Lumberjacks in Hell is a Chicago & disco house-orientated label founded in Amsterdam in 2010, the home of a soulful family gathered around label boss Marcel Vogel. The label is proud of releases by Rahaan, Jamie 3:26 & Cratebug, Philou Louzolo, Giovanni Damico, Mr Mendel, Hugo H, Rayko, Boogie Nite, Eddie C, Al Kent, Inkswell, Mannmademusic and others,
Review: Lumberjacks in Hell's latest release may well be the smoothest, warmest and most soulful chunk of deep house we've heard so far in 2021. 'Jus Move' is a cross-generational collaboration between Jonna and Javontte, with both providing slick, eyes-closed vocals atop a hazy, occasionally loopy backing track (all clipped organ sounds, unfussy drum machine beats and woozy chords). It's followed by one of the final remixes by the late, great Michael Baumann AKA Soulphiction - a dusty, jazzy, warming and tactile take tailor-made for dancefloors at sunrise. Detroit's Marcellus Pittman provides a longer, Osunlade-influenced take to close - think deep Afro-house with plenty of jazzy mucsical details and you're close.
Review: Prequel's recently released debut album, Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak), was a gloriously expansive and musically detailed affair, with the Aussie producer cannily combining deep house and broken beat rhythms with jazz, soul and boogie instrumentation. There's a slightly different feel to his Lumberjacks in Hell outing. All three cuts are still warming, immersive and loved-up, but make much more use of hazy samples, dreamy chords and more forthright beats. It's a subtle tweak, but one that works wonderfully well. For proof, check the lilting, cowbell-laden space-house thrills of 'I Said I wasn't Gonna Fall in Love No More' and the fuzzy, hypnotic and immersive opener 'I Still Love You'. In a word: essential.
Review: Alexander Lay-Far is undoubtedly one of the most talented house producers of his generation: an artist whose love of expansive instrumentation is matched by a keen sense of what works on the dancefloor. His first outing on Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks in Hell imprint is typically impressive, though the artist's liberal use of hip-house style breakbeats is a surprise. This being Lay-Far, they come laden with intricate musical details on both 'Good Thing' (think saucer-eyed female vocal snippets, deep sub-bass and poignant piano motifs) and 'Up We Go' (dusty jazz piano, funky jazz-funk bass and colourful chords). Elsewhere, 'Heavy' is a rave-ready fusion of broken beat and breaks rich in old school stabs, while closing cut 'My Reflection' adds US garage swing and UKG bass to jaunty jazz-house musicality.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell draft in a sublime cast of sympathetic operators for a second volume of From Hell With Love, providing you with eight perfectly formed tracks that straddle the divide between cosy, home-friendly house and dancefloor delectation. Laville's moody vocal turn kicks the record off in style on Austin Ato's 'Control', while Waajeed works his broken beat magic on 'What You Know'. Elsewhere Detroit Swindle bring a tougher slant on soul-rooted house music to the table, while PBR Streetgang aim straight for your pleasure centre with the soaring 'Madame Z'. And that's just the half of it...
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell welcome Croatian producer Andrej Laseech to the table following his promising early outings on Be Yourself and Sound Exhibitions. On this release, Laseech has reached out to the mighty, eternally prolific Javonntte for a little vocal magic, resulting in the utterly sexy deep house burner "More Than Friends". It's a track that Marcel Vogel & Tim Jules clearly dig, judging by the light touch they applied to their own remix of the track. "Take You Away" on the flip is another sweet and sultry warm-up or backroom jam that gets lifted even higher by Javonntte's stellar vocals.
Review: German percussionist Kolja Gerstenberg makes no attempt to hide his love for the drums on this razor sharp drop for Lumberjacks In Hell, building on his previous outings on Suol and Smile For A While. The drums are sizzling hot on "Feel Yo", tastefully overdriven and embellished with some MPC-style sample juggling that should satisfy those who like their house tracks hot as Dante's inferno. "Where They're From" is no slouch either, keeping the pressure up with a liberal dose of soul poured in for good measure. The keys and live bass on "Want You" add to the feverish mood, and then "Get Over" sends things spiraling out on a Latin-spiced cosmic journey.
Review: Alan Dixon's rapid rise continues via a fine EP on Lumberjacks in Hell that brilliantly showcases the producer's signature style. The heart of the EP is Maleke O'Ney collaboration "Whatcha Gonna Do", a driving, bass-heavy disco-house number whose restless, life-affirming piano solos, sustained organ chords and non-stop bassline sound like they were inspired by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' classic "Don't Leave Me This Way". Choose between the original mix, a sing-along friendly vocal version and a tidy Marcel Vogel rework that sports some seriously sexy Clavinet lines, sweeping disco strings and some suitably heavy house drums. Arguably best of all, though, is Dixon's new version of Frank Hooker's gospel-fired disco obscurity "Rise and Shine", a track he successfully tools up for contemporary dancefloors.
Review: Since side-stepping the re-edit scene to concentrate on original production, Lumberjacks in Hell boss Marcel Vogel has delivered some superb releases - not least the fine "Being Human" mini album and a pair of killer collaborations with Khalil Anthony. He's at it again here too, delivering a superb five-track missive that features three hook-ups with Tim Jules. Two of these - the swinging, energy-packed gospel-house heater "I Got Jesus" and the mid-tempo bluesy disco chug of "Fuck The Bass Up" - are arguably amongst Vogel's most potent tracks to date. Elsewhere, "Got To Know Jesus" is a deliciously bass-heavy broken beat/gospel cut-up, "If You Like" is a drowsy chunk of deep house hypnotism and "Close The Door" is a solo-heavy chunk of disco-house positivity.
Review: Given that Giovanni Damico's last outing on Lumberjacks in Hell, "The Essential EP", was such a superb set of tracks, hopes are undoubtedly sky-high for the Italian's belated return to Marcel Vogel's imprint. We can confirm that "The Sounds of Revolution" is another stellar effort, with the title track - a killer jazz-funk-meets-disco number rich in fuzzy bass, spacey synth solos and a simple but effective lead vocal. Damico also shows his singing skills on the eyes-closed electrofunk brilliance of "My Music" and the driving, synth-sporting disco-funk hustle of "Italians In A Line". Arguably best of all, though, is "La Samba E Il Mare", another spacey, warm and electronic jazz-funk number that reminded us a little of the work of fellow Italians Nu Guinea.
Review: Swiss trio Alma Negra have been on an unstoppable march in recent years, bringing their extensive knowledge of African and Latin music to contemporary productions in a circular fashion that exists beautifully out of time. That all the music on Sedowa is hand-played is testament to the natural flow of this infectious, instinctive dance music, leading in with the sprightly funk of "Sedowa" before easing into the transcendental stomp of "Sueno Latino." "Oya" is no slouch either, bringing a heavier disco-funk groove to the record that will suit more house-inclined DJs without compromising on the organic rattle and clatter that makes Alma Negra such a stand out crew.
Review: Sometime re-editor Marcel Vogel has spent the last couple of years enhancing his original production credentials, delivering super-soulful and ultra-deep EPs that draw on his well-known love of deep house, disco and hip-hop. He's at it again on "If You Like", a thrillingly dusty, MPC-house style rub that laces on-point hip-hop vocals over a sumptuous, slightly off-kilter deep house groove and killer disco bassline. It's accompanied by a solid instrumental version, a breezy Brazilian disco style take from reliable Swiss crew Alma Negra (check the glistening jazz guitar solos and carnival style freestyle vocals) and a deep disco gem of a remix of "Brown Curls" by modern disco maestro Patchworks. Given the quality on show throughout, this could be Vogel's strongest release to date.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes deep house vet Andy Compton and Shamrock for a trip into plush disco, laid back funk and more besides. Bunny Chow was reportedly recorded in South Africa, and features the vocal talents of Asli on a number of the tracks. You can certainly hear the Afro influence creeping into the simmering groove of the title track, while Asli's vocals shine through the clearest on the downtempo tones of "Everything Is Gravy." "Nifanyeje" is another warm trip through Afro disco replete with noodling guitar lines and a crisp drum machine beat, while "Roga Mziki" ends the record on a high note with a final blast of that infectious, sunkissed sound the pair have clearly mastered on their musical adventure.
Review: Koenig Saatgut supposedly appears for the first time in 15 years with this rough and ready piano house/breakbeat roller. "The Spirit" is an unabashedly big track, using a catchy 90s piano lick and sticking a brash boom bap beat underneath it. "Your Houze" is actually the smart pick here though, bringing a modernist approach to vintage, sample heavy house music. There's a whiff of French touch about this one, but mixed up with a ravey attitude that guarantees these tracks will be setting off more than a few dances.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: Founder of White Rabbit Records and one of the hippest swingers in the Southern reaches of Italy, Giovanni Damico has more than proved himself in the field of boogie infused, disco flavoured house music. Following plentiful appearances on labels like Black Key, Movida, Geography and Bitter Moon, Damico returns to Lumberjacks In Hell with a serious serving of sultry grooves for discerning diggers to get all moist over. "Essential" keeps things hyped up and just a little feverish, with a distinctly funky stew of guitar chops, bugged out flute, Rhodes flares and more besides. "Look At You (Sugar Bomb)" is a deeper affair revolving around a particular looped up lick, and then "Drums & Keys" shifts the focus out into accomplished broken beat territory that confirms Damico's skill and adaptability across a range of styles.
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the EP, while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Review: The unstoppable march of Dan Shake continues apace as he storms Lumberjacks HQ with some of that refined sample-a-delic house music that is fast making him a marquee booking for those who want their party started right. He sounds right at home on "Magic Marcel", throwing down an addictive bass hook and looping up the woozy romanticism of classic disco and filter house into a thoroughly potent brew. "The Bee Won" takes a more urgent approach, reaching towards a kind of jazz funk energy with some tumbling percussion shaken into the mix for good measure. Taking a cooler approach to round the record off, "Wake, Bake & Shake" lets the funk take centre stage and leaves the samples plain as day for that breezy Sunday afternoon feeling.
Review: Philpot Records maestro Soulphiction may not have appeared on Lumberjacks In Hell before, but he's cited as a big influence on the label, and here the Stuttgart-based artist gets four chances to unfurl his deft instinct for dusty, soul and funk-infused house music. "Stick Up" gets the MPC grooves and twisting bass licks rolling beautifully, while "B3B4URD1" injects a little Afro-flavoured funk into the mix with another addictive low end flex. "Acid Test" pours a little more jack into the pot without losing that crooked Soulphiction flavour, and then "Dirty Hot" does a mean job of teaching all newcomers how to really do an edit.
Review: Edit king Rahaan makes a connection with the ever-prolific Lumberjacks In Hell, and he's sounding feisty on growling lead track "Move Out Of The Way". Dirty, distorted drums and simmering acid gurgles make for a perfect seedy dancefloor lube, setting the scene for the more forthright jack beat styles of "Super Transfer". Keeping the fuzzed out Chicago styles at the forefront, "Blue Line" swoops in at the end like some long lost Trax off-cut with all the grit and guts you would expect from the earliest days of pure, electronic house music.
Review: It's all going on for Cervo at the moment. Having just launched the Banana Hill label with an excellent record from Majid Bekkas (that he also did an edit for), the UK-based producer has now been snapped up by Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label to drop more of his worldly edit science. "On Rhythm" leads the charge with confidence on the A-side, using a bubbling, Afro-infused disco-funk source and making it lean and mean for the floor. There's a distinctly Nigerian lilt to the guitars that cluck away through "Dancing Dream", but it's accompanied by bright chiming chords and a solid beat that will stand up to any contemporary house jam. "Banku" is even more explicitly modern, although still layered up with gorgeous vocals and percussion from Africa.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell just keep on trucking, this time calling upon the legendary skills of Karizma in setting their latest EP alight. "Work It Out" is a fiery slice of gospel choppery, whipping up a fevered line in vocal insistence that hardly needs a rhythm section to make you move, but still has the necessary goods underneath the hood. Marcel Vogel follows a similar tact on "I Got Jesus", spacing the jam out and working a bit more groove, but certainly tapping into the same spiritually enhanced vein. Karizma then returns to make an aptly named "Stomp Dub" of the track, rounding off an absolute beast of a party record.
Review: Fresh from an acclaimed outing on FACES, Giovanni Damico pops up on Marcel Vogel's inspired Lumberjacks In Hell label. The Italian producer is naturally in fine form here, with "Tanzania" - a breezy, house-friendly rework of what sounds like a Tanzanian boogie cut - being one of the most addictive and life-affirming edits we've heard this month. You'll find more wiggling synthesizer lines on the deliciously dreamy and evocative deep house shuffler "I Need Me", while "Are You Somebody" is a successful exercise in subtly beefing up a low-slung disco-funk number. As if that wasn't enough to set the juices flowing, he completes a brilliant E.P with the jazz-fuelled deep house smokiness of "Humans After All".
Review: Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label shows no signs of slowing as it ramps up a killer new salvo from debutant artist C Scott. "Climb On" is an uptempo workout to capture the absolute peak of the party in the funkiest of ways, while "Hands Free" provides an apt alternative with its slow, organ-led whimsy. Disco remains the backbone of the sound here, whatever tempo the track rolls at and wherever it may head. "Stuttering" demonstrates this perfectly with its heavily treated, head-spinning FX still capturing that classic good-time mood, while "At Ease" finishes on a life-affirming canter of Rhodes led celebration.
Review: Eddie C is known for his work with Endless Flight, Jiscomusic and
Red Motorbike and Lumberjacks head honcho
Marcel Vogel is happy to welcome him after wrecking many a party together.
Get It Together already found its way into Marcel's Boiler Room set.
And what it is was rescued from a batch of neglected older tracks that Eddie
had made early on in his career but is actually a stone cold banger that's tearing
apart every dancefloor.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell welcome the disco master Al Kent into the fold with Yes I Can't. Al Kent is a true original. Not interested in anything but Disco. Dying his hair in a truly unique fashion, to match the sparkle of disco balls and having recently hired an Octopus to help him chop up those records. Both "Yes I Do" and "Can't Stop" highlight the Glaswegian's importance to keeping the true spirit of disco alive, deftly and tightly edited in a manner that would impress Messrs Hardy and Gibbons were they alive today.
Review: Continuing their forays into the world of yesteryear grooves unabated, those pesky hell-dwelling Lumberjacks are at it again, this time drafting in O Boogie and Red Greg for some disco funk finesse for the smoothest get-downs. O Boogie is up first, leaning heavy on a rich piano hook that hammers lower register chords over an incessant disco tick, while evergreen track "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" gets re-versioned in such a floor-burning fashion you'll need asbestos boots just to get out alive. Red Greg's "Inner Rhythm" plies familiar tropes into a sweet instrumental groove that makes all the right moves.
Review: The Lumberjacks in Hell imprint does a great job in sniffing out dancefloor-friendly re-edits and reworks that eschew the usual tried-and-tested formulas. This latest missive features a mixed bag of reliably groovesome oddities. There's the disco-jazz madness of Jamie 326's "Can You Feel It", and three wide-eyed bangers from the hitherto unknown Boogie Nite. Of these, the most obviously upbeat is the loopy funk/soul strut of "Do Your Thang" and James Brown-ish "Sexy Sexy Sexy". Most interesting of all, though is "Earth Calling Mickey", a Balearic disco weird-out that sits somewhere between oddball house and head-nodding disco.
Review: The excellent Lumberjacks In Hell imprint has served up some fine edits in its short lifespan to date, most notably from Chicago's Mutant Beat Dancer Traxx and the label's latest release turns to two other Windy City residents renowned for their collections and skills. Rahaan needs little introduction for the disco loving community with essential drops on Stillove4music, Disco Deviance and more, whilst Mr Sounds runs the excellent Bring The Heat website. This twelve is all about the A Side "Rainin Bleeding Boy" which puts a well loved UK EBM couple through the dub laden beatdown grinder - though DJs will get plenty of mileage out of both tracks on the B Side with "Flip Side" some supremely chopped up disco funk and "War I Declare" a stomping and heavily filtered bomb.
Review: Em Vee's on-point Lumberjacks In Hell imprint reaches its fifth release with another three disco edits par excellence. This time around, it's the turn of Germany's Frico and British edit specialist Mannmademusic to supply the goods. Frico dominates with his fast-moving edit of Coffee's "Casanova", teasing out its vocal hook with an extended piano build-up. Mannmademusic offers two cuts; first up is "Circles", a guitar led stomper with loose percussion, which serves as the perfect contrast to the slow moving, symphonic disco strings and syrupy vocals of "Easy Lover". Another winner for what is surely one of the more discerning disco labels out there.
Review: Amsterdam dwelling editor par excellence Em Vee took the solo reigns on the inaugural Lumberjacks In Hell - and truly excelled with a great reimagination of "Miss You". The second release on the label sees the German share duties with Spanish edit demon Rayko. First up is an expert rearrangement of Candi Staton's cover of the Bee Gee's standard "Nights On Broadway" which strips the track of its orchestral leanings to focus on the groove! Following this is a meaty take on a classic, with Barbara Keith's cover of "All Along The Watchtower" reinforced with some bottom end bump. Em Vee spreads a special disco version of Alma Lee's late 70s Philly delight "Gimme Your Love" with an extended intro that fully displays his edit talents.