Review: Londoners Kiwi and Ashworth return to Sneaky for a follow-up to the Dawn EP, with two original tracks, "Alaska" and "Na'am", backed up by a Nicholas & Marcoradi remix of "CUX3" and Ranacat's remix of "Zubr". "Alaska" could be described as an amalgamation of the inspirations that lead to the first Sneaky release, combining the pumping house beats of "CUX3", the comforting Wurlitzer of "Zubr" and the ethereal movie-soundtrack "Dusk". "Na'am is something totally different, existing mainly as a collage of recorded and found sounds, avoiding the usual structure of house music in favour of something reminiscent of the weirder side of the Chemical Brothers. The remixes both hint to dance floors of the '90s, with Nicholas and Marcoradi making you wait and wait before dropping an unforgettable piano hook, whilst Sneaky's Ranacat lifts "Zubr" out of context and into peak time territory.
Review: Sneaky Music maintain the pressure that the label's debut release from Silk 86 built up, welcoming London pairing Ashworth & Kiwi into the fold with the Dawn EP. South London based Kiwi's music combines influences from disco, funk and house and has notable released on Needwant and Deepshit, whilst East Londoner Ashworth debuted on Balsaal, garnering support Dixon, DJ T and Josh Wink and recently teamed up with Citizen for Waze & Odyssey's label W&O Street Trax. Lead track 'UCX3' is a drawn-out, gradually swelling, half-euphoric-half-pumping roller, which the guys would be happy to admit was heavily influenced by Pachanga Boys' "Time." Demonstrating a more mellow side, "Zubr" has Ashworth showing off his prowess with the Wurlitzer whilst "Dusk" is arguably the wild card. Staying clear of the drum machines, this track paints a subtley epic picture with a reverb-drenched piano and folksy violin drones, all being driven forwards by an ominous pulsating Moog bass.
Review: Future Disco invites you poolside and guides you through the long hot summer days, where the parties begin early and finish late. Taking you from lounging by the pool under the clear blue sky to sunset house, this is perfect for any laidback occasion. an essential summer soundtrack that features key artists such as: Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak who present the sensual lo-slung disco of "Don't Want This To Be Over" (Jean Tonique Remix), U.S. artists David Marston & Life On Planets who team up for the evocative deep house groove of "Contortions" feat. Hannah Noelle & Dan Izco, and Berlin-by-way-of Vancouver artist Jayda G who serves up the hypnotic Detroit vibe of "Rishikesh". Elsewhere, the ever reliable Butch delivers the main room dancefloor drama of "Lale", and Brazilian techno legend Renato Cohen makes his comeback on "Sweet Nightmare" but makes a departure from what we're used to on this funky house anthem. Also comes with a continuous DJ mix.
Review: Hot Chip founder and one-half of The 2 Bears Goddard teams up with London-based producer Alex Warren on a four-track EP that demonstrates the pair's shared love of vintage Chicago house and Detroit techno sounds. Goddard's 'Jack Come Back' centres around a 303 bassline, 909 drum hits and a spoken/chanted vocal intoning the title, while the Detroit-y 'Moebius Trip' is pacier BPM-wise, yet somehow still more reflective in feel. As for Warren's contributions, 'LakE' tops a dark, 303-tinged backdrop with stuttering cut-up vox that sound almost tribal, while 'KatE', the most contemporary-sounding cut here, is all insistent, live-sounding bass, synth swirls and disembodied vocal fragments.
Review: Next up on Bristol's Futureboogie is Alex Warren aka Kiwi who has had previous releases on the likes of Optimo Music, Blase Boys Club and Sneaky Music in addition to promoting for well known London parties and clubs like Orlando Boom/Kate Boss and The Nest. The versatile producer wastes no time getting stuck in, starting out with the explosive "Orca" which features one of the most amazing arpeggios this side of "I Feel Love". There's more vintage, synth driven disco vibes on "Minke" or "Logmans Break" while the feel good nu-disco vibes of "Pygmy" are reminiscent of modern greats like Jay Shepheard or Milton Jackson.
Review: For the seventh volume in Optimo Music's Disco Plate series, JD Twitch has recruited Alex Warren AKA Kiwi, whose previous releases on Blase Boys Club were particularly well received. "Throw Down" is arguably his most ambition cut yet: a cover version of Carmen's cult 1986 electrofunk jam of the same name that comes in two contrasting versions. On the virtual A-side you'll find Warren's original version, where Ciara Holder's confident, nuanced vocal rides a chunky synth bassline, clipped guitars, sparkling synthesizer flourishes and an unfussy, toe-tapping drum machine rhythm. Arguably even better is the Latin Freestyle mix, which sounds like a long lost Latin Rascals production with additional, spine-tingling piano riffs.
Review: British DJ Kiwi has been steadily refining his skills as a producer since the mid noughties, releasing on labels such as Optimo, Disco Halal and Futureboogie. His style encompasses a wide array of influences, with elements of disco, techno and electronica always present. Moreover, the likes of Erol Alkan, Andrew Weatherall and DJ Harvey can be counted as fans. Now, making his debut on Moda Black, Kiwi delivers a banging track in the form of "Rabbit Hole" (feat Cactus Sauna), a sleazy indie dance gem that will appeal to fans of the Correspondant or I'm A Cliche sound. It is perfectly backed up by remixes from cult favourites Lord of the Isles (who delivers an absolutely 'kosmische' rendition) and NYC's Willie Burns: who delivers a pitched down EBM mutation which was right up our alley!
Review: Following up the Cold Heart EP by label bosses Dusky, 17 Steps present a new one by Kiwi: the London producer's debut on the label. Having recently released on labels such as Futureboogie, Correspondant and Optimo Music, his distinctive sound is a mix of Italo, techno and electro. The uplifting epic "Marmora's Theme" is powered by a razor sharp arpeggio and balanced out by those hands in the air style piano loops. We were about to draw comparisons to scene heroes Tuff City Kids, but whaddya know: they're up next on the remix! They work their magic as always with a retro flavoured piece of dancefloor drama: they found it fitting to throw in a gnarly Reese bassline too. Epic!
Review: Alex "Kiwi" Warren is undoubtedly a star in the making. Since he last appeared on Futureboogie in 2016, his stock has risen further thanks to fine outings on Moda Black, Blitz and 17 Steps. Predictably, this is another fine EP. We're particularly enjoying the horror-inspired Italo-disco chug of "Amityville", where Warren makes terrific use of notable vocal samples and a thickset arpeggio bassline, though DJ Tennis's breezier, disco-tinged deep house re-make is almost as good. There's more dark and throbbing Italo-disco style fun to be had via the thrillingly heavy and pulsating "Warriors", while EP closer "Paco" - all glacial, tumbling synthesizer melodies, undulating acid bass and unfussy drum machine beats - offers a more considered option for those searching for solid warm-up fare.
Review: It would be fair to say that Alex "Kiwi" Warren is on a roll. Here, he follows up fine releases on Futureboogie, Optimo Music and 17 Steps with a decidedly exotic outing on Disco Halal. In its original form, lead cut "Pine Marten" is something of a bubbly electronic treat, with synthesizer voices, glistening lead guitar and chiming melodies drifting over hissing cymbals and an undulating, slo-mo arpeggio. While more of an ambient excursion than a peak-time treat, Warren has also delivered a stunningly sleazy, Moroder-influenced Club Mix that throbs and pulses in all the right places. To complete a fine EP, Warren looks towards the Middle East on the driving but dreamy hum of "Daubenten Bat".
Review: Alex 'Kiwi' Warren's first outing on Futureboogie, 2018's "Amityville", was something of a gem, so hopes are naturally high for this belated follow-up. The London-based producer hits the ground running with opener "Charlie's New Vision", a dark and brooding affair that peppers a sleazy, all-action analogue bassline and unfussy dancefloor drums with a bubbly electronic lead lie, echoing blues guitar notes and tipsy spoken word snippets. Johnny Aux provides an even more druggy-sounding remix before Warren returns with "Ghiaccio", a glassy-eyed trip into deep space in which attractive, analogue sounding synthesizer lines buzz around an arpeggio-driven Euro-disco groove. Rounding off a rock solid EP is "Italian Heat", a gloriously shirtless and celebratory dance through revivalist, early'80s Italo-disco pastures.
Review: Alex "Kiwi" Warren has barely put a foot wrong in recent times, with a superb DJ Rocca collaboration and some fine EPs on Disco Halal, Cin Cin and Paradise Palms. Here he adds another record label to the CV via a second outing on Needwant. In its original form, "Kiya" is a baggy, sunrise-ready house cut drive forwards by low-slung bass, chiming melodies, layered percussion, twinkling pianos and choice snatches of vocal apparently borrowed from an old African record. The "Rave Mix" is a more driving excursion smothered in intergalactic motifs and trance-like synth sounds, while the Brian Ring revision is looser, sparser and altogether more glassy-eyed. Warren rounds things off via the "Dreamscape Mix", a stunning ambient interpretation for those who like their sounds swirling and beat free.
Review: Toy Tonics' Mushroom House series has so far sparkled, delivering a series of "weirdo house" inspired EPs full of tracks that look to "ethno, Afro and psychedelic" music for inspiration. Each of the producers involved in this third installment predictably hit the mark, with Ponty Mython's trippy opener - think rolling tropical deep house with hallucinatory flourishes - expertly setting the tone. Fast-rising producer Kiwi steals the show with a low-slung fusion of dub disco and smacked out Afro-house, while the Barking Dogs join forces with Tom Trago for a seductive trip into cosmic deep house territory. Red Axes also do a terrific job turning Munk's "The Bolero Brunel" into a hazy chunk of nu-disco psychedelia.
Review: A decade has now passed since Future Disco's debut compilation of colourful nu-disco treats and disco-fired house grooves first hit record stores. To celebrate that fact, they've given their distinctive design a makeover and asked chief compiler Sean Brosnan to serve up another hot-to-trot collection of cuts in their usual style. As you'd expect, Brosnan has picked some belters, with highlights including Darshan Jesrani's sublime, mid-'80s NYC style revision of Galaxians' "How Do U Feel", the D-Train inspired synth shuffle of Flamingo Pier's "Hold It", the sun-kissed '80s soul/Whispers style warmth of Kiwi's "Midnight Driver" and the dreamy, synth bass-propelled deepness of Force of Nature's loved-up rework of Khotin's "Aloe Drink".
Review: Clouded Vision boss Matt Walsh's first mix CD, The Clouded Vision Experiment, gained plenty of praise on its 2012 release. Three years on, he's finally got round to putting together a follow-up. As with its predecessor, The Clouded Vision Experiment Level 2 aims to join the dots between bouncy, electro-influenced techno, warehouse-friendly tech-house, glistening nu-disco (see the Eskimo Twins' "Elegy") and hard-to-define, dancefloor-friendly electronica (Richard Norris's "Dim The Lights" being a great example). The unmixed portion of the collection is full of gems, including tracks and remixes from The Hacker, Pulp Disco & The Outcasts (whose P-funk goes-acid banger "3.142" stands out) and the brilliantly named Forty Fingers Dynamo.