Formed in 2019 Citizens Of Vice is a sub label of the tougher big brother label “Night Noise Music”. Starting life in Amsterdam and now based in their Jura Mountain Hideout in France. With over twenty releases under it’s belt showcasing and developing new talent such as Somethin’ Sanctified, Paper Street Soul, Andy Buchan, Lanowa and Jamie Porteous, it’s feet firmly planted on the disco floor. The artist(s) who have debuted on Citizens have since released on incredible labels such as Need / Want, Music For Dreams and Sprechen.
Review: This week on French nu-disco merchants Citizens Of Vice, we have the enigmatic Coyote with four servings of proper sunset balearica on the As The Crow Flies EP. Starting off with the lo-slung poolside groove of the title track, which is perfect for chilling, and receives a euphoric ambient rework by Chris Coco. Second offering "Steely Dad" will take you to a higher state of consciousness with its hypnotic textures and trippy acid sounds underpinned by mesmerising polyrhythms. The remix up next by Secret Soul Society is much more off-kilter and experimental in slo-mo fashion.
Review: Given the title you can probably guess what instrument takes centre stage on this latest EP from UK disco regular Andy Buchan, which is brought to you by the goodly folks at Citizens Of Vice. 'Piano Hands' itself is, unsurprisingly, a piano-led instrumental that sits right on the house/disco cusp and also sports some fine strings, while Glenn Davies' remix is a treat for house floors that like it deep and soulful. Elswhere there's plenty more ivories action to be found on the boogie-esque 'Ghosts Of Yanquin', before the piano-free 'Take Me Dancing' plays us out on a blissy, euphoric kinda tip.
Review: So far, he's yet to score any significant dancefloor hits, but Nightdrive's bulging catalogue of mostly digital-only EPs is full of attractive, hard-to-pigeonhole treats. The St Petersburg native's first outing on Citizens of Vice sees him step things up a notch, delivering a quartet of cuts that touch on a variety of sounds and styles. Title track 'Improvisation' is a great case in point; it begins with a throbbing nu-disco-meets-deep house groove, before evolving as the track progresses thanks to the addition of various improvised instrumental offerings. On 'Kruzhitsya', he joins the dots between Balearica, Pat Metheny style jazz-fusion, nu-disco and broken beat, while 'Melatonin Dream' is a liquid Balearic nu-disco treat, and 'Man Knowing Infinity' is an ultra-deep electro shuffler.
Review: A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, Tonarunur has just a handful of releases to his name on labels including Eskimo Recordings and Citizens Of Vice, but has already been called upon to sprinkle some magic remix dust over tracks by Imagination and Visage... which gives you some idea of the kind of 80s-inspired grooves you'll find herein. The dreamy 'Paris From Above' kicks us off in Italo/cosmic mode, before things take a more uptempo, proggy turn on 'Quebec From Above'. Coyote then brings us a downtempo refix of the former while Eric Skantze's take on 'Quebec...' goes straight for the melodic techno jugular.
Review: Still not legally old enough to enter a club, 17 year old Maks sounds as if he was there for the rave and free-party scene of his Sheffield's '90s heritage. With a doff of his cap sounding like its tipped towards the likes of William Orbit & Moby - said inspirations - this really comes through on "North'' with its breathy '90s vocals, classic rave keys, bigger-beat drum making, and slow-motion euphoria sounds. Employed for remixes is Canary Islands producer Sauco who ups the big beat inspirations in his remix while fellow Sheffield producer Yarni takes the track down sweetly inspired techno route that dreams up visions of dancing in a field somewhere during the crepuscular hours of a misty swept sunrise. Happy days.
Review: Over the last 18 months Lanowa has become one of Citizens of Vice's most reliable artists, with a string of quietly impressive nu-disco EPs to his name. For this EP he's taken a back seat and turned over the parts to some of his career highlights over to a string of like-minded producers. Our pick of a very strong bunch is Somethin' Sanctified's 'KO mix' of 'Clubber Lang', a filter-sporting, trumpet-laden deep house bounce-along drenched in sonic sunshine, though Ourra and Gary B's tactile, Balearic boogie rub of 'Mojito' is almost as good. Elsewhere, the Patchouli Brothers deliver a squelchy and colourful revision of 'Red Days' and George & Lynn go all deep, warm and groovy on their rework of 'Coloured Squares'.
Review: Striding Frog is not the name of a new hiking-based documentary series hosted by Nigel Farage, but rather a debutant band who make baggy, sun-kissed music that should tickle the fancy of anyone of a Balearic persuasion. The headline-grabbing cut is opener 'Don't Wait', a languid and lazy affair in which the band's multi-tracked vocals rise above psychedelic synth sounds and hazy, slow-motion grooves. Later in the EP you'll find a chugging, acid-fired slo-mo rework of the same track from Italian duo Mushrooms Project, an outfit who do psychedelic disco better than most. Elsewhere, 'Keep The Love' is a sparkling, almost horizontal AOR disco treat, with Ourra's accompanying remix brilliantly re-imagining the track as a dreamy chunk of Balearic synth-pop loveliness.
Review: Nottingham-based Lanowa has been one of Citizens of Vice's most storied artists over the last 12 months, with this rock-solid four-tracker marking his third outing for the imprint in less than 12 months. He hits the ground running with lolloping mid-tempo treat 'Thrill Me', a relaxed, groovy and quietly colourful slab of sun-baked Balearic deep house, before adding a little Afro-house flavour to his summery sound palette on the Adriatic disco warmth of 'Mojito'. 'Clubber Lang' is a chunkier, sleazier and more bass-heavy shuffle through loopy disco-house territory rich in dreamy pads and jazzy guitar solos, while 'Feels Like Love' sees Lanowa move further towards straight-up disco-funk via rubbery bass guitar, mazy Clavinet motifs, drowsy female vocal snippets and hazy horns.
Review: French label Citizens of Vice welcomes the Canary Islands' very own Sauco to the mix with the Sun Goddess EP featuring sleeper hit "Sun Goddess". With the lead track tripping out on flamenco-like guitars, looped disco-machine grooves and balearic synth, it undergoes a funk and ballroom workout in Lanowa's worthy remix. With Rayko dubbing out the guitars, tuning his synths and pumping up the Roland in his Italo-inspired version of "Soulstice", it's the undeniable vamp, build and crescendo of the original within it mega groove that does the trick on us here.
Review: To kick-start 2021, Citizens of Vice has chosen to showcase some fresh remixes of back catalogue tracks courtesy of some of the label artists. Lanowa kicks things off in style via a driving but dreamy, peak-time ready nu-disco take on Paper Soul's 'Falling Down', before Don Dayglow surprisingly turns Somethin' Sanctified's 'CuCuCu' into a drowsy, tactile and melodious fusion of Balearic nu-disco and pitched-down drum and bass. Andy Buchan offers up a typically jaunty and synth-heavy take on Citizens of Vice's own 'Pikes', before Jamie Porteus re-invents Don Dayglow's 'Hooked On The Music' as a glossy, big-studio '80s electro number full of chopped-up samples and oodles of funk. Closing out proceedings is Atdhe, whose 'Disco Meditation' mix of Porteus' 'Way Hey' is arguably the best of the bunch.
Review: A few years ago, Tito Velcro, Elena Hikari and Rare Wiri founder Rayko joined forces in the studio and produced a handful of decidedly Balearic tracks. Now, having sat on Rayko's hard drive for "a few years", they're finally getting a deserved release courtesy of Citizens of Vice. "You're Not Alone" is suitably special, with swirling and evocative vocals from Hikari rising above lazy, laidback guitar riffs, dreamy chords, bubbly beats and soft-touch synth sounds, while 'Unforgettable' is a chugging, slow-motion treat that wraps sparkling synth lines and echoing guitars around echoing beats and low-slung bass. Rayko provides a slightly more club-friendly nu-disco take on 'You're Not Alone', while Ilya Santana re-imagines the same track as a sparse, sunrise-ready chunk of Balearic electrofunk.
Review: Tonarunur hails from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, which is also where he resides and works. You might remember the music he previously made as B.G. Baarregaard, but he now goes under this alias for Citizens of Vice. On the Sunny Nights EP you are certainly in for a treat: from the dusty and sun-kissed deep house of "Flora" which is reminiscent of Berlin producers like Max Graef and Glenn Astro, to the classic early '90s Chicago house vibes on "Sumra" or the blissful layers of melody on closing cut "Skorra" which will hypnotise you into submission - Baarregaard showcases some of his finest musical forays yet on this great EP.
Review: After a sojourn on Sprechen, Paper Street Soul (Slync's Ian Stanford and Cuz Electric's Rich Hall and Megan Jones) return to their original home, Citizens of Vice, with arguably their strongest EP to date. Check first gorgeously sunny and humid opener "Idle Promises", a tasteful chunk of NYC freestyle-meets-Euro-disco cheeriness, before getting down to the fizzing p-funk synths, rubbery bass guitar and unfussy boogie beats of "Rain". Remixer Ourra delivers a superbly sun-kissed and undeniably Balearic nu-disco revision of "Rain" smothered in eyes-closed soft rock guitar solos, while "Indigo Days" is another hot-to-trot slab of squelchy electrofunk that should appeal to Prince and Parliament/Funkadelic fans.
Review: Contemporary disco-house at its best on this four-tracker from Nottingham producer Lanowa, coming on French label Citizens Of Vice. 'Coloured Squares' is a throbbing, hypnotic affair with a spoken female vocal that's highly reminiscent of Who Da Funk's classic 'Shiny Disco Balls'. 'Disco Stu' is warm and bass-y rolling disco groove topped with a vocal that sounds like a Native American chant: the formula's simple, but at 4am on big speakers it may well sound like the best record on Earth! 'You Know' is fat n' squelchy with echoes of NJ garage, before the mellower 'Green Wave' completes the EP with its gently tinkling keys, jazz fusion geetar and playground chant vocal.
Review: For the label's sixteenth release, Citizens of Vice welcomes back rising star Andy Buchan, a producer who has previously plied his wares on Rare Wiri, Hot Digits and Masterworks Music. Opener "Kosmick" lives up to its name, with Buchan peppering a sturdy, arpeggio-driven grooves with waves of colourful synthesizers, sparkling aural textures and some suitably saucer-eyed melodies. "Come My Way" offers a chunkier, more groove-focused take on the same spacey nu-disco sound with the addition of tougher, house-style drums and wavy male vocal samples, while "2049" is powered forwards by stomping drums, sustained chords and a squelchy synth bassline. To round off the EP, "Come My Way" is turned into a dreamy slab of spaced-out synth-soul by the Paper Street Soul crew.
Review: Earlier in the year We Play Alone debuted on Citizens Of Vice via a contribution to the label's superb "Twenty 20". Here the trio of experienced producers returns with a rather fine first EP. Opener "Love Breaks Down" is dreamy and delicious, with the threesome wrapping tactile chords and mangled vocal samples around a bustling house beat. "Into You" sees them join the dots between Todd Edwards style garage and laidback analogue deep house, while "3-29am"is the kind of wavy, ultra-deep house jam that makes perfect sense at half-three in the morning. Also superb is former Accidental and Mantis Recordings man Brooks's remix of "Into You", which turns the cut into a quirky fusion of booming sub-bass, pin-sharp melodies and constantly intensifying beats.
Review: To celebrate the dawning of a new decade Citizens of Vice has decided to offer up a multi-artist extravaganza featuring contributions from a quintet of rising stars. Jamie Porteus kicks things off with "Johnny Deep", a wonderfully warm-and sun-kissed blend of bubbly electronic grooves, ear-pleasing melodies and subtle dub influences, before Lanowa goes down a deeper route on the warm, hypnotic and bass-heavy house cut "Gorgeous People". Elsewhere, Lovebreak's "Honestly" is a dusty sample-house shuffler, Paper Street Song's "Bobby's Song" is a glassy-eyed rework of an eyes-closed 80s soul jam and We Play Alone's "There's Something Up There" brilliantly joins the dots between drowsy deep house and sub-heavy UL garage.
Review: Don Dayglow AKA Adam Hignell serves up a nu-disco four-tracker that steers refreshingly clear of the usual musical cliches. 'Can't Get Enough' does tread fairly familiar nu-disco/disco-house ground, admittedly, but 'Fight Back' is a more inventive number that marries 80s soul elements to a full-phat bassline and house pianos to great effect, while 'Square Leg' is as fine a slice of acid funk squelch as you'll hear all month, with a few nods to Italo-disco thrown in for good measure. And then there's 'Hooked On The Music', which starts out all experimental and percussive, then takes a sudden left turn into a rave circa 1989.
Review: Given that he's most associated with the more tech-tinged Nightnoise label, we were a little surprised to see Jamie Porteus popping up on sun-soaked, Balearic-minded disco imprint Citizens of Vice. Perhaps we shouldn't have been, because "Way Hey" is superb - a deliciously sunny, mid-set workout that wraps glassy-eyed Balearic guitars and bold synthesizer motifs around a chunky groove that reminded us of the Cure, the Police (as in the band, not your local neighbourhood coppers) and all manner of obscure 1980s European Balearic disco records. Over on the virtual B-side, Something Sanctified channels the spirit of Canadian Balearic synth-pop heroes The Junior Boys on a mix so luscious and tactile you half expect it to spring from the speakers and give you a hug.
Review: A four-track EP here that you can file under disco, deep house or downtempo as you see fit... unless, of course, you have a crate marked 'stunning', in which case it deserves a place in there! Opener 'Calle De Dulcinea' is a bumpin', bass-y affair with a fine jazzy vibes solo in the middle and occasional scat vocal snips, 'Andalusian Jazz Hands' operates in similar territory but is a tad more upbeat and floor-friendly, while Bobby Bricks supplies a blissed-out, Balearic refix of the former and The Beat Broker provides an even-bassier dub of the latter. A very fine package for the summer months.
Review: Paper Street Soul is a new project from some experienced producers/musicians, namely Slync man Ian Stanford and Cuz Electric's Rich Hall and Megan Jones. This is their debut EP and it's really rather good. Check first the languid Balearic disco goodness of opener "Fallin' Down", where eyes-closed guitar solos, swirling chords, hazy sax motifs and echoing vocals wrap around a laidback dub disco groove, before admiring the layered percussion, deep chords and elastic bass of superb deep disco-house cut "Always (On My Mind)". To round things off they take a relaxed trip into sweet nu-disco territory via the bubbly arpeggio bass, clipped guitars and colourful synthesizers of "Moonpig".
Review: Just two months after delivering their debut EP for Citizens of Vice - the rather good "Arrivals Part 1" - Bent member Simon Mills and International Feel artist Joel Hood reprise their Somethin' Santified partnership. "Arrivals Part 2" is a rock solid sequel. The pair begins with "Soul Glo", a wonderfully woozy and opaque number where glistening melodies and sechoing vocal samples bob and weave around a chunky, proto-house style groove, before wrapping themselves in cotton wool on the loved-up Balearic dancefloor bliss of "CuCuCu". "Marzipan" is a sticky, humid and melodious chunk of sunrise-ready deep house breeziness, while closing cut "White Blossoms" is a reverb-laden jazz-house shuffler rich in fluttering flute lines and drifting Brazilian vocal samples.
Review: Citizens of Vice's latest on-point EP comes courtesy of Andy Buchan, a producer, remixer and re-editor who has previously released umpteen EPs on labels such as Midnight Riot, Hot Digits, Paper Disco, and Masterworks Music. To our ears, the standout cut is undeniably opener "What U Do 2 Me", a joyously summery and rush-inducing affair that layers bouncy piano riffs, elastic synth bass and pitched-down vocal samples over a suitably big and ballsy groove. Pete Herbert takes a different tack on his remix, re-imagining the cut as a sparkling, synth-heavy chunk of proto-house/Balearic nu-disco fusion. Elsewhere, "Get Down" is a driving chunk of organ-sporting nu-disco/deep house fusion, while "Dubble D" sees Buchan pepper another sturdy groove with jaunty synth-riffs, sunset-ready piano stabs and Italo-influenced electronics.
Review: If you've yet to taste the sunny, sumptuous, synth-heavy world of Nico Bernard AKA AWITW, this on-point outing on Citizens of Vice is as good a place as any to start. "Memories", in particular, is blissfully gorgeous; a cheery, life affirming mid-tempo amble through sunlit Mediterranean uplands in the company of a drum machine and a wealth of vintage synthesizers. "Childhood", meanwhile, chugs a little more, with alien synth melodies riding a squeezable electronic bassline and warming Fender Rhodes chords. Tim Hutton's chunkier, acid-flecked revision of "Childhood" is naturally also a tasty treat, while Plastic Fantastic brilliantly re-casts "Memories" as a woozy shuffle through deep house/dreamy synth-pop fusion that's more Balearic than queuing for hours to get into a disappointing super-club.