Seminal UK house label Paper Recordings started in the mid-90s and was part of the Nu Brit House movement that spawned the likes of 20 20 Vision and Nuphonic, going on to help re-define UK club culture.
Since it's re-launch in 2007 the BPMs have dropped and the grooves have got deeper with a more varied funk fuelled sound. A new stable of artists that features the likes of Flash Atkins, Sleazy McQueen, Leon Sweet, 2 Billion Beats and Richard Seaborne are keeping the legacy alive and looking to the future rather than living on past glories.
And now they are launching Paper Disco with an album by Norwegian disco prodigy Proviant Audio. Still only 22, multi-instrumentalist Mathais Stubø has already had two albums out on BBE and is part of the new generation of Scandanavian producers, following on from the likes of Lindstrom and Todd Terje.
His Paper album of 2012, Real Love Tastes Like This! cracked the Norwegian charts and found fans with the likes of Ross Allen, Wolf + Lamb, The Revenge, and Ashley Beedle. Plain and Simple Magazine said 'this debut is so overwhelming, it's difficult to imagine anyone not falling devastatingly head over heels for the soundtrack it provides.' 6/6'.
Proviant Audio's first single Like Never Before stirs up the spirits of Daft Punk, Trevor Horn and Greg Wilson in to a heady mixture of forward thinking, genre busting disco. Released as a 7' edit in association with Oslo Records, it kickstarts Paper Disco straight out of the past and in to the cosmos!
Review: Paper Disco's 'Trash The Wax' series reaches its ninth installment, meaning you've probably got some inkling as to the kind of leftfield-leaning electronic disco grooves that make up most of the album already. That's not to say there's not plenty of variety on offer, though: Dan Wainwright's Beloved-esque 'Take It Easy', for instance, is quite a long way from the rolling, jazz-tinged deep house of J Kara's 'Talk To Me', and quite a long way again from the cosmic/Italo throb of James Rod & Aleito's 'Raum 909'. Jahn Solo's 'Dance For Me' is the one cut here that could be classed as 'trad-style' - otherwise, this is an album that will please those interested in exploring contemporary disco's outer fringes.
Review: Lakeshouse are a crew of musicians, DJs and producers from Norway whose work gets treated to an admirably eclectic and wide-ranging set of remixes here. 'Firkanta' gets the ball rolling, a mid-paced disco nouveau chugger that marries low-slung funk bass to wigged-out synths and a mournful clarinet, while Jarle B's rub of 'NRK' is one for the Balearic jocks. The RSS Disco Remix of 'Folkemusikk', meanwhile, is an Italo-electro-EBM-new beat BOMB with a nagging "funky machine" vocal loop and a sleazy, early 80s Berlin feel - but even that's surpassed by the soulful, skippy, UKG-inspired delight that is the Reggie Got Beats Remix of 'Ambulanse'.
Review: Two tracks in four mixes make up this latest missive from Manchester's Paper Disco camp. 'Got To Be Real' isn't, despite the title, some quickly knocked-up Cheryl Lynn bootleg, but rather a sumptuous, mid-paced, strings-drenched groover that'd play well on soulful house and disco floors alike with its understated female vocal and classy, understated ivories, while Spanish nu-disco don James Rod provides an Italo-inspired makeover. The original version of 'I'm With You', meanwhile, is more your straight-up nu-disco workout to start with, before being given a bass-y refix from Andy Buchan that's got something of a Fon Studios kinda feel.
Review: Number eight in the series, and do you really need us to tell you that it's an object lesson in how to do 21st Century disco properly? Tracks range from the Kraftwerk/Yello-isms of From Beyond's 'Hypersleep' to Kooky & Damoon's genre-defying 'Confidence Of Ignorance (Dub'), which tops a sumptuous, jazzy funk/soul cut with a liberal dose of acid squelch, and from Jahn Solo's Ecstasy, Passion & Pain-biting piano houser 'Touch Me' to the sleazy early 80s Berlin throb of Brian SNR's 'Hot Shot', with a side-order of syprupy soul courtesy of The Secret Soul Society. Big names may be in short supply here but adventurous, imaginative grooves are not!
Review: Sultry warm disco sessions for the open air this season with this swift four-pack from Paper Disco combi Anoraak & Luxxury. "Fire Inside" swoons a summer disco vibe with Lauren Turk's breathy lead vocals - reminiscent of a certain Linda Clifford circa-79 or pop starlet Kylie (circa-99) - while look to Anoraak original "Up To You" for a percussive, cosmic and instrumental burner. Staccato guitars and drum machine sequences collide with the odd space pong and warehouse sized vocal processing in The Emperor Machine's remix, supported by a straight up free and easy 'Fire Side" instrumental with subtle chorus line. Hot hot hot.
Review: A range of house and disco styles are touched upon on this split EP from Copenhagen's Jahn Solo and New Zealand's Kennedy, coming on Manchester label Paper Disco. Driven along by insistently fluttering guitars and a full-phat bassline, Kennedy's 'Who Rocks '89' recalls nothing so much as late 80s Italian house while 'Superfly' is one part early 80s Eurodisco to one part mid-90s house euphoria. Not to be outdone, the man from Copenhagen gives us the laidback but jaunty 'It's My House' with its lively brass stabs and sing-song vocal, and 'Night People', an authentically 70s-sounding disco workout topped with a cheeky harmonica line.
Review: James "Rod" Rodriguez steps out of his comfort zone here, briefly departing his Golden Soul label for a confident, ear-catching outing on Paper Recordings. Opener "Belong City" delivers a near perfect balance between druggy Italo-disco chug and woozy, synth-laden nu-disco psychedelia, while the accompanying Draco remix brilliantly re-imagines the track as a trippy slab of revivalist '80s synth-wave wonkiness with a touch of contemporary nu-disco sheen. Meanwhile, "Chamanes Ochenteros" is a fine slab of arpeggio-powered Italo/nu-disco fusion that's subsequently given a low-slung, Afro-Cosmic makeover by Leca. The latter version is particularly mind-altering, though its focus remains on the dancefloor throughout.
Review: Given the label's historic links to Norway - not least their offshoot film division's brilliant "Northern Disco Lights" documentary on the country's space disco scene - it's perhaps not unsurprising that Paper Recordings continues to champion fresh Norwegian talent. Lakeshouse fit into this category. "Folkemusikk" marks the second time the collective of "DJs, artists and jazz musicians" has appeared on the imprint. They begin with the brilliant title track, where funky acid motifs, rushing synth solos and fluid electronics rise above a chugging electronic disco groove, before doffing a cap to early Norwegian house acts on the jaunty romp "Papaya". "NRK" is a drowsy and eccentric slo-mo head-nodder rich in tumbling electronic melodies, while "Lov" is a deliciously Scandolearic soundscape full of tipsy trumpets that's perfect for sofa-bound post-club moments.
Review: Edinburgh DJ and producer Natasha Kitty Katt is very much a current darling of the disco-house scene - and with good reason, as she demonstrates on this two-tracker for the mighty Paper Disco. Rollicking along at a healthy 125bpm, 'She's Cruel' is positively pacey by 2019 standards and sports an uber-camp spoken "she never stops" vocal that lends the track something of vogue/ballroom kinda feel, while 'Twisted Katt' drops the tempo to 115bpm and rides a hefty, lolloping funk bassline with chorused fem vox and several competing vocal snips. Both will fire up dancefloors in the apposite discotheques for sure.
Review: Here's something unexpected: a disco-centric cover version of Mylo's cheery, synth-heavy 2004 house anthem by Paper Disco boss Flash Atkins, 2 Billion Beats and vocalist Ladydriver. The "Original Mix" is warm and groovy, with cute, Chic-esque guitar riffs, jaunty synth stabs, tipsy horns and deep space chords wrapping around bustling disco drums and the track's famous bassline (here played on bass guitar rather than synthesizer). The alternate mixes are pretty tasty, too. The "Vocoder Dub" wisely gives more prominence to the killer bassline, while the "Lakeshouse Remix" re-imagines the track as a breezy romp through piano-laden disco-house territory. Also worth checking is the revelatory "Marma Boog" remix - a slow, synth-heavy and delay-laden rework that's as Balearic as acid casuals, pastel-coloured dungarees and Jose Padilla's ponytail.
Review: Form Beyond is the musical alter ego of Alex Wastnidge, an "emerging talent" who is fast becoming a valued member of the Paper Disco family. According to the label, Wastnidge jammed out these three tracks using his MPC, a small collection of analogue synths and bass and electric guitars. This stripped-back set-up has resulted in a trio of tracks that are loose, warm, groovy, floor-friendly and tons of fun. We're particularly enjoying the low-slung dub disco bass, rolling beats and sparkling synth stabs of title track "New Moon", though the cowbell-laden deep space shuffle of "Earthbound" may appeal more to those who enjoy the dub disco antics of the Idjut Boys and the Leng label. Closing cut "Mass Transit", a cheery chunk of Balearic-minded Italo-disco, is also rather good.
Review: In the words of Paper Disco, episode six of their floor-friendly "Trash The Wax" series delivers "plenty of party pumping offerings". Predictably, proof of the set's club-ready status arrives via Hi-FI Sean's compilation opening remix of IPG v Hot Toddy's "Slow Motion Cowboy", which delivers a funk-fuelled riot of delay-laden guitars, funk rock attitude and sizzling dub disco grooves. Naturally, the rest of the collection is similarly strong. Highlights include a rare production outing from Bill Brewster (the throbbing, off-kilter Italo-disco him of "4 U Blue"), the Balearic Italo-disco bliss of Richard Norris's "Glow", the dreamy, arpeggio-driven nu-disco warmth of Kooky and Damoon's "Walk Back Into My Life" and Sheffield stalwart Solid State's deep, epic revision of "Remnants" by Speed For Lovers.
Review: Paper Disco is the disco division of Paper Recordings, specialising in all things low slung and funk heavy. For their next edition, Leeds' Archie Presley is here with his first EP, following a storming debut on Trash The Wax. Here are three tracks of brilliantly produced, superior disco that are set to soundtrack the Summer. "Cape Cod" is sunkissed and funky soul explosion geared for some right hands in the air moments, while "Two Chord Sangba" takes things a bit deeper with Rhodes and plenty of latin drums and percussion fuelling this sexy late night jam. Finally, "Sour Indian" drops the BPMs on this lush and atmospheric serving of balearica.
Review: From Beyond's "Old Steel" was one of the highlights of Paper Recordings' most recent Trash The Wax compilation (volume five, to be exact), so hopes are high for this first outing on the label's Paper Disco offshoot. Happily, opener "Love Languages" is something of a skewed, mind-altering dancefloor treat, with the producer building up intensity via regular changes to the track's angular acid bassline, alien synth lines (think Maurice Fulton's Syclops project, and you're close) and jazzy, swinging machine drums. Elsewhere, "Phase Shift" sounds like a Blade Runner-inspired nu-Italo banger, while similarly raw and analogue closer "Galaxy Express" pulses, throbs and pops in all the right places.
Review: It's been almost eighteen months since the last instalment in Paper Recordings' superb Trash The Wax series, so this fifth volume is well overdue. As usual, bosses Ben Davis and Chris Massey have done a terrific job gathering together a sterling selection of hot-to-trot modern disco cuts from a mixture of heavy hitters and rising stars. Highlights include the Balearic bustle of Rayko's rubbery and groovy "Toxic Avenger (Mix 1)", the strobe-lit Italo-disco throb of Fever Few's "Them Persians", the Barry White style slow disco sensuality of "Music Saved My Life" by Fantasy Love Affair, the body-popping electrofunk/nu-disco fusion of From Beyond's "Old Steel" and the glistening, Clavinet-heavy bounce of Kooky and Damoon's standout "Why Do You Always Take Your Time?"
Review: London-based Seven People - actually a lone producer, rather than a collective - makes his Paper Disco bow with a solid EP of dancefloor-focused workouts. He begins with "From Sky", a deliciously colourful fusion of addictive Italian house style piano riffs, nu-disco electronics and rubbery electronic beats. Paper's in-house remixer Chris Massey joins forces with Homoelectric's Jamie Bull to deliver a steamy remix that pushes the track further towards rave revivalism territory, cleverly combining Seven People's bold piano riffs with skittish, hardcore-era house breakbeats. Arguably best of all, though, is "Jupiter Box", a slick and funk-fuelled electrofunk workout complete with addictive Clavinet riffs, squiggly synth solos, and Chic style disco guitars.
Review: Paper Disco's Trash The Wax compilation series certainly offers a lot of bang for your buck. This fourth installment continues the trend, serving up 22 tried-and-tested dancefloor jams for disco-loving DJs. As usual, the selected tracks are a mixture of killer edits (Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee, Solid State, Electric Pendergrass, DJ Rocca & Chris Massey), sparkling remixes (a tasty '80s electrofunk rework of Reggie Got Beats' "It's On Tonight" by Norwegian eccentric Ralph Myerz), and stellar original productions (see 2 Billion Beats' "Bob", Daco's Gladys Knight-sampling throb-job "I Heard It", Picotropico's decidedly Balearic "Time Will Tell"). There's possibly a little more Italo-disco on this edition, but that's no bad thing - especially as the arpeggio-heavy cuts showcased here are universally excellent.
Review: Kooky & Damoon return to Paper Disco, almost a year to the day since the release of their impressive debut EP. This time round, Niki Kand is around to land a hand, with her dreamy, improvised vocals being a highlight of all three tracks. Opener "There She Flies" offers the perfect balance between rubbery nu-disco, sun-kissed Balearica and Crazy P style deep disco, while "We Go Dancing" builds the action around sharp synth-strings, cut-glass guitar lines and Kand's hazy vocal. Arguably best of all, though, is "Take Me High", where the duo's eyes-closed guitar solos float over a throbbing, low-slung deep house groove.
Review: According to his SoundCloud account, Iceland born, Oslo-based, B.G. Baarregaard has accomplished many a milestone in his meteoric rise to modern disco fame and we'll take his word for it! The infectious and uplifting nu-disco of "AMR" is executed like only the Scandinavians can. "Kulturhuset" reminds us of another local legend such as Lindstrom; not at all a bad thing. Finally "Mestringkatten" (whatever that means!) is the smoothest and most deep offering on here; perfect for late hot summer nights when disco retroverts wanna get their groove on: look no further than this.
Review: Fresh from releases on Nang and Chopshop, Gloucestershire-based disco/boogie/deep house fusionists Situation pop up on Paper Disco. "Get A Taxi" is arguably one of their strongest tracks to date; a seductive fusion of bubbling P-funk synth lines, vintage electrofunk swing, smooth disco drums, heady vocals and just a little 21st century deep house flavour. Interestingly, it's this latter element that most of the remixers choose to focus on, with Alkalino, Goshawk and Vampire Disco all delivering nu disco-meets-deep house interpretations. Love Drop do things a little differently, serving up a warm, Balearic-inclined interpretation that doffs a cap towards jazzy, early noughties broken beat.
Review: The Kooky and Damoon duo land on Paper Disco with their musical debut and they're in a mood to party thanks to these four golden, boogie-laced slices of dancefloor funk. "Loving Me Now" is a tune you could have one anywhere, at any time of the day - its bassline being instantly hummable - while "Good For You" features Thomas Butcher and it too has something of a poppy, memorable edge. You also get Neil Diablo's disco dub of "Loving Me Now" and Dan Wainwright's more progressive vision of the same track.
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his brilliant "Sunny Bigler" single, Leon Sweet has been installed as the man behind the decks for the second volume of Paper Disco's Trash The Wax series. Sweet's two-hour DJ mix is excellent, of course, but it's the unmixed tracks - a combination of unheard bits and recent Paper gems - that make this compilation essential. Expect a range of re-edits and original tracks that variously touch on nu-disco, Italo, boogie and, of course, house. Highlights are plentiful, and include a trippy slow acid version of The Balearic Beat Boy's "Waiting For Me", a typically rubbery mid-80s soul re-cit from 80s Child, and a killer, filter-heavy rework of Melba Moore by Neil Diablo.
Review: Scott 'Robot 84' Ferguson has previously worked with Yam Who man Andy Williams, but has apparently gone solo on this first single since 2013. Dedicated to the more electronic side of disco - with clear house and Balearic influences, of course - Ferguson drops a trio of floor-friendly gems for Paper Disco. The title track is the real killer, with appealing synth melodies and woozy, near Balearic chords riding a hard-wired, Italo style arpeggio. "Automatic" is a bouncy nu-disco number with clear deep house influences and more analogue-sounding synthesizers, while "Ego" sees him explore the world of classic dub house via ricocheting
Review: Given he currently resides in Oslo, it's perhaps unsurprising that "Partysvenskenes Dans", the lead cut on the Icelandic producer's first outing on Paper Disco, has a breezy, Scandolearic disco feel. In fact, with its cheery, Arp-style synth melodies, chugging groove and subtle acid touches, it sounds like a tribute to Todd Terje's mighty "Inspector Norse". "Konur Og Kalar" is reminiscent of material on Prins Thomas's Oslo-based Full Pupp label, too. Perhaps the most arresting track, though, is "(Got Me) Runnin". Available in two versions (including a tremendously Balearic sounding Dub), it's a pumping deep house/nu-disco hybrid that makes great use of sampled disco vocals and spine-tingling pianos.
Review: Paper Disco continues its mission to blur the boundaries between deep house and disco with a solid three-tracker from Irishmen Keep Schtum and DJ Bubbles. There are two distinct takes on lead cut "Real Change", with Version 1 layering fluid synths and hazy deep house textures over a classic disco rhythm. Version 2 wanders more towards straight-up deep house territory, adding some subtle disco guitars and hazy, cut-up vocal samples to the loopy, riff-heavy groove. There's an even more old-fashioned deep house feel about "Do Ya Love", whose muted pianos ride a groove that recalls memories of early '90s UK house releases and classic Nu Groove 12"s.
Review: Following a trio of much-lauded re-edit singles on their own Fatty Fatty Phonographics imprint, Irish duo Pablo & Shoey have hooked up with Manchester's Paper Disco to present their first foray into original production. Their style - blending their own synths, chords and grooves with all manner of samples from classic disco, Italo and electrofunk jams - is both attractive and floor-friendly, as ably demonstrated by the celebratory feel of horn-toting electrofunk slammer "Funk It". There's a little more sleaze to the '80s electro-meets-A Certain Ratio flex of "Down To The Bone", while "Big Bass" makes a bona fide dancefloor slammer out of some hectic, Quando Quango-ish percussion, silly Fairlight stabs, and a chunky electric bassline. Oh, and sampled dog noises.
Review: Paper Recordings continue to explore their own, unique interpretation of disco in fine style with this newie from Research. "Miss Ya' Is an odd foray into Balearica, when Balearic meant a little bit of everything thrown into the mix. Echoing the eccentric nature of Trevor Horn's best productions, the original mix fuses a slo-mo body music groove with bluesy guitar, laid back drums and blissed out synth washes. Meanwhile on the digital flipside, the GoGo Time mix strips everything back to a sleazy punk funk crawler.
Review: Paper Recordings' reputation precedes them in house circles. Now however, they've bitten the bullet and dived into the deep end of the disco pool with this compilation (on sub label Paper Disco) of current nu-disco producers and edit heroes. It's a brave comp that tackles every interpretation of disco, including 2 Billion Beats' deep '80s synth groover "See Us Through", Richard Seabourne's bizarre funk-goes-doomy 303 workout "This Is Acid" and Mezman's bass heavy, dream-pad odyssey. We're looking forward to plenty more disco thrills from this new stable!
Like Never Before (2 Billion Beats mix) - (5:20) 124 BPM
Like Never Before (Ste Spandex live hardware mix) - (5:36) 118 BPM
Like Never Before (Sleazy McQueen mix) - (5:58) 118 BPM
Review: Proviant Audio aka Mathias Stubo touches down on Paper Disco, a subsidiary of Paper Recordings, dedicated to only the funkiest of floor cuts. The original of "Like Never Before" is a vocal-heavy bomb reminiscent of the 70s, with enough soul to set your skates on fire. The 2 Billion Beats remix is a discofied, Pepe Bradock style tune, whilst Ste Spandex deliver a gorgeous live take on the original, with slithering percussion and one mean lean bassline, while Sleazy McQueen provides a shaking, filtered version to add another level of funk. TOP!