Review: UK label Basic Fingers bring us a pleasingly varied EP from Berlin-based Mancunian producer Sameed Rezayan. The 1.5-minute interlude 'Quarterback' opens the EP in a laidback mood reminiscent of 60s/70s west coast pop, while 'Join The Party' operates in similar musical territory, but then throws us a curveball with a Levan-esque dubbed-out midsection. 'Hornz N That' then heats things up a bit - it's less lounge, more jazz-dance, absolutely dripping in funk and the standout for yours truly - before the EP's completed by 'Walkin', which sounds a bit like DJ Pierre making a house record out of the 'Thriller' bassline in 1987...
Review: Authentic 1970s disco survivor Robert Ouimet set pulses racing last September with a quality collection of club-ready re-edits on Basic Fingers. Here the Canadian veteran offers up a three-track sequel that's every bit as essential. First up is "Come Party", a strings and sax-laden chunk of soaring peak-time disco that rises and falls majestically over eight action-packed minutes. He ups the tempo on the energetic and suspense-filled Blaxploitation disco workout "Where's Eugene", while "Rob Can't Stop" is a deliciously heavy, sweaty and full-throttle affair built around deep synths, frenetic percussion chops, excitable slap-bass and just the right amount of celebratory vocal snippets.
Review: Canada's Robert Ouimet (also known sometimes as Robert Quimet) is a bona fide survivor of the disco era, his DJ and production career dating all the way back to 1973. Who better, then, to update three forgotten 70s nuggets for 21st century dancefloors? 'GC Will Make You Dance' is a celebratory take on GC Cameron's 'This Will Make You Dance' from 1976, 'Got To Find The Love' a loopy, high-octane edit of Love Exchange's 'Got To Find A Disco' (1978), while finally 'She's A Runner' (source unknown) is a slightly more sultry groover with strings set to 'dancefloor euphoria'.
Review: Beam Me Up party mainstays the Patchouli Brothers impressed with their first outing on Basic Fingers earlier in the year, so hopes are naturally high for this speedy follow-up. The Toronto siblings predictably hit the ground running on "Shout On", an urgent, celebratory chunk of disco-funk perfection where incessant male vocalizations and party yelps add extra energy to a bustling workout dripping with crunchy Clavinet lines, rasping horn riffs, jazzy guitar solos and jangling piano lines. There's a pleasantly groovy - but no less energetic - feel to the peak-time disco bounce of "My Love", where more urgent vocals and sweeping strings bob and weave around a more low-slung disco groove.
Review: Toronto twosome the Patchouli Brothers are arguably best known for their DJ residency at the city's infamous Beam Me Up parties alongside old pal Cyclist. This two-tracker for Basic Fingers marks their first foray into the dusty-fingered world of re-edits. First up you'll find "Wicked One", a superb rearrangement of a little-known, mid-tempo gospel-disco number rich in horn-heavy orchestration, hammered-out piano motifs and spiraling, choral chorus vocals. "Magic Rhythm" is, if anything, even better. It sees the siblings stretch out a Patrick Adams style disco workout by extending key percussive passages, before finally allowing the celebratory vocals and soaring instrumentation to drop in the final few minutes of a seriously epic edit.
Review: Philou Louzolo has previously delivered a string of killer Afro-futurist releases, skillfully combining traditional polyrhythmic drum patterns and sampled instrumentation with the throbbing, club-ready electronics of analogue house. He's at it again on "Lumumba's Revenge", the opening track from this tribute to the mountainous region of Africa that straddles Senegal and Mali. Wiggly acid lines add psychedelic energy to an attractive, mind-altering Afro-house jam built around hot-stepping beats and lilting synthesizer solos. Elsewhere, he opts for a more traditional Malian feel on "Tartitt's Ansari (Philou Louzolo Edit)" - all ear-pleasing guitar motifs, layered handclaps and indigenous vocals - before reaching for the analogue electronics on trippy 4/4 stomper "Tartitt's Dibaba (Tribute Mix)". A more traditional version of the same cut (the "Beat Mix") is also included.
Review: Throughout the course of their Digger's Workout series, Swiss combo Alma Negra has proved adept at blurring the boundaries between re-edits, remixes, and original productions. The same could be said about the sun-kissed global fusion of "Burkina Berlin", where wild vocal chants and dense percussion samples are craftily combined with heady piano motifs and a rock solid deep house beat. Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci provide a deeper, hazier and subtly soulful interpretation that plays down the sampled beats in favour of far more tactile hits, before the Basel-based trio closes proceedings with "Algadez", a rare Persian treat built around exotic fiddle lines, humid flutes and their usual chunky percussion.
Review: Basel-based Alma Negra has been responsible for some of the finest re-edits of African music of recent years. Since first popping up on Basic Fingers back in 2014, they've released a string of solid singles, most of which boast seriously heavy percussion. This second EP in their Digger's Workout series sees the Swiss trio blur the boundaries between re-edits and original production. "Safari" is clearly based on an old Afro-disco record, but has been transformed into a bumping, percussion-rich deep house slammer. It's accompanied by an even more exotic and musically expansive interpretation from Osunlade under his Yoruba Soul alias, and a cheery chunk of Global house fusion entitled "Pilon".
Review: Since debuting on the Highlife Edits series, Swiss digger collective Alma Negra have really blossomed, with their fusionist dancefloor style developing across further 12"s for that aforementioned label as well as Sofrito and Basic Fingers. The Diggers Workout Part 1 sees the quartet return to the Basic Fingers fold with a fresh four-track grip of goodness to satisfy the appetites of DJs everywhere. Presumably the onset of an ongoing series for Basic Finger, Part 1 sees three Alma Negra originals further complemented by a remix from Highlife pal Esa. Of the originals, the rather lush beat down of "Fala Flute" really stands out, with Esa teasing out a whole new sound on his subsequent 'live' remix with Santuri. Great 12".
Review: London's Aroop Roy is back, This guy has won acclaim from the who's who of the industry such as Gilles Peterson and Rainer Truby and his music fuses afro (such as on the hands in the air party vibe of "Ifa" that's reminiscent of Fela Kuti vibes), funk (the disco funk soul excursion on "Manuman") and into house like on the spiritual NYC vibe of Um Trago" that's calling to mind classic Joe Claussell and Kerri Chandler. And we're really digging it!
Review: Russian wizard-fingers Arsenii is a relatively new addition to the tight-knit sport of editorship... But he's making all the right moves to secure his place in the premier league. Excavating the well of jazz funk obscurity, he's repurposed two beautiful instrumentals that would otherwise remain criminally anonymous. "Allgeria" is a swooning Bob James style adventure that gets sweatier and sweatier as the groove develops. "Turbo", meanwhile, hits much harder thanks to melodic indulgences and a general synth boogie flavour. Just wait for the breakdown on the middle eighth when the bass and drums are given space to really shine... Stunning.
Review: Jose Marquez has long been a member of the Basic Fingers family. Since making his first contribution to the acclaimed re-edit imprint back in 2011, he's regularly delivered tasty reworks of Latin jams and African gems. Here he returns with two more killer Latin cuts piled high with South American percussion. "Quinto Y Bongo" smartly combines killer drums and vocals from an unknown, stripped-back salsa record with the sort of subtle, spacey synths and thickset bassline you'd normally find on a high calibre deep house record. "Canto Del Caribe" is, if anything, even heavier, with the combination of sturdy house kicks, dense Latin percussion and chanted vocals creating an intoxicating mood.
Review: The up and coming Tommy Rawson steps up to the Gold Finger label after a couple of debut releases for Local Talk and Crazy Legs, respectively, and it's pure house vibes on these two latest club gems. "Peculiar" is an instantly memorable floor swinger thanks to its soulful vocals and deep, luscious low-ends. "The Kids" contains something of the exotic in its groove, a gentle guitar riff strumming back and forth amidst raw drum machine beats and organic percussion. Lovely stuff.
Review: Basel-based trio Alma Negra has enjoyed a productive 2014, with their remixes and reworks of little-known Haitian and African jams appearing on Highlife Edits and Sorfrito. Here they deliver their first EP - a superb collection of edits laden with voodoo drums, dense percussion and tribal intent. Opener "Mao Negra" is particularly potent, and features a solid - but subtle - house kick-drum below all manner of loose and energetic African percussion and traditional chants. The more uptempo "Messa" is, if anything, even heavier - check the rubbery bassline and woozy chanting - while "Tribal Echoes" is the sort of darkroom deep house/African rhythms hybrid that you'd expect to hear on Huntleys & Palmers. Spellbinding stuff.
Review: Slowly dipping his toe back into the water of single releases, we now have yet another two new "Reworks" from the London soul boy who had, up to recently, been silent for months. He's continuing to maintain the quality too, with 'Wake Up" being a hypnotically accelerated basement funk fever-jam and "First Time Around" being eight minutes of uber-slick, hazy glamour funk.
Review: Hade could accurately be described as "little known", despite having delivered a handful of superb, soulful, heavily electronic deep house remixes for Melting Pot Music. Here, he finally gets his chance with a two-tracker on Gold Finger. Lead cut "It's Not Right" is particularly special, with a classic Whitney Houston R&B vocal riding a warm, sensual deep house groove that's almost huggable. Much of the track's endearing appeal comes from the combination of toasty chords and deep acid bass on which Houston's vocal sits. Flip for "Mobb Deep Ultra", a shuffling deep house/tech-house hybrid that makes great use of vocal samples from an interview with the infamous hip-hop combo.
Review: Big moves from Basic Fingers here as they turn to a veritable legend of the London jazz funk scene in Mark 'Spiritual South' Robertson for their latest edits release. If you draw a blank at his name, we suggest you go check the man's Discogs for an idea of everything he's done over the years and Robertson certainly brings that pedigree to this pair of self-styled Spiritual South Specials. "Everyday" is simply seductive disco at its best, with feelgood vibes teased and tweaked expertly for optimum dancefloor implementation, whilst "Gonna Getcha" sees Spiritual South head into more boogiefied territory. Again the talent shown here for teasing out a groove then dropping into a refrain is second to none.
Review: When you think of Basic Fingers, it's hard not to associate the label with the seasoned disco tweaking activities of Koko Garito, a man whose been integral in establishing the label within the edit community from the very off (remember that slick Skipworth & Turner edit on FINGERS001?) As you might have gathered from the title, this is the fourth solo Koko release for Basic Fingers and commences in jazz funk heaven with an edit of Deodato called "Family Affair" which shows off his skills for rearrangement and deft EQ for nine glorious minutes. Meanwhile, "Welcome Aboard" sees Koko flipping a Barry White and Webster Lewis arrangement in equally silky fashion, making it a perfect nugget for the early afternoon boat parties this summer.
Review: The good DJ Reverend P has already contributed two tight edits 12"s to the GAMM cause for the disco and house selectors out there and now he surfaces with more of the same for the similarly minded Basic Fingers label. With a summer of European coastline festivals beckoning, "Angels In Africa" is the swooning Chicago house and pop-influenced vocal jam and a perfect fit for sunshine filled dancefloors. And just as Michael Jackson's Xscape hits the shelves, why not get in the mood for some more bubblegum pop - turned house - with a cheeky Justin Timberlake infused "Just In Strawberry". Hee hee.
Review: Edit fiends Basic Fingers usually reserve their tastiest material for the occasionally used Gold Finger offshoot. That's arguably the case here, as Deejaykul delivers a sumptuously deep and soulful house interpretation of the much-played "Feeling Good" (think Nina Simone, though this version has a delicious male vocal). The A-side DeejayKul meets Soultechnic Deepa mix is particularly potent, with intricate Latin percussion, smooth pads and sensual vocal riding an effortlessly sunny groove. There's a bit more vintage US garage on the other track, where the Classic Love Deep mix laces soft-focus chords and classic organs over a typically skippy groove. Impeccable stuff, all told.
Review: Veteran re-edits label Basic Fingers have outlasted many a Johnny come lately on the scene, chiefly due to their ear for quality. The latest addition to their roster is Frenchman Reverend P, a seasoned house veteran who began re-editing soul classics to play at his Parisian Motown parties. First up, Gil Scott Heron's "Three Miles Down' gets extended to over seven minutes of hazy, percussion-led disco funk. On the digital flipside, a rare B-side by Michael Jackson and his brothers, "Polite", gets lovingly retouched.
Review: Hats off to Kon - aka Basic Fingers - for delivering to us yet another in Koko's series of disco-boogie edits. Following on from splicing and dicing the likes of Imagination, here we see only the most intensely funky riffs from Light Of The World's "Time" retained for some blistering party fodder. Me'Lisa Morgan's "Fool's Paradise" is also representing for the 80s electro soul/boogie contingent too!
Review: Hot off the back of being hailed the "edit king of 2012" by Gilles Peterson and dropping THAT Gold Fingers release, Kon steps back into Basic Fingers mode to deliver two more sublime disco boogie cuts for the more funk friendly floor. "Get It Together" has summer written all over it, burning into action with a killer horn loop before the bass kicks and the track heads for the stars. Kon demonstrates his skill and understanding of structure throughout, dropping the groove to a lull before building it right back up throughout, and the sweetly soulful vocals have that eminently sing-along quality. The tempo drops to a low slung bump on the flip as Leroy Burgess gets expanded with equal aplomb on the seemingly infinte "Strong Love (Everlasting)".
Review: More from mysterious Swedish scalpel fiend Gredits, who returns to the ever-reliable Basic Fingers with a pair of sultry reworks in the label's traditionally soulful style. "Sister Peak" sets the tone, offering a soulful head-nodder that sits somewhere between touchy-feely disco and the sort of tackle recently delivered by the House of Disco imprint. "Musique Love" is an altogether sweatier affair, impressively rearranging a string-laden disco jam that should be familiar to fans of the genre. The beats have been beefed up considerably, but it's done with the sort of subtlety that shows due respect to the original material.
Review: Like his previous outing on Basic Fingers, this release sees Latin house/disco producer Jose Marquez breathe new life into a pair of vintage Latin releases. Marquez excels when it comes to drum programming, and both remixes here are propelled forwards by heavy Brazilian drums. As remixes go, they're delightfully sparse, with the action built on heavy percussion and the originals' jaunty vocals. The Tego Calderon rub introduces some spooky electronic noises, but they largely take second fiddle to the cacophony of drums that should ensure sweaty arm waving out on the dancefloor. Did somebody say "carnival"?
Review: The dusty-fingered scalpel fiends at Basic Fingers don't let up. Having consistently impressed with their faithful but floor-friendly tweaks of forgotten and overlooked soul and disco gems, they deliver another double dose of goodness in the shape of two good KGO edits. Rahni Harris' disco-soul jam "Six Million Steps" is first for the chop, being turned into a twinkling instrumental number that rises, falls and rises again over seven gorgeous minutes. Even better is the version of the Blackbyrds' "Something Special", which tightens up the beats and emphasises the original's twinkling pianos. Jazz-funk heaven.
Review: In a world where every man and his dog is putting out so-so disco edits, the Basic Fingers crew can usually be relied upon to inject some soul-flecked quality into proceedings. That's certainly the case here, as Koko cuts up much-loved cuts by Norman Connors and giant nappy-wearing Brit-electro types Imagination. The version of Connors' "Stay With Me" is pleasingly upbeat, building up from a chunky, percussive start into a hazy disco-soul singalong. The beats are reliably sturdy, but most of the original musicianship remains in tact. The version of Lee John and company's "Burning Up", meanwhile, is nothing less than a jaunty stomper, with occasional vocals interspersed between a flurry of piano solos. Hands skywards, please.
Review: Perennial re-edit fanciers Basic Fingers have enjoyed a productive 2012 to date, dropping a series of impressive scalpel works from Jazzy Jens and DJ Kool Dust. Here, they offer up more revelatory reworks, this time from famed crate-digger Kon (he of "and Amir" fame). While the breezy disco-funk of "Chicago" is worthy of plays, it's the epic Sylvester re-cut that's really worth your attention. It sounds like Kon managed to get the multi-track tapes for "You Make Me Mighty Real", because he's reconstructed it from scratch, building up from little more than background handclaps to a veritable orgasm of falsetto disco screamery in 10 absorbing minutes.
Review: Veteran Swedish producer Daniel Savio once again dons his Kool DJ Dust hat for a trip into disco re-edit territory on the ever-impressive Basic Fingers imprint. As the EP title none too subtly hints, all three tracks here have a distinct flea market discovery vibe. Lead cut "Editsa Alexandria" sounds like a foreign language cover of "Going Back To My Roots" - all urgent disco grooves, soaring strings and hammered-out pianos. "Take It To Jesus" is a synth-fried gospel disco groover, while "Dancing Suite" has a distinct Mike Theodore Orchestra feel to it - all high-energy bottom end, booming electric bass and dub-laden synths and horns.
Review: After a pair of well-received 12" singles on Mad Mats' GAMM imprint, Jazzy Jens pops up on Basic Fingers with a couple of admirably reverential re-edits. The first sees him tackling Mascara's recently re-released, string-laden disco-soul classic "See You In LA", a track featuring early vocals from Luther Vandross. Jens' edit is perfectly pitched, utilizing the repirse outro from a different Mascara track ("Jet Plane Ride") as a thrilling, piano-laden intro. It has "end of night anthem" written all over it. "I Want You", meanwhile, turns another soulful classic into a horn-laden chunk of breezy dancefloor goodness via the addition of some well-judged disco beats.
Review: One for those who like their disco loopy and bumpin', as Stockholm-based studio hermit ChangED delivers some delicious dancefloor thrills on the back of a cheeky Love Unlimited Orchestra sample. While dubby, sax-laden flipside "Tiden Bara Gar" - an illicit rework of a Swedish jazz-funk classic - is a winner, it's the Barry White and co-sampling A that really hits the heights. Utilising the same sweet, atmospheric approach as Matthew Kyle and The Revenge, ChangED weaves vocal and horn loops around a thick, low-slung groove that emphasizes boogie bass and party-hearty crowd vocals. It's tastefully done, with enough subtlety in the production to impress both heads and punters alike.
Review: Los Angeles producer Jose Marquez has previously made his mark with a series of solid remixes that fuse solid, floor-friendly house grooves with a variety of world music influences. Here he continues that theme, turning in heavyweight versions of tracks from Latin artist Celia Cruz and Afrobeat veteran Femi "son of Fela" Kuti. It's the Cruz version that really stands out. Really, it's little more than a heavy drum workout with the addition of the original vocal chants and the thinnest sliver of techno synth, but it works brilliantly. While the Femi Kuti rework doesn't have the same impact, its Afrobeat sweetness is surprisingly addictive.