Review: Faze Action themself and Zeke Manyika are teaming up for the fourth and final release in the afro series. This time they crank up the horns and lean towards a more afro latin, balearic flavoured track entitled "Maswera". Its tailor made for any festival or outdoor situation with its infectious piano riffs and Zeke's chants. This track is set for peak time moments. On the other hand "Rugare" has its roots firmly in the afro electronic sound. Think Eddy Grant meets 'manu Dibango circa 1981 and your in the right area. A solid bass line underpins the whole track, while horns and guitars dub in and out to create a classic afro club track.
Review: A new release from the brothers Lee, two of the founding fathers of disco-house and nu disco, is always enough to prick this reviewer's ears up, and their latest offering "Paradise" doesn't disappoint - although there's a certain irony going on here. Back in the 90s, when cheap samplers and drum machines were spawning a house revolution, Faze Action swum against the tide with lavish disco productions drench in organic sounds. Now, some 30 years later, with 475 modern disco records being released every half-hour, they step up with an old skool piano house anthem that (production values aside) could have been released any year since about 1989! You'll be glad they did, though...
Review: With summer finally kicking in, Faze Action Records has decided to unleash a fine retrospective of some of the label's most summery, Balearic-minded sounds. It's a bumper collection of cuts - mostly from founders Robin and Simon Lee under a variety of different pseudonyms - which effortlessly drifts between piano and synth-laden Afro-Balearic (Faze Action's 'Chiiko'), tongue-in-cheek Gallic disco (Face Action re-editing Micky Milan), new age ambient ('Windchimes' and 'Secret Garden' by Rudy's Midnight Machine), Andreas Wollenweder-style Balearic synth-pop (Faze Action's 'Hapana'), slo-mo goodness (Max Essa reworking Faze Action's 'Vamos Pinter') and colourful dancefloor cheeriness (the vibrant Baleaaric nu-disco wonder that is 'Body Wave' by Rudy's Midnight Machine). In a word: excellent!
Review: Faze Action first started working with Zimbabwean musician Zeke Manyika way back in 2016, and since then have released a trio of collaborative EPs. Their fourth joint release could well be their best yet. Title track "Sununguka" is simply superb, with the track offering a near perfect blend of African instrumentation, layered percussion, nods towards 1980s South African "kwaito" house and occasional references to mid-80s NYC proto-house. It comes backed by the laidback Zimbabwean boogie/kwaito fusion of "Rwendo" and a trio of remixes of "Sununguka". Alan Dixon's "Italo" remix is a sunset-ready dance through synth-heavy dancefloor pastures, while the "Special Extended Dub" sounds like something Paul Simpson would have produced during his Serious Intention days. The Juno exclusive instrumental mix is rather good, too, and well worth a listen.
Review: Three years on from their previous collaboration, Faze Action's Lee Brothers once again join forces with vocalist Zeke Manyika on another 12" paying tribute to South Africa's bubblegum-era sun-kissed Kwaito house sound. In its original form, "Kubatana" is warm, cheery and breezy, with Manyika singing in his native tongue over punchy horn refrains, sunny synth bass, dreamy chords and unfussy drum machine beats. There's a trio of accompanying remixes, with the Kwaito-meets-deep house dreaminess of the Rudy's Midnight Machine Mix and driving, stripped-back and delay-laden Paradise Dub standing out. Also worth checking is the slower, deeper and drowsier bonus cut "Hapana".
Review: Though billed as a various artists compilation, this is essentially a career-spanning Faze Action 'best of' that also includes a handful of collaborations and contributions from their various side projects (Andromeda Orchestra, Rudy's Midnight Machine). And yes, it stretches all the way back to 'In The Trees'! Long-term fans will of course have much of the material featured here already, which makes the non-FA cuts even more welcome, but if you're just discovering the musical delights of the brothers Lee, then this collection is a great way to get better acquainted before delving into the full, extensive back catalogue...
Review: Faze Action teams up with Nina Miranda for the jazzy disco tones of "Vamos Pintar", and the results are magic. This is unabashedly joyous, flamboyant dance music rich with vibraphone licks, synth stabs and a catchy vocal hook about painting, which Max Essa then slows down to a Balearic strut on his "Slo Mo Bubble Dub" mix before offering up a more energetic "Extended Club Mix". The real gem on the record comes with "Paradise 90 Dub", which faithfully champions the Larry Levan school of party music, and everyone knows that means guaranteed club heat.
Review: Nu-disco pioneers, Faze Action (brothers Simon and Robin Lee) have a long and respected history, not least due to the sterling work of their legendary label, FaR. Here they collate a heady selection of sizzling bangers from their impressive back catalogue. There's a whopping 19 gems to get your teeth into, highlights including the Les Rhymes Digitales meets Studio 54 vibes of "Don't Loose Control" by Del Strange, the perky italo-disco/house hybrid "Freak For Your Love (ST House Mix)" and the Afro-jackin' acid flashback that is "Mangwana feat Zeke Manyika (Paradise '89 dub)".
Review: Dave Allison's Kinjo Music has been in business for 10 years now and what a fitting time to release a compilation of his greatest hits (and near misses) in the form of the Coastal Grooves LP. It's 14 cuts of disco and deep house goodness to soundtrack anyone's perfect summer; who'd have thought this bloke's from Montreal, eh! We knew he could knock out a brilliant edit, but he's pretty decent on the remixes too. Highlights include his smooth and funky rendition of Jorge Montiel & Juan Laya's "Got To Be Music", his ultra-deep take on Los Charly's Orchestra's "Everlasting Love" and his downright groovy and uplifting vision of Faze Action's "Freak For Your Love".
Review: Given the success of Faze Action's first trawl through the more sun-kissed sections of their vast back catalogue, it's little surprise to see the Lee brothers deliver a second volume. As with its predecessor, To The Sunset & Beyond shuffles around stylistically, taking in lilting Brazilian flavours (1999 single "Samba", the folksy "Struck"), Afro-influenced electrofunk (recent Zeke Manyika collaborations "Got To Find A Way" and "To Love Is To Grow"), dub disco (the Boogie Central mix of "Danae's Journey"), and, of course, plenty of cello-laden treats (a rare alternative version of "Moving Cities", the wonderful, Arthur Russell-ish "Venus & Mars"). In other words, it's a deliciously summery collection of tried-and-tested tracks. Recommended.
Review: On paper, this collaboration between veteran Balearic/disco/house fusionists Faze Action, and Zimbabwean drummer-turned-vocalist Zeke Manyika has all the makings of a humid, sun-kissed classic. Happily, "Mangwana" - a kind of late '80s Hugh Masekela Balearic afro-house jam full of punchy horns, chiming synth melodies and chanted African vocals - is every bit as alluring as you'd expect. The Waiting For The Rain-era Masekela influences are even stronger on the delicious A Vision of Panorama mix, while the Paradise '89 Dub pushes the track further towards dubbed-out New York house territory while beefing up the backing track a little. Elsewhere on the EP, you'll find two superb versions of the percussive, tropical '80s workout "Kumbengo" (including a heavy, Junodownload-only Dub), and the hazy downtempo goodness of "Chiiko".
Review: 15 months on from the release of their superb Body of One full length, Faze Action brothers Robin and Simon Lee have decided to get the album remixed. They start the ball rolling by delivering an '89 style Balearic house dub of "Magic Touch" - all "Good Life" riffs, chopped-up, cowbell-laden percussion and expansive piano solos - before Dicky Trisco weighs in with a more synthesizer-heavy, boogie-inspired re-dub of the same track. Phil Mison reinvents "Echoes of Your Mind" as a drifting Balearic chugger, complete with his own additional guitar, bass and keys, before Emotional emperor Stuart "Chuggy" Leath does his best Dunkelziffer impression via a woozy, fluid and wide-eyed take on "Floating World".
Review: While they may have spent the last few years focusing on disco, Italo and electrofunk revivalism, the Lee brothers have released their fair share of deliciously Balearic material over the years. It's this side of their work that's showcased on To The Sunset & Beyond, a compilation that picks breezy, humid and sun-kissed highlights from their 20-year career. There's naturally plenty to get the juices flowing, from the cello-laden brilliance of stone cold classic "In The Trees", and the twinkling samba-soul of "Heartbeat", to the blustery live Afro-house of "Kariba" and string-laden ambience of "Weightless". There's also another chance to revisit Rae & Christian's cheery, rolling remix of "Samba", which first surfaced on Nuphonic way back in 1999.
Review: Faze Action's Body of One album, released earlier this year, was something of an overlooked gem; a beautifully produced set that joined the dots between the Lee brothers' many influences, whilst retaining a sophisticated pop sensibility. "Time By Your Side", a retro-futurist house gem featuring the great vocals of Mary Moore, was undoubtedly one of the highlights. Here, that track gets remixed no less than five times. Pete Herbert delivers excellent vocal and dub versions with his usual delay-laden, synth-heavy nu-disco feel, while Andromeda Orchestra turns it into a warm, organic disco gem (complete with new beats, guitars and bass). Elsewhere, there are tasty deep house reworks from Rudy's Midnight Machine and Sahin Mayer.
Review: Faze Action present their first single from their new LP "Prisoner of Your Love", including the outstanding 808-infused mix from Eric Duncan (Rub n'Tug). Eric has been showcasing the mix in his recent sets with DJ Harvey causing a stir on dance floors. The package also includes the original mix, dub mix and a Rudy's Midnight Machine Mix which takes on a late 80s Balearic house sound with a more stripped-back feel.
Review: Brothers Simon and Robin Lee have long excelled at the album format, delivering occasional sets that ripple with impressive musicality, sinewy strings, cozy downtempo moods and upbeat dancefloor moments. Body of One, their fourth full length (their first dropped on Nuphonic back in 1997), continues this trend, offering a compelling trip through the pair's myriad influences. After opening with a sweaty post-punk thumper ("Prisoner of Your Love"), we're variously treated to Italo-influenced vintage house ("Magic Touch"), rubbery disco-funk ("Freak For Your Love"), Arthur Russell-influenced tropical downtempo pop ("Caruso's Monkey House"), dreamy Balearica ("Floating World") and string-laden gorgeousness. As for the title track, it sounds like So-era Peter Gabriel.
Review: Incredibly, brothers Robin & Simon Lee have been providing us with their slick updates of the classic disco and house sound since 1995! This bumper 25-track collection tells the story from the birth of FA Records in 2006. There's a lot to tell too; it's packed with enough vintage-sounding grooves to shame the Paradise Garage. Highlights include Jay Shepheard's breezy remix of FA's debut "Original Disco Motion", FA's own Rocker's Revenge-esque, "Hypnotic (disco mix)", the linear, chugging arpeggiation of "Touch It" by The Shack, the loopy robot-funk of "Lifestyle 101" by Rudy's Midnight Machine, the moody "revenge mix" of FA's "I Wanna Dancer" and the killer retro house-isms of Miss Cheesecake's "You Must Create", exclusively provided for us lucky folks!
Review: Faze Action have never been comfortable with the nu disco tag, and in an age where it's dominated by digitally designed and somewhat pedestrian in its tempo the Lee brothers return with a dynamic live sound that sets them apart. "Freak for Your Love" is the lead track from their forthcoming album Information Overload and straddles a sick dubbed out punk funk groove that brings to mind the sort of incessantly sweat inducing music DFA was releasing in the label's first few years. A pleasant new direction for Faze Action is explored further on the accompanying "New Wave Disco Dub Mix" that delves further into the realm of echo and delay over that strident groove. The mysterious ST contributes two rerubs that switch the emphasis up towards a throwback bumping 90s house flex without loosing the original's charm.
Review: Disco cognoscenti and brothers in arms Faze Action return to the production fold with "Tattoo Man", coming at you like the theme song for an 80s action show. Recorded in the studio with a live band, the track combines infections bass, drums, congas and keys that give "Tattoo Man" a wonderfully loose and genuine feel. There are a whole load of different versions - a 7" radio edit, a live extended rerub, a special disco mix, an agogo dub for the boogie heads and a couple of remixes from Rudy's Midnight Machine - making this the ultimate single package for discerning disco jocks. This has already been getting love from Pete Herbert, Hunee, Jim Stanton and Joey Negro - so get on it fast.
In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 mix 1) - (8:42) 120 BPM
In The Trees (Jerome Sydenham & Tiger Stripes rendition) - (7:11) 126 BPM
In The Trees (Jerome Sydenham & Tiger Stripes dark rub) - (5:53) 126 BPM
In The Trees (Jerome Sydenham & Tiger Stripes club mix) - (7:11) 126 BPM
In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 mix 2) - (6:46) 120 BPM
Review: In 2007 Juno Records is ten years old, and we've decided to celebrate by releasing 10 singles. Each one is a classic dance track featuring new remixes from the some of the most exciting and established names in the business, including Julien Jabre, Spirit Catcher, Dimitri from Paris, Lindstrom, Troy Pierce, Cobblestone Jazz and many more. These releases will initially only be available from www.juno.co.uk and www.junodownload.com. To launch the series we have pulled out all the stops with the re-release of the timeless "In The Trees" by Faze Action, featuring remixes from the legendary Carl Craig and Jerome Sydenham & Tiger Stripes, as well as the brilliant 1996 original mix. A genuinely huge release, this could be the first of 10 future classics!