Review: Although born and raised in Germany, Heidelberg-based David Jackson is half-Irish - hence his desire to express that part of his identity within the music he makes. 'Guinness Italo', the title track from his latest EP on Frank Music, is as bright, breezy and sugary as the greatest Italo-disco, and as robust and strong-tasting as the famous stout namechecked in its name. Jackson explores his Irish roots more expressively on 'Guinness Emotions', a fine fusion of laidback, delay-laden Gallic folk music and bubbly dancefloor electronica, before once again reaching for jumpy synthesizer melodies and throbbing, arpeggio-driven grooves on 'Guinness Trance'. Bonus cut 'Guinness Drums', a brilliantly programmed, sweat-soaked, proto-house inspired DJ tool piled high with drum machine percussion, is also well worth a listen.
Review: Three tracks from as many artists make up this first salvo in Frank Music's 10th birthday celebrations. Amount gets the ball rolling with 'Dphrase', which opens with simple 4/4s, goes all fluttery and wispy and then bursts out into a synth-y, Euro-sounding instrumental sitting right at the point where house, prog and disco collide. The Captain Of Your Heart's 'Love' then takes us into dreamy 80s pop territory before the EP's completed by Levitation Venue's 'Everything's Good', the standout for yours truly and a laidback lil' groover in which gently meandering ivories meet some impressively understated acid.
Review: Released just under 12 months ago, Johannes Albert's Spessart album was a cassette-only affair that largely focused on synth-powered ambient and new age tracks. It makes sense then that Albert, a producer renowned for delivering retro-futurist club cuts, would want to re-frame some of the tracks for the dancefloor, as he has done here. The results are quietly impressive, from the hybrid Italo-disco/piano-house hedonism of hands-in-the-air opener 'Kuhruh (Italo Mix)', to the pleasingly deep, woozy and sub-heavy deep house shuffle of melodious closing cut 'Katherinebild (Bejazzo Mix)'. Sandwiched in between you'll find the dreamy, colourful dream house revivalism of 'Schonrain (Ibiza Mix)' and the glassy-eyed, punk funk-bass-sporting lusciousness of 'Mariabuchen (Indie Mix)'.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a fresh set of remixes of tracks from Iron Curtis and Johannes Albert's recent collaborative album, the synth-heavy, far-sighted goodness that was Moon I. The headline attraction is undoubtedly Versatile Records veteran I:Cube's stellar rework of 'Hunting', which the Parisian successfully re-imagines as a gloriously tuneful, immersive and mood-enhancing fusion of analogue deep house and deep, intergalactic synth-pop. He's also delivered a deliciously delay-laden, drum heavy\Bonus Beat' dub mix for those who love to play around with percussion. The EP's other revision comes courtesy of Permanent Vacation co-founder Benjamin Frohlich. His excellent take on 'Nektar' wraps reverb-heavy female vocals and nagging acid lines around a rubbery synth bassline and boogie-era proto-house drums.
Review: Three tracks of pacy, synth-led contemporary disco here courtesy of Irish producer David Jackson and German label Frank Music. 'Airport Disco' is aptly titled, an instrumental affair that conjures visions of the First Class lounge in some swanking interplanetary spaceport. 'Oohhyee' with its euphoric, hands-in-the-air pianos veers closer to house/disco-house territory, while completing the EP is 'In My System', which summons the ghost of the kind of 80s Eurodisco that led us to house music in the first place. There's a whiff of fromage in places, but all three are highly infectious and will give the dancefloor a damn good workout.
Review: Frank Music legend, recent Iron Curtis collaborator and Renate Schallplatten singing Johannes Albert sends in a curio of a release if it's not only for the tranquil brain massage that is "Sindersbach". Spessart sees Albert at his minimal, new age best with neo-90s numbers like "Schanrain" with its twinkling keys and heavy chords. Taste the fruits of ambient and exotica vibes in the tropicana of "Kuhruh" to the spacier, UFO-in-the-desert-themed "Mariabuchen". Continue with the loungey oasis ballad "Beilstein" or the percussive "Beilstein" with some touches of dramatic krautrock. Music for Montages.
Review: Australian artist Kayroy's music career is still in its infancy, but he's already released some stellar stuff, most notably on Whiskey Disco, Hotfoot and, most recently, MixCult Digital. "Identification Unknown", the Melbourne-based producer's first outing on Frank Music, is a genuine earworm: a bubbly chunk of Italo-disco/nu-disco fusion rich in sparkling synth sounds, chugging, arpeggio-style bass, early Pet Shop Boys stabs and cheery female vocals. Donald Dust kicks off the accompanying remix package with a darker, pitched-up take that employs more ghostly synth sounds, before Longhair brilliantly re-casts it as a thickset chunk of Balearic boogie underpinned by a superb synth bassline. Finally, experienced nu-disco head Johannes Albert emphasizes the track's Italo-disco influences on a tight and dancefloor-friendly "DJ Edit".
Review: There's some serious blurring of genre boundaries going on here. This EP from W?rzburg native Johannes Albert, coming on his own Frank Music label, may be sitting in our disco section - as befits the Italo-esque throb of opener 'Wing House' (as remixed by Shan) - but its four tracks could also slide neatly into house and even techno sets. Map-ache's remix of 'Cell' will suit the prog/melodic jocks, Iron Curtis's remix of 'Wing House' has both melodic and tech elements, while the standout Sebastian Voigt remix 'Milieu', with its dark, rumbling bass and clattering breakbeat, harks back to the rave era and as such should have broad, poly-dancefloor appeal.
Review: Sweating profusely and clutching his favourite dusty old bits of music-making kit, a shirtless Johannes Albert gestures us towards the dancefloor and asks us to dance the "Credit Jive". There's no fancy footwork required, just a desire to lose your inhibitions to a thrusting, all-action Italo-disco workout rich in relentless, arpeggio-style bass, thumping kickdrums, ricocheting percussion hits, jacking drum machine fills and a handful of spacey electronic motifs. Albert can see we need a quick breather, so he offers up "Linn Dreams", a fabulously colourful, Linn Drum-driven bounce through hybrid nu-disco/instrumental synth-pop pastures. It's little less than a rush-inducing palette cleanser.
Review: Wurzburg's Johannes Albert heads up Frank Music, where for several years he's delivered some top-shelf deep house jams by the likes of Smallpeople, Achterbahn D'Amour, Monosoul and of course a heap of his own jams from his now Berlin based studio. His new Plus 1 EP refers to the collaborations featured and includes the track "Turbo Basmati". While in its original form it is an uplifting and neon-lit Italo disco tribute, Iron Curtis' Thermo mix is a powerful, breaks-driven classic house jam, just like the following "Karen's Piano" which features Mr. Fonk on this old school Strictly Rhythm tribute. Albert proves he's just as able to do deep and emotive house too, as displayed on the sexy mood lighting of "Floating Dub" featuring D.Y.A.
Review: Fresh from a tech-house influenced EP on new label Corp, Johannes Albert pops up on Frank Music with an altogether different proposition. "Giovanni Frizzante" is something of a life-affirming, lose-your-shit peak-time treat, with the German producer brilliantly joining the dots between sleazy Italo-disco (represented by a chugging arpeggio bassline) and cheery Italian house (a range of brilliant piano solos and accompanying positive electronic elements). The track's anthem-like elements are pushed to the fore on Prins Thomas's dizzyingly good remix, which craftily replaces the original's arpeggio lines with rubbery synth-bass and a full tablet's worth of loved-up vibes. The bubbly nu-disco bounce of bonus cut "D-Trainse (No Cure Mix)" is also worth a listen.
Review: Johannes Albert's Berlin based imprint Frank Music is on a roll right now. Its new compilation celebrates five years in business and what a way to celebrate, drafting NYC deep house legend Fred P with the sublime "Energy Cloud" (which is one of his best tracks of late in our opinion), Berliner Iron Curtis with the ultra-smooth deepness of "Operater 123" (live mix) and the epic dancefloor drama of "Got The Juice" showcasing Freer and Reilling's typical studio magic as always. The most upbeat offering is by Jena's Tim Toh (who has previously released on Philpot and Ornaments) with "Hidden Beauty" a late noughties style journey in the vein of classic Innervisions, Buzzin Fly or Freerange.