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.
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: 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: 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.