Based in the UK and Sweden, Flak Records have been wobbling woofers with their colourful selection of electro swing, house, dubstep and glitch, since 2011. With Joshua Marks and Jessica Andersson at the helm, Flak has released fun ‘n’ funky tracks from the likes of: PaulWetz, Jamie Berry, Butterfly Crash, Minor Rain, Fabian, Jazzotron, CalicoLeaf and more.
Walk With Me (feat Sophie Cinnamond) - (4:26) 121 BPM
Army - (4:25) 73 BPM
Mind Games (feat Heather Melgram) - (2:58) 112 BPM
Bolder (feat Georgia Thursting) - (3:19) 88 BPM
Escape (feat Jemio) - (3:16) 70 BPM
Liberate (feat Alice Francis) - (3:16) 53 BPM
Sinister Piffle - (4:08) 114 BPM
Sweet Rascal - (4:07) 124 BPM
Devil In The Detail (feat Emma Lea) - (3:02) 73 BPM
Outro - (0:57) 112 BPM
Review: UK producer Jamie Berry is relentless to say the least. The unstoppable producer has been firing off releases since the early 2010's, dipping and diving between elector and bass, dubstep and funky house, usually on the utterly reliable Flak imprint. Here, we have a whole album from the man, the aptly entitled Frenzy, and boy what a trip this one is! We've dubbed it 'funky/club' but, in reality, this thing is much, much more than that; the opening "Walk With Me", a cheery house nugget, is quickly transformed into bottom-heavy wobble on "Army", and then something near to Balearic or downtempo on "Bolder", featuring the vocals of Georgia Thursting. All in all, this can only be classed as a pure hybrid, perfectly reflective of the UK's constant thirst for innovation. Lovely.
Review: Following up great releases by Leeds based Jamie Berry and Vesta, it's now over to young producer PaulWetz: a 19-year-old from Southern Germany. Keeping on with the label's penchant for things of the electro-swing persuasion, Wetz serves up the deep and sultry tech house of "Moonlight" which definitely has a touch of the exotic to it: more Latin we'd say, and it's a right scorcher featuring some steamy vocals. Second offering "Pablo" is a very cool experiment in indie-dance and will appeal appeal to the crossover antics of hot acts of the moment like Red Axes or Moscoman.
Review: Earlier this year Leeds electro-swing producer and sultry singer Octavia Rose repeated the success of earlier collaborations with newbie, Lost In The Rhythm. Now to follow it up they unveil a string of remixes aimed at sustaining the momentum of this hit. There are five reworks in total: Catjam begin with an accelerated wobble-tech rejig. Elsewhere Mista Trick opts for a slower electronic bounce with a little hint of DnB in the breaks, PiSK successfully goes for the traditional electro-swing route, Eclectic takes things in a bleepy trap direction and Slunk wraps it all up with a slick, synth drenched nu-soul rework.
Review: Following their successful collaboration, Delight, back in 2012, Leeds electro-swing producer and sultry singer Octavia Rose have decided to rekindle the magic on new one-off, "Lost In The Rhythm". Once again the rule here is 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', but although this new ditty sounds familiar, it's never dull. Stomping along at 120bpm, Rose lays down a catchy 20s/30s style vocal over a classic swing strum before the tune surprisingly opens up into some infectious synthy electro-pop, catching everyone by surprise once more. Another hit to be sure.
Review: Despite his habit of dropping one-track nuggets, Jamie Berry is back in business and brandishing a proper song-packed EP too! Berry has always been in a different galaxy of class to most electro-swing pretenders, and here is no different, with the raucous staccato strut of the title track leading the charge. Elsewhere "You Better Get Down" is a sassy half time prowler, "Risque" is all tough 30s-goes-breaks grooves and "It Ain't Right" is a pounding whirling dervish of jazz hands and bass. Finally the regal "Majesty" boasts some seriously elegant bass and urgent 4 x 4 bounce. Spectacular.
Review: Leeds based house guy Vesta is all about the feel good vibes of dance music. Ibiza is his spiritual home, and with "Neon Heat" he's created a summer anthem in the making. With bright percussion, snappy snares, warm arpeggiation and strong emotional vocals from Heather Melgram, this will be lapped up by the suns out, guns out crew.
Review: Sprightly soul and bouncy bass: Leeds-based upstart Vesta makes his Flak debut with a couplet of summer-primed house bumpers. "I Feel Something" oozes groove appeal thanks to its layered synths, vocal snippets and positive chord progressions. With a more stripped back arrangement and clipped Kerri Chandler style hook "The Deep" lives up to its name before gradually developing into something more full flavoured when the well positioned vocal elements start to play off each other. An accomplished debut. More of this please Vesta.
Review: Having developed a sterling reputation for sudden splashes of one-track attitude, Berry returns with his most extensive EP since last year's Swing It EP. The party ignites with the glitch-swing jazz jam "Grandiose". Built up around a well excavated '30s vocal sample with big walls of slippery bass, it sets the tone for the entire EP. Further on "Twitch" takes the vibe up several BPM with a festival-ready piano-slapping vocal jacker, "Heart" averts full focus to the horn section with cinematic glee, "Showtime" jives and swings with Cab Calloway-style cheek and charm and "NFY" brings the show to a full-flavoured, bass-burping pumping finale. Consistent, extensive and exciting, this is Berry's finest release to date.
Review: Some producers go very retro with their swing productions and some go very hard on the electro side. Here DJ Mibor delivers two slices of uber slick, housed-up swing that are both subtle and yet not shy on hitting the dancefloor either. After much deliberation we've decided that our favourite here is the clicky fizz of the Louis-Prima-in-Ibiza vibes of "Alkaline", but it was a tough call.
Review: It's another one-track special from Flak funkster Jamie Berry: Big pianos, massive horns and a humungous vocal from Rosie Harte, this is a perfect example of dancefloor unity that's driven by a bold mid-tempo kick. With swing vibes aplenty and a cool array of samples coded deep into the blend, Jamie Berry can do no wrong right now.
Review: Attention all air trumpeteers! It's time to dust off your very best horns as this one is crying for some air action. Jacking with a Chicago-style bump, driven by a relentless horn hook and powered by some sweet sub action on the bottom end, "Swing The Bass" is the quintessential swing shock-out of the season. Get busy.
Review: Ever since Serbian producer Gramophonedzie burst onto the scene with his blends of sturdy house and goodtime swing, the Balkan nation has become a hotbed for electro-swing. The latest Serbian talent to impress is Uros Petkovic, who here repeats his countryman's formula with a goodtime fusion of parping horns, swinging beats and effortless vocals (from guest chanteuse Sofia Knezevic). The loose and groovy original is joined by a duo of remixes by Nikola Vujicic and Grant Lazlo. It's the latter's low slung, funk-laden swing-rock remix that most impresses. The EP also features "Get Up", another cheeky chunk of hip-wigglin' electro-swing goodness.
Review: Flak's love for the swing jams continues unabated with two pant-swinging dashers from Serbian Nikola Vujicic . "I Walk In" struts with cocksure confidence and a horn loop that's not too far away from Riva and Noze's seminal "I Was Drunk". More groove-based and less novelty than Riva and co, it's a strictly heads-down-and-air-trumpets-out deal. "Butterflies In The Rain" adds more of a quirky twist using a much larger vocal sample before the chugging 4/4s make themselves known. Anyone familiar with the 'something in my front pocket for you' song from South Park will be suitably amused.
Review: Jamie seems to like flinging out these one-track specials on Flak. Good for him! Why clutter the release with remixes when the original packs enough punch to knock out parties from now to 2092. Electro-swing a-go-go, this is an unapologetic joy ride fun town with all the horn parps, squidgy bass burps and weird, trippy glitches you'd expect to see along the way. Cause some dancefloor "Magic" today!
Review: Here we have two brothers from Leeds who are unapologetic about their mission to produce uplifting feel good party music. Bouncing firmly in the electro-swing camp, these energetic chaps have lived up to the genre's ideals of fusing house beats to like, really old swing, jazz and big band music, with their new single, "Chimichanga Cha Cha". Shuffling modern beats nestle with a vintage Mexican party sample (a jovial ode to the eponymous burrito!), before some heavier wobble bass kicks in to push things up a gear or two.
Review: A single-track wobbler from electro-swing producer Jamie Berry, "Marvellous" is a subtle builder that slowly brings up some swinging jazz horns over a tight electro beat, complete with thick bass throbs and some flitting synth leads.