Review: After 18 months of near silence, Ajello first started teasing us with this in September 2014. Now finally available, it's every bit as sprightly, fun and funky as we'd hoped. With Prelude style synth and vocals and the duo's trademark silken production dynamics, it's well worth the wait. Remix-wise Luminodisco adds a headier 4/4 dancefloor focus, Yam Who? gets his slap bass boogie on while Rayko takes us to the stars with an epic, cosmic work out that's not dissimilar to the early work of Prins Thomas. Stunning.
Review: Spanish re-edit hero Ilya Santana is back with more early '80s sounds. This time "Big Foot" has that moody cosmic yacht rock vibe that evokes images of an Alan Parsons-soundtracked drug deal gone wrong in Central America circa 1982. There's a whole host of back-up remixes, all of which brandish Uzis under their rolled up jacket sleeves. Highlights include Rayko's Jan Hammer-meets-Lindstrom jam, the punchy melodicisms of Future Feelings rework and Nelue's spaced out chillwave version.
Review: Hot on the heels of his well received Night Vision EP on Yam Who's Midnight Riot label, electrofunk-obsessed edits fiend Danny Worrall returns to Ruben & Ra's Retrospective imprint with the second installment of his Back To The 80s series. Those familiar with his particular blend of '80s nostalgia should know what to expect, namely tweaked but fairly faithful reworks of well-known cuts and underground classics. As usual, there's plenty of solid dancefloor material on show, from the teasing build-ups, rousing horns and jumpy synths of "Don't Let Go" and stretched-out '80s soul fun of "Baby Love", to the singalong disco rush of "Wear It Out".
Review: It's pretty clear from the get go that 80's Child is all about going back to the future. As the door of his Delorean opens upwards and the billowing smoke clears, we see that he has brought back four 80s dancefloor wonders which he sensitively retweaks with contemporary flair. "Keep On Lovin Me" is that kind of lazy electro-boogie jam that's all about that crisp snare drop, "Tryin' To Get Over" is more your upbeat brassy funk number, "Serious" is Donna Allen's 1986 snarling New Jack beast of a tune and "Plane Love" end things with a soul-meets-Latino funkout. Hot stuff!
Review: Re-edit don Rayko still seems to be able to pull gems out of the bag at an alarming rate. Here he's done it again with a selection 'cheeky' edits, some more obvious than others. "Can't Get Enough" is made for those in love with the glistening dry ice electronics of mid-80s soul, Linn drum breaks and all. "Rock My World" is a re-work of Wacko Jacko's opinion-dividing 2001 comeback single, "Step Out Of My Dreams" is killer West End-style electro-disco and finally "Touch Me" sees Cathy Dennis' late '80s pop tune reduced to a ferociously funky guitar and cowbell workout.
Review: Hailing from Romania, Razvan Ghenciu is keeping on the disco pressure, releasing yet another in a sizzling string of recent EPs. He very cleverly manages to straddle the divide between nu-disco and house: "This Time" is slow, synth heavy Balearica with lashings of melancholia and "Big Fever" is all about the boogie stabs, funky basslines and bongos. Remix-wise it's all about the totally 90s Ruben and Ras New York Kitty mix of the former.
Review: Given the title, you'd expect Ajello's latest to feature a prominent kalimba melody. Unsurprisingly, it does, alongside some African-inspired percussion and some seriously squelchy bottom-end in their typical dirty nu-disco style. The result is a track that isn't needlessly deep or overtly banging, instead playing its strengths by delivering the best of both words. Even better is Hardway Brothers' decidedly cosmic remix, which adds some voodoo magic and more than a little acid tweakery. Elsewhere, Verdo's darting remix is pleasingly Balearic in its wide-eyed approach, while Retrospective label bosses Ruben & Ra turn bonus track "Saturday Morning" into a rush inducing chunk of deep electrofunk.
Review: Ruben & Ra welcome the combined talents of Slow It Down and Elijah Collins (last seen cutting up old disco hits on Mullet) for an EP of thickset electrofunk-meets-house floorfillers. Lead cut "Alright" sets the tone, coming on like a knowing homage to the pioneering boogie-sampling loop-house of Tiger & Woods. "I Don't Need", seemingly a re-cut of an old Jam & Lewis production, breaks up the beats impressively, while "Tramadol Boogie" loops up some particularly rubbery p-funk grooves. There are two reworks of the title track to sink your teeth into, too. Of these, it's Collins' own Elijah Dub that most impresses, rising and falling with all the glee of an MDMA-fuelled night out.
Review: Having recently expanded the repertoire of their previously edit-heavy Retrospective imprint to include original productions from themselves and others, Ruben and Ra gather together a bunch of mates for an expansive collection of previously unreleased material. It's a largely excellent collection, mixing brand new deep house and nu-disco with smart edits and loopy, slo-mo edits-not-edits. Bedmo Disco Records' regular Jimmy The Twin and Rayko provide scalpel jobs, Ruben and Ra do their Tiger and Woods-ish thing and Toomy Disco drops some contemporary electrofunk. Best of all, though, is Fil Lavin's "Love Is Gone", a formidably rush-inducing chunk of fluid deep house that channels the spirit of Chill Out/"Pure Trance" series-era KLF via a familiar, dubbed-out vocal sample.
Review: Big Juno Download exclusive business here, as anonymous discoid duo Ruben & Ra present One Night At The Disco, tweaking four classics from the early 80s for 2012 floors. Without doubt our pick of the bunch here is "My Love", a tasteful remake of Ned Doheny's "To Prove My Love", although a similarly energised revision of Geraldine Hunt gives it a run for its money. We wont spoilt the source material for other two tracks - where's the fun in that? - but instead recommend you check them for yourselves; you won't be disappointed.
Review: Barely a week goes by without the release of another 12" or digital single for perpetual re-edit don Rayko. Luckily, this synth-heavy selection box of house-friendly electrofunk dubs is probably one of his strongest releases of recent times. Arguably the strongest cut is "People", which is available in two versions; a tidy 7-minute Rayko 12 mix, and an extended, Tiger & Woods style builder that stretches out for 11 synth-laden minutes. Elsewhere, check the Prince-ish "Revue", sweet "Searching To Find The One" and "Heads Together", a sprightly dub of an '80s O'Jays fave.
Review: Given the re-emergence of good old-fashioned house music in the last couple of years, it's little surprise to find another disco/electrofunk imprint abandoning filter-heavy discoid edits in favour of piano-laden old skool goodness. "Soul Brother" is spine-tingling stuff - all early-90s pianos, snappy beats and hazy, sampled vocals. Label bosses Ruben & Ra employ a delicious jazz break on their woozy remix, which turns the anthemic original into a lovingly crafted chunk of mid-90s deep house groovery. "Chord Cracker" offers a starry-eyed take on deep house (with, it should be said, more than a touch of 80s soul), while "Shiver & Breeze" slows things down impressively. Recommended.
Review: Spanish edit maestro Rayko pops up on Ruben & Ra's Retrospective imprint with a clutch of synth-heavy electrofunk re-rubs. As the title suggests, the lead track is a heavyweight cut-up of The Whispers' 1984 Reggie Calloway-produced synth-funk jam "Contagious". Like the rest of the edits here (particularly the lush "Whip"), it strikes a neat balance between thick instrumental grooves and the original's simple vocal hooks. There are two versions of twinkling 80s soul groover "Love Come Down" - a smart edit from Rayko and a remix from Ruben & Ra that sounds like a breezier version of Tiger & Woods.
Review: Britain's answer to Tiger & Woods return with a four-track disco/house assault full of loopy builds, treacle-thick filters and cheeky 80s soul samples. While disco purists may sneer, the house-friendly Ruben & Ra sound has a lot going for it - not least a chunky, head-nodding pulse and some great dancefloor-friendly builds. They're capable of giving new twists to even the most obvious of sample/edit sources ("The Beat Reaction", for example, gives party staple "Give Me The Night" a pleasing re-boot), while their attempts at slow burning groovers are never less than excellent (see the wonderful builds of "Meet When?"). Worth checking, for sure.
Review: After making waves on vinyl, mysterious London duo Ruben & Ra's first edits 12" makes the transfer to digital download. For those who dig the housier end of the disco edits scene, Retrospective 001 should be essential listening. It takes the filter-heavy, muddy low-end disco/electrofunk pulse of Tiger & Woods and gives it a party-friendly, hands-in-the-air twist. So where T&W delight in building slow-burning epics from tracky loops and subtle builds, cuts like "Newer Shoes" (yep, a version of "I Can't Wait") and "Play My Song" prefer to get on with it. What you get is the best of both worlds - fun party jams with enough subtle variations and production tricks to impress the heads.