Review: The latest volume in Running Back's celebratory Mastermix series pays tribute to Hamburg's legendary Front club, which did much to popularize American house music (amongst other things) in Germany the late '80s and early '90s. The expansive set contains an epic DJ mix in two parts from original resident DJs Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch, plus no less than 37 vintage cuts that made Front's dancers move. It's pretty much all solid-gold fare, with killer proto-house and first wave house jams being joined by obscure early UK electro (Syncobeat), Balearic deep house (Fila Brazillia's often-overlooked "Mermaids"), sleazy Italo-disco (Answering Machine), New Wave-era Euro dance, Paradise Garage-era New York anthems (Temper, Hot Streak), punk-funk (Modern Romance) and breezy, loved-up synth-pop (the brilliant Dub of Blue Moderne's "Through The Night").
Review: Few British DJs have such an instinctive grasp of '90s house and garage as Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee - he was a major player on the scene during the period, of course - so it's little surprise that the Essex producer's recent tribute comp was rather special. This sampler contains five killer tracks from the compilation, including some genuinely hard-to-find gems. Kerri Chandler's frisky, sweaty, and oh-so percussive "Ladbroke Grove" is arguably one of the great man's lesser-known classics, while the FK Groove rework of Mood II Swing and Fonda Rae's "Living In Ecstasy" is a classic chunk of soulful US house that's well worth revisiting. USG's "Ncameau", meanwhile, still goes for silly money on vinyl, and sees Ron Trent effortlessly fuse deep and soulful house with the assistance of Peven Everett (on trumpet, bizarrely) and Anthony Nicholson. All killer, no filler.
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: Some DJs use the opportunity of a DJ Kicks mix to showcase the eclectic nature of their record collections, while others see it as a chance to give an airing to the dancefloor records that have inspired them over the years. Seth Troxler's selection sits somewhere in between. On the one hand, there are impeccable jazz and downtempo moments from the likes of Sun Ra, Herbert (as remixed by Phil Parnell) and DJ Koze, whose "Bodenweich" is an undeniably atmospheric, off-kilter delight. On the other hand, Troxler has picked out some genuinely brilliant, mostly US-centric house selections; deep, soulful and bumpin' fare from the likes of Butch, Kerri Chandler, Jasper Street Company, Mood II Swing and Derrick Carter.