Review: The latest in Audaz's prolific re-edit series is very much the proverbial game of two halves. The first four cuts all draw on early-mid 80s dancefloor sources, including P-Funk All Stars' 'Hydraulic Pump' ('162') and the Ronnie Laws version of 'Always There' ('164'), but the rest of the EP looks to classic rock and pop for inspiration, presenting us with Lolita'd up takes on The Byrds' 'Time Of The Season' ('165'), David Bowie's 'Starman' ('166'), Nik Kershaw's 'I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me' ('167'), The Cure's 'The Walk' ('168') and The Stranglers' 'Always The Sun' ('169'). If you play multi-genre DJ sets, there's some useful ammunition here!
Review: Dusky's first outing for Running Back, "Life Signs", was arguably one of their most euphoric and uplifting releases to date, so it's little surprise to find that this much-anticipated sequel explores similar sonic territory. The future anthem is undoubtedly "Metropolis", a shimmering retro-futurist number that layers bleeping lead lines and spine-tingling pads atop a weighty analogue bassline and heavy beats. You get vocal and dub mixes, with the former making great use of a loved-up female vocal snippet that adds to the cut's old school credentials. Elsewhere, "Seed Tray" is a rushing, warehouse-ready stomper smothered in rave-era piano stabs, "Mushroom Samba" adds bleeps to a suitably psychedelic, all-action backing track, and "Fridge" is a nostalgic, retro-futurist romp that defies easy categorization.
Review: Hidden away below the streets of Munich is a top secret workshop where dozens of Ableton-trained monkeys beaver away 24/7 producing re-edits for the 'Lolita' series - there has to be, because nothing else could explain the rate at which these ten-track EPs have been landing! Classic cuts getting the treatment this time out include MJ's 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough' ('151'), The Trammps' 'Rubber Band' from 1975 ('152'), Strafe's 1984 electro-disco nugget 'Set It Off' ('155') and Brit-funkers Central Line's 'Walking Into Sunshine' from 1981 ('158'), while if anyone cares to ID the infuriatingly familiar "come back lover come back" vocal on '156' they just might stop one Juno reviewer from going round the twist...
Review: Given his track record, it's something of a surprise to find that this is Crackazat's first outing on Freerange. It's less of a surprise to discover that it's a superb EP. Lead cut "Valentine" is little less than sublime: a warm and floor-friendly mixture of bumping US garage influenced drums, jaunty jazz-funk bass, spacey synthesizer flourishes and jazzy piano motifs that veer from poignant and heart-aching to celebratory and rush-inducing in the space of five minutes. "Back Of My Heart" is a bleeping skip through bass-heavy deep house while "I Heard You" is a bluesy and jazzy house number straight out of the top drawer. If that's not enough to get you drooling, Patrice Scott's remix of "Back Of My Heart" is a warm, loose and languid intergalactic treat.
Review: For the 12th edition of Vintage Music's "Selection" compilation series, label founder Sunner Soul has dug deep into the archives and offered up 12 of his most potent reworks. While he built his career on summery, sun-kissed slo-mo revisions and baggy, near Balearic workouts, the material here is almost all energetic, peak-time ready and gleefully celebratory. Amongst the many highlights you'll find the shirts-off disco camp of "Bad Boys Disco", the gently housed-up deep disco-blues of "Couldn't Tell You", the Salsoul-goes-house bump of "Dr Love", the punchy horns, swirling strings and rubbery grooves of "Flying Violins" and the super-sweet disco-house bump of "The Mystery of Loops".
Review: We tend to think of All Day I Dream's particular brand of melodious and atmospheric house music as being summery and sun-kissed, but as this second "Winter Sampler" proves, many of the label's tracks that sound just as good on crystal clear winter mornings. Musically, much of the material tiptoes the fine line between tech-house, deep house and what would once have been classic progressive house, with highlights provided by Zone+ (the drowsy and glacial dancefloor hypnotism of "The Muse"), Makebo & Anomita (the simmering bliss of "Symphonic Fantasy"), Katrinka (the deep, chunky Afro-house of "Mila") and Tim Green (the bubbly, snow-flecked electronics and Innervisions-esque grooves of "Sowa").
Review: The juggernaut that Audaz's 'Lolita' series of re-edit EPs has become lurches on remorselessly, with two more 10-track collections landing in stores this week alone. With the series now comprising a whopping 150 tracks, it's not suprising that this latest installment sees 'Lolita' digging deeper than ever for source material: '137' reworks Syreeta's 'Can't Shake Your Love' from 1981 (a Larry Levan classic) while '139' loops up Lowrell's 1979 soul jam 'Mellow Mellow (Right On)' to devastating effet, but that's about as much as we can tell you! Still, if its party-starting disco, boogie and 80s pop flavas you're after, you'll find them in abundance here.
Review: As is now traditional, Heist Recordings has kick-started a new year by asking their artists to remix each other. Boss men Detroit Swindle set the tone with a gorgeously positive, synth-heavy remix of Fouk's "Need My Space" before Makez re-imagines Perdu's "Sacramento" as an acid bass-propelled bounce through melodious deep house pastures and Fouk adds a little loose-limbed swing and dirty bass pressure to Demuir's percussive and warming "The 3nity Returneth". Perdu reaches for the psychedelic acid lines and squelchy synth-bass on a Latin-tinged remake of Detroit Swindle's Lorenz Rhode collaboration "Music For Clubs", while Demuir beefs up Makez's breezy and melodious "Random Visits".
Review: When rocking the V's Edits guise, Valique has a bit of a soft spot for spoonerisms and chuckle-some tweaks of artist names and track titles. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out the identity of the vintage rockers whose tracks have been given the touch-up treatment on "Rock We Dance - The Brits". Billy Idol classic "White Wedding" is the first to get a good going over, with Valique turning it into a confirmed indie-dance smasher thanks to some beefy new beats, weightier bass and wiggly, TB-303 style acid lines. Deep Purple's "Hush" is then turned into a psychedelic disco-rock bumper, before the veteran DJ/producer offers up "Starlit" by "Fuse" - a deeper fusion of moonlit psychedelia, nu-disco colour and club-focused grooves.
Review: When Andy Bull AKA Bully Boy launched the Act of Sedition label a couple of years back his aim was to release "the finest 45 edits" on seven-inch double-packs. It's something of a surprise, then, to see the label land on digital download with a sprawling collection of previously vinyl-only reworks and bonus edits. Expect a gloriously vibrant and floor-friendly mixture of gospel-tinged psychedelic soul (Jimi Hendrix's "Freedom"), Clav-happy disco-funk squelch (Disco-Tech's "Assassination"), sweet disco sing-alongs (SanFrankDisko's "Get It Right"), sweaty punk-funk/dub disco heaviness ("Cavern Dance" by V's Edits), high octane disco-camp (Mighty Mouse's cheerfully silly "Got To Have Nothing") and much more besides.
Review: Having spent 2019 flitting between Chiwax, Super Rhythm Trax and the Nite Owl Diner labels, San Francisco-based rave revivalist and party-focused musical fusionist Chrissy kick starts 2020 by making his bow on Dusky's 17 Steps label. He's in predictably formidable form, too, with opener "In Paradise" delivering a near perfect fusion of energetic, hardcore style breakbeats, booming Jungle-esque sub-bass, swirling synth chords and the kind of wavy female vocal samples that set pulses racing at intoxicated outdoor raves. Ghere's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP too, from the jacking cheeriness of "New Atlantis" and the stomping ghetto-tech rush of "New Instruments", to the deep breakbeat hardcore warmth of "Composition for Sampler, Flexatone & Vibraslap".
Review: French outfit Mangabey team up with New York vocalist Kosmo Kint on two tracks that blur the boundaries between deep house, Balearica and neo-soul. On 'Time No More', Kint's R&B vocal, which recalls the likes of Usher or Shaun Escoffery, tops a languid, west coast-tinged deep house groove, while 'Get Lost' is a more laidback, summery affair with echoes of 80s pop. And if the vocals are a step too far into R&B pastures for you, don't worry, because both tracks also come complete with instrumental mixes, allowing the arps on 'Time No More', in particular, to really shine through.
Review: Known first and foremost as a deep house producer, the UK's Pete Le Freq takes a tour of more disco-oriented pastures on this three-tracker for Rayko's Rare Wiri label. The tracks are essentially re-edits, but there's no five-minute 'loop it up and chuck a 4/4 kick under it' shoddiness here, and you could equally see them as being fresh tracks that are merely 'inspired by' vintage cuts. 'Believe In You' is based on Patti Jo's 'Make Me Believe In You' from 1973, N-Joi's 1991 rave classic 'Anthem' (1991) gets disco'd up on 'Anthemic' and 'Love Is Sweet' sees Anita Baker's 1986 soul gem 'Sweet Love' given a nu-disco makeover.
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: This is Volume 15 in Audaz's 'Lolita' series, so you should have some idea what to expect by now! But for newbies, the 'Lolita' EPs are made up re-edits of classic disco, funk and pop cuts, largely from the 70s and 80s, with this latest outing including the Lolita take on tracks such as First Choice's 'Dr Love' (now known as '144'), Gene Chandler's 'When You're #1' ('148') and Tommy Tate's 'For The Dollar Bill' (or '149'). And yes, okay, those are the only three whose original source we can name off the top of our heads... but with earlier installments having leaned perhaps a little too heavily on the well-known and familiar, that's a good thing.
Review: So far we've yet to hear a duff track or release from Flamingo Pier, a hybrid Anglo-Kiwi crew whose vibrant and colourful music combines a plethora of musical influences in pursuit of disco-fired dancefloor gold. There's naturally tons of goodness to be found throughout their latest five-track missive, from the drowsy, Holy Ghost style deep disco warmth of opener "Tripping Up", to the sprightly '80s electrofunk brilliance of "Boogie Meltdown". Sandwiched in between you'll find two more tried and tested heaters: the kaleidoscopic, synth-heavy nu-disco cheeriness of "Indigo" and "Jungle Groove", a tight and throbbing proto-house number that sounds like the missing link between Paul Simpson and Escort.
Review: [Emotional] Especial stalwart and all-round underground progenitor Richard Sen makes a welcome return launching new label Darkness Is Your Candle with some of his inimitable muscular wave-tinted machine wares for seedy dancefloors. "No Sameness" is a stellar lead track, all evil one-note bass, freaky synth wriggles and the odd touch of splashy mixing desk FX. "Darkness Is Your Candle" is a touch more anthemic with its big melodic leads, but no less seductive. "Into The Abyss" completes the package with another brooding workout that slips in the cracks between vintage techno and minimal wave - classic tropes delivered impeccably.
Review: Motor City man Peter Croce has previously proved to be an adept re-editor, so there was much cheer in the Juno Download office when the Rocksteady Disco co-founder's latest EP landed. All three edits are superb: tactfully beefed-up rearrangements that make already excellent tracks into 21st century disco bombs. He begins with "Life Is A Circle", a stomping slab of heavyweight disco-funk, before dipping the tempo and loosening the beats on sweet disco-soul rework "What Can I Do For You". Arguably best of all though is his "Mystic Rhythm Dub Edit" of "Do What You Wanna Do", which turns a spacey and throbbing disco workout into a breathless sprint through percussive dub disco pastures.
Review: Miami-based Mark Brickman has been churning out tried-and-tested dancefloor treats for the best part of a decade, though this is the first time he's appeared on a label other than his own Rambunktious imprint. You'd expect it to raise his profile considerably, in part because both tracks are as humid and hot as the city in which he resides. Opener "Again & Again" is a thrusting, sample-heavy disco-house stomper that makes great use of horn blasts, looped vocal snippets, heavy percussion and a bassline capable of raising the blood pressure of even the most hesitant dancers. "One Night In Miami" is a slightly more relaxed and rubbery disco-house excursion, closer in tone to a beefed-up re-edit than a densely layered original production. It's good, too, though it's the virtual A-side that stands out.
Review: The latest release on Prins Thomas' label is somewhat different to his more cosmic whimsies. Inspired by a desire to produce music to be played at peak-time, "Anything.." is a pared back, rolling electronic disco groove that resounds to a rumbling bass and a hail of bleepy electronics. Of course this being Prins Thomas, the tempo doesn't rise over 120bpm, so the concept of peak-time is relative. He has also commissioned two remixes: working under his Eagles & Butterflies alias, Chris Barratt delivers a pulsating, tripped out rework that gradually veers into synth-led bliss, while the Barratt remix is a more sophisticated, deeper affair, resounding to a glistening synth line.
Review: Messrs Tennant and Lowe come with the third single from recent 14th album 'Hotspot' - the third on the bounce produced by Stuart Price, AKA Jacques Lu Cont/Les Rhythmes Digitales, who's credited as co-writer on this track. You know what the Pet Shop Boys sound like, though, so it's all about the remixes here. The Prins Thomas Diskomiks blends classic house and disco influences and will go down a storm on slightly older, high-camp floors, but the surging, pulsing bass and vocodered vocal on the Friend Within Remix - still paired with pianos beamed in from 1991 - make that probably the better bet for house spinners more generally. The melancholic 'At Rock Bottom' completes the tracklist.
Review: Having forged their reputation via a string of rock solid EPs on Toy Tonics, Rhode & Brown pop up on debutant label RTB with fellow German producer Tilman in tow. "One Grand Jams" consists of four tracks, all of which wrap extensive samples from disco, boogie and jazz-funk records around chunky, bass-heavy and in some cases slamming house grooves. We're particularly enjoying the insatiable electronic piano motifs, looped guitars and energetic synth-bass of "Good Time (Not A Long Time)" and the punchy, Latin-tinged disco-house rush of "Spencer", though the jaunty cheeriness of "She Knows" and the deep disco-house warmth of "Certainly" are similarly impressive.
Review: Each year 'This Is Toolroom' sets the tone for the British powerhouse's musical plans. Presented by London veteran (and Soul Purpose main man) Martin Ikin, this is an essential compilation to kick off a new decade, where you will discover essential cuts from label staples and newcomers alike across these 20 tracks - that cover the musical spectrum that Toolroom dubs its own. Highlights are not limited to: label boss Mark Knight kicking things off with the sultry and tribal vocal house anthem "Mona Lisa", the man himself Ikin contributing the funky house bomb "I'll Be" featuring Malika, Windy city legend Gene Farris bangs the party with the absolutely electric "Back In The Day" as well as the hosts of the label's last compilation Sllash & Doppe and Mendo, who serve up some seriously good vibes on "Back To The House" and "Give It To Me" respectively. As always, it comes with a continuous mix that's blended to perfection by Ikin.
Review: After a collaboration with label staple (and all round German legend) Mousse T recently, Sebastian Doering aka Lovebirds decided to come back to Peppermint Jam with another EP. The Hamburg based producer (and Teardrop label boss) presents the charmingly titled 'New Shit Has Come To Light' which serves up three expressions in timeless deep house - and are as sexy and emotive as you like it! From the sensual late night mood music of "Glove", to the evocative breaks-driven vocal charmer "Da Sixty" and the funky sun-kissed soul power of "Disco Train" closing out this fine EP.
Review: Last year Krewcial plied his wares on a variety of well-regarded labels, most notably Robsoul Recordings and Let's Play House. Here the Belgian producer kick-starts 2020 via an impressively expansive EP on Midnight Riot. We can imagine righteous, gospel-tinged piano-house opener "His Name" becoming a peak-time anthem in both disco and house clubs, while gospel-disco edit "Each Night" and bouncy, horn-laden Afro-funk cut "Mabina" are also superb. The set also boasts two alternate takes on "His Name": a cheery, warehouse-ready "Chitown Mix" and the slightly more gospel-fired "Harlem Stomp Mix".
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".
Review: Two very serviceable funk/soul edits here, although what they're actually edits of we couldn't tell you: 'Soul Power' sounds like it should be obvious but has nothing to do with the James Brown classic, and 'M' doesn't talk about pop muzik either! Still, with a nagging, fluttering guitar riff that plays throughout, brass fanfares, soaring saxophone and an ass-shakin' bassline, 'Soul Power ('Lego Edit 5am)' will get 'em on the floor without a doubt, while 'M', with its shuffle-y drums and hazy bassline topped with a mournful violin line, has a more laidback, almost Balearic feel, and would sound fantastic lazing by a poolside.
Review: Cocoon's Dots & Pearls series has been successful in putting new artists side by side with more established acts - and volume six is no exception. With a focus on the deeper side of house and techno, this instalment features "Origo", a rumbling electronic groove from emerging Diynamic / Watergate act Adana Twins and Frankfurt producer Fabe with a melodic tech-house cut, "Call Of Origin". Representing the more established acts is Eduardo de la Calle, who drops a trippy, dubbed out minimal house track, "I'm Losing My Mind", featuring Romina Cohn on vocals and Michael Klein's rave-heavy "Continuation". However, it's one of the new kids who steals the show, with Radu Dracul delivering the deep, bleep-laden techno of "Spectrae".
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: At six tracks deep, the latest volume in Columbian label Nomada's "White" EP series is an expansive affair. The first three tracks come from Phuture Shock Musik regular Karmasound, who first delivers some Rhodes and sub-bass heavy deep broken beat action ("Atrapado") before riffing on deep, Latin-tinged broken deep house ("Raices") and jazz-funk/broken beat fusion (the superb "Chichen Itza"). Lesser-known producer John Tareugram then takes over, confidently striding between drowsy, sample-rich deep house (the wonderfully groovy "Glorieux Passe"), insanely bass-heavy cut-up house heaven (stab-happy standout "Laiton Sphere") and skipping jazz-house pressure ("Paul & Dave").
Review: Deep and techier sounds out of Berlin's Watergate club brings two local producers to its ranks in Frank Beckers & Sandrino Tittel, a duo known for a slew of records on Innervisions, Mule Musiq and Drumpoet over the last decade. Bringing with them a Tiefschwarz remix to their stand out melodic and progressive number "Chimes" the EP hinges itself on an impressive display of lively, pulsating trance paired with subtle beats, abstract percussions and touches of acid in "Nova", with "Black Hole" taking the record down a spirale of bleeps, moody 90s-era synths and minimalistic electronica.
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: Duro's fourth-anniversary compilation series continues with another all-action collection of cuts from their roster of mostly Mexican artists. Fausto sets the tone with "Rumble", a deliciously raw, low-slung affair in which echoing post-punk guitar riffs ride unfussy drums and a booming analogue bassline, before Darlyn Vys layers psychedelic guitars and wild vocals atop a throbbing, arpeggio style groove. Jepe's "Rosmarin" breathlessly joins the dots between robo-disco and acid house, Mordisco's "Sacromonte" is a chugging slab of synth-heavy horror disco and Carisma's "Oto Planeta" is a dark Italo-disco throb-job laden with redlined electronics and foreboding chords. It's an excellent EP for those who like their disco grooves dark, druggy and unflinchingly heavy.
Review: Manchester's Chris Massey (not to be confused with Newcastle D&B producer Dan Masseye) serves up two tracks on local label Sprechen that were produced in collaboration with Indonesian artists. 'City Affairs' (featuring Dita) is a dark, techy houser topped with a whistle line and an Afro-style vocal, while on the funked-up 'Two 2 Tango' (feat KimoKai), with its poppy female vocal, fat-ass basline and cheeky lifts from Dupree's classic 'Brass Disk', Massey hits that sweet spot where 'credible' and 'commercial' are in perfect balance, and as such could have a summer hit on his hands. A dub of the latter, 'Put It On (Two Less Tango), completes a fine package.
Review: Man Friday's Pirate Edits series reaches its 14th installment, which means you should have a pretty good idea to expect by now. There are seven tracks in total, all of which draw on soul, disco or funk/jazz-funk sources... which is another way of assuring you there are no phoned-in, housed-up remakes of dodgy 80s pop or 70s soft rock faves here! 'So Long' is based on Debarge's shiny-suited boogie fave 'Rhythm Of The Night' from 1985, 'Sensation' reworks Loleatta's 'Love Sensation' and 'Music Upppp' draws from The Players Association's 'Turn The Music Up' from 1979, but the standout is '2 Late', a Negro-esque jazz-funk/disco/lounge concoction par excellence whose source, sadly, has us beat...
Review: Reading's Soulserious are back with their second offering for 2020, following up Sunday Roast's killer Peace Of Mine EP back in January. Now it's time for mysterious newcomer Assado, who brings you a varied selection of moods and grooves inspired by UK bass and beyond on the Horizon EP. Taking you deep into the exotic on the mesmerising and sensual tech house of "Message", while equally and atmospheric and hypnotic is the low-end driven, afro influenced progressive house of "Hold You" and "Diesel" respectively. The latter's intoxicating use of melody and enchanting vocal loops, over a tightly programmed groove, make this for truly compelling listening.
Review: 'Don't Want This To Be Over' featured on the Dutch funk/soul/breaks trio's sixth studio album 'Pleasure Centre' last year, and now here comes the obligatory remix set. A simple Edit is up first, followed by a stripped-back pass from Jean Tonqique with hints of Italo and a lil' funk squelch. Saison is then tasked with housing things up: his Hold It Back Dub works best for this reviewer because it lets the slap bassline shine through, but the vocal Saison Remix is also perfectly playable. Completing the EP is the lower-tempo, soul-drenched 'Knight One', which comes on like a lost 70s Laurel Canyon classic given a Balearic makeover.