The next digital EP from Masterworks Music comes from 'That Needs An Edit' lads Pete Le Freq and Jon Baker-Hood (Alpaca Edits) with five quality disco grooves. "Nites Of Disco" features a familiar hook that those in the know surely will notice. This is a clever edit of one properly funky and lo-slung groove. A slow and sensual deep disco joint follows, that is quite possibly an edit of a certain pop king on "Let Me Show You". Elsewhere "Grover's Magic" is indeed the title track and on this one they've borrowed from yet another all time classic: no guesses here! Finally "By Any Other Name" takes things into slo-mo territory on this much needed chill and late night number - for lovers to get sexy on the dancefloor! Their aforementioned Alpaca Edits is a seriously hot label at the moment, that has had some releases by top names such as Dr. Packer, Andy Buchan, RockNRolla Soundsystem and the charmingly titled C Da Afro.
Beraber is a new alias of underground Amsterdam beat-maker Baris Akardere, a producer arguably best known for his blazed, hip-hop influenced work as Sotu the Traveller. For his first outing on hometown imprint La Freund, he unfurls a wonderfully evocative and life-affirming range of melodious deep house jams. There's a classic Ben Cormac feel to warm and starry opener "Sun Ritual", while "Ugly" wraps woozy, twinkling synth chords around a chunkier, analogue-rich groove. Check also the subtle electro rhythms and cascading synth melodies of "Introspect", the deep and jazzy shuffle of "Forest Rain" (a thing of rare beauty) and the first light rush of yearning closer "Sea Feels". Arguably best of all, though, is the dub-tinged breeziness and lilting positivity of Vincent Floyd's remix of "Sun Ritual".
After kicking off with a strong various artists release, Mexican label Calypso Records returns to showcase the talents of Argentine producer Thomass Jackson, who has previously been spotted on Gomma amongst other labels. "Head Rejection" takes on a ghoulish 1970s vibe that sports a little schlocky horror and a little spaghetti western in its discoid grooves, while "Witzelsutch" feels equally vintage but with a more cosmic lilt to its oddball tones. "Creepy PC" gets more of that noirish goodness lurking around the mix, and then Boot & Tax come on board to remix "Head Rejection" with a heads-down tribal patter that keeps the atmosphere of the original intact.
We've yet to hear a single featuring honey-voiced boogie singer Andre Espeut that doesn't cut the mustard. Predictably, this hook-up between the producer/vocalist and Slync (AKA British studio sort Ian Stanford) is rather fine. In its' original form, "Do It" is a fine chunk of slick, 21st century boogie-soul featuring some rather fine P-funk flourishes. The latter influence is pushed to the fore on Ziggy Phunk's two fantastic reworks (the vocal-sporting "Remix" and instrumental "Dub"), both of which offer a near perfect fusion of synth-laden '80s electrofunk and rolling, peak-time house. The other remix comes from ISM chief Yam Who, whose version sits somewhere between string-laden soulful house and revivalist electrofunk.
Local Talk broadens the palette further with new music by Melbourne producer Prequel who has had two fine releases on Rhythm Section Intl. Opening with the dusted down and jazzy MPC-style deep house of "Freedom" which channels urban soul sounds of Detroit's Theo Parrish as much as it does Berlin's Money $ex crew. The second offering "Lefty" takes a left hand path indeed - venturing down a route much more brooding and sinister for this cavernous slow techno experiment. It's reminiscent of Leipziger Kassem Mosse's work. Swedish house label established in 2011 by Mad Mats & Tooli, Local Talk has had a great year with releases by Cuthead, Crackazat, Tee Mango and Marcel Lune thus far.
Italian group Hard Ton's second remix EP on Luv Shack Records comes packed with five more exclusive reworks. It features Parisian producer/rapper Kiddy Smile, fellow Luv Shackers Lee Stevens and Audio Red and Kelton Prima. Our highlights were "Never Give Up" getting the ROTCIV treatment: the Brazilian producer gives the track a classic mid '80s Chicago styled makeover. The other highlight was the Tomasz Guiddo Remix of "The Way You Rock" which similarly goes stateside, but with more of an early '90s sound: reminiscent of the legendary MK's style of dubs. Released earlier in 2017, Party Hard Ton was about the uniting aspects of electronic music and celebrating the concept of partying. The styles featured on the album were as diverse as the artists involved such as Moralez & Sames, Johnny Woo, Snuff Crew and Spiller. For those that missed it, we'd highly recommend it!
All we could find out about the mysterious J.B. Boogie is that he is from Athens and definitely has credentials - when you consider that he has released on tastemaker labels such as local imprint ChopShop, Springbok, SpinCat and now London's Midnight Riot who present his new Forbidden Kiss EP. The funky disco loops of the title track are evidence of a respectful edit that at the same time does not forego DJ functionality: with that absolutely epic brass section this is your next secret weapon. "Like It" is a lo-slung boogie number for long hot sexy nights and the way he works that low pass filter throughout: gives it an absolute midas touch. Finally "Never Stop" is another fine piece of edit action and this one is a real treasure that was well worthy of a modern revision. Nice one!
UK producer Jamie Berry is relentless to say the least. The unstoppable producer has been firing off releases since the early 2010's, dipping and diving between elector and bass, dubstep and funky house, usually on the utterly reliable Flak imprint. Here, we have a whole album from the man, the aptly entitled Frenzy, and boy what a trip this one is! We've dubbed it 'funky/club' but, in reality, this thing is much, much more than that; the opening "Walk With Me", a cheery house nugget, is quickly transformed into bottom-heavy wobble on "Army", and then something near to Balearic or downtempo on "Bolder", featuring the vocals of Georgia Thursting. All in all, this can only be classed as a pure hybrid, perfectly reflective of the UK's constant thirst for innovation. Lovely.
Chromeo's sensual tropical serenade of the year gets three essential re-rubs and each one quenches our groove thirst in refreshing ways. Chris Lake tips his hat to Armand Van Helden a little with his spacious, jacking jam that flickers with the perfect level of p-funk mischief. Felix Snow amplifies the Tropicana-feels with a rolling 808 beat and added instrumental sparkles and Dresden's Purple Disco Machine balances the perfect levels of cosmic, dub, deep groove and house. You'll be hard-pressed to find funkier remixes than these this month.
New York house music royalty Sandy Rivera released the Witness Protection EP 20 years ago and this digital reissue commemorates the timeless classic. He has worked under a variety of pseudonyms over the years, including Soul Vision and Mysterious People in addition to running the BlackWiz imprint. Defected sublabel 4 To The Floor are dedicated to preserving the legacy of such underground anthems and are really on the money with this one. The classic Jersey garage swing of the Prosecution Mix follows the hypnotic darkroom dub of the Relocation Mix. The Jury and Defense mix (the latter almost an acapella of sorts) are handy DJ tools for the more experimental among you. While Rivera's output has slowed down in the last decade, many will no doubt remember how prolific he was up until the mid '00s when he released a steady stream of timeless vocal house anthems such as "Finally", "In The Night" and "Dreams".
Croatian groove crafter Tom Bug returns to Flashmob with this dashing slab of deepness. Chunky, broad-shouldered and rippling with dub elements, the real magic takes place in the deep dreamy breakdown where the vocals lead us down a surprising path where cowbells and a hyped pay off await. Remix-wise Raw Underground continue to live up to their name with a sparser arrangement where the vocal plays more of a prominent role and the kicks come on so hefty they could crush your house. Hearing is believing...
Reasons to be cheerful: long-time collaborators and all-round groove monkeys Christian B and Friday Fox founding Lavvy Levan lay down five slabs of house gold and premium positivity right here. "Sunshine In My Mind" is a velvet Balearic gem that instantly takes you to the beach, "Your Light" is a chunky trip to the front pew of your local church, "Lay It Down" takes a detour into ravier pastures as detuned tones warp and whisper behind some swaggering broken drums while "Mystery" pings us into the clouds and beyond its George Michael-style soulful uplift. Finally "Body" pays homage to classic NYC jacking house a la Van Helden in the early 90s. Jacking soulful and loaded with a ravey twist on the breakdown. More than reasonable.
And the deep goes on! Wanderlust has launched an innovative, new compilation series. Served here are the more relaxed worlds of the hottest genres in German electronic dance music at present - in particular deep house. Of course, there are many high calibre performers in this dominant genre and right here the Moers based duo Stupid Goldfish present the best of the best. An artist duo born and raised underwater, they are making music in different genres on great labels, in addition to working with many awesome and internationally well-known artists. This has shaped the two performers and ultimately carried them where they are now. Wanderlust 9 is kind of like a fishbowl with some speakers - highlights include the sultry late night deepness of Music P & Marque Aurel's "Mellow Daze", some infectious candypop from Freiburg's Neotune! on "Storyline" featuring Sandra Mae, the absolutely evocative "Daybreak" by EDX and the infectious hi-NRG electro-pop of Dave Ramone's "Summer Love" (feat Minelli - single version).
Steve Eyre and Sam Souls are Andrenachrome, a production duo from Lincoln who has previously put out a string of solid EPs on Cut La Roc and Mario Di Stefano's Rocstar Recordings imprint. On "Wall of Silence", their latest missive for the label, the twosome continues to combine distinctive, alternative rock style vocals with deep, woozy and melodious house grooves. The track, which is available in both Vocal and Instrumental variations, is propelled forwards by a superb rising and falling bassline and sturdy by swinging drums. While not everyone will appreciate the vocal style, there's no denying the lusciousness of the spacey chords, gentle melodies and head-in-the-clouds electronics.
The latest chapter in Lee Foss' new label sees him showcase some fast rising talent. DeMarzo's "Dance Naked" is a busy, rolling house track, populated with dark rave riffs, mysterious vocal samples and rolling snares. Next up is Raffa FL's "Loco", which ups the tempo to the sound of a rolling groove and a snaking bass. Once again though, the arranging is complex and a 'loco' vocal sample and tropical musical elements unfold over the tribal, drum-heavy groove. Mirko Di Florio's "Say What" marks a return to a more conventional house sound, but clearly this is a release focused on experimentation, as the hoover bass and chopped up vocals of Pirupa's "Last Minute" demonstrates.
San Francisco producer Homero Espinoza is a survivor of the Bay Area's legendary early '90s rave scene, though in recent times he's become better known for a string of high quality deep and jazzy house releases. These two joints on Strictly Rhythm, produced in partnership with regular collaborators Phase Dee and Mikey V, contain more than a little "back in the day" flavour. With its' classic Chicago style analogue bassline, rich organs, smoky chords and superb Mr V vocal, "Taste of Your Love" sounds like it was tailor-made for dimly-lit warehouses and impromptu early morning beach parties. The saucer-eyed old school vibe continues on the deeper, dreamier and chunkier virtual flipside "The Way You Dance".