DJ Swagger - "21st Century Slow Jam" - (5:42) 126 BPM
Bobby Pleasure - "Cloudspotting" - (7:35) 120 BPM
Review: Needs (not-for-profit) is a new label that aims to raise awareness about different issues within society with each release. Their first offering highlights the importance of mental wellbeing, with all profits being donated to mental health charity Mind, and calls upon a strong cast of deep house producers to impart the kind of Smallville-friendly sounds that discerning heads should snap up in a heartbeat. Hubie Davison's "I Know" is a melancholic affair with heart-nagging strings, while Johannes Albert injects a little spice into proceedings with a choice breakbeat and some excellent bird song on "Vigilia". DJ Swagger's "21st Century Slow Jam" is a peppy little shuffler with warm acidic bass and a kick ass swing in the beat, and then Bobby Pleasure finishes the record off with the wistful but tech-edged "Cloudspotting".
Review: Wurzburg's Johannes Albert heads up Frank Music, where for several years he's delivered some top-shelf deep house jams by the likes of Smallpeople, Achterbahn D'Amour, Monosoul and of course a heap of his own jams from his now Berlin based studio. His new Plus 1 EP refers to the collaborations featured and includes the track "Turbo Basmati". While in its original form it is an uplifting and neon-lit Italo disco tribute, Iron Curtis' Thermo mix is a powerful, breaks-driven classic house jam, just like the following "Karen's Piano" which features Mr. Fonk on this old school Strictly Rhythm tribute. Albert proves he's just as able to do deep and emotive house too, as displayed on the sexy mood lighting of "Floating Dub" featuring D.Y.A.
Review: German DJ Johannes Albert heads up the Frank Music imprint and Fine with Tillman. He's been praised by the likes BICEP, Gerd Janson, Lauer and the Keinemusik crew - and he's only just getting started. His new one here for London's Needwant follows up some terrific releases of late by the label, such as Akasha System and Luces. The Berlin based producer serves up The Dancing Plague EP here, featuring the neon-lit dark disco aesthetic of "TPTS", the lo-slung boogie-down action of "Gravy Train" and the sombre balearic bliss of "Rainbow Pan" closing out this very impressive EP.
Review: Fresh from a tech-house influenced EP on new label Corp, Johannes Albert pops up on Frank Music with an altogether different proposition. "Giovanni Frizzante" is something of a life-affirming, lose-your-shit peak-time treat, with the German producer brilliantly joining the dots between sleazy Italo-disco (represented by a chugging arpeggio bassline) and cheery Italian house (a range of brilliant piano solos and accompanying positive electronic elements). The track's anthem-like elements are pushed to the fore on Prins Thomas's dizzyingly good remix, which craftily replaces the original's arpeggio lines with rubbery synth-bass and a full tablet's worth of loved-up vibes. The bubbly nu-disco bounce of bonus cut "D-Trainse (No Cure Mix)" is also worth a listen.
Review: Sweating profusely and clutching his favourite dusty old bits of music-making kit, a shirtless Johannes Albert gestures us towards the dancefloor and asks us to dance the "Credit Jive". There's no fancy footwork required, just a desire to lose your inhibitions to a thrusting, all-action Italo-disco workout rich in relentless, arpeggio-style bass, thumping kickdrums, ricocheting percussion hits, jacking drum machine fills and a handful of spacey electronic motifs. Albert can see we need a quick breather, so he offers up "Linn Dreams", a fabulously colourful, Linn Drum-driven bounce through hybrid nu-disco/instrumental synth-pop pastures. It's little less than a rush-inducing palette cleanser.
Review: There's some serious blurring of genre boundaries going on here. This EP from W?rzburg native Johannes Albert, coming on his own Frank Music label, may be sitting in our disco section - as befits the Italo-esque throb of opener 'Wing House' (as remixed by Shan) - but its four tracks could also slide neatly into house and even techno sets. Map-ache's remix of 'Cell' will suit the prog/melodic jocks, Iron Curtis's remix of 'Wing House' has both melodic and tech elements, while the standout Sebastian Voigt remix 'Milieu', with its dark, rumbling bass and clattering breakbeat, harks back to the rave era and as such should have broad, poly-dancefloor appeal.
Review: Germany's Daniel Klein is a scene veteran whose career dates back to the early 90s, and who's DJ'd everywhere from Manumission to Tresor. Latterly, in his SIRS guise, he's been exploring retro disco and funk territory, which is where we find him on this, the project's debut long-player. The album as a whole can safely be filed under the 'nu disco' umbrella but there's enough variety on offer to ensure things never get dull, from soul- and boogie-infused nuggets like 'Night Wind' and 'All Night Long', to a Stee Downes-vocalled electro-disco cover of Tony Di Bart's 90s club fave 'The Real Thing'.
Review: Scene veteran Sean Brosnan is the selector behind Future Disco's latest all-action collection of nu-disco and disco-inspired house cuts, which is here presented in DJ-friendly, unmixed form. As usual, you'll find a clutch of recent peak-time club hits - see Louie Vega's fantastic rework of Sylvester's "Dance", the brilliant E-Live Remix of Saucy Lady's boogie-powered "Together" and Danny Krvit's simultaneously stomping and spacey Extended Vocal Dub Edit of Emilie Nana's "I Rise" - alongside previously unheard Future Disco edits and lesser-celebrated gems (see Amp Fiddler's "Steppin", Kraak and Smaak's collaboration with Luxxury, and Greg Wilson's exclusive tweak of Sweet Tooth T's cover of Chemise's boogie classic "She Can't Love You").
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: 2019 marks a decade since the Needwant label first sprung into life. Those ten years have been action packed to say the least, as this epic anniversary compilation proves. What's on offer is a mixture of label highlights from Needwant's bulging back catalogue, a handful of previously unheard tracks and the odd exclusive remix. There's much to admire throughout, from the spacey deep house goodness of Kim Ann Foxman's "Return It" and the delay-laden late night retro-futurism of Tuff City Kids' acid-fired rework of VIMES' "Minds", to the throbbing, Italo-influenced brilliance of Res Mo's "Train To Kyoto", Octa Octa's atmospheric early morning tweak of Few Nolder's "Porcelain" and the Revenge's slo-mo, glassy eyed cover of SOS Band classic "Just Be Good To Me".