Review: Fresh off a run of hot remixes for Glitterbox is Razor'n'Tape's JKriv who turns the disco arpeggios up to 11 with his soaring remix of Prospect Park's 'The Kinda Love'. Complete with real live strings, rattling percussion and the powerhouse vocals of Yolanda Wynns. JKriv also turns in a completely different more Chic-esque version on his 'Kinda Boogie' Mix. Packing away the synths and bringing the live disco bass and guitar into the spotlight.
Review: Second time around for the Sunburst Band's 'He Is', a track that first featured on the revivalist disco, soul and jazz-funk outfit's 2004 album The End of Time. This time round the headline attraction is a fresh revision from Freerange co-founder Jimpster, who combines snippets of the band's rich, organic instrumentation with his own drowsy late-night chords, tough beats and booming bass to deliver a properly driving, ultra-deep club rocker. Those who like energy and dreaminess will love it. The EP also offers another chance to listen to band founder Dave Lee's 2005 'Club Mix', a rather fine fusion of bustling deep house and glassy-eyed jazz-funk flourishes that boasts some seriously soaring improvised vocals and synth solos to die for.
Review: The release of Dave Lee's annual Essentials collection on Z Records - a kind of "best of the year" from his now 30-year-old imprint - is fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as family arguments, disappointing presents and undercooked turkey. Predictably the 2020 edition is once again up to scratch, with the much-loved Essex producer showcasing some seriously good disco, deep house, soulful house and revivalist dancefloor jazz-funk. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the rushing, sunshine soulfulness of Crackazat's 'Waterfalls', the Vision's 2020 re-rub of Jakatta and Seal classic 'My Vision', Michael Gray's extra-percussive disco-house take on Hi Voltage's 'Let's Get Horny', the celebratory brilliance of Art of Tones and Anduze's 'Flower Child', and the Shur-I-Kan's previously unreleased instrumental rework of Mistura's 'Smikle For Me'.
Review: This is the 300th release from Dave Lee's Z Records, who also celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. 'Power Of The Mind' bites an uplifting 80s male soul vocal from the Valentine Brothers, who are best known for 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' (as later covered by Simply Red), placing it atop crisp 4/4s, a heavyweight disco bassline, organ parps and vintage-style hands-in-the-air pianos, the end result being a timeless piece of disco-fuelled house music that's built with Saturday night peaktime play firmly in mind, and that's served in simple vocal and dub flavas. Impeccable stuff - long may they continue!
Review: Dave Lee's Z Records imprint has always been a reliable source of the sort of grandstanding house, soulful garage and disco-flecked grooves that require strong vocals. Lee, of course, is a past master at this kind of thing, and his 20-plus year career has seen him forge links with many legendary vocalists. This compilation celebrates those 'divas' - there are notable appearances from Taana Gardner, Gwen Guthrie, Thelma Houston, Michele Weeks and Taka Boom - by showcasing some of their best work for Z. There's some great material peppered throughout, from the classic disco-soul of the Sunburst Band's "In The Thick of It" and "Everyday", to the block party electrofunk of Kola Kube's cover of Carly Simon's "Why".
Review: Released on Joey Negro's Z Records, Rio spinner DJ Meme whips through thirty of the best from Z on this new mix - available either as individual unmixed tracks or as one continuous mix. Always a haven for the best soulful and funky house, Z Records highlights such as JN's mix of Doug Willis' "Power To The People", Sean McCabe's mix of JD73's "Think Twice" and Akabu's "The Phuture Ain't What It Used To Be" make for an effortlessly bumping and uplifting voyage.
Review: Covering the many guises of Dave "Joey Negro" Lee, Z Records compile some of the British house don's most 'beefa-shaped moments on this new, 25-track collection. Recent delights, such as his collaboration with Gramaphonedzie ("No Sugar") and his more soulful Doug Willis project ("Music Speaks Louder Than Words") mix up against classics such as "The Real Life" (done under Lee's "Raven Maise" alias) and tribal-house anthem "American Dream" - here represented with the extended "Different Gear" mix. Look out also for The Revenge's excellent edit of the disco bomb "Kilimanjaro" by Letta Mbulu.