Review: Much maligned in the middle of the current decade following a period of over-saturation at the start of it, the electro-swing sound definitely seems to be experiencing something of a resurgence right now, and here come(s) the publicity-shy Hey Alan! with a whole album's worth. The album features five numbered cuts, each of which is served up in Original and Style 19 mixes, the former generally sporting those defining oompah-loompah tech-house beats while the Style 19 rubs are a little more traditional in approach. It's an album that wears its stylistic allegiance proudly on its sleeve, but thankfully there's just enough variety on offer to ensure things don't get dull.
Review: Count Skylarkin is a producer from Oxford who makes accessible covers of classics in a Mark Ronson-style. "Dub Of A Preacherman" is yep, you guessed it, a cover of Dusty Springfield's 1960s staple, here given an up-tempo ska workover. "Freak U Higher" is more of a bootleg mash-up, splicing Missy Elliot's vocals from get "Ur Freak On" to Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher".
Review: The Dirty Dubster crew return with a bumper seventh volume of their ragga party jams, and true to form, they mash up ragga with other contemporary styles with considerable style. F-Block's "Jah Bone" combines all manner of echo-laden dub guitar with filthy dubstep bass, while Wood N Soo's "Smoke 2 Joints" is a contemporary update on The Toyes' classic, filling it with rolling snares and powerful low end. Subtifuge's "Love 4 U" is a slightly more skanking effort, with rolling D&B rhythms completely at odds with its laid back mood, while DJ Tzinas' "Wicked" combines a horn sectiona and tropical acoustic guitar with some serious dub airhorn - big stuff all round!
Review: Having conducted his own glassy-eyed sunrise s?ance, Vintage Music main man Sunner Soul has successfully summoned the "Spirits of the Boogie" for a hazy early morning dance. Perhaps the most alluring of these "spirits" is opener "Constanera Montana", a vibraphone sporting shuffle through drowsy Rhodes chords and metronomic beats, though the heavy and low-slung "The Bright Day" and all-action electrofunk workout "Voice of Saturn" run it close. Elsewhere, "Sprit of the Boogie" is a bass-heavy disco-funk party jam smothered in high-grade horn lines and brilliant bass guitar, while "Jazzy Patterns (Raw Edit)" is an accurately titled blend of dusty machine drums, jazz samples and crazy special effects.
Review: The second in Booty Fruit's "Proper Produce" series sees four new funk-propelled mash ups hitting the virtual shelves this week. Among the highlights, Beastie Boys fans will certainly appreciate El Bomba & Hidden Riddim's "Dr Fluteski", which uses the same sample source as the NYC legends' "Flute Loop", while The Allergies give Blueboy's "Remember Me" an '80s soul rerub.
Review: Known for his work on Midnight Riot, Sound Exhibitions and Disco Fruit, among other labels, here London-based Argentinian producer Fabiolous Barker comes to the Katakana stable with three very fine re-edits. 'Only Fools Fall In Love' is a midtempo groover with female vocal harmonies, subtle guitar chops and an overall early 80s boogie vibe, 'Sending My Love' centres around a full-phat funk bassline and the Cameo-esque male "sending my love from me to you" vocal, while finally 'Weakness' has a male scatted vocal and tinkling keys. The source material has our disco detectives beat this time out, but all three are eminently spinnable.
Review: This fourth audio missive from the Wonderful Times stable has been picking up plays from some of the digital re-edit scene's most revered names. Given that all four tracks are tried-and-tested disco-house treats, it's easy to see why the EP has proved popular thus far. Highlights include the sexy sax cut-ups, colossal builds, swirling effects and bumping beats of Rafael Fernandez's "Ode To A.J", the fuzzy electronics, densely layered percussion and whistling melody lines of Sould Out's "Doctor Kongas", and the celebratory disco-funk rush of The Funk District's "Time Will Tell". Hotmood's loopy but essential opener, "In A Disco", is also well worth regular rotations.
Review: Like Ronseal's quick-drying wood varnish, "Brazilian Edits" does "exactly what it says on the tin". It sees Muleke and Leo Mafra work their magic on two typically sunny and life-affirming Brazilian cuts of old. First up is the carnival-ready brilliance of "Sarava", a genuine rush of turn-of-the-'70s positivity blessed with righteous horn arrangements, funk-rock guitars, cheery male vocals and locked-in samba-disco drums. Arguably even better is "E Muita Raca", a tasty revision of a little-known P-funk era number rich in Parliament/Funkadelic style synths, Prince-ish guitar riffs, punchy horns and chant-along vocals. Two cuts guaranteed to get the party started: what's not to like?
Review: For this 11th edition of the Whiskey Disco series, Sleazy McQueen has gathered together a series of decidedly loved-up re-edits, many with a real AOR feel. That's certainly the case with "Moonlight" - a wonky bundle of 6am sunrise hugs edited into shape by Yves Saint Lau'rant - and Anthony Mansfield's delightfully subdued "Cosmic Annie". There's some straight-up party flavours in the shape of Disco Tech's bumpin' rework of perennial Dolly Parton fave "Jolene", while Cole Medina successfully dubs out a deep house love song on "Your Love".
Review: The late Tony Joe White's 70s/80s adventures in fusing blues-y swamp rock with disco and funk never met much success, and he's better known as a songwriter - he penned 'Rainy Night In Georgia', for instance. Here, though, 1983's 'Swamp Rap' becomes 'Country Rap', and the result is a slightly novelty-esque but truly distinctive-sounding funk slab. Fred Wesley's 'House Party' and The Chi-Lites' 'Bottoms Up' get similarly funked up as 'Gonna Have A Party' and 'Turn The House Down', respectively, while 'Other Sight' draws from sources unknown but has a go-go feel. 'Country Rap' is the one that'll really prick up ears on the dancefloor, though.
Review: When delivering a V's Edits release, Valique tends to pack the EP with tried-and-tested, club-ready reworks, and plenty of them. That's certainly the case on this latest outing, which boasts six razor sharp cuts. There's much to admire throughout, from the wavy positivity of AOR disco-soul opener "This Lady" and the sparkling cheeriness of "All Mine", where one of disco-boogie's most memorable moments gets smothered in filters and compression, to the new wave era electro-rock moodiness of "Hey, La!" Also worth a listen is the heady, intoxicating shuffle of "Funkin' For Kingston", where a break digging boogie classic is subtly extended and rearranged.
Review: Po-faced disco and boogie purists should probably steer clear of this five-tracker from the Tru Funk crew. For the rest of us, there's plenty to enjoy. The action is typically floor-friendly, offering party hearty thrills with just enough purist flavour to impress. Agent 86 drops a deliciously synth-heavy stepper in the form of "Sticky Funk", while Jamie Ruz closes his eyes and lets the jazzual guitar solos flow on the soft focus boogie-soul jam "Lovers Delight". Yomakomba's "Hold You" should inspire a few "moments" on the dancefloor with its sinewy combination of '80s soul and Balearic house chug, while Trotter's "40 Degrees" is a slamming chunk of slap bass-heavy disco house.
Review: More scrumptious sonics from the Polish party crew, the fourth volume of Tru Funk's "Tasty Beats" series sees old friends and new lay down five sizzling jams that will guarantee unified butt-shaking. New faces Bruno Borlone and Boogie Mike lay down a Spanish rap funk jam "I Like The Party", DJ Axe pays homage to Nice & Smooth and Curtis Blow, ElectroGorilla reach for the lazers with the euphoric breakbeat flexor "Funky Beast" and Rory Hoy and Saxon Scoundrels get busy on a classic rock and swashbuckling drum vibe with "Bouncin & Rockin". Finally The Beat Selecta boldly fixes up the classic Batman theme tune on a D&B with - quite cleverly - Hijack's "Badman Is Robbin" rap originally sampled by DJ Supreme. Holy bootlegs!
Review: Every now and then, in between artist EPs, Tru Funk knock out a mini compilation of bootlegs where the original artists get spliced together like Frankenstein's monsters of funk. Highlights of this five tracker include Tom Showtime's fusing of Khia's famously filthy My Neck, My Back with some of Snoops' Gangsta Luv on "Gangsta Lick", Phibe's totally eccentric party smasher "Dig My Bounce" (which mixes Missy Elliot with No Diggity) and Spox's electro funk monster "Roses" which beefs up Haywood's '80s classic of the same name.
Review: Victoria's finest come together to launch the Melbourne Deepcast imprint, proving that there's much more to the city than great coffee. Up first is Lewie Day - perhaps better known to the record buying public as Tornado Wallace - who drops the immensely pleasing soulful mid tempo bump of "Some Kind Of Man", a sample-heavy house jam that has been receiving a lot of love on the Juno office turntable. This is followed by "Devoted", an effort from MD head honcho Andy Hart that shimmers with Motor City soul - watch out for those keys! Up next there's some eagerly anticipated new tackle from Fantastic Man, with the deep groove/low slung riffage of "From Start To Finish" sounding like a snug fit for the 6th Borough Project back cat, while Weekend Express's "Deeper" bristles with vintage Chicago vibes. An auspicious debut.
Review: Vehicle have been contributing to the contemporary nu-disco scene like few others labels and, to them, nothing is an obstacle, and no genre or style should be excluded. Zed Zeppelin's dub version of "Heartbreaker" is a refreshing disco take on the original, with its riffs still intact and rolling; "Stop Your Pressure" by MJJ takes Michael Jackson to a next level; J Hammond's "Fantasy" is a disco beauty; The Militia's version of "Roxanne" by Police moves those infamous vocals to new and interesting pastures; Timmy Tommy's "Live Together" is an devilish little monster that manages to fuel house with a crazy set of organs.
Review: Don't be fooled by the plethora of comedic, pun-tastic artist names scattered throughout the track list for this sixteenth volume of Vehicle's Boogie Box Edits series. Look harder, and you'll note the distinctive scalpel alias of label boss Valique (simply "V") throughout. His edits - informed by his past in funk breaks as well as disco, boogie and shameless party-starting fun - rarely disappoint, and there's much to enjoy here. Highlights include a toughened-up, straightened out version of the Whispers' "It's A Love Thing" (complete with house pianos), a filter-heavy disco-house tweak of the Johnson Brothers' "Stomp", and a deliciously breezy rework of an old Billy Ocean fave that's worth the admission price on its' own.
Review: Manucci's Mistress is back with a new one by London-based label boss James 'VRRS' Vorres. The label that has served up work by the likes of Steve Huerta, Urulu and Mella Dee in the past is now purely a vehicle for the work of Vorres himself these days. Features the lo-fi acid-inflected swing of "Yoga Flame" that's so dusty and saturated that even the Shall Not Fade crowd will stand up and notice! This is followed by the bombastic and wobbly garage bounce of "End Of Level Boss".
Review: With 15 tracks from nine different artists, this is the first compilation from Disco Fruit, making it the ideal opportunity to get acquainted with the Serbian label - or just great value for money if you're in search of some fine contemporary disco, funk and boogie grooves. Ranging from the sprightly jazz-house of Munky Five's 'Peace Of Jazz' to the Fatback funk of Mike Woods 'Get What You Need Y'All', via the Parliament/Zapp-esque squelch of JB Boogie's 'Party Underground', the attitude-y disco-house strut of Jack Roy & Peitzke's 'On The House' with its Scissor Sisters-ish vocal and Hiva's cheeky 'Superfreak'-biting 'Yea Yeah', there's no shortage of mirror ball goodness here.
Review: Number three in the four part SchleiBen series from Emotional Response arrives with Don't DJ and Tropical Hi-Fi at the controls. The former is the current creative endeavor of Florian Meyer, founder of the Diskant label and one of the more experimental and academic producers to surface from Dusseldorf in recent times. He also forms one third of The Durian Brothers. Meyer's "Kosmose" is a 20 minute piece which explores the link between polyrhythmic percussion and brooding electronics; understandably, it's ripe with introspective qualities. Offering some contrast, Northern Australian producer Tropical Hi-fi turns in "Oceanic Mythology", a meandering journey through found sounds, psychedelia, folk music and more which sounds like listening to SUED B-sides whilst tripped out on acid.
Review: Hot on the heels of Tru Thoughts' recent Tasty Beats compilation, the firmly party orientated label has rustled up a tenth instalment of their Party Breaks series. Now it's time to shake it up at every house party you can find this summer! Highlights include Bang N Mash's funky old skool Eric B mash-up "I Got Soul", Chudy's "So What?" which intertwines the Tom Tom Club and Destiny's Child to sizzling effect and finally DJ Clairvo who fuses big beat, ragga and vintage organ stabs on "Here Me Now All Massive". Boom!