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: Bergsonist aka Selwa Abd follows 2017's From Dualism To Monism long player with this collection of left of centre tracks. Drawing on her Eastern roots, Middle resounds to organic drum sounds. At times chaotic and dense, audible on the title track's clattering arrangement, in other instances club-friendly and direct - just check "Gaza Border Violence" or the electronic groove of "Otology" - it marks her out as an artist with a unique approach. In case you are in any doubt about Bergsonist's capabilities, on "Magnesium" she deconstructs beat down house and adds extra, textured layers that are nothing short of hypnotic.
Review: Bomb Strikes stalwart Shaka Loves You can usually be relied upon to bring the goods, as anyone who has heard their all-action blends of disco, funk, breaks and boogie will attest. The producers' first outing of 2020 is predictably impressive, too. Lead cut "Love Is True" is as infectious a contemporary disco cut as you're likely to find, with waves of snappy, handclap-heavy percussion, rubbery bass guitar and Chic style guitar riffs combining to create a suitably celebratory mood. "Disco Weapon 2", seemingly a tooled-up, horn-heavy re-edit of a lesser-known everything-but-the-kitchen-sink 1970s disco-funk jam, is also impressively potent.
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Be Mine Tonight (Dr Packer radio edit) - (3:26) 120 BPM
Be Mine Tonight (Dr Packer rework) - (5:49) 120 BPM
Review: Glitterbox disco don Dr Packer reworks a forgotten boogie cut from the Salsoul archives. The Jammers were a loose collective comprised of members of Instant Funk and other label regulars, and 'Be Mine Tonight' featured on their one and only long player from 1982, with the original mixed by Shep Pettibone. Dr Packer's rework doesn't stray too far from the latter's blueprint, instead simply giving the production a little bit of polish so it will sit more readily in modern-day sets, sonically speaking, while bringing those gloriously 80s synth stabs further to the fore. Available in full-length and radio edit flavours.
Harry Griffiths - "Since We're Here" - (5:57) 120 BPM
Review: Now into its fifth year, KGW's Shall Not Fade imprint has long been a reliable source of dusty deep house and rugged, warehouse-ready workouts. To kick-start 2020, the label has decided to celebrate this facet of their output via an expansive compilation of previously released highlights. There's a peak-time ready feel from start to finish, with our picks of a very impressive bunch including the bustling, riff-heavy techno pump of KETTAMA's "In The Garage", the sunrise-ready, melody-heavy bliss of Harrison BDP's epic "Watching The World Go By", the sleazy, acid-fired growl of Big Miz's "Primordial Soup" and the dusty-but-sparkling, emotive rich broken house brilliance of Contours' "Fifth Planet". In a word: essential.
Review: Some six months on from his last appearance on Lost Palms, rising star Harrison BDP returns to the Shall Not Fade offshoot with another must-check EP. It's arguably one of his most energetic and forthright releases to date, too, with opener "The Devil In Disguise" cheerily doffing a cap towards the piano-sporting, gospel-tinged techno rush of Motor City artists Terrence Parker and Floorplan. In contrast "Dark Water" is spacey, deep and dubby - if no less dancefloor-ready - while title track "Cathedrals" is a lusciously melodious shuffle into heavily electronic deep house territory. As if that wasn't enough to set the pulse racing, "Reflections" sees the Cardiff producer brilliantly join the dots between jazz-house, two-step garage and futurist techno.
Review: Having spent much of the last few years working alongside HP Vince, Dave Leatherman is now serving up sizzling slabs of dancefloor goodness with a new studio buddy, Bruce Nolan. The pair hit the ground running with "Sunny Side Up", a fiendishly filtered, bass-heavy disco-house interpretation of a wonderfully warm, sunshine-loving disco-soul classic. They opt for a slightly looser, baggier and altogether more groovy sound on "Clouds In The Sky", where loved-up vocals and drowsy jazz-funk instrumentation ride a booming bassline and crunchy digital drums. It's the kind of cut that manages to be both wonderfully emotive and undeniably heavy without losing any of its' luster.
Review: A resident of The White Isle going on a couple of years now, Nicola Porra aka Elkins is the latest newcomer to emerge from the Knee Deep In Sound powerhouse. As a DJ, the Sardinia native takes listeners on an electrifying journey with his signature sound of melodic deep house, accented by groovy Afro influences. These sonic aspects are definitely apparent on his debut release, with the slinky and hypnotic groove of "Elements" sure to invoke a higher state of consciousness on the dancefloor, while the moody and powerful impact of peak time cut "Uluwatu" still retains an undeniable progressive house vibe - and is just as emotive.
Review: Boysnoize may be seen as a mainstream label by some, but it was one of the first outlets to champion the work of Djedjotronic over a decade ago. Since then, the French artist has released a large amount of work on the imprint, each time with a defiantly underground sound. Boish is no different; it starts with the title track's bleak, rolling ebm groove. "Rusted" is slower and more stripped back, but there is understated power on display in the low-slung rhythm. Most impressive however is "Global Surveillance": pitched-down vocals ride acid-drenched, pounding 808s, while nocturnal rave stabs drop from overhead.
Review: The garage fever is seemingly not going anywhere as we carry on with the massive expansion of the genre into a brand new decade. One of our favourites here at Juno Download is most definitely CJ Reign, a producer whose consistency and originality really does see him rise to the top of the pile more often than not. We here see him land on 2TUF4U for a very tidy remix EP, as Sole Masters Inc, Odin Hardt & GG provide us with some sumptuous remixes of 'Gonna Fly'. Each remix is fantastic in it's own right, but the vibrant flavours and harmonic structures of Sole Masters Inc's re-think is a real standout on this one!
Review: Jean Tonique has been serving up slabs of goodness for a couple of years now, with each successive EP offering a little more dancefloor fire than its predecessor. For that reason we weren't surprised to discover that his first offering of 2020, "Scrambled Eggs", is one of his strongest releases to date. For proof, check out the heavy disco-funk bass, sweaty loops, bustling beats and sun-kissed synthesizer lines of righteous opener "Dance", and the bouncy, French Touch-influenced cheeriness of the similarly inclined - but arguably even better - "Menari". Closing cut "Ballare", which reminded us a little of Daft Punk classic "One More Time", is also well worth a listen.
This Ain't Yo Mama's Soul Train (original mix) - (6:11) 120 BPM
This Ain't Yo Mama's Soul Train (Micfreak remix) - (4:54) 124 BPM
Review: Alpaca Edits regular Pete Le Freq takes time out from offering up "multi-track edits" to deliver a swirling, string-drenched chunk of disco house sweetness in collaboration with Coco Street. In its original form, "This Ain't Yo Mama's Soul Train" makes extensive use of elements from a Philadelphia International classic, layering up glassy-eyed Tony Montana style orchestration and vocal snippets over a bustling house beat. The accompanying Micfreak Remix takes the track further into disco-house territory, pitching the cut up to 124 BPM and beefing up the beats to gargantuan proportions. It's a suitably heavy alternative version that sounds like a peak-time staple in waiting.