Review: Andy Cato and Tom Findlay aka Groove Armada are back with "House With Me", a deep down and dirty jacker optimised for maximum dancefloor sleaze just the way we like it. Second offering "U Can" gets more on the soulful tip with emotive, Mr Fingers style chords and detuned diva vocals over a bumpin' groove for added dancefloor drama; this one's very nice if we do say so ourselves! Finally Italian prankster Riva Starr gets onboard for a thrilling edit of their major hit "Superstylin'" from back in 2001. This version rolls deep and with serious attitude to get even those peak time Ibiza crowds having frantically.
Review: Nina Kraviz' passion for ghetto is well documented, and she previously remixed a Mitchell track back in 2014. This time the pair have come together to co-produce this EP, which is a taster for a Dance Mania project on Snatch. The original 'ghetto acid' version of "Butterfly" sees the pair unite androgynous vocals and a primal ghetto rhythm track with that other great Chicago sound, the 303, to create a wigged out but insistent banger. The label has recruited the fast-rising DJ Krime to rework the original, and in his hands it turns into a murky, stepping affair.
Review: Given the recent upsurge in interest in the back catalogue of seminal Chicago label Dance Mania - particularly the ghetto booty side of their output - it seems fitting that Strut have finally given the label the retrospective treatment it so richly deserves. The whole story is here, from the early jack tracks of Hercules, The Housemaster Boyz and Victor Romero, to the stomping rhythms of DJ Funk, Dj Deeon and Robert Armani (whose ghetto-meets-acid jam "Ambulance" is a riotous highlight). Along the way, there are classics aplenty, alongside lesser-known gems from the vaults (see Parris Mitchell Project's ace "Ghetto Shout Out (feat Wax Master)" and Paul Johnson's thrilling "Feel My MF Bass"). Whether you're a Chicago house connoisseur or not, this should be essential listening.
Review: Given the rise in popularity of Dance Mania-inspired ghetto-house and ghetto-tech releases over the last couple of years, it was perhaps inevitable that someone would put together a compilation celebrating the label's greatest moments. That it was Strut that did it with Dance Mania Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 was something of a comfort; Quinton Scott's crate-digging imprint does these kind of history-driven compilations so well. Dance Mania: Ghetto Madness is a second trawl through the archives of the label and features some fifteen cuts of little-known or hard-to-find tracks from the likes of DJ Funk, Paul Johnson, DJ Rush, Jammin' Gerald and Wax Master Maurice (whose bizarre but brilliant "Bounce That Body" is a highlight).