Review: Released on Joey Negro's Z Records, Rio spinner DJ Meme whips through thirty of the best from Z on this new mix - available either as individual unmixed tracks or as one continuous mix. Always a haven for the best soulful and funky house, Z Records highlights such as JN's mix of Doug Willis' "Power To The People", Sean McCabe's mix of JD73's "Think Twice" and Akabu's "The Phuture Ain't What It Used To Be" make for an effortlessly bumping and uplifting voyage.
Review: Last year Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro released his first single under the long-running Mistera alias (one of a dozen or so pseudonyms he's used throughout his production career) for almost five years. It's taken a little less time to deliver the follow-up, a deliciously positive chunk of real disco/soulful house fusion featuring the distinctive vocals of long-serving chanteuse Angela Johnson. Each of the three mixes is rather good, all told, with the sweet and summery "Disco Blend" version - all live instrumentation, swirling strings and soaring vocals - being our pick of a strong bunch (though the solo-laden "Sunburst Keys Mix" instrumental is also rather good).
Review: Five years ago, Shur-I-Kan successfully reworked "Smile", a 2012 single from Dave Lee's lesser-known Mistura project. Such was the success of Tom Szirtes's re-rubs that Lee has asked the former Freerange man to provide rubs of the previously unheard Mistura cut "Love to the Limit". There's a wonderfully positive, retro-futurist feel to the veteran producer's Club Mix, which weaves Bridgett Grace's classic-sounding vocal in and out of a backing track laden with jaunty New Jersey organ stabs, sweeping chords and a tactile, early U.S garage groove. It comes accompanied by two late night dubs: the muscular, driving deepness of the Request Dub, where filtered piano riffs and delay-laden vocal snippets cluster around a thumping groove, and the Tony Humphries-meets-Frankie Knuckles flex of the wonderfully warm Zanzibar Dub.
Review: Of Dave Lee's many pseudonyms, Mistura is arguably one of the most overlooked. Yet he's periodically used the pseudonym to release some superb material, from the live disco-meets-classic US garage flex of 1999's "Think Positive" and deeper "Tonight" (1998), to 2011's Sunburst Band-goes-house vibe of the hummable "Better Things To Come" (very Masters At Work, circa Our Time Is Coming). This first Mistura compilation brings together the singles to date, while also offering an impressive range of acapellas (including two different takes from boogie legend Taana Gardner on "Sweet Magic") and alternative mixes. Of these, it's Todd Edwards' vintage mix of "Tonight" that most impresses, though it's far breezier and less cut-up than his more familiar style.
Review: Following a host of releases with his Sunburst Band, Z Records boss Joey Negro is back to perhaps what's he's best known for: spinning light and soulful disco house. This second in the series kicks off with the handbaggy "Smile" by Mistura and take in thumping diva business "Every Day Of The Week", sublime techy house "Life Is So Strange", unsullied authentic disco "Power To The People", acid-jazz on "Better Things To Come" and the phaser-heavy, electro-boogie of "Begun To Love".
Review: Here Z Records boss Joey Negro presents his own take on the everlasting 90s revival. Just like on all his other projects he's dug deeper to present gems the label say may have until now slipped under the garage doors (i.e. haven't yet been granted digital immortality). Highlights of these 26 rarities include Robert Owens' smooth n' sultry synth jam "Gotta Work", the bitchy disco of "Unique" by Danube Dance & Kim Cooper and the raw attitude of Mike Delgado's "The Murder Track". With this fine release, who needs a time machine?
Review: Throughout his long career, Swedish producer Andreas Saag has flitted between deep house and nu-jazz, crafting a melodic, musically rich and soul-flecked trademark sound. He's a good choice, then, to compile and mix a collection of Z Records' deeper moments. There's much to admire on this unmixed version (Saag's mix is included as a bonus cut), from the flowing keys and fluid grooves of the Swede's own remix of The Sunburst Band v Atjazz's "When The Lights Meet The Sky", to the string-laden beauty of Andre Lodeman's rework of Akabu's "Another World". Highlights come thick and fast, with further notable selections from JD73 (remixed brilliantly by Tornado Wallace), Jupiter Beyond, The Sunburst Band (reworked by Recloose) and, of course, Joey Negro.
Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - "Back It On Up" - (6:34)
Review: End of year reflections... For some labels it's just a re-hash of familiarity. For others it's a chance to really celebrate the breadth of releases. Negro's Z Records definitely falls in the latter category as we're dazzled with disco and funk sciences through the ages: From cheeky edits of disco classics (Lady Aya's "Shake Your Body") to rare funk jams like Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers "Back It On Up" (taken from Paul Phillips ace Under The Influence album) via more straight up funky house work-outs Jakatta's "Scattering Stars" and Supernova's superb futurisation of "American Dream".
Review: It's that time of year again when Joey Negro unveils his label's choicest cuts for the latest season on the White Isle. As usual it's a selection of both quality and quantity (22 tracks in all) and highlights include the laser-disco-house of Doug Willis' "Spread Love", the linear stomp of The Sunburst Band's "Journey To The Sun" and Munk's cheeky hi-NRG rework of "Do you Dream In Colour".
Review: Dave Lee's Z Records imprint has always been a reliable source of the sort of grandstanding house, soulful garage and disco-flecked grooves that require strong vocals. Lee, of course, is a past master at this kind of thing, and his 20-plus year career has seen him forge links with many legendary vocalists. This compilation celebrates those 'divas' - there are notable appearances from Taana Gardner, Gwen Guthrie, Thelma Houston, Michele Weeks and Taka Boom - by showcasing some of their best work for Z. There's some great material peppered throughout, from the classic disco-soul of the Sunburst Band's "In The Thick of It" and "Everyday", to the block party electrofunk of Kola Kube's cover of Carly Simon's "Why".
Review: Z Records annual Ibiza compilation is a much-loved institution, intended by Joey Negro as a companion for those heading out there this summer or for those listening at home in the less Balearic UK. With a 22-song tracklist it'll take all summer to get through it, but what a summer! Highlights include Negro's collaboration with the mighty Horse Meat Disco, "Candidate For Love", the raw disco-not-disco gem "Crystal Lover" and the simply gorgeous forlorn house of "Everybody Wants Something". So, another great season then!
Review: No, don't worry, it's not the Ibiza closing party... Ibiza remains open all year and promoters are already organising line-ups for 2013. This is the label boss Joey Negro's personal closing party. And having spun tunes there for well over 20 years, he knows how to select the very best party tracks. No-nonsense funky house business, then. With a strong nod to the bass influence in today's dancefloor patter, too. Cuts like Z Factor's "Sound In The Air" and Spirit Catcher's "Absolute Drop" both reference the old while sounding band up to date with crisp, vibrant production qualities and dominant bottom end. There's plenty of Joey's own material here. Appearing in his many guises expect to find an ace rework of Jakatta's "American Dream", a handful of Doug Willis flavours and a rather fetching Kaytronix remix of Akabu. The party season might be over, but it'll always be open in your heart if you invest in this...