Review: If you're sick of winter and pining for sunnier times, this three-track blast of positive goodness from the Atmospheric Existence crew should help. Each of the three tracks offers a smile-inducing blast of audible sunshine. Japanese producer Tomi Chair sets the tone with "Sunstroke", a jazzy fusion of rolling drums, hissing cymbals and relentless feelgood pianos. Experienced studio boffin Simon Tappenden dons his Ourra guise on "Marine Morning", a Detroit techno-influenced trip into deep, spacious, sun-flecked house territory (think picturesque melodies and hypnotic rhythms). Finally, Miles Sagnia moves further towards Motor City futurism territory on the intoxicating, upbeat "Elements" - all darting synths, subtle acid tweakery and heady late night grooves.
Review: Label Hero Newman opens the release with the title track 'Chordz' - a synth-fuelled dancefloor banger, reminiscent of Harvey Sutherland's recent work. Ourra (aka Simon Tappenden aka 'Pop Out N Play') brings us a truly Tropical treat reminiscent of Palm Trees, Pina Coladas and 80's Miami sunsets. Last but not least, Keyboardist for Brian Ellis, Adam Chini plays 'Horizons of Funk'... a lush down tempo synth funk number bringing the EP to the perfect close.
Review: Simon "Ourra" Tappenden has delivered some decent music over the last few years, including sprightly deep house outings on Sexonwax and Lucky Sun. Here, he delves deep into his boogie and synth-funk influences, serving up a superb EP of glistening, '80s-influenced grooves for Hot Digits. He begins with the chiming, kaleidoscopic dreaminess of "Video Girl", before fantasizing about vintage arcade games on the sun-kissed Balearic boogie of "Outrun", and channeling the spirit of Fleetwood Mac's "Tango In The Night" on the deeper "Twilight Girl". The package also includes two tasty remixes of "Outrun"; a stand-out, revivalist electrofunk take from Julian Sanza, and a rubbery nu-disco-meets-house take from Ash Reynolds. Stellar stuff!
Review: Situationism is run by a mysterious 'collective of DJs and producers from the five valleys'. Although little is revealed about their identities, we do know that this compilation is their biggest release yet and it boasts the mighty "On It" by Peza. The track's clever fusion of a boogie sample (Starguard's High On The Boogie) and some subtle 303 work has got people talking and dancing already. The quality stays high over the remaining tracks too, highlights including George Kelly's melancholic Italo gem, "Trip to Jupiter", Vampire Disco's moody synth prowler "Orbit" and the chilled cocktail grooves of Alkalino's "Trigger".
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".