Review: Three years on from his latest solo outing, Crazy P's Chris Todd AKA Hot Toddy returns to House of Disco with a predictably fine EP. Our pick of a strong bunch is the tough, revivalist electrofunk flex of "Wilde Touch", where clipped guitar riffs, crunchy Clavinet lines and colourful melodies ride a rubbery bassline, though the Paper Recordings-era Crazy P deep house/disco fusion of "Still We Are" is also impressive. Speaking of Crazy P, lead singer Danielle Moore provides vocals on the Imagination-ish Brit-boogie business of "Positive Emotion", while the EP's other track, "Synthesize", is a darker and more spaced-out chunk of weighty, bassline-driven nu-boogie goodness. This digital edition also features a fine IPG rework of "Still We Are" that turns the track into a bass-heavy, spaced-out nu-disco epic.
Review: Thanks to a string of rock-solid releases on Toy Tonics and Slam City, amongst others, Rhode & Brown has proved to be one of the most reliable deep house duos of recent times. Here they prove their growing eclecticism via a superb EP for Permanent Vacation. Opener "Aku Aku" is superb, with the Munich-based duo cannily combining dreamy female vocal snippets, undulating acid lines, stirring chords and bubbly bass on a track that blurs the boundaries between deep house and Afro-house. Elsewhere, "Not My Mind, Not My Planet" is a rushing chunk of arpeggio-driven piano house/Italo-disco fusion, "Break 2 Break" is another rushing retro-futurist peak-time workout laden with rave style piano riffs, and "Cliches & Romantic Arguments" is a Tuff City Kids style chunk of synth-heavy Balearic house warmth.
Review: Having previously featured on some pretty hot labels over the last few years, most notably Midnight Riot, sometime Get Down Edits "family member" Jay Ru pops up on Hot Digits with his most expansive release to date. It begins a quartet of varied, sample-heavy productions, with highlights including the head-nodding, Beatdown style dancefloor soul bliss of opener "Such A Long Time", the bubbly, horn-heavy tropical nu-disco bounce of "Flippin' The Bird", and the multi-coloured, club-ready goodness of Fingerman hook-up "Sweet Hum". The equally as impressive remixes that follow include a superb bumping house meats nu-disco revision of "Movin' On" by Paul B, and a rolling, peak-time tweak of "Flippin' The Bird" by Fingerman and Chewy Rubs.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a high-profile collaboration between Balearic nu-disco don Aeroplane and veteran French DJ/producer/disco digger Dimitri From Paris. In its' original 'Extended Vocal" mix form, "Can't Get Enough" is a sublime slice of summery disco revivalism laden with walking bass, clipped guitar riffs, ear-catching synths, ear-catching cowbells, crunchy handclaps and a soaring lead vocal from Leela. The pair's accompanying "Dubstrumental" is an authentic, disco-era style flipside dub complete with extended percussive breakdowns and stripped-back instrumental passages, while Yuksek's fine remix takes the track further towards "French Touch" style disco-house territory with an added dose of delay-laden proto-house magic. Big!
Review: Young Italian DJ/producer Sam Ruffillo recently staked his claim to being "one to watch" by contributing two brilliant, musically expansive tracks to Boogie Caf? Records' essential "Bologna On The Move" EP. Here he provides further proof of his "rising star" status via a debut EP on Toy Tonics. It's an assured and surprisingly mature EP, with Ruffillo adding all manner of neat, often jazz-funk-influenced musical touches to a thickset deep house groove on opener "Ride My Bike" and the jazzier, more percussive dancefloor bliss of "Midnight Funk". "Playa Bola" is a dreamy and drowsy slab of organic deep house soul rich in electric piano solos, while "Surf Ways" sees him pepper a seductive house groove with warm chords and playful flute solos. In a word: superb.
Review: Milan based Take It Easy label and party is back. This third drop comes from label owners Dirty Channels, Bugsy and DJLMP with the addition of the historical Italian dj and Paradise Pizza's label owner Memoryman aka Uovo. After their big success "Watchin Out" and "Catch Me", Dirty Channels open the EP with an Afro-influenced sample stomper followed up by an afrobeat vocal tool by DJLMP. "I Wonder" brings some crackly Detroit atmosphere by Memoryman aka Uovo. "Pomiri Dan" completes the set, percussive sample stomper by Bugsy on his first appearance on the label.
Review: A range of house and disco styles are touched upon on this split EP from Copenhagen's Jahn Solo and New Zealand's Kennedy, coming on Manchester label Paper Disco. Driven along by insistently fluttering guitars and a full-phat bassline, Kennedy's 'Who Rocks '89' recalls nothing so much as late 80s Italian house while 'Superfly' is one part early 80s Eurodisco to one part mid-90s house euphoria. Not to be outdone, the man from Copenhagen gives us the laidback but jaunty 'It's My House' with its lively brass stabs and sing-song vocal, and 'Night People', an authentically 70s-sounding disco workout topped with a cheeky harmonica line.
Review: Neo Blues 3 announces its arrival via our most trusted Vehicle label that's been a port of call for disco edits for the world over. Turning in another four-tracks here it's spearheaded by the uber-warm kick, woofing bass and melodic percussion sequences of "Sea-Line". Harking back to the days when artists like Eddie C and Tornado Wallace were dominating the slo-mo, chugging disco sound, "Condition" adds yet another beefy boost to a Ken Roger's classic, while funkier soul and blues jams from Kings of Survival make the cut alongside that all time cinematic classic by Rodriguez's ("Sugarman").
Review: First released on wax almost three years ago, Hade's first edits EP for Razor 'N' Tape has finally made it to digital download. This is undoubtedly a great thing, because it's arguably one of the Brooklyn imprint's strongest collections of cuts to date (and that's saying something). He opens via the sweaty, occasionally dubbed-out disco-funk goodness of "Say What You Wanna Say", whose combination of killer grooves and slowly building heaviness guarantees good times. He flips the script entirely on "Jeep Cherokee XJ", crafting a killer hip-hop jam out of dusty jazz samples and boom-bap beats, before dancing his way through an early slab of harmonica-laden disco-rap ("My Thang"). To round things off, Hade once more joins the dots between hip-hop and jazz on hazy closing cut "Range Rover HSE".
Review: Two months after making his Masterworks Music comeback with an EP of tidy re-edits of rare and obscure jams, Chris Grubizna returns to Danny Worrall's popular label with a similarly minded sequel. There are six tracks to choose from, all of which have been given a slightly more metronomic swing and a bit more bottom-end weight to suit contemporary dancefloors. Highlights include rush-inducing opener "All You Need" (a rubbery revision of Barbara Roy and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain's 1981 gem 'If You Want Me"), the clavinet-heavy disco-funk chug of "Gettin' Down", the low-slung Miami Funk/disco fusion of "Miami Vice", and the jazzy disco sunshine that is closing cut "Summer Joy".
Review: Four cuts here from Mexico's Mateo Gonzalez - better known as Theus Mago - that will suit those who like their disco on the more electronic/leftfield/experimental side. Opener 'Apache Nights', for instance, owes far more to bleep techno and the early Warp sound than it does to the likes of (say) Chic or Earth Wind & Fire, while the accompanying Chicken Lips re-rub comes on like Kraftwerk jamming with Rennie Pilgrem. 'Piu Mosso' is a more straight-up homage to early 80s Euro/Italo disco and centres around an infectious, Arabic-sounding hook, while finally closer 'Sergio Ramos' could work in disco/Italo/EBM and progressive house sets alike.
Review: Fresh from impressing via a first outing on Hot Digits, Tonbe returns to his own imprint, Disco Fruit, with an overflowing picnic basket of summery dancefloor treats. The emphasis throughout is on musical warmth, with elements borrowed from a variety of lesser-known jazz-funk, disco and electrofunk cuts combining well with the producer's own deep house sounds and largely club-focussed drums. The results are uniformly entertaining and enjoyable, with highlights including the boogie fizz of "Always There", the Bongo-riffic West Coast deep house bounce of "Freaky Situation", the carnival-ready roll of "Latina" and the Chimes style breakbeat soul heat of "Stick Together".
Review: London's Chris Trowbridge comes to the mysterious Cheeks with a fine contemporary disco number that's served in two contrasting but complementary mixes. Head for the original if its authentically 70s-sounding vibes you're after: drenched in strings, guitar and brass, 'Loving You' could have been dropped at The Loft or Paradise Garage and no one would have batted an eyelid, while the accompanying Jive Talk Remix is a much more obviously post-house affair. So essentially, you've got one mix aimed at clubs like Horse Meat Disco, and one for places like Glitterbox... which should be enough to ensure this gets plenty of dancefloor rotation for the next month or two!
Review: As Cole Odin emerges as a producer we've got to know from the San Francisco area who once appeared on Golf Channel compilation in 2015, he now brings some extra attention to the eclectics label with this new EP. Using looping, motorik momentum and endlessly inventive guitar motifs to create a sonic landscape that's satisfyingly familiar yet littered with signposts to new and exotic destinations, one can't help but hear flashes of The XX through to Stereolab's "Simple Headphone Mind". Take in Bristol remixer DJ Jack Priest for something spiralling and Italo alongside Adam Warped's folkier remix, and you have that perfect blend of the organi and traditional with the surreal. Happy days.
Review: Having recently notched up a sixth year in business, Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint is in a celebratory mood - hence this all-action round-up of recent delights and unheard treats from the disco-loving label. Encompassing no less than 30 tunes, the collection giddily skips between warming beatdown disco (P-Sol's "Walter"), Mark E style slo-mo loop jams (Vigi's "I'll Be There") and glassy-eyed Balearic nu-disco (Picklejam's "Untitled Love"), before raising its hands skywards as the peak-time party-starters begin to appear thick and fast. Highights in this category include the vibrant jazz-house flex of Dexter Jones' "Swing Thing", the bustling boogie re-edit business of Monsieur Von Pratt's "Let's Dance" and the hearty disco-funk heaviness of Chewy Rubs' "Funky Bee Bop".
Review: A warm welcome back to sometime Wonder Stories, Silhouette Music and Roam Recordings artist Jac The Disco, who here returns to the Spin On This label, which is the artists very own imprint. It's a suitably strong EP all told, with two solid 'JTD' originals being backed by similarly strong remixes. Opener 'Manglik' is a metronomic, chugging affair, with Jac The Disco peppering a throbbing, Mororder style arpeggio bassline with rising and falling synthesizer melodies and spacey electronic flourishes. Eric Duncan piles on the wide-eyed chords and synthesizer sounds on his excellent remix, while "Goddess" is a much more spacey and cosmic chunk of pulsating electronic disco. Arguably even better is Juan Maclean's accompanying rework, which gives the track a bigger, more acid-flecked feel.
Review: In the past we've referred to Andy Buchan as one of nu-disco's rising stars. These days, he's well established, offering up tunes that regularly incorporate a wide range of influences whilst retaining the celebratory excitement associated with the contemporary disco scene. "Kingfisher Funk" sits somewhere between a re-edit and an original production, with Buchan reaching for humid, delay-laden horn samples, an Escort-esque revivalist disco groove, echoing female vocal snippets and just the right amount of trippy electronics. His fine original mix comes backed with two hot-to-trot reworks: a sped-up, filter-sporting disco house bumper from Reece Johnson, and a brighter, breezier dub disco style "reshuffle" from prolific producer Chewy Rubs.
Review: Paul Older (aka Paolo Vecchiato) is a northern Italian DJ with almost 20 years of experience behind the decks. Older is constantly looking for new music and ideas as he assembles and orchestrates a mixture of sounds to shake up the dancefloor. After releases on Daje Funk and Ocean Trax, he now gets groomed for the big time on his latest for the mighty Masterworks Music. The Boogie Explosion EP features the groovy dancefloor shakedown of the title track, the familiar '70s New York City disco feels of "Dream" and the low slung late night action of "Sit & Dance" closing out this piping-hot offering from a name you're going to be hearing more of in 2020.
Review: Since launching in 2016, Kevin Griffiths' Isle of Jura label has become one of the most talked about imprints around, something we attribute to its inspired mix of dusty-fingered crate-digging reissues and the Australia-based Brit's own colourful productions as Jura Soundsystem. This label sampler tells the story so far, gathering together some of the most sought-after slabs from the imprint's growing catalogue. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the disco-reggae sunshine of Yvonne Archer's cover of Chaka Khan favourite "Ain't Nobody", and the deep ambient house trip that is the 'Sun & Moon Mix" of Holy Ghost Inc's "Walking On Air", to the flute-laden, unearthly new age exotica of Zann's "Tatopani" and the hazy, synth-laden Balearic bliss of Chayell's "Beach". In a word: essential.
Review: Katakana Edits first compilation, 2017's "Crate Diggin", was an epic collection of high-grade re-edits, mash-ups and reworks packed to the rafters with tried-and-tested dancefloor treats. This belated follow-up is even more epic, with the popular label squeezing in no less than 50 tracks that variously touch on riotous disco-funk, dub disco, new wave, disco-rock, deep funk, Afro-boogie, swamp funk, Latin beats, boogie, pitched-down chuggers, boogaloo, hip-hop and everything in between. You'd expect that standard to be high - it is a "best of" collection after all - and it is. If you need an instant armoury of scintillating club cuts, look no further.
Review: This tidy two-tracker marks sometime Midnight Riot, Tropical Disco and Re-Loved artist Da Lukas's first appearance on Hotmood's fast-rising Discoweey label. Check first the vibrant and funk-fuelled opener "Hot Sensation", a hot-to-trot disco-house number that utilizes ear-catching, horn, vocal, synth and bass samples from a bona-fide party-starting disco-funk jam. Energetic, groovy and ear-catching, it sounds like a peak-time anthem in the making. He changes tack on "Disco In Space", promoting the twin attractions of low-slung bass guitar and squelchy, acid-style motifs on an suitably intergalactic chunk of deep space nu-disco pleasure. While not as instantly attractive as its predecessor, it's similarly as impressive in its own way.
Review: Tigerbalm is the new solo alias of Earthboogie member Nicola Robinson, who started work on her vibrant (and rather good) debut single "Ello Koko" while travelling in Lombok, Indonesia. The track features musical mates Alex Searle (guitar and bass) and Patrick Dawes (percussion) and sees Robinson giddily join the dots between dub disco, tropical house and more Balearic pastures via low-slung bass, South East Asian percussion, Indonesian vocal samples and bright and breezy guitar riffs. Flamingo Pier provides an outstanding revision that adds more synth-heavy colour while making more of Dawes dense percussion, while J Kriv re-imagines it as a ludicrously heavy chunk of bass-driven Afro-house/dub disco fusion. In a word: ace!
Review: A four-track re-edits EP from Re-Loved here. Indonesia's Per QX is up first with 'Feed Me', a low-slung disco-funker topped with an impassioned diva vocal, before Get Down Edits bring us 'Suite Magic', a reworking of Le Pamplemousse's 1978 hit 'Sweet Magic' (possibly via Matrix's 'Get Out' from 1992, an early Kerri Chandler production which also sped up the sample to the tempo heard here). Chewy Rubs once more looks to Latin music for inspiration on 'Munky Fonkey', which rocks disco strings and a half-sung/half-shouted Mexican vocal, while the EP's completed by Maffa's 'Love's Generosity', a sumptuous, near-instrumental workout with an authentic late 70s feel.
Review: For his latest trick, spoonerism-loving rework maestro V (AKA sometime funk-breaks producer Valique) has decided to offer up a second selection of "Neo Blues" scalpel works. He begins by delivering a chunky, rolling revision of Ann Feebles' rock-tinged gospel-funk classic "Beware", before chugging his way through a pitched-down revision of a weighty T-Rex glam-rock classic ("Jewelry"). This is followed by EP highlight "Holis", an inspired - and suitably epic - "Afro-blues" revision of one of Nina Simone's greatest moments, and the low-slung voodoo-house hypnotism of "Mississippi Lullalby (V's Rendition)". To finish with a. flourish, the Vehicle main man then adds some elastic new drums to Otis Redding's version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".
Review: On their previous outing, long-serving nu-disco duo Drop Out Orchestra joined forces with vocalist Emma Putila for a cheery outing that cannily combined elements of celebratory disco old and new. This time out, they've opted for more of a Balearic nu-disco feel, with calming flute solos, rich electric piano chords and colourful synth sounds riding snappy drums and one of their trademark bass guitar lines. Throw in some clipped, Chic style guitar riffs and jazzy solos and you have a track tailor made for lazy afternoons and humid evenings. The obligatory remix comes courtesy of rising star Monsieur Von Pratt, who makes the most of the pair's brilliant bass and guitar parts, combining them with chunkier beats and a few more squiggly synth lines to excellent effect.
Review: Given the distinctive quality of his heavily electronic, mind-soothing fusions of deep house, dub techno and sprightly electronica, any new album from Shinichi Atobe is good news. It's especially welcome when it's the first full-length he's released in two years, as is the case with the immaculate "Yes". Melodious, life-affirming and lusciously otherworldly, it sees the Japanese producer drift between off-world dub-house (the superbly spaced-out "Lake 2"), jazzy electronic house bliss ("Yes"), percussive deep space dancefloor soundscapes (the layered drums, twinkling pianos and futuristic synth sounds of "Lake 3"), and the kind of echoing, hard-to-pigeonhole headiness that defies easy categorization ("Rain 3"). In a word: superb.
Review: House of Disco welcomes a new name to the roster: debutant SHEE, an Irish producer that the label has already tipped for future greatness. The four tracks on show are certainly quietly impressive, with the Irishman offering up a varied selection that's undeniably a cut above the norm. Check first opener "Our Love", an intoxicating, spine-tingling affair that sees SHEE wrap undulating acid lines, atmospheric electronics and blissful female vocal samples around an elastic house groove, before turning your attention to the warmer, jazzier and subtly disco-tinged track that follows, "Forgotten". Title track "Jiraya" is wonderfully dreamy, colourful and vibrant, with Shee painting bold brush strokes over a tough house beat, while closing cut "Funk, Nah" adds a little mutant P-funk hustle to a chunky deep house groove.
Review: Toolroom's Poolside annual returns for 2020 in a big way, welcoming Alex Preston to the Toolroom Family, who has hand picked the finest in house and disco across two continuous mixes, including essential cuts and exclusives from industry veterans and newcomers alike. Highlights comes from Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak who become right disco Stus on "Aftersun", boss man Mark Knight shows us exactly what uplifting house truly sounds like on the massive "If It's Love" featuring Laura Davie & The Melody Men, as does label staple Weiss on the joyous funky house of "You're Sunshine". Elsewhere, Robsoul head honcho Phil Weeks gets loopy on his typically jazzy kind of something called "Good To You" and the mandatory banger comes from legends Green Velvet & Technasia on the funked-up "Suga" while a classic comes in the form of Sterling Void's "It's Alright" (DJ Spen & Reelsoul remix).
Review: Some 17 months after their first collaborative edits EP first hit Juno Download's virtual shelves, buddies Chewy Rubs and North Laine return with a third (and possibly final) collection of joint reworks. They begin in confident mood via "Future Ready", a gently tooled-up, house style extended edit of the Winners' NYE-friendly disco gem "Get Ready For The Future", before turning a sweaty disco-funk workout into a beefy, peak-time-ready chunk of disco/deep house fusion ("Precious"). "Night Out" is a bouncy and cheery revision of a synth-laden 80s soul/electrofunk number, while "Who's Having All Your Love" is a killer flip of a glassy-eyed old school-house number that may well be the EP's standout moment.
Review: Rightly so, Paul Woolford sees his Special Request project stamped and approved by R&S with this fully sick Spectral Frequency EP. Lifting the title-track from the Zero Fucks compilation Woolford released last year, this insane banger of experimental jungle comes backed by a sidewinding beatless version in "Inverse Frequency". The EP sees two new numbers in the bassline driven bliss of "No Other Way To Say It" and the uplifting arpeggios of "Family Doggo" that offers some respite in techno from the bonafide mad breaks of "Spectral Frequency". Undeniably good. Tip!
Review: To celebrate notching up ten years in the game, London blog and party-turned-record label SlothBoogie has decided to offer-up their most ambitious release to date: an epic collection of previously unheard cuts from a mixture of imprint regulars and like-minded friends. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, with highlights including the sparkling jazz-funk-meets-deep house sunshine of Levan's "U R Beautiful In The Face", the deep, breakbeat-driven dreaminess of Philippa's "That's What I Mean By Free", the piano solo-heavy disco-house bump of Leatherette's "Your Love", and the dub disco-meets-acid house heaviness of "Rewind Run" by Pablot. Throw in similarly impressive contributions from Kassian, Luvless, Casino Times and Soul Wun (the classic jazz-house of "Thank You, St Germain") and you have a must-have collection.
Review: Kicking around for ten-plus years in the inter-continental jazz scene is German ensemble The Bahama Soul Club who breathe new life into their project with a new album, Bohemia After Dawn! It presents the outfit's fifth studio LP which this time finds its spirit through the coastlines of Algarve where it was recorded. Drawing deep inspiration from the multicultural verve of young worldly folk drawn to the bohemian coasts of the most southwestern part of Europe - where hippiesque hedonism, infinite musical diversity, and offbeat enchanted lifestyles fuel the scene - downtempo percussion, subby beats and strong vocals ultimately meet in tracks like "Castelejo (Hommage E Vitor Hugo)". Highly relaxed, uber-cool and with a surprisingly fresh and sweet summer sound, Bohemia After Dawn delivers a unique blend of soul, jazz, funk, blues, bossa nova and multicultural sounds.
Review: Based in London, Tici Taci specialise in "electric funk rekkids at tempos below 120BPM, with live instruments to the fore". Which makes the label the ideal home for this debut long-player from Albanian producer Uj Pa Gaz, AKA Erlind Hoxha. Across the album's eight tracks you'll find an enchanting cocktail of Balearic, Italo, EBM and straight-up disco influences, with standouts including the lazy, hazy 'Chuga' with its earworm of a whistling synth and 'Nepotik' with its unusual pairing of Underworld-ish synths and vocoder vox, until the gentle, beatless Spanish guitar piece 'Mallorca' brings the album to a more chilled close.
Review: Jared Philip's recent sophomore album as Jex Opolis, "Net Worth", was rightly praised for its canny combination of ear-catching synth-pop, chunky proto-house and colourful boogie revivalism. This equally as impressive partner release gathers together tracks that didn't quite make the cut and alternative mixes, all of which are up to Philip's usual high standard. Highlights include the deep, bubbly and spacey synth-pop shuffle of "Dubsystem", deliciously tough and stripped-back "Dub Mix" version of high energy/Italo-disco workout "The Bottom", and the acid-flecked glory of "Jexendirekt", a slab of late night dancefloor gold smothered in foreboding riffs, poignant chords and bustling, arpeggiated bass.
Review: The three previous volumes in Klassified's "The Feather's Eyes" compilation series have provided a superior selection of "organic and earthly music" with an emphasis on aural beauty and embracing different sounds and styles from around the world. Volume four naturally explores similar sonic territory, pleasantly shuffling between chugging and picturesque downtempo grooves (Mathfoud & Joep Mencke's "Shuro"), shuffling Balearic beats (Harry Charles "An Explosion of of Sunrise/Sunset"), jazzy deep house soul (Parrallels & Fulltone's "How Can I Resist"), extra-percussive, tech-tinged, Middle Eastern house hypnotism (Nhii's "The Journey of Liberation"), enveloping, slowly building deep-tech beauty (Maga's "Dolce Aqua"), and Clavinet-sporting dub disco hedonism (Pandhora & VANDER's "Disco Bebek").