Birthed in 2010 by founders Simon Purnell and Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy, Leng have gone from strength to strength since their inception as an effortlessly forward-thinking disco/nu-disco label, making their presence felt with a hybrid of danceable, mid-tempo swing and sauce. A fascinating insight into suave, stylish bubblers and psychedelic, toe-tapping funk numbers, Leng never fail to keep you dancing from dusk til’ dawn, a quality and facet nailed down by heavily supported star appearances from 40 Thieves, Daniele Baldelli, Apiento & Co, Earthboogie and Cantoma amongst many others, ensuring that the sun is always shining when it comes to Leng’s storied, funkadelic roots.
Review: Did you ever get a record come along and think, "I shouldn't really like this, but I do?" That's the vibe this reviewer's getting from this V/A Day By Day EP, which can best be described as delivering on the promise of 80s pop in a way that ACTUAL 80s pop seldom did! From the gently shimmering 'Angelo' and the funk-fuelled, ABC-ish sophisti-pop of 'Darling', to the more soulful 'Tomorrow Night' and 'Feeling Action', there are some seriously classy grooves here that have won the heart of even this confirmed 80s-phobe - check 'em out for yourself and see if YOU can resist.
Review: A couple of years back, Leng welcomed Greek DJ/producer Lex to the label roster. Real name Alex Andrikopoulos, he's well known in his home city of Athens where he ran the Radical Soundz record shop. Now the Athenian has returned with his debut album for the esteemed London nu-disco label titled Waving, which appears on the back of a handful of EPs for a variety of labels (Samosa, B2, Frole). Whether it's the blissed-out balearica of last year's well received first single "Punta Alien", the late night boogie-down vibe of "Window Spells" (feat Max Giovara), the lo-slung dance floor heater "La Di Da D"i, to the sultry and deep mood music of "Angels Of Rhythm" (Still Bouncing - feat Harriet Summer) or the lovely closer "Keep Mashing" with its classic UK broken beat influence - Waving is his boldest and strongest statement yet as a producer.
Review: Under the Emperor Machine alias, Andrew Meecham (he of Chicken Lips/Bizarre Inc fame) can do no wrong. It's been a wee while since his last single under the alias, but this return to action - which also marks his debut on Leng Records - is little less than stunning. Featuring the stylish, echo-laden vocals of Severine Mouletin, the EP-opening 'Extended Vocal' mix offers a perfect balance between sleazy, sparse, leftfield '80s synth-pop and the mind-altering, dubbed-out electronic disco that's long been one of Meecham's calling cards. He moves further in the latter direction on the superb 'Erotique Dub', doffing a cap to all those killer Chicken Lips dubs he co-produced along the way. Throw in instrumental takes of both mixes and a radio-friendly 'Vocal Edit' and you have a genuinely essential EP.
Review: David Harks is a British singer-songwriter based in Berlin, who used to be the frontman of an indie band. Since deciding to explore the world of electronic music he's worked with Nang regulars Satin Jackets and become a member of the FSOL-affiliated Amorphous Androgynous collective; then, back in March, he teamed up with nu-disco veteran Mudd, AKA Paul N Murphy, on 'Susta', and now here come two fresh rubs courtesy of deep house legend Ron Trent. Think the kind of soulful, sophisticated grown-up dance pop peddled by the likes of Moloko, Crazy P or Ananda Project, and you'll have a good idea what to expect here.
Review: The disco scene's obsession with all things cosmic and Italo continues, but that's no reason for founding father Daniele Baldelli to rehash his own past - so don't expect cosmic-by-numbers on this team-up with his old Pedivelle Records mucker Dionigi. Instead you get the largely organic funk workout 'Alloteva', the low-slung, cinematic jazz-funk of 'Deflector', Latin-tinged midtempo number 'Sonora' and the deep n' moody 'Time Is Plastic'. But those are very broad-brush descriptions: Baldelli's 45+ years' DJing and production experience mean he's able to mine a wide variety of sources for inspiration, making for an EP that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Review: A man of many hats, DJ/producer Lex (Athens) co-owns Greece's Quantized Music label and for many years ran one of the nation's most important dance vinyl stores, Radical Soundz, as well as co-hosting the successful club night MOVE. Here he serves up three midtempo electronic workouts, with the title track (named after a Mayan fishing village) a laidback, looping, tropically-infused groove and 'The Jamail Pass' busting out the Hammond organ and a guitar line reminiscent of Izit's 'Beefa classic 'Stories', before 'Angels Of Rhythm (Still Bouncing)' takes us on proper deep funk excursion and no mistake, guv'nor.
Review: San Francisco's Cole Odin, a purveyor of "psych-rock, tech-hop, deep-balearic, chug-house", teams up with Berlin-based Canadian slo-mo don Eddie C on a languid, sinuous, constantly evolving instrumental workout that's two parts sleazy Berlin disco to three parts acid-fried west coast love-in, with a hint of Far Eastern exotica thrown in for good measure. Fellow Californians 40 Thieves then deliver a remix that somehow manages to emphasise all three aspects at once, aided and abetted by some six-string magic from Florida jam band Guavatron. Merry pranksters and disco dancers the world over should be more than satisfied.
Review: Harvey Couture hails - like the legendary Sabreman! - from Ashby De La Zouch in Leicestershire, and here he comes to London-based "midtempo dancefloor specialists" Leng with his debut long-player. If your nu-disco tastes tend towards authentic-sounding pastiches of 70s/80s grooves, this album might not be for you: its blend of nu-disco, leftfield and electronic pop stylings is perhaps more likely to appeal to fans of acts like Hot Chip or LCD Soundsystem. Standouts include 'Passion', with its nods to early 80s Bowie, and the Cold War funk of 'Creme Solaire'.
Review: Since launching at the dawn of the decade, Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label has risen to become one of the most consistent nu-disco labels around, with a trademark style that cannily combines chugging grooves, dub disco rhythms, and clear West Coast psychedelic rock and contemporary Balearica influences. It's for this reason that this celebratory 10th birthday compilation is such a treat. The multitude of highlights includes, but is no way limited to, the kaleidoscopic nu-disco rush of Pete Herbert's vintage remix of Apiento's 'She Walks', the kraut-folk-goes dub insanity of the Idjut Boys remix of Mountaineer's 'Golden Chalk', the intense drug-chug of Mudd's 'Slow Rave' mix of Tiago's 'The Source', and the late-night exotica of 'Luna' by Turkish producer Ali Kuru.
Review: We're firmly of the opinion that Payfone's last single, 'One Night in Sant Celoni', was the Phil Passera-helmed project's strongest single to date. The good news is that this follow-up for Paul 'Mudd' Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label is even better. In its original form, 'Sofian' is an atmospheric, low tempo nu-disco chugger powered forwards by a superb, analogue-sounding synthesizer bassline, smothered in ear-catching guitar motifs and electric piano riffs, and topped off by a sleazy spoken word vocal from former French affair chanteuse Barbara Alcindor. The accompanying Loyal Remix by Payfone founder member Jimmy Day the tempo a little, dubs the track out further and adds tons of ace new slow-motion percussion solos. It's a fine revision, but we still prefer the heady and horizontal original mix.
Review: Tigerbalm is the new solo alias of Earthboogie member Nicola Robinson, who started work on her vibrant (and rather good) debut single "Ello Koko" while travelling in Lombok, Indonesia. The track features musical mates Alex Searle (guitar and bass) and Patrick Dawes (percussion) and sees Robinson giddily join the dots between dub disco, tropical house and more Balearic pastures via low-slung bass, South East Asian percussion, Indonesian vocal samples and bright and breezy guitar riffs. Flamingo Pier provides an outstanding revision that adds more synth-heavy colour while making more of Dawes dense percussion, while J Kriv re-imagines it as a ludicrously heavy chunk of bass-driven Afro-house/dub disco fusion. In a word: ace!
Review: Both veterans of The White Isle, Italy's DJ Pippi and native Ibizan Willie Graff found time between sundown sets to make music together in the former's home studio. The result is their debut on Leng with a typically warm and woozy collection of cuts entitled the "Lunares EP" - named after the Spanish word for polka dots. Features the low lung balearic funk of the title track, the sensual beachside slow burner that is "Island Visitors" with its neon-lit Italo flourishes, as well as the fittingly named "Saxolicious" which goes down a loungey and jazzy early '00s deep house route that's reminiscent of Atjazz. Balmy tunes that are perfect for the summer season.
Review: Over the years Daniele Baldelli has released quite a few albums, though it would be fair to say that none are anywhere near as good as this terrific collaboration with fellow Italian scene legend Marco Fratty. The genius of "Oil Painting" lies in the pair's ability to fuse chugging, typically cosmic grooves and mind-altering synthesizer motifs with the hot-to-trot grunt of funk-rock and disco-funk. It's a template that guarantees a string of high quality cuts from start to finish, with our favourites including the arpeggio-driven throb of organ-heavy smasher "Steam Engine", the melodious dub disco flex of "Jasmine Flavour", the Cymande tribute "Slinky Funk", the eye-closed rock guitar solos and trippy cosmic disco grooves of "Column", and the Nu Guinea-on-steroids flex of "Positive Flow".
Review: In its original form, Paul 'Mudd' Murphy's first collaboration with David Harks and Icelandic songstress JaneLy is a bubbly and hugely evocative chunk of Balearic synth-pop that sounds like a sunset anthem in waiting. It's genuinely great, and the Emperor Machine's accompanying remixes are equally as inspired. The former Chicken Lips man delivers Vocal and Instrumental versions of his main pass - a typically sparse, mind-altering affair that wraps analogue synth bubbles and wayward electronics around a chugging beat - as well as an even more spaced out "Lovers Dub" that cleverly incorporates a few more elements from Harks and Murphy's original whilst adding copious amounts of delay and even more cosmic electronics.
Review: Earthboogie is currently on a break, so it's likely that this fine single is the last we'll hear from them for a year or two. First up is "Creepy Steve", a previously unheard workout that wraps lashings of Latin style percussion, spacey synthesizer noises, fuzzy guitar solos and African style vocals around a mid-tempo dub disco influenced groove. Arguably even better is Joel Harrison's remix of the title track from the band's superb debut album "Human Call". He retains some of the Afro-centric elements and live instrumentation but also adds dreamy, Larry Heard style chords, thrusting drums and some suitably wide-eyed musical touches. The result is a spacey deep house gem that's as warm and comforting as it is dancefloor friendly.
Review: Last year Payfone main man Phil Passera moved to Sant Celoni, a historic Catalonian town to the North West of Barcelona. It clearly provided him with much needed inspiration, because his latest single is a beautifully Balearic, soft-focus love song between two women set in the historic town. The song is wonderfully woozy and sun-kissed, with drowsy bi-lingual vocals, glistening guitars and warm synths rising above a languid rhythm track. In Flagranti handle remix duties, offering up a revision that joins the dots between dub, Balearic synth-pop and proto house. Solid instrumental and radio edit versions complete a must-check package.
Review: Leng has offered up some decent debuts over the last few years. This two-tracker from previously unheard Moscow producer Takovoi is another. "5-2-9" is particularly potent, with the Russian wrapping snaking, delay-laden sax samples, warm chords, blissful synthesizer arpeggio lines and faintly foreboding electronic stabs around a heady, pleasingly chugging dub disco groove. "The Fox With The Dog" features a similarly tasty fusion of psychedelic electronics, layered percussion and glassy Balearic flourishes. This time, though, the breakbeat-driven groove is altogether heavier, helped in no small part by some seriously weighty electro bass and the notable presence of mind-altering, TB-303 style acid lines.
Review: Born in Italy, based in London, the name of Paolo Guglielmino AKA Super Paulo should be familiar to nu-disco buyers by now, but this latest offering for Leng Records may well be his finest work to date. In its Original form, 'Bella Topa' seamlessly blends early hip-hop beats, hints of Eastern mysticism, plangent west goast geetars, lounge-y flourishes and more into a druggy, chuggy mid-paced disco-funk groover that can rival the best of Compass Point Studios' legendary output, while the Club Reconstruction Fast and Club Reconstruction Slow mixes offer two alternate takes. A triumph.
Review: Earthboogie's debut album, Human Call has rightly earned praise upon its release earlier in the year, with listeners responding positively to its sticky and humid dancefloor fusions of African and South American rhythms, chunky dub disco, retro-futurist house, spacey analogue electronics and sun-kissed Balearica. Hot on the heels of that release, Leng Records has sourced new remixes of two album highlights. The remix of "High Minded Man" from Running Back label boss Gerd Janson is an electrifying classic house rendition with an Afro influence that's just as neon-lit as you'd expect. Next, synthesizer-wielding Balearic stalwart Pete Herbert gives "Silken Moon" the late night boogie-down vibe that this veteran of nu-disco always does so well.
Review: The Leng label has managed to put together a handsome trio of producers with this latest EP, managing to find some painfully common grounds between Phil Gerus (Futureboogie / Sonar Kollektiv), Lay-Far (Local Talk), and newcomer Solitary High School. Together, this quirky selection of house-not-house producers have dropped four magnificent summer anthems, glazed in a noticeably neo-romantic coating, tapping into both the disco and coldwave bubbles. Pleasingly eerie synths are blended with steady drum-machine rhythms that permeate an undeniably boogie element from their low-ends, especially on the masterful "Love Life", an excellent example of modern sampling.
Review: The East London-based duo of Izaak Gray and Nicola Robinson have previously released a pair of EPs on Leng, showcasing their unique musical vision. This vision has never been clearer than it is on Human Call - a vibrant eight track album that combines African and South American dance music with a wide range of complimentary sounds. From spacey analogue electronics, and sun-kissed Balearica through to jazz, dub and disco. Throughout, Gray and Robinson showcase an impressive level of musicianship, combining dusty drum machines and warm analogue synthesizers with razor-sharp electric guitars, rich bass, cascading saxophone solos and hazy, life-affirming vocal harmonies.
Review: More sleazy, mid-tempo and laid-back percussive styles courtesy of The Mushrooms Project - it's what they're becoming known for really. They are back on London's Leng with a sound that immediately resonated with rising stars and newly signed label mates Earthboogie. "Dubby Bolas"is actually from the Italian duo's 2016 LP Rivea Corymbosa. It really excited Earthboogie - who turned it into cosmic/balearic tinged ambient house journey. Equally, the Mushrooms were fans of the Afro disco sound that the Londoners displayed on their debut track "Route Ten To Interzone" which they have now respectfully reworked featuring a little bit more dancefloor dynamic.
Review: Ali Kuru took a decision some years ago not to seek publicity, preferring instead to let his music speak for itself. Egzotik, his long awaited debut album, seems to have a fair few stories to tell. Smothered in evocative field recordings made around his home city of Istanbul, the album is notable for fusing exotic Persian instrumentation with grooves and sounds more readily associated with cosmic disco, krautrock, dub, Balearica and Detroit beatdown. On paper, it's an unusual combination that should sound forced or contrived. In reality, it's a brilliant example of an artist with a singular artistic vision achieving his goals. Put it this way: it's amongst the most inspired and enjoyable debut albums we've heard this year.
Review: Turkey's Ali Kuru specialises in slow, textured and deep beats with sultry, exotic overtones. His forthcoming LP "Egzotik" has elements of the type of noirish Mediterranean vibes peddled by Guy Gerber or David August. Here we have a selection of remixes of mainly album tracks. First up Italian cosmic legend Daniele Baldelli and Dario Piana team up for a killer electronic body music remix of "Ashoka". Next, Craig Bratley delivers a moody, minimal rework of "Zurna", "Return To Paradise" is turned into a traditional clippety-clop clap-along by Nicola Cruz and lastly "Lost Bedouin", reworked by Peter Power, recalls a million 90s chillout rooms.
Review: Out Of The Blue, Phil Mison's first compilation for some time, was apparently inspired by his first few trips to the White Isle of Ibiza, and specifically the unlikely set of circumstances that led to him filling in for Jose Padilla at Cafe Del Mar. Musically, it's reflective of the story, joining the dots between impossible-to-find rarities (see the loved-up instrumental jazz-rock of "Jelly" by The Cactus Rose Project and the life-affirming fusion business of Christoph Spendel Group's "Forever", for starters), huggable Balearic synth-pop, flamenco-inspired sunset gems, and a smattering of head-in-the-clouds Italian dream house killers. Given Mison's heritage and status as one of Balearica's top selectors, it's perhaps unsurprising that Out Of The Blue is undeniably brilliant.
Review: Earthboogie - aka London soundsystem owners Izaak Gray and Nicola Robinson - make their wax debut with three raw, groove laden disco blends. Digging deep into both afrofunk and Italo roots, there's a universal musical language that grabs you physically across all three cuts. "Mr Mystery" sits between Booker T & The Mgs and Daniele Baldelli while "Route Ten To Interzone" is an energetic township jam with added synth sheen. Finally we're seduced by the Balearic weaves, ripples, twangs and horns of "The EB Theme". A rainbow of vibes from start to finish, this one's hard to put down.
Review: For all his skills as a DJ - and, let's face it, he pretty much created the Afro-cosmic DJ style all on his own - Daniele Baldelli's productions have not always hit the mark. It's heartening to report, then, that this collaboration with Dario Piana for Leng Records is arguably the best thing he's produced to date. "Infinity Machine", where wild, effects-laden Clavinet lines, jammed-out electric piano chords and meandering synthesizer solos ride a particularly druggy arpeggio bassline, sets the tone magnificently, before the Italian duo jogs towards dub disco territory on the percussion rich "If You Drive". Badlelli's love of spacey synths, crunchy guitars and tactile synth bass comes to the fore on closer "Air Vibes", which also boasts a wonderfully tactile breakdown.
Review: By his usually prolific standards, Fernando Pulichino has had a very quiet 2016. In fact, this fine EP for Leng is his first, and presumably only, release of the year. It wuld be fair to say that it's been worth the wait, though. As usual, each of the three tracks is built around his own fine instrumentation; check, for example, the spacey synths, tactile synth-bass and freshly baked guitars of opener "Backwards". Arguably even better is the funk-fuelled Balearic blues workout "Natural 77", which boasts Pulichino's own freestyle vocals, razor-sharp funk-rock guitars, and one of the producer's traditional rubbery basslines. Closer "Attic Party", a breezy trip through deep space via the Adriatic, is also rather good.
Review: Ah yes, it's the unstoppable Mushroom Project back to dominate our nu-disco charts with their inimitable swagger, and it's the Leng label that welcomes the back with open arms. To be honest, we're overjoyed to see them again, especially if they're bringing this many tunes along with them - all marvellously diverse and rich in harmonic texture. "Rivea Corymbosa" and "Rio Paraiba Do Sol", for example, are simply two sublime slice of balearic funk, while other tunes like "Dirty Bolas" veer onto more beat-laden territories. Tribalism and funk are very much at the core of all these tunes, and while it's all too easy to go for the big names and forget those riding below the radar, this release by Mushroom Project is both some of the best music these guys have put out, and makes for one of the best EPs on our charts this week. Warmly recommended.
Review: Is that a snake in your boot or are you dancing like a crazy horse at this divine piece of honky tonking wild west funk? Created through a chance encounter in a shoe shop, Frankie Valentine and Thomas Sciurpa written something truly original here. Sitting somewhere between The Grid and Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, each version is a gallant trip through dusty plains with big instrumentation, a bareback sense of groove and more banjo pistol whips than your doctor would recommend. Let's hope more chance encounters happen in the future.
Review: Turkish producer Ali Kuru is now some ten years into his recording career. While he's yet to receive serious attention, there's some undoubted gold to be found amongst his bulging discography. This first outing for the ever-reliable Leng imprint is arguably one of his strongest EP's to date, and once again showcases his Balearic-minded blends of traditional Turkish instrumentation, dub disco grooves, and downtempo nous. "Luna" is particularly fine, with exotic Turkish sounds gently unfurling over a warm, deep and dubby groove. He raises the tempo a little on "Araf", with fluttering flutes and Middle Eastern vocal snippets riding a metronomic groove built around reclaimed samba percussion and foreboding bass.
Review: Psychemagik's recent, two-part Magik Sunset compilation was arguably one of the best of the year, with the crate-digging twosome gathering together an impressively obscure selection of Balearic-minded nuggets. Here, two compilation highlights get the re-edit treatment. Veteran New York crate digger and occasional Rong Music contributor Andi Hanley steps up first, providing a sensationally sensual extension of P'Cock's blazed, blue-eyed soul tinged dub disco head-nodder "Telephone Song". It's impeccable in its' execution, with Hanley brilliantly emphasizing the original's smooth, reggae-influenced groove. Label boss Mudd handles Francis Lai's "Young Freedom", once again stretching out the original's blazed groove before making high with the spiraling synthesizer lines and horizontally inclined strings.
Review: It would be fair to say that Auf Togo's releases for Leng are sporadic, to say the least. While there are good reasons for this - Sasa Crnobrnja is busy with In Flagranti, while Clement Cochot-Coloum has his hands full with the Fabulous Penetrators - it's still frustrating for those who enjoy their undeniably quirky take on Balearic-rock fusion. Happily, this third EP - their first since 2013 - is chock full of highlights. Opener "The Basement", featuring MT, is an undeniably eccentric chunk of leftfield, AOR-influenced disco-pop, while "Second Tongue" blends undulating dub disco grooves with blazed, spoken vocals and punk-funk attitude. Closer "Carpet Stains", meanwhile, is a more obviously up-tempo, rock-influenced affair, with the duo's bold guitar chords counter-balanced by shimmering electronics and lilting melodies.
Review: There are few record collectors and DJs with crates quite as deep as Psychemagik. They've already proved this beyond doubt via a trio of brilliant Magik compilations for Paul Murphy and Simon Purnell's Leng label. Magik Sunset Part 2 continues this run, gathering together another double-album's worth of fantastic obscurities from the worlds of stoner disco, left-of-centre rock, psychedelia and Balearica. As usual, there are some genuine "how did I not know about this record" moments, from the star-kissed Balearic jazz of Fabio Fabor and saucer-eyed white boy reggae-rock of the Trepidants, to the Flamenco-tinged AOR disco shuffle of Jack Adkins' "Sunset Beach".
Review: Slippery synth disco abounds as Grecian newcomers Thanasis Skouzis and George Fountzoulas develop their Bonnie & Klein brand on Leng. "Singularity" is straight out of the late 80s play book thanks to its array of flutes and wind elements. "Ergosphere", meanwhile, is a much slower affair with a drone-like dynamic that builds more and more momentum as more elements are introduced into the mix. Truly hypnotic.
Review: Former Silver City man Fernando Pulichino seems to be mellowing with age. Having previously explored punk-funk, nu-disco and deep house on his solo releases, he's now switched his focus to dub-influenced, slo-mo Balearic synth-rock. Many of the old trademarks are still present - think rubbery live bass, fluorescent, vintage-sounding synths and unfussy beats - but are here joined by fuzzy guitar solos and an evocative vocal from guest star Fiorucci. It's a potent blend, reminiscent of early '80s cosmic rock with a little more nu-disco nous. The original vocal version is joined by a delicious Extended Dub, which impressively stretches out the infectious, head-nodding groove.
Review: 40 Thieves long awaited debut album, The Sky Is Yours, was something of an epic; 10 years in the making, it stretched out across two CDs and four slabs of vinyl. Here, two tracks from the album get the remix treatment, with crate diggers-turned-party animals Psychemagik and Phil Mison's Cantoma outfit at the controls. Psychemagik's version of "The Sandpiper" is particularly good, delivering a heady, Arabic-influenced slice of chugging, eyes-wide-shut Balearica that benefits greatly from a rubbery groove and woozy chords. Mison takes a different approach on his rework of "The Sky Is Yours", laying down a version that sounds like T-Coy making late '80s Italian house. It is, all told, the epitome of Balearic house.