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: Over the last 12 months, Guildford-based scalpel fiend Evil Smarty has delivered tight, floor-friendly material from Midnight Riot and Wall of Fame, usually in cahoots with Bad Barbie. Here, he goes solo, delivering more gently quantized, house-friendly reworks of lesser-known disco gems. Opener "This Is" is a low-slung disco shuffler turned into a toughened-up house roller, while "Nothing But The Truth" does an excellent job in breathing new life into a celebratory disco-funk party jam, adding thunderous kick-drums whilst retaining the original's attractive haziness. Best of all, though, is "The Get Down", a killer, 98 BPM funk revision that makes great use of the source material's urgent, impassioned vocal, bluesy guitars and wild synthesizers.
Review: Southampton's Evil Smarty has been collaborating with the likes of Bad Barbie recently, but here he's doing his own thing. He's been busy too, chopping up five choice cuts, highlights being the mantra-like 80s funk loops of "The One", the rough and raunchy disco pumper "Hotel" and the Gino Soccio-borrowing sultry grind of "Dancer".
Review: Guildford-based Evil Smarty is arguably best known for his collaborative work with Bad Barbie, though he has previously put out solo releases on Tonbe's Disco Fruit imprint. Here, he goes it alone once more, delivering a four-track missive of cheery reworks for Midnight Riot. "Hot" is a prize chunk of rolling disco-house built around a rising and falling piano line, jaunty horns, occasional synths and a booming groove. "Don't Want To Stop" is a starry disco-funk affair that benefits greatly from a beefed-up bassline and notable Clavinet lines, while "Take It" sees him charge off successfully into Afro-funk territory. Finally, he slows things down a little on the dreamy and loved-up "The Disco Beat".
Review: Evil Smarty has spent much of his successful re-edit career collaborating with the equally cheekily named Bad Barbie. Here, he goes solo, delivering a four-track missive of reworks for '80s Child's Masterworks Music label. He gets things going with the throbbing, electro-disco stomp of "Disco Glory", before dipping the tempo for a dreamy rearrangement of Surface's loved-up synth-boogie classic "Falling In Love" (here simply titled "Falling", and arguably one of the most re-edited tunes of all time). "Go Gain" is a brilliant chunk of rock-tinged power-boogie (think bold synth bass, swooping sound effects, razor-sharp guitars and poodle perms), while "Eye 2 Eye" is a tooled-up, house-friendly sprint through purple funk pastures.
Review: As the old saying goes.... When life gives you lemons, call up Evil Smarty and make a bunch of sweet sweet funk edits. "The Groove To Make You Dance" lives up to its name and pays full respect to the sauce with a fizzy uptempo twist and a percussive drop that froths up like you've shaken the bottle for days. "Let's Do It" is equally thirst-quenching with its SOS-sending falsetto funk flare while the title track-inspiring "Sweet Like A Lemon" closes on a decadent bubbly twist. Tuck in and feel fresh; there's enough vitamin C here to keep you alive until at least the age of 128.
Review: There's a reason that Midnight Riot's eponymous compilations frequently charge to the top of the Juno Download charts. Put simply, they never disappoint. This ninth installment sticks to the now tried-and-tested formula - house-friendly re-edits and originals from across the disco, boogie, soul and funk spectrum - but predictably hits the spot throughout. As usual, there's a bonus mix - this time put together by globe-trotting scalpel jockey Rayko - and tracks come from both label regulars ('80s Child, Ziggy Phunk, Chewy Funk) and an impressive array of new or unheralded talents. It's in the latter category that you'll find some of the most impressive fare - see Phil Jaimes deliciously Balearic "Nowhere To Hide" and Cosmocomics' kaleidoscopic synth-funk jam "Mary Jane" - though the standard remains pleasingly high throughout.
Review: With a new year upon us, Tonbe has decided to gather together another selection of highlights from his dependable Disco Fruit imprint. As you might expect, the ten tracks are all "tried and tested" dancefloor destroyers, most of which effortlessly blur the boundaries between original disco and boogie, and more contemporary, house-centric grooves. Highlights are plentiful, from the sinewy strings and breezy beats of Tonbe's "I Feel Energy" and Deelicious' bustling AOR disco rework "Why Did You Do It", to the rubbery slap-bass and spiraling synthesizers of Evil Smarty's stand-out "This Is". Gradient Logic's "Juice", the most recent release on the collection, is also rather fine.
Review: Dealing strictly in extended collections, Funk Fusion continues its extensive work into 2015 with a 22-track compendium of killer edits, bootlegs and reversions. With an emphasis on fine-tuned, low-swung party jams; highlights include the subtle acid treatment of En Vogue ("Get It"), silky, synth-slapping disco boogie ("Mistery Island"), badass blue grass ("Bluesy Bounce"), Chic-style Public Enemy subversion ("Funky Enemy Number One") and smoke-stacked skank science ("Method Man"). Fusion by name, funky by nature: no party should be without this collection.
Review: Not to be confused with the techno-minded Dutch label of the same name, this Deep Sense is based out of Mexico, they have a penchant for the funkier side of the dance and the cheekier side of edit culture. They proved it on their inaugural voyage in November 2014, and they're proving it once again right here... Kicking off with the sax-massaging jack-jam "The Road To Kalakuta" the whole album is an instant party full of sassy sonic surprises. Highlights include the dusty vinyl crackles and heaving harmonics of Rafael Fernandez's "Nothing's Changed", the epic synth-slapping cosmicity of Funk My Jesus "24K", the classic funk guitar squeezes of Chuggin Edits "We Got The Funk". And that's just a handful of party peals to be harvested from this 16-track heavy album. Bon voyage indeed!
Review: Serbian edit king Tonbe digs deep into the vaults of his prolific Disco Fruit stable, returning with a 10-track selection of club-ready highlights. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing, from the swirling strings and sumptuous, Barry White style grooves of Mitiko's "As You Grow Up" and the acid-laden wiggle of Evil Smarty's fantastic revision of The Osmonds "I,I.I" (here titled "Feel The Fire"), to the pumping drums, low-slung bass and flash-fried, Hendrix-style guitars of Loshmi's "Drugstore". Tonbe himself drops a bouncy chunk of disco-house pressure in the shape of "Don't Mess With Us" (complete with hip-house style sampled vocals), while C Da Afro impresses with the cheeky synths and quirky boogie backing of "One Step".
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: We all need our own personal headspace from time to time, however the Yam Who? duo behind Midnight Riot have gone one step further and given Balearic Headspace. Volume 'Uno' contains 18 slinky white isle gems to groove to. Highlights include the slow Euro-beat grind of opener "Bestinspace" by Emmanuelle Kant, Massimo Vanoni's "For Your Love (Cosmic Inspiration mix)" features uber cool raw electronic arpeggiation, swirly Moon Safari acoustic vibes on "Come Outside (Sweet Love)" by Laurels & Hardlies and the stompin' beats and slappin' bass of "Love Echo" by Camino.
Review: Here's something you can feel good about buying: a charity collection of re-edits and original productions that aims to raise fund for testicular cancer research. The Alpaca Edits crew has done a superb job in rounding up contributions from some of this generation's most popular scalpel fiends, including '80s Child, Dr Packer, Fingerman and Fabiolous Barker. Highlights come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from the head-nodding, horn-heavy funk of Rafael Fernandez's "Uh-Oh", and Stephen Richards' house-friendly Kool & The Gang rework ("Fresh"), to the piano-totin', boogie brilliance of Bad Barbie Vs Evil Smarty's "Loose Juice", and Goldboy's standout nu-disco jam "Under Game".
Review: Serbia's Disco Fruit Records present a 15-track collection packed with disco, nu-disco and disco-house goodness. It's very much an in-house affair - label boss Tonbe contributes two tracksm while Disco Fruit regular Mitiko is behind a further six - which makes the general standard of what's on offer even more impressive. Highlights include Mitiko's boogie-ish 'Do You Really Want My Love?', Loshmi's gloriously camp, Euro-inspired 'Easy Night Drive', Hotmood's lazy, low-slung 'Let's Ride' and Tonbe's phat-assed jazz-funker 'That Sample', while special mention should be made of Kellini's 'No Balance' which, to older ears, is Animotion's 'Obsession' in disguise.