Review: Babert is the latest in a long line of re-editors and remixers who think nothing of putting out a steady stream of single-track releases. We've lost count of the number of these he's put out since first surfacing a few years back, but we do know that "Fly Up To The Sky" is the fifth this year. There's no denying that it's something of a muscular dancefloor treat, with Babert wrapping a relentless electronic bassline and crunchy drum hits in bouncy piano riffs, fizzing electronics and sampled strings and vocals. The latter element is expertly teased in before soaring skywards as the track reaches its sweaty zenith.
Review: As the title suggests, this epic collection gathers together a bumper selection of remixes of tracks from Damian Lazarus and the Ancient Moons' sophomore set, "Heart of Sky". There's naturally plenty of floor-focused fare throughout, with highlights including Emanual Satie's moody, rumbling revisions of "All I Need To Get High", Butch's shuffling tech-house versions of the same track, Serge Devant's analogue bass-propelled peak-time take of "Feedback Loop" and La Fleur's urgent, faintly foreboding and wonderfully percussive Dub of "Five Moons". There are further high quality "big name" revisions courtesy of Black Coffee, Jamie Jones and Luciano, while Mad Professor's ludicrously heavy dub reggae re-makes of "Feedback Loop" offer intriguing, sofa friendly diversions.
Review: As the year comes to a close, labels are naturally offering up celebratory compilations showcasing their strongest releases of 2019. The latest comes from Midnight Riot, a prolific imprint that rarely fails to serve up the fieriest contemporary disco heat. As you'd expect, the 26-track selection includes a blend of superb original productions (the nu-disco soul warmth of Jack Tyson Charles' "Glory", Alton Edwards sweaty, synth-bass propelled boogie-house gem "I Just Wanna Spend Time With You", the swirling disco headiness of Arthur Baker's "Reachin' Out") and re-edits/reworks (Dr Packer's gospel boogie revision "The Power", C Da Afro's disco-funk slammer "Party Purpose" and the suitably celebratory "Boogie On Time" by Ladies On Mars). As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
Review: Crosstown Rebels chief Damian Lazarus is back with The Ancient Moons on their sophomore effort, which follows up 2015's Message From The Other Side which was co-produced by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine). It features a wide assortment of vocalists and collaborators from around the world. Heart Of Sky combines his cosmic world influences with '80s soul and funk. With Lazarus' background very much in these vintage genres, he found a way to connect that heart and soul to a positive, trippy, psychedelic sound. From the the emotive and life-affirming power of "All I Need To Get High", drifting and esoteric pop-house indicative of his Crosstown sound on "All I Need To Get High" and even some sexy nu-disco deepness on "Help Me Find A Way"
Review: Now into its fifth year, KGW's Shall Not Fade imprint has long been a reliable source of dusty deep house and rugged, warehouse-ready workouts. To kick-start 2020, the label has decided to celebrate this facet of their output via an expansive compilation of previously released highlights. There's a peak-time ready feel from start to finish, with our picks of a very impressive bunch including the bustling, riff-heavy techno pump of KETTAMA's "In The Garage", the sunrise-ready, melody-heavy bliss of Harrison BDP's epic "Watching The World Go By", the sleazy, acid-fired growl of Big Miz's "Primordial Soup" and the dusty-but-sparkling, emotive rich broken house brilliance of Contours' "Fifth Planet". In a word: essential.