Review: Following this year's release of Pacific Coliseum's third LP, How's Life, Slim Steve's label debut with the I Do It EP and two Westcoast Goddess titles, Let's Play House caps of a fine year for the empty dancefloors out there with Jacque'd Toolbox - a super combi between 'the' Gerd Janson and New York's Jacques Renault! Throwing into the mix all matter of edits and cutting techniques to disco, pop, electro and house music, the pair throw down hard when giving the free world a dose of what the really want; be it the stringed, pumping heaviness of a piano-ladened "Never Saw Never" or the rave-infused happy house of "Movin' Kinda Screwy". Find some '80s breakbeat electro in the shoulder pad pop of "One More Slice" next to the space pongs and filter loop tropics of "One More Slam" and percussive disco banger of "Jus Wanna Party". Disco, check!
Review: Siberia's Alexandr Chebankov, AKA Sunner Soul, covers quite a range of contemporary disco ground across a mere five tracks here. The first two, 'Carefully Crafted' and 'Get Your Boogie', come from the more funk-fuelled end of the nu-disco spectrum, with phat-ass b-lines and, on the latter, chanted vox and wukka-wukking geetars. 'No One Can Like I Do' then takes us into Hed Kandi-esque disco-house territory, whlle 'Sweet Stuff Memories' and 'Softly Infusion' itself (the latter credited to The Sunshine Disco Club) are slightly deeper cuts that'll go down well wherever soulful house and broken beat/nu-jazz are played.
Review: Mexican producer Alex Aguayo comes to Spanish label Golden Soul with an EP that packs two tracks in a total of five mixes. In its original form, 'Time Travel' itself is a hazy, pulsing affair that blends influences from nu-disco and progressive house and simply oozes sunshine, while Cosmic Sumo boss Andrea Rucci turns in an even more euphoric remix. 'Wake', meanwhile, is an energetic, Italo-inspired, trance-tinged cut that's available in techy, throbbing Original, hi-octane Alberto Melloni Remix or slowed-down 'n' sleazed-out JB Dizzy Remix flavours, with the latter rub the EP standout for this reviewer.
Review: As the title suggests, this wonderful EP from COEO pays tribute to the glory days of early '90s piano house. If you've been struggling through the current global pandemic, we guarantee that all four tracks will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Our pick of a very strong bunch is 'Hyperactive', where bold piano stabs, style synth-sax motifs, New Jersey garage style organ chords and a rubbery, all-action bassline ride a sweaty and chunky, hip-house style rhythm. There is of course much to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP, from the deliciously deep, loved-up and glassy-eyed wonder that is 'I Can Never Be Yours', to the acid-fired bustle of breakbeat-driven closing cut 'Bliss'.
Review: Presumably DJ Kaos spent much of lockdown crafting fresh re-edits of trippy little-known tunes, because his latest four-track selection of heady reworks is arguably his strongest release for some time. We're particularly enjoying the urgent, vocoder-loving disco-funk madness of 'Tapping The Source', a wild and wonderful rearrangement of a thoroughly obscure cover version of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall', though the more cosmic, hypnotic headiness of piano-sporting Italo-disco number 'Crystal Voyager' is similarly addictive. Elsewhere, 'Spiral Jetty' is an extra-druggy, Italo-disco style re-make of a familiar nu-disco classic, while 'Region Centrale' is a delay-laden take on what sounds like an early Chicago house jam (with added 'Buffalo Gals' acapella snippets).
Review: The enigmatic Hyenah is a renowned tastemaker, who is passionate about sounds from across the house spectrum. For his edition of the Watergate mix series, the RISE resident selects an inspiring range of artists, while highlighting emerging African and Afro-German talent such as: Berlin-based JAMIIE teaming up with the Stil Vor Talent affiliated Niko Schwind on "Suwedi", talented singer Nanghiti Aviankoi's amazing vocal range is accompanied perfectly by Emanuel Satie's production on "Forever More" and veteran of the Johannesburg house music scene Da Capo appears with the powerful dancefloor drama of "Dark Knight".
Review: What an incredible link up this one is as the king of crunch, known to the world as Bonobo, links up with T.E.E.D for a delightful two track experiment, doused in euphoric energy and production class throughout. We begin with 'Heartbreak', a summer-time breakbeat epic, perfect for the late-night BBQ setting as big room vocal leads sit atop of pulsating chord lines and super groovy breaks for a proper party-starting vibe. On the flip, '6000' alongside Outlier takes a slightly slower path, focussing primarily on acidic filtration and classy 4x4 drum beats, adding some real contrast to the A-side. This is a top quality link up to say the least and we can't wait to hear more from the two outfits in unison!
Review: Deetron follows last year's Body Electric release on Running Back with a fine dance floor-based EP inspired by his formidable DJing. "Ego Rave B" is a seductive, bubbling electronic groove that supports woozy, cosmic synths, while on "Ego Rave D" and its "D1" variant, he goes down a tracky route, with dense drums and snappy percussion providing the basis for old school techno bleeps. There are also remnants of the Swiss DJ's more peak time selections: "Ego Rave A", sees Deetron fuse tranced out hooks with gentle piano keys, while "Ego Rave C" is a wide-eyed, good time electro-techno track.
Review: In September 2020, Crosstown Rebels main man Damian Lazarus will release his first solo album in almost a decade. To get us in the mood, he's decided to offer up this teaser single. In its original form, "Mountain" is a drowsy, bass-heavy breakbeat affair in which his own atmospheric spoken word vocals combine with gently pulsing, sunrise-ready chords and short vocal snippets from a much-loved Joanna Law classic ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a Balearic-era classic whose acapella is much-loved by chill-out DJs). Tornado Wallace delivers a superb remix in which sparkling synth sounds and decidedly Balearic flourishes ride a dark analogue bassline and bongo-boosted breakbeats, while Tbi Dabo re-imagines "Mountain" as a bumpin', peak-time ready tech-house treat.
Review: Strahil Velchev AKA KiNK has successfully done his own thing this year, eschewing the advances of long-established labels in order to release music on the Sofia imprint he co-founded in 2019. Toplo is the third and final instalment in a trilogy of EPs he kicked off with Nagore way back in January. It's a suitably varied, analogue-rich affair, with the long-serving artist flitting between fuzzy, driving heaviness (see the star fall synth sounds and booming, metronomic bass of '101 Reasons'), sub-heavy, post-dubstep seduction (the hard-to-pigeonhole 'Set The M'ood Right'), and angular and atmospheric up-tempo deep house (the startlingly evocative 'Dreamer'). Noted house eccentric Frits Wentink is given the task of remixing 'Dreamer', resulting in a jaunty and quirky re-wire full of oddball sample edits, jumpy stabs and swinging beats.
Review: Otherwise known as "F*ck Resident Advisor", Alex "Omar" Smith's latest album includes some of his most potent, colourful and musically inventive material of recent years. This five-track EP, which includes (uncredited) contributions from a number of fellow Detroit artists, gathers together some of the many undoubted highlights. The FXHE founder begins with the sleazy, bassline-driven peak-time deep house thrust of "Simply", before celebrating the unbridled joy of old school piano house (and disco guitar samples) on the arguably even better "Gonna Luv You". Spacey synths and lo-fi late-night house grooves are provided via "Bread Over Red", while "Mell'ike Bom Bom In'dair" sits somewhere between electro, early Inner City and mutant dancehall. There's a triumphant conclusion, too: the sparkling vocal deep house positivity of John FM hook-up "In My City".
Review: Italy's Iva Vagli, better known as Ivo del Prado, comes to Spain's Rare Wiri label with four tracks that sit right on the cusp of contemporary disco and deep/melodic house. 'Fat Track' is a laidback little groove, 'The Blues Grows On' is a hypnotic chugger topped with the vocal from Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson's 'Bicentennial Blues', 'Summer Piano' sounds a little like Underworld trying their hand at piano house and 'Pm 04/04' finds us back in deeper house/disco pastures and sports some killer M1 action towards the end; all four come topped with big trance-y, euphoric synth leads that should help ensure maximum peaktime impact.
Review: If you're on the hunt for some unusual, off-kilter house with swing, weight and tons of fuzzy analogue sounds, we'd recommend checking this Clone Royal Oak outing from Frits Wentink. It opens with one of the most sub-heavy tracks we've heard in a while, the two-step garage-meets-leftfield-deep house insanity of 'Trouble Man'. While it derives its power from an incessantly stabbing bass motif and loose-limbed drums, the track also boasts plenty of madcap melodic motifs and oddball electronic flourishes. In comparison, bass-and-piano-heavy peak-time workout 'Friends' is positively straightforward, though those who follow Wentink's career will know it's anything but. As for closing cut 'Double Man', it's as dusty, percussion rich and weighty as they come, with the Dutchman's heavy sub-bass offset by sparkling synths.
Review: Sound Support may be a new name, but the producers behind it - Lorenz Rhode and Detroit Swindle's Lars Dale - both have bags of experience. That shines through on this debut outing for Internasjonal, which sees them bounce between rubbery and colourful boogie-house fusion (ear-catching, emotive and piano-rich opener 'Stab By Stab'), musically layered and life affirming deep house/Afrobeat fusion (the superb 'Europe')and a smooth, synth laden blend of deep house and D-Train style electrofunk ('Catwalk', whose rolling synth-bassline is immense). Label co-founder Prins Thomas applies his magic 'Discomiks' touch to 'Europe', offering a deeper and far more delay-laden interpretation that pushes the duo's acid lines and Tony Allen inspired drums to the fore.
Lubelski, Randy Ry - "Feeling A Vibe" - (6:18) 127 BPM
The James Brown Track - (6:33) 127 BPM
Lubelski - "Anxiety" - (6:21) 126 BPM
Review: With sampled, dusty drums and male soul vox, the title track here sounds like something Osunlade or Opolopo might come up with for Classic, while 'Anxiety' adopts an even more wonky, cut-up approach and will appeal to fans of, say, Chicken Lips or Headman. The EP's other two tracks are a tad more accessible/commercial: any veterans of the mid-90s handbag wars will smile upon hearing 'Feeling A Vibe', as Chrissy Ward's 'Right And Exact' vocal gets chopped 'n' looped in rambunctious disco-tech fashion then spiked with a little punk-funk attitude, while as for 'The James Brown Track' - well, you can guess who that one samples, can't you?!
Review: Earlier in the year, the team behind the popular Outplay label decided to launch a new imprint, 24 Carrot, in order to release, "the bits that don't necessarily fit on a regular Outplay EP". To prove their point, the imprint's first EP from Foul and Junktion danced between cut-up disco-house pumpers and wild, wonky house. There's a similar to feel to this follow-up from the same artists. Fouk kicks things off with two scorching workouts: a quirky house number whose numerous attractive musical elements include Turkish psych-funk style organ motifs and tons of sweaty additional percussion ('Winter Warmer'), and a spacey, synth-laden deep house stomper ('Chicken Dinner'). Junktion continues the percussive theme on the tough-but-rubbery, disco-funk-meets-house number 'Mustard', and the slightly deep disco-house flex of 'Smokes'.
Review: Having recently made his bow on one hugely respected deep house label, Freerange, Simon Hinter is now ready to debut on another: Quintessentials. The headline attraction of a highly impressive EP is arguably 'Alright!', a chunky, bass-heavy club jam built around chopped-up vocal samples, funk-fuelled guitar riffs, deliciously weighty bass, addictive string sweeps and crunchy drums. KRL remixes, successfully transforming the track into a wonky chunk of Red Rack'em style deep house eccentricity that's as bold as it is ear-catching. Elsewhere, 'Wanna Make Love' combines a bass-heavy house groove and cheery synthesizer melodies with dusty old disco and jazz-funk samples, while 'Club Friday' is a pleasingly positive slab of warming, old school US deep house revivalism.
Review: Last time out, Spanish star AFFKT impressed with a fine collection of atmospheric, heavily electronic tech-house treats on Sasha's Last Night on Earth label. Here the prolific producer uses his first appearance on Mobilee to cannily combine elements of deep house, tech-house and sparkling synthesizer music. Opener 'Torpedo' is bold and beautiful, with undulating lead lines and sparkling chords riding rolling drums and an arpeggio-style bassline. The latter - a Moroder-inspired concoction without any shadow of a doubt - naturally comes to the fore on the throbbing and uplifting accompanying remix by MUSUMECI. The EP's other cut, 'Melabufa', sees AFFKT sail closer to progressive neo-trance pastures with predictably musically-rich and synthesizer-heavy results.
Review: Funkwise is the studio alias of Bali-dwelling British DJ/producer Adam Wise. With over a decade's experience behind the decks, he made the move into production in 2019, and here he returns with a three-tracker for the Cheeks label. Up first is 'Late', a funk-fuelled deep houser with a big, fat squelchy bassline at its heart. That's followed by 'Danger Danger', another mid-paced affair which blends funk, disco and house influences, and which sports a jaunty, jazzy lil' keys riff and some fine space disco stabs. Completing the EP is the Jive Talk Remix of 'Late', which takes us into full-on early 80s electrofunk nostalgia mode.
Review: More ominous and dreamy deep house by Fort Romeau. The Berlin-based Brit debuted for Permanent Vacation last year with the terrificHeaven & Earth EP and is fast becoming a staple of Munich-based imprint, going onto remixes for artists such as Lauer and Kauf. His new offering "The Mirror" is an evocative and sensual piece of mood music that's quite reflective of the strange time we are currently living in. "A Far Reaching Light'' takes on another style of dancefloor drama on this slinky and hypnotic journey, and lastly he takes you further down the spiral on the chugging, textured sonic tapestry of "The Wind As It Took Her". Like his Dada EP on Correspondant last year, this is 'paranoid music for paranoid times' yet again by Michael Greene.
Review: Here's something we didn't expect: a fresh EP on Detroit Swindle's Heist Recordings label from Motor City stalwarts and Underground Resistance associates Scan 7. It's certainly a notable way for the Dutch imprint to notch up a half century of releases. Naturally, the included material is superb, with the masked Detroit veterans confidently striding between gospel-tinged, jazz-flecked, musically rich deep house warmth (the Moodyman style brilliance of 'All For Me'), chunky, organ-driven US garage goodness (the bouncy and heady thrills of 'The Best is Yet To Come') and strutting, sweaty, percussion-rich peak-time heaviness (the sampled vocal yelps, dense drums, sustained synth-strings and raw organ stabs of 'The Funk That Stunk'). A genuinely brilliant EP from the true masters of Motor City future funk.
Review: When they first appeared on Heist Recordings in 2018, Kassian were considered raw but promising talents. Since then, the Hackney-based duo has gone on to release a string of fine EPs for the likes of Groovence and Phonica White. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on their return to Detroit Swindle's label too, starting with the 'walking' disco bass, sparkling synth sounds, tactile chords and bustling grooves of lead cut "Apollo" - a track that's later given a classic-sounding deep house makeover by Leo Pol (check the jazzy solos and Afro-tinged beats). Elsewhere, "8th Movement" is a bounding chunk of U.S style deep house that sounds like it could have been recorded sometime in the late '90s, while closing cut "Brass Hammer" is a slightly more muscular chunk of peak-time deep house.
Review: While much of Huxley's material over the last few years has been bold, tech-tinged and druggy, this first appearance on Shall Not Fade is pleasingly celebratory and rooted in classic US house. For proof, check bouncy, bass-heavy opener 'Takeaway', where spine-tingling piano riffs, synth-sax and old school vocal samples catch the ear, and the rushing piano-house largeness of future hands-in-the-air anthem 'Patsy'. In between, he offers up a mix of dark, muscular house (see the Tenaglia-at-Twilo era pump of 'Nothing Works', which features some suitably mind-mangling acid lines) and druggy, early morning intensity ('A Hard Fall Up To The Middle', 'Anxiety').
Review: This is the 300th release from Dave Lee's Z Records, who also celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. 'Power Of The Mind' bites an uplifting 80s male soul vocal from the Valentine Brothers, who are best known for 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' (as later covered by Simply Red), placing it atop crisp 4/4s, a heavyweight disco bassline, organ parps and vintage-style hands-in-the-air pianos, the end result being a timeless piece of disco-fuelled house music that's built with Saturday night peaktime play firmly in mind, and that's served in simple vocal and dub flavas. Impeccable stuff - long may they continue!
Review: Panorama vibes in the house! Honey Dijon touches down again on Classic with a stripped back ballroom session of hollow club drums, diva vocal sketches, detuned spoken word and sample cutting techniques that burst with housed-up chords, playful tones and back breaking grooves! A R&B inspired club hit to begin that's backed up by some extra club muscle in KDA 'Legacy' remix while Kink (& Kei) turn in a starry synth shooting extended remix of "La Femme Fantastique" that pumps and turns with classic Chicago and Detroit ideologies. Big number for the clubs.
Review: Although he delivered two editions of his ongoing, vinyl only "Disco Dubs" re-edit series on Friends & Relations, 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Alistair Gibbs AKA Nebraska. Here he begins 2020 in fine style with his first EP for Heist Recordings in almost three years. Title track "Y'Miss Me Baby" delivers a suitably strong start and see Gibbbs wrap twinkling lead lines, rich electric piano chords, talkbox vocals and P-funk synths around a hazy jazz-funk bassline and unfussy dancefloor drums. Giovanni Damico riffs on the jazz-funk and P-funk influences further on his instrumental boogie style "Jam remix". Elsewhere, "Dip & Flip" is an all-action, filter-heavy disco-house loop jam, while "Xiao Long Bao" is a warm, deep, humid and undeniably jazzy sample-house roller tailor made for sunny afternoons.
Review: Earlier in the year, Web Web served up an epic set of "Interpretations", with a range of hip-hop style beat-makers offering hazy, head-nodding reworks of their 21st century jazz jams. This follow-up remix package is generally a little more club-focused and features superb dancefloor-friendly takes from Mousse T (a warm, revivalist boogie-meets-jazz-funk version of 'What You Give'), Hector Romero & Ayala (tech-house/jazz-house/Afro-house fusion), and Michel Cleis (a typically hypnotic and life affirming deep-tech take on 'Maroc Blues'). Throw in a couple of killer, club-ready dancefloor jazz interpretations from Khalab and a sub-heavy, post-dubstep rework of 'The Ring Of' by L One, and you have a genuinely brilliant remix package.
Review: The fifth volume in Peppermint Jam's popular "Allstars" EP series hits home hard from the start, as DJ Meme and Brazilian legend Marcos Valle join forces to re-imagine sweaty Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival" as a driving chunk of celebratory house mayhem. Lovebirds is up next with "The Path 2011", a similarly percussive workout that makes great use of steel band melodies and warm, deep disco bass. Matthias "Matty" Helibronn then gives a Teddy Pendergrass classic the re-edit treatment (albeit with the addition of some tasty new drums and a few well-placed filter sweeps), while The Reflex steals the show with an organ-heavy multi-track remix of Mandrill's 1972 funk shuffler "Ape Is High" (here re-named "Ape's Back In Town").
Review: Acid house evangelists Posthuman rarely put a foot wrong, so it's no surprise to find that their latest EP is full to bursting with high quality. Interestingly, there's no sign of their trademark TB-303 acid lines on lead cut 'You're Mine'; instead, they've opted to pepper a sturdy drum pattern with retro-futurist organ stabs, glassy-eyed vocal samples and, as the track progresses, gargantuan sub-bass and sweaty breakbeats. The accompanying remix is package is strong too, with Luke Vibert predictably stealing the show with a tooled-up, rave-igniting take smothered in a variety of familiar old school vocal samples. We'd also suggest checking dense and chunky bonus cut '(Find Me) On The Edge of Town', a sweaty slab of future acid jack with oodles of energy.
Review: Greek duo Lagasta are up next on James Fucking Friedman's ever reliable Throne Of Blood label, following up that terrific 'Late Summer Compilation Vol.10' (Part II) they self-released just last month. The hazy downbeat balearica of "Steve" is exactly the kind of glassy-eyed and bittersweet music that the late Jose Padilla could have played at Cafe del Mar. It receives some brilliant remixes as part of the package. Mexican duo Zombies In Miami deliver a typically neon-lit rendition, while the mighty Philip Lauer delivers not one but two reworks: the first 'Sanguisuga' version was well on the money, and another fine example of the prolific German producer's idiosyncratic sound.
Review: Riding a wave of Zdarlight since 2005, legendary contemporary electro act Digitalism make their way from the annals of French label Kitsune to Gerd Janson's equally influential Running Back! With Gerd himself remixing the duo's "Destination Breakdown" back in 2016, he invites Digitalism to his label for five of the freshest tracks we've heard from the project in years. Still harking back to the wonder years of that French electro sound, Digitalism returns with a new selection of melodic, inspired and colourful electro numbers: you pick the hit. Tracks like "Promises" bring back memories of Kavinsky's golden days (now commonly associated with the movie Drive) while there's dubby, colourful and techno beats in "Flash Forward". "Visuals" sees the pair dial up a vocal, piano-laced electro ballad, with good times to be had in "Reality 2". And for some refined EDM flavours without the overhaul look to "Trans Global Ltd".
Review: Four months after the release of his fine debut album "What It Is", Toy Tonics founder Matthias Modias AKA Kapote offers up fresh versions of two of the set's most potent tracks. Of most interest to many will be the included "big name" remixes of "Jaas Func Haus". Art of Tones does a bang-up job recasting the cut as a dusty chunk of rubbery jazz-house/deep house fusion, while the Sworn Virgins remix is a delay-laden late night analogue-house wiggler from the Ron Hardy school of Chicago sleaze. Best of all, though, is Rahaan's rework, which is a wonky mid-tempo fusion of acid-style electronics and spiraling disco bliss. Elsewhere, there's another chance to enjoy Modias' funk-fuelled disco workout "Delirio Italiano", as well as a stripped back, extra-percussive "Dub" mix.
Review: Since deciding to pack in his day job to follow his music production dreams last year, Tee Mango has released some of his most impressive, interesting and well-produced music to date. This fine run of form continues via a Permanent Vacation label debut that's notable for both its variety and quality. He begins by reaching for woozy electric piano chords, tech-tinged deep house beats, twinkling lead lines and colourful synth flourishes on the rather relaxed and beautiful 'Don't Let Slip', before offering up some organ-heavy house retro-futurism via 'She Never Looked Back'. Arguably best of all though is 'What You Want', a tactile and occasionally fuzzy affair rich in undulating synth-bass, snaking sax solos, memorable organ stabs and his own high-register vocals.
Review: We're not sure whether Detroit Swindle has previously released anything quite as driving and energetic as "Coffee In The Morning". Although the lead vocal from sometime Tartelet artist Jitwam is worthy of comment, it's the infectious and breathless music that sits beneath - a combination of a low-slung punk-funk bassline, sweaty house beats, addictive electric piano stabs and wild sax lines - that makes the track such a buzzing, caffeine-charged affair. The Dutch duo's accompanying vocal-free "Dub Mix" is rock solid, but it's Prins Thomas's 10-minute "Discomiks" - an ever-growing, pulsating fusion of dub disco sweatiness and jazz-house heaviness, with additional space disco electronics thrown in for good measure - that really sets the pulse racing. In a word: essential.
Review: Lobster Theremin offshoot There Is Love In You has thus far proved adept at delivering loved-up EPs that draw direct influence from a multitude of vintage dance music styles, from breaks, trance and progressive house, to turn-of-the-90s US garage and early UK hardcore. For their latest trick, they've decided to offer-up an EP of "new-age Italo" from Melbourne producer Greetings. It's a gloriously rushing, saucer-eyed sound, with the Australian first peppering an arpeggio style bassline and skittish machine drums with sparkling synth lines, dreamy chords and rushing pianos (the brilliant 'I Care About You'), before joining the dots between Bobby Orlando productions and sun-bright synth-pop ('Itaewon Living'). The fun continues on the deeper but no less melodious 'The Real Harvey Wallbanger' and the piano-sporting, wall-of-sound glee of 'Discovery'.
Review: It may have taken eight years, but finally one of Hun Choi's most memorable singles has made it to digital download. Originally released via a limited-edition, double A-side 12", the two-track affair remains one of Hunee's heaviest and most club-ready releases. Check first opener 'Tide', where tough, chopped-up drum machine beats, tribal-tinged percussion and wayward, acid-style motifs provide sturdy support for swirling chords and lo-fi electronic lead lines. The Rush Hour regular continues in a similarly chopped-up, analogue-rich and drum-heavy vein on the slightly funkier but no less raw and weighty 'Minnoch', whose low-slung, lo-fi bassline is particularly addictive.
Review: Detroit Swindle is amongst the most reliable artists operating in the overgrown no-man's-land between house, disco and boogie. That much is confirmed by "The Life Behind Things", which marks their first outing on Heist since last year's "High Life" LP. Title track "The Life Behind Things" is positive, ear-pleasing and dancefloor friendly, with the experienced pair peppering bouncy beats and thickset synth bass with joyous organ riffs (reminiscent of those found on Timmy Thomas soul classic "Why Can't We Live Together"), wobbly acid lines, jaunty piano stabs and female vocal snippets. Lorenz Rhode collaboration "Music For Clubs" is arguably even more rush inducing in its retro-futurist piano house intent, while Isoul8's remix of the title track is a swirling, soulful and decidedly tactile chunk of deep house brilliance.
Review: Four cuts here from Mexico's Mateo Gonzalez - better known as Theus Mago - that will suit those who like their disco on the more electronic/leftfield/experimental side. Opener 'Apache Nights', for instance, owes far more to bleep techno and the early Warp sound than it does to the likes of (say) Chic or Earth Wind & Fire, while the accompanying Chicken Lips re-rub comes on like Kraftwerk jamming with Rennie Pilgrem. 'Piu Mosso' is a more straight-up homage to early 80s Euro/Italo disco and centres around an infectious, Arabic-sounding hook, while finally closer 'Sergio Ramos' could work in disco/Italo/EBM and progressive house sets alike.
Review: 18 months ago, Thomas Arroyo AKA Laroye delivered one of the strongest singles to date on Alex Attias's Visions Inc imprint, a double A-side affair full of spiritual intent, layered melodic elements and deliciously intricate instrumentation. Here he brings his brand of grown-up, mood enhancing house music to Freerange for the very first time. The headline attraction is 'Be The Change', a percussion-laden chunk of samba-soaked cosmic house positivity laden with life-affirming chords, colourful synth solos, glistening guitars and inspirational lead vocals courtesy of Carlos Mena. It comes backed with a variety of alternate takes and DJ tools - including a drum-heavy 'Percapella' and the deep and lovely 'Moody Dub' - as well as jaunty and jazzy bonus deep house workout 'Twisted'.