Review: Amsterdam Dance Event holds a special place in the electronic music community's calendar, and it just wouldn't be the same without the Toolroom family putting on a very special showcase for the industry and punters alike. The Dutch capital's clubbing culture is one of the best in Europe and there's only one place to be this October. They join the fun once again this year and this are kicking off the week at Chicago Social Club for an opening to ADE like no other. In celebration, Mark Knight & Co. anticipate the event with this solid collection of sonic arsenal with highlights not limited to: label staple Weiss serving up classic vocal funky house on "Let Me Love You" (extended Club mix), legends Dirty Vegas getting remixed by CamelPhat on the extended remix of "Days Go By" (which reaches near acid moments), the ever impressive Alan Fitzpatrick providing austere peak time tackle on banger "The Approach" and rising stars like Jacky (with Example) on the wonky tech house of "Another 24" and label newcomer Maxinne dropping the riveting main room thriller "The Message" amongst many more. Comes with two continuous mixes: the first by Romanian upstarts Sllash & Doppe and the second by Swiss scene hero Mendo (Clarisse).
Review: RatPack are legends of old school rave. They return with their long awaited LP. Featured on here are heavyweights such as The Freestylers, Baby D, Shut Up And Dance, Ragga Twins, Slipmatt, Lady Chann & Billy Daniel Bunter, 28 Hurtz & Skibadee. As you would expect from the RatPack: the musical direction on this album comes from a mixed bag of influences. Breaks, UK bass, acid house, garage and even drum & bass. There's even a little bit of skanking reggae thrown in for good measure. The chemistry the RatPack shares with all the artists, singers and producers on this album is evident and built up over years of touring the world together. Be it sharing the boards with King Yoof or the mic with Skibadee, The (CO)LabRats is an organic musical journey through the story of the RatPack, both old and new!
Review: It's been a decade since producer Smoov and singer Turrell put together their live band. To celebrate the fact, the popular combo has put together this fine career retrospective. It's full to bursting with dancefloor hits plucked from their sizable catalogue, as well as fan favourites that inspire rapturous responses when performed live. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the high-octane thrills of "I'm A Man" and funk-rock fizz of "You Could've Been a Lady", to the Hammond-heavy stomp of "I Can't Give You Up" and the Motown style Northern Soul rush of "Lay It On Me". It's also nice to get another chance to wallow in the band's punchy, breakbeat-powered funk cover of Yazoo classic "Don't Go".
Review: Ooft! has been plenty busy over the years, both as an artist and label manager, and so it seems crazy that it's taken up until now for him to release his debut album. Whatever the case, the wait for Intricacies Of Modern Life has been well worth it, as the FOTO Recordings main man lets his imagination run wild in all the most fruitful corners of the deep house spectrum. There are bombastic moments like "Proteus Maximus", low slung Balearic chuggery a la "DSRV", peppy Motor City-flavoured beatdowns like "Keep On Pushin" and plenty more besides. Favouring the heady, warm up mood over anything too peak time, this is a record to be savoured like a fine wine.