Review: Glitterbox resident Dr Packer is a leading light of the contemporary disco scene, while Dave Lee was arguably THE key architect of the whole post-house disco phenomenon in the first place. So when the former helms a compilation on the latter's label, you'd expect great things, and suffice to say you're very unlikely to be disappointed. Hell, for this writer the deep n' sultry JN Revival Mix of early 90s classic 'Do What You Feel' is worth the price of admission on its own, but with Packer's own remixes of label favourites making up over a third of the tracklist, the collection as a whole is pretty much unmissable.
Review: The latest single from Horse Meat Disco's excellent debut album, Love and Dancing, is as cheery and life-affirming as its predecessors. In its original form, 'Love If You Need It' is a revivalist disco gem rich in organic instrumentation, strong vocals (this time courtesy of Fi McCluskey) and pleasingly starry synths. AS you'd expect, it comes accompanied by some notable remixes. Mousse T provides edited and extended versions of two revisions: the breezy nu-disco-meets-disco house sparkle of the 'Classic Shizzle' mix and the more driving, thrusting and breathless 'Dub You Need' re-wire. Also worth checking is Dr Packer's rather tidy rework, which adds squelchy, P-Funk style bass and smoother disco drums while smartly emphasizing McCluskey's vocals and HMD's Chic-style guitars.
Seamus Haji - "I Got You" (feat Bryan Chambers - Dr Packer extended remix) - (6:59) 120 BPM
Slam Dunk'd - "No Price" (feat Chromeo & Al-P - Dr Packer extended remix) - (8:06) 123 BPM
The Shapeshifters - "Try My Love (On For Size)" (feat Teni Tinks - Dr Packer extended remix) - (8:14) 120 BPM
Review: Aussie disco don Dr Packer has been Glitterbox Recordings' go-to remixer for some time now. Three years ago, the label opened up its archives and allowed him free reign to rework whatever he wanted, releasing the results as Dr Packer's Different Strokes. This belated sequel follows a similar blueprint, collecting together a wealth of remixes as well as a couple of non-stop DJ mixes of the same material. Much of the music is authentically disco-centric - think organic instrumentation, swirling strings and rushing vocals - with just enough grunt to please those dancefloors the require 21st century low-end weight. Highlights include a glassy-eyed take on Aeroplane's 'Love on Hold', a sing-along version of Lemelle's boogie gem 'You Got Something Special' and a handful of fine rubs of the Shapeshifters.
Review: The release of Dave Lee's annual Essentials collection on Z Records - a kind of "best of the year" from his now 30-year-old imprint - is fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as family arguments, disappointing presents and undercooked turkey. Predictably the 2020 edition is once again up to scratch, with the much-loved Essex producer showcasing some seriously good disco, deep house, soulful house and revivalist dancefloor jazz-funk. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the rushing, sunshine soulfulness of Crackazat's 'Waterfalls', the Vision's 2020 re-rub of Jakatta and Seal classic 'My Vision', Michael Gray's extra-percussive disco-house take on Hi Voltage's 'Let's Get Horny', the celebratory brilliance of Art of Tones and Anduze's 'Flower Child', and the Shur-I-Kan's previously unreleased instrumental rework of Mistura's 'Smikle For Me'.
Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
Review: This excellent collection from Z Records draws together some of boss man Joey Negro's favourite label cuts of 2019, many of which he of course had a hand in either producing or remixing. There are naturally tons of superb multi-track remixes of disco gems old and new (see the versions of the O'Jays, Delia Renee, Tamiko Jones and Double Exposure), as well as fresh revisions of vintage Joey Negro house productions under other aliases (Doug Willis, Z Factor, Foreal People) and a swathe of killer cuts that join the dots between disco and house (Sunkids and Chance, Four80 East and CeCe Peniston, Bobby D'Ambrosia and Michelle Weeks). Throw in tracks and remixes from the likes of Fouk, Crackazat and Lay-Far and you have a superb collection of peak-time-ready workouts.
Review: When it comes to blending classic disco and bumpin' peak-time house, few can match Joey Negro - a man who has been offering up disco-fied house jams since the early '90s. There are naturally plenty of his own tracks and remixes on "Put Some Disco In The House", an expansive collection of quality disco-house moments, with highlights including the rolling disco-boogie heat of "Put The Music On It (Original Disco Mix)", the chunky, walking bass-propelled "Dancing Into The Stars" (with Horse Meat Disco and Angela Johnson) and a slamming rework of Sessomato's jazz-funk flavoured "Moody". There's plenty of heat to be found elsewhere, too, with standouts including JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Opolopo's boogie-tinged revision of Sylvester classic "I Need You" and the spiraling disco pump of Yam Who and Jaegerossa's "Grateful".
Review: For as long as we can remember, Defected's annual Miami Music Week compilation has done a brilliant job showcasing tracks that we'll be dancing to a lot in the following weeks and months. Predictably, this year's volume is no different. There's the usual mixture of alternative remixes of familiar favourites from the previous 12 months (see David Penn's remix of Sophie Lloyd's gospel disco anthem "Calling Out" and I:Cube's brilliant revision of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget"), previously released anthems (Horse Meat Disco and Amy Douglas's "Let's Go Dancing" and Ray Mang's delicious disco mix of Phenomenal Handclap Band's "Judge Not") and suitably big tunes that will soon become peak-time staples the world over (see the tracks by Bawrut, Low Steppa, Bsicits and Mighty Mouse).
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: Influential and prolific, Dave Lee has been one of house music's major proponents of soulful, disco-tinged, vocal tracks. Without question, he was instrumental in its development. Produced With Love is only the second ever Joey Negro album to be released and the first for more than 20 years. It proves that dance music with character still exists and rather than rely on sampling older records, the overwhelming majority of music is newly recorded. Rest assured that there's quite the supporting cast here, on the vocal front: the late great Diane Charlemagne on "Overnight Sensation", Canadian songstress and frequent Nick Holder collaborator Sacha Williamson on "I Recognize" and the legendary Linda Clifford on "Won't Let Go". Fellow London disco dons Horsemeat Disco collaborate on "Dancing Into The Stars" too. The second half of the collection focuses on Lee's impeccable remixes and yes: there is a version of "Must Be The Music" and a track by the inimitable Peven Everett entitled "Love Is Thicker Than Water" alongside several other gems.