Dave Lee aka Joey Negro (up until 2020 and a long list of other aliases) founded London-based label Z Records in 1990. Z Records followed on from his 1988-established label Republic Records, ‘which remains for many, the foundation stone of the UK house scene’. From disco to house, funk and soul, anything that Z Records touches sparkles like diamonds under any disco ball. Stand-out releases from the label include Joey Negro’s ‘Make A Move On Me’, his extended disco mix of Christopher Cross’ ‘Run Like The Wind’ and Moodena’s remix of ‘Big Blow’.
Want Me Back (Jimpster Jazz'd Up remix) - (6:27) 122 BPM
Want Me Back (Jimpster Peak Time Deepness) - (6:27) 122 BPM
Want Me Back - (6:52) 117 BPM
Review: In which UK deep house legend Jamie 'Jimpster' Odell remixes a track culled from Dave Lee's 'Produced With Love 2' album, with predictably fine results. 'Want Me Back' in its Original form finds Dave donning his Mistura hat and teaming up with Toronto-based poet Jemini on a spoken-vocalled cut that's not dissimilar in feel to Akabu's classic 'Ride The Storm', while Jamie's two remixes - Jimpster's Jazz'd Up and Jimpster Peaktime Deepness - do pretty much exactly what you'd expect them to, in the best possible way. An absolute must for deep, soulful and disco house jocks alike.
Review: As usual, Z Records' annual compilation of catalogue tracks doing business over on the White Isle is packed to the rafters with high-grade dancefloor treats. It opens with a sweltering Dave Lee and Harry Romero mix of Z Factor's '90s house classic 'Ride The Rhythm' and ends with Lee's string-laden disco rework of Foreal People's 'Does It Feel Good To You'; in between, you'll find an attractive mixture of bouncy Afro-boogie revivalism (Emmaculate's extended mix of 'Dougswana' by Dave Lee as Doug Willis), reworked Z Records classics (Atjazz giving a classic-but-percussive deep house feel to Jakatta's 'American Dream'), super-soulful house (Wipe The Needle),driving disco-house (Prospect Park) and breezy piano house (Sean McCabe's 'Italo Piano' mix of Soul Dhamma). As the old clich? goes, this is genuinely "all killer, no filler".
Review: Dave Lee's first Produced With Love album was not only a celebration of his production credentials, but also a celebration of the music that has inspired and shaped his career over the years, namely soul, disco, boogie, jazz-funk and house. This follow-up, which lands 5 years after its predecessor, continues in a similar vein, with Lee offering up 12 new songs and a wealth of remixes of tracks by other artists. As you'd expect, it's an on-point collection, with the many highlights including the soulful disco-boogie bounce of Raw Essence hook-up 'Do It Again', the Omar-sporting dancefloor sunshine of 'Starlight', the boogie/soulful house fusion of 'Love Walked In The Roo his hot-stepping two-step disco tweak of Roland Whitingale's 'In Your Blood' and a string-laden disco rework of 'Mountains' by The Vision.
Review: Four mixes to choose from of this latest offering from UK disco don Dave Lee, which sees him teaming up with male vocalist Lifford and reassuming an alias (Raw Essence) that he hasn't used for about 20 years or so. The Extended Album Mix rocks pure early 80s boogie vibes, executed of course with Lee's usual impeccable production values, while the Dub It Again Mix brings the 80s synths forward. Lazywax's vocal and instrumental remixes, meanwhile, strip things right back to bare bones and as such may work better on those floors that lean more to the soul (as opposed to disco) side of the street.
Review: No, Essex's favourite disco don hasn't had a senior moment and accidentally covered Supermen Lovers' early 00s commercial house smash. Instead, he's teamed up with UK soul legend Omar on a brand new track that's... well, pretty much as unmissable as you'd expect a collaboration between Dave Lee and Omar to be! 'Starlight' comes served in fairly self-explanatory Club Edit, Extended Album Mix and Extended Instrumental rubs - I'd head for the album mix if I were you, because that's where a truly sublime jazz-funk piano line worthy of Rodney F himself gets to really shine though in all its glory.
Review: 'Garden of Love' is now one of the oldest tracks in the bulging back catalogue of Dave Lee's jazz-funk and boogie inspired Sunburst Band outfit. It was first featured on the outfit's debut album Here Comes The Sunburst Band and has been remixed a number of times since. The latest to give the track a good seeing to are Heist Recording chiefs Dam Swindle. Their take is driving but groovy, with the band's original instrumentation - dazzling Rhodes electric piano motifs, jazzy boogie bass, spiralling synth sounds - and vocalisations riding a bumping deep house beat. Lee provides his own re-edit of their remix, chopping it down slightly while alternating between the more euphoric and stripped-back sections of the Dam Swindle interpretation.
Review: One of the soul scene's most influential DJs, it's little surprise that Colin Curtis' Jazz Dance Fusion compilations on Z Records have been so impressive. He's dived even deeper into his vast record collection on this third volume, serving up a fine array of both classic cuts and sought-after obscurities. There's naturally plenty of Latin jazz on show - the backbone of the jazz-dance scene since the 1970s - but also forays into spiritual jazz, Hammond-heavy dancefloor workouts (see the sweaty 'Yatra Ta' by Martin Johnson), soul-jazz (JuJu), energy-packed percussion jams (GeeW) and Afro-Latin fusion (The Drive).
Review: Londoner Wipe The Needle (real name Lee Gomez) has previously proved adept at blurring the boundaries between soulful house, broken beat and jazz-funk, an undeniably attractive hybrid sound in keeping with the recent bruk revival. In its' original mix form (track two), 'On Time', his first outing for Z Records, is a brilliant slub of bruk-up boogie-funk smothered in spring-friendly soul - think woozy synths, crunchy broken beats, aqua-funk bass, twinkling jazz pianos and sublime lead vocals from Tornoto's Sacha Williamson. There's a vocal free dub of that take tagged onto the end of the EP, plus two '4x4' house versions: a stunning, EP-opening full vocal version that's simply gorgeous, and a killer, slightly stripped back 'dubstrumental' mix that pushes the killer bassline to the fore.
Review: Two new remixes here of this Afro-flavoured production by Dave Lee in his Doug Wilis guise, which first came out back in 2007, and which was also remixed by Audiowhores the following year. The man picked to do the honours for 2022 is Emmaculate, AKA Chicago's Eric Welton, who doesn't flip the script too much, retaining the hi-life-ish feel of the Original but now augmenting the Rhodes that took the lead first time around with some scorching sax work. An Instrumental is also supplied, so if you'd rather dispense with the chanted male vox, you can.
Review: Older heads, don't get it twisted! This isn't, as I first thought, our man Dave revisiting the Sharone track of the same name that came out on his Republic label way back in 1989, but rather a brand new cut that's serve up in a choice of three mixes. The Dave Lee Destination Boogie Mix is aptly titled and hence fairly self-explanatory, but as appealing as that sugar-sweet female vocal is, it's his Taste The Bass Dub that wins out for yours truly. Again, little explanation required there - and the same goes for the acapella that completes the package.
Review: A slightly confusing release this, because these appear to be remixes of a track that's never actually been released in its original form. With no social media presence whatsoever, we'll also assume Risque Connection is another new alias for Mr Lee himself, the name presumably a nod to reggae producer Joe Isaacs' late 70s disco covers outfit Risco Connection. As for the record itself... well, you know Norma Jean Wright's 1978 original, and you probably know Lee's 2000 take with Taka Boom and East 57th Street's 1997 version with Donna Allen as well! No big surprises here, then, but with Gray and Lee at the helm you can't really go wrong, can you?
Review: Dave Lee's annual round-up of 'essential' cuts from the catalogue of his Z Records imprint is always worth picking up, and this year's edition is no different. Packed with high-grade disco, deep house and what would once have been called 'US garage' (that's soulful house, kids), it's a near faultless selection that will keep you in peak-time anthems for months to come. Our picks of an extremely strong bunch include the electric piano-heavy, downlow disco-funk bounce of 'In Your Blood' (a rare collaboration between Lee, Darcus and Roland Wrightangle), Sean McCabe's lusciously warm and groovy take on Matty, Monique and Monique Bingham's 'Now What', Andres' loopy, boogie-tinged deep house version of Joey Negro and Sacha Williamson's 'I Recognise', and Backroom Productions' recently reissued rework of their own 'The Rhythm' (as The Power).
Review: 'In Your Blood' first cropped up on a 'Remixed With Love' release, which implies Roland Wrightangle & Darcus are real people and not just another new alias for the many-hatted Mr Lee, but we can't be entirely certain! Either way, 'In Your Blood' is certainly authentically 70s-sounding whichever of the three mixes you plump for - the raw, looping funk of the Dave Lee In The Music Mix, a slightly deeper/mellower/jazzier rub from Ron Basejam, or the fairly self-explanatory Dave Lee Bloody Dubby mix. Proof, were any required, that the boy from Essex still does it better than most!
Review: There's the Dave Lee who makes chart-busting dance anthems, there's the Dave Lee who's behind 23,497 disco cut-ups... and then there's the Dave Lee who's been responsible for some of the must sumptuous, soulful and sophisticated house music of the past 30 years. These remixes of US vocalist Liz Yancey AKA Ja'Shay's 1998 cut 'Shout Hallelujah', you'll be glad to hear, find us firmly in the latter territory - whether you plump for the main Redemption Mix, drop down a little deeper with the Brotherhood Dub or get creative with the Acapella, this is class in a glass, and a must for the soulful house lovers.
Review: Essex's own disco don Dave Lee reassumes his late 90s/early 00s Prospect Park mantle for this Saturday night-friendly outing on his own long-running Z Records. There are no major surprises on offer, it has to be said - this is straight-up disco/soulful house of the kind that could have come out at any point in the past 25 years. What must ALSO be said, though, is that Dave does this sound waaaaay better than most - having helped invent it! - and with self-explanatory Disco Re-Shake and Jazzy Re-Shake mixes on offer, fans will be more than satisfied, with the latter's fluid jazz-funk geetar winning out for yours truly.
Review: After several successful releases together, UK soulful house stalwart Sean McCabe returns to ZR, this time for a remix/mix album. We handed over the keys to the vaults of Z Records parts and let him run wild in his underpants. The album features 6 new exclusive McCabe remixes - Monique Bingham, Blackbyrds, The Sunburst Band and Soul Dharma, plus Sean's interpretation of an unreleased Akabu song Time Line". That's all alongside many of Sean's classic remixes, plus his personal favourites from the extensive ZR catalog and a DJ mix.
Review: Horse Meat Disco and Dave Lee previously collaborated on a number of tracks for the former's fine debut album, Love and Dancing, so it's no surprise to see them revisit their previous hook-up with Angela Johnson, 'Dancing Into The Stars'. Lee kicks off proceedings with a 'Super Soulful' mix that joins the dots between warming deep, soulful house, colourful jazz-funk and joyous boogie, before Horse Meat Disco channel the spirit of Patrick Cowley on their throbbing 'Dub Wise Vocal Mix'. Arguably best of all though is the EP-closing 'extended DJ Friendly edit', a ten-minute chunk of celebratory disco-boogie brilliance that's as positive, sunny and cheery as you'd expect.
Review: As the title suggests, this fantastic - and let's face it, pleasingly epic - compilation showcases some of the many disco-centric cuts in the Z Records vaults, throwing in a few exclusives (see Dave Lee's fantastic, hybrid disco-boogie rework of Firefly's 'Love is Gonna Be on Your Side') for good measure. Such is the high-quality threshold that picking stand outs is tough, but our picks of a very strong bunch include the slick, boogie-funk brilliance of Crackazat's 'Sensationalized', Larry Levan's vintage, delay-heavy synth dub of Johnny Dynell's 'Rhythm of Love', the stomping disco-house release of 'Gotta Thing (2021 Remaster)' by Foreal People, Taana Gardner and Dave Lee, and John Morales' epic rework of Sean McCabe's 'Love For Life'. As the old saying goes, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: While Dave Lee has donned many aliases over the years, and worked on many projects, you get the feel that the Sunburst Band, his musician-led tribute to the jazz-funk, disco and boogie of his youth, brings him most joy. 'Listen Love', the first new Sunburst Band single for some time, is certainly a joyous and exuberant affair, especially in its EP-opening 'Jazz Funk Renaissance Mix' form. This is little less than a carnival-ready dance through Brazilian jazz-funk pastures topped off by a superb, partially improvised lead vocal from Wayne Hernandez. Louie Vega and Josh Milan join forces to deliver two headline grabbing reworks: an expansive, full vocal Latin house take and a driving dancefloor dub that's as sweaty and breathless as they come.
Review: Glitterbox resident Dr Packer is a leading light of the contemporary disco scene, while Dave Lee was arguably THE key architect of the whole post-house disco phenomenon in the first place. So when the former helms a compilation on the latter's label, you'd expect great things, and suffice to say you're very unlikely to be disappointed. Hell, for this writer the deep n' sultry JN Revival Mix of early 90s classic 'Do What You Feel' is worth the price of admission on its own, but with Packer's own remixes of label favourites making up over a third of the tracklist, the collection as a whole is pretty much unmissable.
Review: Fresh off a run of hot remixes for Glitterbox is Razor'n'Tape's JKriv who turns the disco arpeggios up to 11 with his soaring remix of Prospect Park's 'The Kinda Love'. Complete with real live strings, rattling percussion and the powerhouse vocals of Yolanda Wynns. JKriv also turns in a completely different more Chic-esque version on his 'Kinda Boogie' Mix. Packing away the synths and bringing the live disco bass and guitar into the spotlight.
Review: Second time around for the Sunburst Band's 'He Is', a track that first featured on the revivalist disco, soul and jazz-funk outfit's 2004 album The End of Time. This time round the headline attraction is a fresh revision from Freerange co-founder Jimpster, who combines snippets of the band's rich, organic instrumentation with his own drowsy late-night chords, tough beats and booming bass to deliver a properly driving, ultra-deep club rocker. Those who like energy and dreaminess will love it. The EP also offers another chance to listen to band founder Dave Lee's 2005 'Club Mix', a rather fine fusion of bustling deep house and glassy-eyed jazz-funk flourishes that boasts some seriously soaring improvised vocals and synth solos to die for.
Review: The release of Dave Lee's annual Essentials collection on Z Records - a kind of "best of the year" from his now 30-year-old imprint - is fast becoming as much of a Christmas tradition as family arguments, disappointing presents and undercooked turkey. Predictably the 2020 edition is once again up to scratch, with the much-loved Essex producer showcasing some seriously good disco, deep house, soulful house and revivalist dancefloor jazz-funk. Our picks of a very strong bunch include the rushing, sunshine soulfulness of Crackazat's 'Waterfalls', the Vision's 2020 re-rub of Jakatta and Seal classic 'My Vision', Michael Gray's extra-percussive disco-house take on Hi Voltage's 'Let's Get Horny', the celebratory brilliance of Art of Tones and Anduze's 'Flower Child', and the Shur-I-Kan's previously unreleased instrumental rework of Mistura's 'Smikle For Me'.
Review: Deep inside the annals of Bill Brewster's book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (essential reading), Colin Curtis is not only credited as being one of the first to introduce mixing to British nightclubs but moreover his influence in bringing African-American and Latin music to the point of spawning a split in the Northern soul movement and modern soul sub genres. Admired and adored worldwide, the legendary selector has been commissioned for a second volume of Jazz Dance Fusion by Dave Lee's Z Records, with this various artist edition delivering a select showcase of unreleased material from Curtis's private vaults that highlights his love for dancefloor jazz, vocal numbers and percussive influences Colin Curtis style. All that jazz.
Review: Back in 2016, Crackazat launched the Period Works series as a vehicle for productions that explicitly paid tribute to his influences and inspirations, and in particular his love of glossy, musically rich 1990s US house and garage. Four years on, he's decided to gather together the tracks released so far in one place, adding a trio of previously unheard creations and a couple of bonus remixes to create Period Works - The Album. Highlights are plentiful, from the authentic 1970s disco rush of superb opener 'Waterfalls' and the classic Masters at Work shuffle of 'Fire Drift', to the 'Brazilian Rhyme'-goes-piano house rush of 'Fly Away' and the big room US garage bounce of 'I'll Be There'. The included squelchy, synth-laden rework of Sean McCabe's 'Holding On' is also superb.
Review: This is the 300th release from Dave Lee's Z Records, who also celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. 'Power Of The Mind' bites an uplifting 80s male soul vocal from the Valentine Brothers, who are best known for 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' (as later covered by Simply Red), placing it atop crisp 4/4s, a heavyweight disco bassline, organ parps and vintage-style hands-in-the-air pianos, the end result being a timeless piece of disco-fuelled house music that's built with Saturday night peaktime play firmly in mind, and that's served in simple vocal and dub flavas. Impeccable stuff - long may they continue!
Review: There's plenty of gold to be found in Dave Lee's back catalogue, and by extension plenty of killer cuts that are ripe for remixing. The latest archival track to get a new lick of sonic paint is 'My Vision', a collaboration with beloved '90s soul-pop star (and Adamski collaborator) Seal that first appeared on Lee's 2002 album as Jakatta, Visions. The remixer is, fittingly, The Vision, a fast-rising collaboration between Ben Westbeech and Christian 'Kon' Taylor. Their revision of 'My Vision' is little less than stunning, with Seal's spinetingling lead vocal rising above an attractive bed of driving bass, old school piano stabs and stomping beats. The pair's ear-catching piano parts come to the fore on the accompanying Dub, which is almost as essential as their full vocal version.
Review: The artist formally known as Joey Negro aka Dave Lee brings together a fresh and unique compilation with partner in sound Will Fox that dives deep into the west end sound of London's broken beat, soul and two-step scene. Featuring tracks from the likes of Bugz In The Attic, Jazzanova and Atjazz to 4 Hero and Sunburst Band, we've pulled up numbers like NSM's deep, woozy and downtempo "DJ Power (Use It)" to Jazztronik's piano-laden and garaged influenced "Samurai". Sweet, warm and deeply vocal still is Afronaut & Melissa Browne's "Transcend M.E." with a stripped back, breathy and stepping number from Mark de Clive-Lowe, with Likwid Biskit's closing track "The All New Ummm" surfing into some balmy, LA beat-scene territory.
Review: Here's a pleasant surprise: a brand-new collaboration between the artist formerly known as Joey Negro, Dave Lee, his expansive disco/jazz-funk combo The Sunburst Band, and contemporary salsa master Claudio Passavanti AKA Sunlightsquare. As you might expect given the musicians and producers involved, what we get is a gloriously warm, organic, sun-kissed and celebratory chunk of Latin disco, with Rene Alvarez providing a superb Spanish lead vocal. Lee delivers vocal and instrumental variations of his action-packed "Latin Escapade" mix, while Passavanti's Sunlightsquare Club Mix opts for more loose-limbed drums, more space in the mix, and tons of sparkling, boogie-style synths. Oh, and a more prominent role for the cheery, salsa-style lead vocal.
Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: To coincide with Z Records' 30th birthday, boss man Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro has been sourcing new remixes of classic back catalogue cuts. Here he showcases the latest, which sees Tropical Disco label mainstay Moodena work his magic on the Sunburst Band's "Big Blow", a track first featured on the Lee-helmed combo's 1998 debut album. Moodena makes the most of the original track's low-down disco-funk feel, looping up the original groove, underpinning it with bouncy new house drums and making the most of Lee and company's brilliant instrumentation (think wah-wah guitar snippets, addictive horn blasts, rich electric piano keys and rubbery bass guitar). It's the kind of rolling, rock-solid revision that sounds like it will cause dancefloor devastation every time it's played.
Review: Although French veteran Ludovic Llorca has previously provided remixes for Z Records, "Flower Child" marks the first time one of his original productions has appeared on Dave Lee's long-serving label. While there are naturally some subtle nods towards Llorca's classic house sound in the track, it's little less than a flash-fried chunk of disco revivalism that brilliantly wraps period instrumentation - crunchy Clavinets, funk-rock style guitar licks, slap bass and sweeping strings - and a soulful lead vocal around live-sounding beats that are guaranteed to get you up and dancing. It's accompanied by a similarly impressive instrumental version, which wile a little less impactful is nevertheless a genuine aural treat.
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
Review: Somewhat bizarrely, in 1978 Penthouse magazine funded the making of an album of particularly sexually charged disco tracks by the Love Symphony Orchestra, an all-star studio band helmed by producer/arranger Mitch Forber. The standout track was "Let Me Be Your Fantasy", a breathless, ten-minute disco climax that was as sweet as it was sleazy. Here it gets the remix treatment courtesy of Glitterbox regular and rework maestro Dr Packer. His version is a little looser and more carnival-ready than the 1978 original, with the track's familiar string, Clavinet and guitar riffs, which all mimic the killer bassline, being joined by what sound like brand new beats and more whistles than your average turn-of-the-90s rave. It's a fine revision that should introduce the track - and slightly odd project - to a whole new audience.
Review: Another week, another new set of hot-to-trot remixes from Joey Negro, a man we're convinced never sleeps. This time round, the Essex-raised veteran has turned his attention to "Reflections of a Disco Ball", a 2015 single by soul-funk/jazz-funk combo Mothers Favourite Child featuring vocals from Tanya Tiet. The Z Records boss first offers up a smooth, full vocal "Club Remix" that wraps the group's Reel People style instrumentation, vocals and cut-glass strings around one of his famous hybrid disco/house grooves. Arguably even better is the accompanying "Affirming Dub", a largely vocal-free rework that makes far more of the superb string parts, twinkling pianos and the part-live, part-programmed groove.
Review: Unbelievably, this much-sampled classic will be 20 years old next year. No doubt there'll be more new mixes on the way then, but in the meantime there's this very serviceable refix from deep house men-of-the-moment Saison. The London duo wisely leave those very familiar sweeping, string-like pads and Ms Clifford's spoken vocal to retain centre stage and concentrate their efforts on the bottom end, supplying a bassline and tough-but-muted drums to make the track more easily programmable for a new generation of DJs...some of whom won't even have been born when it was first released, but let's not dwell on that!
Review: We can think of few DJs more suited to compile a retrospective of killer 1990s house and garage than Z Records boss Joey Negro and Fanatix member Neil Pierce. It's perhaps unsurprising then that this follow-up to Negro's admired 2015 compilation is packed to the rafters with must-have treats. There are naturally some suitably big cuts present - see Kerri Chandler's fine mix of N-Joi's "Anthem" and Todd Terry's rub of Martha Walsh's "Runaround" - but for the most part the selections will be new to all but a small collection of veteran US garage enthusiasts. Our highlights include the riff-powered goodness of Slam Mode's "100% Power", Marshall Jefferson's deep dub of Screamin' Rachael's "Rock Me" and the soulful rush of Donald O's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright".