Review: Some records take a little longer than others to really sink in. Take 'Sunken Ship', for instance: why, it could well be a full 30 seconds or so before it has you on your feet! But that simple looping, chugging bassline is a call to the dancefloor if ever we heard one, and once the matching keys come in, at around the two-minute mark, it's game over. Coming a close second to the title track is 'Flower Press', an urgent, pulsating jam with an organ line that's positively straining at the leash, while disco-funker 'Like Electricity' and the slightly housier 'Shifting Sand' complete a very fine package.
Review: Ian Upfold's first two solo EPs on Bandolier were both rather impressive, so it's no surprise to find that his lasting outing is also packed to the rafters with synth-heavy, left of centre dancefloor treats. We're not quite sure whether they're re-edits or original tracks, but it many ways it doesn't matter; regardless, what you get is superb. Check first the off-kilter broken house beats, double-tracked bass (guitar/TB-303 style acid) and sparse but positive melodic elements of "Second Chance", before admiring the throbbing Italo-style arpeggio bass, droning electronics and heady chords of "Burning Sun". "Two of Everything" sounds like a bubbly Balearic cover of M's "Pop Musik" minus the vocals, while "Rounded Corners" is a chunky bounce through disco-house/deep house/gospel fusion.
Review: We were genuinely impressed by Ian Upfold's first outing on Bandolier last December, so hopes are naturally high for this relatively speedy follow-up. There's a wonderfully languid but elastic feel to opener "Secret Combination", a jolly fusion of Italo-disco style bottom end and cheery nu-disco melodies. Upfold wraps his distinctively lo-fi synthesizer motifs around a slightly wonky, chugging mid-tempo groove on "The Mover", before moving towards breezier nu-disco/disco-house territory on the unflinchingly sunny "Bouncy Castle". If that's not enough to wet the whistle, the Brighton producer offers up a superb climax in the shape of the "Bladerunner"-era Vangelis inspired nu-disco bounce of "Lone Wolf".
Review: Synth-y, squelchy contemporary disco bordering on slo-mo house is the order of the day on this four-tracker from rising Brighton producer Ian Upfold. '30 & Rolling' itself foregrounds a hefty walking b-line and Flat Eric-ish wobbles, while 'Sick Day Jam' contains nods to both early prog ? la Guerrilla Records and 80s electro. 'Love's Gonna Get You' then delves into the mists of time for inspiration and comes out clutching a famous Jocelyn Brown vocal from 1987, before 'Natural High' adds a little Balearic flavour with its Italo-house piano and sampled, spoken self-help vocal.
Review: Having recently notched up a sixth year in business, Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint is in a celebratory mood - hence this all-action round-up of recent delights and unheard treats from the disco-loving label. Encompassing no less than 30 tunes, the collection giddily skips between warming beatdown disco (P-Sol's "Walter"), Mark E style slo-mo loop jams (Vigi's "I'll Be There") and glassy-eyed Balearic nu-disco (Picklejam's "Untitled Love"), before raising its hands skywards as the peak-time party-starters begin to appear thick and fast. Highights in this category include the vibrant jazz-house flex of Dexter Jones' "Swing Thing", the bustling boogie re-edit business of Monsieur Von Pratt's "Let's Dance" and the hearty disco-funk heaviness of Chewy Rubs' "Funky Bee Bop".
Review: Going by the volume of tracks on show, it would be fair to say that Masterworks Music's "Bag of Tricks" is not a little handbag, but more like a Mary Poppins style bottomless carpetbag. The label's latest rummage through its seemingly endless contents has been a successful one, with the 20 showcased cuts including a wealth of fine fusions of disco, house, boogie, electro and 80s soul. It's uniformly dancefloor-focused, with highlights including the Afro-house/disco-tech fusion of JB Dizzy, the driving, spaced-out disco-house grooves of Mike Woods, the loose-limbed, off-the-wall edits of Chewy Rubs, the sweet disco-soul bounce of RocknRolla Soundsystem, the delay-laden synth sing-along styles of Rayko and the hot-to-trot brilliance of Downunder Disco.