocoder-loving disco-funk madness of 'Tapping The Source', a wild and wonderful rearrangement of a thoroughly obscure cover version of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall', though the more cosmic, hypnotic headiness of piano-sporting Italo-disco number 'Crystal Voyager' is similarly addictive. Elsewhere, 'Spiral Jetty' is an extra-druggy, Italo-disco style re-make of a familiar nu-disco classic, while 'Region Centrale' is a delay-laden take on what sounds like an early Chicago house jam (with added 'Buffalo Gals' acapella snippets).
Review: While he's called his new EP Save The World From Bad Music, we could argue that DJ Kaos has been on that mission for the best part of two decades. Happily, his latest chunk of cheekiness on Jolly Jams contains another quartet of party-starting treats. He begins with the wide-eyed, cut-and-paste brilliance of "S", which somehow joins the dots between squidgy late '80s Euro-house, "Long Train Running" and Italian house pianos, before getting busy with an obscure proto-house jam on "A". "V" is a killer rework of an early '80s tune that sits somewhere between AOR disco and proto-house, while brilliant closer "E" sticks a rocket under an obscure, psychedelic-era funk-rock gem.
Review: DJ Kaos has gone for a minimalist approach on this latest "Promo Only" release, not bothering with track names or, it seems, any kind of promotion. Whether edits, sneaky remixes of sample-heavy cuts, both tracks are nothing less than superb. "Promo Only (A)" builds magnificently throughout, with glistening, occasionally delay-laden guitar lines and Balearic electronics becoming increasingly prevalent as the throbbing, Italo-disco goes-Balearic track progresses. It sounds like the kind of thing you'd expect to hear on Scandolearic imprints such as Full Pupp, and that's no bad thing. "Promo Only (B)" is looser, groovier and, if anything, even more saucer-eyed, with the addition of jaunty pianos, eyes-wide-shut synths and delay-laden trumpet lines perfectly complimenting the dub disco groove.
Review: This fine Jolly Jams release gathers together a quartet of largely overlooked DJ Kaos productions, all of which have previously been released on other labels. While few remember the breezy, post-punk disco sweetness that was 2009's Rong Music/DFA Records released "Love The Night Away", or for that matter the slipped new wave-meets-Italo-via-Balearic fusion of 2011's "From Inside", both are undeniably excellent. Best of all, though, are the two contrasting versions of "Kosmischer Ruckenwind", which originally appeared on Clone's Loft series. The shorter "Part 1" is actually a tasty dancefloor-friendly remix by Eltechnique, but it's the stretched-out, 12-minute original (here dubbed "Part 2") - a blissful exercise in krautrock/kosmiche, full of bubbling synth lines and glistening guitars - which stands out.
Review: DJ Kaos doesn't put out many re-edits these days, but when he does, they're invariably superb. This seven-track set of fresh reworks contains some of his finest scalpel work to date. The headline attraction is undoubtedly "Midnight Patrol", a brilliant rearrangement of the Valverde Brothers' 1978 disco cover of JJ Cale's "After Midnight" that makes much of the winding synth solos and gospel backing vocals. There's plenty of other killer material throughout, though, from the synth-laden cosmic disco throb of "Stranger", and 135 BPM tropical drum workout "Ocean Rhythms", to the '70s rock surge of "Psychedelic Supermarket" (a tasty re-cut of The Who favourite "Eminence Front"). All killer, no filler.
Review: Renowned for releases on DFA, !K7, Rong and Clone amongst others, DJ Kaos has spread his Chicago infused house message to the whole world. Now, on German imprint Diynamic, he drops a deep and grooving electronic workout in "Hard to Earn". Sharing this exclusive release is a special collaboration between Holger Zilske and Daso who turn in a wonderfully unique and twisted number in the form of "Westbound". Finishing the release, Solomun ties in a low-slung, groove-led rework of "Hard to Earn".
Review: Given that DJ Kaos's Jolly Jams imprint has consistently delivered some of the most unsusual and inspired re-edits and reworks around, you'd expect this label compilation to be nigh-on essential. It is, of course, with the eccentric, long-serving producer serving up a mixture of languid, sunset-ready synth-scapes ('Tangerine Stream' by Galling & Gruzis), electro-disco chuggers (Mark E Quark's "Slo-Mo Edit" of 'Doin' It Right'), fiery disco-funk (Bastedos' 'Nobody' and Dany B's 'Gotta Get It'), oddball disco ('Tapping The Source' by DJ Kaos), late-night acid sleaziness (Ivo Del Plado and Tavish's spaced-out 'Raw Seduction'), and glassy-eyed Balearica (Cole Medina). The package also contains a superb, slowed down re-imagining of Sylvester's 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' by Balearic Skip that's simply stunning.
Review: There's naturally plenty of high-grade material to be found on Jolly Jams' latest round up of previously "promo only" material from their regular vinyl missives. It's a thrill-a-minute ride through illicit underground dancefloor pastures that touches on a variety of styles, from the "Buffalo Gals"-sampling early Chicago House flex of Promo Only's "Promo Only" (track 9) and the pitched-down jazz-funk/disco-funk re-edit brilliance of Conor's "Sure Thing", to the Ron Hardy style grooves and dub delays of new wave/proto-house rework "Sake of Nothing" by Slaves of Love, via DJ Kaos's sought-after dancefloor tweak of an infamous Italo disco-era cover of Eric Clapton's "After Midnight" (here re-titled "Midnight Patrol"). The latter, now near impossible to find on vinyl, is simply essential.