Review: We can think of few DJs more suited to compile a retrospective of killer 1990s house and garage than Z Records boss Joey Negro and Fanatix member Neil Pierce. It's perhaps unsurprising then that this follow-up to Negro's admired 2015 compilation is packed to the rafters with must-have treats. There are naturally some suitably big cuts present - see Kerri Chandler's fine mix of N-Joi's "Anthem" and Todd Terry's rub of Martha Walsh's "Runaround" - but for the most part the selections will be new to all but a small collection of veteran US garage enthusiasts. Our highlights include the riff-powered goodness of Slam Mode's "100% Power", Marshall Jefferson's deep dub of Screamin' Rachael's "Rock Me" and the soulful rush of Donald O's "Everything's Gonna Be Alright".
Review: Over the course of his 18-year career, Partyfine founder Yuksek has been moving steadily towards a musically rich, mature and detailed sound that draws much from his vintage influences (think disco, boogie, jazz-funk and so on). "Nosso Ritmo", his new album, is arguably the logical conclusion of his journey so far. Rich in warm live instrumentation (bass, keys, synths etc), crunchy disco/electrofunk beats and a wealth of stylish lead vocals (provided by a string of guest singers), the set sees the French producer deliver an attractive, ear-pleasing collection of cuts that strike a near perfect balance between radio-friendly disco-pop hooks, peak-time dancefloor weight and celebratory afternoon cheeriness. The result is a hugely impressive album that could well propel Yuksek to genuine crossover success.
Review: Since launching in 2018, Midnight Riot's gospel-fired "Take It To Church" compilation series has proved hugely popular, hence this third volume of re-edits, remixes and sample-heavy original productions. As usual, there's much to set the pulse racing from start to finish, with highlights including the jazz-funk fired soulful house bump of Opolopo's remix of "Follow Me" by Sense of Sound Singers, the gospel disco/disco-house fusion of Sarah Dash's "Something Inside (DJ Spen & Reelsoul Remix)", the rubbery goodness of Carlton Low's 1980s sounding "Peace, Love, Happiness", the gospel-boogie brilliance of Jack Tennis's filter-heavy "Won't You" and the gospel scalpel science that is Divine Situation's superb "Goin' On" re-edit.
Review: Denver-based Funk Hunk has never been the most prolific of re-editors, though his sporadic releases tend to be decent. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on "Hunk's Got The Answer", his first outing for Danny Worrall's Masterworks Music label. Check first the gnarled disco-rock camp of "Get Up", before admiring the elastic slap-bass motifs at the heart of loopy disco-house workout "Gotcha". "Hunk's Got The Answer" is a languid, tastefully tweaked rearrangement of an obscure, jazz guitar-laden deep disco treat, while "Take A Little More" is a cut-up, house style edit of a bona fide disco anthem. As if that lot wasn't enough to get your pulse racing, "Wot" sees our hunky hero successfully rework a Tom Tom Club style slice of low-slung NYC headiness.
Review: Put up the bunting: Jimpster's back! The Freerange Records co-founder has been rather quiet of late, with the "One EP" delivering his first new material for nearly two years. Predictably he's in fine form from the off, successfully joining forces with Osunlade collaborator Casamena on brilliant opener "One" - a jaunty, loose-limbed fusion of jumpy broken house beats, huggable chords, sweaty percussion fills and a post hip-house spoken word vocal from the track's guest star. Detroiter Waajeed re-frames it as a bass-heavy chunk of starry deep house positivity before Jimspter offers up bonus cut "The Way It Is", a slightly more rubbery jog through ear catching deep house positivity rich in jazzy piano solos and squeezable synth bass.
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: 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!
Sammy Deuce - "All Night Long" (original mix) - (3:29) 124 BPM
Review: Glasgow Underground's contribution to the 2020 Miami sampler mountain may well induce feelings of deja vu: not only does it include multiple tracks from label boss Kevin McKay recent much-vaunted 'No Samples...' covers album, but much of the rest is in a similar vein, with McKay and a selection of musical buddies reworking a load more house classics to bring them in line with 21st Century production values. To our ears, though, it's the fresh cuts here that are the more interesting, and happily there are plenty of those on offer, too, coming from the likes of Vanilla Ace, Mirko & Maex, Reblok, Adapter, Sam Dexter and Elliot Fitch.
Review: Fatboy and Eats joining forces - and on Southern Fried to boot - is surely a prime example of "nominative determinism" in action. But it makes sense, too, because both the Brighton veteran and the Bristol not-so-veteran are known for a knack with a crowdpleasing tune, so to misquote 'Hart To Hart': when they came together, it was always gonna be moidah! We'll all probably be sick of it by August, but only because 'All The Ladies' - with its filtered, rolling drums, looped-up hip-house vocal, cheeky jazz brass and Pavlovian snare rolls - has Feelgood Hit Of The Summer written all over it.
KS FRENCH - "HaPpiness Your Love" - (4:44) 120 BPM
KS FRENCH - "Glad Bae" - (5:30) 117 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Roma My Way" - (6:24) 100 BPM
KNG EDITS - "God Soul" - (6:50) 118 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Damn Girl" - (4:58) 114 BPM
BELABOUCHE - "A Party" - (6:38) 120 BPM
MR Given Raw - "Boogie Magic" - (4:56) 114 BPM
KS FRENCH - "Love Vibration" - (6:35) 114 BPM
KNG EDITS - "Give Me What You Got" - (6:36) 116 BPM
KS FRENCH - "FunkyMama" - (5:15) 118 BPM
Review: The 'French Touch' sound was a short-lived phenomenon in the late 90s/early 00s - or so musical history would have you believe. Mais si le French Touch est mort, vive le French Touch! For seven years now, French label FKR Maison Du Groove have been proving that you can't keep a good sub-genre down, and here the best of their output over that time is collected together in one place for your listening and dancing pleasure. So: if you dig deep, dusty, looping disco grooves you'll love this album, whereas if you're not a fan of same, then you definitely won't. Not much more to say, really.
Review: In 2019 Marina Trench impressed with a two-part debut single on Deeply Rooted. Wolf Music debut the "Waterside EP" marks her first single since and is every bit as alluring as its predecessor. The French producer aims for peak-time perfection on opener "Waterside", wrapping heady female vocal samples and fizzing electronics around a killer techno-funk groove, before slipping into classic deep house mode on the warm, groovy and piano-laden "Get In". You'll find even more bright and breezy piano motifs on tactile, retro-futurist house jam "Train Call", while closing cut "Straight" offers an even warmer, dreamier and more fluid take on turn-of-the-millennium American deep house.
Review: Glitterbox fave drops two tracks of solid gold disco action on Ghetto Disco, the Edinburgh-based label she runs with her father Dennis Probert. Re-edits are Ghetto Disco's stock-in-trade, so that's presumably what these are, though the original source material isn't clear. But what we can tell you is that 'Twisted Katt' is an unhurried, chugging affair that sports a looping female chorus, as well a snatch of male vocal from Bohannon's 'Me And The Gang', while the accompanying 'Cosmic Bitch' is a very serviceable slice of Joey Negro-esque disco house topped with some killer strings.
Review: Fabiolous Barker's London-based Ganbatte bring us a second collection of Kraftwerk re-edits/remixes/reworkings, following on the heels of 'Pt 1' a few weeks ago. What we said then still applies: there'll be plenty of Kraftwerk lovers who'll tut, shake their heads and mutter darkly that this should never have happened, but those involved have all made a decent fist of things, so they'll just have to live with it! Barker's 'Computerized Love' is the more radical of two reworks of 'Computer Love' but the standout to our ears is Dim Zach's 'The Super Model', although that's possibly because it's not really that different from the original...
Review: Although he's occasionally made guest appearances on other labels - most notably Rekids, Money $ex and Vertv - Quentin Leroy AKA Mad Rey has been a key member of the D.KO family since the label's launch six years ago. Here he returns to the French imprint for the first time in two years with a predictably solid collection of cuts. Four of the six cuts are designated as dub mixes, with the French producer variously offering up techno-tempo loopy deep house ("Never Know"), Mella Dee style techno-disco ("Bon Souvenir"), warehouse-ready ghetto-tech sleaze ("Go Fast") and lo-fi Chicago jack on steroids ("Balle Perdue"). Elsewhere, "Le Dermier Mot" is the kind of drowsy deepness found on Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works Volume 1", while "Make It Right" is a breezy piano-house treat.
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: While his chosen moniker may be mildly amusing, there's nothing silly, cheeky or throwaway about the music of Sydney-based Londoner Norm De Plume. "Squarker", his first EP of any sort for nigh on two years, is full of detailed, mood-enhancing, musically rich deep house treats. Check first deliciously glassy-eyed opener "Squarker", where rising synthesizer lead lines, swirling chords and funk-fuelled synth flourishes rise above a sturdy bed of disco-house beats and rubbery jazz-funk bass, before admiring the bustling beats, sustained chords and breathless hustle of "Love Me So". If that lot's not enough to set your pulse racing, "A Stone Thing" should impress with its crunchy drums and classic deep house warmth.
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: Thanks to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the festival season has been unofficially cancelled. Situation think we should still all party - alone, of course - while in isolation so have served up 'The Festival EP' - a suitably good-time collection of cuts that should inspire you to dance around the living room. The set the tone with the jazz-funk-meets-deep house brilliance of "Soulstice" - check the lazy guitar solos, Rhodes chords and bubbly bass guitar - before doffing a cap to one of Glastonbury's most celebrated behind-the-scenes spots on the similarly languid, live-sounding "Maceos". "Stardust" is a rich, wah-wah-guitar flecked shuffle through deep disco pastures, while "Let's Dance" is an energetic slab of Prince style purple funk complete with fizzing slap bass and wavy, eyes-closed guitar solos.