Review: Prior to the Scandolearic explosion of the mid 2000s, Oslo's underground dance producers were more renowned for delivering chunky (and often disco-tinged) deep house bombs. In some ways, then, De Fantastiske To - AKA producers Ravi Brunsvik and Marius Summerfeldt - are a blast from the past. In its original form, "Hardtslaende" is a throbbing, warehouse-friendly treat, with late '80s stabs (think Inner City) and hazy vocal samples riding a jaunty rhythm track and simple-but-effective bassline. Alinka delivers a deliciously heavy and forthright remix that successfully pushes the track further towards pitch-black late night territory - think forceful beats, foreboding synth lines and 1990 Yorkshire bleeps - before Minaret successfully joins the dots between dreamy Scandolearic disco and woozy deep house.
Review: Bristol-based Goldboy is one of Yam Who's most trusted lieutenants. As well as hosting the Midnight Riot West parties in his home city, the DJ/producer has also released countless cuts on Yam Who's various imprints. This, though, seems to be his first appearance on Black Riot. His "Balearic Sunrise Mix" of "Clasmic's House" delivers what it promises, wrapping a typically tactile nu-disco/deep house groove in dream house chords, loved-up synthesizer melodies and - of course - loon bird samples. De Fantiske To recast the track as a bustling chunk of riff-propelled deep house, before Alan Dixon whips out his Roland TB-303 and gives the cut a more jacking, Larry Heard style vibe.
Review: Black Riot Records - the tougher brother of Midnight Riot Records - a larger than life house label with an array of artists & producers from around the globe. Next up on the label is London House Cats Choir. LHCC is a contemporary choir using house music at its core. These professional voice training experts offer up their finest talents at present including the fabulous Alana on their cover of the legendary "Burning" by legend Mark 'MK' Kinchen. It comes with several remixes. Alan Dixon's uplifting soul explosion is simply evocative, Andrew Emil & John Mork Northside vocal remix goes for more of a jackin' flavour and Yam Who's Jazzier remix sees the label boss deliver a Masters At Work style rework.
Review: The latest missive on Yam Who's Blackriot label comes from Robjamweb, a Derby-based producer who has recently been in a rich vein of form. Roots & Elements is tinted with more than a hint of rose-tinted nostalgia, with piano-heavy opener "House Muziq" coming on like a vintage Frankie Knuckles remix with Eric Kuper on keys. "Heads Down At Five AM" reaches for the acid bass while paying tribute to the deep and dreamy brilliance of Larry Heard. The latter influence is all but removed from the TrueSelf Dub, which wisely emphasizes the floor-filling potential of Robjamweb's machine groove. Those looking for something a little looser should head for "Ghetto Laureate", where an inspirational spoken word vocal rides a jazz-fuelled Afro-house groove and deliciously heady Rhodes chords.
Review: US new wave crew, A Number Of Names, blew up the dancefloors of early 80s Detroit with their moody Euro tech-pop classic, Shari Vari. Here the tune is covered and remixed in more commerical directions than we're used to. However, it must be said that the sunnier takes on this sleazy anthem really work! The main mix is a delicious slice of 1984-style tropical jazz funk. Think Shalamar-goes-to-Miami. Elsewhere Hifi Sean tackles the beast, delivering a mighty fine arpeggio-heavy space boogie. Lastly Hypnotic Lovers wrap things up niecly with a hands-in-the-air-style electro-house epic (with extra pianos for good measure).
Review: If you're after a near faultless selection of peak-time ready house and disco jams, this special Amsterdam Dance Event compilation from Yam Who's Black Riot could just be the ticket. There's a good mixture of fresh floor-fillers - see the sample-heavy, boompty style Chicago house pulse of The Phantom Revenge's "Workout Music", Phonik D's piano-laden disco-house romp "Talking Vintage" and the smooth, life-affirming deep house warmth of Thatmanmonkz's hazy revision of Amp Fiddler's "Your Love Is All I Need" - and recent revisions of classic cuts. In this category you've find a superb Hi-Fi Sean revision of Psychotropic's rave-era anthem "Hypnotic", a sparkling Kiko Navarro re-make of Kenny "Jammin" Jason's "Can U Dance 2015" and a wonderful, filter-sporting disco-house take on CN Williams "Mr Bump Man" by Yam Who and Jaegerossa.