Review: West Country nu-disco dons Situation are the latest outfit to and compile and mix an installment of Nang's popular Beach Disco Sessions series. Happily, they've dug deep into their crates, putting together a selection that blends back catalogue material from the Nang and Tirk labels (Ruf Dug's quirky mix of Klein & MBO's Italo-disco classic "Dirty Talk", the blissful nu-Balearica of Sorcerer, AN2's overlooked rework of Space's "Carry On, Turn Me On") with vintage material and overlooked gems from a decade of nu-disco (see the early Hans-Peter Lindstrom remix of Fuzz Against Junk's "Country Clonk"). Naturally, there are a few of their own tracks and remixes in there, too, including the deliciously woozy deep house cut "Here Comes The Sun" and a sublime, string-drenched remix of Love/Money's "Strange Kind of Love".
Review: Since launching as a Tirk sub-label in 2009, Nang Records has gone on to outlive its parent label and become one of the most reliable imprints in nu-disco. The label's progress has traditionally been charted by compilation series The Array, with new volumes appearing every 12 months or so. This latest installment is naturally packed with highlights, from the sparkling disco-soul of Hot Toddy's remix of Situation's Andre Esput hook-up, "Get To Know Me", and the contemporary Italo-disco throb of James Rod's "Steelerr", to the quirky Balearic bliss of Cardmoth, the synth-heavy wooziness of Deepkey, and the trippy, acid-flecked thrills of Aimes' "A View of Istanbul".
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: 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?
Review: Sare Havlicek has long been one of Nang's most reliable artists, delivering a steady stream of well-crafted albums and singles. Predictably, the Slovenian is in fine form on this fourth full-length - his first for two years - gleefully sprinting between joyful, Chic-inspired disco ("Everybody Freak Out", "Like You Wanna Do", "Here Comes That Sound"), woozy, synth-heavy Balearica ("Softmachine"), undulating Italo-disco inspired electrofunk ("Riot"), colourful P-funk ("Science of the Beat"), sumptuous Balearic disco bliss ("Music and Lies") and "Stranger Things"-inspired synthesizer soundscapes ("Perpetual Rise" and opener "Dreamachine"). In other words, it's another spot-on collection from the Slovenian.
Review: Along with Sheffield combo Hiem, Rayko is fast becoming Nang Records' most reliable artist. It would be fair to say that his latest album, No Stopping - his fourth in total and first since 2014 - is undoubtedly his strongest yet. Blessed with some fine guest vocals from Tania Haroshka and, perhaps more impressively, Crazy P's Danielle Moore, the set features much more "live instrumentation" - most notably bass and electric guitars - than the Spaniard's previous full-lengths. This adds an extra level of musical richness to the Madrid man's synthesizer-heavy tracks, which once again flit between hard-edged nu-disco, sun-kissed Balearica, revivalist electrofunk sweetness and the kind of cosmic disco that we would once have expected to hear from Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionigi.
Review: Slovenian Sare Havlicek's music is all about the music and moods determined by the cultural draft so typical of the area where Mediterranean passion hooks up with East European pride and where German exactness blends with hedonistic Balkan spirits. He returns to Nang with the first single of his eagerly awaited fourth album entitled Softmachine. "Everybody Freak Out" announces Sare's return with a loud disco bang. It's a low slung and funky deep disco joint. Remixes come from artists all over the planet. Our favourites were by Kim & Buran with their Space Disco mix which has a cosmic intergalactic feel about it and the upbeat-neon-lit rendition by Kontinents from Budapest.
Review: Given that Pete Herbert has done more than most to define the synth-heavy nu-disco sound, it's pleasing to see that he's finally got round to recording a debut solo album. Made in the Shade naturally encapsulates all that's good about Herbert's work - think colourful synthesizers, loved-up pianos, dreamy chords, rich analogue synth-bass, Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, disco cowbells and an saucer-eyed Balearic mindset - while delivering a string of tracks that sound as good slouched on the sofa at home as they do while dancing in the sunshine. Highlights come thick and fast, from the classic Italo-house surge of "Washed Up" and T-Coy-does-nu-disco cheeriness of "Night Boat", to the soul-flecked tingle of Robert Owens hook-up "Pass Me By" and groovy, acid-flecked deepness of proto-house shuffler "Time".
Review: Nang Records continue to document the history of French synth discoid duo Space, here focusing on "Deliverance", the title track from their second album from 1978. The dramatic overtones of the original will amuse and astound in equal measures when you realise that's not a male choir on backing but two sessions singers multi-tracked to oblivion by producer JP Illescuo! "Deliverance" has been sampled and covered but never remixed, and Nang make up for that with four reworks. Kompakt deity Justus Kohncke is on hand to provide two contrasting remixes - the "Wild Pitch" effort has bubbling synths and a hard house groove that latches onto the smooth vocals of Madeline Bell and doesn't let go. Kohncke's other 'Take Me Places' mix is proper mutant disco, frenetic synth stabs and rolling bass lines included. The new school of Italian disco take care of the other remixes, with A Love Supreme (Tirk) indulging his inner Patrick Cowley on the "Hard Disko" remix and helping Fabrizio Mammarella in crafting an expert acid crazed remix under the Heels Of Love moniker.
Review: This is big: a collaboration between Balearic nu-disc heavyweight Pete Herbert and "the voice of house" himself, Robert Owens. In its original form, "Pass Me By" is bubbly and attractive, with Owens' adding deep, soulful and emotion-rich vocals to a sparkling, synth-heavy backing track that effortlessly joins the dots between freestyle, proto-house and Italo-disco. The equally impressive remix package is headed up by two fine reworks from Daniele Baldelli and DJ Rocca: a chugging, undulating cosmic disco vocal version and a spaced-out, groove-driven Dub that hits home hard despite the lack of Owens' full vocal. Elsewhere, Aussie adventurer Dr Packer gives it an electrofunk flavoured house makeover and Pete Herbert turns in a fluid, Balearic-inspired rework full of heady synth lines and tumbling pianos.