Review: DJ Kaos seems to keep Jolly Jams' most "hush-hush" material for the label's occasional Promo Only series. There's plenty to get excited about on this latest digital installment. For example, you'll struggle to find a more on-point early Chicago house edit than Baffopizza's sterling, gospel-tinged effort - all sweaty, jackin' beats, chunky bass and swirling vocal samples - though Kaos's own effort, a deliciously druggy, basement-bothering affair - pushes it close. Pete Herbert's contribution bubbles away impressively via waves of acid and dubbed-out synth lines, while Leo Mas and Fabrice's remix of Conor's contribution effortlessly flits between cut-up electro drums and blasts of rubbery, punk-funk grooves.
Review: The latest release on Dennis Kaun aka Kaos' label is also one of Jolly Jams' most unusual Eps to date. The truly notable track here is "Mighty", a chugging nu-disco affair that features a druggy take on the vocal from Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)". Elsewhere, Balearic Skip present a guitar strewn workout in the shape of "Etta", its murky, slow-motion groove also populated by diva vocals. For sheer dance floor efficacy though, the clear winner is "Love Freddy". Centred on a high-paced electronic groove, it sees Balearic Skip pulsate their way to disco nirvana.
Review: Italian legend and The Dub main man Claudio Coccoluto is up next on Berlin imprint Jolly Jams - run by hometown hero DJ Kaos. Given the man from Cassino's experience with two decades in the business, you're certainly in good hands. He serves up some Afro-inflected disco funk on the electrifying "The Pink Door", followed by the low-slung slo mo disco of "Sound Couture" and the deep down and dirty Italo shenanigans of "The Running Horse". For the uninitiated, be sure to check out Coccoluto's prior work as World Famous Martinez Orchestra and The Heartists.
Review: Groove king Medina is fighting fit and back with an absolute odyssey. "Heart Of Kyushu" is an all-out trip of tranquillity. Weighing in at 13+ minutes, it's for the deepest and most tender of moments and real statement on where Cole is at right now. "Target Woman" follows suit with a little more cosmic welly. Shiny sultry vocals, mystic synth whirlwinds and more immersivity than a VR village, Cole's not messing around with these.
Review: Operating in the shadowy no-man's-land between re-edits, remixes and original productions, DJ Kaos's Jolly Jams imprint rarely puts a foot wrong. Predictably, the label's latest missive - a two-track trip into dub disco/mid-tempo house territory from the combined talents of Danny Russell and Timothy Alexander - is quietly impressive. Opener "Let's Go (House Track Slower)" is particularly potent, offering a dubby, Idjut Boys style re-edit/remix fusion full of sleazy disco samples, looped spoken word snippets, crunchy clavinet lines and rubbery dub disco bass. The duo flips the script entirely on "Hoppers Rant (Acid Track)", pressing the button marked "dancefloor madness" via clattering drum machine percussion and wild TB-303 acid lines.
Review: Three tracks of fine contemporary (as opposed to 'nu') disco from mystery producer Dany B on the Jolly Jams label here. 'I'm Yours' is a lazy, looping chugger with a rasping female vocal (think Macy Gray, Kim Carnes), squalling rock geetars and some gloriously tinny piano, 'I Can't Help It' is pacier, funkier and squelchier with a near-falsetto male vocal, while finally 'Gotta Get It' itself is a rolling affair with a Barry White-esque male voice intoning the title, wukka-wukking geetar and soaring Philly strings. The 1970s force is definitely strong in this one.
Review: DJ Kaos doesn't put out many re-edits these days, but when he does, they're invariably superb. This seven-track set of fresh reworks contains some of his finest scalpel work to date. The headline attraction is undoubtedly "Midnight Patrol", a brilliant rearrangement of the Valverde Brothers' 1978 disco cover of JJ Cale's "After Midnight" that makes much of the winding synth solos and gospel backing vocals. There's plenty of other killer material throughout, though, from the synth-laden cosmic disco throb of "Stranger", and 135 BPM tropical drum workout "Ocean Rhythms", to the '70s rock surge of "Psychedelic Supermarket" (a tasty re-cut of The Who favourite "Eminence Front"). All killer, no filler.
Review: This fine Jolly Jams release gathers together a quartet of largely overlooked DJ Kaos productions, all of which have previously been released on other labels. While few remember the breezy, post-punk disco sweetness that was 2009's Rong Music/DFA Records released "Love The Night Away", or for that matter the slipped new wave-meets-Italo-via-Balearic fusion of 2011's "From Inside", both are undeniably excellent. Best of all, though, are the two contrasting versions of "Kosmischer Ruckenwind", which originally appeared on Clone's Loft series. The shorter "Part 1" is actually a tasty dancefloor-friendly remix by Eltechnique, but it's the stretched-out, 12-minute original (here dubbed "Part 2") - a blissful exercise in krautrock/kosmiche, full of bubbling synth lines and glistening guitars - which stands out.
Review: DJ Kaos has gone for a minimalist approach on this latest "Promo Only" release, not bothering with track names or, it seems, any kind of promotion. Whether edits, sneaky remixes of sample-heavy cuts, both tracks are nothing less than superb. "Promo Only (A)" builds magnificently throughout, with glistening, occasionally delay-laden guitar lines and Balearic electronics becoming increasingly prevalent as the throbbing, Italo-disco goes-Balearic track progresses. It sounds like the kind of thing you'd expect to hear on Scandolearic imprints such as Full Pupp, and that's no bad thing. "Promo Only (B)" is looser, groovier and, if anything, even more saucer-eyed, with the addition of jaunty pianos, eyes-wide-shut synths and delay-laden trumpet lines perfectly complimenting the dub disco groove.
Review: While he's called his new EP Save The World From Bad Music, we could argue that DJ Kaos has been on that mission for the best part of two decades. Happily, his latest chunk of cheekiness on Jolly Jams contains another quartet of party-starting treats. He begins with the wide-eyed, cut-and-paste brilliance of "S", which somehow joins the dots between squidgy late '80s Euro-house, "Long Train Running" and Italian house pianos, before getting busy with an obscure proto-house jam on "A". "V" is a killer rework of an early '80s tune that sits somewhere between AOR disco and proto-house, while brilliant closer "E" sticks a rocket under an obscure, psychedelic-era funk-rock gem.
Review: DJ Kaos' Berlin based imprint presents another jolly jam from Milwaukee, WI based producer and visual artist Richard Galling who teams up with Gruzis on what makes this his fifth EP for the label. Starting off with the lo-slung, slo-mo disco of "Further Past The Break", they'll treat you to even more chilled balearica on "Flight" by way of '80s film soundtrack aesthetics (think To Live And Die in L.A. or Miami Vice) while "Tangerine Stream" like its name may suggest goes for some progressive rock style workout with sublime guitar treatments going head to head with rich vintage synth textures and glimmering arpeggios.
Review: It was March 2017 when Richard Galling (AKA Richard From Milwaukee) teamed up with Gruzis for a first collaborative EP on Jolly Jams. Here, that EP is reissued under a new title with the addition of a swathe of remixes and bonus cuts. As the title suggests, all the material is in some way informed by the cosmic world of 1970s krautrock. This is particularly evident of Felix Dickinson's epic "Long Journey Remix" of "Further Past The Break", which layers the duo's original tumbling guitar solos and Tangerine dream electronics over a hybrid Balearic dub disco/krautrock groove, though can also be heard on Mind Fair's fantastically dubbed-out, 1980s Adrian Sherwood style revision of "Soft Dream" (which, incidentally, is given a more traditional kosmiche twist on the brilliant Baffopizza Remix).
Review: For the label's latest chunk of underground, party-starting fun, Jolly Jams chief DJ Kaos has turned to Matteo Zarcone, an Italian drummer turned house producer. "No Man" is something of a bombastic treat, with Zarcone delivering a muscular, tooled-up chunk of retro-futurist Italian house built around tough drums, restless and crashing cymbals, vintage riffs, gargantuan bass and the kind of breathy, manipulated female vocal samples that were once a hallmark of early '90s Italo-house anthems. It's perhaps fitting, then, that the accompanying remix comes from '90s Italian house survivor Alex Neri. His revision is similarly percussive and bustling, but also makes greater use of Zarcone's classic-sounding bassline, crunchier machine drums and some surprisingly creepy chords.
Review: Man or woman of mystery More Lotion has been in fine form of late, following up a great debut on Midnight Riot with a similarly inspired EP on Masterworks Music. This outing on Jolly Jams is arguably even better. It boasts a trio of reworks that dig deeper for inspiration with predictably impressive results. Check, for example, the spacey synths, glassy-eyed female vocals and turn-of-the-80s disco bass of "The Look of Love" and the similarly synth-laden peak-time chug of "Love Lite", where raw disco-funk guitars, sweeping strings and Italo-disco style electronics rise above an unfussy but punchy groove. Equally as impressive is "Rojo, Sangre Y Fuego", a hard-wired slab of driving Latin disco-funk that's sure to set pulses racing out on the dancefloor.
Review: After a two-year hiatus, Wonderful Times founder Napoleon returns to action with a sizzling two-track missive on Jolly Jams. The Costa Rica-based disco emperor is in fine form throughout, first brilliantly using filter trickery to tease in a delayed-laden, dubbed out take on a soaring, tops-off Afro-disco smasher (virtual A-side "Disco Ashes"). Sleazy and otherworldly but celebratory enough to get even sober dancers reaching for the strobes, it's a superb re-edit. The same formula - filters, dub delays and copious amounts of reverb - also works its magic on "Love Spell", a slightly more spacey disco workout that nevertheless sounds like a hedonistic peak-time anthem in waiting.
Review: Unsurprisingly, Richard Galling, does indeed hail from Milwaukee, having released nu-disco inspired jams since about 2012. With his stuff getting plays on the likes of Beats In Space, he got his name out early. His latest offering is this single that features two original tracks and some remixes too. "303" features the eponymous bass machine all over this deep, arpeggio-heavy tech-disco jam, "Organ" swaps the 303 for a classic Robin S-style house organ, and "Prophet" adds some big room bass. Also included is a Prophet version of "Clear Water", a real late 80s, Shep Pettibone-style, Latin house joint.
Review: Having made his debut for the label way back in 2012, Milwaukee-based DJ/producer Richard Galling is one of Jolly Jams' longest serving artists. His sixth EP for DJ Kaos's imprint is a powerful affair, with Galling offering up a trio of sleazy late night machine jams that sit somewhere between early '80s proto-techno, muscular EBM and jackin' Chicago house. Our pick of the bunch is opener "High Life", a throbbing workout whose peak-time power is the result of a mix of thrusting synth-bass, restless drum machine cowbells and a heavy low-register acid line. The similarly inclined "Night Shift" is, if anything, even heavier and more powerful, while "Mercy" sees Galling wrap mangled TB-303 lines around a suitably weighty beat.
Review: Milanese twosome Rocco Fusco and Tiberlo Carcano have been making waves in their home city for some time, primarily through the popular Rollover party they jointly promote. Here they bring a taste of their incendiary DJ sets to DJ Kaos's Jolly Jams label via two tracks of hard-to-pigeonhole peak-time fun. Title track "Tango Ipnotico" sets the tone, expertly layering Italo-disco style electronics and wayward vocal samples atop a rubbery, post-punk disco groove. The dub delays and musical eccentricities continue on "All I Could Do Is Just", a chugging exercise in dub disco/cosmic rock fusion blessed with some fine organ stabs and meandering vocal samples.
Review: Stringed, guitar disco funk ("Rubadischi"), low fidelity power dance ballads ("Hold Me On") and New York boogie with touches of Gil Scott Heron ("Liberation") served up by Roman Truth! Harking back to a sound of '70s disco and funk, this EP brings that original vibe and voice of a generation back to the dancefloors and disco appreciators of a modern day.
Review: There's naturally plenty of high-grade material to be found on Jolly Jams' latest round up of previously "promo only" material from their regular vinyl missives. It's a thrill-a-minute ride through illicit underground dancefloor pastures that touches on a variety of styles, from the "Buffalo Gals"-sampling early Chicago House flex of Promo Only's "Promo Only" (track 9) and the pitched-down jazz-funk/disco-funk re-edit brilliance of Conor's "Sure Thing", to the Ron Hardy style grooves and dub delays of new wave/proto-house rework "Sake of Nothing" by Slaves of Love, via DJ Kaos's sought-after dancefloor tweak of an infamous Italo disco-era cover of Eric Clapton's "After Midnight" (here re-titled "Midnight Patrol"). The latter, now near impossible to find on vinyl, is simply essential.