Review: The UK disco boy Ash Reynolds follows up his last EP for Slightly Transformed with a new LP for the label, a diverse and all-encompassing disco-house gem for the small hours. The opener "Mysterious Vibe" is the grooviest piece of house funk that we've heard in a while - not to mention its glorious array of synths - and the dude follows up rather spectacularly with the rest of the release. We're particularly into "Play The Game" for its Detroit sensibility that reminds us of Kyle Hall's funkier output. Dopeness, indeed!
Review: Put on your gladdest of drags and hit the main thoroughfare; for his debut album Reynolds is taking us to town and he's doing it with serious sonic style. Down To The Strip is a hazy, dusky balmy LA Miami night circa 1985. An album built up around the warmest filters, clever samples and velvet synths cruising at a smooth mid tempo and surprising with plenty of twists in the tale; highlights include the bending chords and slouching breaks of "Hold On", the sublime hypnosis of "Under The Moon", the strange jazzy spring of "Oh!" and the Roule style loopy finesse of "Chuggin Edits". Time to strip things back.
Review: It's been a bumper year for fans of Chuggin Edits trademark band of sample-heavy disco revisionism and throbbing, mid-tempo edits. This outing on Slightly Transformed follows on from fine EPs for Alpaca Edits, FKR, Midnight Riot, Hot Digits and Bandolier. "I Know I Know" is, naturally, something of a loopy chugger; a spacey, AOR disco/Italo-disco style throb job that radically transforms a much-loved cosmic disco classic in mesmerizing fashion. Limpdisco is on hand to provide the obligatory remix, providing a revision that's closer in tone and style to the Gaz Nevada classic that inspired the Chuggin revision.
Review: No slapsash edits here, just some cheery nu-dsco positivity from sometime Re-Loved re-editor Conan The Selector and guest vocalist Sherie. Her lead vocal is superb - think classic soulful house meets screaming disco diva - while Conan's backing track on "Disco Lights" is rich in twinkling piano motifs, handclap-heavy percussion, rich disco grooves and clipped, Chic style guitars. Conan's original version comes backed with two solid reworks, too. First Andy Buchan gives the track a slightly more electronic feel on his synth-laden nu-diusco revision, before Ash Reynolds layers delay-laden vocal snippets above a deep and dreamy disco-house groove on his headline-grabbing remix.
Review: Based in St Albans, Hansi has been breathing new life into dusty old tunes for some time. This two-tracker for Slightly Transformed appears to be his first outing on a well-known label, with previous missives being self-released. Both tracks here - subtly tooled-up re-edits - are an excellent showcase for Hansi's productions. Our pick of the pair is "Some Thang", a sweeping, funk-fuelled, party-ready revision of what sounds like an AOR disco classic rich in swirling orchestration, crunchy Clavinet lines and blue-eyed soul vocals. "Nature's Super" sees the Hertfordshire DJ/producer get to work on Cerrone classic "Supernature", expertly blending elements of the original with some fittingly funky new instrumentation. The synth bassline is, in particular, delightfully heavy.
Review: I Gemin has been busy this year, contributing to compilations and multi-artist EPs from such labels as ISM, Midnight Riot and Editorial. Here the Russian producer strikes out on his own via what we believe to be his first outing on Slightly Transformed. The title track is a great example of his self-proclaimed "intelligent house" approach, combining woozy, sun-kissed soul, disco and jazz-funk samples with occasional filter trickery, a warming bassline and relaxed (and some would say rubbery) house beats. The slightly bolder and more up-tempo "Easy Love" is similarly groovy, with the producer wrapping punchy horn lines, wah-wah guitars, jazzy horns and occasional female vocal snippets above a more rolling house rhythm.
Review: If you're gonna give your EP a title like that, you'd damn well better HAVE 'da funk' to back it up. Thankfully, Mexican producer Van Pratt most assuredly does. 'Nothing But Funk' itself kicks off the EP, opening with a full-phat bassline before ushering in an 80s boogie-style vocal and some VERY 80s-sounding synth chords. That sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with 'Groove It' marrying white-socked 80s soul vibes to a liquid-y funk geetar line while 'All Night Long' is a straight-up boogie number built for cruising along Ocean Drive with the top pulled down and your Wayfarers on, baby...
Review: Since debuting a few years back, Oldchap has delivered some quietly impressive re-edits and original productions. Here he makes his bow on Slightly Transformed following previous outings on such labels as Editorial, Boutade Musique and Puro Music. First up is "What's The Use", a hustling swamp funk revision where dubbed-out, filtered instrumental sections make way for chunkier slow house passages in which Oldchap showcases the killer guitar, bass and electric piano solos featured on the disco-funk track that inspired it. Similarly impressive is "Watching You", which sees the self-proclaimed wrinkly gently tool up and dub-out a rasping chunk of Blaxploitation-era funk.
Review: Italy's Paolo Vecchiato serves up four authentic-sounding slices of retro funk. 'Street Pocket' itself is up first, a sax-tastic, laidback jazz-funker reminiscent of The Crusaders or (dare we say it) Shakatak, particularly when the girly chorus arrives halfway through. 'Never' is in a similar vein but has more of a sultry, late-night feel, while 'Funky Doo' takes us into more stomping, silver-jumpsuit-clad Ohio Players/Commodores territory and barrio funker 'Nao Poche' plays us out on a Latin-tinged note. An EP that could easily have been made some time around 1981 - and in this case that's a compliment, not a complaint!
Review: 10 months on from his last solo outing - a four-track missive of "Good Vibes" on Midnight Riot - South London's Shit Hot Soundsystem makes his belated bow on Slightly Transformed. There's much to enjoy on opener "Playground", a buzzing, low-slung chunk of mind-altering dub disco full of trippy electronic noises, intense bass, funky guitars and well-placed samples from a New York disco classic. On accompanying cut "Oh My My" he whips off his shirt and runs giddily towards sunny and summery disco pastures, adding his distinctive touch to a glassy eyed early '80s cut full of chopped-up rifts, celebratory vocal snippets and excitement-building filter sweeps.
Review: With the sun finally making its presence felt in the UK, it seems a fitting time for Slightly Transformed to unleash this epic compilation of "Summer Numbers" - cheery, disco-fired chunks of positivity tailor made for al-fresco sets and celebratory shindigs. Featuring a mixture of tried-and-tested re-edits and sample-heavy original compositions, the 19-track set boasts a pleasingly high number of highlights. These include - but are no way limited to - the talkbox-sporting '80s disco/jazz-funk fusion of Shit Hot Soundsystem's "Be With You", the warm and woozy, synth-laden bliss of Chuggin Edits' "Floating", the slow and steady head-nod of Old Chaps wonderfully soulful "Flight With Love" and the fizzing disco rush of Limpdisco's "Gimme Mo". Get To Know's "Music" - a chunky revision of a jazz-funk era dancefloor destroyer by Dayton - is also excellent.
Review: London re-edit label Slightly Transformed bring us a two-tracker from French producer Vigi. No idea what the original source for the strings-drenched, male-vocalled 'Acid Lies' might be, but the track presented here is simply dripping in 80s soul/boogie goodness, while a gentle dash of 303 freakery adds a little more contemporary appeal towards the end. 'Because Of You' is similarly boogie-inspired, but has a pacier, more disco-oriented feel. Good stuff, but be careful out there, people - a couple of spins and you may find yourself overcome by a sudden yearning for shiny suits and enormous shoulderpads...