Review: Glitterbox resident Dr Packer is a leading light of the contemporary disco scene, while Dave Lee was arguably THE key architect of the whole post-house disco phenomenon in the first place. So when the former helms a compilation on the latter's label, you'd expect great things, and suffice to say you're very unlikely to be disappointed. Hell, for this writer the deep n' sultry JN Revival Mix of early 90s classic 'Do What You Feel' is worth the price of admission on its own, but with Packer's own remixes of label favourites making up over a third of the tracklist, the collection as a whole is pretty much unmissable.
Review: Although best-known for his remixes and multi-track re-edits, Dr Packer occasionally delivers high-quality original productions that are well worth your attention. 'I Found Lovin', his latest attempt, is a retro-futurist as you'd expect, with late '80s UK soul man Kenny Thomas adding his distinctive vocals to a sparkling, life-affirming cut that reminded us to the 1988 NYC house productions of exiled Brit Paul Simpson. The presence of colourful, D-Train style synths and ear-catching Nile Rodgers style guitars amongst the piano-rich classic house grooves is further explored on the accompanying 'Dubstrumental Mix', which boasts the same smiling, hands-in-the-air feel as the Australian producer's impeccable original version.
Seamus Haji - "I Got You" (feat Bryan Chambers - Dr Packer extended remix) - (6:59) 120 BPM
Slam Dunk'd - "No Price" (feat Chromeo & Al-P - Dr Packer extended remix) - (8:06) 123 BPM
The Shapeshifters - "Try My Love (On For Size)" (feat Teni Tinks - Dr Packer extended remix) - (8:14) 120 BPM
Review: Aussie disco don Dr Packer has been Glitterbox Recordings' go-to remixer for some time now. Three years ago, the label opened up its archives and allowed him free reign to rework whatever he wanted, releasing the results as Dr Packer's Different Strokes. This belated sequel follows a similar blueprint, collecting together a wealth of remixes as well as a couple of non-stop DJ mixes of the same material. Much of the music is authentically disco-centric - think organic instrumentation, swirling strings and rushing vocals - with just enough grunt to please those dancefloors the require 21st century low-end weight. Highlights include a glassy-eyed take on Aeroplane's 'Love on Hold', a sing-along version of Lemelle's boogie gem 'You Got Something Special' and a handful of fine rubs of the Shapeshifters.
Review: Midnight Riot bring us a 20-track compilation that certainly can't be faulted on the eclecticism front, with tracks ranging from the boogie nouveau of Ilija Rudman's 'Let This Dream Be Real' to Sirs' fairly self-explanatory 'Turkish Folk', and from the sumptuous soul of Jack Tyson Charles' 'Glory' to BJ Smith's acoustic psych-pop cover of Soul II Soul's 'Keep On Movin''. The southern bar room funk of HP Edits's 'Why Don't You Slide', the smokey soundtrack jazz vibes of Peter Simmons' 'Downtown' and Phoenix's 'Sueno Latino'-ish 'Nature Dance' are three more highlights of a varied and enjoyable collection.
Review: You're only five years old once, so why not celebrate in style? And here Warrington lad Danny Worrall's disco and re-edits label Masterworks Music do just that, with an anniversary collection packing a whopping 50 back catalogue nuggets. You'll excuse us the full track-by-track, then, but suffice to say that this is the label that helped launch the careers of Dr Packer and Natasha Kitty Katt, both of whom feature here, and with names like Ziggy Phunk, Rayko, Alkalino, Chuggin' Edits and Fabiolous Barker also on bill, you should already have a pretty good idea what to expect. Classy stuff all round, and a great VFM package - here's to five more years!
Review: As the year comes to a close, labels are naturally offering up celebratory compilations showcasing their strongest releases of 2019. The latest comes from Midnight Riot, a prolific imprint that rarely fails to serve up the fieriest contemporary disco heat. As you'd expect, the 26-track selection includes a blend of superb original productions (the nu-disco soul warmth of Jack Tyson Charles' "Glory", Alton Edwards sweaty, synth-bass propelled boogie-house gem "I Just Wanna Spend Time With You", the swirling disco headiness of Arthur Baker's "Reachin' Out") and re-edits/reworks (Dr Packer's gospel boogie revision "The Power", C Da Afro's disco-funk slammer "Party Purpose" and the suitably celebratory "Boogie On Time" by Ladies On Mars). As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
Review: Every 12 months, Fingerman's prolific Hot Digits imprint serves up an epic compilation entirely made up of exclusive, previously unheard re-edits, reworks and original productions. They're invariably excellent and this year's edition - the fifth in total - is even more epic than usual. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing amongst the dancefloor focused 32-track selection, from the throbbing Italo-disco style electronic sleaziness of Peza's "I Gotta Little Love" and the bouncy, acid-flecked cheeriness of Limpdisco's "Rush Hour", to the angular nu-disco heaviness of Andy Kidd's "The Dope Cube", the sparkling 80s boogie goodness of LUP INO's "Don't Stop Fooling" and and disco-funk-goes-house pump of Fingerman's "Family Ties". Keep an eye out too for rock solid rubs by Dr Packer, Chuggin Edits, Rayko and Andy Buchan.
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: Fingerman's Hot Digits label has now notched up 50 releases. To celebrate this landmark occasion, the man himself has selected 25 of his favourite cuts from the label's rapidly expanding back catalogue. As a showcase for everything that's good about the imprint, it does a bang up job, gleefully jogging between exotic mid-tempo disco and disco-funk (Frank Virgilio, Dr Packer, The funk District), slo-mo disco-acid (Fingerman's tremendous rework of B-Jam's "Sundog"), kaleidoscopic, reworked '80s boogie business (Casual Connection, Melon Bomb, the hard-tweaked filters and heady loop business of Chewy Rubs), tried-and-tested party-starters (Smashed Atoms, Get Down Edits remixing Stephen Richards) and giddy peak-time workouts (Shit Hot Soundsystem, Dave Gerrard, Thomas Maslo, Kiu D). As the old saying goes, this is all killer, no filler.
Review: Disco Fruit's latest two-track missive sees label regular Loshmi join forces with Glitterbox regular and disco remixer to the stars Dr Packer. First up is "A Case of Emergency", which sounds like a tidied up, extra-fresh revision of a sparkling '80s soul/electrofunk jam full of addictive synth bass, sing-along chorus vocals, chiming melodies and twinkling pianos. Equally as impressive is accompanying cut-job "House In Downtown", another '80s soul style revision blessed with funk-fuelled boogie bass guitar, spacey synthesizer flourishes, life-affirming brass blasts and a vaguely familiar lead vocal that will have dancers singing along in unison. Proper party music for those who like their dancefloor grooves to come accompanied by shoulder pads, Jheri curls and a side order of cherry wine.
Review: While gospel has always been a strong influence in the worlds of house and disco, the volume of spiritually charged dancefloor tracks has rocketed in recent times. Hence this fine compilation from Midnight Riot and "gospel supremo" the Showfa, which gathers together new, recent and overlooked gospel-fired dancefloor jams. We're particularly enjoying Yam Who and Alan Dixon's brilliant new version of the Soup Dragons' "I'm Free" - think classic, Balearic-era baggy house with more prominence given to the London Gospel Choir's vocals and Dixon's wild organ lines - Le Visiteur's low-slung re-edit of an old gospel-disco gem ("Let The Sunshine") and the rubbery boogie-gospel-goes-filter-house excitement of Benjamin Ferreira's "What U Will". That said, there's barely a duffer to be found amongst the 19 tracks on show, with the emphasis rightly on celebratory positivity throughout.
Review: New York City's Wall Of Fame was established in August of 2014 by P-SOL. They really live up to their name on their new various artists release, which features an all star cast if we've ever seen it! Starting off with Aussie legend Dr. Packer who serves up some instant funk (see what we did right there?) on his truly burning "Instant Groove" while Guildford's Evil Smarty serves up a new rendition of a certain Ms. Vega classic on "4 Love". Elsewhere, Brighton's Fingerman gets down with a deep disco joint for lovers in the form of "Boogie Change Up" and finally the label boss himself - the always reliable Patrick Sullivan aka P SOL gets down with some hazy '70s rock swagger on "Let It Go". This follows up some great releases by UK's Andy Buchan and Napoleon, Munich's Alkalino and Javi Frias. For those of you that are chasing some 'respectful edits' look no further!
Review: Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint has packed in a lot of releases over the past 12 months, as this expansive roundup of the label's second year in business proves. Featuring 27 tracks and a bonus mix by the South Coast dwelling label boss, there's naturally plenty to admire. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the rolling, head-nodding grooves of Eyeco M's "Keeping It To Myself", the killer proto-house throb of "Tonight" by Bad Barbie vs Evil Smarty, the sexy, string-drenched disco loveliness of P-Sol's "Can't You See", LTJ's trumpet-boasting funk bumper "Fat Thing", and the hard-wired, bass-heavy rework of Julia & Company's "Breakin' Down (Sugar Samba)" by Melon Bomb. It is, though, all pretty darn hot.
Review: York-based soul/funk label claims "we make what we like in headphones come out the big speakers" and we like the way they think! There's a who's who on here who give credit to the edit. The Perth, Australia legend that is Greg "Dr." Packer features with the funky "Shane's Got The Power" and teams up with Mr Rhodes on "Comin' Off" which is a smoother ride on the soul train. Fellow Aussie Casual Connections serves us with boogie vibes of "Your Love" while loveable pranksters Alfa Flite give us the smooth re-edit of soul queen Sade on "Nothing" among others.
Review: The first installment of the Masterworks' Bag Of Tricks series went down a treat upon its summer release. Now it's the autumn and they've rustled up some more edits, 15 in fact, again featuring some big names on the nu-disco scene. This new comp will one and all swinging from the rafters from fireworks parties to Christmas knees-ups. Highlights include the Cathy Dennis-sound-alike cowbell jam "You Know How" by RobJamWeb, the swaggering guitar strut of "The Walk" by Silver Rider and Rabo & Snob's quirky, perky hiNRG pumper "Harry Rama".
Review: If you weren't aware already, Yam Who? is one ambitious, tirelessly active chap. First emerging at the turn of the century with some superb edits of poppy R n'b (anyone remember his boogie take on "Frontin" by Pharrell?) the Yam master has gone on to build quite the empire with his Midnight Riot label. The latest MR release reflects his nature, a new mix featuring 20 killer rollerskate jams from friends as well as some outright classics. Highlights include the glistening, chrome-plated funk of George Kelly's "Turn It Up", the sleek and synthy 80s jam "Living A Lie" by Freekwency and the slammin Linn drum freestyle action of "On The Upside (High Drummer edit)" by Wonkar.