Review: We were rather astonished to discover that "24/7 Love Affair" is Michael Baumann's first album as Soulphiction for 11 years. We were a little less surprised to find that it's superb. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that it could be considered a "best practice" example of the kind of loose, sample-heavy, soul-fired deep house that is all the rage right now. Yet the album's epic length - it comprises no less than 17 tracks - also allows Baumann to mix it up a little too, with a swathe of ocean-deep club jams being joined by search diversions as the morning-fresh broken beat loveliness of "Jus Listen", the stomping disco-funk of "The Mood", the bustling breakbeats of "A Freak" and the blazed instrumental hip-hop of "Good Night Ema".
Review: Shady scalpel field Lolita clearly has a vast archive of edits just waiting to be unleashed, as this bumper collection of tried-and-tested reworks follows hot on the heels from several other seemingly expansive volumes. So what you we expect this time round? It begins with a warm, drowsy and sun-kissed slab of soft focus soul ("051") and ends with a decidedly Balearic shuffler full of glistening, delay-laden guitars ("060"); in between, you'll find a mix of re-tooled classics (the piano-heavy disco stomp of "059", the slap-bass propelled brilliance of peak-time workout "056" and the party-starting goodness of "055") and rearranged obscurities (the Italo-disco/new wave throb of "057" and the deep disco bliss of "053"). From start to finish, it's an excellent collection of tasty, floor-focused revisions.
Review: Almost three years have passed since Philadelphia duo Superprince debuted on Razor 'N' Tape with a vinyl-only EP of rather good re-edits. Here that four-tracker finally makes it to digital download. It's worth picking up, if only for the flute-laden, horn-heavy bounciness of down-low disco-funk rework "Strong Feeling" (a fine revision of Morning, Noon & Night's "Feelin' Strong"). The highlights down end there, either, with "Down On Bitter End" providing a chunky, peak-time-ready revision of a Vicki Sue Robinson disco anthem, "Start Again" offering a breezy new spin on a lesser celebrated One Way cut and "Up Up To The Sky" turning Silver Convention's "Fly Robin Fly" into a hypnotic chunk of mid-tempo disco hedonism.
Review: There's something impressively "matter of fact" about Audaz's "Lolita" series, which offers up numbered, untitled re-edits with no information about their origin or the producer behind them (it's most likely label boss Alkalino, but that's not been confirmed). This fifth selection brings offers up another 10 slabs of dancefloor heat that ranges from sneaky revisions of well-known party anthems (see Prince re-rub "042" and the vaguely familiar 80s soul goodness of the D-Train style synth warmth that is "043"), to strong rearrangements of lesser known boogie, Italo-disco and AOR disco workouts. Highlights include the breezy disco-funk of "044", the end-of-night haziness of "046" and the snaking sax lines and Latin rhythms of "047".
Review: Belgian techno heroine Charlotte de Witte presents the first of a new double EP here. On the subject of the release, De Witte says that this duality is essential to explore her interests, both as a producer and DJ, and it was only natural to release them simultaneously for release on her ever reliable KNTXT imprint. The Selected EP features three stark and austere expressions in main room, peak time techno such as "Form" and "Time" - all featuring the signature grunt of the Roland TB-303 throughout, while final cut "Amar" is a sublime and soothing ambient cut that's perfect to close the EP out.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a brand new album from sometime Classic Music Co contributor Eli Escobar, a producer who has proved to be one of the most distinctive and consistent in house music over the last few years. "Last Summer" contains a mixture of short interludes and inspired, almost uniformly dancefloor-friendly workouts that bring together a range of complimentary influences. Our picks include the atmospheric and acid-fired deep house warmth of "Flashing Lights", the muscular peak-time Moroder-isms of "(All Night) Rhythm", the melodious, sun-kissed Balearic house brilliance of "Blu" and the woozy warmth of "Last Night".
Review: When operating under the V's Edits alias, re-edit maestro Valique can always be relied upon to bring the goods. It's little surprise, then, to find out that his latest collection of fresh cut-jobs - an epic affair featuring no less than 24 tracks - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. We don't have enough space to list all of the highlights, but we'd suggest checking out his rolling revision of Lee Dorsey's "Night People", the low-slung disco-funk heaviness of the Brass Construction rework ("Gotta Do It"), the intergalactic disco deepness of the Marvin Gaye revision ("Funky Space"), the lightly tooled-up, slowly unfurling take on Tom Browne's "Funkin For Jamaica" and the sweeping, string-laden disco brilliance of "Miracle (V's Edit)".
Review: There's much to admire about Kamaal Williams' contribution to the long running DJ Kicks series, not least the producer, DJ and keyboardist's blend of self-made exclusives (both under his name and his alternative Henry Wu alias) and largely overlooked gems. Highlights in the former category include a stunning live version of "Snitches Brew", the jazzy Latin house of "Projections" (a Henry Wu hook-up with Earl Jeffers) and "Lowrider", a jazz guitar-propelled cut from his collaborative Yusuf Kamaal project. In the latter category, we'd suggest wrapping your ears around Awanto 3's dusty and ultra-deep "Pregnant", the deep jazz-funk bliss of Diggs Duke's "Cause I Love You", the up-tempo dancefloor soul of Peven Everett's "Stuck" and the slow motion wonder that is Steve Spacek's "Hey There".
Review: Audaz certainly seem keen to get these 'Lolita' re-edits out there: this third installment follows hot on the heels of Vol 2, which only landed last week! Once again there are 10 tracks to choose from, with the source material once again ranging from vintage funk, soul and disco to 80s pop and beyond. '021' is based on an unknown cover of the Timmy Thomas/Sade classic 'Why Can't We Live Together' and '022' reworks The Floaters' mellow soul classic 'Float On', while '026' (source familiar-sounding but unidentified!) has an EBM/Italo kinda feel and '025' loops up The Detroit Emeralds' 1972 funk/soul gem 'Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)'.
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: Audaz serve up a second set of re-edits by the mysterious Lolita. Whether label boss Alkalino or an anonymous backroom boffin are to thank we couldn't say, but whoever it is they take on an impressive range of source material, from Gene Pitney ('020') to 80s synth-poppers Alphaville ('013') via Talking Heads ('019'), Stargard ('016'), Laura Branigan ('014') and even a cover of Hank Williams' country classic 'Kaw-Liga' by new wave weirdos The Residents ('017') - all of which are given a druggy, chuggy makeover for today's nu-disco floors, with '015' (a take on 1979's 'Marathon Runner' by August Darnell and Bob Blank's Aural Exciters project) a particular standout.
Review: Going by the volume of tracks on show, it would be fair to say that Masterworks Music's "Bag of Tricks" is not a little handbag, but more like a Mary Poppins style bottomless carpetbag. The label's latest rummage through its seemingly endless contents has been a successful one, with the 20 showcased cuts including a wealth of fine fusions of disco, house, boogie, electro and 80s soul. It's uniformly dancefloor-focused, with highlights including the Afro-house/disco-tech fusion of JB Dizzy, the driving, spaced-out disco-house grooves of Mike Woods, the loose-limbed, off-the-wall edits of Chewy Rubs, the sweet disco-soul bounce of RocknRolla Soundsystem, the delay-laden synth sing-along styles of Rayko and the hot-to-trot brilliance of Downunder Disco.
Review: Under the DJ Laurel alias, Lavr Berzhanin has proved to be one of Katakana Edits' most reliable re-editors of recent times. We've lost count of the number of EPs he's delivered for the prolific imprint, but they're all rather good - as is his latest expansive effort. There's much to get the blood pumping across the six-track salvo, with our favourites including the rubbery, bouncy and glassy-eyed disco bliss of "All I've Got", the soaring, horn-heavy soundscape disco-soul shuffle of "Battend Ships" [sic], the blue-eyed soul goes drum and bass bounce of "Cookie" and the wah-wah guitar sporting two-step soul goodness of closing cut "Annie Mae". In other words, it's another rock solid collection of tried and tested reworks.
Review: While he's not confirmed it either way, we're pretty sure that Lolita is a new re-edit alias of Audaz boss Alkalino - a producer who has been offering up tidy, scalpel style reworks since we were in short trousers. There's much to admire amongst the numbered, untitled tracks, from the gently housed-up soul bounce of "001" and the delightfully over-the-top disco pomposity of "003", to the throbbing disco-house cheeriness of "005", the deep house/soul fusion of "006" and the heavily percussive world music-meets-disco goodness of "009". Best of all, though, is the gritty disco-funk stomp of "008", a superb revision of a reggae disco-tinged cover of Donna Summer classic "I Feel Love".
Review: The Gourmet Beats team have had another fantastic year in our eyes, with some incredible EP's landing on their platform, propelling them to the top of the food chain. This latest four track extravaganza from Ternion Sound is a perfect example of the quality levels we are talking about as we kick off with the dusty vocal sampling and lethal bass chops of '5778'. Next, 'Limbo' arrives with a bag of groovy energy and smooth synthy bliss before 'Ukandu Ikandu' utilizes some extremely creative rhythmic delays for a really original creation. Finally, the warbling subs of 'Sound The Alarm' put the finishing touches on an excellent body of work.
Review: For the second volume in their ongoing "Disco Funkin" mix series, the Bomb Strikes crew has handed over the controls to former Tru Thoughts artists Flevans. While his DJ mix is naturally superb, it's the quality of the 23 unmixed, full-length tracks included in the package that makes the compilation a must-check. There are naturally a few recent disco-centric club hits present - see Lance Ferguson's terrific cover of Pleasure's "Joyous", Dimitri From Paris and Cotonete's remix of Izo FitzRoy's "I Want Magic" and Purple Disco Machine's warm and toasty revision of Kraak & Smaak's "Alone With You" - alongside lesser-known nu-disco, boogie and disco-funk treats from the likes of ATOA, Hotmood, Fouk, Michael The Lion and, of course, Flevans himself.
Review: Germany's Daniel Klein is a scene veteran whose career dates back to the early 90s, and who's DJ'd everywhere from Manumission to Tresor. Latterly, in his SIRS guise, he's been exploring retro disco and funk territory, which is where we find him on this, the project's debut long-player. The album as a whole can safely be filed under the 'nu disco' umbrella but there's enough variety on offer to ensure things never get dull, from soul- and boogie-infused nuggets like 'Night Wind' and 'All Night Long', to a Stee Downes-vocalled electro-disco cover of Tony Di Bart's 90s club fave 'The Real Thing'.