Reviewed this week
Just seeing the words 'Phenomenal Handclap Band' and 'Ray Mang' on the same release will be enough to get disco lovers' musical tastebuds tingling, and the results of this heavy-hitting hook-up - which rumour has it trails a new album - don't disappoint. Across four mixes (plus a Radio Edit) he variously pulls out the track's disco, gospel and house-y elements, with his Disco Mix the choice for straight-up disco floors, the Special Mix the pick for the Balearic crew and the Reprise the one for house clubs, with an Instrumental Mix also supplied to cater for anyone who finds the vox a little OTT.
In which no fewer than 24 rock and indie classics get reworked for the dancefloor. Admirably, the mysterious V avoids the temptation to simply whack a 4/4 kickdrum under everything - in fact, many of the cuts could better be described as remixes or reworkings rather than simple re-edits. Inevitably, some of the resulting concoctions work better than others - and which you think that applies to may depend on your views on the original source material - but if you're looking for a way to drag non-house/disco lovers onto the floor, this collection should serve you well.
Under the Lego Edit alias, Diego Lelli has a penchant for serving up expansive collections of tooled-up reworks that offer excellent value for money. He's at it again here, offering up 18 finger-lickin' "Chicken Edits" that are far more tasty and satisfying than your average 3am fast food takeaway. Naturally, the material on offer is largely peak-time focused, with highlights including the glassy-eyed, filter-heavy disco-house of "Paris By Night", the wiggling, Maceo Parker style funk fun of "Gnomo Gnomo (Lego Re-Funk)", the breezy Brazilian samba-disco bliss of "Latin Maria (Lego dub 5am)", the sweaty loop-house heaviness of "A (BraziLego Edit)" and the percussive, organ-heavy, jazz-wise stomp of "The Crickets (Lego Classic Edit)".
The Munich Machine is back! Following up an impressive run of his Reworks series on wax, the Audaz head honcho gets back to digital with some proper disco inferno that you've come to know and love from the man. Kicking off his new rip-roaring African Flow EP is the sexed-up title track, which edits some wicked Afro vibes complete with some Candido style conga drumming. The African vibes continue in the vein of the legendary Fela Kuti on the awesome "Odio Sem Valor" which reaches near spiritual moments, Zimbabwean Chimurenga music gets a resplice too on "Lion Of Zimbabwe" and prepare to hear the drummer get wicked on the sweltering "Kingston Town".
Though billed as a various artists compilation, this is essentially a career-spanning Faze Action 'best of' that also includes a handful of collaborations and contributions from their various side projects (Andromeda Orchestra, Rudy's Midnight Machine). And yes, it stretches all the way back to 'In The Trees'! Long-term fans will of course have much of the material featured here already, which makes the non-FA cuts even more welcome, but if you're just discovering the musical delights of the brothers Lee, then this collection is a great way to get better acquainted before delving into the full, extensive back catalogue...
It's been a great year for fast-rising nu-disco producer, remixer and re-editor Andy Buchan. Fresh from impressing via appearances on Spa In Disco, Masterworks Music and Hot Digits, Buchan pitches up on Midnight Riot with two of his strongest revisions to date. While "Same As It Ever Was" is close to his usual style - think rolling house style beats, swishy noises, rich deep house chords and tons of synthesizer-wielding nu-disco swagger - it's title track "The Big Do" that's really got us hot under the collar. For starters, it's propelled forwards by some seriously good slap bass, with hazy, soul-flecked vocal samples, slick Rhodes style chords, starry eectronics and no-nonsense beats only serving to enhance the glassy-eyed, loved-up mood. Like much of Buchan's output, it has all the right ingredients.
Fresh from delivering a tidy two-track missive on Rare Wiri, Tonbe returns to his spiritual home, Disco Fruit, with a suitably epic collection of fresh re-edits and reworks. It's a typically rock solid selection of tried-and-tested revisions, with the Serbian producer offering up a mixture of head-nodding, toe-tapping slo-mo grooves (see the slowly strutting disco-funk of "It's My Time" and "That Sample", not to mention the low-slung dub disco of "The Sun Goes Down" and Moog-laden shuffle of closing cut "Take Off Everything") and sweatier peak-time workouts. The latter are naturally in the majority, with highlights including the early Daft Punk style madness of "Brooka Bass", the rich electrofunk-goes-disco house flex of "Life Goes On" and the hot-stepping, jazz-powered goodness of "Something Brewing".
Although there's always been some subtle variety within Innervisions' output, Dixon and Ame's imprint has become known for a particular type of grandiose, tech-tinged house. Props to them, then, for releasing this EP of arpeggio-driven, 1980s style Italo-disco created by contemporary Italian producers. Muscemi and Phunkadelica kick things off, first layering exotic Middle Eastern synthesizer melodies over druggy arpeggio lines on "Babilonia", before slowing the tempo a little via the ghostly tunefulness, robotic vocals and chugging bottom-end of "Velluto Blue". Stereocalypse then takes over, serving up two more killer cuts: the long, bold chords, slap bass and rush-inducing melodies of "Lone Solo Drummer", and the Rimini '84 pomp of the arguably superior "The Cunning Man".
If this sounds like the work of NYC disco band Escort, there's a very good reason - both the producer, Jason "JKriv" Kriveloff, and guest vocalist, Adeline, were once members. The good news is that "Vertigo" is every bit as good as Escort's finest moments (think "Starlight", "Love in Indigo", "A Bright New Life" etc.), with Adeline providing a stellar vocal atop Kriveloff's killer bassline, pianos, strings and Nile Rodgers style guitars. The accompanying "Dub" rework is naturally a little heavier and more arpeggio-driven, with Kriveloff making great use of carefully placed dub delays and cosmic noises.
It's disco, Jim, but not as we know it. On his two original cuts here, 'Ascension' itself and 'Vendetta', Andrem - whose previous work has graced Roam, Nein and other labels - blends disco and progressive house/melodic techno influences in a way you'd never think was even possible, with 'Ascension' an uptempo, peaktime-friendly affair and 'Vendetta' more of a druggy, slo-mo chugger. 'Ascension' re-rubs from Rigopolar and DaWad emphasise the track's electronic elements, with DaWad also introducing a hint of Eastern flava, while Teniente Castillo gives 'Vendetta' a space rock twist and Roe Deers take it towards Orb-ish territory.
Midnight Riot's latest label debut comes from Alex Zuiev, a floor-focused producer and re-editor who has previously released music on FKR, Cherry Cola, Whiskey Disco and Editorial. There's naturally much to enjoy here, from the throbbing, Moroder style arpeggio lines and camp orchestration of title track "Moon Dream", to the sparkling Italo-disco revivalism - think screaming space synths, clipped Chic style guitars, crunchy Clavinet lines and mazy organ solos - of standout "Soul Train". The fun doesn't stop there, though; both the delay-laden, 60s soul-plus-synths vibe of "Don't See" and baggy disco-funk roller "Nobody Can Stop You" are tried and tested treats.
By his dizzyingly prolific standards, KS French has been eerily quiet of late. In fact, "Kate Edits" is the Gallic producer's first release for some six months, following several years spent serving up a new EP almost every month. Perhaps the break has done him some good, because all three tracks are amongst his strongest outings for some time. Opener "You're The One", for example, brilliantly alternates between glassy-eyed mid-tempo disco goodness and loopier sections seemingly influenced by the classic edits of Mark E and the Revenge, while "Le Good Time" is a drowsy chunk of filter-sporting deep house that makes expert use of dub delays and loved-up disco samples. "Heaven", meanwhile, is an emotion-rich rework of what sounds like a Barry White classic.
Three tracks of squelchy, synthy nu-disco from the Ukrainian duo here. 'Heatwave Affair' does its thing atop an unusual soundbed of bubbling aquatic sounds (or possibly chirupping insects, it's hard to tell), while Spain's Jesu Aparicio, AKA Parissior, delivers a smoothed-out deep house rub that makes good use of some synth stabs beamed straight in from the 80s boogie era and even finds room for some harmonica action, all underpinned by a seriously phat, rump-shaking b-line. Arguably the standout, though, is the gloriously slo-mo synth-funk of the curiously titled 'Moving To 70Ass', which rocks a killer organ line.
If the tongue-in-cheek press release accompanying last year's first Apparel Music release is anything to go by, Apparel Wax is a "vinyl-faced artist" who "tears dancefloors apart". There's certainly no denying the club-ready status of his or her output. For proof, check the artist's fifth release, which begins with a wonderfully celebratory chunk of breezy, sunshine-ready disco which has been slightly pitched up up satisfy the demands of house-loving dancefloors. "005A2" sees our vinyl-faced hero make merry with a chiming chunk of '80s soul rich in slap bass and sweeping strings, while "005B1" is a bouncy, piano-heavy workout crafted from bits of another '80s workout. Closing cut "005B2", on the other hand, is a fairly "straight" edit rich in sweaty drums, jammed-out electric piano solos and bustling bass guitar.
Saint Petersburg scene stalwart Sunner Soul once again opens up the vaults of his Vintage Music imprint and serves up a selection of solid summery grooves, soul-flecked grooves, disco-charged jams and intoxicating, floor-friendly re-rubs. The bulk of the material comes from the man himself, with highlights including the breezy, horn-toting sunshine funk warmth of "Rescue of Time", the starry jazz-funk synths and rubbery house grooves of "Swindle Mode" and the loopy, synth-laden boogie-house bump of "Music Freak". Elsewhere, Lolita Kox's "I Think I Love You" is a deliciously beefed-up and celebratory rework of a stone cold disco classic and Scruscru's "Burevestnik" is a deliciously swinging, full-throttle take on a jazzy disco-funk obscurity.
Since donning the Jem Stone alias a few years back, former Soul of Man member and Finger Lickin' Records co-fouder Jem Panufnik has delighted at showcasing his musical dexterity. Having previously touched on everything from hazy house, Balearica, funk and dusty downtempo beats, "Black Magic" sees him exploring the world of mind-altering nu-disco. Of course, echoes of his breakbeat-driven past are plentiful on the EP opening "Extended Mix", where scratchy hip-hop samples and punchy horn stabs charge in and out of a low-slung disco-funk groove. The accompanying "Dub Mix" is rather tasty, too, with Panufnik wisely giving greater prominence to the restless bassline, funk-fuelled lead line and trippy, head-mangling special effects.
Wolverhampton nu-disco producer and guitarist Ian Sanford is known for his work as Slync, but here he dons a new guise, Dark Horse Disco, with his debut release under that name comprising four tracks. 'Hold On' is an instrumental number that blends funk, disco and AOR/yacht rock influences. 'Wait For You' has barely-there, multi-tracked female vocals, a twisting funk bassline and just a hint, perhaps, of early Prince, while 'Understated' itself has a lounge-y feel, space disco flourishes and a cheeky bite from The Whispers by way of a vocal, with a slightly more laidback remix by Dave Allison completing the package.
It's been a good year for Austrian scene stalwart Mannix Kling, who has supplemented his original deep and soulful house productions with disco-focused outings on Alpaca Edits. Here he invites us to "Dance All Night" via a three-track label debut for Midnight Riot. Our pick of the bunch is probably the title track, a loose and rolling, delay-laden disco-house affair that sees him build energy and impact via some serious filter trickery before unleashing sections from a bouncy, heavily orchestrated 1970s disco original. That said, many will gravitate towards the high-octane thrills of stomping, over-the-top disco-house smasher "True" (seemingly a version of a blue eyed soul/AOR disco number), while "Disco In The Sun" is another wonderfully camp, shirts-off number tailor made for beach-side parties and subterranean sweatboxes.
If you're after some unabashedly retro disco and disco-house thrills, this latest comp from French label Springbok will serve you nicely. With 15 tracks there's no room to detail them all, but to pick some highlights, Tommy Glasses' 'Your Love' channels 80s garage, label boss Stephane Deschezeaux's 'Jump!' harks back to French touch of the late 90s and samples a famous Stacy Lattislaw vocal while it's at it, Saskin S makes similarly free with Randy Crawford on 'Streets', Alan Junior ploughs a deeper furrough on the jazz-funk inspired 'Groove Me', and JB Boogie's 'Woodoo Lady' is a proper brass-parpin' funk fest that sounds 40 years out of date, but in the best way possible.
Last year, Sweetooth sorts Paul Whitey and Sarah Lazenby pitched up on ISM with "Disco Fantasy", a glorious disco-boogie workout that lit up many nu-disco dancefloors. 14 months on they return to the label, this time in cahoots with Masterworks Music, Midnight Riot and Thunder Jam regular Kellini. In its original form, "Music In U" is a breezy chunk of sun-kissed disco revivalism, with Lazenby providing a strong, sing-along vocal over a fantastic backing track rich in warm bass, colourful synthesizer lines and densely layered percussion hits. Jarle B provides the first revision, pitching down the tempo and opting for a Balearic nu-disco vibe, before the Crystal Touch Remix brilliantly re-casts the track as a synth-heavy chunk of 1980s NYC freestyle/electrofunk fusion.
Exclusives
ALEX ZUIEV - Moon Dream (Midnight Riot) - exclusive 15-10-2018
SWEETOOTH - Vicious (Situationism)
DARK HORSE DISCO - Understand (Clandestine Boogie) - exclusive 15-11-2018
Exclusives
DEE-BUNK - Peace, Love & Gratitude (Thunder Jam) - exclusive 31-12-2030
SIRS - Disco Is Life & Death EP (Sirsounds)
VARIOUS - Disco Heaven (Tasty Recordings)
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