Review: It wouldn't be summer without every house label under the sun releasing an Ibiza-themed compilation. To be fair to Dave Lee's long-running Z Records imprint, they've been delivering White Isle-themed collections every summer for many years. Given that their sound - a blend of funk-fuelled grooves, soulful house, tech-tinged anthems, disco re-edits, boogie revivalism and classic US garage influences - is well suited to sun-drenched alfresco parties, it's little surprise to find that Z Records Presents Ibiza 2015 is rather good. While much of the standout material comes from Lee himself under a variety of guises (check, in particular, the Doug Willis jam "Crystal Lover"), there are also top-notch cuts from Sean McCabe, Opolopo and Fibre Foundation, whose cover of disco/boogie classic "Weekend" is simply superb.
Review: Released on Joey Negro's Z Records, Rio spinner DJ Meme whips through thirty of the best from Z on this new mix - available either as individual unmixed tracks or as one continuous mix. Always a haven for the best soulful and funky house, Z Records highlights such as JN's mix of Doug Willis' "Power To The People", Sean McCabe's mix of JD73's "Think Twice" and Akabu's "The Phuture Ain't What It Used To Be" make for an effortlessly bumping and uplifting voyage.
Review: Foreal People is not an alias that Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro uses that often these days, but back in the late '90s he served up a string of singles under the pseudonym. Here one of those singles, 1999's GQ cover "Shake" featuring vocalist David Grant, is given the remix treat by contemporary disco and house hero Dr Packer. His opening "Re-Shake" has a groovier, looser and warmer vibe than Lee's '99 original, being closer to the sound and feel of GQ's 1982 track (albeit with a few choice contemporary touches and occasional dub style effects). Packer's instrumental revision is naturally even more delay laden, though it's more of a straight vocal-free take than a wild late night dub. Either way, it's rather good.
Review: Z Records head honcho, Joey Negro, is back with a super sunny party jam, "Stomp Your Feet", of which the "Extended Mix" is a warm and bouncy retro boogie clap-fest. Negro also provides a spicier dub and the Tropical percussion loop-fest "Stomp Your Beats". However it's Hot Toddy's remixes here, a pulsating arpeggiated space-disco rework of the tile track and a fizzy and aquatic "Underwater Dub", that really stand out.
Review: While Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee is a man of many talents, it would be fair to say that his speciality is creating impeccable blends of disco, boogie and soulful house. That's exactly what you get from "Must Be The Music (Original Disco Mix)", a brilliantly breezy and club-ready excursion full of slick female vocals, Nile Rodgers style guitars, undulating strings and colourful, boogie style synth flourishes. In some ways, it feels like a slightly more house-centric take on Lee's similarly minded work as part of the Sunburst Band. It's accompanied by a superb dub, where Lee's chosen musicians take it in turns to deliver killer synth and guitar solos over a chunkier, boogie-driven beat. In other words, it's another strong release from the Z Records founder.
Review: Joey Negro's "Love Hangover", a brilliant disco-house cover of the Diana Ross classic of the same name, is the gift that keeps on giving. Here, the eight anniversary 2016 re-master is bundled with two brand new re-rubs by Micky More and Andy Tee. They begin with the "Classic Disco Blend" revision, which is notably looser and more orchestrated in tone than Joey Negro's disco-house original, with the duo allowing every instrument used to sparkle at some point in the mix a-la original Salsoul mixer Tom Moulton. In contrast, their "Groove Culture Blend" beefs up the bottom end and loops key sections for a heavier disco-house vibe.
Review: Less than a month after Joey Negro dropped the original version of "Distorting Space Time" - a Lonnie Liston-Smith inspired chunk of intergalactic party disco rich in trippy instrumentation - as part of the vinyl-only Space Time EP, we're treated to a digital edition containing a trio of tasty reworks. Top of the pile is deep house don Ron Trent's sublime revision, which is not only typically warm, woozy and percussion rich, but also makes great use of dub delays and Joey Nergo's spacey FX. Elsewhere, Fouk successfully breaks up the beats on a formidably jazzy and bass-heavy interpretation, while Negro's own "Space Funk" take sits somewhere between luscious turn-of-the-80s jazz-funk and starlit electrofunk. The producer's use of crunchy Clavinet lines and talkbox scat vocals is particularly alluring.
Review: A chilled Brazilian-tinged boogie cut from the recent Joey Negro epic entitled Produced With Love gets transformed into a piano fuelled, peaktime banger by Swedish jazz musician/producer Crackazat. He retains the Latino flavour of the original but 'adds bags of dance floor energy.' Dave Lee has been one of the most prolific producers in dance music over the last three decades and we would highly recommend the album to anyone who considers themselves a fan of proper house, disco or soul music. It features collaborations with such legends as Diane Charlemagne, Linda Clifford and Alex Mills. In addition to remixes of recent heroes of the scene such as Horse Meat Disco and Peven Everett.
Review: Unbelievably, this much-sampled classic will be 20 years old next year. No doubt there'll be more new mixes on the way then, but in the meantime there's this very serviceable refix from deep house men-of-the-moment Saison. The London duo wisely leave those very familiar sweeping, string-like pads and Ms Clifford's spoken vocal to retain centre stage and concentrate their efforts on the bottom end, supplying a bassline and tough-but-muted drums to make the track more easily programmable for a new generation of DJs...some of whom won't even have been born when it was first released, but let's not dwell on that!
Review: David Lee dusts off some late 90s magic with this reissue of "Does It Feel Good 2 U?" (first released in 1998), which arrives replete with two new remixes from J Paul Ghetto. The original is pretty hard to beat, and it arrives here in extended form, all loopy disco elements and peak time vocals. There are also handy bonus beats and acapella version for the more adventurous DJs, but for our money the real gem here is the J Paul Ghetto dub - all simmering late night chords which create a slinky late night deep house vibe.
Review: With Christmas party season in full swing, Joey Negro has decided to reissue a couple of classic jams from his disco/boogie/jazz-funk revival project, The Sunburst Band. Both "Here Comes The Sunburst Band" and "U Make Me Hot" were featured on the expansive live outfit's 1998 debut album, and one of the contained remixes of the latter track - by long-serving smooth groover Yam Who - first saw the light of day on vinyl in 2004. The other remixes, though, are brand new. Fouk turns "Here Comes The Sunburst Band" into a spiraling, toughened-up disco-house smasher, before jazz-leaning producer Daniel Producer delivers vocal and instrumental versions of "U Make Me Hot" that sit somewhere between smooth hip-hop soul and vintage Herbie Hancock.
Review: To coincide with Z Records' 30th birthday, boss man Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro has been sourcing new remixes of classic back catalogue cuts. Here he showcases the latest, which sees Tropical Disco label mainstay Moodena work his magic on the Sunburst Band's "Big Blow", a track first featured on the Lee-helmed combo's 1998 debut album. Moodena makes the most of the original track's low-down disco-funk feel, looping up the original groove, underpinning it with bouncy new house drums and making the most of Lee and company's brilliant instrumentation (think wah-wah guitar snippets, addictive horn blasts, rich electric piano keys and rubbery bass guitar). It's the kind of rolling, rock-solid revision that sounds like it will cause dancefloor devastation every time it's played.
Review: Six years on from launching the It's A Summer Groove series, Joey Negro returns with a fifth selection of sunshine-friendly tracks from the Z Records vaults. While much of the label's output - soulful, accessible, funky and heavily influenced by disco, funk and boogie - could be described as "summery", there's something particularly bright and breezy about the 21 tracks gathered together here. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the smooth disco-soul goodness of the Reflex's recent remix of the Sunburst Band's "The Secret Life of Us", and the terrace-friendly piano house of Shur-I-Kan's rework of Zo & Erro & Phonte, to the vibraphone-laden boogie-house goodness of Rainbow Connection and Taka Boom's "Surrender".
Review: Hit makers Rodgers and Edwards' mammothly influential Chic songs enjoy one of the finest curatorial salutes from UK disco's most discerning torch-bearer/creator Dave Lee. Digging deep into his vaults and unearthing some of the best homages, references and blatant covers, Negro join the dots and delivers some rarities you may have never heard before. Get lost in the music of She's shiny guitar strumming "Easy Money", freak out to Charanga 76's "Good Times" and get lucky with Van Jones's "Not About That"... Everyone knows about the hits and influence, most of us know how important a role Chic played in sample culture but Negro has gone the extra mile to celebrate some of the lesser known references Chic have had over the years. Freaking great.
Review: With the 2016 Ibiza summer season in full swing, Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee has gathered together a bumper collection of label tracks that are currently doing the business on the White Isle. There are few surprises amongst the 28 selections - think swinging piano-house, soulful grooves, sun-kissed broken beat, contemporary disco reworks and synth-heavy boogie-house - but the quality threshold remains remarkably high throughout. Highlights include Lee's glistening 2016 re-rub of his vintage Doug Willis anthem "Spread Love", a deliciously loose and synth-laden Fouk rework of The Sunburst Band, the bad-ass boogie business of Spirit Catcher's "Rendez-Vous", and a killer 1995 rework of Fonda Rae's "Over Like A Fat Rat" from U.S house legend Victor Simonelli.
Review: Over the years, Joey Negro has delivered compilations focusing on a wide range of styles and sub-genres, including soulful disco, Italo-house, early U.S disco-rap, and Washington D.C go-go. Now he's turned his attention to electro, the style that did more than any other to inspire Britain's first wave of DJs and dance music producers. This "personal collection" contains a mixture of stone-cold scene classics - Aleem's Leroy Burgess-fronted "Release Yourself", Hashim's scene anthem "Al Naayafiysh (The Soul)" and Dwayne Omar's P-funk influenced "This Party's Jam Packed" - alongside deeper selections such as Kosmic Light Force's brilliant - and hard to find - L.A electrofunk classic "Mysterious Waves", and The Russell Brothers thrillingly intergalactic "The Party Scene".
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.
Review: It may have taken eight years, but Joey Negro has finally got round to putting together a follow-up to his superb Backstreet Brit Funk compilation. Like its predecessor, this sequel shines a light on Britain's under-appreciated musical response to the U.S soul, jazz-funk, disco and electro scenes of the late 70s and early 80s. On the whole, the showcased tracks are altogether deeper selections than those found on volume one, meaning obscure highlights come thick and fast. These include - but definitely aren't limited to - the low-slung disco-funk of Rick Clarke's "Potion", the glassy-eyed breeziness of Paradise's "Stop and Think", the footworker-friendly jazz-funk riot of Touchdown's "Ease Your Mind" and the samba-soaked carnival flavours of "Brazeila" by Brazeila. Oh, and a killer dub of Janet Kay's overlooked Brit-boogie classic "Eternally Grateful" that has never before been released.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from each new album in Joey Negro's "Remixed With Love" series, namely fantastic new revisions of classic disco, boogie, soul, electro and jazz-funk classics created using the original multi-track tapes. This third volume naturally contains a few inspired revisions of well-known cuts - a riotous take on The Fatback Band's "Do The Bus Stop", an astonishing, dubbed-out version of the Temptations' "Law of the Land" and a soaring, life-affirming rearrangement of Patrice Rushen's "Never Give You Up" included - but also some suitably smart tweaks of lesser-known gems. These include a sublime revision of the APX's '80s gem "Loose Yourself To The Groove" and an insatiable take on Mass Production's "Shante" full of jammed-out electric piano solos and rubbery electric bass.
Review: A solo release from his own Z Records label sees Joey Negro's "Feel It" get a commanding rework from Italian producer and DJ Alex Kenji. Wrapped around a rock solid groove made up of kicks, a chanking guitar part and a subtle acid bassline, this tight rhythm is layered with huge pads and brought up and down through some enormous filter builds and stacking drops. Funky house at its most thrilling, Kenji absolutely nails it.
Review: Z Records presents an essential remix of label boss Joey Negro's classic anthem "Must Be The Music", with Crazibiza bringing the track right up to date with a big room club version. Filled with rough, intensifying bass, the original's disco loops are filtered through a fuzz of bombastic electro house, driven along by a firm 4/4 stomp. Also includes a dub version for those with less vocal tendencies.
Review: With its' live-sounding disco beats, killer bass guitar parts and nagging clavinet hooks, Joey Negro's Funk Equation mix of new single "Free Bass" sounds a little like the retro-futurist brilliance of forgotten French producer Blackjoy. While tight and rolling enough for house sets, it's effectively a "proper" disco record - albeit one with more than a hint of delay-heavy psychedelia amongst the cheery clav lines and killer bass. Shield and Corrado Bucci provide a tasty "re-edit" on the virtual flipside, adding long, drawn out chords and additional percussion for neat deep house-meets-classic disco feel. Both tracks are tailor-made for peak time sets.
Review: In recent years, Dave Lee seems to have been concentrating on remixes, compilations and side projects. As a result, "I Can Hear Your Body Rock" is, somewhat surprisingly, the first original Joey Negro single for two years. As you might expect, it's a deliciously summery affair that effortlessly joins the dots between piano house, early '90s US garage and '80s boogie. Lee concentrates on the latter on the alternative Serious Mix, which pleasingly sits somewhere between the delay-laden proto-house of Paul Simpson's Serious Intention project, and breezy early '90s house. For those who just want more pianos, Lee also obliges with the sumptuous "Pianohead Dub".
Review: An eight-minute slice of celebratory slinky funk, Do What You Feel originally appeared on this veteran DJs Universe Of Love album. Now it's back in remixed form to keep the party going nicely. This time there are three incarnations - JN Revival's deep and punchy vintage handbaggy vibes, Supernova's bassier stoned acid and the warm funky house joy of Steve Mill's rework.