Review: Having made their debut last year on Ruf Dug's Ruf Kutz label via the superb "Hot City" EP, hard-to-pigeonhole sextet See Thru Hands could well be on the verge of a major breakthrough. "Connectivity", the Manchester fusionist's follow-up and Sprechen label debut, is certainly impressive. In its original form, the song sounds like an off-kilter, low-key tribute to Prince rich in emotive group vocals, rubbery slap bass, eyes-closed guitar solos and colourful synthesizer sounds. The headline-grabbing remix comes from Skream, who continues his move towards house and disco pastures via a sweet synth-pop-meets-Italo-disco revision that's every bit as essential as See Thru Hands' original version. Also worth checking is Jorja Chalmers' fiendishly dubbed-out, spaced-out and slowed-down remix, which sounds like something the late, great Andrew Weatherall would have come up with.
Review: Ferdinand de Beaufort in the haus with his trademark cut and looped sound! Spinning back the disco loops like no one's business is "Ipanema", a track filled with quick finger riffs and sizzling rock guitars of psychedelic funk! Add some horns, snippets of skat jazz, afro-acapellas and roomy percussions, and it's a hot night out in Rio de Janeiro!
Review: The fast-rising See Saw label hasn't put a foot wrong since launching back in March, offering much-check material from such nu-disco scene favourites as Hotmood, Pookie Knights and Monsieur Von Pratt. Here they showcase a sole track from another scene darling, sometime Midnight Riot, Re-Loved and Tropical Disco contributor MANNIX. The Austrian producer has undoubtedly hit the mark with "Balearic Funk", a joyously up-beat and positive chunk of retro-futurist piano house action full of hands-in-the-air riffs, rubbery slap-bass samples, handclap-heavy nu-disco drums and swirling effects. It's the kind of effortlessly cheery and sunny track that can't fail to raise a few smiles out on the dancefloor, and you always need a few of those on your USB stick.
Review: A single-track release here from Castle Queenside, a San Diego duo who've been producing "raw disco and underground house" for just under a decade now. 'Sherman Heights' is an extremely simple affair, with a (presumably sampled) guitar riff looping incessantly over crunchy, unhurried house beats while a male voice invites us periodically to "dance with me, dance with me". There are some strings as well, but this is definitely the sort of record you reach for to keep 'em moving, not to drag 'em onto the floor. All DJs need those tunes in their arsenal, though, and this one'll do the job as well as any other!
Review: Wrexham-raised twosome Pookie Knights are rising stars, with this outing on See-Saw offering a further distillation of their rapidly developing "uplifting, groovin' disco-house" sound. "2 Late" is an excitable, all-action affair, with their pair playing around with heavily filtered snippets of a sparkling, boogie-era disco number - above a chunky, thickset bassline and bumping, surprisingly tough house grooves. Throw in a suitably memorable (sampled) chorus, some hammered-out piano riffs and sparkling production, and you have a cheerful, rush-inducing number that will, in time, cause pandemonium on many club dancefloors. Pookie Knights will be a name to watch in future, for sure.