Review: Here's something of a surprise: a collaborative EP featuring the combined talents of Underground System Afrobeat member Peter Matson and sometime Escort bass player (and Razor N Tape co-founder) Jason Kriveloff AKA J Kriv. Given their respective musical histories, you'd expect a blend of NYC disco, Afrobeat, synth-boogie and deep house, and that's exactly what they've delivered. Their hybrid style is probably best exemplified by the late '80s Todd Terry-meets-Afro-synth brilliance of 'Ewesse Ye', which is subsequently given a deeper and more percussive Afro-house spin by Auntie Flo. The fusion fun continues on the horn-sporting Afro-boogie brilliance of 'New Friend' and 'Bigtime', where righteous Afrobeat horns surge above a tactile deep house groove.
Review: Big Love's latest must-check missive comes courtesy of Razor 'N' Tape co-founder and sometime Escort bassist J Kriv, who successfully joins forces with legendary vocalist Angela Johnson on the rather fine 'Not That Serious'. Sitting somewhere between two-step 1980s synth-soul, late '80s New York house and Jam & Lewis style electrofunk, the EP-leading 'Extended Version' is a pleasingly musically detailed affair topped off by a terrific lead vocal from the irrepressible Johnson. It comes backed by a seriously authentic, mid-to-late 1980s style boogie dub from J Kriv that includes a superb vocal breakdown and much more use of the original's synth-horns, rubbery bass guitar and sparkling guitars. A genuine treat!
Review: It was way back in 2013 that Brooklyn boys J Kriv & The Disco Machine first unveiled "Make It Hot", a languid and summery chunk of 1970s disco revivalism whose manifold attractions included a killer 'walking' bassline and a Tony Montana style vibraphone solo. Seven years on, File Under Disco has decided to offer up a fresh set of reworks. Ray Mang predictably steels the show with two killer rubs: an insanely weighty, driving and dubbed-out "High Pressure Dub" and a more relaxed "Warm Front Extension" that sees him emphasize the pair's superb original instrumentation. Elsewhere, Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco re-imagine the track as a squelchy nu-disco number and J Kriv devlivers a "Meltdown Mix" that surprisingly sits somewhere between NYC freestyle, Italo-disco and proto-house. Tidy!
Review: Some 40-odd years since the legendary New York nightclub's late 1970s heyday, Studio 54 has decided to launch a label. Its first project is "Night Magic", a multiple-part release that features a crack team of contemporary NYC disco musicians delivering 21st century cover versions of tracks that once made the infamously hedonistic dancefloor move. EP one begins with long-time collaborators J Kriv and Adeline offering up a typically authentic (if slightly beefed up) re-imagining of Don Ray's "Lovin' Is Really My Game". The virtual B-side sees RickExpress add his effortlessly soulful vocals to another killer J Kriv production built around his famously expressive and rubbery disco bass: a delay-laden, bongo-heavy "Dub" of "Souvenirs", a track first made famous by Voyage. Both cuts are celebratory, addictive and very, very good.
Review: In recent times, sometime Escort bassist J Kriv has been in full-on disco mode, delivering a string of singles with old pal Adeline that recall the rush-inducing brilliance of NYC in the late 1970s. "Aguaxire", his latest single, is decidedly different, offering a superb fusion of TB-303 driven acid house, swirling deep house, Afro-house and horn-powered Afro-jazz motifs. It comes accompanied by three tasty alternate versions: a hazy, delay-laden dub tailor-made for glassy-eyed early morning moments, a jacking and forthright "Acid Test" mix that predictably emphasizes the track's psychedelic TB-303 lines, and a wonderfully bouncy, driving and percussion-rich "Beats" track.
Review: Sometime Escort members JKriv and Adeline have already notched up one of the disco records of 2019 - the fantastic "Vertigo" on Z Records - and we'd not bet against "Yo Love" being similarly as successful. In its original and extended "Club Mix" forms, "Yo Love" sounds like a heartfelt tribute to Chic, with Adeline's headline-grabbing vocal rising above an insatiable backing track rich in unfussy disco drums, Bernard Edwards style bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars, subtle electric piano stabs and, on the longer version, Roy Ayers style vibraphone solos. In other words, it's a revivalist NYC disco treat. The accompanying instrumental Dub naturally is far more groove based and delay-laden, with extra percussion hits and plenty of selected vocal snippets echoing across the sound space.
Review: Second time around for JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", a revivalist disco treat that first appeared last autumn. The still-hot "Original Club Mix" (track three) sounds like a long lost cut from Brooklyn disco modernists Escort, a band that both JKriv and Adeline were members of. It's absolutely brilliant all told - think strong choruses, Nile Rodgers guitars, jangly pianos and walking bass - as is the dusty disco-house revision from Yuksek. Best of all though is the storming interpretation from Z Records chief Joey Negro, who wraps Adeline's vocal and JKriv's bassline in colourful new boogie synths and some classic disco-funk horns. There's no doubt about it, this will (rightly) be one of the biggest disco records of 2019.
Review: For their latest trick, Razor-N-Tape chiefs J Kriv and Aaron Dae have decided to take a trawl through the horizontally inclined parts of the label's bulging back catalogue. "Chill Cuts Volume 2", then, is packed to the rafters with blazed and blunted beats, from the woozy hip-hop deepness of Tall Black Guy's head-nodding rework of Lovebirds' "Icarus" and the bluesy, turn-of-the-millennium downtempo beats of J Kriv and Free Magic's "Eleanora", to the Moon B style slow P-funk revivalism of Kan Sano's "Music Overflow" and the Rhodes and Moog-laced sumptuousness of "Penwick Pool" by POOLS. If it's warm, toasty and laidback dancefloor disco you're after, The Groovers "Make Me Feel" is also well worth a check.
Review: If this sounds like the work of NYC disco band Escort, there's a very good reason - both the producer "JKriv" and guest vocalist, Adeline, are both members of the band. The good news is that "Vertigo" is every bit as good as Escort's finest moments (think "Starlight", "Love in Indigo", "A Bright New Life" etc.), with Adeline providing a stellar vocal atop JKriv's killer bassline, pianos, strings and Nile Rodgers style guitars. The accompanying "Dub" rework is naturally a little heavier and more arpeggio-driven, with JKriv making great use of carefully placed dub delays and cosmic noises.
Review: The kind of names and quality of releases that Brooklyn's Razor N Tape has supported puts them in the disco premier league. Here they enlist Jkriv to provide us with dancing fodder that isn't throwaway stuff. First is his rework of "Bukom Mashie" by Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band. The latter, his "King Mashie edit", is a raucous slice of bassy and brassy percussive Afrobeat. Elsewhere an O'Jays classic gets stretched out into eight minutes of slow bump bliss on "The Queen On Her Throne" and resurfaces in a deliciously spare dub called "The Queens Beats". Top notch!
Review: Rather surprisingly, this is File Under Disco's first release of 2016. Happily, it's a bit of a doozy, with Brooklyn's J Kriv gathering together The Disco Machine band for the first time since 2013's much-played "Make It Hot". Escort's Adeline Michele guests, adding strong, catchy and attractive vocals to an authentic NYC disco bomb built around a Chic style groove, fluid synths, crunchy Clavinet lines and cowbell-heavy percussion. The authenticity of J Kriv's production is highlighted on the accompanying Instrumental, while old pal Dicky Trisco does his best Walter Gibbons impression on a near 11-minute remix that allows each instrumental part room to breathe.
Review: Here, Aaron Dae and JKriv gather together some highlights from the first three years of their popular re-edit imprint, Razor 'N' Tape. Given the label's infamously high hit rate, it's little surprise to find that Disco Cuts Volume 1 is full of tried-and-tested dancefloor smashers - the kind of dub-flecked, handily compressed jams that work wonders in both disco and house sets. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the dubby pulse of Deep&Disco's ace Chic rework "Feel The Rhythm", and the cheery '80s soul revivalism of Ron Basejam's gospel boogie cut "Someday", to the undulating grooves of Luvless' "Castles In The Sky" (you can guess the identity of the original source material) and head-nodding pulse of Only Children's chugging "Falling".
Review: In a bid to promote their first vinyl compilation, Original & Unreleased Volume 1, the kind lads and lasses at File Under Disco have delivered this digital taster. It features remixes of previously released FUD jams by Drop Out Orchestra and JKriv & The Disco Machine. The former's "The National Theatre" gets a jaunty, extra-percussive refresh from British nu-disco veterans Dicky Trisco and Pete Herbert, who make great use of the original's sharp, swirling strings and low-slung groove. Arguably even better, though, is Get Down Edits' remix of JKriv and company's "Disco Rocket", which expertly laces the original's celebratory vocal around a breezy, sparse, bass-heavy disco groove.
Review: To date, it's been with their carefully chosen remixes that File Under Disco has most impressed. Here, JKriv and the Disco Machine's recent "Make It Acid" gets a typically out-there dub disco makeover from the Idjut Boys. The veteran duo's remix pits dubbed-out disco drums and echo-laden vocals against a battery of acid field guns - all 303 tweakery, mind-melting riffery and undulating electronics. For those who navigate a course through the twin attractions of house and disco, it should be essential listening. The shorter "Bonus Mix", meanwhile, peppers a robust, cowbell-laden drum track with occasional blasts of eye-watering 303 madness.
Review: Having previously danced the night away, the extended musical family behind the Editorial imprint sit down together for a nice spot of Sunday Brunch. In practice, that means a slightly deeper, groovier flex than some previous outings. There's plenty to enjoy, though, from the low-slung mutant nu-disco of JKriv's "Something Special" and the tumbling goodness of Sonicvibe's "Wet Level" (based on Rick James' "Cold Blooded"), to the original boogie sweetness of DJ Butcher's "All My Dub" (a much-needed tweak of Major Harris's long-forgotten "All My Life"). Of course, there are a couple of peaktime stompers, with Feza's Bohannon-ish "Feel Like" standing out.
Review: Brooklyn based disco-house fella, Jkriv, has doing quite nicely indeed with his own Deep & Disco label, but here we have his productions given a double re-working on File Under Disco. First up is nu-disco royalty, The Idjut Boys, who deliver a beguiling spacey jam that's literally drenched in reverb and delay (and even boasts a xylophone solo). Duff Disco, meanwhile go for a mid-tempo looped and trippy infectious chugger.
Review: Brooklyn-based production pals JKriv and Lou Teti join forces once again, here delivering an effortlessly casual chunk of typically NYC slacker disco. As with most of their recent work, "Elisco" carefully combines great live elements - sleepy vocals, guitars, keys and such - with a nagging boogie bassline and touchy-feely synth touches. It could certainly be described as Balearic. Remix-wise, there's plenty to get stuck into, from the low-slung bass and shiny electrofunk synths of Alphabet City's shimmering take to Sleazy McQueen's eccentric yacht rock re-wiring. There's also a nice hypnotic, vocal-heavy excursion from Space Ranger that's well worth a listen.
Review: Fast-rising New York disco/house producer JKriv launches his brand new Deep & Disco label here, with a slinky and sophisticated chunk of vocal deep house. While there are definite disco and electrofunk touches, "Another Night" is a wholehearted deep house rub that should find favour with anyone who likes a little dash of sensuality. There's a whole raft of remixes to enjoy, too, from Greg Wilson's epic, stripped-back deep house extension to Dicky Trisco & Project Tempo's low-slung re-dub. Check, too, Matthew Kyle's version, which pits heavy boogie back-end against midtempo filter house to great effect.