Review: Thunder Jam hasn't said much about the artist behind this EP, Foley, but we can confirm that this is he/she/their debut outing. Opener "Just Friends" is a pleasingly colourful, vibrant and synth-heavy affair that sounds like a very lightly, tooled-up rework of a boogie-era collaboration between Michael Jackson and, quite possibly, Stevie Wonder. While the vocals catch the ear, it's the extended, rearranged instrumental sections that will make your dancefloor go wild. The mysterious re-editor next gets to work on an electrofunk classic on "Mama Jama", expertly teasing even more excitement and energy from Carl Carlton's most celebrated moment. Just like the track he's played around with, it's an instant party-starter.
Review: Thunder Jam's latest EP comes from a producer yet to make his (or her) mark in music, the capital letter loving REZ. The artist has another EP due out on Hatched soon; if this debut EP is anything to go by, that will be well worth a listen. We're particularly enjoying the chugging, slow-motion disco-rock head-nod that is opener "Too Cool To Be Careless", a revision of a well-known 1980s AM radio hit that will have your dancefloors singing along when the chorus eventually drops. Elsewhere, "Believe In Magicians" re-imagines a quirky and bluesy swing number into a locked-in chunk of hip-house, while "It Was All A Dream" successfully rearranges a slap-bass sporting chunk of "juicy", 80s-inspired 1990s hip-hop/R&B.
Review: Some classy contemporary disco fare here from Irish producer Jones, coming to you courtesy of Israeli label Thunder Jam. 'Fluty Loops' itself opens with an intricate, extended percussive intro, before funk geetar and stabby strings usher in the meandering flute line that gives the track its title - imagine Joey Negro remixing Roy Ayers and you're somewhere in the ballpark. 'Everybody' shows the same attention to detail in the percussion department but has a more Chic-ish vibe, while completing the EP is the more sultry 'Been So Hard', which comes on like Linda Clifford given a Balearic makeover...
Review: Greek producer Chris GS returns to Israel's Thunder Jam with four more slices of reworked vintage funk/disco goodness. He's dug nice and deep for this set, so the original source material remains a mystery in most cases, but in his hands 'Shake It' is a strings-drenched disco number that would've sounded right at home on the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack, while 'Lady' rocks a slightly rawer funk vibe. The same goes for 'The Funk', which reworks Positive Force's 'We Got The Funk' from 1979, while finally 'About It' leans a little closer towards early 80s boogie territory.
Review: Bustling breakbeat badman turned re-edit hero Morlack has served up some scintillating stuff of late, including a brilliant four-tracker on Katakana Edits. Here he gets his re-edit groove on for Thunder Jam. It's a decent label debut which moves from vaguely Balearic '80s Afro-boogie (the synth and filter-sporting "Kalimba Tree") to chunky, hard-wired P-funk brilliance (the Bootsy Collins-esque bounciness of "Agony"), via smooth, slick and seductive '80s soul ("Control", whose slap-bass, screeching car tyre effects and sassy female vocals are particularly alluring) and horn-toting, big studio electrofunk ("Lovin' U"). In other words, it's another tidy collection of cuts.
Review: Madrid's prolific and versatile Manuel Costela seldom puts a foot wrong, regardless of what particular sub-genre of house and disco he turns his hand to. Here, the title track is a midtempo affair, built for White Isle play and characterised by thunderous, high-impact drums, fluttering keys and an assortment of haunting, buzzing synth drones. The Disco Funk Spinner Remix adds some even bigger stabs and will suit the more commercial floors while, elsewhere, 'Jump On The Middle' is a lavish, lazy groove topped with more of those raw synths and 'El Loco' has a more 'traditional' filter disco feel.
Review: Thunder Jam's latest release offers us a chance to casually wander around the "Edit Mind" of debutant producer Paul Older. It's an attractive place where loopy, filtered and delay-heavy disco-house revisions of obscure turn-of-the-80s cuts ("I Need Your Love") rub shoulders with Clavinet-sporting slabs of disco-funk/AOR disco fusion in an echo chamber filled with bell-bottom flares, hoary haircuts and flash-fried DJ effects ("Jump"). The corridors of Older's cranium also boast doors to P-funk-fired dancefloor shufflers ("The Magic") and bouncy, house style cut-ups of glassy-eyed Philly Soul numbers (EP highlight "You Are Perfect").
Review: Like his good friend and sometime studio buddy C Da Afro, J.B Boogie is firmly focused on good-times grooves and unfussy re-edits that put the demands of the dancefloor above all other considerations. They'll be plenty of smiling faces in the club if you drop the title track of his latest EP, a chunky, filter-sporting revision of an AOR disco/Balearic classic rich in blue-eyed soul vocals, Latin-tinged grooves, headline-grabbing bass and Flamenco guitar flourishes. He quickly switches focus on "I'll Be Good", a deliciously driving and low-slung rework of a heavy swamp funk workout blessed with hazy, ear-catching vocal samples and cut-glass disco strings, before whipping off his top and slinging his arms aloft via soaring disco re-edit "Feel It".
Review: Hailing from Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine, Nykoluke is a prolific producer who admits to being influenced by house music from the '80s and '90s. "Recollections" is his seventh release of the year and arguably one of his strongest EPs to date. First up is "We Get What We Deserve", a cheery and summery workout that wraps cut-up UK garage style female vocals and bouncy piano refrains around a fizzing backing track that draws more on nu-disco than deep house. He flips the script on "Daddy Cool", offering up a cheery, synthesizer heavy instrumental cover of the Boney M track of the same name blessed with fuzzy bass and lo-fi lead lines. To round things off, Nykoluke offers up another sweet vocal number: the rubbery nu-disco/house fusion of "Let's Stop".
Review: Italy's Franco Sciampli, a 35-year veteran of the Rome club scene, brings us two re-edits of Barry White's 'September When I First Met You'. Original 12-inch copies of this 1978 soul/disco smoocher, something of an end-of-night classic, trade hands for north of ?15 so these new rubs represent good value for money even if Sciampli hasn't "done" a great deal to the track, other than dropping some of the verses in favour of looping up the chorus, with the main difference between the EdiThink and ReThink versions being a choice of string-led or percussive intro.
Review: If a track's gonna call itself 'The Grinder Funk' it had damn well better be rocking a fine line in low-slung funk sleaze... luckily for NFC, the title track here more than lives up to expectations, being a bass- and brass-driven affair that's just dying to soundtrack an entirely hypothetical 70s blaxploitiation flick of the same name. The accompanying 'Ghana Superstar' makes its presence known from the very outset with some absolutely killer space disco-style falls/downers, then develops into something of a musical smorgasbord featuring mariachi-like brass, Afrofunk beats/vox and plenty more of those wigged-out 70s analogue synth sounds.
Review: The late Tony Joe White's 70s/80s adventures in fusing blues-y swamp rock with disco and funk never met much success, and he's better known as a songwriter - he penned 'Rainy Night In Georgia', for instance. Here, though, 1983's 'Swamp Rap' becomes 'Country Rap', and the result is a slightly novelty-esque but truly distinctive-sounding funk slab. Fred Wesley's 'House Party' and The Chi-Lites' 'Bottoms Up' get similarly funked up as 'Gonna Have A Party' and 'Turn The House Down', respectively, while 'Other Sight' draws from sources unknown but has a go-go feel. 'Country Rap' is the one that'll really prick up ears on the dancefloor, though.
Review: Like Ronseal's quick-drying wood varnish, "Brazilian Edits" does "exactly what it says on the tin". It sees Muleke and Leo Mafra work their magic on two typically sunny and life-affirming Brazilian cuts of old. First up is the carnival-ready brilliance of "Sarava", a genuine rush of turn-of-the-'70s positivity blessed with righteous horn arrangements, funk-rock guitars, cheery male vocals and locked-in samba-disco drums. Arguably even better is "E Muita Raca", a tasty revision of a little-known P-funk era number rich in Parliament/Funkadelic style synths, Prince-ish guitar riffs, punchy horns and chant-along vocals. Two cuts guaranteed to get the party started: what's not to like?
Review: If you're fond of big, fat, squelchy analogue synths then check for this three-tracker from Thunder Jam immediately! Title track 'Love Machine' is an exercise in retro Italo stylings - complete with a cheeky nod to the 'I Feel Love' bassline in the middle - that will go down well on the wonkier disco floors, while 'Concorde' puts a darker, more menacing slant on things. But the real showstopper is Marneli's take on the Dennis Edwards classic 'Don't Look Any Further', with the killer combo of slo-mo beats, fat synth-bass and soulful male vox guaranteed to capture the floor's attention.
Review: Hamburg resident Dee-Bunk is no stranger to Thunder Jam, having been one of the label's "go-to" producers since debuting in 2016. "Peace, Love & Gratitude" sees him effortlessly flit between styles and tempos, moving from the rolling nu-disco/rolling house fusion of sweeping dancefloor disco revision "Take Me" to the languid, head-nodding sunset bliss of downtempo wonder "Love You", via the grunting hip-hop-meets-classic soul shuffle of "Peace" and the stomping mid-tempo disco-funk thrust of "Thank You". The hits don't stop there, either; "Masterplan", a dreamy fusion of jazzy percussion, heart-wrenching soul and elastic nu-disco bass, is particularly alluring.
Review: The team behind Thunder Jam is dreaming of a "Fantasy Fling". Given that the compilation is an expansive, 21-track affair (sorry), it would be safe to say that they're thinking of a steamy, all-action romance rather than a disappointing one-night stand. Musically, the cuts on offer tend towards the warm and loved-up, with Adata's dreamy deep house opener "Marlena Soul" and the glassy-eyed Balearic disco heat of Aure Zwins' "Long Way" setting the tone. Highlights include the loopy, filter-heavy bounce of Celestino's Lionel Richie-sampling "Rhythm", the twinkling, picturesque nu-disco cheeriness of Double F.O.G's "Bang Bao Boulevard", the synth-heavy boogie revivalism of "Fangkok" by Ivan Fabra and the low-slung dub disco-goes-jazz flex of Noil Rago's "J.Club".