Review: The latest volume in Running Back's celebratory Mastermix series pays tribute to Hamburg's legendary Front club, which did much to popularize American house music (amongst other things) in Germany the late '80s and early '90s. The expansive set contains an epic DJ mix in two parts from original resident DJs Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch, plus no less than 37 vintage cuts that made Front's dancers move. It's pretty much all solid-gold fare, with killer proto-house and first wave house jams being joined by obscure early UK electro (Syncobeat), Balearic deep house (Fila Brazillia's often-overlooked "Mermaids"), sleazy Italo-disco (Answering Machine), New Wave-era Euro dance, Paradise Garage-era New York anthems (Temper, Hot Streak), punk-funk (Modern Romance) and breezy, loved-up synth-pop (the brilliant Dub of Blue Moderne's "Through The Night").
Review: Steve Arrington is a goliath in music; the former frontman of '70s heroes Slave, he has been sampled on more classic hip-hop records than you can shake a stick at. He also hit a few highs later on fronting evangelical housey soul records like Dancin' In The Key Of Life. This compilation concentrates on the in-between years and his first forays into performing solo. Highlights include the minimal funk sizzler, "Without Your Love", the bizarre laser jam "Summertime Love" and the neon flash dance synth rocker "Special FX From Mars".
Review: Early '90s hip-hop act Brand Nubian courted much controversy over their allegedly extremist views and sometimes homophobic lyrics. What often gets lost in all this fuss is the matter of the music, an expertly crafted melange of deft samples. Here Strictly Breaks pick apart those samples and provide us with 28 of the best vintage cuts used as source material by the band. Highlights include the cheery anthem "Sing A Happy Song", James Brown's highly electable "Funky President" and Kool & The Gang's immortal "Jungle Boogie".
Review: This Christmas, if you run out of board games to play round the fire, don't fear: just throw this bulging collection (26 tracks!) on the stereo and enjoy hours of fun for all the family, guessing which sample matches which Jay-Z song (no prizes for Hard Knock Life though). Highlights of the many vintage grooves featured include The Doors "Five To One", The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back", Al Green's "Free At Last", Marcus Miller's "Much Too Much" and Talking Heads' classic, "Once In A Lifetime".
Review: Once again the compilation master, Strictly Breaks, is back with another collection of often-sampled tunes, providing both delight for sample-spotters and fans of eclectic collections alike. Here Strictly Breaks Vol 7 features a wide range of thoroughly enjoyable tunes - from the camp musical shenanigans of 'Hard Knock Life" from Annie to Ramon Harris' cool jazz joint "Don't Ask Me" via Steve Arrington's sleazy funk jam "Weak At The Knees" and Diana Ross' bonkers orchestrated meltdown "My Hero Is A Gun" (yes it's really called that).