Review: Direct and simple, Cologne-based producer Christian S embarks to Permanent Vacation and brings five house-not-house tunes here, such as the wonky groove of "Tannin". Local DJ Korkut Elbay also did some twists on the deep groove of "Dancer", as does Comeme head honcho Matias Aguayo. With Columbian producer Sano, Christian S puts his love for percussive spheres on the table and created a tune that is made for magic dancefloor moments on the polyrhythmic "Ritmo 6".
Review: Comeme's latest release offers tripped out, psychedelic house at its finest. "Shake" by Cowboy Rhythmbox is like an update on 90s US house, its muscular drums, dubby bassline and percussive licks housing a strangely infectious call and response vocal. "Quiero Bailar" by Sano is built from similar elements - only this time it's a sassy, sexy Spanish vocal that's pitted against stirring strings and hammering drums. The title track, a collaboration between Capracara and The District Union, opts for a different approach, with a searing bass underpinning eerie synths and trippy 303 riffs. DJs Pareja's "Tacha" is in the same general category, with huge, whooshing filters and a pulsing, acid-layered bassline providing the impetus. Highly recommended.
Review: As you'd expect, there's plenty to set the pulse racing on the latest multi-artist edition of Let's Play House's "LPH White" series. Label co-founder Jacques Renault sets the tone via the lolloping, bass-heavy filter-house bump of "No Strings Attached", where swirling orchestration gently rises to prominence over a bustling groove, before Kirsty Harper whips out her Roland TB-303 and lays down some seriously sleazy, Phuture style acid-jack. Laroze's "You Inspired Me" is a throbbing, filter-sporting romp through disco-house territory enlivened greatly by layered drums, while Keita Sano's "Party Vibes" successfully manipulates some superb samples in cahoots with a typically weighty and thickset house groove.
Review: There's no grand concept behind the latest all-star EP from Brooklyn's Let's Play House, other than a clear desire to create pandemonium out on the dancefloor. All four tracks have "peak-time anthem" written all over them, from the opening bump of Keita Sano's "Long Run (Part 3") - a brilliant, tooled-up revision of a classic disco anthem - to the ultra-jiggy hip-house madness of Jacques Renault's "Top Billin", which sounds tailor made for over-excited Adriatic boat parties and afternoon festival rinse-outs. In between, you'll find the undulating, bass-heavy grooves and delay-laden soul samples of Klubbhuset's "Omedelbar Karlek" and the swirling disco-house grandiosity of Lovers' "Fresh 'N' Hot". To quote a much-used cliche: this is all killer, no filler.
Review: Sebastian Hoyos is a Colombian DJ and producer from Medellin who has been releasing on Comeme Records since 2012 when he first presented the Chupa EP. "Los Muchachos" is his new single and follows a darkly balearic path like much of his label mates at present with its '80s Italo horror film synths, grinding rock bass and harsh drum machine strikes all working to perfection. Second offering "La Grua" features a bit of help from DJH and gets all slo-mo and low-slung on you with its woozy deep-latin groove. There's also a killer remix of it by Salon des Amateurs resident Detlef Weinrich aka Tolouse Low Trax. His "Interview remix" injects some added oomph into the track in typically stylish fashion.
Transilvania No Mercy (feat Los Malos: Lord Byron, Gladkazuka & Cucharita) - (5:03) 127 BPM
Boqueron - (5:19) 136 BPM
Necrophilic Love (feat Diegors & Daniel Maloso) - (5:10) 123 BPM
Review: There's something distinctly old-fashioned about this debut album from Colombian techno/tech-house upstart Sano. Take "Paranoia", for example; with its alien bleeps, cosmic rhythms and distinct urban atmopsherics, it sounds like an unlikely early '90s face-off between Richard H Kirk, LFO and Renegade Soundwave. There are plenty more vintage references throughout - see the murky acid of "Me Without You", and the sci-fi synths and sparse drum machine rhythms of "Contoneate" - alongside a range of weird, wonderful and entertaining tracks that veer from tropical hypnotism ("Anestesia") to wobbkly analogue funk ("Transilvania No Mercy"). As a result, Sano is a hugely entertaining debut.
Review: Hailing from Colombia, Sano injects some much needed, authentic Latin spirit into house music. "Disco Noche" is reminiscent of the pre-grainy bassline variant of electro house of the mid-00s, with coy drums combined with bursts of trippy synths. But Sano can't contain his South American heritage for long: "Bad Boys", with its wobbly bass and low slung rhythm is like the sonic equivalent of a shoot out at the OK coral. "En Negro" is just as depraved, with cowbells riding more eerie synth lines. However, the undisputed highlight is the title track, where a sassy repetitive Spanish vocal is fused with an acid line and a jacking Chi-town style rhythm.
Review: Munich-based Permanent Vacation perform their usual yearly ritual by serving up a bunch of essentials, with their seventh edition here including a whopping 25 tracks. Kicking things off in style is Madrilian producer Pional's uplifting anthem "Tempest", label chief Benjamin Froehlich appears with "Drawn From Memory" which receives an evocative rework by French legend I:Cube, while German nu-disco heroine Perel is on point as always with the neon-lit "Angelika". Elsewhere, Irish duo New Jackson present the glassy-eyed and bittersweet "Romancecar", label co-head Tom Bioly gives us the deep Italo vibe of "Night Heat", label staple Fort Romeau shows off his usual knack for emotive dancefloor drama on "Heaven & Earth", plus the worthy addition of Terr's dark disco delight "Have You Ever" (Dub Version).
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: For their latest trick, Razor-N-Tape chiefs J Kriv and Aaron Dae have decided to take a trawl through the horizontally inclined parts of the label's bulging back catalogue. "Chill Cuts Volume 2", then, is packed to the rafters with blazed and blunted beats, from the woozy hip-hop deepness of Tall Black Guy's head-nodding rework of Lovebirds' "Icarus" and the bluesy, turn-of-the-millennium downtempo beats of J Kriv and Free Magic's "Eleanora", to the Moon B style slow P-funk revivalism of Kan Sano's "Music Overflow" and the Rhodes and Moog-laced sumptuousness of "Penwick Pool" by POOLS. If it's warm, toasty and laidback dancefloor disco you're after, The Groovers "Make Me Feel" is also well worth a check.
Review: It's here! Stockholm's Richard Rossa aka Tom Tom Disco presents eight tracks of deadly, hot, cosmic grooves that are equal parts deep and psychedelic but above all: spiritual! Some of his beloved label's top signings strut their stuff on This Is Tom Tom Disco Vol 05. Some deep and cosmic nu-disco courtesy of Sano on "El Sano", some Middle Eastern exotica on the esoteric "Hazhid Asara" by Acid Hamam and some proper Italo vibes by Tony Disco on "Disco Solar" - one of the compilation's standout moments. Rest assured that label head honcho Richard Rossa represents here too (and is on point as always) with the dusty, boogie down antics of "Discow Ztrummer" which will surely have you gettin' down!
Review: Back in the 80s, re-edit heroes Razormaid literally cut and spliced tapes of popular tunes into new shapes and sounds. Thirty years on and although the formats have changed the philosophy remains the same. Aaron Dae and JKriv's label Razor 'N' Tape specialises in chopped up disco but here they looked to house instead. There are ten wondrous jams on this album, our favourites including the smooth Balearic work out "Free" (Loverbirds' clever Donald Fagen rework), the skippy afterhours garage of "Music Overflow" and the cool and deep "Dynamics".
Review: Matias Aguayo's Comeme label has long been a source of decidedly different electronic music - house and techno variously influenced by South American rhythms, post-punk disco, new wave and the deeper side of futurist synth-pop. This fourth label compilation confirms the imprint's unique vision, gathering 10 fine tracks and remixes from the likes of Ana Helder, Lena Wilikens, Sano and Carisma. Highlights come thick and fast, from the psychedelic flutes and foreboding, low-slung rhythms of Borusiade's remix of Helder's "Track Con Flute" and Aguayo's deliciously percissive re-make of Wilikens' "Howlin Lupus", to the early Orbital chords and Intelligent techno rhythms of RRoxymore's "D-Memory".
Review: Who hasn't got misty-eyed memories of spending hours engrossed in the pure, pixelated ultra violence of Tekken? Certainly lots of the top dance producers do, because they've all been drafted in to re-work music from the game's latest instalment. Italian duo Crookers put "F.F.Y.R" in a big headlock before bouncing it start-stop style all over the shop to pumpin' effect. Ed Banger chief Busy P delivers a '1999 remix' of "Tekken Piano intro", dropkicking it in an ever so funky French touch way. Logistics fire a round of super fast D&B karate kicks at "Night Falls (ending). A stand out track though, is the retro house piledriver remix of "Hall Of Judgement" by Waze & Odyssey - a big TKO!
Review: Having been on the radar of nu-jazz, broken beat and subterranean soul heads since way back in 2005, the Jazz & Milk label is now one of the longest-serving imprints in a fiercely underground scene. Here, they offer-up a digital reissue of Jazz & Milk Breaks Volume 2, a compilation that deservedly proved popular on CD first time round. In typical Jazz & Milk fashion, it features a breezy collection of floor-friendly cuts in a jazz dance style. There's plenty of variety within the 11 tracks, with decidedly robust nods to mambo, Cuban dance music and skittering electro-jazz nestling side by side with downtempo jazz, hip-hop inclined beatscapes and shuffling soul. If you've not yet got a copy, don't sleep.
Review: If the first instalment of Huntleys and Palmers' Chapter series of split EPs was all about showcasing up-coming talent, this second volume has been designed as a tribute to those who've influenced them. It's a neat twist, with typically formidable results. There's much to admire throughout, from the surging machine disco of oklo Gabon's "City Gym" and the undulating alien funk of Comeme man Sano's "Duraco", to the Ket-addled wonkiness of Golden Teacher's trippy "What Time Is It". While Uslo's spacey, piano-laden, percussively loose "Galaxy" is also inspired, it's beaten in the "best track" stakes by Balearic man Wolf Moller's "Rudeltanz", a decidedly cosmic chunk of live dub-disco with tumbling synth melodies and baked, low-slung synths for days.