Review: Heist regulars Fouk (AKA Daniel Leseman and Hans Peeman) had a relative quiet 2020, releasing just one EP and a single-track salvo, 'Need My Space'. Here they're back to their distinctive best, belatedly kick-starting their 2021 release campaign via a rock-solid four-tracker. Rebiere lends a hand on title track 'Blue Steel', a (drum machine) handclap-heavy house stomper marked out by deep, sub-heavy bass, jaunty synth stabs and waves of energy-packed saxophone solos. Girls of the Internet provide the obligatory remix, opting for a long, dreamy, pared-back intro before unleashing the Dutch duo's killer bassline and winding sax motifs. Elsewhere, 'Don't You Want To Boogie' is a high-octane disco-house number full of swirling filter effects, while 'Money' is a squelchy chunk of nu-disco/peak-time house fusion.
Review: Earlier in the year, the team behind the popular Outplay label decided to launch a new imprint, 24 Carrot, in order to release, "the bits that don't necessarily fit on a regular Outplay EP". To prove their point, the imprint's first EP from Foul and Junktion danced between cut-up disco-house pumpers and wild, wonky house. There's a similar to feel to this follow-up from the same artists. Fouk kicks things off with two scorching workouts: a quirky house number whose numerous attractive musical elements include Turkish psych-funk style organ motifs and tons of sweaty additional percussion ('Winter Warmer'), and a spacey, synth-laden deep house stomper ('Chicken Dinner'). Junktion continues the percussive theme on the tough-but-rubbery, disco-funk-meets-house number 'Mustard', and the slightly deep disco-house flex of 'Smokes'.
Review: For the latest volume in their popular Disco Funkin' compilation strand, Bomb Strikes has handed over curation duties to rising star and Midnight Riot regular Natasha Kitty Katt. The Edinburgh DJ/producer's selections are undeniably addictive and on-point, moving between heavyweight re-edits (see her collaboration with Twisted Soul Collective, 'Twisted Katt', solo disco-funk tweak 'Edgarr!' and Oliver Boogie's slamming 'Dance Band'), superior nu-disco originals (Phoenix's piano-heavy 'Nature Dance', Fouk's sample-heavy 'Cat Lady' and the slick boogie revivalism of Lovebirds' 'Give Me a Sign') and loopy disco-house treats (the contributions from Shaka Loves You, Birdee, Hotmood and Mark Lower). Those looking for fresh dancefloor ammunition will find much to enjoy, while the Scottish DJ's accompanying mix is as entertaining and excitable as they come.
Review: As is now traditional, Heist Recordings has kick-started a new year by asking their artists to remix each other. Boss men Detroit Swindle set the tone with a gorgeously positive, synth-heavy remix of Fouk's "Need My Space" before Makez re-imagines Perdu's "Sacramento" as an acid bass-propelled bounce through melodious deep house pastures and Fouk adds a little loose-limbed swing and dirty bass pressure to Demuir's percussive and warming "The 3nity Returneth". Perdu reaches for the psychedelic acid lines and squelchy synth-bass on a Latin-tinged remake of Detroit Swindle's Lorenz Rhode collaboration "Music For Clubs", while Demuir beefs up Makez's breezy and melodious "Random Visits".
Review: Now here is the ultimate playlist for your Ibiza season. Mark Knight and Co. present Poolside Ibiza 2019 mixed by Opolopo. His impressive musical career spans over two decades, with releases on prestigious labels such as Om, Tru Thoughts, Local Talk, Z Records, Especial, and a successful career as a globetrotting DJ. The compilation contains three brand new exclusive productions from the man himself, alongside a hand-selected a range of essential cuts - all in all there's 26 tracks and a beautifully crafted DJ mix. Highlights come from: ascendant Brit Cody Currie on the lo-slung Berlin tribute "Oderberger", Worthy & Option4's "Workin'" (feat Leela D - Kisch remix), UK deep house legend Atjazz on the super soulful "Love Someone" (feat Robert Owens - Atjazz Heads Down mix) and the man Phil Gerus doin' his thing on "Better Think Twice".
Review: Following a couple of acclaimed outings on Outplay, Fouk returns to Heist Recordings with their first EP of 2019. They begin with the fuzzy dancefloor funk of "Truffles", whose thickset acid bass, rush-inducing piano riffs and late '80s machine drums recall the Halcyon days of house music, before exploring warmer, deeper and woozier pastures on the jazzy house bump of EP standout "I'll Be Down". There's more melodic, all-action sample-house fare to be enjoyed in the shape of "Need My Space" - all twinkling pianos, nu-disco bass and shuffling deep house beats - while Hugo LX's rework of "I'll BE Down" is a bustling, intergalactic house treat.
Review: Although famed for delivering killer cuts of vintage disco and boogie jams, Razor-N-Tape has released plenty of life-affirming house jams, too. As if to prove the point, JKriv and Aaron Dae's Brooklyn-based imprint has decided to release a second selection of back catalogue house highlights. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the bluesy bounce of JKriv and Free Magic's "Eunice" and the classic deep house warmth of Jimpster's killer remix of Mr V's "Something Wit Jazz", to the fizzing synth riffs and life-affirming percussive shuffle of "Stretchin" by Luvless and the groovy, jammed-out musical headiness of Lay-Far's tidy remix of "Just One" by Body Music. Also worth plenty of peak-time plays is Chrissy's chunky revision of Ragtyme's rap-laced 1987 Chicago jam "Fix It Man".
Review: We were full of praise for Fouk's last outing on Outplay, November 2017's Butterfunk EP, so hopes are naturally high for the duo's first release since. We shouldn't have worried. Like its predecessor, Mating Call is something of a triumph. The title track - a subtly Afro-fired chunk of warm-hearted deep house/disco fusion - is probably our pick of the bunch, though the other two tracks are similarly enjoyable. Choose between the grunting, low-slung funk-house rhythm, tweaked James Brown samples and restless bass of "Just Feel Good" and "Down Below", a more straightforward trip into woozy and sun-kissed dancefloor deep house territory that should get more than a few spins from DJs this summer.
Review: If Mark Knight and Co. aren't busy enough celebrating Toolroom's big 15 year birthday at present (and its global parties in celebration of it), they've also found enough time for another mandatory volume in their esteemed Ibiza Underground series. With another collection of surefire hits and soon to be anthems that are sure to rock The White Isle this summer - this is all you need right here. A wide range of cuts (50 to be exact) that venture into darker territories come from the likes of New York duo Blondes on the fierce and broken "Quality Of Life" (Struction remix), the surprising addition of Scottish IDM wunderkind Lanark Artefax's "Touch Absence" (Intimidating Stillness mix), Dutch techno-bass merchant Martyn on the futuristic "Feel The Magnetism" and American retrovert Matrixxman on the tunnelling acid trip "Horizon". Rest assured that there's faire more typical of the label like Josh Butler, Franky Rizardo, Rick Wakley and birthday guests Booka Shade. For your convenience, the collection comes as two continuous mixes as well.
Review: Given that each of their previous releases has been on-point, it's little surprise to find that Fouk's latest EP is packed full of warm, sample-heavy, disco-flecked deep house treats. We'd argue that the headline attraction is bouncy opener "Organ Freeman", a tasty workout that layers fresh organ solos over a house groove built around rubbery bass and obscure disco-funk samples, though the wilder and more driving "Wrong Way" pushes it close. Elsewhere, "Butterfunk" is a lolloping trip into mid-tempo deep house/disco/jazz-funk fusion, while closer "Winter" is a loved-up chunk of deep space instrumental hip-hop with added boogie synths.
Review: Dutch super trio Kraak & Smaak go poolside: Miami style here for Toolroom. Indeed this compilation showcases the many shades of house music that soundtracked some serious fun in the sun, at 2018's edition of Miami Music Week. The longtime staples of the UK imprint Jalapeno serve up all things deep, funky, nu-disco and even a bit of French Touch for good measure. Highlights include Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' disco odyssey - translated via their remix of Temples' "Born Into The Sunset", Freerange boss Jimpster's lush and hypnotic "English Rose" (original mix), last year's comeback by Parisian legend Alex Gopher & Pierrick Devin on "Jazz Rock" (receiving another well deserved rinse!) and the inimitable Detroit legend Andres with his remix of Cool Peepl's "Free" (feat Billy Love, Amp Fiddler & Sundiata O.M). Several of the trios funked-up tracks feature throughout in addition to a continuous mix of the playlist.
Review: Predictably, the latest volume in Heist's Roundup series, in which label artists remix each other's tracks, is another must-heave collection of club cuts. Check, for example, Fouk's tasty interpretation of Nachtbraker's "Hamdi" - a glorious fusion of rubbery disco, sparkling electrofunk and percussion-laden deep house - the Afro-fired Alma Negra deep house remix of Nebraska's "Big Plate Chicken" and the toasty peak-time warmth of the latter's fine revision of Fouk's "With Lasers". Elsewhere, label bosses Detroit Swindle deliver a lusciously loved-up and melodious, peak-time take on Parker Madicine's "Heartbreaker" and Nachtbraker turns the Swindlers' "Can't Hold It" into a dub-fired chunk of hot-stepping deep house goodness.
Review: Half the fun of each new Ibiza season is the accompanying DJ mix albums that ensue. Here it's the turn of Z Records' legend, Joey Negro, who compiles and selects Z Records Presents Ibiza 2017. With Joey Negro you know you will always get an expert blend of house and disco, new and old. Here we see exclusives rub shoulders with first time digital virgins. Highlights include Dr Packer's thumping edit of "Change Position (88)" by Brooklyn Express, the hazy bass twangs of "Phantom" by A Band Called Flash and the warm electro of "It's More Fun To Compute" by Negro himself.
Review: With Daniel leseman and Hans Peeman riding high on the success of their recent With Lasers EP on Heist, Razor 'N' Tape has decided to deliver a digital version of lasr year's previously vinyl-only Whiskey Ginger EP. There's much to admire throughout, from the classic disco walking bass, lolloping drums and swish, boogie style synth flourishes of "Whiskey Ginger", to the delightfully fuzzy, P-funk flavoured synth jam, "New Canvas". Elsewhere, "Camille 2000" is an exquisite trip into deep house/boogie fusion, while "Aldo Raine" is as warm, dusty and dancefloor friendly as any organic deep house cut you'll hear this year.
Review: This EP marks a welcome return to Heist Recordings from Fouk, the deep house collaboration between Daniel Leseman and Hans Peeman. There's naturally much to admire throughout, from the rubbery disco bass, hustling house beats and intergalactic synths of opener "F3000", to the pleasingly loose beats, clattering percussion hits and hard-worn disco-funk grooves of "See You on the Other Side", via the warm and toasty boogie/house fusion of "With Lazers". Improvisation-loving combo Mount Liberation Unlimited steals the show with a loose, languid and deliciously deep interpretation of "See You on the Other Side" that seamlessly fuses the best of both their and Fouk's respective production styles.
Review: Not quite house, not quite disco, Fouk (aka Daniel Leseman and Hans 'Junktion' Peeman) straddle both worlds, utlising the best of both in their quest for the ultimate groove. Here they present the gruff EP, comprising a set of three truly accomplished recordings - the loungey shimmer of "Gruff", the filtered loop boogie of "Freebooter" and the live sounding jazz-funk of "Orchard". The best remix is Snacks' rework of the title track - all squelchy disco synths.