Review: Two mixes to choose from of this latest cut from Spanish disco stalwart Oscar Albaladejo, AKA Solazz, which is brought to you by UK label Hot Gorilla. In its Original form, 'Blow Your Mind' sits neatly on the funk/disco cusp, and a little bit of digging reveals it to in fact be a reworking of 'Be Yourself', a track taken from the 1977 debut album by UK outfit Eruption. The accompanying Brassmonkeys Remix from Andy Buchan gives the track something of a Dave Lee-esque disco-house makeover and brings the sparkling horns further to the fore while, lyrically, the track urges us to be ourselves, and not go round telling people we work for the CIA... so if you've been doing that, stop it!
Review: Sometime Spa Club and Kraak contributor OR returns to action via a first single on Hot Gorilla. Featuring guest appearances from Ali Mustafa and Zoha Zuberi, 'You Are Mine' - which is arguably best enjoyed in the EP-opening 'Extended Mix' form - is a bouncy chunk of nu-disco/piano house fusion peppered in life-affirming riffs, chunky bass and sinewy synth strings. The funky and fresh 'Disco Mix', which pitches down the tempo a touch, adds cowbells and replaces the bassline with a more organic-sounding one, is also impressive, while Andy Buchan's revision offers the best of both worlds - think funky disco bass, warming chords, snappy beats and more prominent strings.
Review: Liverpool lad Benjamin Winstanley AKA Ben Jamin returns to Hot Gorilla with two mid-paced funk groovers. Whether these are original productions or re-edits isn't entirely clear, but both feature very strong female vocals with an earthy, almost country-ish feel - think Tina Turner or Ann Peebles. 'Dance' rides a swampy backbeat with a "dance to the music" chorus (nothing to do with the Sly Stone song) while 'Hold On Me' is just a touch lighter on its feet and has a chorus that says "I really gotta get a hold on me". Both will play best on floors that like their disco on the funkier side.
Review: A native of Haarlem in the Netherlands rather than northern Manhattan, Harlem Dance Club comes to Hot Gorilla with a solid contemporary disco jam here. Serving as the 'original' is HDC's 80s Mix, a bottom-heavy groover that marries boogie-like synths to a Zapp-esque vocodered vocal, with a lil' 70s funk bass thrown in for good measure. A brace of remixes come from Kiwi wunderkind DiCE_NZ, whose Stole The Groove Remix is a tad more stripped-back and considerably lighter on its feet, and comes accompanied by a matching Radio Edit. HDC's rub just nudges it for yours truly, but it's good to have options!
Review: Spain's Oscar Albaladejo AKA Solazz comes to Hot Gorilla with a simple two-tracker here. 'Don't Stop', in its Original form, sits on the disco/boogie cusp, with distinctly 80s-sounding synths married to a nice chunky walking bassline and a boogie-style male "don't stop until the morning comes" vocal. So effectively does it recapture the sound and feel of that era, in fact, that it feels almost churlish to say that it's C Da Afro's beefed-up and slightly pacier remix that's probably got the most instant dancefloor appeal. But we'll leave track selection up to you: either's good, so you pays your money and you makes your choice!
Review: UK label Hot Gorilla reach the terrible twos and celebrate with a 10-track compilation that's packed with fine contemporary disco, funk, soul and boogie vibes. If you're looking for highlights, then Havana Hustlers' opener rocks a b-line that somehow manages to recall both 'Lovely Day' and 'Boogie Nights', Fray Bentos makes great use of a classic Afrika Bambaataa sample on 'Stormy Nights', while Andy Buchan's 'The House That Funk Built' plunders Aretha to equally powerful effect and Solazz's 'Blaze The Party' is a boogie-tastic delight. But there are six more quality jams where those came from, from Even Funkier's Patrice Rushen-biting 'Those Were The Times' to the jazz-funk inflections of Shalvoy's 'Beautiful2Strangers'.
Review: EBTG's 'Missing' is a long-time personal fave that this writer is loathe to see mucked about with, but Fray Bentos and mic-bothering partner-in-crime Katty Heath manage to get away with it here! The Original Mix is a fairly straight-up cover (but without Tracey Thorn singing) so it's up to the remixes to do the heavy lifting, with Chewy Rubs turning in a fat-assed, tribal-tinged workout for 3am floors while Conan The Selector opts for a lighter touch that could find favour with soulful house and nu-disco buyers alike, before the Somethin' Sanctified rub takes us into Balearic pastures but brings a 303-like bassline along for the ride.
Review: UK veteran Pete Le Freq gets out the razorblades and Selotape and serves up a brace of re-edits for Hot Gorilla. First under the scalpel is Banbarra's 'Shack Up' from 1975 (as covered by post-punk faves A Certain Ratio later on) - the treatment here is so reverential it's hard to say exactly what the re-edit does differently, but the original was always a stone-cold cert so this should be too! 'Rock Me', meanwhile, revisits 'Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again', a 1974 single by Lyn Collins of 'Think (About It)' fame. Funk-tastic!
Review: Harlem Dance Club's previous outing on Hot Gorilla, 2021's 'You Gotta Feel It', giddily blurred the boundaries between nu-disco and revivalist '70s funk. 'I'm a Player', his equally as impressive follow-up, cannily combines the Dutch producer's funk leanings with a thrilling bassline, echoing sax snippets, delay-laden spoken word samples, righteous horn blasts and smooth house drums. It's really good all told and manages to be both energy-packed and pleasingly groovy. Hot Gorilla co-founder Andy Buchan provides the obligatory remix, delivering a weighty, bass-heavy house take that adds hands-aloft piano riffs to Harlem Dance Club's already addictive musical mix.
Review: Three very serviceable disco jams here from Andy Buchan, a UK producer who, to be fair, can usually be relied upon to come up with the goods. Whether these tracks are best described as re-edits or simply sample-based productions is debatable, but 'Dance With Me' lifts chunks from Peter Brown and Betty Wright's 1977 TK Disco cut of the same name, while 'Basement Funk' revisits the bassline from Ver Jaxx's millennium anthem 'Red Alert'. As for 'Nite Walking', it's a string- and sax-drenched midtempo affair with a suitably hazy, Qaalude-infused kinda feel, and really rather sumptuous.
Review: A no-nonsense disco two-tracker here from the modestly named Even Funkier, coming to you courtesy of Andy Buchan and Conan The Selector's Hot Gorilla label. 'Long And Slender', with its innuendo-dripping lyric about bananas, is clearly a re-edit of something - of exactly what we're not sure, but if strutty, uptempo, early-80s-ish disco grooves are what floats your boat then it probably deserves a place in your box for the next little while. 'Long And Slender' comes accompanied by 'I Been Trippin', another re-edit that draws on unidentified sources, this time coming from the rawer, funkier side of the street.
Review: Contemporary funk and disco stalwart C. Da Afro returns with a two-tracker on Hot Gorilla. The Greek producer seldom disappoints and he certainly doesn't here, serving up two authentic-sounding slices of 70s nostalgia. 'Get The Vibe' is a sumptuous, rolling affair replete with horns, strings and female vocal harmonies, while the accompanying 'Ain't That A Dub' isn't a dub of the title track but rather an entirely separate, near-instrumental piece with hints of high-life and African jazz. Opt for the first track when you want to fill the dancefloor in hurry, or the latter when you have a venue full of self-styled 'headz' to entertain...
Review: Manchester house veteran Hussey and his now Canada-based partner-in-crime Jamie Van Goulden both began their careers in the 90s, so it's no surprise that they should mine the sounds of that era for inspiration on this latest joint outing. No, the revelation here is the sadly uncredited female vocal: we may not know who it is singing but her voice has a rich, Crystal Waters-ish lustre that makes 'Take Me Up' stand out head-and-shoulders above a hundred similarly-styled tracks that let themselves down with weak, reedy vox. Choose between the uplifting, podium-friendly feel of the Original or the deeper, more sultry vibes of the Magic Track Remix.
Review: Dutch veteran Harlem Dance Club, who's been DJing since the early 70s and remixing since the mid-80s, comes to Conan The Selector and Andy Buchan's Hot Gorilla label. 'You Gotta Feel It' itself, in its Original form, is a smooth and soulful affair that sits somewhere between nu disco and the 'new old' soul and funk of artists like Smoove & Turrell or Speedometer, while the accompanying Mannix Feels The Funk Remix pumps up the bass and takes us closer to soulful house territory. Completing the package is 'Move Your Body', which sits more firmly under the disco-house umbrella and features some fine Hammond licks as well as Mad Stuntman-like ragga shouts.
Review: Newcastle's Stewart Birch describes the music he makes as "mostly nu-disco, electro, synth-pop and soulful house". This EP for Andy Buchan and Conan The Selector's Hot Gorilla label, though, finds him firmly in disco-house mode - think early 90s Dave Lee meets Brass Construction and you're in roughly the right ballpark. The Original and Uptown Funk rubs are pretty similar in sound and style, but the latter beefs up the bottom end a little; a more radical reworking comes from Italy's Belabouche, who adds Latin and jazz flourishes in a mix that's a tad lighter on its feet.
Review: Greek producer J.B. Boogie comes to Hot Gorilla with a couple of nifty lil' re-edits here. 'Magic Music' is a re-working of Karen Young's 1983 boogie gem 'You Don't Know What You Got', complete with nice squelchy bassline, 80s-sounding stabs and synth-strings and soaring sax wails, while 'In My Mind' reaches back a little further in time to plunder Archie Bell & The Drells' string-drenched 1979 Philly International cut 'Strategy'. The man from Athens takes a very light-touch approach to both, meaning if you already own the originals you could just play those: if you don't, though, these two'll do just fine!
Review: A couple of tasty re-edits here from UK veteran Pete Le Freq. First to get the treatment is Steely Dan's 'Peg'. A widely acknowledged classic, 'Peg' has cropped up in enough house ad disco sets over the years that we can safely say a re-edit wasn't strictly 'necesssary'; if it's gonna get one, though, then the man from York is a safe pair of hands and his lightly looped take offers a refreshing alternative to the original. Perhaps the more essential of the two cuts, though, is 'What About', a jaunty lil' funker that loops up a familiar but infuriatingly unidentified male vocal.
Review: Serious disco fire here if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a copy through the inspired indie dance and disco vocals of one "Elara"! Full of balearic brilliance and hopeful strains of dancefloor desire, the sustained flux of the vocal loops in "Elara" hit all those deep spots. With funky disco instrumentals allowed to play on top, it's all about the hit-notes of the track's takeaway chorus! A real roof raiser! And for those who for some reason don't want a vocal, there's always the dub. The sound of London!
Review: Jon Fitz, of Herd & Fitz and Bodyrockers fame, teams up with the mysterious Mr Brown and vocalist Ella Bridge to bring us an uplifting, uptempo disco-houser that wouldn't have sounded out of place on one of Hed Kandi's 'Disco Kandi' compilations. The original mix should already be a dancefloor cert thanks to its combination of a decidedly Stardust-esque guitar riff and a classy vocal performance from Ms Bridge, but just to be on the safe side we also get remixes from Conan The Selector (stripped-back but with added sax) and Andy Buchan (slower, sleazier, funkier).
Review: Hailing originally from Nottingham but now based in Leeds, Akeem Raphael serves up a very serviceable contemporary disco-funker, dripping in squelchy geetar and topped with a spoken word vocal that a little Googling reveals to be sampled from a Black Girls Rock! award acceptance speech by US actor Angela Bassett. Monsieur Van Pratt's remix ups the tempo a notch, adds some jaunty lil' sax parps and tones down the guitar a little, allowing the bassline to shine through, while label boss Conan The Selector adds his own remix, a slightly more stripped-back variation on the theme.
Review: Leeds disco don Andy Buchan returns to his own Hot Gorilla label with a cut that in its Original form blends nu-disco and house influences, its walking disco b-line, handclaps and full-throated female vocal married to sprightly, plinky-plonk pianos. Remix duties are taken care of by a brace of equally respected contemporaries, with London's Bustin' Loose taking things slightly deeper and adding some nice squelchy synth action and string sweeps, while Ireland's Stephen Richards drops the tempo and tones down the housier elements on a rub that leans just a little bit closer to traditional disco and funk.
Review: Pete Le Freq has contributed tracks and EPs to countless labels in recent years - Spa in Disco, Alpaca Edits and Rare Wiri included - but never before has he appeared on the fast-rising Hot Gorilla imprint. He's predictably brought his A-game, delivering two killer edits-not-edits packed with party-starting grooves and rush-inducing builds and drops. 'Feline Manhunt' turns a quirky, leftfield disco classic into a bouncy, rubbery, filter-sporting treat full of cut-glass strings, quirky anglicised European vocals and elastic bass, while 'Let it Dazz (Dub)' delivers a largely instrumental, stripped-back take on a seriously squelchy, mid-'80s electrofunk treat by Cleveland's finest funk outfit.
Review: Hot Gorilla's latest must-check missive brings together two rising stars of the nu-disco and edit scenes: label regular Conan The Selector and sometime Tropical Disco, Super Spicy and Disco Balls contributor Toby O'Connor. In its' original form, 'Starlight' is a sparkling slab of anthemic nu-disco that combines 21st century synths and classic disco instrumentation with a stellar lead vocal from guest singer Sulene Fleming. Bold, celebratory and exciting, we expect to hear it lots when British clubs reopen later in the year. Also impressive are the solo dub mixes offered up by each of the producers. First Conan The Selector delivers a deliciously low-slung disco revision rich in rubbery bass, tipsy trumpet solos and Chic style guitar licks, before O'Connor smartly emphasises the beats and bass.
Review: Less than a month has passed since Andy Buchan's last outings - an expansive EP on Hot Digits and a single-tracker on Hot Gorilla - and he's already back in action. We're not complaining though, because Buchan has been one of the most consistent producers in the modern disco scene for some time now. 'Evol Lady' is bouncy, positive, cheery and life-affirming, with Buchan making great use of sparkling, house style piano riffs, squally sax solos, chunky house beats and undulating orchestral samples lifted from a familiar disco record. It's a genuine hands-in-the-air affair that's bound to get people going out on the dancefloor when music festivals return this summer.
Review: What we have here is the first-ever release from Akeem Raphael Broderick, a DJ, producer and promoter who hails from Nottingham but is the main man behind Leeds club night Velvet. His original mix of the aptly-titled 'Funkin' Chunkin'' - the pick for yours truly - is a pleasingly beefy funk groove with multiple competing vocal samples and plenty of heft in the >300Hz department, Hot Gorilla boss Andy Buchans' French Touch Remix isn't the filter-fest you'd expect but instead tuffens up the drums and pushes the sax and keys to the fore, while finally Texas's Boogietraxx provides a slightly more stripped n' shufflin' alternate pass.
Review: A single-tracker here from Leeds lad Andy Buchan, who's known for releases on Peppermint Jam, Audaz, Rare Wiri, Chopshop, Spa In Disco and Midnight Riot, among other well-respected labels, as well as his many re-edits. 'Basement Beats' is a rolling, party-hearty funk/soul cut with something of a late 60s feel, and centres around a looped female vocal snip saying "down, down, down" (or something very similar) atop scorching Hammonds and rinky-tink pianos, with a couple more vocal snips accompanying the breakdown around the four-minute mark. Simple stuff, perhaps, but it's groovy, baby... it's outta sight!
Review: Fray Bentos, AKA Adam Billingham, cut his teeth on the Midlands' deep house free party circuit. These days, after 15 years in London, he's down in Brighton playing soul, funk and hip-hop, but on this EP for Hot Gorilla he serves up three disco-house/nu-disco cuts. 'Dunn's Groove' might be a bit Marmite thanks to its ear-piercing synths (you'll want a decent set of speakers for this one or it all turns to mush!) but 'Obsession' is a solid slice of soulful/disco house with some cool stabs, while the string-drenched 'Friends' is the most authentically 70s-sounding cut and, to these ears, the EP's clear standout.
Review: After previous releases on such acclaimed disco labels as Spa In Disco, Rare Wiri, Midnight Riot, Paper Disco and Audaz, Leeds native Andy Buchan (alongside partner-in-crime Conan The Selector) set up his own Hot Gorilla imprint earlier this year. This sixth EP from the label sees him providing two very authentically late 70s-sounding gems, with 'Your Love' a hazy, lazy affair that sports a sensual, breathy female vocal and some understated house-y pianos, while 'Can't Hide' is a more funk-oriented, Latin-tinged near-instrumental cut whose sampled female vocal is buried deep in the mix.
Review: More hot-to-trot heaviness from Andy Buchan, one of the nu-disco scene's genuine rising stars. In keeping with his other recent outings on Hot Gorilla, "Voodoo Disco" is a funky and forthright affair, with hard-wired, energy-packed Clavinet motifs, sampled female vocals, swelling strings and bubbly electronic lead lines leaping above an electro-tinged beat. Jet Boot Jack delivers a far funkier version rich in stomping drums, Chic style bass and guitars, and a sprinkling of soul horns, while Funk Edwards cheekily re-imagines the track as a throbbing slab of Italo-disco-meets-nu-disco. Both reworks are excellent, though it's Buchan's original mix that we think hits home hardest.
Review: Andy Buchan's third EP in as many months on Hot Gorilla is another sweaty, celebratory treat, though we'd expect little less from one of nu-disco's genuine rising stars. This time round he's not serving up sizzling original productions, but rather two hot-to-trot re-edits that should appeal to all those who like their disco to sound weighty, funky and horn-heavy. He begins with "Don't Do That (J Cas Edit)", an energetic slab of party-heavy disco funk rich in wild sax lines, bumpin' house beats, ceaseless male group vocals and crunchy electric guitar licks, before dipping the tempo a little on the beatdown-goes-psychedelic funk haziness of "Kosmick Funk (Rock Me Baby Edit)". The latter is equally as heavy as its predecessor and arguably twice as hedonistic, despite its lolloping mid-tempo beats.
Review: In the past we've referred to Andy Buchan as one of nu-disco's rising stars. These days, he's well established, offering up tunes that regularly incorporate a wide range of influences whilst retaining the celebratory excitement associated with the contemporary disco scene. "Kingfisher Funk" sits somewhere between a re-edit and an original production, with Buchan reaching for humid, delay-laden horn samples, an Escort-esque revivalist disco groove, echoing female vocal snippets and just the right amount of trippy electronics. His fine original mix comes backed with two hot-to-trot reworks: a sped-up, filter-sporting disco house bumper from Reece Johnson, and a brighter, breezier dub disco style "reshuffle" from prolific producer Chewy Rubs.
Review: Man of the moment Andy Buchan is back in action, transferring from Citizens of Vice to up-start imprint Hot Gorilla in order to release one of his strongest cuts to date. In its original form, "Higher" is a deliciously bouncy, sun-soaked and thrillingly positive affair. It sees Buchan pepper a baggy and bouncy Balearic disco groove with arms-raised old school piano stabs, colourful synth doodles and a handful of short vocal samples. It's undoubtedly celebratory, as are the accompanying remixes. Pal Conan The Selector brilliantly re-imagines "Higher" as a sweaty fusion of rolling disco house and low-slung, sax-sporting funk, while Fingerman explores similar sonic territory before re-tooling the track as a piano-heavy rave roller in its latter stages.
Review: If you're going to launch a label, it helps if the imprint's debut release is a doozy. Hot Gorilla have therefore smashed it out of the park with "The Goodnight EP", which comes courtesy of Arcade 82 member Mark Pickup under his increasingly familiar Conan The Selector alias. "Goodnight" is an infectious slab of good-time nu-disco rich in crunchy house drums, funky bass, life-affirming horns, Chic style guitars and ear-pleasing lead vocals from guest singer Sherie. Andy Buchan provides the first remix, beefing up the bottom end whilst giving greater prominence to Pickup's heady horns, before Cuz Electric brilliantly re-imagine the track as a synth-laden slab of 1980s NYC freestyle/mid-tempo electrofunk fusion.