Review: The idea behind Situationism's new "2Up2Down" series is devilishly simple. Each volume contains two tracks a piece from a pair of artists, in the case of this debut release West Country stalwarts BRS and Brighton-based Frenchman L'Aroye (real name Thomas Arroyo). It's the latter who kicks things off with "Best Girfriends (Soulful Mix)", a superb, gospel-sampling number that adds layers of rich instrumentation to a wonderfully bumping beat. Arroyo returns later in the EP with a groove-based Dub Mix that wisely makes more of his ear-catching synth stabs and the killer bassline. BRS's "Chance Not Choice" is a little more loose-limbed and synth-heavy than some of their cuts, sitting somewhere between proto-house, electro and deep house. Frank Situation's accompanying remix smartly re-casts it as a sprightly chunk of synth-heavy nu-disco.
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: Notching up a decade in the business is big news for any label, so congratulations must go to Yam Who's ISM label. He's decided to mark the imprint's first decade in some style via a series of compilations that highlight some of the killer nu-disco, boogie, disco, house and Balearic jams nestling in ISM's bulging back catalogue. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the Imagination-inspired electrofunk flex of Ron Basejam's killer rework of Alena's "Changes" and the synth-heavy rush of Balearic disco maestro Pete Herbert's revision of M Roberto & Nikolay Denev's "Be Yourself", to the breezy, soul-fired dancefloor warmth of Jonathan Ryno's "Don't Know Love" and Mark E's terrifically loved-up deep house tweak of Robot 84's "Lookin' For Love".