Review: Madrid's Azaria and Brazil's Hoochie Coochie Papa join forces on this two-track EP for James Rod's Spanish-based Golden Soul label. What they've come up with between them are two big n' balls-y synth cuts that you could pretty much file under disco, techno or prog as you see fit, because both 'Aventador' and 'Deserto' should go down a storm on any dancefloor where big n' balls-y synth cuts are played! 'Aventador' has an intense, ominous, eve-of-the-war kinda feel, while 'Deserto' is just a little lighter on its feet and sports some pleasing snake charmer-esque flourishes towards the end.
Review: Ukrainian duo Limpodisco step up with a track that defies easy categorisation, sitting somewhere between nu-disco, deep house, Balearica and electro-funk, while on the remix front you get a Dub that gives the track a serious acid injection, plus a Stephen Richards Remix that takes us a little closer to straight-up nu-disco. As such, 'Stranger Tribute' could slot into a variety of DJ sets and serve as an attention-getter in any of them, though it's the Dub that stands out for this reviewer - there are few things that can't be improved via the addition of a lil' 303 squelch!
Review: The land of the Pharaohs provides the inspiration for this two-tracker from Madrid native Rams, which comes on James Rod's Golden Soul label. 'Egyptian Beads' itself opens with portentous, plodding drums, a hefty throbbing bassline and indecipherable spoken vocal snips, alongside which various synths drift in and out of the mix, all of which adds up to a cut that's druggy, hazy, hypnotic and at times almost apocalyptic in feel. The accompanying 'Egyptian Hieroglyphic' has a very similar MO, but is just a tiny bit pacier. Neither will go down well at your local Ritzys, but either/both should keep more "educated" disco floors grooving along nicely.
Review: Spanish nu-disco don James Rod returns to Golden Soul with a synth-tastic disco epic that's served in your choice of two quite different flavas. Rod's original is heavily influenced by cosmic disco and new beat/EBM, starting out with a simple locomotive-like chug before atmospheric FX usher in the layers of synths that just keep on building, the whole thing getting more and more spaced-out as it progresses. The accompanying Azaria Remix takes the mood to its natural conclusion, abandoning any 'disco' pretensions entirely and instead aiming straight at the progressive house floors.
Review: Argentinian producer Francisco Gigena AKA Panko, known mostly for releases on U're Guay Records and Moiss Music, comes to Golden Soul, and the four tracks he bring with him fit the label's more electronic remit down to the ground. Italo/cosmic disco was clearly the prime inspiration here, but these tracks could slot just as easily into progressive/melodic house sets - 'Juegos' especially - while 'Ocho' could pass for a late 80s Belgian new beat record on a dark night. On the remix front, Aleito transforms the dramatic, brooding 'Flauta' into a peaktime throbber with something of a Grid-ish feel.
Review: Golden Soul bring us a couple of Italo/cosmic workouts courtesy of Spanish producer Ivan De La Rouch and fellow countryman and frequent collaborator Rams. The mid-paced 'Blessing' then gets a slightly tuffer, dubbier makeover from Italy's Belabouche, whose work has previously appeared on Midnight Riot and FKR, while the more funk-fuelled 'Freshhigh' is given an apocalyptic-sounding and lightly acidic refix from the mighty James Rod. The most dramatic remix, though, comes from Berlin's Grey Pantone, in whose hands 'Freshhigh' becomes a high-octane techno/electro workout to punish even the most energised of dancefloors.
Review: Having previously cropped up on Rare Wiri and Super Spicy, among other labels, Mexican nu-disco producer Esteban Ochoa, better known as Flight Status, comes to James Rod's Golden Soul with an EP packing two original tracks plus a remix from the label boss himself. 'Extraordinary Status', in its original form, sits somewhere between Italo nouveau and spangly Nang-esque nu-disco, while 'Visions Master' operates in very similar territory but leans perhaps a little more overtly to the 80s side of the equation. Rod's remix then beefs up the title track and adds a little sci-fi flava to ensure maximum peak-time stompery
Review: Two established Spanish artists, Carlos CMIX and Howard Mind, join forces as CMIND on this EP for James Rod's Golden Soul. There's an annoying tendency in rock circles to label anything with a drum machine "disco" or "electro", and an equally annoying tendency in dance circles to call anything with a slightly aggressive vocal "punky". This, though, is the real deal on both counts, as the pair serve up four indie/electro/EBM-inspired tracks in five mixes that recall the likes of Slab!, Meat Beat Manifesto or even Leftfield's classic John Lydon collab 'Open Up'. Music for manning the barricades to...
Review: Spanish producer Adri?n Calystarr comes to James Rod's Golden Soul Records with an EP that packs two tracks of dark, electronic disco. 'Night Rules' itself is up first, a moody, midtempo affair that's got an almost new beat-ish feel, with shakers, sci-fi synths and disembodied fragments of barely-there vox sitting atop its incessant bass chug and driving 4/4 kick. 'Acid Monster' is similar in MO but picks up the pace a little, with the otherworldly synths and whispered vocals now joined by the unmistakeable squelch of the TB-303 and an indecipherable background chant that recalls Paper classic 'The Book'.
Review: East London-based From Beyond, who's also one-half of Machine Disco and whose name may or may not betray an 80s horror fixation, brings us the glacial, synth-tastic 'Faster Than Light', a track that draws heavily on early 80s electro and Italo-disco for inspiration. On the remix front, Ivan De La Rouch takes us into darker, more EBM/new beat-ish territory, while Azaria's rework is more faithful to the original but does add a little low-end heft. The EP's completed by 'Tropic Of Venus', which is similar in MO to the title track but perhaps just a little bit warmer and more organic-sounding.
Review: If dark, moody, synth-y disco is what floats your boat, you'll find same by the bucketload on this two-track, four-mix EP from the Spanish duo of David Martin and Diego Gomez, better known as K-Effect. 'Displacement 77' blends influences from Italo disco and Belgian new beat and serves them up with a 'French Kiss'-like throb, and comes accompanied by a more stripped-back remix from Kate Stein. The sweeping, dramatic 'Prometheus' then goes full-on Italo, before being handed over to James Rod for a remix whose slo-mo, sleazy grind is almost apocalyptic in feel, and which to these ears is the EP standout.
Review: For a certain type of buyer, anything with the names Aleito, James Rod and Azaria attached to it is likely to be an essential purchase, but let's try and describe it anyway! Synth-y nu-disco is, naturally, the order of the day here, with Aleito's original mix topping a bass-y, chugging groove with Italo-esque synths that wibble and flutter like it was going out fashion, while Rod beefs things up considerably on a mix that could find itself surprisingly at home on progressive/melodic house floors, and Azaria goes for the jugular with a rub that ticks the box marked 'eyes-down and driving'.
Review: There's certainly no shortage of synth-led, Euro/Italo-inspired disco around right now, and here we get four more slices of such to choose from courtesy of Vigi, a producer from Nice, France whose work has previously appeared on Spa In Disco, Slightly Transformed and NDYD Records, among others. There are three rubs of 'Unknown Lover' but they don't vary hugely, truth be told: Aleito's mix is a tad darker, James Rod's a touch more psychedelic and druggy, but these are very subtle distinctions. Bonus cut 'Never Forget', meanwhile, couldn't be more Moroder-esque if it changed its name to Giorgio!
Review: Spain's Alfonso Gill, AKA Fonsi G, steps up to the plate with three synth-led slices of contemporary disco. The Italo-esque title track 'Ufos' is a chugging, looping, throbbing affair with a suitably sci-fi feel to the synths, 'Isidisco Ball' operates in similar musical territory but has, perhaps, a slightly more organic, funky vibe about it, while 'She Doesn't' has a distinctly Giorgio Moroder/Patrick Cowley kinda feel and a stabbed-in "dance, dance, dance, dance" female vocal. With two of the tracks having already been premiered by Mixmag and DJ Mag Spain, this EP should do well, so don't sleep!
Review: Hoochie Coochie Papa's last outing on Golden Soul, Diskotanssi, delivered deliciously deep blends of pulsating Italo-disco revivalism and druggy nu-disco. On 'I Need You', he dips the tempo and flips the script slightly, placing a headline-grabbing, each-catching, TB-303 style acid melody atop warm, glassy-eyed synth chords, wavy vocal snippets and gentle, electrofunk influenced drums. It's a warming and sunset-ready affair all told. Alberto Mollini opens the accompanying remix package by re-casting the track as a 21st century Italo-disco throb-job, before Aussie edit fiends Downunder Disco deliver a deep, starry nu-disco interpretation that's as loved-up as they come.
Review: Hailing from Riccione, Italy, former guitarist turned electrodisco DJ and producer Albert Melloni owns and runs the Raibano Records label. Here, though, he comes to Golden Soul with a track that lifts the vocal from Imagination's 'New Dimension' (1983), and that's served up in a choice of three mixes. Melloni's original is a fast-paced throbber with weighty 4/4s, big dramatic piano chords and something of an 80s feel. Madrid's Lebollet (Miguel Redondo) takes us down a druggier, more acidic path, while a mellower, dubbier pass from James Rod completes the EP. It's Leee John's distinctive falsettto that carries it, though, whichever rub you opt for!
Review: Mexican producer Alex Aguayo comes to Spanish label Golden Soul with an EP that packs two tracks in a total of five mixes. In its original form, 'Time Travel' itself is a hazy, pulsing affair that blends influences from nu-disco and progressive house and simply oozes sunshine, while Cosmic Sumo boss Andrea Rucci turns in an even more euphoric remix. 'Wake', meanwhile, is an energetic, Italo-inspired, trance-tinged cut that's available in techy, throbbing Original, hi-octane Alberto Melloni Remix or slowed-down 'n' sleazed-out JB Dizzy Remix flavours, with the latter rub the EP standout for this reviewer.
Review: Spain's Javier Busto - a Madrid DJ/producer who's not to be confused with the modern classical composer of the same name - brings the Euro/Italo disco vibes on 'Robot In Mars', a very early 80s-sounding affair augmented by a BIG electric guitar riff. Remix-wise, Aleito serves up some small hours insanity on his dark n' spacey rub, From Beyond opt for crunchier beats, chipmunk'd vocal trickery and a liberal serving of acid, while for big room drama, look no further than James Rod's Cosmic Vocal Darkness Remix. Intense, sleazy and sure to be big on floors where chest harnesses and amyl nitrate are popular.
Review: JGR is Julian Garcia-Reyes, a Chilean DJ/producer who's now based in Madrid, and this EP for Golden Soul packs four synth-heavy tracks that blur the boundaries between nu-disco, Italo, progressive house and synth-pop. 'Dansari' is led by a plinky-plonk synth riff that's vaguely reminiscent of Bronski Beat's 'Smalltown Boy', which it marries to synthesized strings that hint at a love of Visage. The accompanying 'Alphard' is a darker, more driving affair that could easily cross over onto prog floors, before remixes from Daniel Monaco and Aleito nudge it further down the roads marked 'mid-80s Berlin' and 'Burning Man-style playa house' respectively.
Review: Disco Balls regular Hoochie Coochie Papa made a fine first appearance on Golden Soul back in 2019, impressing us with a single that giddily paid tribute to Italo-disco and mid-'80s Hi-NRG. "Diskotanssi", the mysterious producer(s) sequel, offers a spacey, deeper take on Italo-disco revivalism, with shimmering lead lines and buzzing bass rising above straightforward beats and a pulsating, arpeggiated bassline. Fine alternative takes are provided by Alex Aguayo (brighter and breezier) and James Rod (darker and chunkier), before Hoochie Coochie Papa returns with the crystalline lead lines, trance-inducing bass and sparkling synthesizers of "Musiikkitanssi". Dany Dorado remixes, re-imagining it as a sludgy and hypnotic throb-job.
Review: Debutant Devakuo has yet to make his mark in music, though last year he did provide some beats for a Spanish hip-hop album by Madrid-based MC Rayden. "Trippin" is his first solo single, and it's really rather good. In its original form, the track features a quirky, heavily accented male vocal riding a mixture of tipsy, drunken synth sounds, similarly woozy chords and dusty, head-nodding hip-hop beats. The "C'mon Mix" that follows re-casts the track as a bass-heavy, percussive chunk of eccentric house rich in jazz-funk flourishes, while the Alieto Destiny Flow Remix sits somewhere between chugging nu-disco and rushing neo-trance. To complete the packafe, Cloon re-imagines the track as a slab of quesy late night electro.
Review: Following appearances on Paper Disco and Nein, From Beyond transfers to James Rod's Golden Soul imprint. The London-based artist offers up two original tracks, which come accompanied by a pair of remixes each. "Body Resonance" is an ear-pleasing slab of colourful, mid-tempo nu-disco laden with bold synthesizer melodies, sparkling electronics and undulating acid lines, while "Wave Sequence" sees From Beyond pepper a metronomic analogue bassline with razor sharp funk-rock guitar riffs, bubbly acid lines and waves of sleazy electronics. James Rod's reworks of that track are worth a listen, particularly the chugging, acid-heavy late-night flex of the "Darkness Dub". If that doesn't float your boat, Aleito's rising and falling revision of "Body Resonance" features some deliciously loved-up new melodies and a sparkling, synth-heavy vibe.
Review: Spanish nu-disco label Golden Soul call on the services of the mysterious Sportello, then get Azaria and James Rod in to take care of remix duties. They're billing it as 'Italo' but the Original Mix comes on more like a cross between nu-disco and progressive/melodic house - an unusual fusion that's arguably more interesting than slavish early 80s pastiche anyway! Azaria's refix has a heavyweight druggy, chuggy feel, leaving only the James Rod Remix to bring Italo lovers the dose of glacial analogue synths they've been fiending for. The hummability factor may be low but these tracks will sound great at 3am in dark rooms.
Review: Back in November 2019, Golden Soul Records chief James "Rod" Rodriguez released "Italoatomical Gems", a tidy collection of re-edits of largely lesser-known Italo-disco gems that the Spanish producer had subtly tooled-up and taken in a different direction. He's at it again on this hastily released single, which was produced in isolation during Spain's COVID-19 lockdown. There's plenty to set the pulse racing, not least the throbbing, delay-laden late night pressure of "Skyler", where pulsing deep space chords and slivers of melody rise above a chugging, arpeggio-driven electronic groove. Elsewhere, "Out The Invaders" is a little darker and moodier in tone, with reggae style stabs and plenty of glassy-eyed electronic flourishes, while EP opener "Two Heads Are Better" is a stripped-back, faintly foreboding throb-job.
Review: 'Haerum', the debut release from young South Korean producer Boudhicca, first emerged last year as part of a split EP with June Hyeong Kim on his studio.weather label. Now Spanish nu-disco don James Rod licenses the track to his Golden Soul label, complimenting the ambient-leaning melodic techno vibes of the Original with a sleazy, synth-y Eurodisco rework of his own that sounds like it's rushed here straight from 1984, and drafting in fellow glitterball-botherer Daniel Monaco to provide his own darker, more Italo-inspired and far more understated alternative version. Dancing will ensue, mark our words!