Review: Here's proof that it's possible to be experimental within the context of the dance floor. Like Patrice Baumel's release on Get Physical a few years back, "Thunder Scat" dispenses entirely with a kick drum, preferring instead to focus on powerful subs, dense claps, a sassy vocal snippet looped to infinity and an utterly seductive tambourine riff. "Time" sees the Boys return with the 4/4 kick, but it remains understated, as a hypnotic organ riff provides the backing for an angelic vocal. Finally, "Black Naga" is the most conventional track of all, but here too the tribal groove features a sped-up vocal that sounds like someone hit the helium, and hard.
Review: Norwegian disco beard Todd Terje launches this epic (and unmixed) collection of some of his best remixes. Ranging from the rare to the ubiquitous, the underlying theme here is quality. There's some killer cuts under his different aliases (Duliatten Disco Dandia, Kacic Kullmann?s Five), which includes an unashamedly awesome reworking of Ace of Base, erm, classic "All That She Wants" under the Chuck Norris moniker. Throw into that remixes of Jose Gonzalez, M, Rogue Cat, old chum Lindstrom and of course Shit Robot, and you have a compilation not to miss. Indeed, unless you have followed the Terje's career with an incredibly hawkish eye, there's sure to be a few gems on here that you missed the first time round. And there's even an hour long mix of Terje classics at the end to round it off.
Review: Bringing together a bunch of hot talent new and old, Hype and Pascal bring us the second instalment of their Flavours EP to add some warmth to these cold winter days. First up is a VIP of ubiquitous anthem "Tommorow's Another Day" - the track which broke the young Belgian in '09. Next is a collab from Wickaman, Hoodlum and Mavrik - "Na Fool Me" with its twisted up ragga lyrics, jungle flavours, it really packs a punch. Potential Badboy's ""Can't Stop Me (feat. Junior Danger)" is another Serial Killaz style outing, with rousing lyrics, grouchy bass and clapping drums. Shimah shakes things up with his "Electro Step" and Sub Zero's attempt at subtle is remarkable, before Erb N Dub & Legacy round things off with the dancefloor destroyer "Alaska".
Review: Four excellent new funk/soul/disco bombs from the Whiskey Disco label, with some surprising covers and peerless edits for your aural delectation. Anthony Mansfield sets about deconstructing a fresh cover of "Hercules" by Aaron Neville, while fans of Philly/Al Green-esque slow '70s funk will love Cosmic Boogie's soft-touch edit of "How Can You Say Goodbye". Rayko ups the tempo a little with his mix of the boogie wonder "S&M (Sexy Music), while WD label-head Sleazy McQueen has a lot of fun with Stevie Wonder's "Do I Do", looping up instrumental sections just right for a new perspective on this classic Stevie joint.
Review: Finally! Motor City Drum Ensemble aka Danilow Plessow drops the Raw Cuts series into one neat little package. Ubiquitous in 2009, the series showcased the Stuttgart native's ability to combine warm pads and luscious synths to create a house sound with a decidedly classicist tip. On this EP you'll also find two new jams from the Plessow-produced Jayson Brothers and a couple of new MCDE tracks, the highlight being "Prayer".
Review: As the title suggests, this five-tracker from the previously re-edit-happy Editorial imprint showcases slo-mo disco/house crossover cuts from a selection of mostly little-known producers (the fast-rising Matthew Kyle aside). For those who've been digging the superb releases of labels like Sleazy Beats, Wolf Music and Instruments Of Rapture, Slo-Motion Potion comes highly recommended. It's largely impressive stuff, with DJ Butcher's epic "Shake Your Body", Kyle's deliciously sensual "Off My Mind" and 78 Edits' heady opener "Come On Baby" standing out. That said, the whole package is well worth a listen.
Review: Sneaky re-edit imprint Editorial likes to offer good value. As with previous releases, "Cross Corner" features no less than six floor-friendly reworks to satisfy the needs of all but the pickiest disco divas. While there are a couple of merely solid versions of well-known hits (Grace Jones and Marvin Gaye both get cut-up), there are far more high quality re-arrangements of lesser-known gems. Of particular interest are the contributions from The Legendary 1979 Orchestra and Manmademusic, both of whom wonderfully stretch out soul-flecked disco gems with inch-perfect precision.
Review: On the evidence of his latest releases, it feels like Robert Hood is going through a reinvention process. The recent Floorplan gave vent to his gospel influences and now "The Greatest Dancer", under his own name provides an insight into Hood's love of disco. There's not much to the title track, yet this simplicity and clarity of sound is the same aesthetic that drove the original productions that it is indebted to. Over a rolling, housey groove, Hood adds in some sexy funk guitar, sprinkles it with sensuous strings and puts all of the ingredients into a filtered blender. On "Dancer", the approach is even more minimal and straightforward as a walking funk bass guitar is married to a series of claps. This combination runs the risk of sounding like a DFA release, but Hood isn't finished. He adds sassy brass samples and a sexy female vocal, resulting in an arrangement that offers all of the sensuality of disco and the unflinching precision of his minimal techno productions. Call it a reinvention, but it also offers the best of both worlds.
Review: The latest release from the Glaswegian imprint adds a further sheen of excellence in a year where Numbers has really knuckled down and concentrated on a schedule of multi faceted releases. Such has been the demand for Mosca's debut on the Numbers imprint, the London based producer cheekily took to touting advance DJ copies of Do Me Wrong via Facebook. Both tracks here are fully poised for the floor, priming a throwback Bassline / UK G swing dipped in a nowness from Mosca that's been evident on drops for Night Slugs and Fat City. Unusually, it's the B Side that's garnered the most attention, which is odd as "Done Me Wrong" is excellent, reigning in vintage female hollerations over clipping rhythms, swamping basslines and parping synths that pay homage to the classic "RIP Groove". Flipside, the more celebrated "Bax" is a dual assault on your senses, murky sub bass jabbing at your ribs, whilst the sweet cooing vocals whisper sweet nothings in your ears. All this is underpinned by a skipping mid 90s flex heavy on the neon stabs that has warehouse jam written all over it.
Review: Kicking off with a VIP of one of the killer 90s jungle nostalgia anthems of 2010 - Bladerunner's "Back To The Jungle" - it's a great start to the next Critical compilation. Moving through the tough, percussive sounds of Break, soulful dub tinged efforts of Breakage, the blissed out Calibre in "Rockafella" to the sounds of man-of-the-moment, hotly tipped Enei with his fantastic "Forgive Me" around the halfway point, it's immediately apparent why Kasra's label has garnered such respect from his peers. Lomax - one half of Loadstar - provides a deeper incarnation to his Ram bangers in "Innocent X" and elsewhere, Rockwell's "Underpass" makes a re-emergence as does ubiquitous anthem "Redlines" which closes this utterly superb compilation.