Review: Here's the latest in the series of double albums that round up rare original B-Boy breaks, the kind that found greater fame as samples much later. As ever, selections largely hail from the 70s soul and funk worlds and include the lazy boogie stomp of "Checkin Out Your Love", the groovy percussive freak-out of "Drummer Man" and the crazy Moog-fest of "Tryin To Get Over".
Review: It sounds like Ibiza 2013 will be remembered as the year that the piano returned. At least that's the sense one gets from listening to the latest Toolroom compilation. From C2's edit of new school house act Bicep's "Vision of Love" to the trance meets old school techno of Kaiserdisco's "Night & Day", the plaintive ivory keys loom large. Of course there are exceptions, like Breach's stripped back, abrasive remix of Jamie Jones' "Tonight In Tokyo", but when even the darker tracks, like Ejeca's "Witchdokta" sampling, break beat house monster "Rosario", drops into an evocative piano break down, you know that it's the dominant sound of the season.
Review: Judging by Toolroom's latest mammoth collection, the sound of the White Island in 2014 will be uplifting house music. Granted, there are some diversions on this compilation thanks to Eric Sneo's rattling minimalism and Doorly's jacking "Thunder Clap", but these are few and far between. Even Kelis gets in on the vocal house sound, with Breach chopping up the singer's vocals on his tracky version of "Rumble". Breach faces stiff competition from his peers though, with Tensnake turning London Grammar's "Hey Now" into an epic vocal anthem. However, the stand out contribution comes from a real veteran and MK's piano-led take on Lancelot's "Givin' It Up (feat Antony & Cleopatra)" recalling classic KMS.
Review: London's Horse Meat Disco club really has beaten all comers in the -disco stakes: if a decade of packed parties, international DJ gigs and bringing the disco sleaze to Rinse FM isn't enough, they now deliver their fourth(!) compilation for Strut Records. James Hillard, Jim Stanton, Luke Howard and Severino all share the selection of a 16-strong tracklist, which also appears in mixed form too. Highlights include the quirky Chaka Khan-esque "Ain't No Way" by Opal, the sumptuous luxury vibes of "Stop" by Valerie Allington and the legendary low-slung bass-fest "Barah" by Cleavage. Full marks again, how do they do it?!
Review: Not to be confused with the techno-minded Dutch label of the same name, this Deep Sense is based out of Mexico, they have a penchant for the funkier side of the dance and the cheekier side of edit culture. They proved it on their inaugural voyage in November 2014, and they're proving it once again right here... Kicking off with the sax-massaging jack-jam "The Road To Kalakuta" the whole album is an instant party full of sassy sonic surprises. Highlights include the dusty vinyl crackles and heaving harmonics of Rafael Fernandez's "Nothing's Changed", the epic synth-slapping cosmicity of Funk My Jesus "24K", the classic funk guitar squeezes of Chuggin Edits "We Got The Funk". And that's just a handful of party peals to be harvested from this 16-track heavy album. Bon voyage indeed!
Review: A UK disco master with almost 30 years experience, when Dave Lee aka Joey Negro presents his selections we all sit up and listen. Here's his take on the year that was and it's brimming with 19 rich and rewarding gems to see us through the holidays. Highlights include the deep gospel shuffle of "Reach Out (Atjaz remix)" by Sean McCabe, the sizzling crackle of camp disco accelerator "Unique (New York Underground mix)" by Danube Dance & Kim Cooper and Pezzner's warm synth funk rework of "Candy Coated Perfection" by Opolopo and Diane Charlemagne.
Review: Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint has packed in a lot of releases over the past 12 months, as this expansive roundup of the label's second year in business proves. Featuring 27 tracks and a bonus mix by the South Coast dwelling label boss, there's naturally plenty to admire. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the rolling, head-nodding grooves of Eyeco M's "Keeping It To Myself", the killer proto-house throb of "Tonight" by Bad Barbie vs Evil Smarty, the sexy, string-drenched disco loveliness of P-Sol's "Can't You See", LTJ's trumpet-boasting funk bumper "Fat Thing", and the hard-wired, bass-heavy rework of Julia & Company's "Breakin' Down (Sugar Samba)" by Melon Bomb. It is, though, all pretty darn hot.
Review: Half the fun of each new Ibiza season is the accompanying DJ mix albums that ensue. Here it's the turn of Z Records' legend, Joey Negro, who compiles and selects Z Records Presents Ibiza 2017. With Joey Negro you know you will always get an expert blend of house and disco, new and old. Here we see exclusives rub shoulders with first time digital virgins. Highlights include Dr Packer's thumping edit of "Change Position (88)" by Brooklyn Express, the hazy bass twangs of "Phantom" by A Band Called Flash and the warm electro of "It's More Fun To Compute" by Negro himself.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Toolroom's "Poolside Ibiza" compilation strand, namely groovy nu-disco, house and laidback Balearic beats inspired by afternoons spent lounging by the water in stonking White Isle heat. Naturally, there are plenty of gems to be found amongst the 40 unmixed tunes selected by chosen DJs Moullinex and Xinobi, from their own collaborative post-punk/dub number "X Marks The Spot", to the slick '80s synth-pop dreaminess of Tensnake's fine remix of Xinobi's "Far Away Place" and the drowsy, Morricone-influenced soundscape weirdness of Simple Symmetry's remix of Moscoman's "I Ran". Throw in some seriously good cuts from Felipe Gordon, Donald Dust, Pin Up Club and Meera (whose carnival-ready boogie jam "Fine Without You" stands out), and you have a fine collection of summery cuts.