Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a high-profile collaboration between Balearic nu-disco don Aeroplane and veteran French DJ/producer/disco digger Dimitri From Paris. In its' original 'Extended Vocal" mix form, "Can't Get Enough" is a sublime slice of summery disco revivalism laden with walking bass, clipped guitar riffs, ear-catching synths, ear-catching cowbells, crunchy handclaps and a soaring lead vocal from Leela. The pair's accompanying "Dubstrumental" is an authentic, disco-era style flipside dub complete with extended percussive breakdowns and stripped-back instrumental passages, while Yuksek's fine remix takes the track further towards "French Touch" style disco-house territory with an added dose of delay-laden proto-house magic. Big!
Review: Neo Blues 3 announces its arrival via our most trusted Vehicle label that's been a port of call for disco edits for the world over. Turning in another four-tracks here it's spearheaded by the uber-warm kick, woofing bass and melodic percussion sequences of "Sea-Line". Harking back to the days when artists like Eddie C and Tornado Wallace were dominating the slo-mo, chugging disco sound, "Condition" adds yet another beefy boost to a Ken Roger's classic, while funkier soul and blues jams from Kings of Survival make the cut alongside that all time cinematic classic by Rodriguez's ("Sugarman").
Review: Two months after making his Masterworks Music comeback with an EP of tidy re-edits of rare and obscure jams, Chris Grubizna returns to Danny Worrall's popular label with a similarly minded sequel. There are six tracks to choose from, all of which have been given a slightly more metronomic swing and a bit more bottom-end weight to suit contemporary dancefloors. Highlights include rush-inducing opener "All You Need" (a rubbery revision of Barbara Roy and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain's 1981 gem 'If You Want Me"), the clavinet-heavy disco-funk chug of "Gettin' Down", the low-slung Miami Funk/disco fusion of "Miami Vice", and the jazzy disco sunshine that is closing cut "Summer Joy".
Review: We're not sure whether Detroit Swindle has previously released anything quite as driving and energetic as "Coffee In The Morning". Although the lead vocal from sometime Tartelet artist Jitwam is worthy of comment, it's the infectious and breathless music that sits beneath - a combination of a low-slung punk-funk bassline, sweaty house beats, addictive electric piano stabs and wild sax lines - that makes the track such a buzzing, caffeine-charged affair. The Dutch duo's accompanying vocal-free "Dub Mix" is rock solid, but it's Prins Thomas's 10-minute "Discomiks" - an ever-growing, pulsating fusion of dub disco sweatiness and jazz-house heaviness, with additional space disco electronics thrown in for good measure - that really sets the pulse racing. In a word: essential.
Review: Alan Dixon, who's resident DJ at Savage in London, returns to Gerd Janson's Running Back with an EP that's unsurprisingly long on keys action. 'Acid Drop' gets the ball rolling, opening with a squelchy, early 80s-sounding synth bassline before unleashing a deluge of hands-in-the-air rave/Italo-house pianos from around the two-minute mark. The accompanying Swimming Mix tones down the 80s bass and adds a shimmering synth top line, giving the track something of a Balearic prog feel, while elsewhere 'Poye Loco' is a druggy, hazy nu-disco chugger and 'Rudy's Selector' is a midtempo, contemplative piece, both also heavily laced with piano.
Review: Within the release reviews we often discuss consistency and if there was ever a label that it applied to the most it is Strictly House And Garage. Since their inception as an imprint last year, they have barely put a foot wrong, with this latest six tracker from the ever-ready Daze Prism being a perfect example of that. We begin our journey into this one with a look at the smooth, warming chords within 'Burning' atop a colourful array of drums, before sliding into the futuristic percussive reverbs and winding sub structures of 'Header'. Next up we take in 'Just Get You' which combines nostalgic string notation with moderinzed crispy drum exploits, before 'Lazer' arrives with more catchy vocal chops to match. From here, 'Selekta' arrives with a lively set of drum moves and a catchy reese tone before we take in 'Shady', a slower groove that works perfectly to
round off the project with a bang.
Review: For his latest trick, spoonerism-loving rework maestro V (AKA sometime funk-breaks producer Valique) has decided to offer up a second selection of "Neo Blues" scalpel works. He begins by delivering a chunky, rolling revision of Ann Feebles' rock-tinged gospel-funk classic "Beware", before chugging his way through a pitched-down revision of a weighty T-Rex glam-rock classic ("Jewelry"). This is followed by EP highlight "Holis", an inspired - and suitably epic - "Afro-blues" revision of one of Nina Simone's greatest moments, and the low-slung voodoo-house hypnotism of "Mississippi Lullalby (V's Rendition)". To finish with a. flourish, the Vehicle main man then adds some elastic new drums to Otis Redding's version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".
Review: Although French veteran Ludovic Llorca has previously provided remixes for Z Records, "Flower Child" marks the first time one of his original productions has appeared on Dave Lee's long-serving label. While there are naturally some subtle nods towards Llorca's classic house sound in the track, it's little less than a flash-fried chunk of disco revivalism that brilliantly wraps period instrumentation - crunchy Clavinets, funk-rock style guitar licks, slap bass and sweeping strings - and a soulful lead vocal around live-sounding beats that are guaranteed to get you up and dancing. It's accompanied by a similarly impressive instrumental version, which wile a little less impactful is nevertheless a genuine aural treat.
Review: To celebrate notching up ten years in the game, London blog and party-turned-record label SlothBoogie has decided to offer-up their most ambitious release to date: an epic collection of previously unheard cuts from a mixture of imprint regulars and like-minded friends. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, with highlights including the sparkling jazz-funk-meets-deep house sunshine of Levan's "U R Beautiful In The Face", the deep, breakbeat-driven dreaminess of Philippa's "That's What I Mean By Free", the piano solo-heavy disco-house bump of Leatherette's "Your Love", and the dub disco-meets-acid house heaviness of "Rewind Run" by Pablot. Throw in similarly impressive contributions from Kassian, Luvless, Casino Times and Soul Wun (the classic jazz-house of "Thank You, St Germain") and you have a must-have collection.
Review: Party-starting disco/funk bizniss here courtesy of Alien Disco Sugar, AKA Greek producer Leonidas Deejay. 'Sunshine In', as you may have guessed, is based heavily on The Fifth Dimension's classic 'Let The Sun Shine In' (from the musical 'Hair') and is served in Original and Extended Mix flavas, with the latter the clear pick for club play because it's here that the string stabs and AWB-ish horns really shine through. The NSFW vocal on 'Crank This MF Up!', on the other hand, is of unknown origin, but once paired with the track's lolloping funk groove is guaranteed to get booties shaking out on the floor.
Review: He may have focused on Dave Seaman's Selador as an outlet in recent times, but Mannheim's 8 bit have certainly been championing the work of Danny Howells too. After two electrifying releases in the form of "Whiterock" and last year's terrific 'Players' EP, the industry veteran follows through with another riveting new EP for Nick Curly and Gorge's ever reliable imprint. Get stoned into the groove on the low slung and bass-driven funk of "Paradium", be utterly hypnotised by the sublime and dubby deep house of "Spindles" until he takes you back deep into the aether on the moody afterhours workout of "Chordlock".
Review: Manchester's Indigo Jung returns to Sprechen, the leftfield house/disco/Balearic label headed up by Paper A&R Chris Massey. 'Mean World' takes a proper 60s/70s soul diva vocal and places it atop a backdrop that marries fluttery disco geetars and Balearic-style atmospherics to a bassline that's hefty and resonant to the point of being almost junglistic in feel, the end result being a surging, looping cut that'll keep bodies moving nicely. The accompanying 'Aldi' is a more traditional-style, string-drenched disco-houser that could have come out at any point in the past 25 years, but still packs plenty of dancefloor punch with its intricate slap bassline, chopped string stabs and layers of white noise.
Review: Following up the 'T1'experiment back in 2015, Toolroom reboots the concept to celebrate their artists' talents and challenge them creatively. With many in isolation across the world, 'T2' will act to raise money for Covid-19 relief funds, with a percentage of profits going to charity. Much like the last edition - which was an album of new and exciting collabs from their label roster - label boss Mark Knight picked the collaborations totally at random during a Facebook Live broadcast, resulting in some 'out-of-the-box experiments and sure-fire bangers.' Highlights include: KC Lights who teams up with Kitball's Juliet Sikora on the soulful sax-driven shuffle of "Tonight", the man himself Mark Knight teaming up with Tuff London and Cagney & Lacey to bring back funky house with a vengeance on "Don't Give Up", while Romanian label staples Sllash & Doppe likewise turn in some late '90s styled filtered disco funk on "Burnin'" and the ascendant Maxinne teams up with Mizbee, Amine Edge & DANCE on the tough rolling main room stomper "What U Say".
Review: Remarkably, three decades have now passed since Dave Lee AKA Joey Nergo inaugurated his label, Z Records. To mark the occasion, Lee has compiled this suitably epic, 44-track retrospective. There are plenty of big tunes and underground anthems present- see Jakatta's "American Dream", Raven Maize's "The Real Life", The Sunburst Band's "Everyday" and Doug Willis's "Spread Love" - as well as some of the veteran DJ/producer's favourite catalogue cuts and some slept-on gems. Throw in a string of memorable remixes - think Ame's remix of Akabu's "Phuture Bound", Grant Nelson's vintage rub of Z Factor's "Gotta Keep Pushin" and Joey Negro's revision of Patrice Rushen disco classic "Haven't You Heard" - and you've got a brilliant retrospective of one of house and disco's most consistent labels. Don't sleep!
Review: A track here that's both highly topical, and potentially controversial. Topical because the spoken vocal is lifted from the Gil Scott-Heron track of the same name, a hard-hitting rant about the USA's slow progress towards true racial equality that holds as true in 2020 as it did when first released a full 50 years ago; potentially controversial, because said vocal makes extensive use of the N-word. So if in doubt, you might wanna head for the accompanying instrumental, wherein the languid disco-funk backdrop really shines through with its echoing guitar chops, exuberant trumpet parps and ponderous, unhurried walking bassline.
Review: Four-man crew Melon Bomb's only previous output has been a smattering of re-edits on compilation style releases, so this debut solo single for Tensnake's True Romance label is a significant step in their blossoming career. It's quietly impressive, too, with the Ibiza-based quartet offering up a pair of tracks that are the audio equivalent of sweltering afternoon sunshine. Lead cut "Sweetness" sees them cloak bumping house beats and thickset bass in wavy, delay-laden electric piano snippets, swirling orchestral samples and well-placed spoken word vocal snippets. Virtual B-side "Didn't I" is a little more Balearic in tone, with pulsing, French Touch-style motifs, tropical sound effects and glistening guitar samples riding another chunky bassline and energetic house beats.
Review: London producer Ash Reynolds brings us vocal cut on his own Slightly Transformed that straddles the divide between deep house and garage - as so many records used to, but as so few, sadly, do today! The Extended Mix of 'Everytime' has a New Jersey-ish feel, while Siente sprinkles a little disco dust over a remix that's purpose-built for Iberican terraces. The Nine Lives Remix is a funkier pass and possibly the pick for deep house jocks, before Sons Of Satin throw us something of a curveball, in the form a breakbeat-led remix that harks back to the glory days of rave. Sterling work all round.
Review: With Italy hit hardest by the Coronavirus and lockdown right now, Milan crew, collective and glitterazzi Rollover keeps hope alive! Normally a trusted party for Milano's Apollo club (that's brought the likes of Tiga, Maurice Fulton, Ame and Bambounou to town), Rollover is the place and project for DJ duo and label owners Rocco Fusco & Tiberio Carcano to work their magic. In times of crisis Rollover presents a special initiative via their "ANYTHING GOES" edit service, welcoming voluntary contributions that pay homage to the spirit of Balearic music and beyond! Expect tracks from 2manydjs, Adam Port, Soul Clap, Boombass, Moscoman and Bill Brewster, among many others, with proceeds going to the official emergency fund set up by the Italian Civil Protection Department destined for the COVID-19 crisis in Italy.
Review: Having previously proved his mettle with a pair of albums in quick succession ((2015's "Projections" and 2016's "Love Songs: Part 2"), Archie Fairhrust AKA Romare decided to take a little longer to produce his third album for Ninja Tune. The thing is, you can tell. Full to bursting with great ideas and canny fusions of various strains of house, techno, electro and IDM style electronica, the album's nine tracks bristle with sparkling melodies, raw analogue basslines, occasional choice samples (see the bluesy "The River") and beats that demand further attention. The plentiful highlights include picturesque downtempo number "Deliverance", sleazy and rave-ready opener "Gone", cheery upbeat workout "Heaven" and quietly jazzy downbeat closer "Home".
Review: Manchester's Hobbs (UK) - AKA Matt Hobin, FKA Kleen Kutz - joins forces with Data Transmission podcast supremo Ron Mexico for a disco-house three-tracker on Doorly's Reptile Dysfunction. 'Good Times' is a soul-infused affair whose male vocal nods to Aquarian Dream/Danny Tenaglia classic 'Look Ahead', while 'Don't Stop' is a slightly tuffer, more energetic cut with micro-snips of the vocal from Common's 'I Used To Love H.E.R', as previously sampled on Da Mongoloids' vintage Strictly bullet 'Spark Da Meth'. Completing the package is 'My Baby', a driving cut with a near-chipmunk'd vocal and an incessant, loopy kinda feel.
Review: Midnight Riot serve up some contemporary disco/disco-house grooves that are sure to find favour at the likes of Glitterbox and Horse Meat Disco. In its Original form, 'Groove It' has a summery, mid-00s Hed Kandi kinda feel. Yam Who? then steps up with a Studio 54 Tribute Vocal Mix which, true to form, is somehow altogether more sumptuous and luxuriant without actually being that radically different, and which comes accompanied by a matching instrumental. Finally, Rocoe funks things up considerably on a remix that's driven by a phat bassline, wukka-wukking geetar and rare groove-style, siren-like horns.