Reviewed this week
Since launching back in 2012, Brooklyn imprint Razor-N-Tape has been responsible for releasing some of the finest reworks the re-edit scene has to offer. For proof, check out this second trawl through the label's rapidly expanding back catalogue. There's nary a duffer in sight, with highlights including the mid-tempo, eyes-closed disco brilliance of Michael The Lion's "Any Time", the swirling deep house/disco fusion of Junktion's "I'm Wishing" and the tactile boogie throb of Deep&Disco's sought-after "So Tight" (the best Thelma Houston rework we've ever heard), to the spiraling saxophones of Tom of Brooklyn's tasty "Summer Jam" and COEO's wonderfully evocative and slightly beefed-up Escort rework, "Light Star".
In our eyes, prolific re-editors and party-starting mash-up merchants Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee have always been "top of the chops". The Editorial imprint thinks this, too, hence serving up this expansive collection of some of the duo's finest reworks. There are gems aplenty to be unearthed throughout, from the loved-up, delay-laden mid-tempo dreaminess of sultry opener "Summer Love" and the 80s soul-with-filters lusciousness of "Boogie Flight", to the gentle house drums and disco-boogie horns of funk-fuelled favourite "Feel Good Jam". There's more straight-up celebratory disco to be found elsewhere on the compilation, too, with the parping horns and soaring strings of "People's Groove" and the low-slung flex of "Like U Do" standing out.
Whiskey Disco continues with its juicy 2018 with something of a sweaty beast, with a quartet of producers stepping up to deliver some sticky dancefloor heat. Label chief Sleazy McQueen joins forces with Vagabundo Social Club with edit "Boh!", a slamming rework of a Bohannon-esque disco-funk jam rich in hard guitar riffs and crunchy Clavinet lines. The Rejected takes a different approach, serving up a rolling, delay-laden tweak of celebratory, soccer-themed Brazilian club jam "O Craque De Futbol". Sunny, funky and low-slung, it's accompanied by the gently housed-up swamp funk of Pontchartrain's "Have a Little Taste". Given the quality of the EP, we're more than happy to follow that instruction.
As the old saying goes.... When life gives you lemons, call up Evil Smarty and make a bunch of sweet sweet funk edits. "The Groove To Make You Dance" lives up to its name and pays full respect to the sauce with a fizzy uptempo twist and a percussive drop that froths up like you've shaken the bottle for days. "Let's Do It" is equally thirst-quenching with its SOS-sending falsetto funk flare while the title track-inspiring "Sweet Like A Lemon" closes on a decadent bubbly twist. Tuck in and feel fresh; there's enough vitamin C here to keep you alive until at least the age of 128.
By now, we should know exactly what to expect from the Shir Khan curated Black Jukebox series, namely party-starting house cuts aimed squarely at peak-time dancefloors. This particular edition - the 23rd in total - naturally sticks to the formula, presenting two tracks apiece from Freiboitar and Hurlee. It's the former who steps up first, serving up the bold, mind-altering bass, jazzy keys and bumping beats of "Blue My Mind" before laying down the filter-heavy jazz-house/disco house fusion of "What's Up". Hurlee reaches for the winding sax solos on the deliciously warm and loved-up roll of "On The Floor", before brilliantly cutting up and beefing up an old Patrice Rushen classic on the heady and intoxicating goodness that is final track "Disco Love".
Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes deep house vet Andy Compton and Shamrock for a trip into plush disco, laid back funk and more besides. Bunny Chow was reportedly recorded in South Africa, and features the vocal talents of Asli on a number of the tracks. You can certainly hear the Afro influence creeping into the simmering groove of the title track, while Asli's vocals shine through the clearest on the downtempo tones of "Everything Is Gravy." "Nifanyeje" is another warm trip through Afro disco replete with noodling guitar lines and a crisp drum machine beat, while "Roga Mziki" ends the record on a high note with a final blast of that infectious, sunkissed sound the pair have clearly mastered on their musical adventure.
Given that each of their previous releases has been on-point, it's little surprise to find that Fouk's latest EP is packed full of warm, sample-heavy, disco-flecked deep house treats. We'd argue that the headline attraction is bouncy opener "Organ Freeman", a tasty workout that layers fresh organ solos over a house groove built around rubbery bass and obscure disco-funk samples, though the wilder and more driving "Wrong Way" pushes it close. Elsewhere, "Butterfunk" is a lolloping trip into mid-tempo deep house/disco/jazz-funk fusion, while closer "Winter" is a loved-up chunk of deep space instrumental hip-hop with added boogie synths.
For the sixth instalment in Z Records impeccable "Under The Infliuence" series of crate-digging compilations, boss man Dave Lee (AKA Joey Negro) has turned to fellow London scene veterans Simon and Robin Lee, AKA Faze Action. Their selections are, as expected, superb, mixing their own edits of familiar favourites (Midway's ace "Set It Off" and Mikki's "Dance Lover" for starters) with material that's as obscure and over-looked as you'd expect. Standouts in the latter category include the smooth '80s boogie of Leston Paul's "All Nite Tonight", the sublime Afro-disco of Bebe Manga, the thrillingly up-tempo hustle of Oscar Perry's "Body Movements", some superb South American disco from Don Lurio and Michele Claire's lesser-known version of disco favourite "In The Bush".
Millionhands head honcho Tom Mangan is back as Tee Mango on Aus Music - this would be his third appearance on the label in less than a year - which speaks volumes really. EP#2 features the lo-slung sexiness of "Make It Last Forever" featuring that awesome Inner Life sample throughout. First, we have something a bit more energetic and harder hitting exists in the form of "Prototypical". A soulful and emotive house journey featuring gritty rhythms, a tough bouncy bassline and trippy stabs that's perfect to take crowd into the later hours. To finish, we have the funky deep-disco bounce of "Wazoo" that's perfect mood lighting for the early evening!
Having been impressed by his contribution to one of their multi-artist EPs, Royal Athlete chiefs Vexkiddy and Anton Maovvi have decided to out Don Chrelli's debut EP. Predictably, it's rather good, featuring four breezy, attractive, Jam and Lewis-era '80s soul and boogie originals. You'll find plenty of pop hooks, sing-along choruses and American AM radio-friendly synth sounds on the likes of "Caramel", "Pleasure" and lilting, jammed-out standout "2 U", which also boasts some Roger Troutman-esque talk box action. Ourra provides the standout remix, adding extra layers of mid-'80s big studio polish to 'Pleasure", though the driving, Italo-disco style version of "Caramel" by Pin Up Club is also rather tasty.
Former Large Music and Nite Grooves man Chris Stussy returns to Robsoul Recordings for a third time, bringing with him a quartet of tried and tested box jams for deep house floors that like it funky and chunky. He eases us in gently with "Boogie Trippin", a swinging, breakbeat-driven cut rich in tasty hip-hop vocal samples and sparkling riffs, before dialing into eyes-closed disco-house territory via the head-in-the-clouds bump of "Flow Distinction". "Next To You" is a more hypnotic, locked-in and bass-heavy roller, while EP closer "Selfless State" wraps snippets of hazy modern soul vocals and elongated organ chords around another rolling, loose-limbed deep house groove.
Russian brothers Sasha and Sergey Lipsky made their Disco Halal bow just over a year ago, serving up an EP that joined the dots between Persian mysticism and chugging contemporary disco. They're at it again here, though many will note that fine first track, "Too Much Fun At The Temple of Doom" is an altogether more up-tempo exploration of their Middle Eastern influences than we've come to expect. It's rather good, all told, and is given fine by the Arabic-Italo chug of "Dervish Euphoria" and the rubbery, Lebanese synth-pop-goes-acid-house goodness of closer "Exploding Toads Mystery", which may well be one of the song titles of the year.
Dedicated diggers may already know Krystal Davis's 1985 boogie sizzler "So Smooth", which has become a seriously in-demand record in recent times. Original released in the midst of New York's freestyle movement, Davis's original is loose, groovy, summery, synth-heavy and oh-so soulful. Here Glitterbox gives it the reissue treatment, accompanying the original vocal and instrumental versions with two fresh remixes. KON leads the charge with a rolling remix that feels more energetic and peak-time friendly, largely as a result of the producer putting extra emphasis on the killer bassline and his own house-friendly beats. Also worth checking is Yam Who's remix, which highlights the track's inherent breeziness by adding a dreamy new intro and pushing the original fluttering synth motifs to the fore.
There's not much information floating around about this debut single from Shogone Deep, though given the alias has been credited with remixing previous Faze Action singles we're guessing the Brothers Lee are involved. Opener "Groundwork" is a delicious slice of groovy dancefloor positivity that smothers a Midway style post-boogie/proto-house groove with oodles of smile-inducing piano solos and spiraling, life-affirming electronics. Feel good music for open-air parties, basically. "Silkworm" has a notably heavier vibe, with tougher beats, dirtier analogue bass and mind-altering, TB-303 style motifs that increase in intensity throughout. It lacks the rush-inducing qualities of "Groundwork" but is every bit as potent.
Given their respective profiles and reputations, you'd expect there to be plenty of takers for this studio hook-up between funk-fuelled Dutch veterans Kraak and Smaak and glossy LA nu-disco sort Luxxury. The original version - included at the end of the EP - feels like a more underground take on the floor-friendly, classic disco-pop sound cultivated by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams on "Get Lucky". Really, though, it's the remixes that take top billing, with fast-rising Aussie Dr Packer providing the headline rework. His take is chunkier and funkier, making much more use of delay effects, mind-altering cowbells and crunchy Clavinet lines. It sounds like a summer anthem in waiting. Elsewhere, there's a deep French Touch style revision from Bas Roos and a breezier, suitably swirling Balearic nu-disco interpretation by Vhyce.
Since parting company with longtime home Bpitch Control back in 2010, Sascha Funke has popped up on a variety of labels, including Kompakt, Endless Flight and Multi-Culti. The Berlin stalwart has used the opportunity to explore a variety of influences and sounds, delivering hypnotic, intoxicating and left-of-centre dancefloor cuts that tend towards the trippy and otherworldly. He's at it again on this first Hippie Dance outing, layering a crunchy electronic groove with mind-altering psychedelic noises, foreboding bass and fluttering South American flute lines on EP standout "Acatenango". Chugging opener "Aggravate" subtly doffs a cap towards new wave, EBM and the kind of throbbing wonkiness currently championed by Andrew Weatherall, while closer "Surumu" is a snappy electro roller blessed with rising bleep melodies, rumbling bass and glacial Kraftwerkian motifs.
Some 13 months after the label's last round-up of cuts from associated "Rotten Citizens", Rotten City Files serves up a third edition of its popular annual compilation series. There's loads of music to set the pulse racing throughout, from the opening slo-mo chug of Roe Deers' suitably psychedelic "Hunting" and the throbbing, strobe-friendly pulse of Thomass Jackson's exotic "Copcacabana's Magic", to the New Wave era, post-punk hum of D.Y.O.R's "Devil's Way" and the Weatherall-friendly dark room mysticism of 'Do You Know" by Skelesys. We're also rather enamoured by the reverberating, 4/4 electro/dub disco fusion of Marco Dionigi's "Listen To My Beat".
Throughout his career to date, Jozef K has been a serial collaborator, releasing a string of well-received EPs in cahoots with regular studio buddy Winter Son. It's notable then, that this first outing for Tensnake's True Romance label sees him on a solo mission. It's a rather fine EP, all told, with opener "Sunshine Music (featuring Lauraell)" brilliantly wrapping swirling, filtered instrumentation and drowsy vocal samples around a tough but atmospheric rhythm track laden in well-placed delay and reverb effects. Elsewhere, "Within My Soul" sees the producer brilliantly build energy via fizzing, effects-laden string stabs and jacking drum fills, "Paris NYC" is a fluttering deep house/French touch fusion and "You Should Have Said Goodbye" is a warm and hypnotic trip into classic U.S deep house territory.
Hans Peeman (Junktion) and Daniel Leseman's Outplay is strictly committed to spreading the gospel of deep house music and this sermon comes courtesy of the aforementioned, with a bit of help from Laurence Guy. He appears first with the title track, which samples a pretty breathtaking strings section mixed with a spangling Derrick May style synth melody which fades out and gives way to a pretty wicked arpeggio... and some cowbells; sold already? Next up is Junktion with "Breakfast At Midnight" an offering of deep and dusty late night disco that certainly takes its cues from KDJ, but that's totally fine by us. The Brame & Hamo remix is more dancefloor friendly, slo-mo deep house that fans of Genius of Time or MCDE will appreciate. Finally Leseman's "On My Mind" offers us another deep and dusty house gem that revels in its beautifully sombre Motor City vibes. Not bad for a guy from Utrecht!
Having ditched the familiar JP Soul alias, Roam Recordings founder Jason Peters pops up on New York label Wonder Stories with some spiraling and exotic, synthesizer-heavy dancefloor workouts. There are two original Peters productions to choose from: the Arabic-influenced intoxication of "De La Mode", where increasingly psychedelic motifs and Middle Eastern musical flourishes rise above an unfussy drum machine style groove, and the rush-inducing, synthesizer-heavy positivity of "Sun Kissed". This sees Peters brilliantly play around with bubbly, TB-303 style acid lines, pulsating electronics and some ecstatic synthesizer motifs. Both tracks are naturally given the remix treatment, with Maya Denon turning "De La Mode" into a stripped-back analogue throb-job and Pino brilliantly pitching down "Sun Kissed" for added glassy-eyed thrills.
Exclusives
CHUGGIN EDITS - Things Are Changin (Midnight Riot) - exclusive 18-06-2018
SHOGONE DEEP - Groundwork EP (FAR (Faze Action)) - exclusive 28-06-2018
SLEAZY MCQUEEN/VAGABUNDO CLUB SOCIAL/THE REJECTED/PONTCHARTRAIN - Disco Tropico (Whiskey Disco) - exclusive 18-06-2018
Exclusives
KRYSTAL DAVIS - So Smooth (Glitterbox Recordings)
DON CHRELLI - Caramel EP (Royal Athlete) - exclusive 18-06-2018
ED WIZARD/DISCO DOUBLE DEE - Top Chops (Editorial) - exclusive 01-01-2030
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