Review: Fresh from a fine solo EP on LYAM and a split release with Nephews on Ravenelli Disco Club, Retromigration appears in wewillalwaysbealovesong for the very first time. Predictably, it sees the Dutch producer continue his hot streak of form via two undeniably tasty cuts: the hypnotic, rolling, woozy and subtly soul-flecked late-night deep house gorgeousness of 'Secret of a Pimp' and the jauntier, jazz-funk-flecked peak-time bump of 'Flying Lotus', where jammed out electric piano solos, hip-hop vocal samples and organic instrumentation catch the ear. That track is turned into a dubbed-out, slow-motion Balearic house-goes-Beatdown treat by remixer Franc Spangler, while Freerange records co-founder Jimpster provides a slicker, more polished and defiantly bass-heavy deep house tweak of 'Secret of a Pimp'.
Review: Valique's V's Edits reworks have long been some of the most popular re-edits on this platform, with DJs responding not only to their floor-friendly nature but also the wide range of sounds and styles he turns his hand to. So, what's on offer this time around? Well, for starters Yellow Blues is raising money for victims of the war in Ukraine, a country to which Valique has family ties. As usual, it's a mixed bag of goodness, with highlights including a squelchy, TB0-303 speckled take on a Johnny Cash classic, the chugging nu-disco/swamp blues fusion of 'Was It Worth It?', a fine revision of Rodrigues classic 'You Can't Get Away', a housed-up tweak of an old Doors gem ('Learn To Forget') and a toe-tapping, club-ready revision of Kenny Rogers' sing-along 'Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Conidtion is In)'.
Review: Since joining Permanent Vacation in 2019, Yor Kultura has delivered a trio of EPs that put a new spin on tribal house and atmospheric techno. Here, the trio's work gets remixed for the first time since 2018. Rebedello steps up first and delivers a typically moody, loose-limbed, slowly building version of 'Shimming' rich in live-sounding drums, foreboding chords, sharp electronics and dystopian new wave riffs. DJ Ground handles 'The Hunting', layering sun-bright, rising and falling synthesizer melodies atop a restless bassline and lo-fi drum machine beats, before Yor Kultura re-imagine 'Today' as a fuzzy, stropped back, chugging tribal number complete with bursts of melody, panicked riffs and delay-laden vocal snippets.
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: Amazingly, it's 25 years since George 'E.A.S.E' Evelyn and then production partner Kevin 'Boy Wonder' Harper sat down and recorded "Dextrous", their monstrous, bleep-era classic on Warp. A quarter of a century later, Evelyn is still going strong, though the grooves have mellowed a lot in that time. Here, Warp celebrate the producer's epic career with a much-deserved retrospective. All the familiar favourites are present, from the rush-inducing thrill of early dancefloor smashers "I'm For Real" and "Aftermath", to the sinewy downtempo goodness of the decidedly Balearic "Les Nuits", the blazed hip-hop dub of "195 Llbs" and stoner soul of "70s 80s". This version also includes a number of exclusive remixes, with names like JD Twitch, Special Request, LFO, Morgan Geist and Loco Dice putting their own spin on this classic material.
Review: Kenneth Bager's Music For Dreams brings in the summer season perfectly with this debut LP from Ibiza stalwarts DJ Pippi & Willie Graff. As the Danish imprint' best stated themselves, the duo have had 'a long and fruitful relationship with the White Isle' and this splendid 12-track affair wonderfully showcases the many facets of the Balearic sound. The slo-mo seduction of "Piel A Piel" featuring Jacob Gurevitsch and vocalist Charlotte Caluwaerts opens the album on a perfect note, with other highlights including the sultry mood music of "Art Of Sax", the flamenco-inflected sunset soundtrack of "Volver" (feat Paco Fernandez) and the emotive deep house closer "Suenos" - a tribute to the late, great island favourite Jose Padilla.
Review: On his first album for over a decade, Ron Trent has chosen to showcase his undoubted skills as a producer and musician, offering up a collaboration-heavy set that pairs his usual warming electronics and hand percussion with band-style instrumentation (bass, drums, guitars, piano and more) and immersive, atmospheric vibe. The album was inspired by electronic/acoustic fusions of the early '80s and designed for home listening, so what you get is an inspired set of luscious downtempo cuts made in cahoots with the likes of Lars Barktkuhn, ambient hero Gigi Masin, legendary violinist Jean-Luc Ponty (on the incredible 'Sphere') and Alex Malheiros and Ivan Conti of Azymuth. As you'd expect given his track record over the last 30 years, it's a wonderfully produced and brilliantly executed album - one of Trent's strongest releases to date.
Review: Chalk up two 'Katakaka Edits' outings on the bounce for El Paso, as hot on the heels of the soul-flavoured '115', released just a fortnight ago, he brings us four re-edits that look to vintage Latin music, and particularly 60s boogaloo, for inspiration. Leading the charge for this reviewer is 'Spanish Butterfly', which pairs the lead male vocal with melodic female BVs to die for. Elsewhere, pianos and trumpets take centre stage on 'Nuevo Boogaloo' and sparkling vibes/marimba (?) augment the sunny 'Brother & Sisters', before 'Supimos Callarnos' plays us out in far more laidback, lounge-y, almost melancholic style.
Review: On release number two, Neapolis Records has turned to One Half of Bent - more specifically, Simon Mills, who has generally released less solo material than his long-serving studio partner Niall Tolliday. The vibe here is summery, sun-soaked and gently Brazilian influenced, with Mills delivering a trio of cuts set to soundtrack hazy afternoons at festivals and Mediterranean and Adriatic sunsets. Check first opener 'Akanaya', a warming fusion of dub disco, samba and morning-fresh downtempo goodness rich in Latin percussion, sprightly piano riffs, deep bass and fluttering flute solos. 'Nightwalking' sees Mills opt for a more chugging, nu-disco meets lounge sound (albeit with his usual twinkling melodies and luscious chords), while 'Duerme' makes merry with a sampled Brazilian vocal, rubbery synth bass, gorgeous instrumentation and tons of deep house warmth.
Review: Yo-yo-yo Manuel Tur back in the house with Rhythm Trainx Vol 3, another ghetto-blastin' compilation of bad-ass US style drum trax, rhythm sections and groove hopping beats. Handily organised by BPM, each number's given speed goes some distance it suggesting where each track is at; beit footworking vibes of "150.62 Bpm" to the heavier, slightly tribal and slower-mo disco-electro grooves of "115 Bpm", "100.5 Bpm" and "110 Bpm". Get your jungle associated house kicks and epic sample vamps outta "126 Bpm" next to some abstract dancefloor wares in "130 Bpm" and "124 Bpm", alongside old school Chicago jack in "125.5 Bpm" to heavy warehouse sessions in "123 Bpm". Everything you could want ranging from 100 to 150 Bpm!
Review: Having sold out on vinyl at the tail end of 2016, it's heartening to see Pyschemagik's epic Ritual Chants compilation series finally appear on digital download. As the title suggests, Beach is the most laidback, loved-up and Balearic of the three collections, and contains all manner of weird, wonderful and evocative fare - most of which is suitably obscure and hard-to-find. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the reggae-goes-cosmic trip of Tony Wilson's "Hangin' Out In Space", and fuzzy, calypso-rock bounce of Adrian Gurvitz's "New World", to the eccentric Balearic disco shuffle of Amini's "Habibi" and quirky electro-boogie silliness of Danny Boy's "Discomix", a 1983 Dutch release that's guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of even the grumpiest dancers.
Review: Roam Recordings was set up by Jason 'JP Soul' Peters and Jeni 'Jeniluv' Erickson in 2001, and has since put out records by the likes of Demarkus Lewis, Rhythm Plate, Hesohi and Dino Lenny. For their 100th release/20th anniversary, though, they've avoided the obvious 'best of' route and instead serve up 21 brand new tracks coming from a mix of familiar names (Emperor Machine, DJ Rocca, Tronik Youth) and newcomers. The overall vibe leans towards cosmic and Italo disco, but that's a very broad-brush picture - there are tracks here that could, variously, be filed equally well under house, techno, electro, Balearica or prog. Psychedelic electronic disco at its best.
Review: Four years have passed since Maya Jane Coles' last full-length excursion (2015's set as Nocturnal Sunshine not included), so it's perhaps unsurprising that Take Flight is something of a long and undulating epic. Featuring 24 tracks stretched across three LPs and a string of eager collaborators (Chelou, Rachel Butt of GAPS fame and We Fell To Earth singer Wendy Rae Fowler being arguably the best known), Take Flight is little less than an extended showcase for the DJ/producer's particular bland of shuffling, tactile tech-house, tweaked to suit the demands of radio and home listeners. One reviewer recently described it "love letter to dance music", and Coles' many fans will no doubt agree.
Review: Album #3 here from Oslo's Torje Fagertun Spilde, better (and aptly!) known as Third Attempt, following on the heels of 2020's 'World Is Too Loud' and 2021's 'Quarantine Remixes' and coming once more on Vidar Hanssen's Beatservice label. After Ninja Tune-esque opener 'Freak Out', 'The Novel Sound' takes a wander through far funkier pastures on 'Age Of Steam', 'My Girl' and 'Nu Funk' before then changing tack once more, dropping the tempo from 'Sunbeam Symphony' on out and taking us into more laidback/Balearic-ish territory. It all adds up to 46 minutes of very pleasant chilled listening that are probably best served whole.
Review: After spending time 'marooned' in South America at the start of the pandemic, Gene on Earth finally made it back to Europe only to enter another lengthy lockdown. Like many other producers, the Berlin-based Californian used the time productively, spending five months creating and finalising his second album, Time on the Vine. The resultant nine-track set is pleasingly polished, subtly eclectic and hugely entertaining, with the Limousine Dream chief confidently strutting between deep, woozy, warming electro ('Snooze Operator'), eyes-closed Beatdown bliss ('The City Special'), jaunty and sub-heavy deep house ('Time Optimist'), melodious and driving peak-time fare ('Pinseeker'), hallucinatory slow jams ('Studio Dobra'), turn-of-the-90s UK techno with a twist (the early Warp-influenced 'To Bleep or Not To Bleep'), retro-futurist breaks ('Chuggy Elements) and much more besides.