Review: The second volume in Toy Tonics' occasional Jockey Jams series is something of a gift to DJs. Although naturally rooted in deep house, each of the showcased tracks offers something distinctively different. So, while Felipe Gordon's "Rinogal" is an funk-fuelled house bumper built around an elastic, acid-fired synth bassline and trippy late night effects, Metropolitan Soul Museum's "Saab" is a delicate, warm-up friendly fusion of lilting synths, bubbly electronics and the kind of twinkling pianos frequently found on vintage Italian dream house records. The eclecticism continues elsewhere, too, from the Adonis-via-Rimini thrills of Jacky Mingo's wonderfully positive "Brothers Cup", to the jazzy warmth of Black Loops and analogue house bleeps of Jad's "Overpriced Kaiser Chips".
Review: We enthusiastically described Beats Of No Nation's first Dance Ideas EP as a "fabulous collection of tracks", so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Corbi kicks things off with the wonderfully fluid and groovy "OK, Tell Me", an ultra-deep and groovy house shuffler rich in jazz-funk guitars, swirling strings and punchy sampled horn stabs, before Levan unveils the bluesy, eyes-closed wonder that is "The Right Thing, The Hardest Thing", a kind of vocal-free Sade record for the disco-house generation. Label co-owner Jad Lee confidently skips into jazz-house territory on the piano-fired warmth of "Jazz hands You'll Never Understand", while Olywok takes us into space via the nu-disco tinged, house tempo Motor City futurism of "Maintain".
Review: The cheeky scamps at Editorial can usually be relied on to bring the goodness. This latest split EP is, predictably, bulging with highlights. Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee drop a bit of deep house/rubbery disco fusion on the head-nodder's fave "The Way You Move", while Aussie Jad & The Ladyboy ops for a sinewy, seductive, ultra-deep house vibe on his sumptuous "Love Is". B-Jam's "Have Some" is an almost X-rated chunk of electrofunk cut-up madness, all backwards cuts, grunting grooves and stuttering edits. There's a dash of straight-up disco in the form of Joutro Mundo's stretched-out "Body Heat", while Tonbe impresses with "Hot Ivy", a hip-grinding slice of electrofunk badness with analogue synths by the shipload.
Disco Hold Down (6th Borough Project dub) - (7:07) 125 BPM
2 Getha (Neva mix) - (6:15) 118 BPM
Review: Jad Lee aka Jad & The follows last year's EPs on Centre Source and his own Beats Of No Nation imprint with this fine melodic record for Fina. Inspired by US deep house, Lee skilfully navigates a path between raw Moodymann disco and Kai Alce depth on the swoon-some "2 Getha (4 Eva Mix)", while on "Twist Club", the Australian artist opts for a deeper path, fusing subtle Chicago drums with jazzy keys. Although "Disco Hold Down" is rougher, with Lee focusing on scatty drums and a live funk bass, the underlying style on Twist Club is deeply melodic and deliciously cosmic.
Review: Fresh from an inspired EP on Beats of No Nation, Jad Lee returns to regular home Toy Tonics with another rock-solid, four-track salvo. The Aussie adventurer hits the ground running with "Strings That Never Win", a rolling deep house/disco house hybrid full of attractive orchestral samples, crunchy Clavinet lines and drowsy backing vocals. He brilliantly doffs a cap to vintage Italian dream house on the rather luscious and kaleidoscopic "Accidental Audi Driver", before wrapping a bustling, slack-tuned house groove with dewy-eyed melody lines and rubbery synth-bass on the deeper "Familiar Family Photo". Best of all, though, is loved-up, synth-heavy closer "Tops Off FM Radio", which sits somewhere between lucid Balearic deep house and soft-touch nu-disco.
Review: Australian producer Jad "& The" Lee has decided to lose his imaginary Ladyboy, which proudly stood at the end of his production moniker throughout the first four years of his career. Perhaps it's a sign of his growing musical maturity, which is much in evidence throughout this pleasingly spacey and melodious EP. There are three original productions to sink your teeth into: the Detroit techno-influenced, analogue deep house of "Theatrical Trailer", the loose-limbed house breakbeats, TB-303 bass and new age melodies of "Low Budget Action Movie" and the saucer-eyed wonder that is "Oscar Nom", where 8-bit melodies cluster around a jazzy, broken house groove. Also worth checking is Astral Deejay's wonderfully deep, woozy and loved-up remix of "Theatrical Trailer", which may be the EP's standout moment.
Marlon Hoffstadt - "Heavily Dancin On The Ones And Twos" - (6:45) 126 BPM
Jesse Bru - "Tonite" - (7:01) 124 BPM
Jad & The - "Gospel Five" - (5:04) 118 BPM
Turenne - "Triplett" - (4:40) 120 BPM
Review: Federic Lange's AOW just keeps on bringing the heat. Their eighty EP is no exception. Sometimes the heat is blazing with vibrant synth flames (Hoffstadt's "Heavenly Dancing"), sometimes it's smouldering MAW-style (Jesse Bru's "Tonite"), sometimes it's smoking, jazzy and moderately jacked (Jad & The's "Gospel Five") and sometimes it's plain scorching (Turenne's "Triplett"). In summary: hot.
Review: Beats Of No Nation is an Australian label based out of Brisbane, run by Jad Lee & Dom Bird. They intend to present weird and wonderful sounds from around the world. Label boss Jad & The appears with the dusty hip-hop influenced house sound of "Outside Here Man" - no doubt inspired by his experiences in Berlin. Glasgow's Octo Champ delivers an oddball groove on "Evoo" as does WHATEVER on the infectious bump 'n shuffle of "Stacy". Finally, Ed Woods' "Passing Chords" sees the London based producer deliver an emotive excursion in late night deepness and was definitely our pick of this fabulous bunch of tracks.
Review: To celebrate notching up ten years in the game, London blog and party-turned-record label SlothBoogie has decided to offer-up their most ambitious release to date: an epic collection of previously unheard cuts from a mixture of imprint regulars and like-minded friends. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, with highlights including the sparkling jazz-funk-meets-deep house sunshine of Levan's "U R Beautiful In The Face", the deep, breakbeat-driven dreaminess of Philippa's "That's What I Mean By Free", the piano solo-heavy disco-house bump of Leatherette's "Your Love", and the dub disco-meets-acid house heaviness of "Rewind Run" by Pablot. Throw in similarly impressive contributions from Kassian, Luvless, Casino Times and Soul Wun (the classic jazz-house of "Thank You, St Germain") and you have a must-have collection.
Review: Mushroom House is the Toy Tonics series for house and electronic music with a weirdo-afro-psychedelic touch and featuring only exclusive productions. Following up several editions on vinyl that were well received, you can now find all the tracks compiled on this digital compilation. Curated by Berlin by way of Munich duo Munk, you'll hear such 'schatzis' as the Red Axes remix of bossmen Munk's "The Bolero Bunuel" which is totally trippy, local hero Hugo Capablanca with T Keeler on the mariachi vibes of "No Hay Ritmo" and a killer remix by the one and only Joe Claussell - The Joaquin Joe Claussell's Electric Afrika version to be exact - of Karl Hector & Nicolas Tounga's "Ngunga Yeti Fofa".
Review: Not content with serving up regular doses of ear-pleasing nu-disco, the Future Disco crew has decided to start sound-tracking days spent lounging on the beach. Somewhat predictably, this second Beach Life selection is packed with seriously steamy, sun-kissed grooves. While this epic digital package does contain two (un-credited) DJ mixes, the real joy is the expansive - not to mention eclectic - selection of DJ-friendly, unmixed tracks. Check, for example, the sun-down, jazz-funk influenced bliss of Folamour's "L'homme Loup", the head-nodding lounge warmth of Snacks' "Daydream", the gentle Balearic nu-disco of Sirs, the lo-fi deep house haziness of DJ Boring and COEO, and the sand-in-the-shoes shuffle of Eli Escobar's delicious remix of Kraak and Smaak's "U R Freak". Throw in a swathe of tasty, laidback but floor-friendly deep house jams and you have a solid collection of serious summer jams.
Review: According to those behind the label, Toy Tonics' Mushroom House compilation was inspired by "the new wave of weirdo house" that's inspired by "ethno, Afro and psychedelic music". The collection's 15 tracks include a swathe of new or previously unheard cuts from the likes of Auntie Flo, Daniel Avery & Justin Robertson, Daniel Haaksman, Hyenah and Drrrtyhaze. With such a strong line-up, it's no surprise that the music is uniformly excellent. Highlights include, but are not limited to, DJ Koze's superb Hudson River Dub of WhoMadeWho's eccentric "Keep Me In My Plane", the epic build-ups and trippy, dubbed-out riffs of Munk and Rebolledo's "Surf Smurf", and the psychedelic acid attack of Massimiliano Pagliara's remix of Barotti's "She Once Knew".
Review: Berlin based imprint Toy Tonics serve us with a new series entitled Mushroom House which will explore some mutant strains of house music, drawing in a diverse range of influences and boy are we excited! Starting out with the legendary Danish trio WhoMadeWho with the deep and smacked out DJ Koze remix of their track "Keep Me In My Plane". Also on offer is Australian act and the Sonar Kollektiv affiliated Jad & The Ladyboy who offer us the jagged and exotic latin flair of "Gervinho", the dark dancefloor drama of Berlin/Mexico collaboration by Munk & Rebolledo "Surf Smurf" (Rebolledo Short version) and Italian duo Alien Alien with the emotive Detroit techno influenced "Uhura" for something a bit deeper and futuristic.