Review: Norwegian disco beard Todd Terje launches this epic (and unmixed) collection of some of his best remixes. Ranging from the rare to the ubiquitous, the underlying theme here is quality. There's some killer cuts under his different aliases (Duliatten Disco Dandia, Kacic Kullmann?s Five), which includes an unashamedly awesome reworking of Ace of Base, erm, classic "All That She Wants" under the Chuck Norris moniker. Throw into that remixes of Jose Gonzalez, M, Rogue Cat, old chum Lindstrom and of course Shit Robot, and you have a compilation not to miss. Indeed, unless you have followed the Terje's career with an incredibly hawkish eye, there's sure to be a few gems on here that you missed the first time round. And there's even an hour long mix of Terje classics at the end to round it off.
Review: Sleazy McQueen's Whiskey Disco imprint continues to be one of the more reliable sources of disco and boogie re-edits. Rather predictably, this latest installment in the series is bristling with high-grade dancefloor material. There's some riotous, party-minded disco-funk from newcomer Scott M, who delivers a killer touch-up of Vernon Burnch's "Get Up", and a thrillingly low-slung chunk of rolling disco-house from VinylAddicted and SMQ. While Pontcharain also provides a tightened-up, filter-heavy tweak of France Joli's Prelude classic "Gonna Get Over You" - heavy on the delay, and with the urgent hustle of house - it's the contribution from Canadian stalwart Eddie C that stands out. A smooth, midtempo cut-up of a lesser-known rollerboogie jam, it rises and falls in all the right places.
Review: There's a reason that Midnight Riot's eponymous compilations frequently charge to the top of the Juno Download charts. Put simply, they never disappoint. This ninth installment sticks to the now tried-and-tested formula - house-friendly re-edits and originals from across the disco, boogie, soul and funk spectrum - but predictably hits the spot throughout. As usual, there's a bonus mix - this time put together by globe-trotting scalpel jockey Rayko - and tracks come from both label regulars ('80s Child, Ziggy Phunk, Chewy Funk) and an impressive array of new or unheralded talents. It's in the latter category that you'll find some of the most impressive fare - see Phil Jaimes deliciously Balearic "Nowhere To Hide" and Cosmocomics' kaleidoscopic synth-funk jam "Mary Jane" - though the standard remains pleasingly high throughout.
Review: Roots For Bloom SHAG Edits series returns with volume 3. M.James brings us a track that will catch any music lovers ear. With the crisp percussion, delicate guitar riffs, a bassline that keeps evolving throughout and that vocal, this one ticks all the boxes. On the flip label boss Jamie Trench maintains the general feel for the record. This one focusing on a simpler yet just as effective bassline and obviously being heavily reliant on the sample being in the shag edits series. If you're looking for that record that stands out from the rest, this is the weapon you need.
Review: Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint has packed in a lot of releases over the past 12 months, as this expansive roundup of the label's second year in business proves. Featuring 27 tracks and a bonus mix by the South Coast dwelling label boss, there's naturally plenty to admire. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the rolling, head-nodding grooves of Eyeco M's "Keeping It To Myself", the killer proto-house throb of "Tonight" by Bad Barbie vs Evil Smarty, the sexy, string-drenched disco loveliness of P-Sol's "Can't You See", LTJ's trumpet-boasting funk bumper "Fat Thing", and the hard-wired, bass-heavy rework of Julia & Company's "Breakin' Down (Sugar Samba)" by Melon Bomb. It is, though, all pretty darn hot.
Review: On 2014's The Roundup, Heist Recordings family members remixed leading label releases from the previous 12 months. It was such a success that Detroit Swindle has decided to repeat the exercise, with similarly positive results. Across the five tracks, you'll find a groovy, clavinet-and-Rhodes heavy loop jam (Brame & Hamo's remix of Fouk's "Lefty's Bar"), some boogie-flavoured, soulful deep house haziness (Fouk reworking Brame & Hamo), a dash of broken deep house funk (Detroit Swindle's take on Nachtbraker's "You're Out Of Your Element"), and a wonderful combination of undulating breakbeat-house rhythms and eyes-closed musical touches (Nactbraker re-wiring M Ono's "Delaware State Route"). In other words, it's business as usual from one of deep house's most consistent labels.
Review: Cor blimey, Jungle Cakes aren't messing around with their Welcome To The Jungle series are they? Hot on the heels of Ray Keith comes another stone cold OG; Nicky Blackmarket. Digging deep across the classics and sparking up a whole forest of fresh fires, it's a 40 track, 2 mix, 10 FX tool trove of pure jungle magic curated with the wide-armed style you'd expect from an originator. With classic ranging from well known such as "Incredible" and "Pulp Fiction" to cult such as "Keep It Raw" and "Gangsters" and upfront jams flexing from all the right names (Serum, Aries, Serial Killaz, Drumsound & Bassline Smith), Blackmarket has absolutely smashed this out of the mark.
Review: Thirty Three nuggets of serious UKG gullyness; Project Allout have already developed a serious reputation for generous dispatches, but this is whole new level. Uniting their many lengmen for a deep exploration of the pastures between bassline house, instrumental grime and the broader realms of bass music, every area is covered. Highlights include the eski angst of Chemist RNS' "Stare", the violin-snapping, post-dubstep darkness of Deadbeat UK's "Graveyard", the outrageous VIP muscles of Hoax and Dubzta's "Twilight Zone" and the sassy vocal flexery of Pavv's "You Got Me". This is just the tip of the bassline iceberg, though. Dig deep and grab your own lenger; there are enough here for everyone.
Review: Given his encyclopedic knowledge of music, you'd expect any compilation put together by Bill Brewster to be full of unlikely gems and lesser-known anthems. That's certainly the case with After Dark, the first in a new DJ-focused series from the Late Night Tales camp. From start to finish, Brewster's selections are spot on, from the lowdown, slo-mo disco oddness of Sheffield chanteuse Marti Caine's "Love The Way You Love Me" and wide-eyed, acid-laden kosmiche of Coober Peder University Band's "Moon Plain", to the dirty electrofunk of Zed Bias's "Koolade" (featuring Toddla T, of all people) and mid'80s percussion fest of Martin Kershaw's "Keep On Pokin". If that wasn't enough, Brewster has also unearthed a decent Jamiroquai record. The wonders never cease.
Review: Sheffield's Project Allout don't mess about, having developed a reputation for championing all directions in the ways of bass. Every take on that three letter word is important to this label and that's why they cram so many hot jams onto their comps. Basically they're the Ferrero Rocher am-bass-adors and they are really spoiling us with 49(!) lengerz. Highlights include AT's bleepy 8-bit hip-hop groove "Flash Bang", the epic, symphonic trap of Dubzta's "Lord Of War" and the almost disco tech grooves of "Murkers' by King Hydra. All killer, no filler!
Review: There's plenty of breezy summer warmth on this split four-tracker from the ever-reliable Melbourne Deepcast camp. Andy Hart joins forces with Max Graef on opener "Super Strain", the aural equivalent of a stroll down the banks of the Yarra River at dusk, all squinting horns, shuffling grooves and woozy party atmos. Graef's "Sensation" continues on a similar theme, thickening the percussion and adding some tipsy, bluesy chords for added humid, late night effect. M5K opts to drop the tempo and prioritize vintage, new age synths on the intoxicating "Moon Vexed", while The Tortoise brilliantly blends deep house, nu-disco and soft-focus soul on "The Real Thing".
Review: It's that time of year again! The scene's longest-standing platform Drum&BassArena step up with their annual flagship album and once again it's a fitting salute to all corners, all shades and all styles of the rich, wide scene. 60 tracks deep comprising absolute bangers and bliss-outs from the likes of Chase & Status, Noisia & Phace, K-Motionz, Rockwell, DJ Hybrid, GLXY and Seba, it's also home to exclusives from Kyrist, Brookes Brothers, Bou & Simula, Kanina, Kove and A.M.C & Turno. From jungle to jump-up, liquid to dancefloor and complete with three killer mixes for life when you're not practicing your double/triple/quadruple drops, Drum&BassArena continue to celebrate the widest possible scene.
Review: Half the fun of each new Ibiza season is the accompanying DJ mix albums that ensue. Here it's the turn of Z Records' legend, Joey Negro, who compiles and selects Z Records Presents Ibiza 2017. With Joey Negro you know you will always get an expert blend of house and disco, new and old. Here we see exclusives rub shoulders with first time digital virgins. Highlights include Dr Packer's thumping edit of "Change Position (88)" by Brooklyn Express, the hazy bass twangs of "Phantom" by A Band Called Flash and the warm electro of "It's More Fun To Compute" by Negro himself.
Review: These are the breaks! Super-longstanding D&B bastion Drum&BassArena unleash their first EP in over 10 years with a special dedication to the driving drum fusion that's powered all our favourite jungle jams: The breakbeat. It's an all-star cast too... Bladerunner does his thing with a classic subby wobble and skippy breaks, Shimon gets his bouncy skank on with Darrison on "Believe It" while June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota flip the breaks into a steppier, more fractured dancehall/jungle/madness switch up on "Don Dada". Those in need of a hardcore injection of rave purity should seek and support John B's ruthless "ENERGY" and A.M.C & Turno's glacier-blasting tech-jump melter "Ice Cold". Dedication's what you need.
Review: It's a commonly held belief that, bar a few exceptions, early UK house wasn't very good. Here, Richard Sen sets out to prove otherwise, digging through the archives to unearth a string of dusty gems. Eschewing the usual hits ("Carino", "Voodoo Ray" etc), Sen proves conclusively that British producers were every bit as talented as their Chicago and New York counterparts "back in the day". Interestingly, many of the cuts here are deeper and more musically well-rounded than their US equivalents - hell, Baby Ford's "Crashing" could easily pass for Dream 2 Science or Mr Fingers - while the more aggressive acid cuts (see the contributions from Man With No Name and Return Of The Living Acid) are every bit as raw as you'd expect.
Review: Getting you to more places than the Docklands Light Railway ever could, DLR takes his Sofa around the world and stops off at the homes and studios of some of the most exciting new generation artists. Every direction you check its severe roller situation as each participant step up with their finest. Highlights include the outlandish grizzles of Submarine & Scepticz's "Shingoki", the hair raising wriggles and flabby funk on Ill Truth on "Catch A Break", the infectious steppy late 90s buzzes of bossman DLR and Script's "El Mosquito" and the lush jazzy flurries of Trex's "Falling Down"... but that's just scratching the surface, the whole Sofa king thing is immense.
Review: Top talent spotters in the Bass game; Project Allout are back with a new squad of bass-making talent, as well as whole host of established names that project helped to launch to the outer stratospheres in recent years. It's the third edition of their legendary Lengerz series packed with 39 tracks straight from the legion of Lengdom and as we've come to expect from the Steel City boys, they're covering the full gully side of the 125 to 140bpm spectrum; from the eski angst of Arkham's "Jacotanu" the tripped out video game Trap of Creep N00m's "419" to the Pulse X style 808 bass tones of Dubzta's "Energy".... there is even a bit of donk in there via Casement's Young Team. Put it this way, if you are a fan of basslines that make your face look like you're chewing lemons then there is something in hear for you!
Highlights here at Juno HQ include the skaggy chirps on Dead Beat UK's "Baghead VIP", Livsey's TC inspired "Tap Ho" and newcomer Cole slowing the pace but not the intensity with the earth shattering "Mud".
There's a reason why these compilations hang around the top of our charts for years on end, it's because they are jam packed with silly amounts of exclusive A-sides. You don't need to be an Oxbridge educated economist to realise that few labels in the game can boast bang per buck like this!