Review: We can confirm that the latest EP from San Diego's Never Dull is definitely not dull. In fact, the three re-edits on show on this Midnight Riot label debut are genuinely rather fun. The San Diego artist hits the ground running on EP opener "Easy Love", delivering a fine rearrangement of a glassy-eyed early '80s jam full of dewy-eyed male and female vocals, squelchy synth bass and classic disco style orchestration. "Too Blind To See" is a gently housed-up take on a smooth '80s soul classic, while "The Fire Goes On" is a confident strut through disco funk territory laden with punchy horn blasts, ear catching bass guitar and chiming lead lines.
Hit The Road (Mannix 12 Inch Disco vocal mix) - (6:27) 117 BPM
Hit The Road (Yam Who? extended Club remix) - (6:49) 118 BPM
Hit The Road - (3:45) 117 BPM
Hit The Road (Mannix 7 Inch Disco vocal mix) - (4:16) 117 BPM
Hit The Road (Andy Baker remix) - (4:16) 122 BPM
Hit The Road (Yam Who? instrumental remix) - (6:49) 118 BPM
Hit The Road (Mannix 12 Inch Disco instrumental) - (6:25) 117 BPM
Review: UK outfit Bad Bambino describe themselves as "a techno funk band bringing you groovilicious tunes with a beat that is guaranteed to get you bopping!" On the evidence of this, their first official release, they certainly have an ear for a catchy pop tune - who knows, the lightweight, frothy original could even have mainstream Top 40 potential. But for more serious spinners it's the remixes that'll be of more interest, with Mannix the pick for commercial floors, Andy Baker treading a more sophisticated, understated path and Yam Who? turning in Vocal and Instrumental rubs that sit right on the soulful house/nu-disco cusp.
Review: The brilliantly named Record Playerz, whose true identity is shrouded in secret, come(s) to the achingly hip Midnight Riot. In its original form, 'Hi NRG' pays tribute to the short-lived early 80s sub-genre of the same name: the BPMs might have dropped but the stuttering drum machine beats, analogue synths and vocodered vox are all present and correct. The In Flagranti Remix tones down some of the 80s excess and adds some lively percussion, but the standout here by far is the remix from Yam Who?, which could take the track to more straight-up house/disco floors.
Review: This two-tracker from Midnight Riot has all the makings of a future disco-house anthem. It comes courtesy of label regular Natasha Kitty Katt, imprint big cheese Yam Who and vocalist Jacqui George. In its EP-opening "Gospeldelic Mix" form, "Into Your Life" is a rushing fusion of rolling house grooves, spacey synth solos, jangling gospel house pianos and a stunning lead vocal from George that should get the hairs on the back of your next leaping heavenwards. Danny Kane handles remix duties, offering a slicker and smoother interpretation that sits somewhere between nu-disco (check the squidgy new synth parts), soulful house and bouncy disco-house. Like the version that preceded it, Kane's mix is a genuine winter warmer.
Review: Now based in Boston, Massachussetts, British producer Ben Adams AKA GMGN (the name stands for 'good morning, good night') serves up five solid tracks for Midnight Riot, most of which have something of a late 90s/early 00s filter disco feel. 'That Feelin'' centres around a fluttering six-string riff, 'You Are My Love' foregrounds a female vocal sample, 'Let It Go' is a deeper, funkier groove, 'I'm The One' loops up AOR-ish samples in a Balearic kinda way and then finally 'Train To Love' is a slower, chuggier cut that brings the EP to a hazy, looping close.
Review: Spain's J&M Brothers co-own the Good Stuff Recordings label, but here they come to London's uber-hip Midnight Riot, bringing two fine slices of contemporary, sample-based funk action with 'em. 'Work It Out' centres around fluttering funk guitars and a "we can work it out" vocal sample, while brass fanfares buried discreetly in the mix keep the funk factor high without it being too obvious or cheesy. The accompanying 'Party Time' revisits a "get up... it's party time!" vocal sample that'll be familiar to lovers of classic NYC garage, pairing it with a jaunty looped, Wild Cherry-ish six-string lick.
Review: Two sumptuous originals and two matching dubs courtesy of rising French producer Tommy Glasses make up this latest from the ever-checkable Midnight Riot. 'Feel Good' itself sits somewhere between nu disco and soulful house with its plainitive, R&B-style female vocal and incessantly fluttering disco guitar, while 'For Love' sits a little more firmly under the disco banner and sports a similar female vocal, as well as some very 80s-sounding sax doodles. Both are well crafted and plenty playable, with the dubs offering a useful alternative for DJs for whom the vocal is a little too Hed Kandi-esque for comfort!
Review: Known to his mum as Larry Holcombe, Get To Know's Facebook page describes his musical influences as '80s boogie, disco, indie and house", and it's fair to say that you can hear all of the above in his latest offering. 'Better Love' is supplied in four mixes: the Radio Edit has naturally been shaped to emphasise the track's poppier elements, the Club Mix will suit more commercial floors, the Babert Remix takes things a little more underground with a throbbing 80s bassline while the standout rub comes from Cuz Electric, who drop the tempo and concentrate even more on the bottom end.
Review: Midnight Riot serve up 18 tracks that encapsulate the house sound of Ibiza in 2019, with elements of tech-house and (nu) disco and a sprinkling of good old-fashioned vocal podium belters. Arther Baker's opening 'Reachin' (as remixed by Hi-Fi Sean and Yam Who?) is one example of the latter, while techier, struttier pleasures can be found on Benjamin Ferreira's ludicrously funky bass workout 'Aerosol'. Manc veterans DJ Paulette and Chris Massey join forces on another funk-fuelled rumbler, 'Sheroes', while deeper, more soulful vibes await on Jack Tyson Charles's 'Glory'. And if you like the sound of those there are 14 more very playable nuggets from the likes of Birdee, Lenny Fontana and Natasha Kitty Kat to choose from!
Review: Earlier in the year, rising star Raquel Rodriguez made her first appearance on Z Records via some suitably superb Joey Negro remixes of "We Go Together". Here another highlight of her 2018 album "The 310 Part 2" gets the remix treatment. Midnight Riot boss Yam Who steps up first with a typically loose and groovy revision that places Rodriguez's sweet vocal atop rolling mid-tempo drums, rubbery jazz-funk bass, sweet disco orchestration and some quality, Chic style guitar licks. Redux Inc offers up a similarly warm, jazzy and funky interpretation that feels slightly deeper and even more soulful whilst utilizing many of the same disco-centric musical elements. Should radio-friendly versions be your thing, Midnight Riot has provided edited versions of both reworks.
Review: This latest from the uber-hip Midnight Riot stable packs a brace of what appear to be reworked funk/soul nuggets of old, though as the sources are unknown we'll treat 'em as fresh! 'Freakin' Baby' is a looping, midtempo disco-houser that sports two competing vocals - one spoken, female and in a French accent, the other male, American and sung -and some fine sax work, while 'Love Affair' takes big chunks of sampled soul vocal (or rather, several different sampled soul vocals) and marries them to a ponderous, dubby bassline and filtered funk geetar to create a classy lil' sundown groover.
Review: Greek producer C Da Afro steps up to the plate with four more re-edits here. The source of the first two is a mystery, but 'Gambling In Vegas' itself has clearly been drawn from the loungier end of the 70s disco spectrum while 'Knock Out Groove' moves a little forward in time to the boogie era of the early 80s. 'True To The Cause' reworks Cheryl Lynn's 'If You'll Be True To Me' from 1981 and is packed with hand-clappin', finger-poppin' disco energy, while Leon Hayward's 1983 Casablanca single 'I'm Out To Catch' provides the basis for EP closer 'Disco Tonic'.
Review: Belgian producer Le Babar has spent the last decade dividing his time between making loopy disco-house, tooled up scalpel edits and top notch underground house music. "Express Your Needs" marks his first appearance on the mighty Midnight Riot and is naturally packed to the rafters with bouncy peak-time treats. He naturally brings the funk on rubbery, housed-up disco revision "Express Your Needs" - all crunchy Clavinet lines, elastic beats, fizzing slap bass and sweet chorus vocals - before applying the same rework principles to a colourful '80s soul gem on "Where Is The Love". If that kind of hard-wired, synth-heavy action is your thing - think vintage Jam & Lewis productions with added oomph and a few carefully placed filter sweeps - then closing cut "Be With Me" should be right up your alley.
Review: Midnight Riot's compilations are not only uniformly action-packed, but also offer great value for money. The latest edition in the imprint's ongoing "Disco Made Me Do It" series offers up no less than 25 tried-and-tested cuts to pep up your DJ sets. In keeping with the label's party-starting ethos, there's a good mix of disco-fired house cuts (see Michael Gray's "24/7 People"), revivalist disco-boogie (Qwestlife's remix of Nick Reach Up's "Dreaming"), filter-sporting boogie-house (Ladies On Mars), top-notch disco re-edits (Twism's "What I Know"), Tiger & Woods style loop jams (Motte's "Darkroom Boogie") and party-staring 21st century disco-funk ("Chance" by Rees).
Review: Self-styled singer, songwriter and arranger Dave Baron first joined forces on last year's "Heart" (Mariana Records), a sweet fusion of beach-ready house grooves and seductive disco instrumentation. "Keeps Gettin' Better", the pair's first outing on Midnight Riot, is similarly inclined. Their "Vocal Version" is warm, rich and groovy, with Baron's smooth and soulful vocals rising above toasty bass guitar, sun-ripened electric piano chords, jazzy guitar solos and unfussy disco drums. Midnight Riot boss provides the most revolutionary remix, smartly emphasizing the pair's original instrumentation while also adding a fine synthesizer-based boogie bassline of his own. The Ladies on Mars remix, meanwhile, is my forthright and funky in a disco-house style.
Review: Originally released in 1981 on Streetwave and CBS, Alton Edwards' debut single "I Just Wanna (Spend Some Time With You)" is a boogie-era electrofunk classic blessed with Latin style horn stabs, super-sweet vocals and the heaviest, most squelchy synth bassline known to mankind (or womankind for that matter). Here it gets the reissue treatment with Streetsounds' founder Morgan Khan's fine original vocal and instrumental mixes (tracks three and four) being joined by two new rubs by veteran British house producer Michael Gray. He wisely retains Edwards' killer bassline, baggy electric piano chords and razor-sharp horns, underpinning them with bustling peak-time house drums on all-action "Remix" and "Dub" variations.
Review: Fresh from a fine EP on Hot Digits and a killer contribution to Editorial's compilation style "Margarita Magic" EP, Frank Virgilio returns to Midnight Riot for the first time since December 2018's excellent "Exstasy". The self proclaimed "visionary remixer" kicks this off with "An Affair", a radical house style revision of a familiar disco favourite rich in jammed-out electric piano riffs, fuzz-tone guitar riffs, psychedelic organ solos and the kind of drifting female vocal samples that will get stuck in the heads of seriously inebriated dancers. In contrast, "My Obsession" is built around a metronomic, lower tempo groove, with Virgilio making the most of his source material's swirling disco strings, fluid piano motifs, vintage synthesizer lines and razor-sharp funk guitars.
Review: This latest offering from Yam Who's prolific Midnight Riot stable and Berlin producer Jack Tennis comes with four mixes to choose from. In its Original form, 'Holding On' sits right on the disco/house cusp and sports both a soulful male vocal and some fine squelching acid. Pete Le Freq's remix brings the fat bassline and some excellent jazz-funk guitar picking to the fore, while fairly self-explanatory Dub and Radio Edit rubs complete the package. Reminiscent, albeit only in the vaguest way possible, of Peyton's 'Higher Place' from yesteryear, don't be surprised if 'Holding On' achieves Ibiza anthem status this summer.
Review: French producer Tommy Glasses returns to Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot with two sumptuous slices of contemporary (rather than nu) disco here. Up first is 'Addicted To You', whose simple drum machine beats, phat funk bassline and shimmering, 80s-sounding synths pay homage to the boogie/electrofunk era, a feeling that's heightened by the slightly over-wrought stylings of the uncredited female vocalist. The accompanying 'Get You Out Of My Head', meanwhile, is a mellower cut that leans further towards soulful house. Oh, and that has absolutely nothing to do with Kylie Minoque!
Review: With Copenhagen disco don Ziggy Phunk a respected producer in his own right as well as a re-edit maestro and renowned digger, it's not entirely clear if these are re-edits or original productions, but what's not in doubt is the quality on offer. 'Boogie Movements' itself is a driving, uptempo disco cut with a late 70s Euro feel and something oddly 'Disco Inferno'-ish about the bassline, 'Serious Soulmates' is a smoochier, boogie-flavoured ride with male "Aaa-aaw baby' and chorus'd female "Baby take me serious" lines by way of a vocal, while 'I'm Ready' centres around a phat-ass funk bassline and some very fine strings. Classy stuff all round.
Review: Perhaps best known as the founding (and since 2008 only) member of Classic faves Greenskeepers, James Curd knows a thing or two about crafting a quality house groove after 20 years in the game, and this latest EP for Yam Who?'s Midnight Riot label is no exception! The bouncy 'You Give Me Pleasure' opens the EP with crisp beats, a lolloping b-line, spoken male vox with a female chorus and a touch of acid. 'Love Motion' itself follows, a heads-down, 131bpm roller with a sparkling two-note piano riff and head-fried synths galore, before a Radio Edit of 'You Give Me Pleasure' completes the package.
Review: Previously known for crafting soothing R&B and effortlessly soulful modern soul, Jack Tyson Charles made his bow on Midnight Riot last summer with the Danny Kane-produced "Best Friend". The two have teamed up again on "Glory", a slick, Rhodes-laden chunk of modern boogie that wraps Charles' superb vocal around mazy synth solos, plucked strings, dreamy chords and sharp, Chic-style guitars. Classic co-founder Luke Solomon delivers two tidy reworks, complimenting a bustling, string-laden house "Remix" with a bouncy, glassy-eyed Dub rich in sweeping strings and heady syntn stabs. Arguably best of all, though, is Bonar Bradberry's stripped backm proto-house style rework, which reminded us a little of Imagination's "Music and Lights".
Review: Having impressed heads via an impressive array of re-edits and original productions on his own Disco Legends and Soulful Legends imprints, house and nu-disco producer Twism pops up on Midnight Riot for the very first time. "What I'd Do", which is available in full-length and radio edit variations, is an enjoyable, on-point revision of a soaring, late '70s style disco bumper rich in strong choruses, prominent "walking" bass, punchy horn refrains, rising orchestration and clipped, Chic style guitar motifs. Oh, and some suitably tasty synthesizer solos. Twism has beefed up the groove underpinning the original track a bit, but his additional production is subtle enough to sit naturally and not sound forced. As a result, "What I'd Do" is one of the stronger re-edits we've heard this month.
Review: "If you want a job done properly, do it yourself," they say, but if the job's making disco-house we'd suggest leaving it to Michael Gray instead: he helped define the sound back in the Hustler's Convention days, and 20+ years of experience since have paid off! There's nothing especially new going on here, and Original, Club Vocal, Acapella and Radio mixes don't really take a great deal of explaining - it's just that '24 7 People' (a summer anthem in waiting with a one-line "24/7 party people" vocal) is the Brazil national squad, whereas a thousand sample-pack imitators are merely your local non-League side.
Review: This latest collaboration between Yam Who? and Jaegerossa comes in three mixes, and between them should find its way onto a range of floors. The lead Yam Who? & Jaegerossa Remix is the one for the soulful/disco house floors, with a top-drawer vocal from Ms Wallace, lavish strings and a Joey Negro-esque exuberance. The Boogie Remix, unsurprisingly, takes us into boogie territory and sports a fat, squidgy bottom end to match, but perhaps more impressive is the Retro Soul Mix, an altogether more organic-sounding pass that could easily hold its own alongside the likes of the Dap Kings et al.
Review: While Christos Antoniou AKA C Da Afro releases rather a lot of tidy re-edits, he often saves his best work for Midnight Riot. Or at least that's how it seems to us. Certainly, there's much to enjoy on the Greek producer's latest outing on Yam Who's label. Highlights include "Feel Like Dancing" - a rolling, pumped-up revision of a 1986 94 East private press jam to which Antoniou has added a thickset synth bassline - and the soaring orchestration and thumping disco-house grooves of "Heaven". Slick P-funk revision "Tonight" - all bubby synths, kaleidoscopic solos and Roger Troutman style talkbox vocals - is also worth a listen.
Review: Okay, hold tight because this one's a bit confusing! Bernadette Trax is a new alias for UK deep house stalwart Michael Lovatt, and is also the name of his new Berlin-based label - but the digital release of this, the label's debut offering, is being taken care of by Midnight Riot. Got that? Then all you need to know is that 'Setting Sun' in its Original form is a slice of wistful, midtempo Balearica with an excellent jazz-inflected vocal from Ms Glahn, while the remix from Yam Who? & Jaegerossa gives the track a summery disco dancefloor makeover. Completing the EP is 'Mello', a druggy, hypnotic slo-mo affair.
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: Djeko and K'You may be French, but they operate out of Mexico - a fact that partly explains the humid and colourful feel of their first single for Midnight Riot. They hit the ground running with "All Night", a razor-sharp, synth bass-driven peak-time chugger rich in layered hand percussion, bold piano motifs and loved-up vocal snippets. It's sparse but heavy, propelled forwards by the kind of bassline that will wind its way into your subconscious. "Juicy Laugh" is similarly inclined, with the pair constructing a rolling peak-time workout around tough-but-stripped-back drums and another bold synthesizer bassline, this time plucked (or more likely copied) from one of the biggest freestyle-era hits of the 1980s.
Review: Given the success of their previous joint single on Z Records, "Grateful", we know that Yam Who, Jacqui George and Jaegerossa are natural collaborators. Predictably, they've hit the mark again with this heavy, peak-time ready cover of Francine McGhee disco classic "Delirium". They've replicated many of the original's most potent features - think jammed-out electric piano riffs, heady vocals and wild synth solos - whilst updating it a little for house-centric contemporary dancefloors. The accompanying remixes are rather good, too. First, '80s Child and Ruff Diamond offer up a warmer, looser and breezier disco revision that adds a little more synth-heavy electrofunk flabvour, before Danny Russell and Ronald Christoph brilliantly strip the track back and emphasize the killer bassline on a superb disco-house take.
Review: Confusingly, Ladies On Mars isn't a collective of disco-loving Martian producers, but rather one chap from Argentina: Boom Zwapp Records founder Jonathan Braverman. He's released on a lot of labels over the years, but "Boogie On Time" marks his first outing on Midnight Riot. He begins with the title track, a heavily compressed chunk of celebratory disco-house cheeriness, before applying his trademark filter tracks to a punchier and more orchestral disco cut on "Ready To Go". Arguably even better is the sleazy, arpeggio-powered pump of EP standout "Sex Fantastic", while sparkling closing cut "Sexy Dancer" offers up an on-point revision of an electro-funk era disco workout.
Review: We're not quite sure who's behind the More Lotion project, but this debut EP on Midnight Riot is packed with intriguing dancefloor treats. Check, for example, "Can't Get Enough", a mid-'80s sounding affair that wraps jaunty piano lines and breathy male vocals around a chunky, synth-heavy groove, and the alien disco-funk shuffle of "Rudy Wanna Dance", a cut rich in bustling acid bass and Chic style guitar riffs. This kind of hybrid re-edit-with-extra-synths-and-drums formula continues on the more nu-disco flavoured "Boogie To The Top" and the slap bass-wielding roll of "Dancabilitys", which contains more delay and reverb-laden drum hits than your average early '80s Boyd Jarvis dub.
Review: Midnight Riot's first release of 2019 sees two label regulars, Danny Kane and Natasha Kitty Kat, join forces for what we believe is the very first time. Vocalist Sophie Paul lends a hand on superb EP opener "Wear It", a brilliant fusion of rolling house and head-in-the-clouds disco rich in gospel style piano riffs and sweeping strings. "Ascend To Love" sees the duo brilliantly wrap fluttering, spaced-out vocal samples and disco loops around a metronomic house groove, while the "Instrumental Mix" of "Wear It" allows the duo's brilliant instrumentation (including the cut-glass disco strings and bouncy piano riffs) room to breathe. An impressive start to the year from one of digital disco's most reliable imprints.
Review: According to his Soundcloud bio, Frank Virgilio is a "visionary remixer". It's a bold claim, for sure, but helpfully you can now judge for yourself thanks to this two-tracker on Midnight Riot. In this instance, his approach is slow and loopy, with slowly building opener "Extasy" [sic] wrapping an LTJ Experience style groove in swirling string lines, gentle piano riffs and tasty vocal samples. It's naturally a little hypnotic, but also surprisingly breezy in feel. "Keep On Time", meanwhile, sees him stick a groovy, slow-house beat beneath dewy-eyed female vocals, right-paned guitar motifs, hypnotic bass loops and twinkling vibraphone solos. Visionary or not, both tracks are very good.
Review: Greek producer C Da Afro (Christos Antoniou) has been plying his disco trade for a few years now, with releases on labels such as SpinCat, About Disco and Disco Fruit, but here he comes to the ultra-hip Midnight Riot with a three-tracker that'll delight those in search of some authentically 70s-sounding grooves. 'Yesterday' is a lavish affair topped with female vocals in a near-chanted style, 'Disco State' has a vaguely Candido-esque feel and sports some fine parpin' saxophone, while completing the package is 'The Flip Track', which is considerably pacier than the other two, operating at an almost hi-NRG tempo.