Loneliness Can Make You Feel Empty - (3:33) 100 BPM
Review: Based in Heraklion, Crete, Lego Boy goes by the name of John Mihelinakis in real life. In his Lego Boy guise, though, he specialises in laidback, leftfield grooves that draw on a wide range of influences, from world music to electronica. 'Free' is a looping, Lemon Jelly-esque affair that marries a sitar (or slide guitar?) to a rap-style female vocal, 'Across The World' sits somewhere between Burial and art-pop, 'Fly Away' is a blissed-out, summery affair with deceptively uptempo percussion, and 'Loneliness Can Make You Feel Empty' veers towards prog-breaks territory while sporting an Indian-style vocal. An eclectic and engaging listen.
Review: The ever reliable balearic, downtempo, deep house and acoustic ambiance connoisseurs Kraak outta Greece deliver Downtempo Vol 4! Standout tracks include the shake and crackle percussion of Stiko's remix to MCurtis, to the dubbed-out, uptempo and piano driven ambient house of "Galaxy Groove". Pablo Mat delivers two slower, cool electro-jazz and guitar sessions with some Afro-inspirations coming from the vocal loops and polyrhythms of Timewarp's 'Iboga Ritual". Look to Medras' "Sound In My Head" for some extra guitars and folk elements alongside two slow burning disco numbers from Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc. Project). Snap, Krakkle 'n' pop.
Review: Vito Lalinga delivers his third record to 2020 already with this four-track EP for Greek label Kraak. It was 2018 when Lalinga made his debut on Kraak's parent label Timewarp and since then the artist has given his jazzier, soulful and percussive take on music to labels like Legofunk and Sound Exhibitions. For Kraak he sends in Black Spirit Planet, a record that dives into funky and ambient jazz territory that reach their peak in lead track "Spiritual Space" alongside the flute and samba sessions of "Brazilectro", the rhode and strings driven "Walk My Way", and the mellow tribalisms of "No Future".
In The Beginning (Percapella dub) - (3:28) 122 BPM
Funk Off It All 2019 - (5:21) 115 BPM
Review: In the beginning, as we all know, there was Jack. Yes, it's another run-out here for Chuck Roberts' famous acapella from 1987, with 'In The Beginning' served up in four mixes which, being titled Disco Mix, House Mix, Instrumental Mix and Percapella Dub, are by and large fairly self-explanatory! It's the Disco Mix that stands out, though, with its 'Funky Town'-like bassline, Rodgers-esque guitars and happy hands-in-the-air Italo-house pianos, while oddly titled bonus cut 'Funk Off It All 2019' recalls the punk-funk likes of A Certain Ratio, ESQ or Liquid Liquid at their intense, claustrophobic best.
Review: Ever-prolific Italian producer Laligna (Sound Exhibitions/Timewarp) comes to Greece's Kraak stable with this seven-track long-player. Recent EPs from Laligna have variously explored Afro-house, nu jazz and straight-up retro funk territories, so it's unsurprising that for this 'album proper' he's serving up a blend of all those influences and more. The dark, rumbling 'Galaxy Groove', for instance, fuses deep house and jazz-funk, while 'Alien Love' brings the Latin-tinged Balearica and the lively 'In The Fire' would work on soulful house and funk floors alike. Overall it's an enjoyable, largely instrumental listen, particularly for those who don't like to get stuck in any one groove for too long.
Review: Timewarp man Angelos Stoumpus is a hard man to second-guess. He has a passion for turning his hand to different - if complimentary - styles, regularly switching from electro, funk breaks and disco to deep house, downtempo grooves and even dusty ambient. On his latest album-length excursion, Stoumpos effortlessly joins the dots between warming house, intergalactic jazz-funk, dark and spacey percussion workouts, acid-fired techno-jazz, trance-inducing space disco and grandiose ambient techno. It's an unusual but hugely entertaining fusion of sounds and styles, with highlights including "Into The Drum (Fast Version)", "Hukuro" and the sweaty "Morning Drums (Remix)".
Review: Argentina's Pablo Mat comes to Greek label Kraak with his debut long-player. The album opens with the ambient 'Orbita' before taking a left turn into Balearic funk territory with 'Voyager' (think Willie Hutch remixed by ALFOS), which sets the tone for the whole album. 'Windows', for instance, alternates melancholy beats-less passages and complex jazz drums, while title track 'Gravedad' itself is essentially a straight-up jazzer with ambient overtones and closer 'Calling Dream' takes us into deep prog territory. Despite the interesting melange of styles there's nothing hugely ground-breaking going on, but fans of downtempo Balearica will find much to enjoy all the same.
Review: Since dropping his last solo EP on Kraak five years ago, Voodoo Child has been releasing "nu-disco, nu-funk, downtempo and abstract hip-hop" under another "top secret" alias. This return to action under his original alias is therefore well overdue. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout the four tracks. Check first melodious Afro-house opener "Iboga Ritual", where attractive Kalimba lines and whistling synthesizer motifs wrap around a bouncy, polyrhythmic drum machine groove, before moving on to the Afro-fired nu-disco dreaminess of "Ogun (Part 1)". Elsewhere, "Up To No Good" sees the producer pepper a matter-or-fect electronic house groove with chanted vocal snippets and trance-like synthesizer motifs, while title track "H.O.P.E" is a bubbly and bouncy electronic house cut with colourful synthesizer riffs and a genuinely glassy-eyed lead vocal.
Review: Vi Mode Inc Project main man Vito Lalinga doesn't like to get tied down musically. In the last six months alone he's released expansive EPs that variously touch on Cuban music, fiery funk breaks, nu-jazz and disco. It's the latter sound that he returns to on this sequel to summer 2018's "Black Spirit Project". There's plenty to get the juices flowing throughout, from the jazz-funk tinged warmth of opener "Attack On Earth" and Clavinet-sporting "Ethnic Deep" (a mid-tempo fusion of reggae and disco with plenty of other World music references), to the harmonica-heavy swamp funk chug of "Blues In The Sky" and Chic-influenced bounce of "The Right Time".
Review: With a back catalogue that goes back two decades, Timewarp aka Angelos Stoumpos is a hugely experienced producer. However, for his latest release, he has sifted through his old tapes to deliver unreleased material from the late 90s. Despite the passage of time, these tracks have aged well; "DarkOff" is a dusty break beat affair, littered with repetitive vocal samples, while on "Phatmatic", he explores the kind of loose beats and low-slung bass that would previously been called trip-hop. Further showcasing his versatility, "Second Quest" is a moody, tranced out breaker, while on "Jazzpie", he delivers a chugging, Rhodes-heavy groove.
Review: Greek label Kraak, part of the Timewarp family, serve up a third collection of laidback grooves for your post-club chilling pleasure. Thankfully there's a bit more variety on offer than your standard-issue 'Ibiza chill-out' comp, with tracks ranging from the epic, mournful southern soul of MCurtis's opener 'Kiboo' (feat Hugo Kant & Daphne Bluebird) to the lazy, jazz-inspired deep house of Kiano & Below Bangkok's 'Now', via the sundown bliss of North Coast Vibes' 'Soul Time', the Blaxploitation funk of Vito Lalinga's 'Bitter Taste', the drifty Balearic prog of Jay Papa's 'A Touch Of You' and more. Dive in!
Review: After digging through his old backup files, Mister Timewarp (aka Angelos Timewarp Stoumpos) managed to recover these unreleased gems he made back in 1995 - 1998, and he now presents a new volume with another five deep/dirty techno grooves on Minimal Trippin. They finally see the light of day more than 20 years later. Highlights on this extended EP include the old school rave energy of "Back Age Techno", the adrenalised trance energy of "Techno Freak" (KickME mix) or the darkened warehouse stomp of "Techno Freak" that is perfect for those heads down moments on the dancefloor.
Review: Like its two predecessors, this third volume in Angelo "Timewarp" Stoumpos's "Deep Diggin Grooves" series gathers together more unheard cuts produced by the Greek party-starter during the late 1990s and early 2000s. It's an action-packed eight-tracker, with Stoumpos flitting between breakbeat-driven tooled-up deep house ("Tea" parts one and two), psychedelic breakbeat-house ("Tea - Dynamo Mix"), spacey, techno-tempo tech-house ("008"), Italo and freestyle influenced main room house ("Hypertouch" one and two) and particularly potent San Francisco style dub house ("Green Tea"). It's all pretty good, to be honest, with all eight archive tracks sounding fresh despite their relative vintage.
Review: Kraak Records offers up a second selection of "Deep Diggin Grooves" by Timewarp, AKA long-serving Greek producer Angelos Stoumpos. Like its predecessor, the eight-track set is entirely made up of previously unheard cuts produced by the multi-talented DJ and musician during the late 1990s and early 2000s. There's naturally plenty to enjoy, from the funk-fuelled acid bass and shimmering early UK tech house chords of opener "Where Da Funk", and the mind-altering dancefloor psychedelia of rolling deep house number "Deep At The Hole", to the snappy drum machine hits and Motor City techno influences of "4Fun". The drowsy, slowly shifting late night bliss of "Xamos O" is also worth a listen.
Review: Athens based Kraak Records present Angelos Stoumpos aka Timewarp: a veteran producer who has been super busy producing music since the late '80s. His first releases took place a decade later in 1999. He has been experimenting with various forms of electronic music - from techno and house, to ambient, trance and drum and bass. After finding old tracks on his computer, he managed to recover these unreleased gems he made back in the day. Most of these tracks a definitely a zeitgeist of the period, when electronica and breaks were the trend - and of course UK tech house. It's the latter where he really excelled - as best heard on the dynamic opener "Warm Before Get Cold" or the fluid and hypnotic "Something New For U", while "My House Is This" goes for a deep and minimal vibe instead.
Review: This year Vito Lalinga has been somewhat prolific, releasing a string of solid EPs on Timewarp and Sound Exhibitions. This time round, he pops up on Greece's Kraak label for the very first time. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the slap bass propelled nu-funk-meets-jazz-funk sunshine of "I'll Be Good To You Baby" and solo-laden Bob James tribute "Bitter Taste", to the rich, mid-tempo nu-disco bounce of "Chill Speech" and constantly rising Afro-disco/nu-funk fusion of heavy-hitting workout "Afroinvasion". Elsewhere, "Ghetto Space" is a deliciously positive, piano-sporting disco-funk roller underpinned by rolling house drums, and "I Got To" is a Clavinet-sporting peak-time workout rich in lapsed hip-hop vocals and jammed-out solos.
Review: Kraak Records is a sublabel of Greek label Timewarp, that aims to explore new forms of modern electronica. Their mission statement: electronic sounds without limits, borders and musical styles! Athens based Medras is back with a full length album here. Soft and Tough is deeply entrenched in the downtempo genre, but when you listen to it in its entirety, you realise he is influenced by a great variety of music styles. From trip hop and chillout electronica, to rock, soul, dub and house. From the bittersweet trip hop of "Believe In Me", the hazy/dubby soul funk of "Dubwise" to the ethereal blunted beat journey of "Around The World" and the sultry deep house groove of "As My House", there's a wide variety of mood and grooves to keep you enthralled throughout its entirety.
Review: There's no need to rush things in January, it's a grim time so best to take it slow, stay in bed. Greece's Beat Ride have the right idea - release these four trip-hop infused jams that sound like they were recorded from underneath the duvet. "Wake Up" is a lazy roller with a rap from The Mage, "Another Bad Day" boasts Bassey-esque vocals from Antigoni Kostala, "People" is all cinematic strings and epic beats, but it's the perky easy listening stomper "Dreamers" that's the most likely to get your feet back on to the floor.
Review: As the matter-of-fact title suggests, Mixing & Remixing gathers together a selection of the finest reworks from hard-working Grecian producer Angelos "Timewarp" Stoumpos. He stamps his now familiar 'nu-disco meets deep house' style over tracks from Quiet Fire, Noetic Nega and Gabriel Rocca, occasionally diverting to pay tribute to funk-fuelled hip-hop (the slick, synth-heavy old skool revivalism of his take on Morlack's "Let's Go Jamming"), and lay down some tougher, more obviously house-centric reworks. Of these, it's his version of "Hr Tichy" by Shanti Roots and Scheibosan - a dubby tech-house chugger full of exotic, Middle Eastern strings - that really hits the spot.
Review: Grecian nu-disco/funk fusion sort DJ Steevo has long been a familiar part of the Athens scene, both as a DJ and a producer. This, though, marks his solo debut for the Kraak label after providing remixes and additional production for releases on Timewarp and Pump The Cat. First up, he joins forces with Soundshaker on "Funk Lover", a pleasingly bubbly, cheery and melodious fusion of shuffling house rhythms, bright nu-disco synths and subtle funk guitars. He doffs a cap to P-funk on the synth-laden hustle of "Sunset Groove", before sauntering into more classic nu-disco territory on the sparkling, deep house influenced "Black Revolution".
Over & Over Again (Bisquit Control remix) - (7:31) 122 BPM
Over & Over Again (Quincy Jointz remix) - (6:18) 122 BPM
Dancefloor - (4:15) 124 BPM
A Photo Frame - (5:50) 100 BPM
A Photo Frame (Jazz K Lipa remix) - (5:06) 87 BPM
Review: After a string of freebies on Cold Busted, Russian duo Bar F6 step over to Timewarp associates Kraak with their first full EP. Three originals, two remixes, myriad vibes, A Photo Frame certainly establishes the duo's abilities with more clarity than anything they've done before; the title track is a sludgy, dubby gem that struts and breezes with star-gazing pensiveness, "Over & Over Again" is a choppier, jazzier sunshine vibe while "Dancefloor" sees the Russians in a slinkier, shimmering peaktime mode. Remix highlights include Quincy Jointz sultry swing on "Over & Over" and Jazz K Lipa's slick D&B repurpose of the title track. Those pianos!
Come On Now (Louies original mix) - (3:24) 128 BPM
Come On Now (Zombie Squad mix) - (3:07) 128 BPM
Come On Now (extended Squad mix) - (5:39) 128 BPM
La-Di-Da (Electro Skunk) - (4:33) 116 BPM
Review: Hot on the heels of the Down To The Music package and the Revolution Is The Only Solution album, Funky Destination lay down more sun-kissed originals. "The Sweetest Sin" is an upbeat, jack-happy funky house gem that's soaked in organic elements. Big organs and bigger strings, it's an audio injection of concentrated feel good. Further on, we hit three big remixes of the loopy, guitar-twanging party-packer "Come On Now" and end on the slower, G-funk style "La Di Da". Surged with west coast, Funkadelic flavours, it will liven any party you play this summer. Guaranteed.
Review: There's something quite old school about Athenian chillout producer Aris Kokou. Maybe it's the '90s Mediterranean sounds on the azure synth sheen of "Sweet N Low" which is undeniably blissful. These calming vibes continue on the xylophone-led trop-hop of "Earth Glow" but elsewhere we get blazed on the mellow '90s RnB of "Out Of Control" and also get a glimpse of his classical training on the jazzy "Untitled".
Review: Greek label Kraak is fast becoming a label to watch. Its blends of electrofunk, nu-disco, funk and deep house are rarely less than enjoyable. There's certainly much to admire about this three-track release from longtime friend of the label Alessando Oritz (aside from the title, which is a little bit naff). Opener "Everywhere I Go" sets the tone, layering sublime P-funk synths over a chunky, saxophone sporting nu-funk groove - all heavy bass and swinging house beats. "I Got Your Back" moves further towards deep disco house territory, making great use of live instrumentation and some extra-soulful vocal samples. Finally, Stefan L lends a hand of the jaunty, disco-house saxophone wig-out "Make Me Feel".