Review: Mancunian Kevin Gorman is back with some more lo-slung soul excursions as Adesse Versions. Although usually appearing on his own eponymous imprint or for Glasgow's Numbers, he appears this time for Berlin's Toy Tonics. Starting out with the emotive and dusty deepness of "After Hours" (which soon introduces the most phased and psyched out guitar lick ever) there's then the thumping yet soulful vocal house of "Radio Rahman" with some seriously Kerri Chandler style keys. Closing out this EP in style are the filtered disco loops of "Explain It" which is so infectious and would make even DJ Sneak or Phil Weeks stand up and notice!
(She's So) Young (feat Kim E & Gingy) - (8:00) 118 BPM
The Black Room (feat Terence Kissner) - (7:17) 123 BPM
Something 'Bout You (feat Chobo) - (7:44) 118 BPM
Review: Following the break-up of Azari & III, Alixander has delivered this EP for Toy Tonics. Working with vocalists from his hometown of Toronto, he drops a three-tracker that pushes house music to its outer limits. "(She's So) Young", which features Kim E & Gingy, is the most conventional track, its deep acidic lines and playful female vocals chopped up to seductively claim "there's a few girls for the new girls". "The Black Room", featuring Terence Kissner, is more discordant and the evocative vocals are underpinned by detuned riffs, howling analogue tones and steely percussion. By the time he gets to "Something 'Bout You" featuring Chobo, it sounds like Alixander is throwing away the rulebook with the vocals surfacing in a soupy but metallic arrangement.
Review: Since going solo following years spent collaborating with fellow Stockholm resident Mr Tophat, Art Alfie has delivered some superb material, not least a fine debut album for Studio Barnhus that expertly showcased his quirky approach to electronic music. His audio eccentricities are writ large across this Toy Tonics outing, from woozy and soft-focus opener "Downstreamed" - all dub-flecked, slow motion beats, lilting melodies and slowly shifting chords - to the bounding dub disco/deep house fusion of "Bondkatten". Fellow Swedes Mount Liberation Unlimited provide a superb "Ethereal Teen Dream" re-make of "Downstreamed", craftily re-imagining Art Alfie's original version as a defiantly dubby blend of Scandolearic bliss and hypnotic deep house.
Review: Italian producer Ricardo Baez returns to Toy Tonics - who released his impressive debut single, The Message - with more thickset, goodtime deep house grooves. Opener "We Come Around" sets the tone, delivering a smile-inducing dose of classic US house revivalism with a modern deep house twist. Moda chiefs Jaymo & Andy George remix, hitting all the right notes on a twitchy house special. "Dancefloor" sounds like the sort of thing Danny Tenaglia may have played (and made) around 1995 (no bad thing in our book), while Hard Ton's remix is bright, breezy and classic sounding without being too reverential to the period. Best of all, though, is "Sweat", an eccentric but borderline brilliant fusion of Latin percussion, disco, crunk and 808 handclaps.
Review: There's something deceptively atmospheric about "If You", the deep, filter-laden lead cut from Italian producer Ricardo Baez's debut EP for Toy Tronics. While deep, woozy and almost aquatic in parts, it's propelled forward by hissing cymbals, booming beats and some classic Italian house style riffs. It's good, but arguably "The Message" - an exercise in basement-bothering old skool nostalgia - is even better. The EP's third original cut, the intoxicating, acid bass-driven "The Language of Heaven" (think hypnotic organs and delay-laden preacher vocals) is also rather impressive. If that's not enough to wet your whistle, then Sei A's off-kilter remix of "If You", all rigid bottom end and wonky beats, is definitely worth a listen.
Review: Berlin-based twosome Black Loops give the impression of being committed party animals. Certainly, their balls-out, bass-heavy approach to house - part Mosca, part Huxley, part Futureboogie Recordings - should find favour with those whose approach to dance music is shaped by too many messy afterparties. On this EP for Toy Tonics, there's plenty of robust, hip-wigglin' fare powered by bowel-bothering sub action. "Right Now" itself is probably the pick - thanks, in no small part, to heavy bass, dreamy breakdowns and some choice vocal samples - but the shinier "LGB" runs it close. Double Dash goes all "powder house" on his revivalist tech-house twist.
Review: Hardworking Italian duo Riccardo Paffetti and Gabriele Michelli have enjoyed a relatively low-key career to date, despite the obvious quality of their chunky, bass-heavy deep house releases. This latest EP for Toy Tronics - their first for a year - is once again packed full of tried-and-tested dancefloor fare. They begin with the hazy, jazz-flecked bump of "Cassette 2", where sparkly keys and delay-laden vocal samples ride a deep and chunky groove, before ramping up the pressure with the robust analogue beats and bleep-era sub-bass of "Cassette 7". COEO adds even more swing to "Cassette 2" on a toe-tapping, hip-wiggling revision, while Carlo turns "Cassette 7" into a low-slung, Derrick Carter style boompty thumper.
Review: Berlin/Milan based Italian twosome Riccardo Paffetti and Gabriele Micheli have previously impressed with their chunky blends of bass-heavy deep house, classic Italian house and basement-friendly Berlin techno. Here they once again the Black Loops alias for their first single on Toy Tonics since 2013. They begin with the classic bump of "No Questions" - all warm chords, heavyweight sub, US house shuffle and Todd Edwards style vocal cut-ups. One-time Dirtybird regular Ardalan provides the obligatory remix, roughening up the edges via murkier basslines, wild electronics and rolling, post-fidget grooves. Finally, the duo offers up something altogether deeper and more melodious in the shape of "Suki", a picturesque roller blessed with a particularly spellbinding breakdown.
Review: Since starting their career with a couple of well-regarded EPs on Toy Tonics in 2013, Black Loops has been label hopping. This return to the German imprint follows four years spent churning out EPs for Gruuv, Neovinyl and, most recently, Pets Recordings. Opener "Le Mirage" is a bustling and bass-heavy affair, with melodic deep house pleasantries wrapping themselves around a chunky, U.S-garage influenced groove. The rhythmic skip and bass-heavy bounce continues on "Red Light", where fuzzy electric piano parts come to the fore, while "Sex (Part 2)" effortlessly joins the dots between the hazy loveliness of Italian dream house and the bustle of classic Kerri Chandler records. 'Sex", which boasts a wonderfully sleazy spoken vocal, completes another ear-pleasing package.
Review: The second volume in Toy Tonics' occasional Jockey Jams series is something of a gift to DJs. Although naturally rooted in deep house, each of the showcased tracks offers something distinctively different. So, while Felipe Gordon's "Rinogal" is an funk-fuelled house bumper built around an elastic, acid-fired synth bassline and trippy late night effects, Metropolitan Soul Museum's "Saab" is a delicate, warm-up friendly fusion of lilting synths, bubbly electronics and the kind of twinkling pianos frequently found on vintage Italian dream house records. The eclecticism continues elsewhere, too, from the Adonis-via-Rimini thrills of Jacky Mingo's wonderfully positive "Brothers Cup", to the jazzy warmth of Black Loops and analogue house bleeps of Jad's "Overpriced Kaiser Chips".
Review: Berlin's Toy Tonics latest trick is Jockey Jams, the first in an 'irregular series of various artist EPs'. They've rustled up an interesting mix too, starting with the warm mid-paced throb of "Sex' by Black Loops, which features the voice of Scarlett Johansen (from the movie Her). Elsewhere "Waterfalls" by Moritz Butschek, which has that sleazy DJ Hell sound, Portugal's Pixel82 sees his diva house jam Going On given a choppy, hypnotic rework by Australian surfer dude Jad & The Ladyboy. Lastly New York's Doug Gomez wraps things up nicely with the clavinet-driven old school funk joint "Make Your Body Move".
Review: For the uninitiated, Joel Holmes is a GRAMMY Awards-nominated American jazz pianist. It's somewhat of a surprise, then, to see him collaborating with deep house rising star Cody Currie on Toy Tonics. We're glad the collaboration has happened, though, because the resulting EP is exceptionally good. Check, for example, "Beyond The Stars", a wonderfully warm, loose and organic deep house cut rich in improvised scat vocals, hot-to-trot electric piano solos and heady jazz-funk bass, and the ambidextrous broken beat bustle of "A New Chapter", which is every bit as inspired as anything made by Kaidi Tatham or Dego. Elsewhere, "Blue TV Screen" is a deliciously jazzy deep house bumper and "Theme One" is an even deeper and warmer dancefloor excursion with tons of great solos from the effervescent Holmes.
Review: London producer Cody Currie and American jazz pianist Joel Holmes first joined forces on 2019's "New Chapter", a brilliant EP that effortlessly joined the dots between dusty deep house, jazz-funk and Kaidi Tatham style broken beat. This speedy follow-up is arguably even better. They begin with the organic deep house soulfulness of "Love We Feel", where Holmes' wonderful vocals and keys-work rides loose-limbed beats and a warm bassline, before inviting a cast-list of guest vocalists and musicians to lend a hand on the futuristic, spoken word-sporting deep house/jazz-funk fusion of EP highlight "Metropolis". Elsewhere, "Shitz Cool" is a glassy-eyed shuffle through spacey, ultra-deep house dreaminess, while closing cut "Direction" is a deliciously positive, rich and life-affirming dance through musically expansive soulful house goodness.
Review: Munquito and Pacheco's Berlin-based imprint Toy Tonics drops yet another killer EP by the Coeo! The Munich-based duo are experts in deep house, and have even released on Let's Play House. "Native Riddim" is a sweet, summertime scorcher with some of the funkiest keys we've heard from these guys, while the alternate mix is a whole load deeper and a lil' more Detroit-esque. "Select Language" is the banger here, though, bringing in some tight garage swing and one sweltering bassline.
Review: Having previously impressed with their releases on Seven Music, Sccucci Manucci, DaBit and Globelle Records, Munich-based deep house duo Coeo pop up on Toy Tonics. As its title suggests, "Feel Me" is a huggable chunk of tactile electronic deep house, with classic late night vocal hooks riding a warm and fuzzy groove - all crunchy synth bass, bouncy pianos, dreamy pads and classic US garage organs. Sometime Futureboogie and Wolf Music man James Welsh delivers the obligatory remix, offering up a wonderfully atmospheric deep jazz-house interpretation. It's arguably his best remix to date. In its' original form, "Say No More" is deep, breezy and summery, with jaunty keys and a borderline Balearic vibe. The longer, more electronic sounding "DJ Version" is a little tougher and groovier, whilst retaining the original's casually humid feel.
Review: Following a recent dalliance with Brooklyn-based Razor 'N' Tape Reserve, COEO returns to the loving arms of Toy Tonics with another solid four-track excursion. Happily, they hit the ground running with the rushing positivity of "Mydonna", a bumpin' chunk of peak-time house goodness built around some superb disco samples and a bustling groove. The accompanying, "alternate cut" smartly emphasizes some of the original instrumentation, whilst adding some subtle swing to the disco-house drums. On the flip, you'll find the deep, smooth and sensual "Torrow", and the breezy, atmospheric, piano-laden shuffle of "Coast To Coast".
Review: To date, Bavarian duo Coeo has released a number of quietly impressive deep house singles on a variety of labels, including Let's Play House, Seven Music and Dabit. Back In The Days sees them return to the Toy Tonics imprint they last graced back in 2014. There's a classic disco-house-meets-contemporary deep house feel to the groovy and attractive title track, while "Jugendstil" adds hazy jazz influences to the same successful formula. The bizarrely titled "+++" throws African vocal and drum samples into the mix, combining them with bold string riffs and unfussy house beats to excellent effect. Finally, bonus track "Humbled" sees the duo return to their filter-sporting best, with the results sounding like a fusion of Soundstream and Tom Trago.
Review: For the fifth volume in their Tonic Edits series, the Toy Tonics crew has handed over the reins to label regular and sometime Razor 'N' Tape contributor COEO. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout. Opener "Cabrio Magio" appears to be a tooled-up take on a killer South American disco stomper while you'll find the rubbery electric bass, Chic style clipped guitars and eyes-closed vocals of "1981", as well as "She Keeps It Good", a superb P-funk/boogie rework which sees COEO brilliantly tease out the groove via some seriously cut-up loops.
Review: Having spent the last few years giddily hopping between labels, COEO has decided to settle down. Flesh World is the Munich-based twosome's second release of 2017 for Toy Tonics, an imprint they first graced back in 2014. As usual, they're in a positive frame of mind, serving up a trio of tracks rich with both the feel good pulse of disco and boogie, and the metronomic heaviness of house. Both "Flesh World" and "In Motion" explore similar sonic territory, with the duo working a range of ear-pleasing samples from killer old disco and boogie cuts. Best of all, though, is the Kapote Drum Jam version of "Flesh World", which adds a little percussive pressure to an already celebratory workout.
Review: Demuja producer Bernard Weiss has been a busy boy this year, serving up hot-to-trot treats on Madhouse and Let's Play House. Here the Austrian keeps up the pressure via another rock solid outing on Toy Tonics. Weiss begins in confident mood via the rich, glassy-eyed chord progressions and swinging drum machine beats of "Brissy", before paying tribute to the greats of New Jersey deep house via the looped vibraphone motifs, sumptuous vocal samples and heady pads of "J on G". Elsewhere, he opts for a more rubbery, pitched-up, peak-time U.S house vibe - with fantastic results, we should add, while "Even Half" is a classic chunk of acid-fired deep house warmth smothered in hip-hop vocal samples, lilting synth lines and dreamy pads.
Review: Fresh from fine recent outings on Lovedancing and Quintessentials, rising star Felipe Gordon releases his first EP on Toy Tonics, a label he's been loosely affiliated with since contributing a track to a compilation style EP last year. The centrepiece of the EP is clearly "Acid Party at Teusaquillo", a cut that cleverly combines classic deep house elements (woozy chords, spine-tingling pianos) with the jacking rhythms and mind-altering acid lines of early Chicago house. While the track arguably didn't need remixing, we're rather enjoying the deeper, jazzier interpretation from Retrogott and DJ Qualle, not to mention the enveloping warmth of Seb Wildblood's Detroit Techno-meets-deep house rework.
Review: Since last appearing on Toy Tonics two years ago, Felipe Gordon's profile has risen considerably, thanks in no small part to well received outings on Black Jukebox, Quintessentials and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. His return to the popular imprint is of course a successful one, with each of the four tracks proving particularly alluring. He begins with the drowsy, blues-sampling cut-up deep house bump of "Wait On Me", before reaching for the crunchy disco drums, cowbells and funky bass guitar on the Holy Ghost-goes-house vibes of "El Meloncito". Elsewhere, "The Semimodular Bird of Jazz" is a fine bit of dusty deep house/jazz-house fusion, while "Definitely and Completely Mayor" is a slightly off-kilter dancefloor work out rich in poignant pianos and quirkily swung drums.
Review: Toytonics' latest offering is a four-track EP from the South London duo of Chris Watson ad Chris Coupe. Opener 'Encounters' has something of an early Madhouse feel to its warping organ lines and strange, spoken male vocal, while 'Flat Psych' takes us into tripped-out Afro pastures. 'B Glaser' is a real hotch-potch of influences - it starts out with chanted vox and African percussion, and ends up sounding like an early 90s bleep/dub fusion - and then finally there's 'Just Atmosphere', five minutes of near-instrumental chuggery topped with distorted, spoken vox. An EP for those who like their house on the leftfield side.
Review: Berlin house head Hard Ton returns to the Toytonics label he inaugurated last year with another round of jacking 90s vocal house. "Food From Love" has all the electrofunk tendencies of his last Toytonics release, combining a raw drum machine rhythm with midnight keys and a rising arpeggio which perfectly complements the yearning Bronski Beat-esque vocal. "From Club To Club" meanwhile wears its rave influences a little more explicitly on its sleeve, with a bubbling acid line and neon house stabs popping off in the background, while the pitched down backing vocals offer a subtle contrast to its companion. "Food Of Love" is also given a rather stunningly deep rework by the legendary DJ Sprinkles, who adds his own meandering bassline and latin percussion elements to give the whole thing a welcome bit of swing, before soaring off on an improvised piano line at the end.
Review: New German imprint Toy Tonics launch with panache and style, scooping up the instantly familiar Hard Ton for the hard jacking, high pitched action of the Not Again EP. According to the press release, Toy Tonics' remit is to focus on Berlin-centric artists whose music references 90s house and German electrofunk, which makes Hard Ton an obvious candidate. The title track "Not Again" is a glorious combination of fully primed drum machine funk, rich analogue bass, raved up keyboard stabs, deviating acid lines and of course Hard Ton's singularly unique holler. The ever dependable Snuff Crew are a perfect choice to remix the track, stripping down the melodic excesses and introducing their own unpredictable acid refrain and uber raved stabs to give the track a fresh look. Hard Ton's "In This Moment" throws down expansive keys and pads over rigidly framed "Set It Off" drums and it's given a looser, uplifting, almost 90s freestyle sheen by Dimitri From Paris and DJ Rocca.
Review: Whether delivering slo-mo disco loop jams, heady deep house groovers or boogie-powered improvisations, Harry Wolfman can usually be relied upon to bring the goods. There's certainly plenty to enjoy on the producer's first EO for Toy Tonics, not least the lolloping, sample-heavy goodness of opener "Stromboli", where soulful vocal snippets, jammed-out Amp Fiddler style synths and sumptuous chords amble around a brilliantly loose deep house beat. Wolfman goes deeper still on the dusty warmth of "The Rickest of Rick" - all elastic jazz-funk bass, tactile stabs and heavily manipulated vocal samples - before donning his Speedos for a shirtless romp through jazzy deep house/disco fusion on the decidedly sun-kissed "The Accord".
Review: Berlin's Toy Tonics present Mushroom House - a series for 'Indie Afro Disco House' now in its fifth edition. Stockholm's Art Alfie made a lot of great records with partner in crime Mr.Tophat and is part of the Studio Barnhus crew. His deep and minimalist slow burner "Dance To The Conga" will hypnotise you into submission. Harry Wolfman has released on Lost My Dog, Under the Shade and Dirt Crew - and is a specialist in that they call 'underwater house'. He presents a dusty, urban flavoured jam here called "Downstream" which wouldn't have sounded out of place on a label like Money $ex. There is also great track by The Barking Dogs - two guys from Milan who run Serendeepity Records. "Mamarracho" is a raw, old-school house jam featuring Marcelo Burton's sleazy deadpan vocals. Lastly, a 'psychoboogie' jam by Jacky Mingo and Kapote in the form of "Make It Hot" was made in three hours in Berlin last summer, while 42 degrees in the studio!
Review: Fresh from an inspired EP on Beats of No Nation, Jad Lee returns to regular home Toy Tonics with another rock-solid, four-track salvo. The Aussie adventurer hits the ground running with "Strings That Never Win", a rolling deep house/disco house hybrid full of attractive orchestral samples, crunchy Clavinet lines and drowsy backing vocals. He brilliantly doffs a cap to vintage Italian dream house on the rather luscious and kaleidoscopic "Accidental Audi Driver", before wrapping a bustling, slack-tuned house groove with dewy-eyed melody lines and rubbery synth-bass on the deeper "Familiar Family Photo". Best of all, though, is loved-up, synth-heavy closer "Tops Off FM Radio", which sits somewhere between lucid Balearic deep house and soft-touch nu-disco.
Review: Having previously impressed with an EP of shuffling deep house disco on Gazeebo International, Australian musician/producer Jad Lee drops an EP of woozy, floor-friendly deepness on Toy Tonics. "Do It Get Up" is indicative of his trademark sound, delivering a strobelight-friendly fusion of chunky bottom-end, wiry synths and thickset chords. Kolombo remixes, offering up a delightfully wonky, stripped-back version that sounds like Sweet Exorcist making nu-disco, under the influence of helium. "Tipsy" throws some weighty electrofunk bass into the mix with impressive results, while the boogie sampling "Lovin" tickles and teases with its blend of jackin' beats and Tiger and Woods-ish cut-ups.
Review: Rather like a ladyboy, Aussie producer Jad Lee, packs a little extra than expected. Often seen as a nu-disco re-edit guy, Lee actually has been making big international waves with increasingly deep and quirky house productions too. "The Swazi Techno Funk Truck" is as long as its name - seven minutes of lean and shimmering mechanical acid-funk. "Be My Friend" is a jazzy voodoo throbber, while the title track, "Namibian Gold" appears as both a deep and percussive Afro-house "Gold" Version" and a woozy 303-led "Acid Version".
Review: Toy Tonics are getting their money's worth out of Kapote. Since making his debut for the label 18 months ago, the Berlin-based producer has had a hand in no less than four other EPs. There's no messing around on this latest four-track missive, as he launches himself at the dancefloor with the rubbery, punk-funk bass, fizzing percussion and jazzy disco samples of "The Nose". He heads for smoother, groovier deep house pastures on "Get Down Brother", before dipping the tempo a little on the shuffling, pie-eyed disco-house goodness of "Uhh Baby". That track also gets the remix treatment from Irish twosome Brame & Hamo, whose jazzy-but-driving interpretation makes excellent use of clattering drum machine hi-hats.
Review: Kapote is head honcho down at Toy Tonics HQ in Berlin with Manuel Kim and Bavarians Munk. He presents the label's latest offering in the form of The Body Move EP. It starts off with the funky and disco-fied jam that is the title track and then moves into "Tell Tony" which continues on in a deep and filtered fashion reminiscent of early Daft Crew releases: full of whirly synths and rough beats beneath. Finally, you can recline for the lo-slung acid jazz inflections of "L.O.V.E.". This is slow grooving dance music. In the words of the label, nothing is stressed here: just mid-tempo house with live played bass, keyboards and plenty of warm harmonies.
Review: Berlin's Kapote has fast become a staple of local label Toy Tonics - this will be his fifth release on the imprint in as little as three years. These remixes by some of the top names in house music are equally as worth your while: "Temptation" from last year's EP of the same name gets a remix by Real J: dusty, blissful lo-fi shenanigans from the street in typical Berliner style - much like Money $ex et al. "LOVE" from the Body Move EP (also from 2017) receives a makeover from Swedish wunderkind Art Alfie and is a right stompin' affair that you could imagine hearing up at Panorama Bar on a Sunday night. Then we get treated to a journey down the cosmic hole by Italians Marvin & Guy on their Obscure mix of "Tonite", while FYI Chris' remix of "Salvation" goes down a deeper route on this emotive and swing fuelled number that gallops along quite nicely.
Review: Here is the first album on Berlin based Toy Tonics by label chief Kapote aka Mathias Modica: the Italo- German label owner, DJ and producer originally from Munich. His label stands for advanced funk-inspired dance music and that sure is evident on 'What Is It?', featuring plenty of live instruments, solos, clever uses of rare samples and a wide range of musical inspirations. Highlights not limited to: the slo-mo disco funk of "Jaas Func Haus", the sexy Italo disco edit "Delirio Italiano", deeply filtered disco house on "Fuck Music" (Short) right through to the block rockin' beats of "Salva Tion" proving there is a diverse repertoire in Modica's sonic acts here.