Review: Merging master in the art of anthemic new disco is producer YellowLight! Bringing two remixers of his trance, UK dance pop and synthy stringed style to ISM in "Be Lonely", it sets up a deep and rhythmic vibe for Yam Who? to deliver a slo-mo disco remake that doubles down on its beats! Something more progressive, new wave and gothic with touches of Italo inspires Noviomagum's version that all stems from a single that dips into a pool of freeform fusion.
Review: Janet Jackson provides some vocal inspiration here, as Anthony O'Brien, a member of Cork-based multimedia collective Generic People, lifts a few lines from 'Go Deep' for his latest solo outing. 'Up All Night' itself is supplied in three rubs: the Start Of Night version is a lightweight nu-disco chugger, Jason Busteed's remix is druggier and electro-tinged, while the space-y, weirded-out End Of Night Version is one for 5am floors. Elsewhere, 'Getting' recalls northern European synth-pop of the early 80s while 'Love Is Coming' is a psychedelic raga/dirge. An EP that will suit those who prize experimentation and innovation over instant dancefloor appeal.
Review: Kellini may not be Norway's most famous exponent of nu-disco, but his track record is undeniably impressive. Further proof arrives via "Same Same But Different", a decidedly glassy-eyed and Balearic three-tracker made in cahoots with newcomer Lazy Kay. Throughout, it's the yawning, sun-baked warmth of his synth-pop influenced chord progressions and the glistening brightness of the guitar flourishes that catches the ear. Title track and opener "Same Same But Different" sets the tone via bubbly mid-tempo beats and heaps of summery colour, while "Outchill" is the audio equivalent of wrapping yourself in a warm blanket to gaze at an autumnal Adriatic sunset. If you require a little more energy, head for the woozy synth solos, jaunty grooves and restless cowbells of closing cut "Got To".
Talk To Me (Stephane Deschezeaux remix) - (4:21) 90 BPM
Talk To Me (Qwestlife remix) - (5:28) 113 BPM
Talk To Me - (4:00) 90 BPM
Review: ISM's latest modern boogie masterclass comes courtesy of Tiger Cloth, a debutant quartet comprising Filippo Perbellini, Lydia Lyon, Enrico Scatto & Riccardo Salin. In its' original form (track three), "Talk To You" at this a slow but sparkling '80s soul style number rich in Chic style guitars, colourful synthesizers, Seinfeld theme tune bass and sweet soul vocals. The most club-ready remix comes from Glitterbox regulars Qwestlife, who cannily re-imagine the cut as a rolling chunk of deep house/dancefloor boogie fusion. To complete the package, Springbokz man Stephane Deschezeauxhis weighs in with a sparse '80s soul rework that wisely emphasizes the lead vocal, bassline and mazy synth solos.
Review: ISM's tenth anniversary celebrations tend towards the epic, with the Yam Who-helmed label serving up a series of bulging retrospective compilations stacked to the rafters with imprint highlights, dancefloor hits and overlooked gems. This second selection boasts 24 more tried-and-tested ISM classics, from the rubbery disco-funk bounce of Birdee's "Chemistry" and the synth-laden electrofunk revivalism of Qwestlife's D-Train style revision of "Streetlife" by Natasha Watts, to the spiraling Balearic disco throb of Pete Herbert's killer remix of Gemini Brothers' "Jeckermich" and the piano-powered nu-disco-soul of Rocco Raimundo's "Higher Lovin", featuring the smooth vocals of Stee Downes. Other highlights include the boogie-soul revivalism of Sweetooth's "Make Believe" and the hypnotic deep house/electrofunk fusion that is Mark E's fine revision of Heion's "Follow Me".
Review: Notching up a decade in the business is big news for any label, so congratulations must go to Yam Who's ISM label. He's decided to mark the imprint's first decade in some style via a series of compilations that highlight some of the killer nu-disco, boogie, disco, house and Balearic jams nestling in ISM's bulging back catalogue. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the Imagination-inspired electrofunk flex of Ron Basejam's killer rework of Alena's "Changes" and the synth-heavy rush of Balearic disco maestro Pete Herbert's revision of M Roberto & Nikolay Denev's "Be Yourself", to the breezy, soul-fired dancefloor warmth of Jonathan Ryno's "Don't Know Love" and Mark E's terrifically loved-up deep house tweak of Robot 84's "Lookin' For Love".
Review: Better known as Qwestlife, Monsieur Cedric Benoit and Madame Audrey Benoit return to ISM with a cheery new EP inspired by Latin disco and house. In its original form, "Santo Domingo" is a bumpin' chunk of chant-along Latin house rich in cute musical touches (think headline-grabbing piano riffs, undulating disco bass and sunny guitar flourishes), Spanish vocals and chunky beats. Label boss Yam Who does a great job re-imagining the track as a beefed up slab of piano-heavy Latin house/Latin disco fusion, while bonus cut "You Gotta Love Me (featuring Do)" is a bouncy nu-disco treat full of rubbery boogie bass, sparkling synths and impassioned vocal snippets.
Review: Since making his debut at the dawn of the decade, Marcello De Angelis has delivered a string of fine EPs rich in colourful nu-disco, revivalist boogie and house-powered disco workouts. We always thought that he would be capable of making a cracking album, so it's heartening to see that his full-length debut, "Then Came The Sun", has proved us right. Vibrant and colourful throughout with plenty of authentic-sounding late '70s and early '80s production, the album's 11 tracks attractively sashay between sun-kissed Balearic disco, revivalist boogie business, slick '80s soul, deep house influenced breeziness and sumptuous dub disco. Highlights include - but are no way limited to - the bass-heavy bounce of "Love", the freestyle-goes-disco-house bump of "Chemistry", the D-Train style flex of "Tonite" and the peak-time fuzz of "Dinamo".
Review: Take one part phat, squelchy synth-funk ? la Zapp or Cameo, blend with one-part Balearic nu-disco and what you end up will probably sound not dissimilar to this four-tracker from German producer Oliver Staecker, whose work has previously graced labels including SP Recordings, DC10 Records and Bosphorus Underground. 'Mirage 87' features a looping "the perfect man" female vocal and comes in more laidback Original or struttier Limpodisco Remix passes, while 'Heatwave 86' has a boogie-ish feel in its Original form before Limpodisco injects a little Euro flava. But it's those sleazy, liquid-y basslines that are the real stars of the show throughout.
Review: High-camp punk-funk/disco-not-disco thrills here from Pantalon, supplied in your choice of three mixes. 'In The Nick Of Time' features a main sung/spoken vocal and a second that consists of a man's voice ominously intoning the title: it's likely to prove something of a 'love it or hate it' affair, but we're firmly in the former camp! Birdee's mix foregrounds the ESG-like bassline and features stabs redolent of the classic 'Weekend', the more synth-tastic Future Mix has almost a Belgian New Beat feel and Hober Mallow takes us into more stripped-back, dubbed-out territory, with much Levan-esque echo in evidence.
Review: Marten Roberto and Nikolay Danev are old studio buddies. The duo has previously delivered sprightly, electrofunk-influenced EPs for both Mr Moon and ISM. Here they return to the latter label for the first time in 18 months with "Be Yourself", a deliciously delay-laden mid-tempo fusion of druggy, Italo-disco style arpeggio bass, Fat Freddy's Drop horns, half-spoken/half-sung vocals and intoxicating, outer-space electronics. The fine original version comes accompanied with a more peak-time friendly revision from veteran producer Pete Herbert, who successfully ups the tempo and reaches for the analogue bass in a bid to get limbs flailing. Bonus cut "I Can't Believe", meanwhile, is a fine fusion of drowsy Balearic soul, woozy deep house nous and druggy Italo-disco chug.
Review: Last year, Sweetooth sorts Paul Whitey and Sarah Lazenby pitched up on ISM with "Disco Fantasy", a glorious disco-boogie workout that lit up many nu-disco dancefloors. 14 months on they return to the label, this time in cahoots with Masterworks Music, Midnight Riot and Thunder Jam regular Kellini. In its original form, "Music In U" is a breezy chunk of sun-kissed disco revivalism, with Lazenby providing a strong, sing-along vocal over a fantastic backing track rich in warm bass, colourful synthesizer lines and densely layered percussion hits. Jarle B provides the first revision, pitching down the tempo and opting for a Balearic nu-disco vibe, before the Crystal Touch Remix brilliantly re-casts the track as a synth-heavy chunk of 1980s NYC freestyle/electrofunk fusion.
Review: Danny Kane is becoming a true master when it comes to producing the funkier side of club house, and this new joint on ISM is just in time for the mid-summer thrills, making for the perfect EP to smash out at the beach parties. "Go" is a fun, playful slice of nu-disco complete with magical strings, a heavy bass tone, and that early 80s funk sound that is made to get people moving. "Do It Right" is nothing but a sweet-ass boogie ride with a sweltering elector bass to get it truly pumping; the Yam Who? remix takes that one step further, adding more guts and panache to an already killer bassline!
Review: Some four years on from their last collaborative outing, Chicago legend Merwyn Sanders (formerly of Virgo Four) and Aussie adventurer Inkswel join forces for another cross-Pacific hoedown. In its original form, "Each Other" is a deliciously percussive affair, with Sanders sweet vocals (whose lyrics call for unity in the house community around the world) gently rising above a hybrid electrofunk/deep house backing track that's particularly infectious. The accompanying remix package is exceptionally strong, too, featuring two fantastic revisions apiece from Henri Le Blanc (a bouncy, analogue-rich peak-time house 'Remix' and a Kwaito-inspired "Afro Remix") and Sanders himself, whose "Old School Mix" is a killer chunk of revivalist Chicago acid.
Review: Dubai-based Don Dayglow delivers his first EP for ISM, with regular Mr Bird and DJ Vadim collaborator Greg Blackman providing the soulful vocal polish. There's a pleasingly breezy feel to the U.A.E-based Bristolian's original version, which wraps Blackman's fine vocal in glistening, freestyle-esque synth lines and squeezable boogie bottom-end. It could well be the producer's strongest offering to date. Remix-wise, Aussie adventurer Inkswel provides the standout rub, giving "Out of Love" a looser, MPC-driven feel while emphasizing the track's inherent soulfulness, while Andy Buchanan re-casts it as a sparkling slab of nu-disco with killer synthesizer riffs.
Review: ISM regular Birdee flies home to roost with two more charmed groove strutters. "Don't Give Up Your Love" flares with a filtered synth chug and dizzying cosmic shrouds around the vocal while "Do Your Thing" reduces the tempo but raises the euphoria with a surging vocal that scorches the moment with feels and wraps you up in a heavenly frequency drama. Precision-paced yet unabashed, Birdee's take on disco is an absolute dreamboat. Bon voyage.
Review: Rotterdam's Beau Zwart burst onto the scene in 2017 with an impressive debut on Midnight Riot. He now appears for the closely affiliated ISM Records run by Yam Who? and you can bet there's yet another serving of absolutely fine nu-disco and funky house shenanigans. From the sexy boogie down deepness of "Shadows In My Mind" featuring some strong vocals, the dusty and soulful late-night mood lighting of "Talk To Me" (original mix) or the neon-lit groove of "Perfect Observation" - young Zwart ticks all the right boxes yet again. Rest assured that there is indeed a rockin' remix by label head honchos Yam Who? in the form of "Undated Love".
Review: We've yet to hear a single featuring honey-voiced boogie singer Andre Espeut that doesn't cut the mustard. Predictably, this hook-up between the producer/vocalist and Slync (AKA British studio sort Ian Stanford) is rather fine. In its' original form, "Do It" is a fine chunk of slick, 21st century boogie-soul featuring some rather fine P-funk flourishes. The latter influence is pushed to the fore on Ziggy Phunk's two fantastic reworks (the vocal-sporting "Remix" and instrumental "Dub"), both of which offer a near perfect fusion of synth-laden '80s electrofunk and rolling, peak-time house. The other remix comes from ISM chief Yam Who, whose version sits somewhere between string-laden soulful house and revivalist electrofunk.
Review: Birdee: aka the Los Angeles dwelling Italian Marcello De Angelis is back, with some killer boogie-house disco flavours on a new ISM Records EP. "Meant To Be" is a funky and feel good deep disco joint, featuring vocal dynamite Alena Herel. Then there is Yam Who? dropping the remix business and in the process inject the track with some added dancefloor dynamics: for later in the night when any serious DJ needs to turn the heat up a notch or two.
Review: Vocalist Natasha Watts is signed to Yam Who?'s ISM label and released the first instalment of Downtown Diva back in 2012. Now she revisits the series, turning an uber slick cover of 70s classic Streetlife. It appears as three main mixes, the first by Questlife, is a punchy Imagination-style retro electrofunk version. Next, label bosses Yam Who? tackle it, turning in both a dreamy but more straightforward remix and an authentic Miami freestyle version of Touch Me All Night Long too. Lastly Manchester's go-to disco guy Chris Massey turns in a sultry, nocturnal funk workout, called "Lost Disco Dub".
Review: Producer Paul Withey and regular muse Sarah Lazenby pitch up on ISM with their highest profile release to date. Disco Fantasy is little less than a sparkling, thrill-a-minute showcase for their unique brand of boogie-influenced disco hedonism. There are three original tracks to enjoy: the Sure Thing-goes-P-Funk warmth of "Disco Fantasy", a cheery electrofunk-goes-'80s soul sing-along entitled "Make Believe" and the slick and groovy boogie soulfulness of "Lose Control". While all three standalone as dancefloor-friendly workouts, the accompanying remixes from Yam Who and Don Dayglow are arguably even stronger. The latter's swirling nu-disco-soul revision of "Lose Control" is warm and loved-up, while the former steals the show with a rework of "Make Believe" that turns it into an breezy, boogie-soul anthem.
Review: It was all the way back in 2011 when New York disco outfit Odyssey were resurrected to re-record their infamous The Journey, a piece of music which has a lifeline longer than most of you readers, and one that will probably stretch out to infinity. As they do, the ISM imprint has now decided to revive the damn thing again with a pack of worthy remixes to celebrate its 40th anniversary! Jay Sutherland's revision of "Native New Yorker" takes all the original disco charm of the tune and represents it with a heftier groove for contemporary dance floor thrills, whereas legend Al Kent shapes "Inside Out" into a mighty fine, sexified disco-soul nugget that's bound to destroy any respectable club apart. There's the original mix, featuring Romina Johnson on the vocals, of course, and a tasty instrumental.
Review: 'Big' Daddy Kane is veteran of the Midnight Riot label and Timmy Vegas is from the soulful house scene (Z Records etc). Together the disco fever is scorching hot. Throwing vocals powerhouse Jacqui George into the mix and the results are off the hook. "Feeling Me" is an infectious homage to the American soul and funk world of the early 80s, totally classy. Yam Who? also appears, remixing the track into the 21st century by adding some tougher house undercarriage to the chassis. Alan Dixon stretches the tune to over seven minutes, concentrating on the top line melodies and a rolling bassline.
Review: British producer Birdee has been quietly doing his thing since the turn of the decade, delivering a string of underground nu-disco hits on a variety of labels. Here he returns to ISM three months after his last outing (the fine Love EP), this time with a trio of ear-pleasing Balearic boogie productions. Vocalist Chloe Amber guest stars on title track "Give Into Love", a sumptuous, sun-kissed fusion of lilting deep house dreaminess, sparkling '80s soul sounds and hazy disco warmth. With its jammed-out analogue synth riffs, fizzing electronics and elastic bass guitar parts, "Tonite" is an essential instrumental workout, while "Dinamo" alternates between sumptuous melodiousness and stripped-back, bass-driven disco-funk heaviness.
Review: Producers Marten Roberto and Nikolay Danev made their collaborative debut last summer, delivering a fine chunk of R&B and electrofunk-influenced house via the Mr Moon label. Here they join forces once more, this time on Yam Who's ISM imprint. Title track "Alive" is a more intoxicating, early morning concoction that their previous effort, with dubbed-out horn lines, wild Hammond organs and a wearily soulful vocal riding a heavy dub disco groove. It's really rather good, and comes accompanied by a cowbell-heavy, piano-sporting peak-time rework by the previously mentioned Yam Who. As if that's not enough to get the juices flowing, they've also included the swirling, stab-heavy, soul-flecked deep house bounce of "Everybody Loves Disco".
Review: For a short while back in the late 80s there was luxurious crossover of house, soul and hip-hop. These Soul II Soul/Cold Cut & Lisa Stansfield-style vibes were explored more recently with Jessie Ware and Julio Bashmore but here on the Sign EP Kane & Gleeson really go for it. "Control" and "Sign" both feature the style's deep, rolling bass, fuzzy synths, gentle piano and soulful vocals. Elsewhere "Life" is a bit housier with late 80s Ibiza vibes thrown into the mix (think French Kiss/Sueno Latino) and the title track is given a disco makeover by none other than YamWho?
Review: Covering a Prince-produced electrofunk classic is fraught with danger, but happily UnoMas has managed to pull it off with "Nasty Girl". His original mix of the Vanity6 cover re-casts it as a cheery, 4/4 nu-disco roller full of sparkling synths, tactile house rhythms and breezy vocals. Impressively he repeats the trick with a fine, Ourra-remixed cover of Midnight Express classic "Danger Zone", which is laden with wiggly synth lines, sparkling slap bass, and the super-smooth vocals of Andre Esput. Elsewhere, check out the piano-laden nu-disco bounce of "Hott 4 U (feat. Pirate Stereo)", and the unabashed, party-starting cheeriness of "Get It Girl", which boasts some very familiar samples.
Review: Given the respected track records of boogie revivalists Sven Atherton and Ourra (AKA producer Simon Tappenden), you'd expect this collaborative single to be rather good. Happily, it is. "Play It Tight" features the alluring vocals of Alena, and is as authentic a chunk of sparkling, synth-heavy boogie as you'll find. The duo's bubbly, sun-kissed original is accompanied by two fine reworks. First, Moscow resident Phil Gerus turns it into a throbbing fusion of Tiger & Woods style loop-house and hard-edged electrofunk, before label boss Yam Who effortlessly joins the dots between sumptuous soulful house, and tasty disco-boogie (think Chic style guitars, sweeping strings, and rich chord progressions).
Review: In the past Romanian producer Heion (aka Razvan Ghenciu) has dabbled in both disco and house. Here though, he returns from a bit of a break with a new EP, In The Moment, which also introduces a jazzier tone to his sound. The title track kicks things off with laid-back Mediterranean moods - gentle percussion, warm synth washes and jazzy keys tinkling away. Elsewhere "Hot To Trot" ups the tempo and adds shimmering arpeggios into the mix, "Embrace It" meanwhile embraces the live and loose funk bass and finally The Model reworks Hot To Trot into deep trance-tech.
Review: De Fantastiske To are Ravi and Marius from Oslo, Norway who make feel good deep house vibes for fans of Arto Mwambe or Kollektiv Turmstrasse - like on the dreamy and melodic groove of "God Fallelse". The track gets a couple of kick ass remixes, such as by the likes of Yam Who? whose nu-disco odyssey ticks all the right boxes. But they save the best for last on the emotive high tech soul of "Ut Av Det BlA" which is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a Detroit freeway.
Review: Misumami is the brainchild of producer Charli James whose name sounds like a Rick James-esque '80s soul seducer. Unsurprisingly "The Bodyrock Sessions" also sounds like seductive Rick James-esque '80s soul. This is a very good thing indeed as on the title track we a trot through all that was good about that period - electro-funk basslines, sharp, strutting drums, vocoders and smooth lady vocals. Elsewhere The Yam Who? guys rustle up a warmer bass-orientated version of "Prove It", Atlanta's Applejac produces a hi-hat heavy deep house rework, whilst Kid Sublime tackles the title track in an admirably weird future soul fashion.
Review: Saucy Lady is a Japanese-born, Boston-dwelling artist on a one-woman mission to return to the outre disco diva chic of yore. Word of her larger-than-life persona has spread to the UK, where a close collaboration with Yam Who? has resulted in this joy of a retro disco single. The latter's mix blends four to the floor beats, Chic-style guitar, electro boogie bass and a sumptuous synthy atmosphere. Elsewhere E-Live adds a smooth 80s soul twist, Ourra opts for a dubbed out bass heavy vibe and Yuki takes us to Funky Town in the EPs sexiest mix. Hot stuff!
Review: Yam Who?, London's resident nu-disco heroes, are taking a step with the duo's Ism label looking to the far east and a whole new sound for their latest signing. This new addition to their roster being Jsquared aka the Tokyo-based artist John Enston and singer Honami 'Amy' Furuhara. "Dangerlove" is a smoothly produced slice classy...Europop in which Enston and Amy gently duet over a tropical beat that even touches on sunkissed RnB vibes. Remixes include the Autocycle version, which starts with a killer guitar riff and builds into dreamy arpeggiated disco and Yam Who?s own's piano house rework. Cool.
Review: Miami resident UnoMas has been pottering around the margins of house and nu-disco for some time, without really breaking through. This expansive EP/mini-album for Yam Who's ISM imprint could change all that. There's much to enjoy throughout the six original tracks, from the slo-mo Balearic electronics of "Reprise", and loose, sun-kissed boogie-house slickness of Andre Esput hook-up "Beat Goes On", to the Latin-tinged, sample-heavy disco-house bounce of closer "Love Forever". UnoMas also enlists the help of Esput on a tasty house cover of Midnight Express classic "Danger Zone", while Bass Fly & Laurent L combine to deliver a tasty, slap-bass heavy remix of "Beat Goes On".
Review: Yam Who? And his ISM imprint: accept no substitute. For smooth as silk disco beats these guys are like a one stop shop. This time it's over to Verona duo JazzyFunk. "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing" has that classic Arthur Russell Loose Joints/Dinosaur L kind of disco vibes and we've digging it! "I Want You" is a driving deep house jam with tight elements and that saxophone solo is a nice touch. It gets a great couple of remixes too by Horsemeat Disco's Severino and then Australia's Inkswel; his in particular really stands out, giving the track a deep boogie makeover.
Review: The Cotswolds might not be the first place people think of when discussing summery disco, but sometimes surprises are more fun. Hometown groovers Situation have been steadily earning a solid reputation for slick nu-disco jams. "Hurricane" is their latest missive, a sparse clavinet-driven groove with the dreamy vocals of Lauren Rimmell floating on top. There are lots of great mixes too including the skippy house vibes of the NY Club mix and Yam Who?'s super smooth rework of TWI.
Review: East London vocalist Alena gets the remix treatment on Yam Who?'s ISM by a serious who's who of the current musical landscape and there's so much to choose from! Crazy P's James Baron aka Ron Basejam gets stuck in a couple of times, giving his nu-disco midas touch to "Changes" and "Learn To Get By". Label boss himself Yam Who? is in fine form, giving a sweet boogie injection to "Use To Hold Me" and a deep nu-disco flavour to the afore mentioned "Changes" featuring a cheeky sample of Pepe Braddock's "Deep Burnt. Elsewhere Aussie disco hero Inkswel gives "Use To Hold Me" another killer re-rub which gets a deep and dirty funk makeover and Planet Jumper delve into a cosmic disco vibe on their retro flavoured take of "Hard Times".
Review: About three years ago, Australian disco wizard Rocco Raimundo had an unstoppable run of top-notch re-edits until that is, he stopped. He's been relatively quiet since then, but now he's back with a bang on ISM. "Higher Love" in its original form, is pristine, funked-up soul-pop. Remix-wise Earl Grey delivers an enthralling FM synth-washed dream-mix, Yam Who? turns in a housed-up grinder and Tunnel Signs & Chux deliver a toughened up moodier version.
Review: London disco house imprint ISN presents us with a compilation showcasing recent graduates of their Class of '16. All the usual suspects are here; and they all pass, with honours! Hosting the ceremony is none other than Yam? Who, compiling the release tremendously with some surefire dancefloor fodder to make it one year to remember, and boy do they ever! There's the sweet boogie down vibes of The Hinge Project's "Brand New Day" and Freekwency's "Something Else On Your Mind" right through to the Italo favoured vibe of Ichisan's "Bela Libujanja" and not to mention sweet nu disco ditties by Joey Dice ("Puzzling Me") and Richard Seaborne ("U Said U Loved Me") showcasing the labels various moods and grooves in impressive fashion.
Review: East London based singer Alena gets the remix treatment and in stylish fashion. Her track "Hard Times" gets done over twice. Firstly the "Autocycle Remix" is all hands in the air with big piano rolls for the peak time dance floor to compliment her gorgeous vocals. The Ourra remix of "Don't You Know" is a proper nu-disco rendition just like the following "Yam Who? Original Mix" the real highlights here. They're reminiscent of the sounds on Futureboogie and Freerange et al. Not a bad thing at all! The Leebo Freeman remix of "Use 2 Hold Me" being more reminiscent of Tuff City Kids with its chunky rolling arpeggio and generally analogue soul vibes. Now that's a compliment!
Review: Yam Who's ISM imprint has been in fine form of late, delivering excellent EPs from Alena, Bubblegum, The Drive and Ilija Rudman. Here that run continues, as the veteran producer unleashes an impressive debut album from I Gemin, AKA newcomer Mike Popov. There's much to admire from the off, with "Can't Nobody" offering a deliciously loose and jazzy fusion of pulsating garage bass, two-step influenced beats, lilting deep house chords and evocative vocal samples. Elsewhere, he delivers some Floating Points-esque deep house lusciousness (the superb, boogie-influenced "Private Life") and - best of all - a carnival-friendly chunk of woozy, horn-laden, 21st century dancefloor soul ("Next 2 Me"). Yam Who and Leebo Freeman deliver killer remixes, with the latter's dub-flecked deep house take on "Next 2 Me" standing out.
Review: ISM boss Yam Who has high hopes for Bubblegum, a previously unheard "red hot disco" outfit based at Fossil Studios in Hackney. There's certainly plenty of promise on this debut single, with both original tracks hitting the proverbial sweet spot. "Hold On" is a synth-laden mid-tempo delight, with hazy vocals and a lolloping, head-nodding groove. The looser, more up-tempo "On & On" is, if anything, even better, with punchy horns and clipped guitar riffs adding additional energy to the classic disco groove. Label boss Yam Who's remix of the latter - built around his own rubbery synths and a toughened-up groove - is also superb.
Review: The Drive is an interesting proposition. Unearthed by ISM boss Yam Who in London, their original tracks blend boogie, P-funk and synth-pop influences, analogue synths and live instrumentations, and vocals that sit somewhere between Prince and Plantlife. The two original tracks here, "Diamond In The Rough" and "Born Again", are both breezy and attractive, hinting at even greater things to come in future. Wisely, these radio-friendly originals are backed by a couple of solid remixes; a stomping, soulful nu-disco tweak of "Diamond in the Rough" by Yam Who, and a sparkling deep house-goes-nu-disco interpretation of "Born Again" by Autocycle.
Review: With his love of rolling disco basslines, deep house-influenced Rhodes chords, chunky grooves and Balearic influences, Ilija Rudman is one of nu-disco's most consistently on-point productions. Further proof of his talents can be found on this third outing on ISM Records. Both the warm and breezy "Future Times" and faster "Dimensions" are classic Rudman, with the latter sounding like Prince jamming with the Idjut Boys. Crazy P man Chris 'Hot Toddy' Todd delivers a typically smooth, fluid and musically rich remix of "Future Times" in his deep house-meets-nu disco style, while Simon Tappenden dons his Ourra guise to deliver a wonderfully tactile, authentic sounding '80s boogie rework of the same track. It's this version that really steals the show.
Review: Nu-disco/house fusionist Richard Seaborne made waves last summer with a pair of impressive EPs on Paper Recordings. Here, he joins Yam Who's similarly inclined Paper Recordings imprint for more White Isle-friendly fun. Seaborne's original version of "He Said He Loved You" is a breezy, colourful beast, with bold pianos and hazy vocal lines riding a classic garage-influenced disco-house groove. The supporting remixes are generally strong, too, with De Fantastike To dropping a chunky, piano-heavy powder house rework and Yam Who impressing with a chunkier, electrofunk-tinged nu-disco interpretation. As if that wasn't enough to moisten the palette, Ronnie Turner also weighs in with a breezy, terrace-friendly Dub.
Review: Having previously released on sister label Midnight Riot, Bristol-based nu-disco sort Goldboy is given a chance to play his wares on ISM. He duly delivers a trio of original productions, from the spacey chords, woozy grooves and rich bass of "Stomach Funk", to the bold, Rhodes-laden deep house disco throb of "Demolish Disco", via the breezy, late night goodness of "Thru The Nite". Each track is accompanied by a suitably solid remix, with Ex Friendy's dense, post-punk influenced dub disco remake of "Demolish Disco" standing head and shoulders above the rest. That said, BG Baarregaard's deliciously Balearic revision of "Stomach Funk" is pretty darn tasty.
Review: ISM chief Yam Who has long been a fan of Mexican disco, so it's little surprise to see him releasing this excellent single from local producer Tony Disco and horn player Ramisax. In its original form, "Papaya Surf" is something of a breezy delight; a warm, humid, languid saunter through deep house-tinged Balearic disco pastures full of live instrumentation. The remix package is rather excellent, too. Nelue goes further towards atmospheric nu-disco on his shuffling effort, while Colour Vision delivers a sun-kissed, samba-tinged take that turns the original into an eyes-closed anthem. Best of all, though, is Mazel Top's version, which laces those horns and a bold piano line over a bubbling backing track that sits somewhere between nu-disco and tech-house.