Chopshop Music is a label renowned for its disco, funk, house, hip hop, soul and jazz delights. It was founded by George Kelly aka DJ Butcher in Athens (Greece) in 2009 with the intention to reignite and rework old school sounds with a modern twist for the dancefloor. The label began its journey by cutting tracks exclusively on vinyl, but as it grew, it began bouncing out digital releases and in 2012 its sister label Our Records was born. Chopshop has so far seen releases from artists including: Groove Armada, Greg Wilson, Rayko, Capitan Futuro, Vaudafunk, Dave Gerrard and a number of stand-out tracks from DJ Butcher himself.
Review: There's a pretty obvious clue in the name as to what kind of music you're going to find here! What makes this compilation from Greek label Chopshop stand out, though, is that the usual suspects are, for once, notable by their absence: there are contributions from Tonbe and HP Vince, as well as label boss George Kelly, but many if not most of the artists involved here will be new names to many if not most listeners. As such, it's a collection that's well worth investigating, packing 15 uptempo tracks - largely original, if heavily sample-based productions, rather than re-edits - that are long on funk basslines, handclaps and cowbells. What's not to like?
Review: Germany's Andy Bach (head of the Young Society and Society 3.0 labels) comes to Greece's Chopshop with a track that draws heavily on Diana Ross classic 'Love Hangover' - though it would be unfair to dismiss 'It's Not Over' as a simple re-edit, partly because Bach has added a new female vocal and partly because it's not entirely clear if the familiar parts are actually samples, or have been resung. Mix-wise, choose from the dusty, looping Original, its accompanying Radio Edit and Instrumental, or a beefed-up take from Bonetti that nudges the track in the direction of the tech-house floors.
Review: On his latest one-track missive, Chopshop big beast George Kelly has stated his intention to pack a suitcase, grab his "sunnies" and head "Off To An Island". He's joined on this summery mission by vacation-loving collaborators Idra Kayne and BNC. As you'd expect, it's a wholeheartedly fun and funky affair, with Kelly adding Kayne and BNC's cheery, let's-have-a-good-time vocals to a driving, thickset disco-house groove rich in warm bass, Nile Rodgers style guitar riffs and filtered, presumably sampled orchestration. IT rises and falls in all the right places and sounds like it will light up open air dancefloors if and when we get to enthusiastically dance on them again. In a word: big!
Review: Dutch producer Vince Kriek AKA HP Vince and Germany's Andy Bach join forces. In its Original form, 'Feel My Body' is a disco-house affair that would have sounded right at home on a mid-00s Hed Kandi compilation with its crisp 4/4s, fluttering geetars, breathy diva vocal and overall surging, euphoric feel. The Nu-Disco Mix then tuffens up the beats a little and brings the six-string further to the fore, making for a pass that's just a wee bit struttier and more energetic. For maximum impact, serve loud in the open air, accompanied by lashings of summer sunshine.
Review: For his latest outing on Chopshop, label regular Vaudafunk has baked up some "Disco Pies" - a savoury treat that's more nourishing and sustaining than those "disco biscuits" we're always being offered by the moody blokes who hang out in the dark corners of clubs. For the main course he offers up "Cherry Pie", a filter-sporting bounce through cheery, horn-heavy disco pastures that's as delicious as, well, cherry pie. Arguably even tastier is second course "Erotique Disco", a low-slung, string-laden romp through over-the-top disco territory served hot with lashings of extra-thick cream. Yum!
Review: Guillermo Gonzalez is in fine form on his first Hotmood outing for Chopshop, which follows a string of self-released singles and solid EPs for Star Creature, Giant Cuts and Disco Fruit. Opener "Arabian Affair" somehow manages to sound both loose and groovy, and locked and sweaty, with the Mexican producer successfully tooling up and reworking an obscure slab of flute-sporting Middle Eastern disco. "I'm Going Home" boasts similarly addictive, low-slung drums and bass, both of which help Gonzalez re-frame a disco-funk number as a hypnotic slab of dub disco heaviness. Like it's predecessor, it offers the right balance between heads-down hedonism and righteous dancefloor release.
Review: For lovers of trad-style house, garage 'n' disco grooves, 'Soul Journey' has to be close to the top of this week's shopping list. Guitar flecks reminiscent of Donna Summer's 'Bad Girls' vie with shimmering Balearic boogie synths atop a walking bassline, while a spoken male counsels quite correctly that "if you have any aches and pains, or trials and tribulations... house music is the answer!", the overall effect sitting somewhere between The Sunburst Band and vintage Hayden Andr? productions. The accompanying 'You Get Me' is a more standard issue Negro-esque disco-houser, but still worthy of note thanks to some fine slap bass work.
Review: Contemporary boogie is the order of the day on this EP from George Kelly, an Athens-based producer who's also one-half of the duo Capitan Futuro. The original mix of 'Late At Night' finds UK soul vocalist Espeut flexing his tonsils atop a languid, rolling backdrop straight outta 1983. The Guitar Dub then brings some excellent jazz-funk six-string work to the fore - don't be surprised if this one crops up on more than a few 'Ibiza chill-out'-type comps this summer - while completing the package is a Rockfreak Pella that cheekily nods to Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel's classic 'White Lines'.
Review: Having spent much of the last few years working alongside HP Vince, Dave Leatherman is now serving up sizzling slabs of dancefloor goodness with a new studio buddy, Bruce Nolan. The pair hit the ground running with "Sunny Side Up", a fiendishly filtered, bass-heavy disco-house interpretation of a wonderfully warm, sunshine-loving disco-soul classic. They opt for a slightly looser, baggier and altogether more groovy sound on "Clouds In The Sky", where loved-up vocals and drowsy jazz-funk instrumentation ride a booming bassline and crunchy digital drums. It's the kind of cut that manages to be both wonderfully emotive and undeniably heavy without losing any of its' luster.
Review: Two fine slabs of classic-style house music make up this EP from India's Houseferatu, coming on Greek label Chopshop. 'Call Me' is a looping, languid affair made up primarily of thumping 4/4s, warm, rounded bass and filtered string sweeps, with a soulful male "whenever you call me" vocal loop arriving around the halfway mark. The accompanying 'She Means A Lot' operates in a similar territory, but with more overt leanings towards late 90s filter disco. Both will keep house floors simmering nicely, though.
Review: Fresh from a surprise appearance on Reptile Disfunction, Vaudafunk returns to regular home Chopshop with two more reasons to be cheerful. He opens with "Love Alone", a deliciously pie-eyed disco through peak-time disco pastures rich in undulating strings, toasty bass, echoing female vocal samples and bouncy house drums. He changes focus a little on "My Hoodies", peppering a locked-in disco-house groove with suspenseful string samples, looped hip-hop vocal snippets and ear-catching synth solos seemingly lifted from a stone cold classic. It's heaps of fun and, like the track that precedes it, sounds like a genuine scene anthem in waiting.
Review: Mexico's Vintage People are best known to date for their re-edits of funk, soul and disco classics, but here they step up with two original productions. 'Learn It From James Brown' is a funk-dripping midtempo disco-houser, a jaunty bassline, insistent hi-hats and fluttering pads forming the backbone of its rump-shakin' groove while the sampled, spoken male vocal expounds on the merits of "bringing it back to the one". The accompanying 'Whatever Makes You Happy' then pushes further into out-and-out funk territory with its breakbeat and horn stabs, though the track's looping, repetitive structure means it's still one more for the house floors than the straight-up revivalist crowd.
Review: Earlier in the year, Tom Drummond popped up on a Chopshop compilation with a suitably chunky, bass-heavy and funk-fuelled take on Blackstreet classic "No Diggity". Here he returns to the label with something slightly different: a pair of disco-centric mash-ups that cleverly combine elements of house, funk, soul and breaks. First up is "Burnin", a skipping and loose-limbed peak-time workout that wraps wild Hammond organ motifs, Loleatta Holloway vocal samples and hazy deep house chords atop a rubbery bassline and bustling drums. "Into My Veins" is even sweatier and energetic, with Drummond successfully cutting up vocal sections from a vintage Skipworth and Turner track over a chunky dub disco/disco house groove.
Review: Chopshop mark the completion of their first decade in the game with this 17-track compilation of funk n' breaks nuggets from the label vaults. Groove Armada and Situation both feature, but generally the emphasis is on less well-known names, who serve up a mixture of cheeky bootlegs, re-edits and original material. Dave Gerrard samples the Average White Band on 'Drop The Pieces' and George Kelly & DJ S's 'Movin' To The Groovin' takes Wild Cherry to the breakbeat party, but the majority of the tracks draw on less obvious sources of inspiration, with standouts including the big beat/lounge-y vibes of Senior Citizens' 'What A Body' and the ghetto disco groove of Appo's 'Getaway'.
Review: A decade has now passed since George Kelly established the Chopshop imprint as an outlet for goodtime grooves, sneaky reworks and club-ready re-edits that blur the boundaries between disco and house. To celebrate the fact, he's gathered together some of his label highlights on an expansive compilation. It's arguably best enjoyed via his action-packed DJ mix, which is tucked away at the end of the collection, though DJs will delight at the sheer volume and quality of the unmixed cuts on offer. Our favourites include the rubbery bounce of HP Vince's appropriately titled "Funky Disco Party", Kelly's killer Marlena Shaw revision ("Raised In The Ghetto"), the bustling funky house pleasures of HP Vince and Dave Leatherman's "Back 2 The Old Skool (House Mix)") and the disco-rap goodness of Captain Futuro's "Club Warzone".
Review: Three satisfying slices of nu-skool funk/hip-hop here from Greek label Chopshop Music, who celebrate their 10th birthday this year. 'Pineapple Soup' will appeal to fans of artists like The Aspects, Speedometer or Dr Meaker with its male vocal, female cut-ups, wukka-wukking geetar and exuberant brass (including a very familiar phrase borrowed from a disco-era smash by Rod Stewart), 'Get The Funk Out Ma' Face' is a more down 'n' dirty funk jam with JBs aspirations and a chanted chorus-cum-breakdown, while 'La Da Da' plays us out on a soundtrack-y note with cascading hand percussion and a fat, muffled bassline.
Review: Colombian house producer Jah Sound comes to Greece's Chopshop label with an EP that's packed full of jazzy house grooves, with da funk in full effect! In its Original Mix form, lead track 'Wanna Music' is a bumpin' affair with rolling beats, a nagging keys riff, parping sax and assorted cut-up vocal fragments. Leandroft's remix is sonically denser and techier in feel, while J-Fader's brings out the disco elements and Ed The Spread's takes a more stripped-back, Jersey-fied approach. Completing the EP is bonus cut 'Old Academy', where you'll find more rolling beats and jazzy keys plus an "underground!" vocal stab.
Review: It was way back in 2010 when Aussie party-starter DJ Agent 86 first released "All About The Money". Back then, it appeared on Lightspeed Recordings. Since then, much of his material has appeared on Chopshop, so it's no surprise to see DJ Butcher's label giving the cut the reissue treatment. As with the original release, the Australian's original version - which layers a classic hip-hop acapella over a groove that leans heavily on various disco-era cover versions of Pink Floyd cut "Money" - is backed by George Kelly's "Maguire Edit", which gives the track more of a four-to-the-floor disco shuffle whilst utilizing many of the same samples. This time round, there's also a neat bonus in the shape of a previously unheard instrumental take.
Review: While Jad "& The Ladyboy" Lee has never been averse to utilizing samples from obscore old records in his productions, they tend to take a backseat to his original instrumentation. This EP, then, marks something of a change for the Brisbane-based producer. It comprises two cuts that brilliantly blur the boundaries remixing and original production. Check, for example, "What Sound", where Lee underpins a dewy-eyed, hippie-era soul number with shuffling, hip-hop influenced machine drums. Arguably even better is opener "Time For Love", a jazzy, mid-tempo disco-house style loop jam with added acid style electronics and fuzzy, mind-altering synths. It's impossible to pigeonhole but also really, really good.
Review: Fresh from a summer spent seducing us with disco-fired house reworks on Springbokz, Solid State Disco and Phunky Data, HP Vince and Dave Leatherman pitch up on Chopshop. This time round, the Dutch duo is treating us to two decidedly different takes on "Loveland", a breezy and ear-pleasing disco-house shuffler. Their original version boasts sweeping disco orchestration, toasty bass and glassy-eyed vocal samples rising above a bouncy and rolling house beat. In contrast, the "Nu Disco Mix" has a little more percussive energy, ironically utilizing such disco-house tricks as tight vocal loops and head-in-the-clouds filter sweeps. Both versions are deliciously positive and loved-up in tone.
Review: By his usually prolific standards, it's been a relatively quiet year for Chopshop and Our Records boss George Kelly. Surprisingly, "My Thang" is just his second rework-focused EP of the year. Fans will say it's been worth the wait. Opener "Hustlin" is something of a mid-tempo peak-time treat, with the long-serving Greek DJ successfully chopping up a Clavinet-heavy disco-funk cut and underpinning it with suitably swinging, house style beats. Kelly explores the farthest reaches of his record collection on "The Memory", a similarly rolling revision of a deep, starry-eyed jazz-funk-meets-soul workout, before giving the Godfather of Soul a pulverizing, horn-toting disco-house makeover on sweaty closer "My Thang".