Review: Ganbatte's latest affair may be all-star affair, but Fabiolous Barker rightly takes top billing thanks to delivering two takes on his latest track, "The Expert". He opens the EP with a hybrid electro/disco flavoured "Old Skool Re-Master" full of whispered vocals, crunchy guitars, throbbing synth-bass and tight horn blasts, before returning at the end with a "Funka-Masta-House" version that underpins the music with a head-nodding house style beat. In between you'll find the bouncy, Hi-NRG era Latin disco-house insanity of Dim Zach's "La Habernaro", the dreamy harmony vocals and ear-pleasing nu-disco grooves of Carlos Gatto's "Call It Love" and the alien funk masterclass that is Don Dayglow's "Gotta Say Yes", a suitably throbbing revision of an old Yello favourite.
Review: When operating under the V's Edits alias, re-edit maestro Valique can always be relied upon to bring the goods. It's little surprise, then, to find out that his latest collection of fresh cut-jobs - an epic affair featuring no less than 24 tracks - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. We don't have enough space to list all of the highlights, but we'd suggest checking out his rolling revision of Lee Dorsey's "Night People", the low-slung disco-funk heaviness of the Brass Construction rework ("Gotta Do It"), the intergalactic disco deepness of the Marvin Gaye revision ("Funky Space"), the lightly tooled-up, slowly unfurling take on Tom Browne's "Funkin For Jamaica" and the sweeping, string-laden disco brilliance of "Miracle (V's Edit)".
Review: Subwoofah are rolling things out nicely here with a joint four-tracker from Grimesy and Speaker Louis, who manage to combine riotous jungle with more considered tones to great effect. 'It Was' lands more on the side of the former except it smashes out the jump up stabs over a staggered, junglist undercarriage which injects a whole new dynamic of broken, torn energy to create a proper choon. 'What You Do' is a bit more stripped back, a bit more focused on the drum side of things and it works really well, sub-bass stabs abound in the gaps and its all just very sick. Top work you two.
Review: Mexico's Deep Sense serve up a six-track EP that shows there's more than one way to go about repurposing a classic. Rather than simply looping up chunks of the original, the edits here get a little more creative - Sauco & Manuel Costela's 'Are We Ready?', for instance, takes the vocal from Fatback's 'Bus Stop' vocal and places it over a fresh (and utterly irresistible) funk backing, while on 'Last Nite' Tony Disco uses a similar trick to reinvent an InDeep classic in altogether sultrier, jazzier form. An equally well-known chanted vocal tops the brass-tastic 'Flamingo' from Hot Mood, and there are three more very playable nuggets where those came from!
Review: Vital Elements is a long-time stalwart of the rougher side of the scene, the side of the scene that perhaps doesn't get as much flashy publicity but that day-in-day-out plays host to raves, bedroom hang outs and after parties up and down the UK. Vital Elements is that guy who'll be at the party, spinning tunes and having a good time and this single encapsulates that no-nonsense, fun-at-all-costs approach. 'Mass Projection' is a bouncing leviathan that rests on naughty snare-action and lives up with its jagged bass notes; 'Smoke of Calii' is more of a rolling beast, it's back end stretching out and lumping you in the face. Another top release from man like Vital Elements and this big one comes in at a cool eight tracks. Lovely stuff.
Review: A reissue here for a sought-after Italo-disco classic from way back in 1983, as UTC Limited serve up two tracks that originally featured on the Orchestra Charles Brissot's one and only long-player 'Running For Fun'. 'Second Galaxis' owes a major debt of inspiration to Space's 'Magic Fly' from a decade earlier, being centred around a very similar-sounding plinky-plonky analogue synth riff (as well as some startlingly acid-like burbles), while 'Serenade To The Sunrise' is a gloriously cheesy affair with synthesized strings taking the lead - were The Love Boat ever to take off into outer space, this is what'd be playing in the ballroom!
Review: Greek producer Chris GS returns to Israel's Thunder Jam with four more slices of reworked vintage funk/disco goodness. He's dug nice and deep for this set, so the original source material remains a mystery in most cases, but in his hands 'Shake It' is a strings-drenched disco number that would've sounded right at home on the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack, while 'Lady' rocks a slightly rawer funk vibe. The same goes for 'The Funk', which reworks Positive Force's 'We Got The Funk' from 1979, while finally 'About It' leans a little closer towards early 80s boogie territory.
Review: Of late, Dean Meredith's Rogue Cat Sounds label has been exploring the more cosmic and Balearic end of the musical spectrum, so it's little surprise to see him welcome Italian legends DJ Rocca and Daniele Badlelli to the imprint. The storied twosome begins in fine fashion via the lilting electric guitar solos and bubby electronic disco grooves of "Sky Dump", before opting for a weirder and more psychedelic dancefloor sound on Afro-Cosmic workout "Massive Birth" and doffing a cap to Yello on the eccentric electronics of "Talorypo". The accompanying remix package is epic and uniformly high standard, though if we were picking favourites we'd opt for Warehouse Preservation Society's warm, thickset nu-disco version of "Talorypo" and Mind Fair's Chicken Lips-esque rework of "Massive Birth".
Review: Ever turn up to a slightly strange but inviting house party to find a DJ playing a list of your favourite tracks - although you have no idea where they're from? It's label like Minimatic that keep the party going for another decade. Where electro-swing goes for sped up ballroom and big band jazz, Minimatic's approach to genre reformation takes the likes of UK pop (Oasis and "Owner of A Lonely Heart"), US hip hop ,(Eminem, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga) to slices of R&B via Ed Sheeran and dresses them up latin rhythms of baile and urban funk, adding touches of turntablism, jazzy horns and keys to lowriding grooves.
Review: From Robsoul and Tsuba to Is It Balearic? and Futureboogie, Craig Bratley can be many things depending on who's releasing his music. He launches the Automatism label in a flurry of cosmic disco finery with "Ursa Minor", a synth-rich escapade that could make Cerrone feel a little giddy on its course to the stars. "Exotic Matter" slows things right down and ramps up the rock drums to create a noirish soundtrack vibe. "Exquisite Corpse (Zero Gravity Mix)" changes tact once more with some plaintive piano tinkering over subtle arpeggios, and "Running To Paradise" slides down into a smooth Balearic groove that rounds out this wonderfully diverse EP.
Review: No slapsash edits here, just some cheery nu-dsco positivity from sometime Re-Loved re-editor Conan The Selector and guest vocalist Sherie. Her lead vocal is superb - think classic soulful house meets screaming disco diva - while Conan's backing track on "Disco Lights" is rich in twinkling piano motifs, handclap-heavy percussion, rich disco grooves and clipped, Chic style guitars. Conan's original version comes backed with two solid reworks, too. First Andy Buchan gives the track a slightly more electronic feel on his synth-laden nu-diusco revision, before Ash Reynolds layers delay-laden vocal snippets above a deep and dreamy disco-house groove on his headline-grabbing remix.
Review: Prestige is definitely one of the more talented producers out there, with previous releases on a host of other labels and his aggressive sound is back with a vengeance here. Packed with harsh, barking tones and a stripped-back, industrial aesthetic, Prestige doesn't waste any time in laying out the rules: there are none. 'A Ghost' is one of the heavier cuts, with a punching back end and an obstinate feel of solidness that reflects down all the way onto the rest of the tune. 'Magnificent' is the title tune and you can see why, with a KoTR-esque approach to drawn out basslines and tough sonics, all of which come together to round out a sick release from the Sub-liminal crew.
Review: Funky Town reissue two tracks from Sound Factory Inc's 1977 long-player 'Night Shift'. 'The Limehouse Groover' opens with a resonating gong hit before revealing itself to be a sunny, carefree jazz-funk/jazz-fusion affair with a synthesized saxophone lead line - the likes of Spyro Gyra, Mezzoforte or Morrissey-Mullen would be useful reference points here - while 'The Funky Beauty' is a more uptempo number that leans towards Euro/Italo disco, with organic sax and trumpets counterpointing analogue synths that are very much of their time. It's all a bit "70s sitcom soundtrack", but leave your fromage-phobia at the door and just enjoy!
Review: Some classy contemporary disco fare here from Irish producer Jones, coming to you courtesy of Israeli label Thunder Jam. 'Fluty Loops' itself opens with an intricate, extended percussive intro, before funk geetar and stabby strings usher in the meandering flute line that gives the track its title - imagine Joey Negro remixing Roy Ayers and you're somewhere in the ballpark. 'Everybody' shows the same attention to detail in the percussion department but has a more Chic-ish vibe, while completing the EP is the more sultry 'Been So Hard', which comes on like Linda Clifford given a Balearic makeover...
Review: With some cool, dark, artwork, Blckhry has landed on On Point Audio with a hard-hitting five-tracker which combines a penetrating sense of attitude with a non-nonsense approach to musical arrangements. 'Method' has an warped-out, Souped Up vibe in its arrangement that feels powerful to the extreme and is perfect for a crowded dancefloor, especially with its underpinning in some weighty percussion. 'Don't Know' is the roller of the EP and grounded in wobbly atmospherics and a sense of space which makes it a pleasure to listen to, its snapping drum line providing the ground rock underneath. Yes boys.
Review: More succulent than a bucket of fried chicken and twice as heavy, Vehicle's latest "Boogie Box" - the eighth in total - is full to bursting with floor-friendly, finger-licking fun. Editor-in-chief Valique is the man at the controls, gleefully charging between chunky, bass-heavy Afrobeat goodness (the chant-along heaviness of "Like It Is"), party-hearty deep house/disco-funk fusion (the heavy house beats and toasty electric piano stabs of "Mercy", shirts-off celebratory disco ("Disco Dancer"), swinging, Hammond-rich Philly Soul (Timmy Thomas rework "Got To See You Tonight") and strobe-lit peak-time insanity (the Clavinet-sporting disco rush of "Midnight"). In other words, it's another top-notch selection of club-ready revisions from one of the hardest working editors in the scene.
Review: Hailing from Coventry, DJ Hybrid has firmly established himself over the last couple of years as someone at the forefront of D&B's re-discovered love for jungle-influences and bouncy but hard-hitting basslines. Drawing upon those influences, he's back on Audio Addict for a full-throated six-tracker that kicks off with 'On A Riddim', a gently weighted sine-based wobbler that pushes on every corner of the range. 'Madman' and 'Funk Pulse' have clear Kings of the Rollers vibes, with juddering bass pulses and that recognizable sense of hardware-based rawness. This release has overtones of Manchester and undertones of the South - proper UK underground stuff.
Review: Gather round: Editorial is revealing the contents of the mythical "Disco Scrolls", a sacred document for all those who kneel at the altar of the Church of Nu-Disco. It contains eight audio commandments, all of which should be listened to intently. Salvation comes first via the fluid nu-disco positivity of Bica's "Endless Rhodes" and the disco-house grooves of the soulful and musically expansive "Because I'm Black" by Old Chap. Elsewhere, you'll find righteous testimony from Hotmood (via the deep disco-funk of "Only Your Mom Calls Me Daddy"), The Owl (the boisterous horns and filter tricks of "Shake"), Frank Virgilio (the lolloping party disco-funk of "Out Here"), Labour Of Love (the bassline-driven percussion-fest that is "Good Feelin") and NFC and Key Sokur (the rubbery and down-low disco fun of "City Affair").
Review: Liondub's renowned Street Series continues in full force and this next instalment is courtesy of Dez, a producer comes with some serious junglist heat on this one. All five of these cuts mean business and our favourites are the steppy bits, 'Burundanga' especially, which combines apocalyptic vibes with urban sonics to create a powerful patchwork of force and energy, all underpinned by a broken percussive line. The other four are also strong and we're definitely looking forward to hearing these out and about - the Liondub crew kill it yet again.
Review: Emotional Rescue is delighted to present a collection of works by the founding father of the modern drum movement, Glen Velez. Collated from his first 3 solo albums from 1985 to 1989, Sweet Season is a snapshot in to the pioneering composing and performance of this four-time Grammy winner. Born in 1949, of Mexican American ancestry, Velez grew up in Texas before moving to New York in 1967. Playing jazz on the drums he soon gravitated to hand drums from around the world (frame drums in particular), seeking out teachers from many different musical traditions.
Among the many instruments Velez favours are the Irish bodhran, the Brazilian pandeiro, the Arabic riq, the North African bendir and the Azerbaijani ghaval. Although these instruments are similar in construction they have their own playing techniques that open new possibilities.
Sweet Season highlights this vocabulary, mixing and adapting techniques from various cultures to develop new ones. The music, often composed as cross-cultural ensembles, has a particular fondness for polyrhythms - superimposing different meters simultaneously - while incorporating Stepping Split-tone and Central Asian Overtone singing to complete the global horizons.
This new genre of contemporary drumming has been hugely influential and seen Velez work with the likes of John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as teaching his virtuosic combinations of hand movements and finger techniques to many emerging players.
Review: Five fine slices of contemporary disco make up this latest EP from Russian producer Alexandr Chebankov, better known as Sunner Soul. 'Feeling Of Spirits' is a midtempo shuffler that slowly breaks out into an intricate jazz-funk keys workout, 'Keep Strangers' is a Chic-y stomper, 'Liquid Disco' has distinctly Candido-esque overtones, 'Lay In Low (MF-SB Version' is a mellower, more lounge-y cut with muted space disco stabs and finally 'Simply Around' rocks a funkier, Blaxploitation-like vibe. With all five highly authentic-sounding and avoiding obvious samples, heavy rotation at the likes of Glitterbox and Horse Meat Disco is pretty much guaranteed.
Review: With releases notched up on Subosc and Circular Limited, Cavum now debuts on Rhod. Thrones is an expansive affair, moving from the emotive synths of "Waiting For The Sun To Rise Again" into the wobbling bass and whiplash percussion crackle of "Anno 1123". On "That's My Tribe", Cavum heads down a rolling techno wormhole, while on "Testing LF OSC" and "Metallic Synthesis", he opts for different approach to the dance floor; layering filtered chords and eerie synths over a rolling groove, both tracks pack a powerful punch. Meanwhile, "The Social Mark" sees him change tact once again with its stripped back rhythm and throbbing bass designed for maximum impact.