Review: Latin Del Boy, Trotter, is an expert in producing tracks that fell off the back of a lorry. Yes, cheeky disco edit confections are his forte and there are four of them here and going fast. All Good Funk Alliance's tune "Ain't It True" is transformed into a seven-minute electro house epic, whilst he goes all-out crowd pleaser on the tight, live disco-funk jam "Da Gypsy Groovy" by Leon. "Never Let No One" by Afrolicious is a mid-paced Afro/Latin funk workout and finally "Pump It Up" sees Umbo's tune rewired into a slinky late night soul sizzler.
Review: For his latest release, Spain's Angel Funke dips his toes in the still waters of collaboration, teaming up with the less flamboyantly monikered Alex Brinken. It's all about the party for these producers, they don't really do the chin stroking stuff. Instead they prefer to make music to have fun to. "Disco Bologna" combines 'Ring My Bell'-style musical motifs and Speak & Spell vocals, two retro sounds that you would never had heard at the same time (unless you brought your kids out clubbing. If so, bad parent!). Elsewhere the best remix the most intense one, supplied by The Funky Factory.
Review: Budapest man DJ Clairvo touches down on Royal Soul with his first non-collaborative EP, and as you'd expect, it's pure break-driven fire. "Do You Wanna Be Cool" is choc-a-bloc with samples and slap-up beats, while "Funk Is" goes in harder on the melodies and brings forth that Brazilian carnival swagger. "No No No" takes focus on utterly screwing the vocal chops into a stop-start dancefloor pulveriser; but it's the title track "Rally In Rio" which truly brings out the samba funk among half-step kicks and bodytonic breaks. Class.
Review: Perhaps this tune is putting forward the theory of how the supposedly deceased husband in Mrs Brown's Boys isn't dead at all - he's actually off galavanting in Rio, as far away from his wife as possible. Perhaps. Or maybe it's actually a cleverly chopped up sample from a Romanthony classic with a techy-disco carnival vibe (less likely we admit, but you never know).
Review: In the old days, the cross-cultural, cross-genre fusions of Rio de Janeiro-based DJ LK would have been called "beats and breaks". As it is, his wonderfully sunny fusions of samba, bossa nova, jazz-funk, breakbeat and hip-hop could fall between the cracks. That would be a crying shame, as Misturada is as enjoyable a breakbeat-orientated album as you'll hear this year. While there are moments when big basslines and tough drums take over (see the dutty "Nabby Riddim"), for the most part it's a loveably loose, languid and laidback affair, deftly produced by someone who clearly knows what they're doing.
Review: For the first time in just over six months, Brooklyn's premier disco fiddler returns to Royal Soul. This time round, his swag bag is full to bursting with a quintet of tidy, soul-flecked revisions. While it's all of a high standard - we'd expect nothing less - there are three tracks that are really floating our metaphorical boat. There's the sweet, rolling, delay-laden disco-soul shuffle of "One Of A Kind", the metronomic, house-flavoured twinkle of "All Wrong" (think swirling strings, hazy trumpets and party atmosphere), and the bongo-laden bounce of "Relax Your Mind". This latter scorcher boasts a bassline not too dissimilar to "Ain't No Stopping Us Now", handclap-heavy house beats, baggy piano riffs and urgent vocal samples.
Review: Could Morlack be the funkiest man to ever have come out of France? Quite possibly. Listen to the Troutman-meets-Biggie EP title track and you'll see where we're coming from. A juicy jacking throwback to the '80s and '90s it's a one-way-ticket to Party Central. And there's no turning back. "Funky Thing" meanwhile takes a Meters-esque refrain from The Unemployed and throws in a bunch of chicken noises and series of soaking wet basses to great effect. Elsewhere we're bombarded by synth swoonery and old school hip-hop on "Hit Directly" while "In Brasilia" showcases Morlack's penchant for disco.
Review: If you're a lover of hip-house vocals then the Sweet Tee-esque title track here will definitely give you a 'Happy Feeling'! Elsewhere on the EP, 'Corrupt' is a looping, Latin-tinged affair with chorused female vox, there are more Latino flavas on 'You Choose', 'Arab Money' is an uptempo, brassy joint atop which another rapped vocal (a male one this time) and some Middle Eastern chanting go head-to-head, while 'Heartbeat' is essentially a rework of Jimmy 'Bo' Horne's 'Is It In?' from 1980. Five sample-tastic cuts that'll keep disco floors moving for sure.
Review: This time last year, breakbeat maverick Morlack was banging out some Rick James business, a sweet reinterpretation of the legend's most infamous moments, but right now he's up on Royal Soul with some sweet-ass, electro-swinging gear of the highest calibre. "Ripa Na Chulipa" takes the boogie beats on a Brazilian tip, before the sounds of "Farther Imagination" blast it all down to classic US levels - what a master-blaster of a tune! "It Should Have Been You" is a sweeter, more soulful West-Coast sort of number, perfect for kicking back and smokin' a number, whereas "Try My Lovin" takes the groove way down below, somewhere closer to traditional hip-hop levels. Don't mess with dat bass doe!
Review: Eleven months have passed since the release of Patrick "P-Sol" Sullivan's last collection of "Excursions", so this return to Royal Soul is well overdue. He eases us in gently via "Running Out of Time", a string-drenched shuffle through sun-kissed slo-mo disco territory that underpins swirling orchestral loops and summery grooves with the most subtle of house style drums. "Fire Quiet" is even deeper and more loved-up, offering up a chugging, head-nodding take on a trumpet-laden groover rich in hazy guitars and toasty bass guitar, while "Break An Egg" is an all-action version of a busy disco-funk track full of insanely heavy bass, clipped funk guitars and jangling piano motifs. Arguably best of all is the soulful smoothness of lolloping closing cut "Outside My Love", where cute guitar licks and sun-soaked pianos catch the ear above another locked in, filter sporting groove.
Review: New Yorker Patrick Sullivan aka P-Sol strikes back on Sao Paulo's Royal Soul - the first 100% Brazilian based nu-jazz/Nufunk/downbeat label since 2006. P-Sol runs the imprint Wall Of Fame, which has seen many of his own releases and has put out music on various labels such as Editorial, Hot Digits, Groove Democracy, Masterworks Music, Discodat and Los Grandes. Dealing with Viennese downbeat influences crossing his typical disco way - this dude goes straight to the point with these classy leftfield beats. From the soulful urban blues of "And You Say", the lo-slung deep disco jam "East New York" or "Wonderfool" with its evocative and sun-kissed groove which perfectly soundtracks this fabulous summer in The Big Apple at present.
Review: Given the EP's title, you'd expect this latest split EP from the Royal Soul camp to be full of the kind of fun-time fare that makes you want to shake your ample assets. Happily, that's exactly what's on offer. P-Sol gets things rolling via the bouncy disco-funk-goes-house shenanigans of "Shape Up's", before fellow experienced producer Trotter expertly throws together samples from all manner of familiar tunes on the party-starting funk breaks explosion of "Trotter vs Sahntisan & Foo". Zel's tasty midtempo shuffler "Disco Speech" - all undulating disco bass, punchy ska horns and lolloping drums - offers a pleasingly groovy alternative to the full-throttle fare elsewhere on the EP, while Cupcake Project steals the show via the rubbery P-funk re-edit action of "Hey Baby". In summary: rock solid party jams.
Review: We get two sides of the disco coin here: traditional string-laden retro euphoria and 21st century disco-tech - both on the same track! Pako & Loko's "Night Flight" is a sublime ocean of deep, techy soulful house, that beautifully seques into a vintage Philly soul sample. Flawless. If you want something a bit tougher though, Trotter's stomping mix will be the one for you.
Review: Self-proclaimed "funkmaster" Prosper is a keen collaborator, with each of his previous releases being made in cahoots with another producer. Given this history, it's little surprise to find that his latest outing is collaborative affair, too. Lead cut "So Classy, So Nasty" sees him join forces with Adam Polo for the very first time, with the duo wrapping choice rap vocal samples around rubbery synth-bass, Chic style disco-funk guitars, swirly synths and mid-tempo nu-disco beats. Elsewhere on the EP, Propsper is in collaboration with regular studio buddy Stabfinger. They offer up "Big Bamboo", a bouncy, Kraak & Smaak style fusion of fuzzy funk horns, fizzing P-funk electronics, talkbox vocals, big builds and slap-bass-happy grooves, and the cheery, bongo-driven trip into dancefloor funk territory that is "Time To Go Back".
Review: Latin-obsessed Viennese radio DJ Herbert Bachofer, aka Shantisan, presented us with his single Avenida Atlantica back in March. Now he's back with full-length debut LP, Conexao, boasting 19 tracks to sink your teeth into. It covers a wide breadth of global styles and influences - including Bachofer's own bossa nova horn-fest remix of "Control Of Your Mind" by Carlos Reisch, his Chic-esque rework of "Favela Funk" and the summery party vibes of "Meninas & Meninos" which boasts the additional talents of Micheline Cardoso, Luiz Antonio Gomes and Stefan Obermaier. An impressive debut.
Review: Shantisan - real name Herbert Bachhofer - may live in Vienna (where he also hosts a weekly radio show), but his heart seems to be in Rio. Both of the original tracks here - the wonderfully breezy, samba-meets-broken beat jam "Avienda Atlantica" and chunkier (but no less jaunty) "Conexao" - have a strong Brazilian flavour, with live chords, guitars and electric pianos complimenting Bachhofer's summery production. There's a similar Latin feel to the remixes, which range from samba-house (DJ Farappo's version of the title track) and glassy-eyed deep house (Stefan Obermaier's rework of "Connexao") to straight-up, early noughties style bruk (Frolocker's brilliant, electric-piano heavy revision of "Connexao").
Review: From Birmingham to Brazil! Prolific Midlands nu funkateer Total Cult comes through with an EP of disco flecked house party business for the Royal Soul imprint out of Sao Paolo. "Disco Call" leans heavily on a disco classic, laying down some neat Beastie Boys scratches atop a bassline that just demands dancing, whilst "Nice Disco" is all late night Studio 54 vibes crossed with a smattering of famous raps. The accompanying remix of "Nice Disco" from Royal Soul's Trotter (no relation to Derek) adds a few more ounces of bounce. The bumping 80s new jack swing of "Keep On Truckin" is the best thing here - not least for the flu filled Bussa Bus raps throughout.