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: Over the last couple of years Sauco has prioritized collaborative work with fellow Spaniard Manuel Costela, so it's good to see him returning to solo action via a first EP on Rare Wiri. There's much to enjoy on "The Wiri Tapes", from the hybrid boogie/nu-disco bounce of "Catch My Eye" - all D-Train style synth-bass, chiming mid-80s melodies, fizzing synth solos and clipped guitar riffs - to the dreamy mid-tempo warmth of closing cut "Get Off", another tactile number whose sustained chords, bubbly electronics and morning-fresh sounds are as sun-kissed as they come. Sandwiched in between you'll find the appropriately named "Cosmic Coin", a slow motion throb-job built around Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, swirling chords and drifting vocal samples.
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: This is a suitably solid start to the year from re-editor, remixer and producer Monsieur Von Pratt, an artist that rose to prominence within the disco scene in 2019. There's something particularly pleasing about opener "Be Real", which sees him successfully rework an obscure disco-boogie number rich in wavy group vocals, colourful synthesizer lines, cut-glass strings and toasty bass. There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere on the EP though, from the hot-to-trot early '80s disco bustle of "Distant Lover", to the percussion-laden instrumental disco headiness of "Let Your Body Shake" and the celebratory rush of fine closing cut "Loving You".
Review: A warm welcome back to the Funk District, a label-hopping re-editor and producer who's previous solo single dropped way back in 2018 on Masterworks Music. He begins his first Furious Mandrill outing with "Stuck On The Line", a loopy chunk of warm, sun-kissed disco house rich in jazzy piano solos, bluesy vocal samples and chunky, bass-heavy grooves. He breaks up the bits a bit more on "Melas" - think heavily chopped and looped Mexican disco-funk samples, rolling disco beats and heavy organ riffs - before joining forces with Sokur on the beefed-up tropical disco-funk of "The Horn". Finally, the Cancun-based artist reaches for the dub delays on a warm and woozy disco-house excursion rich in elongated pads, clipped guitars and bustling beats ("Abstract Love").
Review: Symptoms of Love is Detroit pair Ryan Spencer of Freakish Pleasures, and Ben Christensen from Sector 7G, and this EP was written over the space of a couple of years. It mixes plenty of live instrumentation with analogue studio trickery and a welsh of synths and drum machines. As such it is a timeless collection of house tunes that is awash with post-rave pads and retro vocoders. "Foam" (Seaside mix) is perfect slow motion dream house, and the ''Foam'' (Streetside Mix) is a broken beat rework. "Nightwatch" then reworks disco through a squelchy boogie filter and "Freshwater People" is cosmic downtempo brilliance before the tropical tribalism of "Sunset Years" rounds out a hugely original EP.
Review: Astonishingly, this is the 229th single release on Robsoul Recordings, a label that has now been releasing music for bang on 20 years. Fittingly it comes from a producer who has been a big part of the Parisian imprint's story since 209, prolific Frenchman Joss Moog. His "Raw Funk Files" folder contains three tracks, starting with the addictive thrust of "Turn The Music On" - a glorious fusion of crispy house beats, rubbery but heavy synth-bass and savagely cut-up hip-hop vocal samples. Moog explores similar sonic territory on the bumpin' hip-house/funk-fuelled deep house fusion of "They Took The Funk" - DJ Sneak and Derrick Carter would undoubtedly approve - while "So Good So Fresh" is a pitched up peak-time thruster full of restless cymbals, beefy drums, sub-heavy bass and short rap samples.
Review: Midnight Riot's latest release is a label debut for Those Guys From Athens, a collaboration between Greek scene stalwarts DJ Snatch and Blacksoul. They set their stall out with opener "Love Explosion", a rolling, bass-heavy house style re-edit of a heavily orchestrated disco classic, before expertly stretching out a hazy, percussion-laden slab of late 1970s tease-and-release peak-time disco ("Romancing"). "Vibration" sees them lightly tool up a simmering disco jam previously reworked by Beautiful Swimmers, while closing cut "Face To Face" is a lolloping shuffle through horn-heavy disco-funk cheeriness. There's nothing revolutionary here, but all tracks sounds like genuine dancefloor winners.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell welcome Croatian producer Andrej Laseech to the table following his promising early outings on Be Yourself and Sound Exhibitions. On this release, Laseech has reached out to the mighty, eternally prolific Javonntte for a little vocal magic, resulting in the utterly sexy deep house burner "More Than Friends". It's a track that Marcel Vogel & Tim Jules clearly dig, judging by the light touch they applied to their own remix of the track. "Take You Away" on the flip is another sweet and sultry warm-up or backroom jam that gets lifted even higher by Javonntte's stellar vocals.
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: 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: Argentinian producer Jonathan Braverman isn't really a woman, let alone several women; nor does he hail from the Red Planet. But he does, as Ladies On Mars, peddle a neat line in contemporary disco grooves, with this new EP packing four more examples. 'Got Me' is a rambunctious affair with a mid-70s New York feel, while 'Evil Lover' itself has more of an early 80s Euro vibe. 'Funky Music' is a squelchy, uptempo slab of funked-up disco house, while finally 'Cruising' blends jazz-funk and 80s boogie influences while ripping a Bar-Kays vocal, and chucks in some fine space disco stabs for good measure.
Review: An incredible 23 years and 58 instalments into this series, School Yard Breaks' in-house team of cratediggers have been going deeper than ever in search of cool drum breaks, unexpectedly funky basslines and other turntablist-friendly sonic ammunition. Artists here range from Ennio Morricone to prog-rock survivors Camel, and from short-lived jazz-funk outfit Hot Fudge (AKA Jacky Giordano/Black Devil Disco Club) to French 'zeuhl' combo Eskaton, via forgotten 70s rockers Thunderhead 75. Maggie MacNeal's Ike & Tina-esque cover of Cream's 'White Room' and John Sangster's instrumental organ take on a 'Sgt Peppers' fave are among the highlights; a Carpenters cover in Russian (?) is perhaps less essential, but gives you a good idea of the wonky, eclectic vibe overall.
Review: Dutch veteran Joris Voorn is back with some top tier remixes from his fourth long player entitled 'Four' released on personal imprint Spectrum late last year. The two sections presented for reworks are: "Antigone" first up, that receives an Extended Mix by Finnish producer Yotto (Anjunadeep/This Never Happened) recreating the track in deeper, more evocative and strongly melodic fashion. This is the first time since 2017 that he's worked with Vorrn, when he presented a release on his sister label Green. Secondly we have another Extended Mix, this time of "Never" by mysterious new producer Colyn. They recently debuted on Italian label Afterlife and this is an ethereal and mesmerising cut that is accentuated by some gorgeous pan pipe textures for added dramatic effect.
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: With this surprise outing on Delusions of Grandeur, former rising star Andy Ash - a Liverpool-based producer with releases on Saft, Scenery, Dessous and People Must Jam to his name - returns with his first EP for five years. Lead cut "Bottleneck" is impressively wayward and off-kilter, with Ash expertly combining lo-fi synthesizer riffs and sleazy analogue bass with thumping drum machine kick-drums and layered percussion. The "wayward hardware" vibe continues on "Hump", where cascading, sun-bright synthesizer motifs contrast with jacking drums and wild acid lines, while "Actual Price" is a bumping, warm and melodious slab of peak-time deep house pleasantness. As comeback singles go, this is a beauty.
Review: Experienced producer Shur-I-Kan (Tom Szirtes to his nearest and dearest) tends to develop long relationships with labels. In the early days of his career it was Freerange Records, but for the last seven years he's operated on Fred Everything's Lazy Days Recordings imprint. He returns to that stable with "This Situation", a three-track EP that confidently moves between warm, percussive dreaminess (the locked-in grooves, jazzy bass guitar, warm chords and echoing vocal samples of opener "Freakin"), bright-and-breezy nu-disco/deep house fusion (tasty title track "This Situation") and the more off-kilter, locked-in loop-funk of jazzy stomper "Taking The A-Train". The latter's rhythm genuinely sounds like a train rumbling along a track, which is quite impressive.
Review: Italian disco maestro Massimiliano Pagliara presents his first full length EP for Munich's Permanent Vacation. 'Nothing Stays In One Place For Long' features four tracks that prove that there's a wide variety in the Panorama Bar resident's sonic repertoire: from the steely chord driven techno of the title track, to evocative cosmic disco journeys (more similar to his usual work) as heard on the blissful "Accidentally We Rushed". On the flip, we've got two versions of "Avenue Of The Palms" - the Sunset mix is a serving of sun kissed deep house balearica, while the Night mix is a more upbeat and evocative version that's perfect for the later hours.
Review: Up next on Fine Grains we play witness to a fantastic new project as they introduce the forward thinking sounds of Herman into the mix and blend. He unveils four weighty originals to begin with, firstly bringing forward the colourful percussive influence and groovy rhythmic journeys of 'Kenkiliba', followed by the high energy funky drum work of 'War' and pitch bending metallic throbs of 'Rain Dance'. The title track 'Maglamah' then deploys a wash of tribal energy before we jump into the remix sector, with Center Of The Universe firstly applying a retro refit to 'Kenkiliba', before CAIN smashes together an extremely rhythmic moogy overhaul of 'Rain Dance' to round the release off.
Review: The world's most famous Irish-Iranian DJ/producer serves up a fourth collection of disco and boogie re-edits on his own Re-Loved label. The album features 19 full-length tracks plus two hour-long mixed versions from Haji himself, and the artist roster reads like a Who's Who of the re-edit scene, featuring as it does names like Dr Packer, Chewy Rubs, Birdee and Chuggin' Edits. What's most pleasing, though, is the non-obvious nature of the tracklist: sure, Ian Ossia's opener 'Someone To Count' borrows from Dennis Edwards but that's about as far as we got with trying to identity source material before shrugging our shoulders and just sitting back to enjoy...
Review: Prolific French newcomer Tommy Glasses comes to the Midnight Riot stable with an upbeat, summery EP that, stylistically, sits somewhere between nu-disco and 00s soulful/funky house, with the smooth n' sultry 'All Night' itself leaning a little more to the house side of that equation while the poppier 'Can't Get Enough' errs towards disco. Both tracks come accompanied by matching dubs, and while there's nothing particularly new or groundbreaking going on, those lucky enough to be looking forward to a summer of White Island gigs would do well to grab a copy now.
Review: As one of the most instantly recognizable imprints in the breakbeat world, we are always thrilled to see the return of Breakbeat Paradise, who touch down here with four tracks of groovy dynamite from Funkin Basstards. We kick off alongside the catchy vocal smotherings of Sofia Kamina, who lays down some smooth tones over the high energy instrumental to '2000', followed by Kurnel's electric performance on 'Soul Disco'. Next, Sofia is back with more vocal brilliance on funkadelic 'Feel The Vibe', before 'Drop The Mirrorball' deploys wah wahs and punchy drums to round us out in style.
Review: A stone cold tech house classic, Steve Bug's 'Loverboy' was first released on his Hamburg-based Poker Flat label back in 1999. Coincidentally, it was their first ever release too. Exclusive reworks have been few and far between, with legends such as Josh Wink and Guido Schneider only having the privilege thus far. Now as part of the label's 20 year celebrations, more names are added to that remix list that are equally worthy of your attention. First up, esteemed Polish duo Catz 'n Dogz give the track a tough bounce for the main room, complete with exotic steel drum sounds for added measure. This is followed by Berlin veteran Acid Pauli's Retouch, which goes for a trippy, minimalist and psychedelic journey that will sound a treat under the strobelights and the smoke machine.
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: Three slices of heavily electronic, house-leaning disco here from Vhyce, a Portuguese-Italian producer who's currently based in Belgium. 'Amour Cru' starts out as a perfectly serviceable Italo-esque chugger, then slowly develops into a sultry, sweaty affair that's got a mid-90s house feel, complete with a (presumably sampled, but unidentified) diva vocal. The far pacier, more urgent-sounding 'Rainbow Overdrive' is a pretty faithful homage to European disco of the early 80s (vaguely new wave-ish female vocal and all) and has some fine space disco stabs, while 'L.O.W' invites the throwing of dancefloor shapes with its jaunty, proto-electro synth riff.
Review: Spain's Raico Pe?a drops his fourth long-player, but only the second on his own Rare Wiri imprint (albums two and three having come out on Nang Records). Opening with a near-instrumental re-edit of The Passions' classic 'I'm In Love With A German Film Star' sets the tone nicely for a long-player that wears its 80s influences proudly on its sleeve, with Syndrum beats and analogue synths much in evidence throughout. And just to drive the point home, there's an 'Axel F' reversion called 'Super Suelto En Hollywood' thrown in for good measure! If you dig that spangly, 80s-influenced nu-disco sound, you'll dig this set for sure.
Review: Showcasing a wide range of sounds has always been very important to Dirtybird head honcho Claude Vonstroke. After 15 years of releasing two track EPs with a crazy A side and a deeper/weirder B side, he's been on to a winning formula all this time - so why stop now! Bringing the sound of the west (best) coast once again in the form of the boompty main room blip, bleep 'n blurp of "All My People In The House" (a big hit at this year's annual Campout we're sure), he then goes even further into the afterhours with studio assistant, friend and modular expert Wyatt Marshall - who collaborates with him on the sensual and evocative B side track "Youngblood".
Review: Now we can safely say that Manuka really were one of our stand-out dubstep labels of 2019, with a pile of expertly sourced releases and impactful branding, we can't wait to see what the future holds for them. Their latest offering is one of pure class as they invite Pluralist inside with a tasty four track selection. Firstly 'Let Them Blow' arrives with it's masterful garage-influenced drum processing and delightful vocal work, before the techy drum chops of 'Bussboy' warble into play. Next up, Kone joins the party, helping out on the glittering brilliance of 'Orbit', before we finish off with 'UN Sanctions', a dungeon-ready roller, featuring the unique vocal presence of Rex Domino.
Review: Having spent the last couple of months offering up weekly compilations from mystery re-editor "Lolita", Audaz boss Alkalino has decided the time is right for him to return to the long-running imprint. The four tracks are all original productions, too, with the Portuguese producer fusing a few choice samples with tech-tinged house grooves, darkroom rhythms and evocative electronics. Our picks of the bunch are hypnotic closer "I Can Tell You", where opaque, echo-laden stabs rise above a locked-in groove, the warm and trippy goodness of "Straight On & On" and "Somewhere", a deliciously sleazy late night workout rich in bouncy beats, stabbing analogue bass and - more surprisingly - a classic vocal sample from the KLF's "Chill Out" album.