Review: Disco house from the sultry n' sophisticated side is the order of the day on this latest salvo from the Slightly Transformed camp. In its Original form, 'Burnin' Up' goes straight for the jugular - think peaktime at Glitterbox, though the sheer quality of the vocal and the deceptively complex funk bassline ensure it stays well clear of the cheese board. Jean Jacques Smoothie opts for a slightly deeper, chunkier feel but the standout for yours truly is the stripped-back Monsieur Van Pratt Redub, wherein the pianos get a chance to really shine, while a radio edit completes the package.
Review: With 23 tracks to choose from, there's no faulting the value for money offered by this summer compilation from London's Slightly Transformed label. Such an extensive tracklist also offers plenty of scope for stylistic variety, with tracks ranging from laidback, groovesome boogie/soul jams like opener 'What Are We Gonna Do' to the mellow Balearic haze of 'Summer In The City', via the strident 80s attitude of 'Edgy', the looping filter disco of 'Something About Love', the authentic-sounding Blaxploitation funk of 'Mac And Carly Go Uptown', the Zapp/Cameo-isms of 'Firebabe' and even a bossa nova cover of Bill Withers. Serve poolside, accompanied by several mojitos, for maximum impact!
Review: On their previous outing, long-serving nu-disco duo Drop Out Orchestra joined forces with vocalist Emma Putila for a cheery outing that cannily combined elements of celebratory disco old and new. This time out, they've opted for more of a Balearic nu-disco feel, with calming flute solos, rich electric piano chords and colourful synth sounds riding snappy drums and one of their trademark bass guitar lines. Throw in some clipped, Chic style guitar riffs and jazzy solos and you have a track tailor made for lazy afternoons and humid evenings. The obligatory remix comes courtesy of rising star Monsieur Von Pratt, who makes the most of the pair's brilliant bass and guitar parts, combining them with chunkier beats and a few more squiggly synth lines to excellent effect.
Review: There's no high concept behind Midnight Riot's latest compilation of label favourites and unheard cuts, just a desire to deliver "summer burners" to "make your body move". As usual, label boss Yam Who has gathered together a selection of original productions, re-edits and remixes that prioritize frenzied limb shaking. Highlights include a deliciously deep and woozy, Joey Negro style M+M rub of Soulpersona's "Sunset City", a bouncy, boogie-meets-nu-disco revision of Hypnotic Lovers' "Chemistry" by Birdee, the sax-laden disco-funk shuffle of Stephen King's "Hold On To You", some soaring peak-time disco edit business from Alan Dixon and a suitably cheery, talkbox-sporting rework of an underground disco classic by long-serving edit crew Drop Out Orchestra.
Review: As you might extrapolate from the title, Riot In Lagos is Midnight Riot's tribute to the endearing influence of African dance music. In typical style, this is achieved through a blend of contemporary productions, sample-heavy cuts and edits of original African material. The standard is impressively high throughout, with little in the way of fluff or filler. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the inspired deep house/Afro-disco fusion of Mena & Melgado's "African Food", the rich deep house bump of Yam Who's "How We Do", the dense percussion and glistening guitars of Drop Out Orcherstra's Candido tribute, "Jin Go La", and the pitched-down, Fela-in-dub chug of Hober Mallow's "Egbe Mi O". Oh, and Jonny Walters' hypnotic Afro-boogie shuffler "Jam Bo Ree".
Review: The Drop Out Orchestra massive make an appearance outside of their more familiar Drop Out label and land most vertically on Germany's Peppermint Jam with a four-pronged house affair for the weekend evenings. "I Got It" is a soulful, disco-leaning romper-stomper with classy vocals by Yvette and all that stringy goodness you'd come to associate with the 70's. The tune is rewired by HIMWOL into a funky house number and by Gary Baldi into an 80's electro kinda jam. You also get an instrumental of the original, naturally...
Review: In a bid to promote their first vinyl compilation, Original & Unreleased Volume 1, the kind lads and lasses at File Under Disco have delivered this digital taster. It features remixes of previously released FUD jams by Drop Out Orchestra and JKriv & The Disco Machine. The former's "The National Theatre" gets a jaunty, extra-percussive refresh from British nu-disco veterans Dicky Trisco and Pete Herbert, who make great use of the original's sharp, swirling strings and low-slung groove. Arguably even better, though, is Get Down Edits' remix of JKriv and company's "Disco Rocket", which expertly laces the original's celebratory vocal around a breezy, sparse, bass-heavy disco groove.
Review: Drop Out Orchestra are one of a handful of acts producing high quality revivalist disco and boogie, joining the dots between classic sounds and modern nu-disco. "Tough Love", their latest single on their own Drop Out label, is one of the strongest examples of their retro-futurist sound for some time. The original version, featuring the vocals of Steven Kimber, bristles with classic electrofunk synths, cheery disco guitars and snappy drum machine beats. The Cyclist delivers the obligatory remix, adding some stonking house pianos on a bright-and-breezy nu-disco take that's even more upbeat than the original. Best of all, though, is the percussion-heavy Tough Dub, a delay-laden instrumental in the style of 1980s boogie dubs.
Review: There's an authenticity to the multi-coloured disco revivalism of Drop Out Orchestra that's hard to dislike. While their music is more often than not firmly focused on contemporary dancefloors - see the nu-disco of "Made Fists" or the Italo-and-electrofunk influenced goodness of "Trees, Grass and Stones" - they're not afraid to proudly display their influences. This six-track EP for File Under Disco comes loaded with original instrumentation - rubbery electric bass, parping horns, soaring strings, loose drums - and unashamedly fun tracks that touch on disco-funk ("Red Beans"), Salsoul-ish disco-pomp ("The National Theatre", "Day Vague") and even jazz-funk (the Blue Feather-ish "The Blue Train"). As a result, it's a pleasing blast of retro-futurist disco fun.
Review: Having already stormed up the sales charts on vinyl, Ron Basejam and Dicky Trisco's Drop Out Orchestra reworks finally make their way to digital download. Trisco's mix is particularly good fun, offering the perfect balance between percussion-laden disco revivalism (check the low-slung walking bass, jazz guitar and heavyweight timbales hits) and slick nu-disco (tasty synth melodies, some 21st century FX). Crazy P man Ron Basejam opts for a housier approach, weighing in with a mix that sits somewhere between electrofunk revivalism, jazz-funk and string-laden deep house. Expect to hear it plenty of times on disco dancefloors over the next six months.
Review: Given Lightspeed Recordings' love of vintage synths sounds, electrofunk dub effects and contemporary nu-disco, it's little surprise to find that "Disco Me", a collaboration between funtime disco chap DJ Agent 86 and productive veterans Drop Out Orchestra, resembles a contemporary fusion of '80s electro and Italo. The solid original is joined by a wealth of remixes, including a sparkling, electric piano-laden proto-garage tweak from DJ Rocca and a chugging Italo version from Kid Who. Delightfully, there's also a wonderfully camp Hi-NRG take from George Kelly that bizarrely features a great electric guitar solo.
Review: In recent times, Drop Out Orchestra have moved further towards the worlds of synth-pop and touchy-feely nu-disco. "Your Girl", featuring the vocals of Kinema, continues this journey. While some of their trademarks are present - the rubbery electric bass, disco-flecked guitars, organic sounding percussion etc - the overall impression is of an act attempting to make shimmering, smiling pop music. The Dub wisely makes more use of the original's disco elements, lacing the original's tactile chords atop a guitar-heavy groove. Disturbingly, it also features some needless vocoder vocals. Best of all, though, is Kinema's remix. This offers a sparse and sprightly disco-pop take on the shiny original.
Review: Ten years ago, Eskimo Recordings emerged from Ghent, as an outlet for mix albums from hometown heroes the Glimmers. Since then, the label has gone on to be a leading light on the nu-disco and nu Balearic scenes. Fittingly, this expansive tenth anniversary set was put together by the Glimmers, and features two solo DJ mixes featuring label highlights aplenty. For DJs, the real bonus is the huge selection of unmixed tracks on display, which adeptly showcases the depth and variety of the label's output. Highlights are plentiful, from the woozy Scandolearic vibes of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas and brilliance of early Aeroplane, to the sun-bright dream pop of Hiem, and the bouncing dancefloor groovery of LHAS Inc.
Review: Drop Out Orchestra's "It Will Never Be The Same Again" first appeared on Aeroplane's In-Flight Entertainment mix in October 2011, and here we finally see a single release on Eskimo Recordings, including a set of remixes from the likes of Moullinex and Punks Jump Up. Moullinex takes the optimistic core of the original and injects some Chicago snare rolls and a rounded, plucking bass line that sits in the back of the throat. Punks Jump Up meanwhile utilise a notable clap drenched in a deadly phase that cuts right through the beat. The vocal hook, fierce piano stabs and soft guitar sounds all dovetail with effortless aplomb, making for a very enjoyable cut that rounds off a fine release.