Review: Six tracks from as many different artists make up this V/A offering from Richard Rossa's Stockholm-based Tom Tom Disco label. If you're looking for cowbells, handclaps and Philly strings, look elsewhere: the tracks here generally plough a far more electronic and leftfield-leaning furrow, blending influences from Italo, EBM, coldwave and early house. Frank Agrario's percussive, Afro-inspired 'Drum Circles' is the exception to that rule, but the standout for this writer is Guxi's 'Dribbling Disco', a mix of Italo and Chi-town tropes that periodically bursts out in unanticipated "proper disco" flourishes. Rabih Rizk's Middle Eastern-tinged 'Acid Drop' is good, too.
Review: Bologna, Italy's Francesco Brini, AKA, Frank Agrario, wears many hats: DJ, producer, mastering engineer, Swayzak drummer and owner of the Mozzarella Recordings and Spare Change Disco labels. Here, he comes to Sweden's Tom Tom Disco with three original tracks that blur the lines between nu-disco, funk and Balearica, with 'White Rabbit' also having a hint of Afro flava. Tom Tom boss Richard Rossa then adds a remix of 'Voodo' that's got something of an 80s new beat/EBM-ish feel, while 'White Rabbit' gets handed over to Tropikal Camel, who does his trademark Arab fusion thing.
Review: Barely a month after making his debut on AZZUR's multi-artist Bouquets Des Fleurs EP, Olaf Orbit pops up on Tom Tom Disco with his debut solo single. Title track 'Space Operator' shows that he has a firm grasp of nu-disco dynamics, with the up-and-coming producer adding spacey electronics, weirdo noises and trippy synth melodies to an arpeggio-style bassline reminiscent of New Order's 'Blue Monday'. Tony disco adds a little extra rubbery nu-disco bounce and some wonderfully deep-sounding breakdowns on his tidy remix, while bonus cut 'Olaf' is a bolder and even more synth-heavy tribute to the halcyon days of Italo-disco. As debut singles go, this is quietly impressive.
Review: African influences have played a huge role in shaping the 'now' sound of house music in the last few years, just as Latin styles did in the mid-00s. But right now there are just as many interesting fusions going on at that point where house and techno collide with the musics of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent - and this excellent four-tracker from Nour, a female producer from Palestine who's now based in Mexico, is a case in point. Head for the originals if you're a lover of Eastern sounds generally, or the remixes from Rayko and Sinchi if you want something that's more easily programmable.
Black Harmala Disco Club (Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai remix) - (6:33) 60 BPM
Kadikoy (Leonor remix) - (5:04) 112 BPM
Review: Sufi bangers and Turkish psychedelic delights from the Stockholm-based new power duo Acid Hamam & Nasiri on TOM TOM DISCO - earth bound label for spaced-out people. Features the moody dancefloor drama of "Blac Harmala Disco Club" drawing you deep into the exotic with its middle eastern aesthetic, not to mention Cornelius Doctor & Tushen Rai's fierce EBM styled rework. There's also the lo-slung punk-folk of "Kadikoy" which gets remixed by Leonor which is in true cosmo-psychedelic fashion. Frequencies from the heart. 100% party proof.
Review: Fresh from delivering a suitably intoxicating chunk of feverish tribal techno on their own Belly Dance Services stable, Hanzo & Yaman bring their trademark brand of percussive dance music to Tom Tom Disco. Title track "Tropicalas" is notably different to its predecessor, with the pair layering up wonky chants and South American style percussion over a looped synth bassline. It's hugely endearing and celebratory all told, and comes backed with two bonus cuts: the hypnotic ethno-techno throb of "Titaporn" and the quirky nu-disco/percussive house bounce of "Hola Hola". Of the trio of accompamying remixes, we're particularly enjoying the loose, acid-flecked breakbeat shuffle of Lily Haz's rework of "Titaporn" and Tony Disco's exotic, Middle Eastern disco revision of "Tropicala".
Review: Tom Tom mainman Rossa sends back two bulletins from the furthest reaches of the (new) disco frontier, while Theus Mago, Leonor and Mijo provide a remix apiece. 'Man Zufuh' in its Original form is a slo-mo chugger with influences from both African music and 80s synth-pop, while Mago's remix ups the pace and adds a headnodding bassline, making this mix the more obvious pick for dancefloor play. The equally out-there 'Phanteon' comes on like a collision between minimal and cosmic disco, while a wonked-out rerub from Mijo takes us firmly into late-night territory and Leonor provides an atmospheric alternate take.
Review: Italian producer Guxi (or Matteo Rama, if you prefer) serves up a four-track EP for Swedish label Tom Tom Disco that's very much the proverbial game of two halves, Brian. 'Papua' and 'Asmat' itself are slo-mo cuts that take us deep into the Afro zone, but then we come to 'El Tigre', which maintains the Afro feel but ups the pace considerably while adding a serious dollop of bottom-end funk. Frank Agrario then completes the EP with a remix of 'El Tigre' that sports a tougher kick and tech-house percussion, making this EP a solid bet whether you're after downtempo or more club-friendly grooves.
Review: First making his name via production work for Swayzak, more recently Bologna, Italy resident Francecso Brini has stepped out as an artist in his own right under the 'Frank Agrario' moniker. Here, he comes to Tom Tom Disco with a four-track EP that's a melting pot of dancefloor and world music influences. 'Nefro' is a looping, percussive workout with Egyptian/Middle Eastern overtones, 'Kalakutta' is an Afro-style deep houser with jazz tinges, 'Tapwater' is a mellower groove, again with an African feel, and then finally Leonor brings us an epic, remix of 'Kalakutta' complete with broody synths and cinematic spoken vocal.
Review: It's here! Stockholm's Richard Rossa aka Tom Tom Disco presents eight tracks of deadly, hot, cosmic grooves that are equal parts deep and psychedelic but above all: spiritual! Some of his beloved label's top signings strut their stuff on This Is Tom Tom Disco Vol 05. Some deep and cosmic nu-disco courtesy of Sano on "El Sano", some Middle Eastern exotica on the esoteric "Hazhid Asara" by Acid Hamam and some proper Italo vibes by Tony Disco on "Disco Solar" - one of the compilation's standout moments. Rest assured that label head honcho Richard Rossa represents here too (and is on point as always) with the dusty, boogie down antics of "Discow Ztrummer" which will surely have you gettin' down!
Review: LA's Rigopolar is an 80s-inspired dude who makes grade A space-disco. His latest, Tour De Mal, arrives courtesy of Tom Tom Disco and what a treat it is! The EP opens with the trancey new beat swing of "Need You" (which borders on Chemical Brothers territory a bit). "La Mal" is the kind of deep and dirty drone-disco that Ivan Smagge or Chloe love and it's awesome. "Youth" meanwhile, is a slower, loop based hypno house odyssey. Then heavy hitter Rodion arrives brandishing a trademark sinister acid grind of a remix and it all kicks off. Ace.
Review: Since 2012, Sweden's Tom Tom Disco has been kind of dominating the whole Scandinavian nu-disco thang and, thanks partly to the effort of its founder Richard Rossa, has managed to cement a clear sound and direction to its catalogue. Supernova is here this time and the newcomer sets the scene with the slowly-burning, mid-tempo chugger "Flat Track", which is followed by the housier, more acidic cut "Stratto". "Usual Station" is a more electro-minded nu-school boogie monster, while Rossa's own remix of "Stratto" adds a little dubbiness to the mix. Solid DJ weapons.
Review: Guxi might not be the most prolific artist as of yet, but he is without a doubt on of the rising talents of the nu-school house scene, and by nu-school, we mean electrofied, bass-heavy house banging with a disco twist. The lead track "Saturn" contains one of those basslines that you could listen to for hours on end, all bubbly and full of energy, while "Swimming In Space" is the perfect 80s throwback with a contemporary look and feel. "Twinkling Stars" is the perfect follower, a little deeper and and more club-prone its tone, whereas "Walking On Mars" is all mysticism and starry skies, check the chuggy Richard Rossa remix of "Twinling Stars", a perfect house companion.
Review: Richard Rossa's Tom Tom Disco label has built up a strong reputation by releasing some work by some pretty original nu-disco producers over the last four years. Always classy and never over-egging the pudding, the label limits itself to just the one compilation a year, and time has come for the 2016 edition. There are seven retro jams here to enjoy, including Guxi's redux of the proto house/Italo disco gem "Dance They Say", the taught arpeggiation of Fausto's "Nativo" and Rossa's own low-slung new wave funk joint, "Lone Riders".
Review: Based in Los Angeles, Rigopolar is a space disco producer with a deep love of '80s synth sounds. There are five themed jams here; both "Sistema Lunar I" and "Sistema Lunar II" both go to town on moody arpeggiation, the former is deliciously fuzzed-out warm Italo (think Skatebard at his deepest), whilst the latter opts for an accelerated hiNRG route a la Alden Tyrell in his prime. Elsewhere "Sistema Lunar III" delves into eerie suspension like a housier Red Axes and "Sistema Lunar IV" combines movie samples with raw, looped early house grooves. Finally V wraps things up with some melancholic EDM balladry in the style of Kavinsky or M83. Classy stuff.
Review: From the awesome postmodern artwork to the post-punk avant disco rhythms featured on this release, you could easily be forgiven for assuming that Frank Agrario is some long lost kindred spirit to the likes of Talking Heads. But you'd be wrong; Mr Agrario is actually Italian producer Francesco Brini who is Swayzak's former percussionist. A few years ago he got bitten buy the disco bug and hasn't looked back since. Here we get two authentically early 80s cuts - "Fireworks" being a sweaty late night punk funk grind with sultry female vocals and a serious Kid Creole obsession, and "Sacramento", upping the tempo for a piano-led badass bass twister. Hot!
Review: Tom Tom Disco founder Richard Rossa has been part of the European electronic music scene for the past four years, releasing fluid, synth-heavy blends of Italo, nu-disco and deep house on a variety of labels. Here he returns to his own label with a three-track blast of undulating goodness. "Ramvong" sets the tone, offering an attractive fusion of raw analogue synths, live-sounding drums and vivid electronic melodies. "Draco" flips the script a little, focusing the action around a thunderous, rave-influenced synth bassline and wonky riffs. Best of all, though, is Justin Robertson's rework of "Ramvong", which morphs the Stockholm native's breezy original into a head-pounding chunk of acid-tinged Italo-disco.
Review: Swedish nu-disco troubadour Richard Rossa is back with a short and sweet two-tracker. "Party Time" is a rousing retro roller, with tension building guitar licks and a vintage soul chant, intent on taking us to a better world. "The Veal" is an absolutely killer tune that begins like an early '80s US TV theme, before flowering into an utterly infectious (and slightly surreal) disco funker.