Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Toolroom's "Poolside Ibiza" compilation strand, namely groovy nu-disco, house and laidback Balearic beats inspired by afternoons spent lounging by the water in stonking White Isle heat. Naturally, there are plenty of gems to be found amongst the 40 unmixed tunes selected by chosen DJs Moullinex and Xinobi, from their own collaborative post-punk/dub number "X Marks The Spot", to the slick '80s synth-pop dreaminess of Tensnake's fine remix of Xinobi's "Far Away Place" and the drowsy, Morricone-influenced soundscape weirdness of Simple Symmetry's remix of Moscoman's "I Ran". Throw in some seriously good cuts from Felipe Gordon, Donald Dust, Pin Up Club and Meera (whose carnival-ready boogie jam "Fine Without You" stands out), and you have a fine collection of summery cuts.
Review: Russian upstart Simple Symmetry appears to be a bit of a history buff. His last track was called "King Solomon's Mines" and for this Glenview debut he's kicking it old school Byzantine-style. We'll save the lesson in eastern Tourkia and its crucial role on the Silk Road for another time and instead explain how SS's original is rich in eastern flourishes and elements, dynamically telling a narrative that once seems familiar and fresh. Meanwhile The Stallions Black Sea remix strips the vibe back to low-swung early Terje-style groove, before introducing mystic guitar lines and repurposed chants of the original. Incredible adventures guaranteed.
Review: Low Budget Family and Glenview Records regulars Simple Symmetry, AKA Russian brothers Sergey and Sasha Lipsky, are the latest outfit to join the Disco Halal revolution. Looking towards Persia for inspiration, the OST Version of "Plane Goes East" is an intoxicating, heady brew of chugging, bubbly synth arpeggio lines, cascading oriental melodies and opium den guitars. As cinematic as you'd expect - it feels like the theme tune from a yet-to-be-released, Istanbul-based horror flick - it gets the full synth-driven dub disco treatment on the accompanying Dance Version. The muscular dancefloor thrills continue on the flip, where "Voodoo Your Ex" gleefully joins the dots between thrusting Italo-disco and chant-heavy Turkish boogie.
Enkidu (Adam Port's Tulum By Night edit) - (8:00) 120 BPM
Review: Since making their bow on Disco Halal back in 2017, Simple Symmetry has served up some of their most potent tracks on Moscoman's much-admired imprint. Predictably, they're on fine form on this four-track missive, too. First up is the arpeggio-driven sleaziness of "Gilgamesh", where hallucinatory electronics, exotic lead lines and twisted vocal samples rise above unfussy beats and an impressively driving bassline. Further examples of dancefloor psychedelia follow, with the Turkish pysch/cosmic disco pulse of "Fight" ushering in the raw and intoxicating Middle Eastern throb of "Enkidu". To round off the EP, Adam Port provides a slightly chunkier re-edit that cannily makes the most of the track's squelchy bassline and eyes-closed psychedelic guitar solos.
Review: Russian brothers Sasha and Sergey Lipsky made their Disco Halal bow just over a year ago, serving up an EP that joined the dots between Persian mysticism and chugging contemporary disco. They're at it again here, though many will note that fine first track, "Too Much Fun At The Temple of Doom" is an altogether more up-tempo exploration of their Middle Eastern influences than we've come to expect. It's rather good, all told, and is given fine by the Arabic-Italo chug of "Dervish Euphoria" and the rubbery, Lebanese synth-pop-goes-acid-house goodness of closer "Exploding Toads Mystery", which may well be one of the song titles of the year.
Review: Since launching a couple of years back, Moscoman's previously vinyl-only Disco Halal imprint has led the way in fusing the sounds of the Middle East with contemporary electronic music culture. For proof, check Halal Collection, the label's first digital release. It offers an 11-track trawl through the best of the label's output to date, with a previously unreleased Red Axes remix of Autarkic's "How To Cheat" - think bubbling drum machine beats and lilting, cascading synthesizer melodies - thrown in. Highlights include a chunk of spooky, Arabic house hypnotism from Naduve, the skewed late night funk of TCP's "Twonga", the intoxicating, anthem-like throb of Simple Symmetry's "Voodoo Your Ex" and the thrillingly percussive disco-funk/acid house fusion of Red Axes, Moscoman and Krikor's "Subaru Pesha".
The Purple Collection (continuous DJ mix) - (1:10:56) 119 BPM
Review: Eskimo Recordings' colour-coded compilation series has been running for a while now, serving up previously unheard cuts from the Belgian label's ever-growing family of artists. Typically, there's much to admire on The Purple Collection, the seventh annual instalment in the ongoing series. Highlights include the deliciously cosmic, slo-mo pulse of Atella's "Ascension", the horizontal Balearic disco shuffle of Antenna's "Sparks", the pitched-down, early Chicago house-meets-synth-pop flex of Dan Soloand Future Feelings' "What Else Can I Do" and the Aeroplane style nu-disco positivity of Cavego's "Var I Eyer". Elsewhere, you'll find more up-tempo, nu-disco-fired dancefloor excursions from Simple Symmetry, BOKA and Horixon, while a hugely enjoyable non-stop DJ mix of the selected tracks completes a fine package.