Review: Italy now boasts some of the world's most talented exponents of next generation electronic jazz-funk. Ad Bourke and Raiders of the Lost Arp are undoubtedly among the top tier, as "Raw" so expertly proves. In its original form, the track is a jazzy, intergalactic treat rich in fizzing, Herbie Hancock synthesizers, rubbery Level 42 style bass, and beats seemingly inspired by fellow Far Out outfit Azymuth. Equally as impressive is the accompanying Ron Trent remix, which sees the legendary Chicagoan producer add a little deep house bump and peak-time energy whilst retaining the percussive and musical fluidity of the Italian combo's inspired original version.
Review: Here's something to get the blood pumping: a fresh Ron Trent remix of the title track from legendary Brazilian jazz-funk outfit Azymuth's most recent album, 2016's "Fenix". The original version is, of course, rather tidy - think darting synths and vocoder lines, dexterous slap-bass and rich, life-affirming chords - but Trent still manages to serve up a seriously good alternative version. He appears to have utilized every bit of individual instrumentation found on the master tapes, offering a subtle deep house/jazz-funk fusion cut full of loose-limbed drumming, intertwined solos and chords that pulse with sun-kissed positivity. It's not a particularly revolutionary remix, but when the musicianship is this good, why change it?
Review: In the not too distant past, Ben Hauke's productions were compared favourably to both Theo Parrish and Madlib. Certainly, you can hear the influence of both producers in the dusty, sample-rich cuts that make up this expansive EP for Far Out Recordings. The North Londoner's attempts at smooth and sultry deep house - see "Get Up Get Down", in particular - are jazzy and slightly off-kilter, while all seven tracks come blessed with the kind of loose and swinging beats that have always been a hallmark of MPC-fuelled productions. Highlights are plentiful, from the deep and woozy Brazilian broken beats of "Bait-Leo" and "You're Too Deep", to the sultry, head-nodding warmth of "Only Old", carnival hip-hop of "Runners" and Kaidi Tatham style bruk goodness of "Digi Luv", featuring the seductive vocals of Eggrum.
Review: Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra, Daniel Maunick and David Brinkworth's whole-hearted tribute to 1970s Brazilian disco, last showcased its celebratory, sun-kissed wares way back in 2014 via an eponymous debut album that's still capable of setting the pulse racing. Black Sun, the outfit's second album, contains another superb selection of authentically played and produced disco songs and instrumentals. Check, for example, the blissful jazz guitars and heavy "walking" bass of "The Two of Us", the richly orchestrated and horn-heavy "Step Into My Life" and the spine-tingling, piano-fired breeziness of "Flying High", whose seductive female vocals are smothered in just the right amount of reverb.
Review: Back in 2012, Far Out Recordings founder Joe Davis decided to celebrate the label's 20th birthday but putting together a Brazilian disco super group, The Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra. The album that followed, recorded in Rio featuring contributions from legendary disco and jazz-funk musicians, was something of a floor-friendly treat. Five years on, Davis has handed over the parts to album highlight "Vendetta" to Glaswegian disco producer Al Kent. The Million Dollar Disco man does his best impression of Tom Moulton on the 'Main Mix', soloing each of the individual instruments and building up the percussion on a 10-minute master class. Arguably even better is the dub, which works the percussion hard before introducing the bass and strings midway through.
Step Into My Life (feat Arthur Vercoai - M&M mix By John Morales) - (9:57) 118 BPM
The Two Of Us (Al Kent vocal mix) - (11:04) 107 BPM
The Two Of Us (Al Kent dub mix) - (11:04) 107 BPM
Review: Due to to popular demand, the massive M&M remix of "Step Into My Life" by New York City legend John Morales gets a digital reissue on Far Out Recordings. Featuring Arthur Verocai, house music doesn't get much more sultry and soulful than this one. Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra also present a new Million Dollar Disco remix from the master Al Kent, which dives into deeper downbeat territory. Rest assured that it retains those come hither vocals and life affirming vibes. For those of you who aren't keen on the vox, worry not as there is a handy dub mix included for your mixing pleasure.
Review: Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra are Far Out's in-house Brazilian disco group comprised of Joe Davis with long-time affiliated producers David Brinkworth and Daniel "Venom" Maunick. 4hero main man Dego's "2000 Black Remix" of "Where Do We Go From Here?" is on form as always; this is modern, soulful deep-funk the way it's meant to be. Londoner Ben Hauke's rendition isn't too bad either giving the track a slightly urban, low slung soul makeover that'd reminiscent of Theo Parrish's finer moments. Speaking of Detroit; Andres appears too, giving the track his typical Midas touch on this deep house take that's so worth hearing.