Review: As the title suggests, this fantastic - and let's face it, pleasingly epic - compilation showcases some of the many disco-centric cuts in the Z Records vaults, throwing in a few exclusives (see Dave Lee's fantastic, hybrid disco-boogie rework of Firefly's 'Love is Gonna Be on Your Side') for good measure. Such is the high-quality threshold that picking stand outs is tough, but our picks of a very strong bunch include the slick, boogie-funk brilliance of Crackazat's 'Sensationalized', Larry Levan's vintage, delay-heavy synth dub of Johnny Dynell's 'Rhythm of Love', the stomping disco-house release of 'Gotta Thing (2021 Remaster)' by Foreal People, Taana Gardner and Dave Lee, and John Morales' epic rework of Sean McCabe's 'Love For Life'. As the old saying goes, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: While Dave Lee has donned many aliases over the years, and worked on many projects, you get the feel that the Sunburst Band, his musician-led tribute to the jazz-funk, disco and boogie of his youth, brings him most joy. 'Listen Love', the first new Sunburst Band single for some time, is certainly a joyous and exuberant affair, especially in its EP-opening 'Jazz Funk Renaissance Mix' form. This is little less than a carnival-ready dance through Brazilian jazz-funk pastures topped off by a superb, partially improvised lead vocal from Wayne Hernandez. Louie Vega and Josh Milan join forces to deliver two headline grabbing reworks: an expansive, full vocal Latin house take and a driving dancefloor dub that's as sweaty and breathless as they come.
Review: Glitterbox resident Dr Packer is a leading light of the contemporary disco scene, while Dave Lee was arguably THE key architect of the whole post-house disco phenomenon in the first place. So when the former helms a compilation on the latter's label, you'd expect great things, and suffice to say you're very unlikely to be disappointed. Hell, for this writer the deep n' sultry JN Revival Mix of early 90s classic 'Do What You Feel' is worth the price of admission on its own, but with Packer's own remixes of label favourites making up over a third of the tracklist, the collection as a whole is pretty much unmissable.
Review: Second time around for the Sunburst Band's 'He Is', a track that first featured on the revivalist disco, soul and jazz-funk outfit's 2004 album The End of Time. This time round the headline attraction is a fresh revision from Freerange co-founder Jimpster, who combines snippets of the band's rich, organic instrumentation with his own drowsy late-night chords, tough beats and booming bass to deliver a properly driving, ultra-deep club rocker. Those who like energy and dreaminess will love it. The EP also offers another chance to listen to band founder Dave Lee's 2005 'Club Mix', a rather fine fusion of bustling deep house and glassy-eyed jazz-funk flourishes that boasts some seriously soaring improvised vocals and synth solos to die for.
Review: The release of Dave Lee's annual Essentials collection on Z Records - a kind of "best of the year" from his now 30-year-old imprint - is fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as family arguments, disappointing presents and undercooked turkey. Predictably the 2020 edition is once again up to scratch, with the much-loved Essex producer showcasing some seriously good disco, deep house, soulful house and revivalist dancefloor jazz-funk. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the rushing, sunshine soulfulness of Crackazat's 'Waterfalls', the Vision's 2020 re-rub of Jakatta and Seal classic 'My Vision', Michael Gray's extra-percussive disco-house take on Hi Voltage's 'Let's Get Horny', the celebratory brilliance of Art of Tones and Anduze's 'Flower Child', and the Shur-I-Kan's previously unreleased instrumental rework of Mistura's 'Smikle For Me'.
Review: The artist formally known as Joey Negro aka Dave Lee brings together a fresh and unique compilation with partner in sound Will Fox that dives deep into the west end sound of London's broken beat, soul and two-step scene. Featuring tracks from the likes of Bugz In The Attic, Jazzanova and Atjazz to 4 Hero and Sunburst Band, we've pulled up numbers like NSM's deep, woozy and downtempo "DJ Power (Use It)" to Jazztronik's piano-laden and garaged influenced "Samurai". Sweet, warm and deeply vocal still is Afronaut & Melissa Browne's "Transcend M.E." with a stripped back, breathy and stepping number from Mark de Clive-Lowe, with Likwid Biskit's closing track "The All New Ummm" surfing into some balmy, LA beat-scene territory.
Review: Here's a pleasant surprise: a brand-new collaboration between the artist formerly known as Joey Negro, Dave Lee, his expansive disco/jazz-funk combo The Sunburst Band, and contemporary salsa master Claudio Passavanti AKA Sunlightsquare. As you might expect given the musicians and producers involved, what we get is a gloriously warm, organic, sun-kissed and celebratory chunk of Latin disco, with Rene Alvarez providing a superb Spanish lead vocal. Lee delivers vocal and instrumental variations of his action-packed "Latin Escapade" mix, while Passavanti's Sunlightsquare Club Mix opts for more loose-limbed drums, more space in the mix, and tons of sparkling, boogie-style synths. Oh, and a more prominent role for the cheery, salsa-style lead vocal.
Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: To coincide with Z Records' 30th birthday, boss man Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro has been sourcing new remixes of classic back catalogue cuts. Here he showcases the latest, which sees Tropical Disco label mainstay Moodena work his magic on the Sunburst Band's "Big Blow", a track first featured on the Lee-helmed combo's 1998 debut album. Moodena makes the most of the original track's low-down disco-funk feel, looping up the original groove, underpinning it with bouncy new house drums and making the most of Lee and company's brilliant instrumentation (think wah-wah guitar snippets, addictive horn blasts, rich electric piano keys and rubbery bass guitar). It's the kind of rolling, rock-solid revision that sounds like it will cause dancefloor devastation every time it's played.
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
Review: The Z Records crew is off to the White Isle of Ibiza and they want us to dance along at home - hence this fittingly summery selection of celebratory disco and house gems. There are naturally plenty of recent label highlights (see the cuts from Crackazat and JKriv & Adeline) and a swathe of fine tracks and revisions from boss man Joey Negro. Amongst the many highlights you'll find the celebratory disco brilliance of Bob Sinclar, Dimitri From Paris and Byron Stingily's "Love Is The Answer", the boogie/house/soul fusion of Opolopo's colourful revision of "Searching" by Roberto De Carlo and Dyanna Fearon, the soulful house sweetness of Cookie's "Best Part of Me (Unreleased Original Mix)", and Faze Action's epic, solo-laden, jazz-funk style re-make of Raven Maize classic "Forever Together".
Review: When it comes to blending classic disco and bumpin' peak-time house, few can match Joey Negro - a man who has been offering up disco-fied house jams since the early '90s. There are naturally plenty of his own tracks and remixes on "Put Some Disco In The House", an expansive collection of quality disco-house moments, with highlights including the rolling disco-boogie heat of "Put The Music On It (Original Disco Mix)", the chunky, walking bass-propelled "Dancing Into The Stars" (with Horse Meat Disco and Angela Johnson) and a slamming rework of Sessomato's jazz-funk flavoured "Moody". There's plenty of heat to be found elsewhere, too, with standouts including JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Opolopo's boogie-tinged revision of Sylvester classic "I Need You" and the spiraling disco pump of Yam Who and Jaegerossa's "Grateful".
Review: Half the fun of each new Ibiza season is the accompanying DJ mix albums that ensue. Here it's the turn of Z Records' legend, Joey Negro, who compiles and selects Z Records Presents Ibiza 2017. With Joey Negro you know you will always get an expert blend of house and disco, new and old. Here we see exclusives rub shoulders with first time digital virgins. Highlights include Dr Packer's thumping edit of "Change Position (88)" by Brooklyn Express, the hazy bass twangs of "Phantom" by A Band Called Flash and the warm electro of "It's More Fun To Compute" by Negro himself.
Review: Over the years, Joey Negro has delivered compilations focusing on a wide range of styles and sub-genres, including soulful disco, Italo-house, early U.S disco-rap, and Washington D.C go-go. Now he's turned his attention to electro, the style that did more than any other to inspire Britain's first wave of DJs and dance music producers. This "personal collection" contains a mixture of stone-cold scene classics - Aleem's Leroy Burgess-fronted "Release Yourself", Hashim's scene anthem "Al Naayafiysh (The Soul)" and Dwayne Omar's P-funk influenced "This Party's Jam Packed" - alongside deeper selections such as Kosmic Light Force's brilliant - and hard to find - L.A electrofunk classic "Mysterious Waves", and The Russell Brothers thrillingly intergalactic "The Party Scene".
Review: With the 2016 Ibiza summer season in full swing, Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee has gathered together a bumper collection of label tracks that are currently doing the business on the White Isle. There are few surprises amongst the 28 selections - think swinging piano-house, soulful grooves, sun-kissed broken beat, contemporary disco reworks and synth-heavy boogie-house - but the quality threshold remains remarkably high throughout. Highlights include Lee's glistening 2016 re-rub of his vintage Doug Willis anthem "Spread Love", a deliciously loose and synth-laden Fouk rework of The Sunburst Band, the bad-ass boogie business of Spirit Catcher's "Rendez-Vous", and a killer 1995 rework of Fonda Rae's "Over Like A Fat Rat" from U.S house legend Victor Simonelli.
Review: A UK disco master with almost 30 years experience, when Dave Lee aka Joey Negro presents his selections we all sit up and listen. Here's his take on the year that was and it's brimming with 19 rich and rewarding gems to see us through the holidays. Highlights include the deep gospel shuffle of "Reach Out (Atjaz remix)" by Sean McCabe, the sizzling crackle of camp disco accelerator "Unique (New York Underground mix)" by Danube Dance & Kim Cooper and Pezzner's warm synth funk rework of "Candy Coated Perfection" by Opolopo and Diane Charlemagne.
Review: With Christmas party season in full swing, Joey Negro has decided to reissue a couple of classic jams from his disco/boogie/jazz-funk revival project, The Sunburst Band. Both "Here Comes The Sunburst Band" and "U Make Me Hot" were featured on the expansive live outfit's 1998 debut album, and one of the contained remixes of the latter track - by long-serving smooth groover Yam Who - first saw the light of day on vinyl in 2004. The other remixes, though, are brand new. Fouk turns "Here Comes The Sunburst Band" into a spiraling, toughened-up disco-house smasher, before jazz-leaning producer Daniel Producer delivers vocal and instrumental versions of "U Make Me Hot" that sit somewhere between smooth hip-hop soul and vintage Herbie Hancock.
Review: Hit makers Rodgers and Edwards' mammothly influential Chic songs enjoy one of the finest curatorial salutes from UK disco's most discerning torch-bearer/creator Dave Lee. Digging deep into his vaults and unearthing some of the best homages, references and blatant covers, Negro join the dots and delivers some rarities you may have never heard before. Get lost in the music of She's shiny guitar strumming "Easy Money", freak out to Charanga 76's "Good Times" and get lucky with Van Jones's "Not About That"... Everyone knows about the hits and influence, most of us know how important a role Chic played in sample culture but Negro has gone the extra mile to celebrate some of the lesser known references Chic have had over the years. Freaking great.
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: 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: You probably couldn't find a more fitting remixer for Joey Negro's live disco/boogie combo, The Sunburst Band, than serial re-editor and self-proclaimed "revisionist" The Reflex. Here, he naturally does a stellar job with the parts to a pair of Sunburst Band classics, emphasizing the more traditional elements of the original tracks in his usual trademark style. So, he goes heavy on the cut-glass strings on his superb 'Revision' of the breezy disco-boogie anthem "The Secret Life Of Us", before delivering a slightly chunkier, groove-based "Vocodub" of the same track. Best of all, though, is the London-based Frenchman's version of "Caught In The Moment", which majestically stretches out the intro before turning the original into a sun-kissed, soft focus, soulful house classic.