Review: Sam Ruffillo has barely put a foot wrong since debuting on Irma Dancefloor back in 2018, with fine contributions to Boogie Caf?'s Bologna on the Move EP being followed by a string of releases on Toy Tonics. His latest missive is naturally rather impressive too, mixing his usual jazz-funk-tinged house colour with nods aplenty to turn-of-the-90s Italian house. 'Danca Organica' is a breezy, feelgood piano house number straight from the top drawer, 'Es Buena' is a slick and soulful slab of Mediterranean house warmth and 'Perfetta Cosi' is as bold, beautiful and colourful as you'd expect while retaining the artist's famed bottom-end strength. The EP also boasts two remixes: a jazzy nu-disco-goes-deep house tweak of 'Perfetta Cosi' by Gome, and a throbbing, Italo-disco style Musumeci re-wire pf 'Danca Organica'.
Review: There's much to enjoy about the ninth volume in Toy Tonics' ongoing Top Tracks series, which showcases much played, sought-after highlights from the label's rapidly growing catalogue. The standard of material on show is uniformly excellent, from the warming and organic broken dancefloor soul of Cody Currie's compilation opening 'Moves' and the sparkling piano house retro-futurism of COEO's 'I Can Never Be Yours', to the Amp Fildder-esque deep house soul of Rhode, Brown & Kosmo Kint's 'Through The Night', and the good-time, carnival-ready dancefloor sunshine of Sam Ruffilo's disco-tinged 'Es Buena'. Throw in a couple of killer cuts from jazz pianist-turned-deep house don Joel Holmes, and you have a seriously good compilation.
Review: Toy Tonics' annual 'best of' compilation series reaches its eighth installment. While the label's best known for disco and disco-house, there's a little more variety on offer here than you might expect: Cody Currie & Joel Holmes' opener 'Beyond The Stars', for instance, is a Latin- and jazz-tinged cut aimed straight at soulful house floors while Mangabey & Kosmo Kint's 'Time No More' veers towards pop/R&B territory. Nu-skool disco and boogie are still what Toy Tonics do best, though, and this compilation packs some fine examples, including Kapote's irresistible 'Jaas Funk Haus', Kapote's sugar-sweet 'Happiness Juice', COEO's so-80s-it-hurts 'What's Going On' and two contributions from the mighty Phenomenal Handclap Band.
Review: London label Boogie Cafe bring us a four-track V/A EP showcasing rising stars from Bologna, Italy. Sam Ruffilo's 'U Make Me Sing' is up first: it ain't nothin' but a funk loop, if we're being honest, but it's a highly effective one that'll do the damage out on the floor. That's followed by D'Arabia's 'Straight Outta Fire', a light, Afro-tinged roller topped with a mournful male indie-soul vocal, before Sam Ruffillo returns with Brine in tow to bring us the deep, bubblin' Jersey garage stylings of 'Request Line' - to these ears, the EP's standout. Brine then goes it alone on 'Star Chaser', which tops a deep, jazzy groove with insistent synth chords.
Review: Young Italian DJ/producer Sam Ruffillo recently staked his claim to being "one to watch" by contributing two brilliant, musically expansive tracks to Boogie Caf? Records' essential "Bologna On The Move" EP. Here he provides further proof of his "rising star" status via a debut EP on Toy Tonics. It's an assured and surprisingly mature EP, with Ruffillo adding all manner of neat, often jazz-funk-influenced musical touches to a thickset deep house groove on opener "Ride My Bike" and the jazzier, more percussive dancefloor bliss of "Midnight Funk". "Playa Bola" is a dreamy and drowsy slab of organic deep house soul rich in electric piano solos, while "Surf Ways" sees him pepper a seductive house groove with warm chords and playful flute solos. In a word: superb.
Review: In honour of the imprint's fifth birthday, Boogie Cafe founders Jimmy The Twin and Alex Dinham have decided to offer up a first label compilation containing previously unheard tracks from their growing family of artists. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing among the woozy deep house, shuffling broken beats, seductive synth-boogie and retro-futurist US garage on offer, with highlights including the musically expansive brilliance of Sean McCabe's "Infinity", the slick New Jersey bump of Goshawk's "Home (Throwback Vibe Mix)", the Balearic nu-disco bliss of Piers Kirwan's "Shout", the spacey Afro-bruk shapes of EVM128's "Tuff" and the sub-heavy dancehall-soul bounce of Haze City's broken house gem "Yer Tiz". Top stuff from the Bristol-based imprint: don't let it pass you by!