Review: Well, who would have expected this!? Norway's Doc L Junior, who has appeared on the likes of the mighty Sex Tags Mania and Music For Freaks, has been making music since the late 1990s and he's finally returned from the depths of the underground and onto the busy Paper Recordings. Much like his other tunes, "Twilight" is delightfully playful in both its structure and its tone, a wacky house chugger with schizophrenic melodies that build and drop continuously - a Juno Download tip! Compatriot Juri Hulkkonen takes care of the remix duties by dubby-ing out the vibes, making the original into a distant and frenetic memory compared to its deep and laid-back groove.
Review: For 15 years now Norway's Full Pupp label has been a constant source of redefined disco, rhythm and electro music thanks to a funky fruit salad of artists like Prins Thomas, Magnus International, Oyvind Morken and Blackbelt Anderson - to Lindstrom, Telephones and Chmmr over the years. From that list, Blackbelt makes it back to this anniversary comp with a '70s Jamaican dub inspired house loop alongside the mighty loose but banging and woozy "Blot Fis I Hvite Linbukser' from Fett Burger. Everyone' favourite Bjorn Torske sends in some low end funk and delayed guitar rhythms in "Ramma", with syncopated Latin vibes, shaky pianos and frantic percussion in "Metro Part 1" by Doc L Junior.
Review: Arguably the most notable thing about this third volume in Full Pupp's "Splits" series - aside from the fact that it's really rather good - is the appearance of Doc L Junior, one of the unsung heroes of Norwegian dance music (he first started DJing and producing music in the '90s). His contribution, the quirky dub-disco/Munich Machine/Erot fusion of "C'est Ca", feels like a long-lost gem from the "Bergen Wave" era of Norwegian dance music. It's great, and about the most Norse thing you'll hear this month. Elsewhere, Frantzvaag doffs a hat to vintage Those Norwegians releases on Paper Recordings via the low-slung, filter-heavy disco-house of "Saitama", while MI re-edits "Sampletune" into a suitably celebratory chunk of left-of-centre disco cheeriness.
Review: The sixth volume in Whiskey Disco's ongoing "Small Batch" series boasts a tasty rework from one of the longest-serving members of the Norwegian house and disco fraternity, former Music For Freaks and Sex Tags Mania contributor Doc L Junior. His contribution, "Closer", is undeniably the EP's strongest moment, with the Tromso resident brilliantly wrapping jammed-out electric piano lines, chiming vibraphone solos and tight horn blasts around a chunky and bumping house groove. Elsewhere, Colombian crew GOD (short for "Grumpy Old DJs", apparently) brilliantly breathe new life into what sounds like a sun-kissed Brazilian boogie record from the mid 1980s, before Just Baker offers up a loopy, filter-sporting trip into swirling disco-house territory.
Review: Prins Thomas's Full Pupp reached their 15th birthday in 2020, an event they've been celebrating all year via a series of five EPs. Now, all five get conveniently bundled together in album for the benefit of anyone who hasn't been paying attention! The album's 23 tracks span a fair range of musical ground, from straight-up deep house (see Marius Vareid's 'Acidus') and shimmering nu-disco (Pandreas's 'N.M.') to leffield electronica (DJ Fett Birger's 'Blot Fis | Hvite Linbukser', floaty prog (JaddaJaddaPlay's 'Flagrende Gevanter') and haunting cosmic/Italo disco (Tarje & Are's 'For Rubicon'), making for an enjoyable and varied listen.
Review: Label co-owner Flash Atkins is at the controls for this second celebration of Paper Music's first 25 years. While there's a smattering of material from the label's first 15 years, the majority of Atkins' selections come from releases put out over the last decade. Like its' predecessor, it's an action-packed affair full of high quality cuts. Standouts include the swirling nu-disco bliss of Rave-Enka's "Honningen", the hazy lounge-jazz-meets-house sleaziness of Diskobeistet's "Birklunden", the piano-powered chunkiness of Leon Sweet's "Beat Slave Auto", the analogue deep house bubbliness of Doc L Junior's "Twilight" and the early morning deep house hypnotism of Ryan Kick's remix of Space Coast's "Just Past Midnight". Best of all, though, is the TB-303-powered hypno-house insanity of Ralph Myerz and The Kosmik Diamondz 14-minute "Acid 4 Eddie".
Review: Paper Recordings comes through with the absolute goods; a compilation that many true-school house heads wound dream of, especially to own it on digital formats. This is the Northern Disco Lights compilation, a total treasure chest of Scandinavian house jams that are going for serious amounts of money on the second-hand market. In short, this is your chance to own these beauties and mould them into your sets. Inside, you'll find timeless tunes from the likes of the great Bjorn Torske, Doc L Junior, and even the dearly missed Erot with the stone-cold classic "Song For Annie". But, there's more; Biosphere appears with that inimitable drone flair, and even Todd Terje features proudly, as per usual. An absolutely essential release. Warmly recommended.
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his brilliant "Sunny Bigler" single, Leon Sweet has been installed as the man behind the decks for the second volume of Paper Disco's Trash The Wax series. Sweet's two-hour DJ mix is excellent, of course, but it's the unmixed tracks - a combination of unheard bits and recent Paper gems - that make this compilation essential. Expect a range of re-edits and original tracks that variously touch on nu-disco, Italo, boogie and, of course, house. Highlights are plentiful, and include a trippy slow acid version of The Balearic Beat Boy's "Waiting For Me", a typically rubbery mid-80s soul re-cit from 80s Child, and a killer, filter-heavy rework of Melba Moore by Neil Diablo.