Number three in a series whose title was self-explanatory to start with, so you should have a pretty good idea what's going on here as re-editor par excellence Alkalino makes free with 11 more nuggets from days of yore. Getting the treatment this time are Prince's '1999', Michael Jackson's 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', Dire Straits' 'So Far Away', Rocksteady Crew's 'Hey You', Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing', King's 'Love And Pride', Visage's 'Move Up', The Smiths' 'Bigmouth Strikes Again', The Stranglers' 'Always The Sun' and a couple of unidentified cuts (one of which sounds like it might be The Human League while the other has a Front 242/Meat Beat Manifesto-like feel)... some surprising sources there for sure, but they're all handled with Alkalino's trademark aplomb so listen with open ears!
Chewy Rubs' 'Ruff Beats' series reaches its fourth instalment in a little over 12 months, with deep, tracky grooves the order of the day once more. 'Keep On Doing It' is a mid-paced affair that tops moody synth sweeps with an echoing male vocal urging us to "keep on doing it like that", 'My Definition' is a more driving, house-ified cut that gets free 'n' easy with a Dream Warriors vocal snip, 'Sensations Of The Mind' marries snatches of two well-known vocals to a heavyweight funk bassline and hard-slammin' 4/4s, while 'Swagger' again plunders classic hip-hop from New York, New York (that's a clue!) for vocal inspiration.
Earlier in the summer, Innervisions dropped the club mix of 'Secret Places', the title track from Echonomist's debut album. The album, which is presented here in its entirety, arrives some 17 years after his first single. Since the Greek producer has plenty of experience, it's unsurprising to find that he's used the opportunity the format provides to showcase many different sides of his musical outlook. So, we get an attractive blend of ambient, subtly post-punk influenced downtempo pop ('A Different Frame'), dark-wave influenced throb-jobs (the title track), pulsating electro-disco (the dark Italo-ish 'The Sequence Cabinet'), mind-mangling vocal tech-house ('Falling Head First', 'High End'), evocative neo-progressive house ('Empty Hours'), deep, dubby and ghostly electronica ('When In Rome') and quirky leftfield synth-pop workouts that defy easy categorization ('Back To Mine').
A decade on from the release of 'Blackbird', the third studio album by beloved New Zealand combo Fat Freddy's Drop, the album returns in freshly remixed form. It's a naturally celebratory affair that touches on most of their stylistic influences and more, from reggae/soul/hip-hop fusion (the fine Kings rub of 'Blackbird', Christophe El Torento and Lucky Lance reworking 'Clean The House'), sub-heavy house warmth (Nightmares on Wax's club-ready take on 'Russia'), dub disco (Kiwi deep house star Philippa tweaking 'Bones'), soaring house-not-house (Jazzanova's emotion-rich interpretation of 'Soldier'), digi-dub (Marcus Worgull's version of 'Blackbird'), wobbly jump-up D&B (Freestykes and Dub Pistols re-imagining 'Bones') and bowel-bothering bass music (Syrup D's fantastic mix of 'Silver & Gold').
French label Citizens Of Vice, self-described purveyors of "Balearic, disco and house for those of a sleazy inclination", bring us a V/A EP whose six tracks defy easy categorisation. For house lovers, though, the best places to start would be Crooked Man's atmospheric 'Illyrian Song' and Lanowa's disco-infused 'Every Move I Make', while elsewhere, 'Sons Of Dub' is one for wonked-out 5am floors, Offshore & Coen explore nu-disco's leftfield fringes, 'Love Of My Life' from Staccatoman brings the 80s/Italo vibes while Mass Density Human's 'Henry's Theme' starts out in drifty Balearic territory then slowly builds into a thunderous percussion workout.
'Funky And You Know It' is a sonic collision of Swiss electronic maestros Shakedown and the legendary funk powerhouse Bootsy Collins, and it's a match made in glittery, groove-laden heaven. Shakedown, known for their UK Top 10 hit 'At Night,' and Bootsy Collins, whose bass prowess has made him an icon, join forces to create a future classic for Glitterbox Recordings. 'Funky And You Know It' is a two-sided coin, offering contrasting interpretations of the same infectious groove. The main version serves up a mellow, electro-funk feel that oozes with groove, inviting you to sway to its hypnotic rhythm. Then, the 'Work That Mother Mix' cranks up the tempo, delivering a club-ready banger that's bound to set dance floors ablaze. Glitterbox Recordings has truly struck gold with this collaboration. Get ready to get funky, and you know it!
About House: When disco fell out of favour at the tail-end of the 70s, the sound went underground. In 1980s New York and Chicago, diehard lovers of the 4/4 stomp gravitated to clubs like New York's Paradise Garage in New York and Chicago's The Warehouse, where DJs Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles (respectively) were mixing up soul and disco classics with the newer electronic sounds emanating out of Europe – Italo-disco, Kraftwerk and synth-pop – for an audience comprised primarily of black and Latino gay men. Local producers then sought to capture this melting point of influences on record, and lo! House and garage music was born.
Right back to the jazz days, the east coast of the US has favoured smoother, more soulful sounds while the midwest has tended towards more stomping beats – hence house can be thought of as garage's brasher, louder sister and vice versa. Arguably the first indentifiably 'house' record was Jesse Saunders' 'On And On', released in 1984. By 1986 house music had begun to spread worldwide, but it wasn't until DJ Pierre's 'Acid Tracks' EP in 1987, which presented an even more raw, stripped-back take on the sound, that things really took off internationally. By that time, Detroit had already provided us with its own version of the artform, techno, and clubbers in the UK and Europe fell hard for what, at that time, sounded like music from outer space.
Fast-forward 30-odd years and house, garage and techno have spawned a hundred sub-genres: within house music alone there's deep house, funky house, progressive house, tech house, tribal house and so on, and that's before you even start to consider the apples that fell a little further from the tree, such as jungle, breakbeat and EDM. It's that constant evolution that keeps the artform fresh and vibrant – yet despite that, 'traditional' house music has never gone away, because, quite simply, house is the mothership for 99 percent of the electronic music we know and love today.