Review: Rotten City Files' compilation series, Rotten Citizens, has long been a reliable source of darker nu-disco, left-of-centre house, mind-altering chuggers and what the Spanish label calls "psychedelic wave music". Volume five - the first instalment in the series for two years - continues to plough this pleasingly mind-bending, club-ready furrow, dancing between undulating, disco-not-disco throb-jobs (Azaria, Aleito and Alvaro Cabana's moody 'Ostur'), modern reincarnations of 'ethno-beat' (Shklema, Trio Misterio), TB-303-heavy post-punk dub disco (Dan Solo and MI.RO), sleazy acid house (Lenoor), new beat darkness (Rina), squelchy horror disco (Oblako Moranta) and grandiose, mid-80s new wave pomposity (Alex Aguayo's ace 'Earth Tones').
Review: Destination Rimini: Raibano bossman Alberto unleashes two fresh originals for 2022: 'Comanche': a deep and driving slab of disco that's peppered with harmonics and laced with an unrelenting groove. 'Cortical' takes us even deeper into the night with its contemporary Italo bassline that lollops along beneath a rainbow of FX and textures. But killer cuts, they're backed by some serious remix action: Amarcord gets busy with the arpeggiated bass of 'Comanche' and celebrate the native American people the track's title references with classic folk instruments while Fat&Bald lowers the tempo and widens the groove of 'Cortical' giving it more of a slow, hypnotic psychedelic twist. For the people.
Review: A wide range of influences can be heard on this EP from Stockholm-based duo Elfenburg - from funk and disco to acid, prog and even a hint of breaks. 'Vasta La Hista' gets the ball rolling with a throbbing monster bassline and evolving pads redolent of Faze Action's classic 'In The Trees', before 'Acid Cocoon', another dark, pulsating affair, takes us closer to 80s coldwave territory. And that's before we come to the main event 'Elfenboogie' itself, which turns out to be a dark disco reversioning of Loni Clark's 'Love's Got Me (On A Trip So High)' that's then given an energetic, beefed-up makeover courtesy of Julian Sanza and Alvaro Cabana.
Kinda Happy, Sorta Sad (Elfenberg remix) - (6:13) 129 BPM
Kinda Happy, Sorta Sad (Kuunde remix) - (6:15) 120 BPM
Review: Last year's expansive Rotten Citizens compilation introduced us to a whole heap of previously unheard producers, including relative newcomer Marko East. His contribution, confirmed throb-job 'Cube', was one of the collection's undoubted highlights. Happily, you'll find more surging, arpeggio-driven, Italo-disco-tinged gems on the producer's debut album, including title track 'Kinda Happy, Sorta Sad'. That track is wisely given the remix treatment later in the EP, with Effenberg delivering an acid and electro-tinged interpretation and Kuunde re-imagining it as a druggy but melodically warming early morning excursion. Elsewhere, East uses the EP as an opportunity to showcase an eclectic range of influences, bounding between acid-fired breakbeat business ('Empty Bench'), gnarled post-trance heaviness ('DIG')
Review: Some 13 months after the label's last round-up of cuts from associated "Rotten Citizens", Rotten City Files serves up a third edition of its popular annual compilation series. There's loads of music to set the pulse racing throughout, from the opening slo-mo chug of Roe Deers' suitably psychedelic "Hunting" and the throbbing, strobe-friendly pulse of Thomass Jackson's exotic "Copcacabana's Magic", to the New Wave era, post-punk hum of D.Y.O.R's "Devil's Way" and the Weatherall-friendly dark room mysticism of 'Do You Know" by Skelesys. We're also rather enamoured by the reverberating, 4/4 electro/dub disco fusion of Marco Dionigi's "Listen To My Beat".
Review: Damon Jee and Snem K havce moved from party-ready house and techno to far-out swarms of Neo-romantic cold wave...and that's absolutely fine by us! The duo team up for this new EP on Rotten City Flies, kicking of with the nostalgic yet progressive dance aesthetics of "Dear Humans" - sounding a list like Ian Curtis in his golden days - before dropping into the steelier sounds of "Do Carry On", another 80s-leaning dance number. There's two remixes on the flip: Demian's more house-centric version of the title track, whereas legend Mugwump transforms "Do Carry On" into a cinematic big beat roller that'll do more than fine at most festivals. BAD!
Review: The story behind this record is an interesting one. Canadian pair Jokers of the Scene were touring in Europe last year and stopped off for a few days at Club Bizarre on France to record some music. The resulting tracks are as unconventional as their chosen name suggests. "Betaville" is a low-slung groove that resounds to crashing snares and some delicate but slightly sinister synth lines that sound like Boards of Canada on a bad trip. "Breakwater" is more slowed down and murky, with the duo dropping a dense, acid-caked groove. Completing this unusual release is Timothy Fairplay's take on "Betaville", where the UK producer delivers dense break beats to support some other-worldly sound scapes.
Review: In the spring of 2017, Wolfstream debuted with a thrillingly skewed and intoxicated EP on Mange Moi that gently joined the dots between dub-disco, chugging nu-disco psychedelia and post-punk moodiness. They explore similar pastures on this follow-up for Rotten City Files, doffing a cap to fellow dystopian disco-nauts Red Axes and Moscoman on the wayward disco-punk trip that is end-of-days throb-job "No Future". While certainly moody, it's undoubtedly a floor-friendly affair; "Gone", on the other hand, is a foreboding slo-mo shuffler smothered in black eyeliner and gothic motifs. Of the accompanying remixes, it's Thomass Jackson's decidedly pagan re-make of "No Future" - think dark samba guitars, densely layered ritual percussion, pastoral flutes and hypnotic, head-nodding drum machine beats - that stands out.
Review: The latest missive from Madrid's Rotten City Files camp signals the debut of Jacktome, a collaborative project made up of producers JackWasFaster and TALKTOME. They begin in confident fashion with "Hit The Road, Jack" - not a cover of the well-loved sing-along song of the same name - which sees them instinctively wrap psychedelic acid lines, trippy electronic flourishes and Kraftwerk style vococder parts around a bubbly, low-slung, bongo-rich mid-tempo groove. The rest of the EP is taken up with two contrasting mixes of "The Reason": the stab-driven deep house/Balearic disco fusion of the "Soft Vision", and the arguably superior "Raw Vision", whose stripped-back groove and neon-tinged synthesizer motifs help create an intoxicating late night mood.
Review: Currently celebrating their second birthday, Madrid's Rotten City Files are marking the occasion by presenting this collection of back catalogue remixes. It's a tasty set it must be said, with seven tracks specially reworked for 2017. Highlights include Wolfstream's brooding electroclashy remix of Iron Blu's "Sweet Redemption", Days Of Being Wild's raw, Bobby O-style version of Curses' "Vengence" and the menacing arpeggiated techno-disco of Holographic Planes' reboot of "Masa Madre" by Dos Attack. Top-notch electro, good to hear this sound coming back strong.
Review: The crew behind Rotten City Files is remaining tight-lipped about the identity of Nozz, the producer behind their latest druggy disco salvo. Thanks to a bit of detective work, we can confirm that he's a "mysterious French producer", and that Lost Memories is his first full EP. "Lost Memories I" is a kosmiche-informed nu-disco shuffler, while "Lost Memories II" is a slightly bolder take on the same psychedelic disco template. The accompanying remix package is particularly strong, too. We're rather enjoying the outer-space madness of Marco Dionigi's re-imagining of " Lost Memories I", although Sebastien Tex's throbbing, Italo-disco informed version of "Lost Memories II" is arguably a little more dancefloor-friendly.
Review: Ten months on from the release of the first Rotten Citizens collection, Rotten City Files delivers the follow-up. This time round, they've chosen to mix things up, accompanying their usual chugging, mid-tempo fare with a smattering of up-beat floor-fillers. In the former category, you'll find a pair of baggy, indie-tinged Balearic shufflers from DYOR and Sutja Gutierrez, and a mid-tempo acid chugger from Iron Blu and Rock Sterling. If you're looking for a little more energy, head for the eyeliner-clad, Nein-ish disco-chug of "Vengeance" by Curses, the throbbing weirdness of Dos Attack's "Masa Madre", or the blissful, floor-friendly positivity of Elvis LA.
Review: Since launching last year, Madrid's Rotten Files has delivered a trio of releases dedicated to the trippy end of mid-tempo house/nu-disco fusion. Here, they continue that approach, serving up a quartet of remixes of tracks from November 2015's excellent Rotten Citizens Volume 1 EP. Undo steps up first, turning Kieran Holden's intoxicating "Barlick Acid" into a vocoder-sporting chunk of low-slung, post-punk disco/nu-disco fusion. Next, JackWasFaster's "Granada Liberation" is re-invented as a 102 BPM psychedelic acid chugger by A Best Man Dead, before Avanti doffs a cap to EBM on an excellent re-make of Gameboyz' "Tacon Puntera". Finally, Jonathan Kasuma chucks everything but the kitchen sink at Cabaret Nocturne's "Blind Trust", resulting in a chiming, chugging treat.
Review: Madrid's Rotten City Records has previously released material by Tronik Youth, and much of their output has a similarly dark, woozy, stylized and druggy feel. Those adjectives can certainly be applied to this single from label regulars Gatos Negros. "Overdrive", all dark-wave vocals, disco-chug electronics, low-slung post-punk bass and mascara-clad attitude, sets the tone, before "Sriacha" wanders further towards early New Order territory, whilst also boasting a loose, almost Balearic feel. The accompanying remix package is really strong, too, with former Cage & Aviary man Jamie Paton delivering a pair of trippy, sparse and heavily electronic interpretations of "Overdrive", and In Flagranti turning "Chipotle" into a "dub disco-meets-punk funk-via-Chicago acid" smasher.
Review: Madrid's Rotten City is a label dedicated to all things slow and moody and to kick things off they have rounded up some of the most appropriate producers for this new label comp. Over the fours tracks we vibes are all about slow motion brooding body music. Kieran Holden ups the acid levels on "Barlick Acid", JackWasFaster's "Granada Liberacion" is dark, linear machine music, Gameboyz deliver some typically excellent electroclash and Cabaret Nocturne wraps things up with the soaring Depeche Mode style electro-pop of "Blind Trust".