Review: This impressively expansive collection from experienced remixer Valique showcases some of the best downtempo and Balearic edits from his popular V's Edits series. There's certainly plenty to get the blood pumping and the juices flowing throughout, from a chugging, ten-minute take on Pink Floyd ('Brickwall') and a pleasingly squelchy take on Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams' 'Lose Yourself To Dance' (here renamed 'Lose Your Elf'), to a chunky dub-house re-imagining of Jimmy Cliff classic 'The Harder They Come' and a loopy, hypnotic, mid-tempo disco-rock revision of T-Rex ('Jewelry'). Throw in party-hearty takes on cuts from Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys (an odd but impactful reimagining of 'Good Vibrations') and you have a great value compilation.
Review: Saint Petersburg's Sunner Soul AKA Alexander Chebankov serves up five looping instrumental or near-instrumental disco and funk groovers here. 'Groove Express' centres around a walking bassline that's married to handclaps, barely-there snatches of spoken male vocal and the occasional brass fanfare, 'Kind Of Town' has a more sumptuous, Earth Wind & Fire-ish feel and 'There's No Stoppin' is an authentically late 70s-sounding disco workout complete with soaring strings. 'Third Time' then provides a moment's laidback jazz-funk respite, before the lavish n' lounge-y 'After The Rain' plays us out with its blend of soaring strings, Moog-y synths and familiar "get up!" vocal shouts.
Review: With this entertaining EP, former Outplay contributor Clive From Accounts becomes the latest producer to contribute to Razor N Tape's excellent Reserve series of original productions. He's delivered a sublime EP all told, with opener 'Tell Me' providing a near perfect blend of driving disco-house, saucer-eyed deep house and foreboding, warehouse-ready motifs. He opts for a breezier, jazzier and more colourful deep house sound on bona-fide ear-pleaser 'Without Your Love', dives into deeper waters via the dusty deep house/jazz-funk fusion of 'Strictly Business' and looks skywards on spacey closing cut 'Yukon', a thoroughly emotive and intergalactic breakbeat roller.
Review: Legendary DJ and bon viveur Harvey brings us a third collection of Balearic grooves inspired by his residency at Ibiza's notorious Pikes Hotel, which is now into its fifth year. Highlights of Volume III include Brass Construction's barrio funk classic 'Now Is Tomorrow' and an ultra-chilled reworking of River Ocean's 'Love And Happiness', while in-between you'll find mellow 80s pop, meandering YMO-esque synth excursions, laidback disco from the Peter Jacques Band, horizontal deep house grooves, lounge-y jazz and more besides - as, well, needless to say, as more gently fluttering Spanish guitars than you could clack a pair of castanets at...
Review: No single-track salvo from Eli Escobar this time round, but rather a two-track missive packed to the rafters with peak-time potential. Leading the charge is 'Just Work', a stomping but hypnotic affair in which sampled handclaps and blues vocal snippets work (sorry) together with looped stabs, cymbal-heavy machine drums and twinkling piano solos to create a heady late-night mood. 'Typical Sax Song' is a touch more laid-back but still energetic enough to get people going on the dancefloor, with Escobar adding woozy synths and hazy sax solos to a loose-limbed house beat and rubbery, delay-laden electronic bassline.
Review: Scalpel-wielding rework maestro V (the artist formerly known as funk-breaks sort Valique) has been more prolific than usual this year, with the numerous pandemic lockdowns and rules allowing him more time at home working on his popular cut-jobs. As a result, his latest annual 'best of' collection is packed to the rafters with tasty treats. There's plenty of variety too, with the long-serving editor leaping between guitar-heavy workouts ('B-Ware', Deep Purple tweak 'Hush'), weighty '80s synth-pop (Billy Idol re-rub 'White Wed'), beefed-up krautrock (the cowbell-laden heaviness of 'Vitamin D', a tweak of one of Can's most popular tunes), glassy-eyed disco (the Clavinet-heavy 'Little Love') and sleazy, pitched-down glam-rock ('Jewelry').
Review: Here's something of a surprise: a collaborative EP featuring the combined talents of Underground System Afrobeat member Peter Matson and sometime Escort bass player (and Razor N Tape co-founder) Jason Kriveloff AKA J Kriv. Given their respective musical histories, you'd expect a blend of NYC disco, Afrobeat, synth-boogie and deep house, and that's exactly what they've delivered. Their hybrid style is probably best exemplified by the late '80s Todd Terry-meets-Afro-synth brilliance of 'Ewesse Ye', which is subsequently given a deeper and more percussive Afro-house spin by Auntie Flo. The fusion fun continues on the horn-sporting Afro-boogie brilliance of 'New Friend' and 'Bigtime', where righteous Afrobeat horns surge above a tactile deep house groove.
Review: Tapping into retro-active rave aesthetics, classic UKG to techy bassline house and sweet main room melodies, Dusky's latest JOY LP is a definition of itself! Leafing through a full spectrum of genres like Italo disco, electro and subtle krautrock inspirations to happy hardcore and the gamut of rave era tropes, JOY delivers drum and bass, jungle and breakbeat inspirations alongside touches of trance, pop house and Hi-NRG Ibiza sessions that are peppered with flecks of acid, bleep culture and synthwave. What a mouthful, and worth every drop! JOY.
Review: This six-tracker from Lis Sarroca opens with the classic Peech Boys "come with me, tonight's the night" vocal sample that Altern-8 used on 'Activ-8', making clear from the outset the strong appreciation of dance music history that's evidenced throughout the Barcelonian producer's canon. Tracks here range from the discofied 'Hi Montana' to the fierce, driving acid of 'La Neta', via the dreamy small-hours deepness of 'AX' and the more accessible, peaktime vibes of 'Round & Round', but whatever house style Ms Sarroca turns her hand to, the production's always polished and Da Funk is always in full effect.
Review: After drifting between digital labels over the last few years, Dutchican Soul has washed up on Salted Music, an imprint entirely suited to the Amsterdam artist's bumping blend of colouful, disco-tinged house. He starts in confident mood via 'Love Talk', a cheery disco-house roller rich in rubbery bass guitar, Nile Rodgers style guitars, D-Train synth squiggles and classic Gwen Guthrie vocal samples. The experienced producer opts for a deliciously retro-futurist, peak Inner City sound on 'I Want Your Love' - all dirty acid bass, warehouse-ready stabs and jacking drums - before opting for a woozier, hybrid deep house/nu-disco sound on glassy-eyed closing cut 'Can We Talk'.
Review: Since launching on vinyl in 2019, the Ron's Reworks series from Crazy P co-founder Jim Baron AKA Ron Basejam has consistently delivered high-quality reworks that tend to shy away from the obvious and over-played. The standout on the series' fourth missive is undoubtedly 'They Speak Colour', a loopy, soft-focus disco-house jam whose relentless grooves, synthesizer splashes and simmering orchestration make it sound like Soundstream after a bong full of Marijuana smoke and several disco biscuits. Elsewhere, 'The City' is a canny revision of an unusual disco-boogie number that builds through sections of drums and cut-up, scat style vocals before finally flourishing late on, while 'The Cull' is a deep and meandering head-nodder tailor-made for warm-up sets and sit-down bar gigs.
Review: With the pandemic forcing the Berlin clubbing institution Berghain to close temporarily, the collaborative nature of Funfzehn + 1 provided the Ostgut Ton artist roster to cope with themes of isolation and conjure up 'memories of music and space that had been inaccessible'. Originally slated for release in 2020, the compilation finally sees the light of day with the selected contributors working together in pairs to make music dedicated to the former power plant's five different floors. Club residents such as Ben Klock and Etapp Kyle appear with the deep sonar transmissions of "A Friend Of A Friend" and Marcel Dettmann & Norman Nodge team up on the muscular body music of "The Call", while Panorama Bar regulars Tama Sumo and Lakuti offer up the low slung disco vibe of "An Ode To Audre" and Avalon Emerson and Roi Perez impress with the snaking polyrhythms of "Champu Princess".
Review: Despite being active since the early '90s and chalking up a sizable discography that includes singles on all manner of acclaimed labels (think Force Tracks, NRK, V2 and Ovum Recordings), Ian Pooley has never before released music on Radio Slave's Rekids imprint. Predictably he's brought the goods on Studio A Pt. 1. He begins with the chunky weightiness of 'Basic Juno', where echoing synth sounds and tight electronic riffs ride a dubby bassline and hypnotic late-night drums, before opting for a more expansive and dreamy sound on the equally impactful, acid-flecked 'Close Your Eyes'. Fittingly, Pooley finishes with a flourish via '303 (2 Bars)', a fine fusion of melancholic, early morning deep house and jacking, off-kilter Chicagoan acid.
Review: After earning his stripes on Running Back and establishing his own Love Attack label, Alan Dixon pitches up on Permanent Vacation with a predictably impressive four-track outing. He begins in fine fashion with squelchy, acid-sporting, piano-powered, retro-futurist breakbeat roller 'I'm OK, You're OK (We'll Be OK)' - a fine message in these troubled times - before getting deep and loved-up on gorgeous ambient number 'WWAWD'. 'Do You' sees Dixon add elongated organ chords and undulating acid bass to a hip-house style breakbeat, while closing cut 'Machina Jam' is a warehouse-ready slab of TB-303 driven goodness full of 'Good Life' style synth stabs and sustained synth-strings.
Review: Cast your memories back to 2011 and you'll find it was then that Peter Major, aka OPOLOPO made his debut on Local Talk with a presentation of Actual Proof. Having gone on to work with Toolroom Records, If It Ain't Jazz, G.A.M.M. and Vive La Musique since, Major has been invited back for the first time since 2019 to 'tweak' his personal favourites from the Local Talk back cat. This includes some rare numbers from Soulphiction and Jamie 326 next to some straight up remixes of Urban Sound Lab Presents Miss Yankey and Wil Maddams - alongside OPOLOPO & Actual Proof numbers "Silkworms" and dubby broken beat slice "Hubble".
Review: Millionhands founder Tee Mango (real name Tom Mangan) has developed a lot as a producer since he first appeared on Aus Music in 2017. That much is evident on his latest four-track excursion for Will Saul's imprint, which sees Mangan deliver a quartet of fuzzy, nostalgia-inducing workouts guaranteed to make you move. He sets his stall out with 'Last Dance', a chunk of colourful, piano-laden positivity built around crackly drums and rush-inducing riffs, before delivering instrumental and vocal takes on the mid-tempo, lo-fi, deep house delight that is the yearning 'Heartbeat'. To round things off, the former T-shirt designer opts for a baggier, sunnier and more huggable sound on delicious closing cut 'Can We Find'.
Review: With Hell Yeah out of Italy now basing themselves in Berlin and chasing that imaginary Balearic sun - this Buena Onda Balearic Beats 2021 compilation sees the label deliver a bevvy of unreleased tunes and remixes. With global content coming from the likes of Australian producer Kayroy (who appeared on the label in 2020 with his Imaginary Expeditions EP) - hooking up with Jaspar Robinson in the star-strung "Satellite - you'll find warm and percussive synth remixes from Max Essa alongside some loose joints from The Mechanical Man. Also catch Chris Coco & Micko Roche's undeniable "What Is Love" (that guitar, those pipes) next to the percussive, broken beat and vocoded sounds of "The Healing Place" by Relative. Hell Yeah - get to know.
Review: After a decade flitting between labels including Phil, Tenth Circle and Freerange, Simon Hinter found a new home last year on Quintessentials. Here he moves his feet further under the table via a fresh three-tracker packed to the rafters with quality cuts. Our pick of a very strong bunch is surging opener 'Pushin' On', where Alice Russell vocal samples, spaceylead lines and star-fall electronics twinkle away atop driving beats and a sequenced, Italo-disco style bassline. There's plenty of attractive audio goodness to be found elsewhere across the EP, with the hazy, twisted, cut-up disco-house chunkiness of 'Together' being followed by the locked-in, boompty-influenced shuffle of 'Trashcamp'.
Review: Impressively, no-one has yet to unmask the identity of the "well known contemporary disco producer" behind the Magou project, despite some quite high profile releases on labels such as Toy Tonics. The producer's now trademark sound - think elements of disco, acid, synth-pop, boogie, deep house and Italo-disco blended in a classy way - is much in evidence across his or her latest four-tracker. 'Pas Jolie' is a fine chunk of deep house/Italo-disco fusion powered forward by a nagging TB-303 acid line, while 'Dejart' is a weightier and hazier slab of dub disco with added lounge music flourishes. Elsewhere, 'Sos Remo' is another subtly acid-flecked disco-tech number, while closing cut 'Round Round' is quirky Balearic synth-pop of the sort that record collectors would be salivating over if it had been released in 1984.
Review: Based in Bangkok, Thailand, Cosmic Tiger began life as a magazine covering the dance music scene in Southeast Asia back in 2019, but now they've branched out and launched their own record label. Following a single release from label boss Patrizio Cavaliere (AKA Rocco Universal), this is their first V/A compilation and if your tastes tend to the dreamier, more Balearic end of the disco spectrum you'll find much to enjoy here, with highlights for this writer including the Dave Lee-esque space funk of Scott Hess's 'Elevator' and the squelch bass-tastic 'Royal Flush' from Rudy's Midnight Machine.
Review: This fine single is an all-Canadian affair, with long-serving DJ/producer Trevor Walker joining fellow Montreal legend Fred Everything in the studio to lay down some deep, dubby and undeniably intergalactic deep house haziness. 'E.S.M (Earth, Sun, Moon)' is the kind of deep house cut that you just want to get lost in, with emotive chords, short piano motifs, starry electronics and spoken word vocal snippets wrapping around crunchy drums and a warm, chunky bassline. It comes accompanied by a stripped-back, groove-focused and delay-laden Dub mix and a 'Galaxy Art' rework from Martin 'Atjazz' Iveson that's jazzier, even deeper and oodles more hypnotic - think tech-jazz meets locked-in deep house and you're close. In a word: superb!
Review: Having previously tickled our fancy with a small selection of remixes of tracks from Rheinzhand's 2020 debut album, Music For Dreams has now delivered an expansive "deluxe" version that's genuinely full-to-bursting with notable, ear-catching revisions. There's not space to list all of the umpteen highlights, but our current picks of a very strong bunch include Dennis Kane's chugging, druggy electro-disco version of '14 Again', Peaking Lights multi-coloured post-punk disco dub of 'Synti', Red Axes' driving dancefloor re-wire of 'Kills & Kisses', Rz's foreboding, dark room-ready re-fix of the same track, Superpitcher's rubbery and low-slung version of 'Blind' and Chris Coco's fine disco dub of the band's 'Slippery People' cover.
Review: Previously, the reborn Vibraphone label has concentrated on delivering digital reissues of many of the melodious deep house gems the Italian imprint released in the 1990s. Here they flip the script, serving up a selection of previously unheard 21st century gems from up-and-coming producers. Tai Davis kicks things off with a quartet of cuts that variously touch on vintage Chicagoan jack-tracks ('That Acid'), classic deep house ('Crazy F', 'Watching the Clouds', and intergalactic acid ('Fusion'), before Daisuke Kondo delivers the wonderfully druggy 'Mental Crack' (a tipsy, off-kilter, late-night delight) and slick 'Telepathy'. Elsewhere, Shatalov's 'Its Not Exist' [sic] is a crackling trip through spacey deep house and Tade Kop's 'The Rhythm' is a glitchy, Isolee style minimal house delight.
Review: Gerd Janson has looked beyond his usual roster of producers on the latest edition of Running Back's multi-artist EP series. The result is a five-track missive full of genuine gems and scintillating sonic surprises. Our picks of a very strong bunch are the rushing piano house revivalism of Delphi's extra-positive '7_11 House' and the full-throttle, acid-fired breakbeat house hedonism of Baldo's 'Human Connection', where bold chords and fizzing TB-303 lines catch the ear. Elsewhere, Yungrutz's 'Starlight' sounds a little like Tuff City Kids after a couple of drags on a jazz cigarette, 9th House's 'Ara' is a simmering, string-laden treat and Signal Mute's 'Reminiscence' is an exceptionally emotive chunk of tingling deep house beauty.
Review: Honey Dijon's first outing of 2021, 'Downtown', sounds like a summer 2021 anthem in the making. A retro-futurist house workout featuring vocals from Annette Bowen and Nikki O (whose lyrics celebrate the joys of dancing to underground music), the edited and extended versions of the track are powered forwards by a heavy and hooky synth bassline and warm electric piano stabs. Honey Dijon's versions come backed with an equally inspired suite of remixes from Masters at Work man Louie Vega. There's a sersiously sunny, glassy-eyed nu-disco-meets-happy house revision (the 'Frisco Disco Dance') and a Mood II Swing style 'Raw Dub Mix' - both of which are available in edited and extended forms. A near perfect package: don't sleep!
Review: Sam Ruffillo has barely put a foot wrong since debuting on Irma Dancefloor back in 2018, with fine contributions to Boogie Caf?'s Bologna on the Move EP being followed by a string of releases on Toy Tonics. His latest missive is naturally rather impressive too, mixing his usual jazz-funk-tinged house colour with nods aplenty to turn-of-the-90s Italian house. 'Danca Organica' is a breezy, feelgood piano house number straight from the top drawer, 'Es Buena' is a slick and soulful slab of Mediterranean house warmth and 'Perfetta Cosi' is as bold, beautiful and colourful as you'd expect while retaining the artist's famed bottom-end strength. The EP also boasts two remixes: a jazzy nu-disco-goes-deep house tweak of 'Perfetta Cosi' by Gome, and a throbbing, Italo-disco style Musumeci re-wire pf 'Danca Organica'.
Review: Roots is a 10 track LP which draws inspiration from Dennis Cruz's life experiences, incorporating the many disparate influences that have resulted in his success as a DJ and producer to this day. A Spanish theme is central to the release, a nod to the country and culture that Cruz calls home and collaborations are aplenty throughout. Highlights come in the form of the deeply hypnotic locomotive chug of "Good Old Days" featuring the mighty Ion Ludwig, while the tough rolling tech house of "What You Doing" ft. Leo Wood is aimed squarely at the main room dancefloor. Elsewhere, the polyrhythmic minimal funk of "Go Down" features the legendary Lee Scratch Perry and on the sultry Latin vibe of "Ahora Todo Va" (Dub) Cruz teams up with scene hero Josh Butler.
Review: Soon the summer of 2021 will be all but a memory, but All Day I Dream are determined to keep it going just that bit longer via their latest Summer Sampler - a collection of warm and melodious club cuts tailor-made for humid evenings, crystal clear nights and sun-drenched afternoons. As you'd expect, there's plenty of musical highlights to be found across the hugely atmospheric and entertaining 12-track set, with our picks including the quietly ghostly chunkiness of Lost Desert, Simon Vuarambon and Hernandez's 'Moon By Day', the picturesque joyousness of 'Evergreen' by Pippi Ciez and the rolling, extra-percussive delight that is Max Degrassi's 'In The Light of Laughter'. We'd also recommend Madraas and Eduardo MacGregor's stunning 'Searching The Sun', as well as the melodic, far-sighted rush of Vince Watson's 'Quiriwana'.
Review: Man of the moment Michael Janson's is back on Knee Deep In Sound to follow up the anthemic "Go" in collaboration with Cecille's Nick Curly earlier this year. "Evolver" is a serving of tough rolling funky house with chunky percussive elements that is aimed squarely at the main room dancefloor. Equally peak time minded is second offering "Soul Shaker" which ventures into hypnotic tribal territory and is perfect for those heads-down moments. For the remix they have reeled in the ascendant Hungarian Capeesh Society (Alliwant/Politics Of Dancing) who takes the title track into deeper and more melodic territory.
Review: After a couple of fundraising-focused compilations, what we have here is the first-ever EP release from Viscera Transmissions, a new label based in the UK's southwest and born out of a podcast and blog of the same name. 'Mirror Claws' itself operates in the currently very fertile hinterland between Italo/cosmic disco and progressive/melodic house, and as such would play nicely with both. Much the same could be said of the other two originals, while on the remix front Jonny Rock Dragon takes 'Vanished Angst' down a trippier, spacier route while 'Night Crawler' is treated to a rave-y, breaks-y refix courtesy of Chez De Milo.
Review: It may have taken a while - his massive debut single 'Hyph Mngo' was released 12 years ago - but Joy Orbison has finally got round to recording his debut album. It's a highly personal affair, peppered with speech snippets from various family members (including his mum, dad, sister, cousins and famous uncle Ray Keith). It's a device that works well, providing a unifying thread throughout a woozy, musically eclectic concoction that sees the now veteran UK producer give his distinct spin on ambient, slow house, two-step garage, deep house, post-dubstep beats, dubbed-out soundscapes, British bass music, experimental electronica, cutting edge deep D&B and much more besides. It's perhaps not the all-out assault on the dancefloor some may have expected, but it is a genuinely brilliant and entertaining album.
Review: Second time around for Gerald Zollner and Lennart Doring's first outing as Musk, which first slipped out on vinyl - but not digitally - way back in 2012. Despite its vintage, the original mix of '925' (track two) still feels fresh, in part because it's a timeless-sounding fusion of disco style walking bass, Nile Rodgers guitars, rushing old school piano stabs and loose-limbed drum machine percussion. It's a restless chunk of revivalist nu-disco, basically, and there's a strong argument that it was a touch overlooked when it first came out. This Permanent Vacation reissue also includes a fresh remix from German veteran Ian Pooley, who successfully turns the track into a warming, pumping, late '90s style deep house roller (think organ stabs, sharp acid squiggles, bold bass and dreamy chords).
Review: Tom Szirtes' recent digital-only album, Points of Focus, was not only a fine showcase for his undoubted musical skills, but also a pleasingly varied affair that contained just as many downtempo excursions and dancefloor bombs. He's in full-on sun-kissed, club-ready mode on his latest Lazy Days outing though, with the ultra-positive title track delivering a near perfect blend of jazzy disco bass, hands-in-the-air piano riffs, sweeping strings, cowbell-driven drums and colourful synthesizer flourishes. It comes backed by early morning deep house roller 'Bubblin' Up', squelchy nu-disco/broken beat fusion gem 'Shut This Down' (where vocalist Anna Stubbs makes a big impression) and a luscious, long-build 'Reprise' mix of 'Beats, Strings & Life' which sounds like a perfect summer set opener.
Review: Fresh from dropping a pair of fine fusion EPs with Dele Sosimi on Wah Wah 45s, Medlar returns home to Wolf Music Recordings with his most expansive release since 2013 debut album Sleep. In keeping with his musical evolution since then, Aerial is a thrillingly eclectic, colourful and imaginative affair, with Medlar flitting between the Wally Badarou-on-acid vibes of the undeniably cosmic title track; the acid-fired, cowbell-rich strut of 'Iguanadon'; the percussion-rich Dinosaur L mutations of 'Elephant Bingo'; the downtempo jazz-funk of 'Elv'; the late-night, drum machine driven weirdness of 'Cr78-108'; the '89 NYC garage-meets-New Jack Swing flex of 'Phoenix Lights'; and the slow-motion, bass-heavy Balaearica of 'Sin Prisa'. In a word: ace!
Review: Bristol's Addison Groove is back and getting well funky on this one! The Groove boss and 50Weapons staple gets some low slung party vibes into full effect on "F1nk" - a wicked tool that's looped to perfection. Next up, he goes deeper into the night on the hypnotic and very exotic polyrhythmicity of "Sudoeste" which features good mate Bim Sanga - it follows up their excellent Where Are The People EP on Bags Inc. last year. This one was our pick of the two and is perfect for those heads-down or 'get weird' moments on the dancefloor. Tip!