Review: As their name suggests, Italian duo Alien Alien make music that isn't of this world. On the title track, the bass is loose and lumbering as it moves up and down a few notes, the hissing percussive layers cloaking the arrangement in mist and all the while an indistinct vocal mutters "Myoosic". The Mekanikos remix is also unusual; the beats are slower and almost at a hip-hop pace - for a split second, they sound like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" on downers - and the arrangement is submerged in an acid-fried dub cloud. Idoit's remix picks up the pace and transports Alien Alien's original track into a skeletal rhythmic framework, a place where it sounds like the robots have taken over from the little green men.
Review: Having focused exclusively on digital releases for its first six years, leading Mexican disco/house/Italo fusionist label Electrique has decided to press this 80th EP to vinyl. Happily, it's also available as a digital EP. An all-star concoction featuring various label regulars, it variously touches on bleep-heavy deep house (La Royale and Pato Watson's bleep-heavy "Gravy"), dirty analogue electronics (a trippy and fuzzy offering from Max Jones), rubbery machine funk (Gameboyz), throbbing heads-down fare (Bufi, Eddie Mercury) and Latin-tinged analogue disco (Juan Soto & Rocco Desentis). Best of all, though, is Thomas Jackson's Lee Scratch Perry-sampling "For The Junkies", a prize slice of fuzzy, Prins Thomas-ish organic disco.
Review: To date, Mexico-based producer Future Feelings has tiptoed the fine line between deep house and nu-disco. "Stay On The Scene", though, is an altogether murkier affair, with pulsating, Jaydee style Belgian bass and trippy electronics underpinning a gnarled spoken vocal. It's more akin to something that you'd find on Hot Creations or Crosstown Rebels than Electrique, but that's no criticism. The strangely titled "Eddie Mercury (Mike Dub)" version is, if anything, even more intense, with darker textures and some twisted acid touches. It's a real late night, heads-down hip-wiggler. It's probably the pick of the two tracks, which is some compliment given the qualities of the original version.
Review: Following his impressive disco-influenced summer buzz "Arabian Nightmare", New York's Max Jones steps over to Electrique with a duo of dark, slo-mo stamp sessions. "Que Bellos Ojos" (those beautiful eyes) is an angular workout that's not dissimilar to the early releases on Classic Music; hooky, cooky and spiked out with a strange, stretched crying sample. "Manos Arriba", meanwhile, whispers with the spirit of Ron Hardy, all minimal, stompy and tracky. Translating to 'hands up', it definitely lives up to its name.
Review: Bufi is arguably one of the most productive - not to mention successful - producers in the Mexican electronic music scene. Along with others from the Electrique Music imprint, he's been responsible for defining the Mexican nu-disco sound - a kind of fuzzy blend of vintage electronics, new-wave attitude, house sassiness, indie-dance posturing and electrofunk squelch. Here he returns with another double dose of stylish goodness. "Bees" is pleasingly sparse, creating an attractive dancefloor proposition from a handful of (excellent) elements (wide-eyed Balearic melodies, synth bass, fuzzy guitar, crusty live beats and baggy vocals). "El Techno En Tu Idoma" substitutes tactile dreaminess for the hedonistic delights of a stripped-back groove, punk-funk vocals and proto-house attitude.
Review: Along with the likes of Daniel Maloso, Bufi and La Royale are leading a very healthy Mexican scene that's heavily indebted to 80s disco and proto-house. This isn't the first time these two have collaborated and you can hear why - they have a genuine chemistry that results in some excellent retro dance bangers. "Paris" sees lean, mean, neon bass notes lock over 4/4 nu-disco drums in an intense mechanical groove. Hazy vocals and heavy breathing jostle for position with high drama cosmic synthlines in what's basically a dubbed-out Italo winner.
Review: By the sounds of things, if you're of the nu-disco persuasion, Mexico is really kickin' off these days. Bufi is one of that city's leading lights as can be evidenced here. "Training Tofu" is like one of those club records from the 80s that's equal parts new wave, disco and house...proto house in other words. In Ron Hardy was around today he'd be slammin this! On the remix front we have glacial electro soul from Heko, killer, Bobby O-style, electro-disco from Andre VII and cool punk-funkisms from Avanti. Top-notch all round.
Review: Mexico City's hyped Electrique Music label regular send out cheeky bootlegs and promo-only remixes via their Saturday Night Delight E-Newsletter. Here, they give a taste of what to expect via a new track from La Royale and Yesco that bites Frankie Goes To Hollywood's infamous '80s smash. To be honest, there's little of the original included bar a few of Holly Johnson's vocal yelps, and for all intents and purposes it's a new track. Said track sounds like a cross between The Flirts' Bobby 'O' produced "Passion", Discovery-era Daft Punk and chugging, Italo-style nu-disco. It's actually quite good, regardless of the famous 'Frankie' vocal.
Review: Andre VII is one of the leading lights in Mexico's nu-disco scene, which has flourished over the last 18 months thanks to the efforts of the Electrique Music imprint. Here, he returns to said label with a relentless burst of acid disco. Like many of the label's releases, "Discoteca Clandestina" sits somewhere between revivalist house (check those pianos and acid squiggles) and rubbery, low-slung disco (clipped guitars, heavy electric bass) - with a dash of electro-disco thrown in (Moroder-ish appreggios). Bottin provides the headline remix, dusting down his vocoder for a spot of revivalist nu-Italo. Bufi's remix - leaning more heavily on disco-funk influences - is also worth a listen.
Review: I bet the producers behind this synth-heavy electrofunk/acid house fusion chuckled when they decided to credit it to 'Eddie Mercury'. That cheeky sense of fun is present throughout the EP, from the nagging simplicity of the squidgy original version of "In Mexico", to the Robotnick-on-speed silliness of Andre VII's pumping, techno-tinged Italo rework. See also the '80s bass, freestyle and Italo mash-up madness of the Zombies In Miami Remix, and the wonky sub, skewed beats and mildly disturbing oddness of the Rubinskee dub Del Sesierto version. As ever with Electrique Music, the emphasis is on fun, but the sounds are more than interesting enough to warrant investment.
Review: Like many Electrique Music releases, there's something strangely pleasing about this single from the previously unknown Alcatraz. There's a stripped-back, punk-funk influenced groove (check the chunky live bassline), twittering nu-disco synths, a touch of deep house charm (via classic pianos and pads) and a breezy Spanish vocal. While simple but effective, it's also incredibly charming, too. The obligatory big name remix comes from Rodion, who laces the piano and vocals over a sturdy electro-disco groove that's broader than Broadway. Avanti also remix, delivering a rework that sounds like a grumpier take on Holy Ghost.