Review: The ever excellently named Danny Was A Drag Queen imprint return to "Chocolate Black Leather" Ajello's supreme collaboration with Hard Ton with this top heavy selection of remixes. Upon original release it was backed with a ton of revisions from Brennan Green, though this remix EP presents a more varied selection with the likes of Discodromo sharing space with the legend that is Q Burns Abstract Message. It's Cocktail D'Amour duo Discodromo who call shotgun with a propulsive italo remix, which contrasts nicely with the kind of breakbeat meets disco flutter of Tempelhof's effort. The brilliantly named Analog People In a Digital World turn in an expansive ten minute techno effort, whilst Q Burns provides both vocal and dub remixes with the loose limbed latter perhaps the pick of the bunch.
Review: With a title like Smells Like A Remix Orgy, it doesn't take a genius to work out that this is a remix album. Specifically, it sees various disco and house starlets stamp their own style onto tunes from Ajello's 2011 album Smells Like Too Cheesy. There are, predictably, some tasty reworks to devour. Brennan Green impresses with a unique acid/electrofunk/Detroit techno fusion take on "Chocolate Black Leather", while Emperor Machine man Andrew Meecham turns "Dreams of Paradise" into an acid-laden electro-disco rinse-out. Those searching for a touch of disco campery should check Discodromo's screaming take on "Chocolate Black Leather", which makes it sound like some kind of long lost Bobby 'O' and Patrick Cowley collaboration.
Review: Tongue-in-cheek, hands-in-the-air sweatiness is the order of the day as Hard Ton joins forces with Tom Holkenborg (AKA chart-botherer Junkie XL) to present a quartet of remixes of "Triple XL". The Italian duo's in-house "Reshape" leads the charge, with the delightfully camp vocal riding a Rimini-friendly fusion of Italo-disco, disco-house and mid-80s style Pet Shop Boys. Domenico Torti throws mentalist acid lines into the mix on his full-throttle 'House Mix', while DJ Overdose applies the eyeliner for a trip into breakdance-era electro/new wave fusion. Finally, there's a timely reminder of the talents of the late Andreas Gehm, whose throbbing, hard-as-nails acid house re-make is the EP's best moment.
Review: Angular, acidic and packed with party action, Italian duo Hard Ton continue to plough their own distinctive analogue brand of house. A sure-fire hit with anyone who enjoys Trax or DJ Pierre output from the good old days, or Hercules & Love Affair output from the good new days for that matter, each of these tracks pumps with a timeless air of Roland-pummelled funk and falsetto-flecked hedonism. Highlights include the jazzy keys and 808 hi-hats of "Monotone" and the crisp acidic riff on "Rise Up".
Review: Berlin house head Hard Ton returns to the Toytonics label he inaugurated last year with another round of jacking 90s vocal house. "Food From Love" has all the electrofunk tendencies of his last Toytonics release, combining a raw drum machine rhythm with midnight keys and a rising arpeggio which perfectly complements the yearning Bronski Beat-esque vocal. "From Club To Club" meanwhile wears its rave influences a little more explicitly on its sleeve, with a bubbling acid line and neon house stabs popping off in the background, while the pitched down backing vocals offer a subtle contrast to its companion. "Food Of Love" is also given a rather stunningly deep rework by the legendary DJ Sprinkles, who adds his own meandering bassline and latin percussion elements to give the whole thing a welcome bit of swing, before soaring off on an improvised piano line at the end.
Review: New German imprint Toy Tonics launch with panache and style, scooping up the instantly familiar Hard Ton for the hard jacking, high pitched action of the Not Again EP. According to the press release, Toy Tonics' remit is to focus on Berlin-centric artists whose music references 90s house and German electrofunk, which makes Hard Ton an obvious candidate. The title track "Not Again" is a glorious combination of fully primed drum machine funk, rich analogue bass, raved up keyboard stabs, deviating acid lines and of course Hard Ton's singularly unique holler. The ever dependable Snuff Crew are a perfect choice to remix the track, stripping down the melodic excesses and introducing their own unpredictable acid refrain and uber raved stabs to give the track a fresh look. Hard Ton's "In This Moment" throws down expansive keys and pads over rigidly framed "Set It Off" drums and it's given a looser, uplifting, almost 90s freestyle sheen by Dimitri From Paris and DJ Rocca.
Review: New on California's Cordovan label, GSUB's "Hudu" is a sleek UKF/grime banger that will seriously get under your skin despite its relative simplicity. After introducing itself with some tropical snares and tight bass hits, it breaks into a zombified Eastern horn riff which sets about transforming the tune. With the percussion handled just right with Roska-esque clarity, there's little not to love about the original, radio mix and dub versions that make up this very tasty single.