Review: Boogie Angst's series of club-focused, compilation style EPs can always be relied upon to deliver the goods. Predictably, this third volume in the ongoing series is packed to the rafters with tasty musical treats. Label bosses Kraak & Smaak lead the way with 'Fitipaldi', a Clavinet-sporting slab of Italo-disco influenced cheeriness that's available in both original mix and extended version variations. You also get two takes on Drop Out Orchestra's kaleidoscopic, string-laden disco-boogie rework of Steven Kimber's 'I Wanna Be The One'. Elsewhere, rising star Pontchartrain dances his way through nu-disco-influenced piano-house territory on 'Cheap Plants', King Mutapa reaches for warming Rhodes keys and jazzy disco bass on the deep house influenced 'Gimme That Funk' and FUTVRST offers up a filter-heavy exploration of French Touch influenced mid-tempo disco-house.
Review: Featuring 22 full-length cuts plus a 42-minute mixed version, there's no faulting the VFM on offer from this Jim Sharp-helmed Bomb Strikes comp. Featuring tracks and mixes from the likes of The Allergies, The Nextmen, Ugly Duckling, Alice Russell, Lack Of Afro and Sam Krats, the emphasis here is on the kind of dusty funk/soul grooves that sit well alongside hip-hop and breaks - as opposed to the stack-heeled, silver-jumpsuited kind that goes better with disco - with standouts for this writer including Sly5thAve's moody, cinematic 'Shiznit' (think Shaft staring broodily out of a rain-streaked diner window) and Skill's 'Break It Down', a stuttery, stop-start gift for the jazz-dancers.
Review: Legendary DJ and bon viveur Harvey brings us a third collection of Balearic grooves inspired by his residency at Ibiza's notorious Pikes Hotel, which is now into its fifth year. Highlights of Volume III include Brass Construction's barrio funk classic 'Now Is Tomorrow' and an ultra-chilled reworking of River Ocean's 'Love And Happiness', while in-between you'll find mellow 80s pop, meandering YMO-esque synth excursions, laidback disco from the Peter Jacques Band, horizontal deep house grooves, lounge-y jazz and more besides - as, well, needless to say, as more gently fluttering Spanish guitars than you could clack a pair of castanets at...
Review: Kraak & Smaak's latest EP is not the disco-fired boogie-fest we've come to expect, but rather a collection of undeniably sun-baked tracks that were apparently inspired by daydreams of long drives along the Spanish and French Mediterranean coasts. They've nailed the sound of course, with the six tracks flitting between soft focus, mid-80s Balearic wooziness (the spoken word-sporting title track), gorgeous, bass-heavy nu-jazz ('The Cypress Garden'), Ennio Morricone-inspired excellence ('Sunflower Suite'), piano-powered disco-not-disco ('Corsica '80') and lusciously glassy-eyed downtempo gear ('Cul De Sac' and 'French Souffle'). Sublime afternoon delights - we approve!
Review: The legendary Cafe del Mar mix series continues just like it would if it was still the golden era of chill out, lounge time sessions circa-1997. Spearheaded by tracks from Route 8 and Till Von Sein, get your instrumental and broken beat Balearics from Kinobe - in all its cinematic glory - to a classic 7" disco mix by Electribe 101. Tip! Quantic gets a mention through the Spanish flamenco styles of "Si, Si, Si" next to some ambient trance featuring Fatboy Slim in "The Voice Of Experience". Whether you're an old school head deep into the Budda Bar sound or a young digger trying to relive that classic '90s approach to calm and bliss, Cafe del Mar never disappoints. Legendary as always.
Review: After celebrating their landmark 40th anniversary last year, long running Ibiza-based institution Cafe Del Mar are back for the next annual compilation in their series. Cafe Del Mar Chillhouse Mix XII does exactly what it says on the tin, and quite frankly no one else quite does it better. Highlights come from: legend Ian Pooley on the bumpin' late night groove of "Puzzled", Montreal staple Fred Everything getting the remix treatment by the ever reliable I:cube on the ultra deep sleaze of "Barbarella" and British nu-disco heroes Bent also getting a low slung rework by the mighty Ashley Beedle on "Friends". Elsewhere, Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD keep "Cool But So.." by Detroit first wave pioneer Alton Miller in a typically soulful and emotive form with their perspective, while Chicago staple JT Donaldson delivers perfect mood music as always with his remix of Dirtytwo's "Hopeless" and Ron Trent showing us all exactly just what 'deepness' really is all about on his stunning version of Tevo Howard's classic "Without Me" feat Tracey Thorn - an oldie but still a goodie!
Get To Know - "Love Is The Answer" - (6:14) 120 BPM
Various - "Disco Funkin' Vol. 4" (continuous DJ mix by Birdee) - (1:11:43) 120 BPM
Review: Birdee is a rising star of the nu-disco and re-edit scenes, so it makes perfect sense that Bomb Strikes has recruited him to curate and mix the latest volume in their excellent Disco Funkin' compilation series. As you'd expect, it's a thoroughly and joyous affair, rich in colourful synth sounds, funky disco basslines and beats that flit between housed-up heaviness and more organic-sounding, less pumped-up grooves. There are tons of essential cuts amongst the 25 unmixed tracks on show, with highlights including the sun-bright rush of Pete Herbert's remix of Da Chick's 'Chick a Boom', the crunchy Clavinet-sporting disco-funk of Shaka Loves You's 'Let's Move (SLY Disco Rub)', the slick French Touch style warmth of Birdee's own 'Thinking About You' and Ray Mang's celebratory revision of Smoove & Turrell's 'Do It'.
Review: An outlet for both unreleased and exclusive music from the label's family members alongside rising talents, this is the fourth instalment of Toolroom's popular 'House Party' series. Featuring standout releases from Mark Knight's label plus the scene's biggest imprints, with highlights coming from: industry heavyweights Nic Fanciulli & Andrea Oliva on the slinky "Medium Rare", the inimitable Yousef with the pounding acid of "Save Me" (feat. Molly Green), legend Todd Terry with TCTS on the boompty bounce of "Get Freaky" and UK tech house hero Seb Zito delivering the peak time stomper "Don't Stop". As if that was not enough, there are also three continuous mixes by scene stalwarts such as Lefti, Piero Pirupa and label staple Maxinne.
Review: Following the success of Shaka Loves You's previous compilations on Bombstrikes, the label has offered them the chance to launch a new series all of their own. Named in honour of their radio show and regular parties in Glasgow, Joints & Jams offers up a hugely entertaining (and largely floor-friendly) mixture of funk-fuelled hip-hop (Bastien Keb, Fort Knox Five, Andy Cooper), skanking reggae (The Nextmen and Gentlemen's Dub Club sing-along 'Done It Again'), flash-fried funk breaks (the Allergies), tropical goodness (DJ Nu-Mark's hook-up with Quantic), and various fusions of disco, boogie and funk (see the cuts from Kraak & Smaak, X-Ray Ted, Pablo & Shoey and Shaka Loves You themselves). The result is a brilliantly mixed-up collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor bombs.
Review: We're full of respect for the team behind Jalapeno Records, who have now been offering up the finest in funk, soul, hip-hop, disco and breakbeat for 20 years. It's a landmark that calls for a celebration, and with this compilation they've certainly marked their anniversary in style. The 20-track set is full-to-bursting with party-starting heat, with vintage gems from the likes of Skeewiff, Ikon, Kraak & Smaak and Featurecast being joined by more recent highlights from current imprint heavyweights such as Smoove & Turrell and the Allergies. Highlights are plentiful, with our picks including the break-driven revivalist soul headiness of Aldo Vanucci's 'You're All Show', the summery positivity of Gizelle Smith's 'S.T.A.Y' and the rushing disco brilliance of Dimitri From Paris's essential edit of Izo Fitzroy's 'I Want Magic'.
Review: "Same Blood" is taken from the forthcoming 'Pleasure Centre' - the sixth studio album by Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak released on their own label Boogie Angst. The album's 'West Coast vibe' is due to them moving to Los Angeles for a month back in 2019, where they stayed in Echo Park and recorded in local studios, and sometimes even in the homes or backyards garages of their collaborators featured on the album. Featuring the emotive vocals of The Palms, "Same Blood" is a low slung and emotive number incorporating soul, funk, disco and deep house elements for an altogether captivating experience.