Review: Fresh from the market, Disco Fruit offers up a suitably large pallet of juicy re-edits, tasty revisions and sun-ripened reworks. As you'd expect, there's plenty to get your teeth into from start to finish. Our highlights include the fuzzy 21st century disco-funk of Brian SNR's "Down For Some Loving", the bouncy, synth-bass-propelled funkiness of C Da Afro's "Music Is Love", the sleazy sweatiness of Frank Virgilio's flash-fried "Thick As A Brick (The ReThink)", the throbbing goodness of Loshmi's Italo-disco/80s rock revision "Palm Springs", the mid-tempo disco bliss of Mitiko's "It's Over, It's Over" and the disco-house bump of Tonbe's "Make It Last Forever".
Review: The latest in the 'Katakana Edits' series comes once more from label regular DJ Laurel, who delivers six soul/funk/disco cuts that, as a rule, seek simply to update the source material for contemporary floors rather than rework anything too radically. That source material this time out includes Herbie Mann's 'Hijack' from 1974, Millie Jackson's 'Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night' from 1979 and Arthur Prysock's 'When Love Is New' from 1976 on a straight disco tip, as well as the lounge-y, Latin vibes of Carmen Costa's 'Bateu, Doeu' from 1973 - the other two have us beat, but all six cuts are very playable.
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: Audaz's re-edit series reaches its 20th installment, which is remarkable when you consider that they only kicked things off in October! This latest outing finds the mysterious Lolita digging deeper than ever, so much so that we can only identify the source material of three cuts here: '191' reworks Change's Jocelyn Brown-vocalled 'Angel In My Pocket' and '199' revisits Astrud Gilberto's 1972 Brazilian fave 'Take It Easy My Brother Charlie', while '200' is based on The Stranglers' 1986 hit 'Always The Sun'. Most of the rest of the EP appears to draw on African and Latin music for inspiration, but we venture back into disco territory on '194' and the excellent '198'.
Review: St Petersburg resident Sunner Soul has had releases on the likes of Acryl Music, Midnight Riot, Tronic and Armada, but this five-track EP comes on his own Vintage Music label. Opener 'Dancing In Madness' ain't nothin' but a lazy summer groove complete with crowd noise and mucho use of the filters, 'Don't Hold Back' is in a similar vein but has a phatter bottom-end and 'Feel Good 2 U' is another late 90s filter disco throwback, before 'Handle With Care' leads us down a slightly more sophisticated jazz-funk path and 'Sunrise Jam' plays us out with jazz piano and energising James Brown-like whoops and shouts.
Review: Although he delivered two editions of his ongoing, vinyl only "Disco Dubs" re-edit series on Friends & Relations, 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Alistair Gibbs AKA Nebraska. Here he begins 2020 in fine style with his first EP for Heist Recordings in almost three years. Title track "Y'Miss Me Baby" delivers a suitably strong start and see Gibbbs wrap twinkling lead lines, rich electric piano chords, talkbox vocals and P-funk synths around a hazy jazz-funk bassline and unfussy dancefloor drums. Giovanni Damico riffs on the jazz-funk and P-funk influences further on his instrumental boogie style "Jam remix". Elsewhere, "Dip & Flip" is an all-action, filter-heavy disco-house loop jam, while "Xiao Long Bao" is a warm, deep, humid and undeniably jazzy sample-house roller tailor made for sunny afternoons.
Review: We like to imagine Rayko rocking down the street in his sun-drenched Spanish town, blasting out tactile '80s boogie, soul and disco from an over-sized ghetto blaster slung over his shoulder. If this scene were real, then he may well be playing "Disco Thunder", the tidy re-edit that opens his latest three-track salvo. It's a fine slice of 80s disco-boogie goodness rich unclipped guitars, P-funk bass, sparkling synths, electro beats and bold female vocal snippets. If he were feeling particularly bold, he may also press play on "Touch Down", a driving disco-funk revision full of weighty punk-funk bass, crunchy Clavinet lines, spacey synths and dewy-eyed vocal snippets. Should be want to stop and do a bit of break-dancing, dreamy and delay-laden closing cut "Hypnotic" would do the trick.
Review: Rampa's latest release is not a showcase of his own productions, but rather a pair of tried-and-tested revisions of other artists' work that he's been hammering in his sets for the last 12 months. He begins by breathing new life into Mano Negro's Made In TLV hook-up "Sueno De Solentiname", re-imagining the track as a driving, low-slung chunk of dub disco/deep house fusion rich in echoing vocals, jangling acoustic guitars and woozy trumpet solos. You'll find more ESG style heavyweight bass guitar action at the heart of the EP's second revision, a bongos and echo-laden shuffle through Lokkhi Terra meets Dele Susimi's "Afro Sambroso" that's every bit as weighty and intoxicating as its predecessor.
Review: Toolroom's compilations have soundtracked Miami's Winter Music Conference for more than a decade and this is no exception. Here they've drafted in three of their key artists to compile the album: Friend Within, Leftwing : Kody & Siege - who all take you on a journey through the various shades of house and techno. Highlights include: Siege's remix of legend Green Velvet's massive "Bigger Than Prince, boss man Mark Knight's electrifying rework of C.O.T.'s "Let It Go" into a uplifting house anthem, Dutchman Franky Rizardo cool as a cucumber on the smooth groove of "X Marks The Spot" through to veteran west coast producer Miguel Migs returning to the spotlight with the ultra deep "Moving Light" feat. Lisa Shaw and the comeback of Canadian legend Hatiras on the slinky and hypnotic remix of Sammy Deuce's "EZY". From certified main room essentials to sun-kissed poolside vibes, capture the magic of Miami Music Week with 'Toolroom Miami 2020'.
Review: No 19 in the series and Audaz's team of hard-working re-edit elves show no signs of slacking off just yet! This latest instalment is very much the proverbial game of two halves, with the first four tracks looking to 80s synth-pop and Italo sources for inspiration: Visage's 'Move Up' provides the basis for '181' and '183' is all Moroder throb and vocodered vocal, while '184' throws us a Dire Straits-shaped curveball that leads nicely into a second half drawing on some very eclectic source material, including Johnny Cash ('189'), Roisin Murphy ('190') and Cheri's 1982 disco/boogie hit 'Murphy's Law'.
Review: A veteran of the electronic music scene nigh on 20 years, Frenchman Sebastien Leger returns to Lee Burridge's esteemed All Day I Dream imprint for his third release, with four servings of lush and ethereal deep house on the 'Secrets' EP. From the melodic/hypnotic bliss of "Ashes In The Wind" which is sure to cause some drama on the dancefloor, to an evocative trip deep into the exotic as heard on the vocal driven "Menabelle" or lose yourself in the utterly life affirming "Secret". This is the exact kind of mesmerising groove that you could imagine label boss Burridge playing, at a downtown rooftop party on a sunny Sunday afternoon - pure bliss!
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: Roman Flugel is having a "Garden Party" and we're all invited. By the sounds of the deliciously cheery title track, said must-attend event is being held in a beachside glade somewhere along Croatia's Adriatic coast (hence the cut's wondrously melodious mix of Italo-disco riffs, low-slung disco bass, unfussy machine drums, grandiose nu-disco lead lines and kaleidoscopic acid motifs). Further proof of the party's "dancing all afternoon" credentials are provided by the similarly jaunty, tuneful, retro-futurist flex of "Parade D'Amour", while the bleeping and dreamy "Juke City" offers a hint of what's to come after dark if you keep supping the supplied "special punch". Just remember to stick around for "Wood & Neon", which sounds like the kind of skewed, colourful and mood-enhancing deep house eccentricity that Maurice Fulton does so well.
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: Those who've been paying close attention will know that Alex 'Omar' Smith has been mixing things up musically of late, veering away from the deep Detroit house he's famed for in order to explore a wider range of influences. New album "You Want" doesn't exactly reverse this trend, but it is far more rooted in his particular brand of seductive, off-kilter deepness and techno-tinged hypnotism than recent singles. That's undeniably a good thing, because nobody does crunchy, machine-driven club jams better than the Motor City producer. There are nods towards Italian style piano house, disco, broken beat, jazz-funk, Masters at Work and - more surprisingly - industrial techno (see the filthy closing cut) - but the resultant cuts don't sound like anything other than tried-and-tested Omar-S club jams.
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: 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: 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: 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: Since last appearing on Toy Tonics two years ago, Felipe Gordon's profile has risen considerably, thanks in no small part to well received outings on Black Jukebox, Quintessentials and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. His return to the popular imprint is of course a successful one, with each of the four tracks proving particularly alluring. He begins with the drowsy, blues-sampling cut-up deep house bump of "Wait On Me", before reaching for the crunchy disco drums, cowbells and funky bass guitar on the Holy Ghost-goes-house vibes of "El Meloncito". Elsewhere, "The Semimodular Bird of Jazz" is a fine bit of dusty deep house/jazz-house fusion, while "Definitely and Completely Mayor" is a slightly off-kilter dancefloor work out rich in poignant pianos and quirkily swung drums.
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: 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: Here's a pleasant surprise: a first outing on Kraak & Smaak's Boogie Angst imprint from acclaimed Aussie beat-maker and synth-funk revivalist Inkswel. There are two Inskwel originals to enjoy, both of which are accompanied by remixes. "Too Late" is a fine chunk of lo-fi electro/freestyle revivalism featuring synths aplenty and tidy vocals by Stan Smith, which is then given a body-popping house revision by Sheffield's Thatmanmonkz. Arguably even better is Dave Aju hook-up "The People", which sees Inkswel take lo-fi soul and P-funk towards the dancefloor with devastating effect. Cody Currie re-imagines it as a string-drenched chunk of jazzy deep house bliss, while the sweaty "Drum Dub" version does exactly what it says on the label.
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: With releases on Phonica and Echovolt to his credit, Earth Trax aka Bartosz Kruczyński now delivers his debut album for Shall Not Fade, the sister imprint of Lost Palms. It's a mesmerising affair that features the warbling acid of "Pandora's Box" and "Full Throttle" at one end of the spectrum and the atmospheric break beat techno of "I'm Not Afraid" and "Adhocracy" at the other. In between these two extremes sit irresistibly evocative cuts such as the rickety rhythms of "Fade Away" and the uplifting bass tones of "Copies Of Copies", making for a well-rounded and effortlessly executed debut album.
Review: 'Freaks and Beaks' is the fourth album from Dirtybird head honcho Claude VonStroke. Taking inspiration from the sense of humor shared between him and label partner Justin Martin, a love of experimentation with everything from hardware and modular synthesis to iPhone apps, and embracing genres as wide as ghetto tech, drum 'n' bass, hip-hop and breaks - together with his idiosyncratic style of minimal tech house. This is VonStroke's love letter to vibrancy and genre diversity. From the bass-driven acid jack of "Freaks Don't Fail Me Now", the trippy afterhours reductions of "Flubblebuddy" or "Youngblood (ft. Wyatt Marshall) to the influence of Bristol's similarly low-end driven sound as heard on "These Notes In Order" or for something different there's even a bit of blissed-out electronica - as heard on the evocative closer "Alpine Arpline".
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: Henrik Schwarz, the veteran of challenging cross-genre experimentation and collaboration, returns to the Innervisions imprint. With his first EP for 2020, he heralds the third decade of the millennium and their collaboration with SelamX studio across two powerfully emotive tracks. From the life-affirming epic "Together" and its dramatic choral refrain and elevating chord progressions which are all geared for some perfect dancefloor drama. Second offering "Omnibus" shows more restraint but it's equally as evocative, once again demonstrating the German producer's talent for soulful hi-tech sounds.
KS FRENCH - "HaPpiness Your Love" - (4:44) 120 BPM
BELABOUCHE - "A Party" - (6:38) 120 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: With the Lolita re-edit series reaching its 22nd installment, you should be familiar with the general vibe/ethos/MO by now, so we'll dive straight in. For '212', read Skatt Brothers' 'Walk The Night' from 1979, while '214' bites L'Ectrique's 'Struck By Boogie Lightning' from the same year. '215' reworks Space's classic 'Magic Fly', '217' revisits Bionic Boogie's 'Risky Changes' (1977) while Shakatak's 'Easier Said Than Done' (1981) is reinvented on '219'. The rest of the EP draws on unidentified Eurodisco/Italo/coldwave sources, with the obligatory curveball coming in the form of '220' - Bob Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay' as you've never heard it before.
Review: Next up from the Soulserious camp, we see them unveil a very interesting project indeed as they welcome the sounds of Far From Perfect, a producer whose unique combination of tech and garage themes is seeing him pick up a fair bit of interest. This EP features five corkers, kicking off with the acidic bass tones of the title track 'Feel So', the extra-terrestrial bass zooms of 'K10' and super grizzly sub textures and angelic vocal layers of 'Heist'. Next up, we take a bit of a UKG twist as 'Nikkis' provides us with some seriously groovy nostalgic drum work, finishing up the stuttered rhythms and metallic bass slaps of 'Codes'. Wicked stuff!
Review: Last year Lasso D'Amore popped up on Hot Digits' fifth anniversary compilation, so it's little surprise to see the Dublin-based producer returning to the label with a full EP. The standout cut is undoubtedly "Backyard Jungle", a toe-tapping shuffle through tropical disco pastures rich in delay-laden guitar licks, undulating bass and Azymth style electric piano riffs. Fingerman's "Tribal Funk" remix is a sweaty, grunting and energy-packed affair, while the Ian Upfold revision is a blissful and glassy-eyed chunk of synth-laden nu-disco goodness. Elsewhere, 'Falling Into You" is a rush-inducing slab of Balearic nu-disco cheeriness and "The Way We Used To Do It" is tactile, wavy and dreamy in the best possible way.
Review: It's been seven years since Wehbba's last album, Square Two, and in the intervening period, he has forged a strong link with Drumcode through a series of killer dance floor EPs. Straight Lines builds on that work: collaborating with other respected artists like David Caretta and Thomas Gandey, it sees him consolidate his reputation as an underground producer of the highest calibre. The eerie ambience of "Prelude: Goya" shows that Wehbba is a diverse producer, the rolling tech-house of "Dove Rush" prove that he's not afraid to experiment, while dance floor bombs like "Hyper Real Decadence", "Deluge" and "Basic Pleasure" all show that when it comes to visceral big-room techno, he has few peers.
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: Last summer, Gerd Janson and Philip Lauer brought their giddily retro-futurist Tuff City Kids project to Suol for the very first time via an acid-fired single-track salvo. Here they continue their relationship with the long-running German house imprint through "Beau Tan", a typically glassy-eyed, colourful and attractive chunk of Balearic house liss full of catchy analogue bass, sustained strings, dreamy chords and jumpy synth stabs. The Ruff Stuff remix brilliantly twists the track into wilder new shapes (check the punchy beats and psychedelic acid lines), while the Intr0beatz rework is a slick chunk of heartwarming deep house haziness.
Review: Zoo Look follow up on their welcome return (the Similar Steps EP on Lost Palms) with this choice drop for Lazare Hoche, the Parisian bastion of all things deep and housey. Zoo Look has lost none of their charm as you can hear on the sultry and seductive "Sight Unseen", while "The Reason" sees them exploring dubby realms to enchanting effect. "Tranmission7" brings an intriguing broken beat flavour to the rhythm section, capturing a mood somewhere between techno, electro and dubstep and dipping it in honey for a sweet finish. Then Malin Genie steps up with a masterful remix of "Sight Unseen" that works some Detroitian flavours into the mix to great effect.
Review: Deep house veteran Rick Wade comes to Germany's Rawax label with a predictably high-quality four-tracker. The title track tops a chugging, lolloping bassline and delicate keys with a looped "Where do you come from? Another galaxy" vocal snippet, while 'Dirty Wave' is a midpaced groover that'd be equally at home in the warm-up or on the sofa. 'Gambit' is another hazy, discofied looper and not unreminiscent of Kerri Chandler's work as Kaoz 6:23, while completing the EP is 'Back To The Darkness', a small-hours excursion that pairs tuff beats with more of those haunting keys and a vocal sample that sounds like Vincent Price, but probably isn't. Classy stuff!
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: The prolific Lolita crew return with yet another 10-track remix EP. Where some volumes in the series have leaned heavily towards a particular sound (be it disco, African music or 80s rock/pop) in terms of source material, 'Vol 21' sees them casting their net far and wide, reworking cuts as diverse as CJ & Co's 1977 disco strutter 'We Got Our Own Thing' (now reinvented as '201'), Vanilla Ice's 1990 novelty rap hit 'Ice Ice Baby' ('206') and Jona Lewie's 1980 new wave/synth-pop nugget 'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties' ('210'), as well as an assortment of unidentified Italo, Eurodisco and coldwave obscurities.
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: Sample inspired funk and breaks from Pecoe on the always reliable Breakbeat Paradise Recordings! Straight up party vibes across this mini-LP which we'll kick of with "Shake The Room" that brings in inspirations from a cross-section of artists like James Brown, Will Smith and...is that a Vanilla Ice! Moving over to the tropical guitars, bubbling synths and tinges of dub in "Rock That Beat", to more Supreme-ish numbers in "We Had Disco" - feel that funk - to the housier fanfare heard in "All For The Beat". Pecoe in full effect.
Review: Like many of the artists that grew up and were nurtured by the Smallville label, Christopher Rau's music owes a debt to deep US house and techno. On The Keys, his first release on the label for a number of years, those influences loom large, but are intertwined with other sources. "Who Am I" sees Lone-style psychedelia fused with lithe break beats, while on the title track, Rau strips back his approach for a lean dance floor track. However, he returns to deeper territory with the woozy synths and pulsating bass of "Slu Terms", while "Beamer" ends the release with a swinging, summery groove and dreamy chimes.
Review: Thicker than clotted cream and twice as opulent, Golden Soul's latest label retrospective is well worth your attention. It focuses on material released by the Spanish imprint in 2019, which was arguably the label's strongest year to date. Label founder James Rod makes a number of killer contributions, with the colourful, bass-heavy Balearic nu-disco chug of "Let's Play Together" (a collaboration with Parissior) and the dreamy Italo-disco throb of "Heart Rock (Aleito Mix)" standing out. Elsewhere, get your ears around the sparkling, breakdown-boasting sunrise rush of Dubhouser's "Ereh" and the thrill-a-minute Euro-disco effervescence that is Hoochie Coochie Papa's "Work My Body".
Review: San Diego duo Castle Queenside keep their funk alive and strong in It Ain't Easy. Harking back to the days of early Daft Punk and looped up American club house, Queenside bring the cuts to Mango Sounds. With guitars at maximum frett in "Groove Me Right" it's as Linda Clifford is there too in the room for the vocal boot. Filters and classic piano chords go the distance in the title-track with thumping drums of Masters At Work quality tying in with a massively soulful serving of vocals. That French touch the American way.
Review: The nu-disco scene's favourite Wookee, Chewy Rubs, has dedicated much more time to collaborations of late. He's already joined forces with Fingerman and North Laine, and here shares the results of studio time spent with the previously unheard M.O.K.E. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the rolling nu-disco warmth of EP opener "Echo The Love", where bubbly electronic motifs and surging synth lines ride an elastic groove, to the weirdo vocals and disco-tech vibes of the rather ear-pleasing "Silent Caller". Best of all though is title track "Beam", a fine chunk of 21st century Italo-disco/house fusion full of sparkling refrains, sleazy analogue bass and dreamy, sun-kissed melodies.
Review: Slowly surfacing from a pool of labels that includes Pets Recordings, Ajunadeep and Life & Death, Joseph Ashworth for Moscoman's Disco Halal label delivers a deeper subtle affair most defined by its lead track "Breathe" that fizzes with digital distortion, the crackle of electronics and the sibilance of enchanted whispers. The track builds into an emotional fuelled number of deeper progressions and even trance that's given a crowning remix by Tunnelvisions that tops the EP, while "Expectation" delivers the record a slightly more straight up, clubby tech house mix alongside the disco burning "Alternator".
Review: After two years away in which they offered up a wealth of releases on other top-tier labels (Pets Recordings, Ton Tonics and Madhouse included), Italian twosome Black Loops returns to Freerange Recordings with another must-check EP. As usual, there's far more hits than misses. We're particularly enjoying the loose-limbed deep house funk of opener "Fresh 16", a canny combination of chunky, funky grooves, classic Italian house chords and synthesizer melodies so sunny they might burn your skin if you wallow in the track's majesty too long. Elsewhere, "Something Special" - named in honour of the Peech Boys track it sneakily samples - is a pitch-perfect chunk of swinging New Jersey deep house warmth, while "Blue Pill" adds a tech-house touch to a vintage Italian style chunk of glassy-eyed, loved-up deepness.
Review: Disco is just the departure point for this varied three-tracker from Steve Cooper, a British producer who's now based in Australia. The original of 'Bass Update' is a chuggy, throbbing affair that sits somewhere between Italo-disco and the more commercial likes of Lipps Inc, but the remix from Manuel Costela flips the script completely, adding breakbeats and a vague air of menace to leave it sounding like nothing so much as classic mid-00s Plumps tackle. 'What U Want' then makes use of a familiar vocal sample as it plays us out on a more driving, housed-up note.
Review: If you've been living the life of a hermit for the last few years, you're unlikely to have come across Chewy Rubs, a prolific re-editor and maker of dancefloor dubs whose regular EPs for Re-Loved, Bandolier and Fall From Grace are must-check affairs. Predictably the producer's latest outing on Midnight Riot is packed with top-notch treats too. Our pick of the bunch is "Hammered", a sweaty romp through extra-percussive funk-rock pastures rich in wild organ stabs, grunting vocals, slap bass and flash-fried guitar licks. That said, the other three tracks are equally as impressive, particularly the string-laden disco dub "Dancin' At The Disco" and swirling Italo-disco-meets-disco-house opener "Bo Fo".
Review: Unbelievably, this much-sampled classic will be 20 years old next year. No doubt there'll be more new mixes on the way then, but in the meantime there's this very serviceable refix from deep house men-of-the-moment Saison. The London duo wisely leave those very familiar sweeping, string-like pads and Ms Clifford's spoken vocal to retain centre stage and concentrate their efforts on the bottom end, supplying a bassline and tough-but-muted drums to make the track more easily programmable for a new generation of DJs...some of whom won't even have been born when it was first released, but let's not dwell on that!
Review: Following on from last year's Cryonauts album, Jack Hamill aka Space Dimension Controller returns to Dekmantel to deliver his second EP for the Dutch collective. The title track revolves around a low-slung electronic disco groove underpinned by spaced out melodies and cosmic sounds, subtle but still delightfully trippy. On "2 Synths & An 808", Hamill chooses a different route though the outer reaches of electronic music. Inspired by Detroit electro and its 80s, funk-based precursor, he fuses tight drums with a fuzzy, sleazy bass to deliver a slinky but impactful workout that's appeal to Cameo and Aux 88 fans alike.
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: The legendary 3D DJs aka Darren Emerson, Dave Seaman & Danny Howells return to complete their trilogy of EPs for Seaman's Selador imprint. The third installment of their collaborative album project sees each of them contribute an individual track. It's Howells who kicks things off with the slinky and hypnotic groove of "Shortwave", followed by Emerson who contributes the balmy percussive tech house journey of "Sleeping Bag' featuring subtle balearic undertones. It's boss man Seaman hammering the message home with the powerful, peak time dancefloor drama of "Press 1 For Human". All for one and one for all, three is the magic number.
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: '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.
Review: Vito Lalinga delivers his third record to 2020 already with this four-track EP for Greek label Kraak. It was 2018 when Lalinga made his debut on Kraak's parent label Timewarp and since then the artist has given his jazzier, soulful and percussive take on music to labels like Legofunk and Sound Exhibitions. For Kraak he sends in Black Spirit Planet, a record that dives into funky and ambient jazz territory that reach their peak in lead track "Spiritual Space" alongside the flute and samba sessions of "Brazilectro", the rhode and strings driven "Walk My Way", and the mellow tribalisms of "No Future".
Review: After nearly a decade in the game, Andrea Rucci's Cosmic Sumo release their first-ever 'best of' compilation. Unsurprisingly, cosmic and Italo-disco vibes predominate: you won't find many cowbells, handclaps or female multi-part vocal harmonies here (though there are some). But if it's Carpenter-esque synths, druggy Afro-inspired beats, bleepy electro flourishes and a distinct whiff of mid-80s Europe you're after then you're in the right place, because here all of the above are provided in spades by the big-hitting likes of James Rod, Tulioxi and, perhaps most signficantly, Italian founding father Alexander Robotnick himself.