Review: David Russell Lee has an impressive number of pseudonyms at his disposal, from Joey Negro to Sessomatto and Agora, but he appears this time under his Jakatta alias for a humungous remix compilation of his Visions work. There a plenty of names and bangers on here, from the almighty Photek who gives "So Lonely" a balearic spin, to Layo & Bushwacka's tripped-out remix of "My Vision" and even Blu Mar Ten's sultry and minimalistic D&B re-spin. There's too much quality for us to give everything away and spoil it for your hearing pleasure - dig in!
Review: With a clash of titans such as disco-house-meister Joey Negro and awesome bear-disco London club Horse Meat Disco, a record like "Candidate For Love" was always going to be a top-notch belter, and well, it is! Three versions are supplied too, with euphoric pulse-bass disco and arpeggiated Giorgio Moroder style mixes from Negro himself and a gorgeously seductive slo-mo bump n grinder from the Horse Meat Disco crew.
Review: Here's a downloadable version of Z Records' limited edition Record Store Day vinyl remix package of four tracks by label boss Joey Negro and his Sunburst Band. Sizzling electro-funk lead track "Taste The Groove" is given a low-slung, chugging 'Walk The Night'-style disco makeover by Hot Toddy. "Why Wait For Tomorrow" is teased out into up to 11 minutes of vintage disco ecstasy (in over three different mixes!) by Al Kent. "Definition Of Luv" also gets some super camp New York housey lovin' from Sean McCabe.
Review: For the past two decades, Frankie Knuckles has specialized in creating the sort of warm, touchy-feely soulful house remixes that recall a more innocent age. Here he's at it again (alongside pal Eric Kupper), re-shaping the Sunburst Band's reveivalist disco-boogie jam "The Secret Life of Us" as a grandiose, string-laden homage to early days of E-fuelled soulful house excess. The Signature Mix makes great use of Diane Charlemagne's excellent vocal, layering it over a classic Knuckles groove and all manner of pads, chords and melodic touches. The Signature Dub, complete with epic intro and singalong chorus repeats, is if anything even better. A pleasing blast from the past, all told.
Review: Dave Lee's Z Records imprint has always been a reliable source of the sort of grandstanding house, soulful garage and disco-flecked grooves that require strong vocals. Lee, of course, is a past master at this kind of thing, and his 20-plus year career has seen him forge links with many legendary vocalists. This compilation celebrates those 'divas' - there are notable appearances from Taana Gardner, Gwen Guthrie, Thelma Houston, Michele Weeks and Taka Boom - by showcasing some of their best work for Z. There's some great material peppered throughout, from the classic disco-soul of the Sunburst Band's "In The Thick of It" and "Everyday", to the block party electrofunk of Kola Kube's cover of Carly Simon's "Why".
The Girls & Boys (Crazibiza club mix) - (6:43) 126 BPM
Review: Dave Lee and Andrew Livingstone's 20-year-old funky house classic gets a well-deserved revamp from Hed Kandi faves Crazibiza. From one Hed to another, they've paid complete respect to the genre-setting original throughout; swashbuckling drums, a juicy groove of obese proportions and full focus on the infectiously catchy vocal, it's a kindly reminder of how timeless house music can be when it's in the right hands. File under: 'quintessential remix'.
Review: Having first appeared on CD earlier in the year, Graeme Clark's first official album of Revenge reworks comes to digital download. If you missed out first time around, it's well worth a listen - not least because there are some killer re-edits and reconstructions present. Interestingly, Reekin'structions by The Revenge partly shies away from Clark's celebrated tracky and hypnotic house sound. While his deft house touch is still present - see the delightful slow-build version of Velvet Hammer's "Party Down", or the low-slung retro-house remix of "Smurf Trek" by original electro-funkers Chapter 3 - some of the best cuts here are little more than traditional re-edits, with Clark offering killer new arrangements of little-known disco, soul and boogie originals.
Review: Two expert slabs of soulful house right here. They come courtesy of Bristol-based Sean McCabe, but by the sound of these you could swear he's NYC born and bred. "Something About You" oozes authenticity; the delicate organ-powered chord progression, the wriggling live bassline and Rogers-style guitar washes make the perfect framework for Wallace's stunning vocal presence. "Holding On" is a dubbier affair with a mammoth synth that laps and bobs with dynamism before we're dropped into a sumptuous bed of piano vibrancy. Perfect.
Review: A veritable Dave Lee classic from 2005, this sports one of the finest African chants ever to grace a house cut. Deep, driven but delightfully soulful and spirited, its timeless flavour has been reinvisioned Austrian duo Ogris Debris with a more left-centric message. With spiralling psychedelic meanders on the melody and an altogether trippier vibe, it complements the original without trying to outshine. For good measure Mr Negro himself has provided an edit of his original "Medusa" remix. And an acceplla. Hours of fun.
Review: A very special one-off here from Joey Negro. Taking the bassline from Daft Punk classic "Burnin'" (which some may recognise as the bassline off Junior Jack's "Thrill Me" and "E-Samba"), processing it to smithereens and adding another instant smile-driver from the vaults Funkadelic (which some may recognise as the hook off De La Soul's "Me, Myself & I"), he's created what we call in the record retail industry as a 'next level bomb!' We really can't put it more clearer than that.
Review: Of Dave Lee's many pseudonyms, Mistura is arguably one of the most overlooked. Yet he's periodically used the pseudonym to release some superb material, from the live disco-meets-classic US garage flex of 1999's "Think Positive" and deeper "Tonight" (1998), to 2011's Sunburst Band-goes-house vibe of the hummable "Better Things To Come" (very Masters At Work, circa Our Time Is Coming). This first Mistura compilation brings together the singles to date, while also offering an impressive range of acapellas (including two different takes from boogie legend Taana Gardner on "Sweet Magic") and alternative mixes. Of these, it's Todd Edwards' vintage mix of "Tonight" that most impresses, though it's far breezier and less cut-up than his more familiar style.
Review: Aussie retro soul and funk heroes Electric Empire see their soulful ballad, "Always", remixed for dancefloors everywhere by Dave "Joey Negro" Lee. The original is a total homage to mid-70s Stevie Wonder, but here Negro adds a slick shuffling house rhythm and fluid bass which manages to retain the original's vintage feel whilst recalling the sound of more modern disco-house acts like Jamiroquai. Also included is a gospel-heavy bonus 'reprise' and an acappella version too!
Review: Given his history as a maker of lusciously melodic, soul-flecked electronic music, Martin 'Atjazz' Iveson is a smart choice to remix the latest chunk of boogie-soul from Dave Lee's Sunburst Band project. Iveson's vocal mix is something of a morning fresh blast-from-the-past - a shuffling, Osunlade-ish fusion of Darian's soulful vocals, twinkling pianos and jazzy house percussion. His Syncopated Dub is even better, all warm synths, Henrik Schwarz-ish builds, twinkling pianos and shuffling rhythms. For those looking for a quick percussive hit, Iveson has also provided an excellent Beat Skit. Not to be outdone, Dave Lee also provides a clutch of remixes. Of these, it's the sweet boogie-soul groovery of the Joey Negro Dub that most impresses.
Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - "Back It On Up" - (6:34)
Review: End of year reflections... For some labels it's just a re-hash of familiarity. For others it's a chance to really celebrate the breadth of releases. Negro's Z Records definitely falls in the latter category as we're dazzled with disco and funk sciences through the ages: From cheeky edits of disco classics (Lady Aya's "Shake Your Body") to rare funk jams like Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers "Back It On Up" (taken from Paul Phillips ace Under The Influence album) via more straight up funky house work-outs Jakatta's "Scattering Stars" and Supernova's superb futurisation of "American Dream".
Review: Z Records boss Dave Lee returns to his own Jacksons' inspired disco house bumper fronted by Lady Ama, giving "Shake Your Body" the Joey Negro treatment. Given Lee's history as a maker of good quality, funtime disco-house, it's no surprise that his two remixes do the business. Both nudge the track further towards straight-up disco territory, utilizing far more strings and horns than the original mix, whilst retaining the heavy synth bassline that dominated the first release. Of the two mixes, it's the Special Dubb that impresses most, thanks in no small part to Lee's way with delay and knowledge of original disco dubs. For creative DJs, there's also a handy accapella.
Review: Mr Negro adds yet another party personality to add to the ever-growing list, and he's presenting it with the help of Freerange-faves Kyodai. Pumped with glittering pianos, strings and tight looping of the vocal, it's a surefire house hit that sounds just as timeless as it does forward thinking. For less vocal outlandishness head directly to the dub. And for more vocal outlandishness head directly to the acapella tool - hours of fun!
Review: When Joey Negro dons his Akabu guise, you know he's about to lay down a timeless house groove. He did it with "Sax My Bitch Up", he did it with "Life Is So Strange", and, with the help of Alex Mills' dulcet tones, he's doing it with this, too. Rolling with a classic analogue bassline and deep dreamy chords, the "Strip Mix" is an instant hip-wiggler with serious 'zone-out' potential while the "Warehouse Mix" adds more texture and a hollow harmony to the bass a la Robin S. Everybody wants something...and your dancefloor wants to hear this!
Review: Z Records presents a fine remix package of Joey Negro's and The Sunburst Band's hit-wonder "Definition Of Luv" featuring Diane Charlemagne. Sean McCabe is up first and he takes a proper garage path to the mix, adding in some beautifully rolling percussion work and moulding Charlemagne's vocals to the point of total joy, whilst Joey Negro extends his mix further by emphasising the power of those boogie bass-tones; there's even have a Sean McCabe dub to follow - a real exploration of the word 'groove'. Joey Negro then dubs it out himself by removing the bulk of the vocals and delivering sheer instrumental magic, while McCabe's instrumental and accepella are provided for all your mixing needs.
Review: Joey Negro's Z Records have a remarkable knack for knocking out vintage compilation after vintage compilation. Here though, they've really discovered a rare niche of unmined gold courtesy of Nuphonic's David Hill who acts as selector. As Hill explains "gospel music has often followed trends in secular music" and this album captures 24 attempts of gospel getting on the disco and boogie trains. Highlights include the hiNRG longing of "I Need You", the electro-soul of "Love Is The Message" and the piano & strings frenzy of "Awake O Zion".
Review: Marking 20 years since its first release, Joey's beautiful One Way-sampling disco house joint gets another new lease of life thanks to Alex Kenji and Mr Willis himself. The former adds an alluring bump-bass jack (think Daft Punk's "Burnin'") while the latter just beefs the original up to contemporary production standards and ensures that crisp acid line is an equally strong feature as the lead sample. Also included is "Doug Biscuit", a more cosmic, dreamy house version of "Spread Love". Three first class takes on one of Joey's earliest releases. Spread the love today...
Review: Following a host of releases with his Sunburst Band, Z Records boss Joey Negro is back to perhaps what's he's best known for: spinning light and soulful disco house. This second in the series kicks off with the handbaggy "Smile" by Mistura and take in thumping diva business "Every Day Of The Week", sublime techy house "Life Is So Strange", unsullied authentic disco "Power To The People", acid-jazz on "Better Things To Come" and the phaser-heavy, electro-boogie of "Begun To Love".
Review: With a surname like 'Ferrari', it's no surprise that this producer hails from Turin, Italy. It's also no surprise that he's totally disco through and through. For this, his Z Records debut, he's teamed up with leather-lunged belter Jennifer Wallace and it's a super-celebratory slice of prime cut disco-house. Label boss Dave Lee provides an unashamedly musical extended mix that indulges all his early '80s New York disco-boogie influences in fine style indeed.
Review: Boston-based sample-don J Paul Getto returns with his third EP on the UK's Z Records, an imprint reserved solely for the finest in boogie house delights. It's a hefty six tracks of joyful summer vibes and beats, containing plenty of edits and re-cuts by Mr Getto himself, and a stunning Joey Negro edit of "Love Today" - that track which makes you want to literally throw yourself in the dance-floor after hearing its warm and seductive bassline.
Review: It's that time of year again when Joey Negro unveils his label's choicest cuts for the latest season on the White Isle. As usual it's a selection of both quality and quantity (22 tracks in all) and highlights include the laser-disco-house of Doug Willis' "Spread Love", the linear stomp of The Sunburst Band's "Journey To The Sun" and Munk's cheeky hi-NRG rework of "Do you Dream In Colour".
Review: Dave Lee knows a thing or two about selecting remixers, and he seems to have got it right again here. It's soulful house veterans Mark Bamford and Richard Earnshaw who are the "chosen two" this time round, and they duly give Lee's Sunburst Band a thorough club makeover. Their version of "I'll Be There 4 U (Garden of Love)" does all the right things in all the right places, remaining true to the source material whilst adding a booming new bassline, UK garage style vocal cut-ups and Innervisions-ish rising and falling chords. Lee dons his Joey Negro guise to provide a solid Club Mix that sticks closer to the original's spiraling jazz-funk-meets-boogie vibe (check those synth solos).
Review: The blistering disco-house original of "Make Room For Me" by Turin producer Antonello Ferrari dropped way back in July. Such was its good vibes that label boss Dave Lee has commissioned a new pair of mixes. Both are Italian with Micky Moore's 'Super Jazz Funk" mix being the kind of funk-fuelled banger that the likes of Jay Kay only dream of making - all shuffly beats, elastic bass, tight guitar, celestial vocals and yes, pan pipes! Ferrari's own "Make Room For The Dub" mix takes things in a more brooding direction, bringing in hypnotic electro-boogie riffs for some serious damage.
Review: Throughout his long career, Swedish producer Andreas Saag has flitted between deep house and nu-jazz, crafting a melodic, musically rich and soul-flecked trademark sound. He's a good choice, then, to compile and mix a collection of Z Records' deeper moments. There's much to admire on this unmixed version (Saag's mix is included as a bonus cut), from the flowing keys and fluid grooves of the Swede's own remix of The Sunburst Band v Atjazz's "When The Lights Meet The Sky", to the string-laden beauty of Andre Lodeman's rework of Akabu's "Another World". Highlights come thick and fast, with further notable selections from JD73 (remixed brilliantly by Tornado Wallace), Jupiter Beyond, The Sunburst Band (reworked by Recloose) and, of course, Joey Negro.
Review: It's another tight looking instalment on Z Records for legend Joey Negro's Sunburst Band outing - proper music for the body and the soul! You get plenty of action and a load more props on here: "Only Time Will Tell" and "Face The Fire" are both retouched with the lovely Angela Johnson's vocals, whilst Marlow & Truby secure your floor needs with two clubbier remixes. Check Joey Negro's refix too, of course - the man can do no wrong.
Review: The adventures of contemporary soul aficionado Lorenzo Ferguson continue. Taken from last year's album ManMade, and heavily inspired by '80s funk troupe The Whispers - "We Are On The Move" is now delivered with a luxuriant classic soulful garage shine from Z champion Joey Negro. Bumping with the perfect amount of grace, Joey's added a dynamic that complements the original like a well-tailored suit. Complete with a ridiculously fun video, support has already landed from the likes of Tensnake, Faze Action, Danny Krivit and DJ Spen. Accreditations don't get any higher in this field.
Review: The game-changing Z Records is back with another slice of pulsating floor funk, this time taking the form of a straight up remix EP of Tramhed's clusterbomb "Circles In My Mind". The label has chosen the legendary Joey Negro to come through with three blistering remixes, including an absolutely scorching Rodox Dub to wipe the dance clean of any boredom, and Sonny Wharton to deliver another fine tool-house cut for you to use whichever way you like. Keep it up, Z!
Review: Z Records annual Ibiza compilation is a much-loved institution, intended by Joey Negro as a companion for those heading out there this summer or for those listening at home in the less Balearic UK. With a 22-song tracklist it'll take all summer to get through it, but what a summer! Highlights include Negro's collaboration with the mighty Horse Meat Disco, "Candidate For Love", the raw disco-not-disco gem "Crystal Lover" and the simply gorgeous forlorn house of "Everybody Wants Something". So, another great season then!