Review: This excellent collection from Z Records draws together some of boss man Joey Negro's favourite label cuts of 2019, many of which he of course had a hand in either producing or remixing. There are naturally tons of superb multi-track remixes of disco gems old and new (see the versions of the O'Jays, Delia Renee, Tamiko Jones and Double Exposure), as well as fresh revisions of vintage Joey Negro house productions under other aliases (Doug Willis, Z Factor, Foreal People) and a swathe of killer cuts that join the dots between disco and house (Sunkids and Chance, Four80 East and CeCe Peniston, Bobby D'Ambrosia and Michelle Weeks). Throw in tracks and remixes from the likes of Fouk, Crackazat and Lay-Far and you have a superb collection of peak-time-ready workouts.
Review: Marc Hype, boss of German 7-inch label Dusty Donuts, mixes up this seventh volume in Bomb Strikes' 'Funk N' Beats' series. It's an eclectic, funked-up selection that ranges freely through hip-hop from The Nextmen and Red Astaire, 'new old' funk and soul from Speedometer, Soopasoul and the Hot 8 Brass Band, nu-jazz from Nicole Willis and Jazzanova and more besides. Highlights include The Traffic's funked-up cover of Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', Speedometer's cover of The Chi-lites' 'Are You My Woman?' (AKA 'Crazy In Love'), and Hype's own take on electro classic 'Al Faafyish (The Soul)'.
Review: LSB and DRS: combos don't come any stronger than this! We already know this from incredible tracks like "The View" and "New Day" but The Blue Hour is a whole other level of their soulful prowess. Jazzy, smoky, thoughtful and blues to its very core, there's a musicality and spirit to this album that transcends any genre thanks to both Del's disarming lyrics and barbed charm and Luke's natural soulmanship and sense of groove. From the smoke-stacked horn-based dream "Umbrellas" to stunning cosmic risers like "Keep The Time" and "Could Be" and to every other planet that orbits in between, this is one of the best albums in the D&B sphere this year. We will look back on this as a timeless classic. Essential.
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: Ganbatte's latest affair may be all-star affair, but Fabiolous Barker rightly takes top billing thanks to delivering two takes on his latest track, "The Expert". He opens the EP with a hybrid electro/disco flavoured "Old Skool Re-Master" full of whispered vocals, crunchy guitars, throbbing synth-bass and tight horn blasts, before returning at the end with a "Funka-Masta-House" version that underpins the music with a head-nodding house style beat. In between you'll find the bouncy, Hi-NRG era Latin disco-house insanity of Dim Zach's "La Habernaro", the dreamy harmony vocals and ear-pleasing nu-disco grooves of Carlos Gatto's "Call It Love" and the alien funk masterclass that is Don Dayglow's "Gotta Say Yes", a suitably throbbing revision of an old Yello favourite.
Review: Like its predecessors, Re-Loved's fifth "All Stars" EP is packed to the rafters with peak-time ready fare provided by some of the re-edit scene's most reliable producers. Leading the charge is Discoweey chiefs Hotmood, whose EP opener "We Got It" is an infectious chunk of orchestrated disco whose wild synth solos and rolling groove make it a tried and tested treat. Elsewhere, C Da Afro's "With You" is a loopy, nu-disco tinged disco-house bumper, Da Lukas's slap bass propelled "Be Freak" sounds a little like one of Todd Terje's classic dub disco reworks, and Di Saronno's "Mademoiselle" is a French Touch style re-edit full of rich horn lines, dewy-eyed female vocals and energy creating filter sweeps.
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: Cru-Cast is the music platform that has rapidly expanded into the world of events, with a focus on raucous basslines across bassline, D&B and more, it's been shelling venues up and down the UK for a couple of years now. The label side is part of the same offensive and Bru-C is the soldier in command today, a grime MC who can flip between genres easier than more, a skill he shows off here on his debut LP Original Sounds. 'Snakes & Ladders' featuring Bou and Ella Knight is a highlight for sure, as the potent Bou maintains his usual prowess but this time on a lighter tip, Ella's vocals coming into play in a sick way and Bru-C's bars tying the whole thing together a flourish. Skepsis makes an appearance, as do Jamie Duggan, Chromatic, Simula and more.
Review: With "Rhythm & Waves", Russian producer Sunner Soul seems to be daydreaming of sunnier and warmer times. There's certainly something suitably sun-kissed about the title track, which gently beefs up and re-arranges a bouncy, Clavinet-heavy chunk of groovy disco-funk that comes smothered in atmospheric party sounds. The tighter, slap bass-sporting "Universal Disco" explores similar sonic territory, while "Red Hot Disco" sees him layer up the percussion and filter sweeps on a joyful, mid-set workout. Elsewhere, "Let's Somebody Love" is a soaring slice up tooled-up disco-soul and "Get ready With Me" is a fine slab of string-laden boogie brilliance that sounds like it was beamed down from a distant disco planet.
Review: Second albums are meant to be difficult but you tell that to Survival and Script and they'll laugh in your prudy little face: Scar's follow up to The Orkyd Project is another remarkable body of work. The first of a three album deal the London duo have with Metalheadz (the first ever deal the label have ever offered any artist) High Fives & Devil Eyes is a powerful jolt of timeless D&B that dig deep into every corner of the genre. From the alluring intro of "Circle Of Trust" to the deep, introspection of the finale "Eternal" via the wonky-assed "Pauline", the scuzzy gritty bass of "First Sound" and trippy funk of the album title track, the only difficult thing about this second album is working out which tune you want to play in your sets first. High fives all round!
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: Golden Dawn Arkestra, an Austin, Texas-based collective led by Ethiopian-American Zapot Mgwana, come to Razor-N-Tape touting a couple of tracks taken from their 2018 long-player of the same name, complete with a bunch of new remixes. In their original form, both 'Children Of The Sun' and 'Cosmic Dancer' are authentic-sounding homages to 70s Afro-funk, with the latter adding a little Theremin-fuelled lounge-y flavour. Austin Ato's remix takes the title track into deep, dreamy house territory, while JKriv and Dicky Trisco rework 'Cosmic Dancer' into a psychedelic nu-disco jam ? la The Phenomenal Handclap Band and a midtempo disco-Balearic roller respectively.
Review: The way Audaz has been churning out these Lolita collections lately, you'd think "possession of an unreleased re-edit" had just been made a crime under German law! But the quality standard shows no sign of slipping, so that's hardly cause for complaint. Standouts of this fourth volume include '038', which revisits Kim And Rasa's obscure 1982 Ghanaian funk/rap jam 'Love Me For Real', '035' with its fusion of country rock guitar and sweet female disco vox, and '037', which reworks Brass Construction's 'Changin' from 1975. Dead Or Alive get the Lolita treament, too, on '032'.
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: After first impressing on Hot Digits with 2018's "Gettin' Loose EP", Steve Cooper once more dons the Down Under Disco alias with a rock solid sequel. He begins in confident fashion via "Turn Away", a warm and groovy cut that sits somewhere between deep house and loopy disco-house, before offering up the bold and bass-heavy "Sonny Jim", where woozy organ chords and glistening disco guitar licks rise above a pleasingly saucer-eyed groove. "Get Down" is an energetic, trippy and low-slung chunk of peak-time disco-house headiness, "Everybody Lose Control" cleverly combines stargazing synth lines with UK funky style bass and bouncy house beats, and PickleJam's "Party Line" remix of "Turn Away" is a sparkling fusion of bouncy electro beats and slick nu-disco musicality.
Review: Since joining Toy Tonics last year, the Phenomenal Handclap Band has served up some of their greatest material to date. Predictably, their third outing for the label is another winner. You'll find the band's original mix of "Remain Silent" - a wonderful slab of off-kilter revivalist disco rich in attractive lead vocals, authentic instrumentation and spacey synths - tucked away at the end of the EP. The headline-grabbing remixes once again come from Ray Mang, whose "Extended Mix" and "Instrumental Mix" both offer a slightly tighter, polished-up feel that's arguably more suitable for club spins. The EP also contains rather good "Remix" and "Dub" takes from Superpitcher which subtly strip the track back and give it a more spaced-out dub disco feel.
Review: Five fine slices of contemporary disco make up this latest EP from Russian producer Alexandr Chebankov, better known as Sunner Soul. 'Feeling Of Spirits' is a midtempo shuffler that slowly breaks out into an intricate jazz-funk keys workout, 'Keep Strangers' is a Chic-y stomper, 'Liquid Disco' has distinctly Candido-esque overtones, 'Lay In Low (MF-SB Version' is a mellower, more lounge-y cut with muted space disco stabs and finally 'Simply Around' rocks a funkier, Blaxploitation-like vibe. With all five highly authentic-sounding and avoiding obvious samples, heavy rotation at the likes of Glitterbox and Horse Meat Disco is pretty much guaranteed.
Review: Gather round: Editorial is revealing the contents of the mythical "Disco Scrolls", a sacred document for all those who kneel at the altar of the Church of Nu-Disco. It contains eight audio commandments, all of which should be listened to intently. Salvation comes first via the fluid nu-disco positivity of Bica's "Endless Rhodes" and the disco-house grooves of the soulful and musically expansive "Because I'm Black" by Old Chap. Elsewhere, you'll find righteous testimony from Hotmood (via the deep disco-funk of "Only Your Mom Calls Me Daddy"), The Owl (the boisterous horns and filter tricks of "Shake"), Frank Virgilio (the lolloping party disco-funk of "Out Here"), Labour Of Love (the bassline-driven percussion-fest that is "Good Feelin") and NFC and Key Sokur (the rubbery and down-low disco fun of "City Affair").
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: Since first pitching up on Running Back a year or two back, Dec Lennon AKA Krystal Klear has delivered some of his strongest music to date, including a string of peak-time anthems ("Neutron Dance, "Euphoric Dreams" etc). His latest EP for Gerd Janson's label is similarly strong. Check first the trance-influenced, synth-laden throb of "Entre Nous", where big room piano riffs help raise the track to hands-in-the-air anthem status, before admiring the new beat and EBM influenced neo-trance workout "Autobahn". "I'll Be There When You Need Me" is one of Lennon's most saucer-eyed and loved-up tunes to date - all warm waves of synthesizer bliss and decidedly Balearic melodies - while "Gambino" is a cheery skip through 1980s NYC freestyle territory with added Mylo style riffs.
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: 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: More from Faze Action member Robin Lee's offshoot Andromeda Orchestra project, whose throbbing and forthright releases have previously joined the dots between revivalist disco and the synthesizer-driven world of Italo-disco. In its original form (track three), "Don't Stop" is an authentically produced riff on the K.I.D track of the same name rich in swooping, razor-sharp strings, Clavinet-happy disco grooves and glassy-eyed female vocals. It comes accompanied by a stellar peak-time remix from Lee's old pal Ray Mang - all layered drum fills, swirling noises and jangling piano riffs - and a spacey, beat-free ambient "Reprise". Bonus cut "Kano Line Dance", a funky mid-tempo shuffler that joins the dots between boogie, jazz-funk and P-funk, is also rather tasty.
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: What we have here is a fantastic selection and representation of the future of reggae music worldwide as the Nice Up! team unveil the fifth edition of 'Nice Up! The Session'. The release features some pretty top draw names, including the likes of Parly B, Gardna, Seanie T, Gappy Ranks and more. From the junglist flavours of Fleck's 'One Step At A Time' rethink, to the future dancehall delights of 'Bad Mi Bad' from XL Mad & Gappy Ranks, we witness the full breadth of reggae's development in 2019, with other favourites including DJ Madd's crispy rethink 'Chasing Dreams' from Rider Shafique & Precha, along with Folding City's experimental overhaul of 'My Yout' from 'Origin One & Irah'. Excellent stuff!
Review: Three months after allowing DJs to rummage through the contents of his "Sample Bag", Lego Edit has decided to repeat the trick. Unzip the bag and you first find his "4am" edit of "Flash Back", a sax and flute-wielding revision of a colourful and bass-heavy funk outing underpinned by chunky house drums and tons of energetic handclaps. Reach further within the bag's velvet-lined interior and you'll come across his smooth, rolling and dancefloor take on Philadelphia Soul era classic "The Ghetto" - check the sweet jazz guitar solos, locked-in house beats and scat vocal sections - as well as the wild, loopy and insatiable heaviness of stomping Latin jazz-funk revision "Journey To The Old Town".
Review: Under the Ponty Mython alias, experienced producer Alexander Pletnev can usually be relied upon to hit the spot. Happily, we can confirm that his latest EP - his second for Bristol's Futureboogie Recordings - is another strong effort. He begins by wrapping some alien sounding synthesizer lead lines and quirky electronic ticks around a swinging, breakbeat influenced groove on "Speak For Yourself", before repeating the trick on the more bass-heavy and tropical tinged "Barocco". EP highlight "Jealous Lover" is a wonderfully bleeping, analogue-rich chunk of intergalactic deep house, while Jonny Rock's remix of the same track is a sweaty, out-of-this-world party jam laden with dub delay, analogue dub bass and trippy effects.
Review: If you're gonna give your EP a title like that, you'd damn well better HAVE 'da funk' to back it up. Thankfully, Mexican producer Van Pratt most assuredly does. 'Nothing But Funk' itself kicks off the EP, opening with a full-phat bassline before ushering in an 80s boogie-style vocal and some VERY 80s-sounding synth chords. That sets the tone for the rest of the EP, with 'Groove It' marrying white-socked 80s soul vibes to a liquid-y funk geetar line while 'All Night Long' is a straight-up boogie number built for cruising along Ocean Drive with the top pulled down and your Wayfarers on, baby...
Review: Ten more re-edits from Audaz's mysterious Lolita here. No idea what the source for opener '071' was but it's ended up as bluesy, organ- and harmonica-driven house stomper in the vein of Lemon Interrupt's classic 'Big Mouth', and sets the tone nicely for an EP that packs some killer dancefloor grooves, including a sterling re-edit of Geraldine Hunt's 1980 disco gem 'Can't Fake The Feeling' ('076'), a throbbing, Balearic take on 'Another Brick In The Wall' ('073'), the white-socked boogie of '077' and the driftaway space-lounge loveliness of '078' - though a beefed-up take on 'Oh What A Night' ('075') is probably one for the wedding jocks...
Review: We'd rather not quibble with Parissior about the definition of "house", but to us the majority of the tracks on his "Not Quite House Cutz" EP sound like house. Disco, boogie and nu-disco influenced house, but still house. Regardless, there's much to enjoy throughout, from the swirling deep house chords, gentle acid lines and chunky grooves of "Don't Worry About It" and the acid-fired, disco-tech bustle of "Acid Shape", to the bass-heavy disco-house loop jam "Bad Thinking". Complimenting these three layered and ear-pleasing original cuts is a remix of "Don't Worry About It" by Fingerman. The Hot Digits supremo drags the track further towards filter-sporting disco-house territory by emphasizing some sharp horn samples and turning the bass up to eleven.
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: Misanthrop is best known for giving a one fingered salute with his brash, wily, almost punky techy drum & bass. Until now... Analog, his second solo album, shows a completely different, much deeper and thoughtful side to the German producer. Coming on strong like a Bodzin or Huntemann record, this is a proper opus that celebrates drum & bass music's deepest and most cosmic aspects. The staccato drama of "Deus", the techno pace and energy of "Heute Nacht", the intense delivery, arrangement and narrative of "Plastik" and "Space Station". The list goes on. We're not messing around here; this is one of the best drum & bass albums of the year, hands down.
Review: Astonishingly, Loshmi's long-running "Serious Edits" series is now 15 volumes deep. We can happily confirm that he's not run out of steam yet with the seven-track selection featuring some suitably playable, floor-friendly revisions that are well worth your hard-earned cash. Our highlights include the gently housed-up 80s disco goodness of "Delightful", the heavy disco-funk/proto-rap fusion of "Funky Animals" - all eccentric mic flow, mazy organ lines and beefed-up disco grooves - and the languid, glassy-eyed loveliness of head-nodding warm up gem "Soul Food". There's naturally plenty to set the pulse elsewhere across the EP, too, so give all of the clips a listen if you have time.