Review: Dusty, slammed down disco-house cosmiq. Whatever you wanna call it; space western discoteque pop from the techno future is still fun too. With dub trailing atmospheres streaking across the face of tracks like "The Light", all three here surf the skywaves of Detroit techno and Chicago house, lifting key notes and aquatic stabs from somewhere deeper in between too. Ripping key-tars and twangs bring the funk in "Volpi Polari" with "Fluto" going to Eiffel tower heights of Jean Michelle Jarre trance and '90s warehouse beats to lift you high.
Review: This latest installment in Audaz's 'Lolita' re-edit series opens with the Soul II Soul-biting '101', and also reworks cuts from reggae legend Little Roy (his take on Nirvana's 'Come As You Are' provides the basis for '107'), electro pioneers Freestyle (1985's 'Don't Stop The Rock' becomes '108') and 70s soul outfit The Moments ('110' revisits 1974 jam 'Girls'). The source material for most of the rest of the EP has us beat, but this time out it's mostly actual soul, funk and disco tracks that have come in for re-editing (rather than rock or pop classics), which means that while that fuzzy warm feeling that comes with the familiar may be in short supply, dancefloor appeal certainly isn't!
Review: Last year, Montreal scene stalwart and original disco DJ/remixer Robert Ouimet surprisingly returned to action with a trio of rework singles released by Basic Fingers and Whiskey Disco. Here he marks his first appearance on Alpaca Edits with another quartet of tried-and-tested re-rubs. He starts in confident fashion via the bouncy, string-drenched and bass-heavy disco brilliance of "Blow Your Whistle", before closing his eyes and reaching for the flanged disco-funk guitars on the celebratory stomp of "Super Slick". His love of rock-fired disco heaviness is explored further on standout rework "Finger Lickin", while closing cut "Good Time Crescendo" is a soaring, feel-good disco number that more than lives up to the promise of its title.
Review: It feels like barely any time has passed since Javi Frias last set our bags alight with "Just Give It Up", but he's back once more on his own Night Shift with more of those oh-so-cool edits to share with the world. The strain of disco funk he's digging into on this EP is just sublime, particularly with the self-explanatory "Party Music" and sweet string sizzle of "Keep On". Following, there's a fiercer uptempo slant to "So Tight" and a more classic soul feel to "Everything" - one to bring a crowd together in a moment of heartfelt expression whether they know the words or not.
Review: We have a grudging admiration for Audaz's Lolita series, which offers up untitled, numbered re-edits with little fanfare or fuss. While track titles wouldn't go amiss, there's no denying the high quality of the cut-jobs on show. Predictably, volume 10 in the ongoing series boasts another swathe of must-have edits. These include a gently sped up and tooled-up take on Cymande classic "The Message" ("091"), a shirtless skip through one of the Pet Shop Boys' most Italo-disco influenced early cuts ("092", which bites 1986 single "Love Comes Quickly"), an electric piano-solo-laden Euro-disco bounce-along ("094) and a disco-house revision of what sounds like a classic disco cut ("096"). In a word: superb.
Review: Fresh from fine outings on Editorial, Spa In Disco and Midnight Riot, Frank Virgilio pops up on Hot Digits with a quartet of warm and seductive workouts. He kicks things off via the sun down beauty and woozy grooves of "Your Whisper", before joining the dots between beatdown, Italo-disco and dancefloor Balearica on the bubbly and hypnotic "Get Now!" Title track "Donde Estas" is an impressively warm and groovy shuffle through pitched-down samba disco territory, while closing cut "Beautiful Sister" is a slightly bolder (but no less deep) mixture of drifting melodies, head-nodding house beats, groovy bass, select vocal snippets and enveloping chords.
Review: "Quando Tu Dances" was a hit for Micky Milan back in 1982 when it came out on Salsoul, and it has that seminal label's brand of disco funk spilling out of every bar. Now Faze Action have drafted a strong serving of remixers to bring a few deft touches to some of Milan's biggest hits, leading in with Willie Graff and his tasteful edit of the title track that lets the original vibe shine through in all its sunny finery. Faze Action themselves take on "C'est Une Bombe" - another slick '80s jam with plenty of boogie licks to complement the warmth of the guitar and Latin percussion. Finally we get an untouched original, the more spaced out cosmic pop jam "Les Vacances On S'eclete, On S'evade".
Review: Italian party crew Rollover Milano present their second record, harnessing the vibe of their legendary nights. The Celeste EP sees duo Claudio Brioschi & Cristian Croce aka Boot & Tax (Optimo Trax/Endless Flight) continue to put their unwavering passion for analogue synths and deep knowledge of Italo music to great use. From the dark disco of the title track, to the brooding dancefloor drama of "Tempo" which is sure to have wide crossover appeal, or the slow burning raw techno banger "Vortice" - this fine EP show that there's a lot of diversity in the pair's sonic repertoire. There is also a remix of the title track by Fatnotronic, which goes down a sludgy slo-mo EBM route - nice one!
Review: Bomb Strikes, the UK hip-hop/funk/soul/breaks label headed up by Mooqee & Beatvandals, celebrated their 15th birthday in 2019 with a fantastic compilation album, and to further celebrate the success of the label in 2019 they're releasing another compilation featuring 15 of their best cuts from the past 12 months. What's most impressive is the variety on offer, ranging from straight-up hip-hop from Alexander Norman Prosper & Stabfinger, to party breaks from Ali B and Krafty Kuts, to 'new old' soul from Flevans, to the fairly self-explanatory 'Disco Weapon' and 'Mirror Ballin'' (by Shaka Loves You and X-Ray Ted, respectively. Tons of fun for festive season funkateers of all ages!
Review: This year Alexny has been busy... and we mean really busy. We make this outing on Furious Mandrill - his first disco-focused EP for a fair few months after a run of deep house cuts - the producer's seventeenth solo set of 2019 - an astonishing figure when you think about it. We'd argue that the headline attraction is opener "Que Beleza", a percussion-rich, beefed-up take on a horn-toting Latin disco workout, though some may be more attracted to the breezy, piano-sporting positivity of samba disco edit "Do Sol". Elsewhere, "Deixa A Tristeza" sees him craft a filter-heavy house chugger from bits of a joyous old samba jam, while "First Pay" is a sludgy loop-house head-nodder rich in jazzy guitar licks and twinkling melodies.
Review: If you were looking to nominate a producer for the (entirely imaginary) "nu-disco don of 2019" award, Andy Buchan would be a strong contender. Here he rounds off a hugely successful year via a four-track missive on Masterworks Music. He begins with a driving slab of tooled-up funk fuzziness (the straightened-out righteousness of "Brand New Girl (Billy Garner Edit)", before flexing his disco muscles on the string-laden, percussion-heavy mid-tempo sweetness of "Bless My Soul (Bettye Swan Edit)". 'Disco Overtime (G'Night Edit)" is a filter-sporting take on a mid-80s dancefloor gem rich in soulful vocals, glistening guitars and colourful synths, while "Let's Dance (JB's Bo Horne Edit)" re-imagines a sing-along 1980s classic as a bump-along exercise in filter disco.
Review: According to our records, "Back2ThaBeatdown" marks Hot Digits boss Fingerman's first solo single for almost three years. As the title suggests, the music on the EP was inspired in part by Detroit Beatdown, a mid-tempo style more associated with deep house than the disco cuts the British producer has used as his source material. Our pick of a strong quartet of cuts is "High Priorities", a rolling disco instrumental re-imagined as a toe-tapping slice of mid set dancefloor dreaminess. That said, other listeners will rightly gravitate towards the excitable, string-laden disco-funk of "Brass Monkeys", the even heavier and hazier "Don't Leave Me, Yeah?" and the rubbery disco-house grooves of "The Feel Good Factor".
Review: This latest installment in Audaz's re-edit series gets off to a flying start, with '101' reworking King's 1984 pop smash 'Love And Pride' into a Brit-funk workout that'd be worthy of contemporaneous acts like Cymande or Central Line. Buy the EP for that track alone and you'll be getting your money's worth, because it really is a killer - in which case the other nine high-quality reimaginings of Gwen McCrae's 'Funky Sensation' ('117'), The Escorts' 1981 boogie jam 'Make Me Over' ('115') and assorted unidentified boogie, funk and Afro cuts are merely a bonus!
Review: As the year comes to a close, labels are naturally offering up celebratory compilations showcasing their strongest releases of 2019. The latest comes from Midnight Riot, a prolific imprint that rarely fails to serve up the fieriest contemporary disco heat. As you'd expect, the 26-track selection includes a blend of superb original productions (the nu-disco soul warmth of Jack Tyson Charles' "Glory", Alton Edwards sweaty, synth-bass propelled boogie-house gem "I Just Wanna Spend Time With You", the swirling disco headiness of Arthur Baker's "Reachin' Out") and re-edits/reworks (Dr Packer's gospel boogie revision "The Power", C Da Afro's disco-funk slammer "Party Purpose" and the suitably celebratory "Boogie On Time" by Ladies On Mars). As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
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: It's a good time to be fan of Audaz's Lolita edits series, with volumes eight and nine dropping in a single week! Sources for this latest installment identified by our disco detectives include Sylvester's 'Over And Over' ('081'), Dynasty's 'I Don't Want To Be A Freak' ('085), La She Ba's 'Hunching All Night' ('087'), George Benson's 'Turn Your Love Around' ('088') and Eunice Collins' 'At The Hotel' ('089'), while special mention must be made of '083', which reworks Sequence's classic 1979 Sugarhill jam 'Funk You Up' (often cited as the first ever female rap record) to devastating effect.
Review: If we were to give an award for label of the year based entirely on consistency, it would be hard to see Four40 not running away with it as they finally round off what has been an untouchable year with one last killer compilation. Royal Flush takes the role of compiler on this one, pulling in some scorchers from the likes of Soulecta, ZeroFG, Jack Junior, Tuff Culture, Earthnut and of course Royal Flush himself. There are a couple of tracks here we feel really hold their own amongst a stacked line up, with Pavv's classic sounding '3210' being one of them, alongside 'Guilty Twitches' from Ozwald and the choppy vibes of 'Love Is Coming' from the legendary EL-B.
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: If the January blues have hit you hard, we'd suggest diving into this celebratory label compilation from Springbok Records. At 15 tracks deep it's something of an epic, with the collected cuts blurring the boundaries between re-edits, remixes and original productions. There's plenty of chunky, filter-heavy disco-house cuts to be found throughout, with highlights including Andy Bach's piano-laden "Systematic", the bassline-driven brilliance of Curtis Scott's "The Truth" and the livewire peak-time excitement of Moggy Bee's "Satisfaction, Body Action", which breathes new life into a boogie-era disco classic. Elsewhere there are rock solid re-edits from Hp Vince, J.B Boogie, C Da Afro and Dave Leatherman and Bruce Nolan.
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: 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: Given that he named himself after a popular brand of tinned pastry products, it would be fair to say that Fray Bentos likes pie. Disappointingly there's a distinctive lack of pie puns within the track titles of his latest EP, though the edits themselves are top notch. "Sum Ting About Ya" is an expertly rearranged and lightly bulked up slab of disco-soul, while "What It Takes" is a thrillingly delay-laden, tooled-up revision of a sing-along disco classic that makes the most of the original's synth bass-propelled instrumentation. For the EP's final two tracks he joins forces with Dusty Sanchez, first for the bustling disco-house stomp of "Hit It Off" and then the filter-smothered warmth of "Strengthen It Out", a deliciously dreamy affair blessed with superb piano solos.
Review: You're only five years old once, so why not celebrate in style? And here Warrington lad Danny Worrall's disco and re-edits label Masterworks Music do just that, with an anniversary collection packing a whopping 50 back catalogue nuggets. You'll excuse us the full track-by-track, then, but suffice to say that this is the label that helped launch the careers of Dr Packer and Natasha Kitty Katt, both of whom feature here, and with names like Ziggy Phunk, Rayko, Alkalino, Chuggin' Edits and Fabiolous Barker also on bill, you should already have a pretty good idea what to expect. Classy stuff all round, and a great VFM package - here's to five more years!
Review: Produced in the early part of this year, "Destination Mars" marks Maceo Plex's terrific return to Drumcode for the first time since 2014. The track is a powerful main room thriller: steely and barrelling with equal parts tension and suspense, plus featuring vocals by the legendary Josh Wink of Ovum Recordings. On the remix front, we have label staple Raxon delivering a slinky and adrenalised rework which sees the Emirati producer at the top his production game, while the hypnotic perspective by Argentina's Shall Ocin is perfect for those heads down moments - and will draw you further down into the vortex.
Review: The Southpoint unit have had yet another sparkling year, with their sound constantly evolving at the forefront of UK bass music's ever expanding boundaries and parameters. This year they have taken it to the next level, with the seventh edition of their 'Southpoint Presents' series launching across all platforms, including bangers from the likes of KXVU, Jakebob, Bushbaby, Muttley, Moony, Mofaux, Dunman, Drax, Movement, Tengu and more. We also see Presents debuts for the likes of MPH, On1, Negativ and Daffy, arguably rendering their strongest compilation in the series.
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: 2019 was a busy year for 84bit, a producer who released a mixture of deep house and nu-disco jams on a variety of largely digital-only labels. "Mamma Jamma" is his debut for Disco Fruit and features a number of notable cuts. Chief amongst these is the title track, a bustling, bass-heavy chunk of booming disco-house that's subsequently taken in a funkier direction by the ubiquitous Dr Packer, Hotmood and Tonbe, whose fine revision is looser, warmer and baggier. The EP also boasts two versions of "HN": an electric piano-laden original mix that expertly joins the dots between elecro, funk breaks and disco-funk, and a bubbly nu-disco revision by label regular Mitko.
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: Now many have guessed that this one has been in the works for a while, but that makes us no less excited to unveil this tasty new album projct from J:Kenzo, who returns to his home imprint of Artikal Music for 'Taygeta Code'. From start to finish, the album is a true exploration into electronic music, primarily of course focussed around 140BPM. It's got bass pressure on 'Desired State', it's got acidic originality on 'Hoodwinked', it's even got a weighty guest vocal from the legendary Flowdan who returns on Kenzo's Darkside VIP mix of 'Like A Hawk'. This is an excellent showcasing of J:Kenzo's ability within a crowded dubstep scene.
Review: Midnight Right's Afrobeat, Afro-funk and Afro-disco inspired "Riot In Lagos" compilation is arguably one of the label's standout releases of the last few years, so it's exciting to hear that volume two is on the way. To give us a taste of what's to come, the Yam Who-helmed imprint has offered up this rock solid sampler. Krewcial kicks things off via the jaunty, sax-heavy brilliance of "Mabina" - a kind of swinging, bass-heavy disco tribute to Fela Kuti - before Get To Know cheerily dance through mid-80s Nigerian boogie/synth-soul pastures on the wonderful "Fugar" re-edit. The EP also boasts two versions of Situation's Afro-centric cut "Wonky": a deep and jazzy Afro-house version by Frank Situation rich in glistening jazz guitar solos, and an even hazier and more hypnotic Mr Mulatto take.
Review: 2019 has been a resounding success for the 1Forty imprint, with a fantastic run of releases under their belt across the realms of multiple different genres. Today we check out their last drop of 2019 as they continue their run of funky and garage compilations. Firstly, they bring together both Muder He Wrote and Logan for a tasty roller by the name of 'Worthwhile', before Razor & Hamdi bring down the vocal fire over Retrospects funky infused 'What You Gonna Do'. Next, the vocal flavours and nostalgic chords come to life in Higgo's smooth UKG smash entitled 'Soul 2 Soul' before LR Groove & Dryman conclude proceedings with 'Life Form', a stomping, carnival-ready creation!
Review: It's been a little while, but boy were we pleased to see this one come together as the Bash / Julio Bashmore combination reigns supreme on this brand new single entitled 'Jubilee'. The team at Trule has delivered us an absolute gem, as the spacey atmospheric design and crunchy drum shuffles work their magic atop warm 808 bass drives with fantastic results. It's a heartwarming UKG original, topped off by a more uptempo rethink from Al Wootton, who smashes it out of the park with his simple, but effective overhaul.
Review: The term 'deep house' is applied so freely these days that at times it can seem meaningless, so be grateful that we still have the likes of Goddard around to remind us all what those words really mean! 'Fourth Dimension' is an instrumental jam centred around a squelchy bassline and fluttering, cascading synths, while 'Signals' channels vintage Chi-town deepness from the late 80s/early 90s. 'It's Not Cold In Tromso' is a more leftfield affair with pounding 4/4s and YMO-ish synths, while completing the package is the Jad & The Remix of the latter, a glacial, futuristic pass with acid house and electro influences.
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: Fill yer boots for the ravers out there that ain't no stranger to the club and kick drums, yer tech house fillings are here, a whole year's worth. Deep Dish's label out of Washington has been prolific as always on the release front this year with a stream on sunwashed Ibiza compilations coming out alongside EPs from CJ Jeff, Olivier Giacomotto and Sinisa Tamamovic to name a few, all of which feature here. Alongside other influential label member Sharam, Made By Pete delivers two cuts with the synth driven "Hawkins" and Enamours' deep tribal mix to "Aikido". Our pick though being Dubspeeka's remix to Sharam's "Secret Parkway" which sounds like a 2019 remake of Mike Huckaby's legendary track "Sandcastle".
Review: By his normally prolific standards, Marquis Hawkes has been surprisingly quiet in 2019. In fact, this three-tracker for regular home Aus Music is just his third outing of the year, following typically well-received releases on Honom and Unknown To The Unknown. Opener "Hashtag Life Goals" is a wonderfully dreamy and glassy-eyed affair, with female spoken word samples, drowsy chords and picturesque melodies rising above booming bass and beats so sweaty they might have a fever. Hawkes successfully breaks up the beats on "Don't Forget To Subscribe", where thrillingly positive synthesizer motifs and woozy chords envelop NYC Freestyle-influenced electro drums, while "CS Groove" is a locked-in deep house box jam full of crunchy machine percussion, headline-grabbing bass and enveloping chords.
Review: The long-running 'Katakana Edits' series reaches #94, with Parisian funk and disco producer Morlack at the controls and bringing us four tracks. Opener 'Wipe Mo' (source unknown) has a soca-ish feel, while 'Dance Dance Dance' feels like it's been reworked from an old African disco record. 'Wonderful', on the other hand, revisits Kid Creole & The Coconuts' 1982 hit 'I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby', while 'Whip' is a slowed-down, Temazepam disco reversioning of the Dazz Band's 'Let It Whip' from the same year. The EP as a whole will suit those who like their disco on the more leftfield side.
Review: Following a run of vinyl-only EPs on Automatic Writing, Negentropy and Butter Side Up, Sweely returns to the digital domain via his first EP for Distant Hawaii for over two years. He kicks things off by lacing distant female vocal samples and ultra-deep chords over a techno-tempo speed garage beat on "You Can Try This", before wrapping squelching, acid-style electronics and doom-laden chords around a bouncy drums on "Feeling Cozy". The four-to-the-floor garage influences return on the Grant Nelson-doing-deep house flex of "I Do It Naturally", while closing cut "The Never Ending Groove" is a pleasingly elastic jog through jazzy deep house territory.
Review: Making his first appearance on Constant Sound, Subb-An comes correct with the deadly breaks flow of "Access" that pivots neatly between bass music and the minimal house blueprint. "Rewire" is a much lighter affair thanks to a classy chord sound that modulates at the core of the track, bringing a melodic hook into the mix to wonderful effect. Burnski and Michael James then team up as Relic to deliver a remix of "Rewire" that's heavy on the funk, doing a great job of tweaking that chord line and pouring some serious heft into the lower regions of the frequency range.