Review: Rene Lavice has been one of themost exciting additions to Andy C's Ram stable over the last few years. While the label is usually associated to strict drum & bass, Lavice's tunes push the boundaries of the genre way out into hyper space, and touch on many different influences in the process. "Human Safari" is a true hybrid tune, a mass of broken half-breaks, surrounded by raucous sonics ad playful atmpshperics. It's as daring as you're gonna get from modern d&b. It's definitely worth a gander!
Review: Legendary Sheffield techno-pop duo Hiem are back! First breaking out in the mid noughties with anthems such as "She's The One" and "Zombie Party" which received equally prolific remixes by Mathew Jonson and Konrad Black respectively. Nick "Nico" Eastwood and the inimitable David "Bozz" Boswell never really stopped going: and now London based Nang present their new Hotspace LP, which follows up some great collaborations on the label with Phil Oakey (Human League) and Roots Manuva, not to mention the 2014 full length entitled Freaky Nights. Much like their previous effort, the duo continue pursuing their love of pop-inflected nu-disco sounds: and the dynamic opener "High Life" is strong evidence of this from the get go. There is some gorgeous slo-mo Italo like on "Oxygene", some lo-slung soul/funk swagger on "My Evil Friends" and even a bit of comedic value in the form of the hilarious satire "Monkey Office".
Review: Long serving Sheffield twosome Hiem has a new album ready to drop. First, though, we get a taste of what's to come in the shape of "Highlife", the duo's first single for two years. It's a jaunty and groovy affair, with band member Bozz doing his best Phil Oakey impression over a dub disco-meets-synth-pop backing track rich in rubbery bass guitar and sleazy saxophones. Nang regular Pete Herbert is on remix duty, delivering two floor-friendly interpretations in his usual elastic nu-disco style. He adds some Italo-disco inspired synth solos and fizzing electronic noises, re-playing the duo's bass guitar part on his favoured synthesizer of choice. Of the two, it's the Dub that we prefer, though the vocal version is almost equally as impressive.
Review: Having previously released the Atlanta Skyline EP on Nang in 2016, Russian disco/electro/synth-pop duo Hot Hot Hawk return to the label with their debut album. The 80s force is definitely strong in this one, thanks not least to the distinctly John Taylor-esque guitar that adorns many tracks, and leaves many sounding like a tribute to 'Seven And The Ragged Tiger'-era Duran Duran - albeit minus the vocals, as Legendary is an all-instrumental affair. There's an 80s feel, too, to the shimmering synths that are even more ubiquitous, but if you have a penchant for the sounds of that era then that's not going to be a problem, is it?