Review: It wouldn't be summer without every house label under the sun releasing an Ibiza-themed compilation. To be fair to Dave Lee's long-running Z Records imprint, they've been delivering White Isle-themed collections every summer for many years. Given that their sound - a blend of funk-fuelled grooves, soulful house, tech-tinged anthems, disco re-edits, boogie revivalism and classic US garage influences - is well suited to sun-drenched alfresco parties, it's little surprise to find that Z Records Presents Ibiza 2015 is rather good. While much of the standout material comes from Lee himself under a variety of guises (check, in particular, the Doug Willis jam "Crystal Lover"), there are also top-notch cuts from Sean McCabe, Opolopo and Fibre Foundation, whose cover of disco/boogie classic "Weekend" is simply superb.
Review: Put on your gladdest of drags and hit the main thoroughfare; for his debut album Reynolds is taking us to town and he's doing it with serious sonic style. Down To The Strip is a hazy, dusky balmy LA Miami night circa 1985. An album built up around the warmest filters, clever samples and velvet synths cruising at a smooth mid tempo and surprising with plenty of twists in the tale; highlights include the bending chords and slouching breaks of "Hold On", the sublime hypnosis of "Under The Moon", the strange jazzy spring of "Oh!" and the Roule style loopy finesse of "Chuggin Edits". Time to strip things back.
Review: Six years on from launching the It's A Summer Groove series, Joey Negro returns with a fifth selection of sunshine-friendly tracks from the Z Records vaults. While much of the label's output - soulful, accessible, funky and heavily influenced by disco, funk and boogie - could be described as "summery", there's something particularly bright and breezy about the 21 tracks gathered together here. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the smooth disco-soul goodness of the Reflex's recent remix of the Sunburst Band's "The Secret Life of Us", and the terrace-friendly piano house of Shur-I-Kan's rework of Zo & Erro & Phonte, to the vibraphone-laden boogie-house goodness of Rainbow Connection and Taka Boom's "Surrender".
Review: Russian disco edit fiend Valique serves up another hot Boogie Box and we're up to number three already! Highlight's on here not limited to Princess' smooth ergonomics displayed on the re-splice of the Prince classic "Sexy Dancer", Feel The Vibe's great cover of "Get Down Tonight" looped for your pleasure by Kc/Sub and they save the best for last with Mr Faded/Blackhead's (aka McFadden & Whitehead's) 1979 classic "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". They are all 're-re-edited' by the way: by none other than Valique himself. Trust the DJ!
Review: Don't be fooled by the plethora of comedic, pun-tastic artist names scattered throughout the track list for this sixteenth volume of Vehicle's Boogie Box Edits series. Look harder, and you'll note the distinctive scalpel alias of label boss Valique (simply "V") throughout. His edits - informed by his past in funk breaks as well as disco, boogie and shameless party-starting fun - rarely disappoint, and there's much to enjoy here. Highlights include a toughened-up, straightened out version of the Whispers' "It's A Love Thing" (complete with house pianos), a filter-heavy disco-house tweak of the Johnson Brothers' "Stomp", and a deliciously breezy rework of an old Billy Ocean fave that's worth the admission price on its' own.