Review: Toytonics' latest offering is a four-track EP from the South London duo of Chris Watson ad Chris Coupe. Opener 'Encounters' has something of an early Madhouse feel to its warping organ lines and strange, spoken male vocal, while 'Flat Psych' takes us into tripped-out Afro pastures. 'B Glaser' is a real hotch-potch of influences - it starts out with chanted vox and African percussion, and ends up sounding like an early 90s bleep/dub fusion - and then finally there's 'Just Atmosphere', five minutes of near-instrumental chuggery topped with distorted, spoken vox. An EP for those who like their house on the leftfield side.
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: It would be fair to say that Toy Tonics releases a lot of "Top Tracks", making this seventh digital-only label sampler a must-have for those who enjoy the twin delights of heartwarming deep house and celebratory contemporary disco. Some of the label's biggest dancefloor hits of recent times naturally make an appearance - see Ray Mang's fabulous remix of Phenomenal Handclap Band's "Judge Not", Pontchartrain's cheery and chiming remix of Felipe Gordon's "Tell Me Something True", Los Amigos Invisibles and Dimitri From Paris's cover of Chaz Jankel classic "Glad To Know You" and COEO's brilliant "Japanese Woman" - alongside some gems that may have passed you by. These include the impeccable deep house of FYI Chris's "Encounters", two brilliant contributions from Kapote and Mangabey's drowsy disco-house number "Just Luv Machine".