Review: Following celebrated outings on Futureboogie Recordings, Throne of Blood and Hot Creations, Leeds lads PBR Streetgang return to 20:20 Vision. While the powder-coated, bass-heavy bounce of "Whiplash" will probably get the plaudits, "Return To Page One" is probably a more enticing proposition. It contains some of the same traits - sleazy late night samples, ludicrously powerful bass and a '5am over the Adriatic' feel - it also contains delay-laden drum machine rhythms and synthesizer lines heavily influenced by 1980s proto house and Latin freestyle. These latter elements are emphasized further on Tuff City Kids' excellent Electro Remix, which sounds like a vintage Fresh Records release. They also provide a delightfully cheery 'Disco Mix' full of '80s style Latin house piano solos and rolling 4/4 grooves.
Review: PBR Streetgang's output has been impressive of late, but few of their releases have been quite as arresting as "C.R.A.I.G". First released on vinyl in 2011, it finally gets a digital release following Eclectic Avenue's belated move to the world of downloads. If you've not come across it before, it's worth a listen. Murky, hypnotic and druggy, it pits dark acid squiggles and delay-laden drone synths against chugging disco drums, bold cowbells and choice blues samples. It's neither deep house nor disco, instead being something altogether more peculiar. It's very good, all told, as are Toby Tobias' two remixes. Both offer a stark contrast to the dark original, offering fluid synths, touchy-feely grooves and near Balearic atmospherics.
Review: With all their brilliant musical shapeshifting, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with Leeds lads PBR Streetgang. Having flirted with both disco and deep house of late - usually both at once - At Dez sees them looking fairly and squarely towards the dancefloor at Basics, with an EP of forthright house treats. "At Dez" itself is typical Yorkshire house - bassy, stripped back, hypnotic and impressively robust - while "2Square" makes mischief with squeaky vocal cut-ups, gargantuan bass and a dash of old skool jack. "Make Your Mind Up" impressively fuses soulful shuffle and touchy-feely synth bass, while "Sexy Time" bounces along on a wave of rubbery bass and voodoo samples.
Review: If you're in the mood for some muscular sweatiness laden with mind-altering electronics, jacking drums and trippy effects, this EP of "Acid Tools" from Leeds lads PBR Streetgang should be right up your alley. They begin by wrapping Syclops style acid riffs and echoing vocal snippets under a titanium-tough beat on "Ron (Full Fat)", before stripping the track back to its TB-303 driven skeleton on "Ron (Half Fat)". Deeper and even more trippy thrills are provided via the squidgy acid bass, effects-laden spoken word samples and heady late night vibes of "Ron (Longhair Remix)", while "Ron (Semi-Skimmed)" is an excitement and energy filled drum machine jack-track for DJs who like to get inventive in the mix.
Review: UK's Bonar Bradberry and Tom Thorpe began DJing together as PBR Streetgang in 2003 for their residency night at the local Mint Nightclub, named Asylum. They have since released on top labels such as Futureboogie, Crosstown Rebels, Throne of Blood and local institution 20:20 Vision among many others. Their new one for Brighton powerhouse Skint further cements their legacy as one of the UK house music's most impressive duos. Entitled "Late Night Party Line" this boogie-down nu-disco joint is scorching hot - packed full of diva vocals, funky arpeggios and the finest vintage drum rhythms. It is what can only be described as pure euphoria. There is also a handy dub version included.
Review: From Leeds to London via Bristol; PBR Streetgang and X-Press 2 have collided to create two superb slabs of timeless late night house; "Cosine" is a prog-minded, star-gazing strutter that would have sounded impeccable if it were released at any stage in the last 20 years. "Key Free" is a more upbeat, tech-minded workout with jazzy intentions... The frenetic synth meanders underpinned by a really creepy, ominous synth bass tone that wouldn't have gone amiss on Garnier's F-Com back in the day. For remix pleasure, "Cosine" enjoys a psychedelic twist from Lauer and a crunchy, angular electro b-boy flip from Elastic Dreams man A Sagittariun. Powerful.
Review: Whatever you think about Hot Creations - and opinions are, of course, divided - you can't deny that Jamie Jones and Lee Foss's label has been a game-changer. Their combination of contemporary house grooves with classic house, disco, boogie and garage influences now dominates dancefloors the world over. This label retrospective tells the story of their runaway success between 2011 and 2012, offering up three hours of unmixed floorfillers from the likes of Waifs & Strays, Miguel Campbell, Burnski, PBR Streetgang, Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, plus a smattering of lesser-known gems. For those who missed the label's formative years, there's also a tasty bonus mix of early material from Russ Yallop.
Review: Bristol's Futureboogie return with some sure fire nu-disco grooves to get any party started. London's Jay Shepheard is on board with "Henry's Theme" sporting an early nineties house vibe. Next up is PBR Streetgang from Leeds doing their thing with a nice journey via a progressive house sound on "Suel Baril". There's also local Bristolian Lukas doing more of his low slung slo mo disco business and Phil Gerus with "Never Coming Back".
Review: The annual Toolroom statement of intent for Ibiza gets off to a raucous start with the good time house Camelphat remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now". Despite this, the compilation isn't all about peak time pleasure. It features deeper nuggets like the sun-kissed deep techno remix of Bicep's "Opal" by Four Tet and the hypnotic break beat techno Kolsch remix of Nic Fanciulli's "Saying". However, Ibiza 2018 doesn't depart too far from the script, and label boss Mark Knight's "We Get High From the Music" is classic Toolroom - a tough tribal workout descending into filtered, vocal-heavy nirvana. That said, they deserve plaudits for keeping a close eye on new artists and the niggling acid and chimes of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget" is testament to that.
Review: Toolroom sets out an ambitious programme for its annual Miami trip. Patrick Topping gets the party started with the diva vocals and crowd cheers of "Be Sharp, Say Nowt", a true good-time house tune, while a more considered but no less infectious take on vocal house is audible on The 2 Bears' "London Are You There?" and Bicep's wonderful electro-synth-led "Metro". However, this compilation isn't limited to house music: the OC & Verde remix of Eli & Fur's "Around You" is frosty Euro trance at its most memorable and Dubspeeka's "Lyssa" is a gorgeous piece of dubbed out, dreamy techno. Miami won't know what hit it.