Review: Four tracks in a total of six mixes make up this latest EP from ever-prolific Serbian discomeister Tonbe. 'Never Let Me Go' is up first, blending late 70s/early 80s jazz-funk and contemporary pop influences and coming in vocal and dub flavas. There's a distinct pop feel, too, to the 80s-influenced 'New Vision' and 'Robbery In Progress' - both all bright analogue synths and lashings of cowbell - which just leaves us with the two rubs of 'So Real', which continues in the same 80s pop-leaning groove established by the two previous cuts and is available, again, with or without the female vocal.
Review: Last month saw two East European disco favourites, Serbia's Tonbe AKA Loshmi and Montenegro's Mitiko, joining forces for a split EP on the former's Disco Fruit label. Now the same imprint brings us this joint collection that gathers together the best of the two producers' 2021 output, in all three of their guises. The tracks involved are a mixture of re-edits, covers and original material; more importantly, both producers are ludicrously prolific, which means they had a huge catalogue to draw from. And that in turn means there's nary a track that puts a foot wrong here - making this an essential purchase for anyone who hasn't picked these cuts up on various EPs along the way.
Review: What we have here is arguably the first ever two-man disco threeway, as Serbian disco don Tonbe (Milo? Đorđević) teams up with his Montenegran oppo Mitiko (Sasha Mitich) and himself in his Loshmi guise. As for the album that's emerged from their joint efforts, well, the clue's in the title, as the two nu-disco stalwarts dive into a big cupboard full of flamenco guitars, marimbas and mariachi trumpets, and come out clutching 10 Latin-infused dancefloor shakers built for effortless grooving in the summer sunshine. Highlights, you ask? Check the low-slung funk of 'Con Sabrosura' or the jazzy shuffle of 'Portoriko'.
Review: Tonbe's super-prolific output never ceases to amaze - he seems to churn out album-length releases on an almost monthly basis, and this writer is yet to encounter one that didn't include at least one or two stone-cold killers. In this case, I'd refer you to the sultry, grown-up, Stonebridge-esque house-pop of 'All I Need', and specifically the drop that occurs around the 3:20 mark - pure class. Also worthy of note are 'Trabajar' with its attention-getting bass-y intro, complex percussion and Afro vox, and closer 'For This Joy' with its rave-tastic bassline and cheeky Fedde Le Grand-nodding "put your hands up for this joy" vocal. And if you like those, there are seven more where they came from - and doubtless 10 more in just another few weeks!
Review: By our reckoning Serbia's Milos Djordjevic, better known as Tonbe, has AT LEAST a dozen album-length releases to his name, but he shows no signs of slowing down just yet! Here comes another one, wherein fairly 'authentic-sounding' disco and boogie grooves like 'Closer' and 'Golden Days' are interspersed with more lounge-y and Latin-flavoured cuts such as 'Varadero' and 'Ven Pa Ca'. Elsewhere, Tonbe flirts with the sound of West African reggae on 'Senegalese' while 'El Mariachi' brings the Western movie theme vibes, before the album comes to a close with a slab of heavy, geetar-squawlin' Blaxploitation funk in the form of 'Beat Me Like A Funk'.
Review: He's by far better known for his disco output but as this full-length offering shows, the Serbian don known variously as Tonbe and Loshmi is no slouch in the house department either! Recent single 'Rotate', featuring the golden tonsils of Robert Owens, sets out the album's stall nicely, with the remaining nine tracks ranging from the lounge-y 'Journey To Downtown' with its vibes and sax, via the reggae-tinged 'Dub Thing', to the organ-led NJ garage vibes of 'Right Here Right Now', the uplifting piano stomp of 'Take Me Higher' and the positively sublime closer 'Beside Me'. A triumph.
Review: There are producers out there who'll spend months agonising over a snare sound or a clap, and who'll turn out maybe two or three tracks a year. At the other end of the spectrum are artists like Tonbe, who are seemingly capable of knocking together an album's worth of material by lunchtime, and frequently do! Both approaches can, of course, turn up gold - in this case, see the wonky Hammond shuffle that is 'Funker', or the summery good-time funk of 'Pontiac GTO'. This latest offering also finds Tonbe exploring poppier territory on cuts like 'Sugar' and 'Don't Let Me Go'.
Review: There's a pretty obvious clue in the name as to what kind of music you're going to find here! What makes this compilation from Greek label Chopshop stand out, though, is that the usual suspects are, for once, notable by their absence: there are contributions from Tonbe and HP Vince, as well as label boss George Kelly, but many if not most of the artists involved here will be new names to many if not most listeners. As such, it's a collection that's well worth investigating, packing 15 uptempo tracks - largely original, if heavily sample-based productions, rather than re-edits - that are long on funk basslines, handclaps and cowbells. What's not to like?
Review: The trouble with Tonbe is you've no sooner finished reviewing one long-player than the next one arrives! With such a prolific output, it's all the more wonder that the Serbian nu-disco stalwart manages to maintain the quality standard - but make no mistake, quality is what you get here. One or two tracks (eg opener 'Live My Life') veer a little too far down the pop route, but just check out the strutty 'This Is Party', euphoric Hammond workout 'Change The Mood' or the jazz-tastic closing triptych that begins with 'Keep On Moving, Keep On Grooving' and you'll surely agree that Tonbe is a rare talent indeed.
Review: Serbia's Milos Dordevic, AKA Tonbe/Loshmi, proves his mastery of the nu-disco game in just two tracks here! Submission 1: opener 'Easy Dancin', which has a wistful female vocal, spacey Dave Lee-esque Rhodes doodles and, most importantly, what is possibly the greatest stab ever recorded (check it at 0:32). Submission 2: 'Ram Tam Tam', which (after another excellent stab) centres around a rising Hammond riff that never quite resolves - ideal for building energy levels to fever pitch just before you drop that "right, everyone up!" anthem. Four more solid nu-disco/boogie cuts are just the icing on what's already a pretty unmissable cake.
Review: Nang's annual round-up of key cuts they've released over the previous 12 months, The Array, has long been a must-check for those who like their nu-disco colourful, synthesizer-heavy and soaked in Mediterranean sunshine. Here the long-serving label offers up volume 11, a predictably entertaining affair that skips between the revivalist '80s synth-pop shimmer of Kim & Buran's remix of Wang Chung's 'Dance Hall Days'; the jaunty nu-disco colour of Tonbe's squelchy 'Good Taste'; the more cosmic, Italo-influenced shuffle of Outtake's 'Black Discotheque'; the throbbing, acid-flecked trip that is Aimes' revision of the Beat Broker's pedal steel-flecked 'Hold Your Horses'; the shimmering cheeriness of Disco Doubles' 'Don't Hurt Me'; and the low-down disco-funk hustle of Future Feelings' 'Downtown Girl', as remixed by Situation.
Review: There's a lot to admire about Tonbe's boundary-blurring, edit-not-edit releases on Disco Fruit, particularly the attractiveness of the material on offer and their good-value nature. His latest release, Always Like This, naturally ticks both of these boxes, cannily combinig elements of good-time house, electrofunk, jazz-funk and nu-disco. There's no weak links, just 10 party-hearty treats to savour. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the bouncy disco-house cheeriness of 'Days Like These', the bustling jazz-house beats and tidy organ stabs of 'Raw & Dirty', the Clavinet-sporting, cowbell-laden stomp of 'Shake That Booty' and the classic, late '80s NYC garage-house goodness of 'Without You'. Instant fun-times.