Review: Given the infamous depth of Nick The Record's vinyl collection, you'd expect this contribution to Z Records' excellent Under The Influence series to be packed to the rafters with unheralded gems. Predictably, it is, delivering 22 cuts that should be thrillingly new to all but the most dusty-fingered collectors. Picking out highlights from such an excellent and in-depth collection is tough, but try the steel drums-laden celebration of Boogsie's "Can't You See Me", the synth-laden jazz-funk badness of "Keep Your Shoes" by MC and His Great Googa-Moogas, and the fizzing, melody-rich 808 electro of Ronnie Jones "Video Games". If that's not enough there's also a swathe of DJ-friendly re-edits from Nick himself.
Review: Label co-owner Flash Atkins is at the controls for this second celebration of Paper Music's first 25 years. While there's a smattering of material from the label's first 15 years, the majority of Atkins' selections come from releases put out over the last decade. Like its' predecessor, it's an action-packed affair full of high quality cuts. Standouts include the swirling nu-disco bliss of Rave-Enka's "Honningen", the hazy lounge-jazz-meets-house sleaziness of Diskobeistet's "Birklunden", the piano-powered chunkiness of Leon Sweet's "Beat Slave Auto", the analogue deep house bubbliness of Doc L Junior's "Twilight" and the early morning deep house hypnotism of Ryan Kick's remix of Space Coast's "Just Past Midnight". Best of all, though, is the TB-303-powered hypno-house insanity of Ralph Myerz and The Kosmik Diamondz 14-minute "Acid 4 Eddie".
Review: Youth Stand Up is notable for many reasons. For starters, it features regulars from Glasgow's infamous Green Door Studio - notably a trio of members of Golden Teacher - joining forces with young, indigenous musicians from Ghana and Belize. The ten tracks were recorded in pieces in the three countries, then mixed and pieced together earlier this year at Green Door. Musically, it's as thrillingly vibrant and mixed-up as you'd expect, with authentic Central American and West African instrumentation and vocals being overlaid with Golden Teacher's usual dub, leftfield disco, dancehall, analogue electronics and ragga influences. The results are thrilling from start to finish. Oh, and if you need any more reason to click on "buy", all proceeds are being split between music projects in Ghana and Belize.