Review: Here two of Situationism's compilation strands combine: 2up 2down, which focuses on high-grade deep house, and the In The Bag series of floor-friendly catalogue favourites. There's naturally plenty to get the blood pumping throughout, from the thrillingly off-kilter Afro-house rhythms of Mike Agent X Clark's 'My Journey Thru Afroism', and Javontte's sensational recent single 'Soul People', to the sparkling synths of BRS's 'Chance Not Choice' and the rushing, jazz guitar-flecked summer house swelter of Groovement Inc's 'Firstdraw'. Further highlights come courtesy of Bittersuite, who swap broken beat for jazz-funk fired deep house on 'Curbed Communications', and Ourra, whose 'Can't You See' is a brilliantly bouncy and bumpin' slab of early morning goodness.
Review: Detroit dee house don Javontte first joined forces with Stroud's Situationism label earlier this year, contributing a killer cut to the multi-artist 2Up2Down Volume 3 EP. The JMarsFrank Project sees him deliver his first fill EP for the imprint, and it's genuinely a doozy. Our undisputed highlight is 'Soul People', a Moodymann-esque chunk of organic deep house haziness in which gently spacey synths, drowsy but soulful vocals, rubbery bass guitar and starry keys ride a rolling, laidback but energetic groove. The EP includes a near 11-minute extended version, which is little less than sublime. Elsewhere, 'Moon Over You' is chunkier and sweatier, with bolder beats and heavier bass amongst the headline attractions, while 'Like 9' is a sparkling and spacey slab of intergalactic deep house warmth.
Review: Originally scheduled for a December release, here at last come the remixes for a Situation/Andre Espeut collab that first landed back in November. The original sat somewhere on the mod-soul-acid jazz spectrum, but the remixes take us down a more uptempo route. Fingerman's Version Excursion gets the ball rolling and has something of a laidback, Nang-style nu-disco feel, before Soulfuledge bring us a percussion-led, Afro-tinged house rerub. Groovement Inc's take sits towards the broken beat end of the soulful house spectrum, before Ash Reynold steps up with a Balearic-leaning deep house take that for this reviewer is the pick of the crop.
Review: A split EP here from West Country nu-disco stalwarts Situation's Situationism label, with Birmingham's Danny Kane and Brussels crew Groovement Inc supplying a track apiece and BRS (also sometimes known as British Rhythm Services) remixing both. This fairly extensive list of cooks have come up with a broth that most definitely isn't spoiled, and that's actually remarkably coherent: all four tracks operate in the same kind of hazy, blissed-out soulful house territory as Dave Lee's The Sunburst Band, with 'Whispers' featuring a female vocal and 'Hxl' biting a chunk from a David Bowie interview. Classy stuff that will repay repeated listening.
Review: Vocalist Andre Espeut has appeared on so many Situation releases that we're genuinely not sure if he's officially a member of the band or not! Here they hook up once again, and suffice to say if you've dug any of their previous outings you'll probably be feeling this one too. Situation's uniquely soulful take on contemporary disco/boogie is in full effect on the original, a Vocal Reprise will please the more creative jocks, Ron Basejam drags us into a sweaty basement on his druggier, chuggier rub, and finally fellow scene stalwarts Chevals come with a mellower take that lets the vox and strings shine through.
Review: The idea behind Situationism's new "2Up2Down" series is devilishly simple. Each volume contains two tracks a piece from a pair of artists, in the case of this debut release West Country stalwarts BRS and Brighton-based Frenchman L'Aroye (real name Thomas Arroyo). It's the latter who kicks things off with "Best Girfriends (Soulful Mix)", a superb, gospel-sampling number that adds layers of rich instrumentation to a wonderfully bumping beat. Arroyo returns later in the EP with a groove-based Dub Mix that wisely makes more of his ear-catching synth stabs and the killer bassline. BRS's "Chance Not Choice" is a little more loose-limbed and synth-heavy than some of their cuts, sitting somewhere between proto-house, electro and deep house. Frank Situation's accompanying remix smartly re-casts it as a sprightly chunk of synth-heavy nu-disco.
Review: West Country heroes Situation have kept it local on their latest EP, which offers up a suite of previously unheard re-rubs of Andre Espeut hook-up "Beyond Compare" by Bristol-based house hero Sean McCabe. It starts with vocal and instrumental interpretations built around warming, mood-enhancing chords, jangly piano riffs, unfussy beats and the kind of slick, ear-catching electronic bassline more associated with Atjazz productions. Then McCabe offers up a superb "Vocal Reprise" take that sounds a little "fuller" and more energy-packed (thanks in part to his use of more urgent-sounding vocal snippets and grandiose chord sequences), as well as a brilliantly dreamy and locked-in Dub that sounds a little like one of Frankie Knuckles' classic remixes. The final bonus treat is definitely worth some special attention too.
Review: Thanks to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the festival season has been unofficially cancelled. Situation think we should still all party - alone, of course - while in isolation so have served up 'The Festival EP' - a suitably good-time collection of cuts that should inspire you to dance around the living room. The set the tone with the jazz-funk-meets-deep house brilliance of "Soulstice" - check the lazy guitar solos, Rhodes chords and bubbly bass guitar - before doffing a cap to one of Glastonbury's most celebrated behind-the-scenes spots on the similarly languid, live-sounding "Maceos". "Stardust" is a rich, wah-wah-guitar flecked shuffle through deep disco pastures, while "Let's Dance" is an energetic slab of Prince style purple funk complete with fizzing slap bass and wavy, eyes-closed guitar solos.
Review: Calling all 21st Century funkateers: you need this record in your life! 'Check It Out' finds BRS serving up a very authentic-sounding homage to sleazy, squelchy 70s funk, complete with liquid geetar licks, a lightly Latin-tinged stop-start rhythm and "check it out!" female shouts, while Groovement comes with a remix that's a little more overtly house-ified but keeps the headnodding, Blaxploitation vibe intact. Conjuring visions of stack-heeled, purple-suited hustlers hawking sherm sticks around Times Square circa 1975, this is one to check even if - especially if - much of Situationism's other output is a little on the "light and polite" side for you.
Review: West country veterans BRS have been going since the daw of the millennium, so it's perhaps unsurprising that their latest superb single sounds a little like some of the material they released on labels like Imperial Dub and Cyclo 20 years ago. "Night To Remember" has a distinctly hazy, dubbed-out San Francisco deep house feel to it, with jazzy guitar solos, liqujid bass guitar, enveloping chords and sultry female vocal snippets all catching the ear. It's terrific all told, as is the accompanying remix by Bittersuite. This is, if anything, even deeper and warmer, with a greater emphasis on echoing synth riffs and hypnotic grooves. In a word: essential.
Review: Second time around for Sugar Daddy's "Love On The Attack", a cut that Tim Hutton and Groove Armada's Tom Findlayt first unleashed on an unsuspecting public way back in 2006. This time round the blissed-out blue-eyed soul number is accompanied by a wealth of fresh remixes. Label bosses Situation lead from the front, turning it into a synth bass-sporting slab of leisurely two-step soul, before Natasha Kitty Kat expertly re-imagines it as a metronomic shuffle through slow house territory. The most revolutionary remix comes courtesy of Danny Kane, who transforms it into a woozy chunk of peak-time ready deep house, while the Dark Punk Hippies successfully give the track a hybrid dub disco/Balearic synth-pop makeover.
Review: For the second time, Stroud collective Situation joins forces with golden-voiced singer Andre Esput and asks, "What Is Going On?" Some of their many producer pals provide sterling remixes of the Cotswolds crew's tasty original version, which hit stores back in June. The Andromeda Orchestra step up first with a low-slung, party-hearty disco-funk version that expertly channels the spirit of Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up", before West Country deep house veterans BRS offer up a smooth, warm and groovy revision tailor made for sun-kissed afternoons, humid evenings and sweat-soaked nights. To round things things off in style, Bitter Suite peppers a broken beat influenced house groove with jazz-funk synths, spacey chords and just the right amount of warming slap bass.
Review: Three months on from their last appearance on the label, Paul Withey and Sarah Lazenby bring their Sweetooth project back to Situationism. In its original form, "All You Gotta Give Is Love" is their deepest and most seductive cut to date; a sugary, glassy-eyed chunk of modern soul/R&B fusion that amply demonstrates their ability to craft memorable music that's more suited to home listening than peak-time dancefloors (we already know they can deliver killer club cuts). The accompanying remixes are, of course, more floor-friendly in nature. Groovement Inc step up first with a shuffling, 105 BPM nu-disco revision rich in swirling strings and Crazy P style musicality, before Dubai-based producer Don Dayglow re-imagines "All You Gotta Give Is Love" as a stab-happy retro-futurist house roller.
Review: The UK duo of Paul Withey and Sarah Lazenby follow up last year's Disco Fantasy EP with a single release that comes in a range of mixes. In its Original form, 'Vicious' opens with a familiar-sounding filtered piano riff, then settles down into a boogilicious affair sitting somewhere between nu-disco and Hed Kandi-style funky house, topped with a vaguely Roisin Murphy-esque vocal from Lazenby that's sure to inspire some singalong action on the dancefloor. HP Vince supplies a more overtly housey remix while Limpodisco's rub is the one for nu-disco lovers, with an Instrumental completing the package.
Review: The Situation crew are taking over the disco-balearic connection, coming through with constant quality, often drenched in a familiar poppy feel that we very much need at this moment of the year. "You Gotta Move" is a slow, funky little number with everything from liquid guitars melting lift, right and centre, to seductive vocals reminiscent of the 1980s. If that wasn't enough, they've recruited a rather fine set of remixers, with the legendary Ashley Beedle spear-heading the festivities with a broken beat monster in a fine boogie style.
Review: Cardiff seven-piece The Pure Conjecture is best known for serving up baggy, Balearic-minded blends of indie-pop, soul and dub, though they do occasionally dip their toes into more electronic disco waters. That's certainly the case with "Jealous Girl", a bubbly, mid-tempo nu-disco shuffler blessed with twinkling pianos, sweet electronics and impassioned, high-register male vocals. Situation naturally head up the accompanying remix package, subtly beefing up the track to push it further towards Crazy P style neo-disco territory. Elsewhere, Don Thompson brilliantly re-casts the track as a sprightly chunk of jumpy electrofunk, before Love Drop re-image it as a dreamy disco-house chugger.