Review: Unlike many of its rivals, Fingerman's Hot Digits label doesn't fill its' obligatory annual compilation with back catalogue cuts. Instead, we're offered a vast number of previously unheard re-edits, remixes and original productions. It's a successful blueprint and one religiously adhered to on Hot Digits: Year Seven, the popular imprint's latest must-check collection. There's not enough room to single out every sonic highlight, but our current favourites include the breezy boogie squelch of Ross Fitz's 'I Miss Your Love ('85 Mix)', the driving deep house haziness of Fingerman and Henri Le Blanc's 'Leave Your Cares Tonight', the neo-trance cheeriness of Picklejam's 'Endorphin Situation' and the stab-happy, peak-time house retro-futurism of 'The Feeling' by Downunder Disco.
Review: "Shall we go to the disco?" asks opener 'Do The Disco', but it's a fairly rhetorical question because after hearing the four tracks here, resistance to such an idea is gonna be pretty much futile! 'Do The Disco' is a looping affair but with a sound palette that's wide-ranging enough for things not to get boring. 'No Strutting' is a more contemplative, introspective kinda cut (albeit still very struttable, despite the title), while the instrumental and fairly self-explanatory 'Pianomania' takes us down a housier route before 'The Starlight' plays us out on a more chilled note - one for the Balearic jocks.
Review: Here's something a little different from Downunder Disco (real name Steve Cooper) and Masterworks Music: an EP whose lead track, "Drivin' Me", sidesteps disco altogether in favour of a throbbing, riff-heavy late night house sound rich in hands-aloft stabs, reverb-laden vocal samples and a booming bassline so thick it might be made out of treacle. The Aussie producer explores similar sonic territory on the similarly stab-tastic - if a little more musically expansive and percussive - "Disco-Tech", while "That's It" sees him craft a rubbery chunk of hybrid house/nu-disco fusion out of elastic bass, bumpin' beats and the kind of jazzy, swing-style riffs that were once a favourite feature of James Curd's Greenskeepers productions for Classic.
Review: Spa In Disco bring us a nu-disco collection that dares to push the envelope a little - many of the tracks here will work just as well on deep, progressive and even tech-house floors as they will in straight-up nu-disco sets. Tony Disco's big 'n' beefy 'Pistolero', for instance, should go down a storm pretty much wherever shapes are thrown to stomping beats and hefty basslines, while LaFrench Toast's 'Spaceball' wouldn't sound out of place on 3am Recordings, Downunder Disco's 'Way Up High' is a dreamy, space-y post-club classic in waiting and Molinaar's 'Cruus' could even slot into more uptempo minimal techno sets. A pleasingly varied, highly enjoyable compilation.
Review: Going by the volume of tracks on show, it would be fair to say that Masterworks Music's "Bag of Tricks" is not a little handbag, but more like a Mary Poppins style bottomless carpetbag. The label's latest rummage through its seemingly endless contents has been a successful one, with the 20 showcased cuts including a wealth of fine fusions of disco, house, boogie, electro and 80s soul. It's uniformly dancefloor-focused, with highlights including the Afro-house/disco-tech fusion of JB Dizzy, the driving, spaced-out disco-house grooves of Mike Woods, the loose-limbed, off-the-wall edits of Chewy Rubs, the sweet disco-soul bounce of RocknRolla Soundsystem, the delay-laden synth sing-along styles of Rayko and the hot-to-trot brilliance of Downunder Disco.
Review: With the sun finally making its presence felt in the UK, it seems a fitting time for Slightly Transformed to unleash this epic compilation of "Summer Numbers" - cheery, disco-fired chunks of positivity tailor made for al-fresco sets and celebratory shindigs. Featuring a mixture of tried-and-tested re-edits and sample-heavy original compositions, the 19-track set boasts a pleasingly high number of highlights. These include - but are no way limited to - the talkbox-sporting '80s disco/jazz-funk fusion of Shit Hot Soundsystem's "Be With You", the warm and woozy, synth-laden bliss of Chuggin Edits' "Floating", the slow and steady head-nod of Old Chaps wonderfully soulful "Flight With Love" and the fizzing disco rush of Limpdisco's "Gimme Mo". Get To Know's "Music" - a chunky revision of a jazz-funk era dancefloor destroyer by Dayton - is also excellent.
Review: The team behind Thunder Jam is dreaming of a "Fantasy Fling". Given that the compilation is an expansive, 21-track affair (sorry), it would be safe to say that they're thinking of a steamy, all-action romance rather than a disappointing one-night stand. Musically, the cuts on offer tend towards the warm and loved-up, with Adata's dreamy deep house opener "Marlena Soul" and the glassy-eyed Balearic disco heat of Aure Zwins' "Long Way" setting the tone. Highlights include the loopy, filter-heavy bounce of Celestino's Lionel Richie-sampling "Rhythm", the twinkling, picturesque nu-disco cheeriness of Double F.O.G's "Bang Bao Boulevard", the synth-heavy boogie revivalism of "Fangkok" by Ivan Fabra and the low-slung dub disco-goes-jazz flex of Noil Rago's "J.Club".
Review: Since making his debut a couple of years back, Downunder Disco producer Steve Cooper has become one of Thunder Jam's most reliable artists. Here the Aussie nu-disco don transfers to Fingerman's Hot Digits label to release what could well be his strongest EP. Of the four original tracks on offer, we're rather enjoying the lolloping beats, dreamy Rhodes chords and fluttering Balearic flourishes of "Gettin' Loose", the off0kilter Latino piano house bustle of "Horn Bag" and the wavy acid-funk of "Last Night Changed". Saskin S handles remix duties, first serving up a languid, head-nodding take on "Gettin' Loose" (the sun-kiised "Smoothie and Soft" mix), before heading towards peak-time dancers via an analogue bass-propelled deep house Club Mix of the same track.