Review: Unlike many of its rivals, Fingerman's Hot Digits label doesn't fill its' obligatory annual compilation with back catalogue cuts. Instead, we're offered a vast number of previously unheard re-edits, remixes and original productions. It's a successful blueprint and one religiously adhered to on Hot Digits: Year Seven, the popular imprint's latest must-check collection. There's not enough room to single out every sonic highlight, but our current favourites include the breezy boogie squelch of Ross Fitz's 'I Miss Your Love ('85 Mix)', the driving deep house haziness of Fingerman and Henri Le Blanc's 'Leave Your Cares Tonight', the neo-trance cheeriness of Picklejam's 'Endorphin Situation' and the stab-happy, peak-time house retro-futurism of 'The Feeling' by Downunder Disco.
Review: After releases by DoctorSoul, Dave Mathmos and Vibes4YourSoul, Berlin-based Too Slow To Disco are back with number six in their edits series. This one comes courtesy of Los Angeles nu-disco wizard Blake Robin aka LUXXURY, who has built up a solid reputation via his method of using the multi-tracks of classic hits to create dubby/slow-mo versions of classics. On TSTD06, we have "Hello My Love" which is a loved-up and low slung slow burner that's worthy tackle for the late night, followed by the romantic '70s swagger of a well known AOR classic on "Baby Please Don't Go (Oooh No)".
Review: The titles here might suggest a re-edits EP but rest assured the five tracks ARE actually original, albeit sample-based, productions. 'Step Off The Train', for instance, does indeed bite EBTG's 'Missing' as you'd expect, but simply takes a two-line vocal snip and loops it up over a slo-mo grinder that sits right on the deep house/nu-disco cusp, while 'Oops Upside' is another house/disco fusion that draws not on The Gap Band but on a female-sung cover thereof. So let's not worry about sources and inspirations and just say these are five classy midtempo groovers that'll suit more discerning nu-disco floors down to the ground.
Review: This suite of reworks of SunPalace's much-admired early '80s jazz-funk obscurity 'Rude Movements' may well be the biggest remix package we've ever seen, thoagh it should be noted that many of the reworks are available in short and extended takes. Either way, there's much to enjoy, from the warming, solo-laden deep house brilliance of Moodymann's revisions and the sparkling, kaleidoscopic Opolopo takes (proper dancefloor jazz-funk for house-heads), to the 11-minute, synth-heavy bliss of Francois K's SATS Dub Extended Version and the sun-drenched Latin house of Frankie Feliciano's delicious rework. Elsewhere, the 'Atmosphere' mix is a starry ambient delight and Kenny Dope's various revisions boast the toughest, bounciest percussion programming.
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.
Instant Funk - "I Got My Mind Made Up" (Alan Dixon remix) - (8:42) 115 BPM
First Choice - "Let No Man Put Asunder" (Alan Dixon DJ Tool) - (5:16) 122 BPM
Review: Glitterbox regular Alan Dixon brings us his take on five Salsoul classics, but rest assured these are no shoddy "whack a 4/4 kick under it" bootlegs - Dixon was given full access to the original multi-tracks for this project. Even so, it's a brave man or woman indeed who looks at the Salsoul catalogue and thinks "I could improve on that," so he's wisely avoided doing anything too radical or adding any extraneous elements of his own, instead simply teasing out the tracks' most familiar hooks and giving them a structural make-over, rendering them easier to programme in contemporary house and disco sets. Classy stuff.
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: For their latest trick, Razor-N-Tape Reserve has decided to breathe new life into 'Agua', one of the standout cuts from Brazilian band Baianasystem's chronically overlooked 2018 album O Futura Nao Demora. Freerange main man Jimpster delivers two wonderfully breezy and life affirming reworks: a fully-formed remix that wraps Antonio Carlos' vocal and splashes of the original's samba-soaked instrumentation (jazz guitars, warming horns, vintage synth sounds and so on) around a tactile deep house groove, and a deeper, dreamier and especially groovy Dub. After that Diego Strausz and JKriv take over, first re-framing the track as an extra-percussive chuck of acid-speckled nu-disco (their remix), before brilliantly stripping back the cut on their disco instrumental style Dub mix.
Review: At one end of the re-edit spectrum, you get 80s pop hits with a 4/4 kick shoved underneath; at the other, are fine collections that see a 21st Century makeover being given to the kind of ultra-obscure killers you only discover through years of obsessive digging. File this one firmly in the latter camp: the only source we can identify is Harlem Underground's barrio funk fave 'Smoking Cheeba Cheeba' from 1976, but whether you like it jazzy and replete with brushed snares and tinkling ivories ('Welcome...'), gangster-lean ('Cheeba Cheeba') or sunny and tropical ('Agosto D'Amor'), Lego Edit has you covered.
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: St Albans-based Hansi serves up four more covers on this latest addition to the long-running 'Funky Grooves' series on his own Viking Grooves. 'Changes' gets the ball rolling, rendering Black Sabbath's classic heartbreak ballad in a tortured, southern soul style - it's almost like Otis's revenge for the Black Crowes! The other choices of cover on the EP are perhaps less surprising - Timmy Thomas's 'Why Can't We Live Together', Run DMC's 'Peter Piper' and The Jimmy Castor Bunch's 'It's Just Begun' - but in all cases Hansi puts his own distinctive spin on the original, making for an EP with more than its fair share of attention-grabbers.
Review: Almost 12 months after the vinyl version hit stores, the second volume in Jim Baron AKA Ron Basejam's Ron's Reworks series finally lands on digital download. The real killer here is 'Your Brain On Music', a slightly beefed-up and tooled up version of an Italo-disco-era chugger rich in driving bass, spacey synthesizer lines, proto-acid sounds and almost symphonic electronic chords. Elsewhere, 'Be Bizarre' is a tight, mostly instrumental revision of an electrofunk era big studio rock number - all squelchy synth bass, glistening guitar riffs and heavily edited, effects-laden drum machine beats - while 'Call Me' is a fine scalpel edit of a sparkling boogie jam. If high-grade, club-ready re-edits are your thing, you need this EP in your life.
Review: irst released on vinyl three years ago and now finally available on digital download, this must-check EP showcases a quartet of killer re-rubs of back catalogue tracks by L.A-based Afro-Latin funk fusionists Jungle Fair. The headline attraction is undoubtedly a pair of reworks by Ashley Beedle and Rob Mello's reborn Black Science Orchestra project - their first revisions for over 15 years. They first serve up a wonderfully percussive, analogue bass-propelled deep Afro-house remix of 2014 cut 'Culebro', before reaching for the delays and delivering an arguably even better dancefloor 'Dub'. You'll also find JKriv re-imagining 2013 single 'Firewalker' as a bumpin' chunk of horn-heavy dub disco, and a cracking Latin disco take on 'Village Hustle' courtesy of Bosq.
Review: They might hail from Israel, but much of Rabo & Snob's music is not influenced by Middle Eastern musical culture, but rather the rhythms, vocals and instrumentation of the African continent. The pair continue this approach on their first Razor 'N' Tape outing, with opener 'Yom Yom' cannily combining squelchy synth bass, fizzing electronics and slick Afro-synth drums with Ghanaian vocals and distinctively West African melodic phrasing. Later in the EP you'll also find a more hypnotic, percussion-rich Dub Mix of the same track that's also well worth checking. Elsewhere, 'Have You Seen My Lady' is darker and sleazier, with low-slung bass, creepy chords and warehouse-ready stabs, while the similarly weighty and locked-in 'Adjinu' makes great use of Acid Arab style electronics and a very 'LFO'-esque analogue bassline.
Review: French label Citizens of Vice welcomes the Canary Islands' very own Sauco to the mix with the Sun Goddess EP featuring sleeper hit "Sun Goddess". With the lead track tripping out on flamenco-like guitars, looped disco-machine grooves and balearic synth, it undergoes a funk and ballroom workout in Lanowa's worthy remix. With Rayko dubbing out the guitars, tuning his synths and pumping up the Roland in his Italo-inspired version of "Soulstice", it's the undeniable vamp, build and crescendo of the original within it mega groove that does the trick on us here.
Review: Given his credentials and track record, it's unsurprising that original disco and boogie artists are willing to let Joey Negro play around with their biggest hits. His first stab at this kind of multi-track remix, 2014's Remixed With Love, was such a success that he's decided to unleash another swathe of revisions over two vinyl double-packs. This edition features some killer reworks, including a sublime, on-point rearrangement of Gwen McRae's "Keep The Fire Burning" and a rolling, dubbed-out version of Grace Jones' "Pull Up To The Bumper" that rivals Larry Levan's classic remix. The veteran producer also successfully turns Pockets' "Come Go With Me" into a classic soulful house rub, and pushes Thelma Houston's "I'm Here Again" further towards disco anthem territory.
Review: Almost three years after it first appeared on wax, Juan Maclean's Razor 'N' Tape Reserve debut has finally landed on digital download. It's an excellent collection of club-focused, often sample-heavy cuts, no doubt drawn from his personal stash of cuts created for his DJ sets. There's plenty to set the pulse racing from start to finish. Check first the percussive pump of peak-time disco loop-jam 'Fine Time', before getting your ears around the classic boogie-meets-NYC house fusion of 'Don't Stop For Nothing', which offers sly nods towards a number of classic cuts including Toney Lee's 'Reach Up'. Elsewhere, 'Everybody Clap' is a dustier, looser and hazier deep house excursion, while 'Panic In Fort Greene Park' sees MacLean smother a trippy and hypnotic groove in spacey motifs and acid-style electronics.
Review: Rayko returns to his own Rare Wiri imprint with a four-track EP that finds him spreading his musical wings a little wider than usual. The title track here is a dark n' moody electronic chugger that marries space disco stabs to ominous guitar chords, and that'd work well for warm-up or very late play. The EP's other three cuts look to the 80s for inspiration, with echoes of Germanic coldwave and EBM ('Electro Impact'), US no-wave/disco-not-disco ('Beach Culture') and out-and-out Italo-disco ('Needing Love'). Roll up the sleeves of your linen sport coat, dab some wet-look gel on your feathercut mullet and dive on in...
Review: Javi Frias's Madrid-based house and disco label Night Shift bring us a re-edits EP from San Diego's Alberto de Santiago, AKA Never Dull - and it has to be said he's dug admirably deep for inspiration, because we can only identify the source material for two of the four tracks on offer. The vocoder-sporting 'Whatever U Want' draws on Lace's 'Can't Play Around', a Paradise Garage staple from 1982, while 'Give A Little' is a rework of Peaches & Herb's 1980 roller disco anthem 'Funtime'. 'Cool Love' and 'Want My Love' have us beat, but expect similarly lavish, soulful disco/boogie stylings
Review: Amsterdam dwelling editor par excellence Em Vee took the solo reigns on the inaugural Lumberjacks In Hell - and truly excelled with a great reimagination of "Miss You". The second release on the label sees the German share duties with Spanish edit demon Rayko. First up is an expert rearrangement of Candi Staton's cover of the Bee Gee's standard "Nights On Broadway" which strips the track of its orchestral leanings to focus on the groove! Following this is a meaty take on a classic, with Barbara Keith's cover of "All Along The Watchtower" reinforced with some bottom end bump. Em Vee spreads a special disco version of Alma Lee's late 70s Philly delight "Gimme Your Love" with an extended intro that fully displays his edit talents.
Review: What we have here is only the third release from Bonfido Disques, a Greek label that launched last year and whose speciality is disco and funk with strong influences from African and other global musics. This EP is no exception: Panama Cardoon's 'Marisa', for instance, has a lot more in common with hi-life, or with Alpha Blondy's distinctive west African reggae style, than it does with Chic, The O'Jays or GQ. The other three cuts are a bit more obviously "disco" but the Afro influences are still firmly in evidence, making this one for those who dig polyrhythmic percussion and sing-song vocals.
Review: By the sounds of his latest single for Running Back - his fifth in total - Krystal Klear has spent much of the last 12 months dreaming about DJing at Adriatic beach parties and open-air outdoor raves. 'Piano Banana' is as positive and rushing as they come, with the EP-leading 'Long Version' delivering an ear-catching, mood-enhancing mix of vibrant, Italo-style synthesizer motifs, arpeggio-driven bass, tough-but-groovy drums and the kind of hands-in-the-air piano riffs that were once a common feature of Italian house records. The alternative mixes are really rather good too, with two drum-focused DJ tools (the edit-heavy, sweat-soaked 'Bonus Bananas' and the pitched-down, sunset-ready 'Beach Beats') being joined by a relaxed, loved-up, dream house-influenced '1990s Mix' and a chiming, immersive, new age-inspired 'Banambient Mix'. Ace!
Review: Michael The Lion and Amy Douglas' self-titled EP on Soul Clap was arguably one of the best disco-focused releases of 2020, so hopes are naturally high for this remixed version. To kick things off, Jamie 3:26 and Danou P get to work on 'James is the Message', combining sturdy but loose drum machine beats with glorious disco instrumentation and a killer bassline, before Crazy P's Jim Baron dons his Ron Basejam guise to turn 'Willing' into a mid-tempo, jazz-funk influenced disco shuffler. Best of all though are the Patchouli Brothers reworks of 'Find a Way', where Steven Klavier joins Douglas on vocals. The Canadian duo re-imagine the cut as a synth-heavy fusion of nu-disco, proto-house and gospel, in the process delivering a sure-fire dancefloor anthem for summer 2021.
Review: When it comes to blending classic disco and bumpin' peak-time house, few can match Joey Negro - a man who has been offering up disco-fied house jams since the early '90s. There are naturally plenty of his own tracks and remixes on "Put Some Disco In The House", an expansive collection of quality disco-house moments, with highlights including the rolling disco-boogie heat of "Put The Music On It (Original Disco Mix)", the chunky, walking bass-propelled "Dancing Into The Stars" (with Horse Meat Disco and Angela Johnson) and a slamming rework of Sessomato's jazz-funk flavoured "Moody". There's plenty of heat to be found elsewhere, too, with standouts including JKriv and Adeline's "Vertigo", Opolopo's boogie-tinged revision of Sylvester classic "I Need You" and the spiraling disco pump of Yam Who and Jaegerossa's "Grateful".
Review: This year, Fred Everything has been busy revisiting tracks from his back catalogue. The latest cut to get the revisionist treatment is 'Barbarella', a gorgeously intergalactic fusion of deep house and squelchy nu-disco that first featured on his 2018 album Long Way Home. The headline-grabbing revision comes courtesy of Parisian legend I:Cube, who reinvents the track as a sleazy, spaced-out chunk of metronomic synth-pop/space disco fusion with added acid bass and lashings of starry-eyed synths. Fred Everything provides two 'Slow Down' versions, both of which shuffle along at 89 BPM. The main mix is a street soul tempo wide-eyed shuffler, while the 'ReDub' is a sparse, analogue bass-propelled late-night treat full of echoing beats and sharp, mind-mangling acid lines.
Review: In just a few short years, Argentinian producer Alexny has racked up releases on some of the most respected disco and house labels in the game, from King Street to Moiss Music, Furious Mandrill and Spa In Disco. Now you can add UK stable Slightly Transformed to that ever-growing list, as he steps up with a supremely checkable five-tracker that ranges from the discofied deep house of 'If You Missed The Groove', via the authentically 70s-sounding mirrorball vibes of 'When You Need Me', to the rawer funk strut of 'The Funkeenator', 'The Monkey Do' and 'The Trumpeter'.
Review: For the latest volume in Planet E's long-running Detroit Love compilation, label boss Carl Craig has handed over to DJ Holographic (real name Ariel Corley), a rising star of the Motor City scene. It's a hugely entertaining collection told, with Corley doing her best to showcase artists on the up - from both Detroit and elsewhere - as well as established stars of the underground. Musically, it's as diverse and mixed-up as you'd expect, kicking off with revivalist Afrobeat (Underground System), slick deep house (Pontchartrain with Javontte) and revivalist '80s soul (Shri Schwartz), before taking in everything from broken house and nu-disco, to sci-fi techno, sleazy warehouse jams, sleazy acid, percussion-rich Latin house and much more besides.
Review: Perhaps best known for his contributions to the long-running 'Katakana Edits' series, DJ Laurel comes to Spain's Rare Wiri with three very classy disco/boogie re-edits here. First to get the treatment is 'Am I Gonna Be The One', a 1983 cut by Colors, the original of which was a Shep Pettibone production. That's followed by another 1983 gem, 'Sweepin' Off' by High Resolution, AKA Italian producer Stefano Gelante. The source material for closer 'Weak For You' remains unidentified, but you get the general idea! If you like your dancefloor grooves on the smooth 'n' sultry side, you'll dig this EP for sure.
Review: The honour of curating the 44th instalment of Katakana's Edits series has fallen on Disco Funk Spinner, a much respected re-edit guy whose work has appeared on the likes of Midnight Riot, Disco Fruit and Sound Exhibitions. Here though he only manages to provide two jams, but it's quality, not quantity, right? First up we get "Night Strangers" which takes loops from Candi Staton's Bee Gees cover (Nights On Broadway) and adds an accelerated disco house tempo and subtle but funky embellishments. On the digital flip is "On Fire", a clever rework of Peggy Lee's indestructible classic, Fever. Hot stuff!
Review: Lately Leeds' Deelicious has seen his loose and groovy tunes grace the likes of Sound Exhibitions and Disco Fruit. Here he rolls out five sizzling new bangers. The urgent slice of socially conscious funk, "Lonely Town Lonely Street", kicks things off, "Trust Me" incorporates housier filtered loops into the mix and the title track is celebratory slice of disco-pop with some ace bloc-rocking breaks and punk-funk bass work. Elsewhere we enter orbit with the melodramatic sci-fi boogie of "Mechanical Body" and "Change Your Mind" is an amazing example of early underground dance music reconfigured by a 21st century perspective.
Review: Editorial are here once again to serve up some of that sweet disco goodness with their 4 track release, Body Music. 'Slo Fusion' combines jazz-funk and boogie influences, then tops the lot with a Stingily-esque falsetto vocal, 'Aruban Nights' is a laidback n' lounge-y sunshine groove, 'Summer Love' is a sultry, sexy female-vocalled affair with more of a late 70s feel, while completing the package is 'Spirit Power', which is more uptempo and nudges closer to nu-jazz/bruk beat territory.
Review: St Petersburg's Alexander Chebankov, better known as Sunner Soul, returns with an EP on his own Vintage Music label that packs in five lively, authentically late 70s-sounding disco jams. 'I Can Feel It' gets the ball rolling, centring around a funk bass loop that's augmented by crowd noise and snatches of sampled dialogue. The title track is a more smooth-rollin' affair with warm, lounge-y keys front and centre and 'Secret Agent' has a kitschy, almost Deee-Lite-ish feel, before we're played out by a brace of near-instrumental summer groovers, 'Got 2 B U' and 'Super Ice Cream'.
Review: Next up on Prins Thomas' esteemed Internasjonal imprint is Australian producer Temple, the alias of Adelaide-based Ben Smith. The Love Machine EP features four juicy tracks skillfully written and performed in his hardware packed studio, and further enhanced and balanced by Prins Thomas at Full Pupp HQ in Norway. The title track comes in two parts, the first having a slo-mo, sensual boogie-down vibe for the late night, followed by an upbeat Italo influenced second part. There's also the woozy balearica of "Preview" featuring some super sultry saxophone and ending with the psychedelic nu-disco shenanigans of "Xanga".
Review: Hit makers Rodgers and Edwards' mammothly influential Chic songs enjoy one of the finest curatorial salutes from UK disco's most discerning torch-bearer/creator Dave Lee. Digging deep into his vaults and unearthing some of the best homages, references and blatant covers, Negro join the dots and delivers some rarities you may have never heard before. Get lost in the music of She's shiny guitar strumming "Easy Money", freak out to Charanga 76's "Good Times" and get lucky with Van Jones's "Not About That"... Everyone knows about the hits and influence, most of us know how important a role Chic played in sample culture but Negro has gone the extra mile to celebrate some of the lesser known references Chic have had over the years. Freaking great.
Review: For his latest trick, spoonerism-loving rework maestro V (AKA sometime funk-breaks producer Valique) has decided to offer up a second selection of "Neo Blues" scalpel works. He begins by delivering a chunky, rolling revision of Ann Feebles' rock-tinged gospel-funk classic "Beware", before chugging his way through a pitched-down revision of a weighty T-Rex glam-rock classic ("Jewelry"). This is followed by EP highlight "Holis", an inspired - and suitably epic - "Afro-blues" revision of one of Nina Simone's greatest moments, and the low-slung voodoo-house hypnotism of "Mississippi Lullalby (V's Rendition)". To finish with a. flourish, the Vehicle main man then adds some elastic new drums to Otis Redding's version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".