Review: There's something pleasingly old-fashioned about Happy Again, an album of alternative versions and remixes of tracks from Eli Escobar's acclaimed Happiness full-length. Thanks to the presence of DJ-friendly dubs, rhythm tracks and acappellas, it feels like Classic looked to the pioneering remix albums of the 1980s for inspiration. What really makes it stand out, though, is the quality of the material. Kon's rework of "Happiness (Part 2)" offers the perfect balance between subtle house and voodoo disco, while Soulphiction and Soul Clap steal the show with contrasting deep house takes on "Can't Stop Dancing" and "4 Luv". We're particularly impressed, too, with the freestyle-tinged revision of "Chaka Khan" by The Carry Nation, while Escobar's own dub of "Happiness (Part 2)" is a loose, warm and groovy treat.
Review: Spanish nu-disco DJ Nelue has developed quite a reputation for himself both with his residency at his Moroder Sound Club and with his label, Groove Democracy. Now he's upped his game again by delivering a seriously impressive 24-track label compilation featuring his own work and a selection of offerings from a host of key names on the re-edit scene. Highlights include Nelue's gentle retweak of Terri Well's 1984 anthem "All My Love", the chuggy arpeggiation of "Canebiere Man" and The Metaphysical's Bloop Crack glorious extension of Wham!'s kitchen synth drama, "Everything She Wants".
Review: Bristol-based rising stars Jaymo and Andy George are regular collaborators. Here, they join forces again to launch Moda Music offshoot Moda Black with a compilation of previously unreleased material. For those interested in the new wave of British and European house, it should be an essential purchase. Some of the duo's own Bristol pals make an appearance, with strong contributions from Lukas (the darting "Best In Show") and Eats Everything & Idiotproof (an excellent, peaktime-friendly remix of The 2 Bears). Elsewhere, highlights include a grandiose new cut from the duo themselves, an organ-heavy garage-meets-cocaine house banger from Disclosure, and a cacophonous rinse-out from Hot Since 82.
Review: Feel good breakbeat vibes are the order of the day as German duo CMC & Silenta serve up their first collaborative album. Loaded with cameo mic moments from the likes of Vanessa Iraci, MC Fava, Kawele, Linda Friedel, The Root Sellers and the legendary Ragga Twins, there's a true sense of party as we're led through all styles of party vibe. An ideal winter warmer that will grow and grow as you gear towards another summer, highlights include the Kraak & Smaak style disco boogie ("Where We Started From"), the sexy-smooth organ work and heavenly horn toots on "Love Is Drawn" and Madness-meets-Monkey Mafia musicianship of the album's title track. A very accomplished, not to mention funky, debut album.
Review: The series is the result of house legend Joey Negro's admiration for all the semi anonymous vinyl junkies that he has encountered on his own vinyl quests. Following the success of the Red Greg-compiled first instalment, we now have veteran radio broadcaster and soul aficionado Paul Phillips delivering his selection of long-lost classics. It's a veritable feast of rare disco releases (25 in all!), highlights of which include the glossy Philly sounds of State Department's "Slow Love", the Chic-isms of Pike's "Good Feelings", the digital electro-funk of Midnight Energy's "Saving Of My Love" and the sublime synth-soul of Ron Richardson's "Ooh Wee Babe".
DJ Normal 4 - "UFO Spotted At Ruhr" - (4:46) 140 BPM
DJ Stingray - "Cryptic" - (4:42) 70 BPM
Robert Dietz - "Junk Mail Gem" - (6:52) 127 BPM
Textasy - "Chillin' At The Beach" - (5:32) 120 BPM
Mystik Menn - "Fantastic Jam" - (5:12) 126 BPM
Bell Towers - "My Body Is A Tempo" (Andras remix) - (6:41) 127 BPM
Florian Kupfer - "Post Present" - (8:53) 120 BPM
DJ Boneyard - "Original" - (6:16) 123 BPM
DJ Steaw - "Get Down" (dub mix) - (7:14) 124 BPM
SE62 - "Night People" - (6:17) 122 BPM
ZZZ - "UZKZOWZ" (DJ Haus Body Heat mix) - (4:52) 125 BPM
Stratton - "Out There" - (7:13) 129 BPM
Cliff Lothar - "Tool Tyme" - (6:03) 120 BPM
Legowelt - "Amateur Astronomy" - (5:25) 124 BPM
DJ Seinfeld - "Tell Me What U Want" - (4:23) 131 BPM
Hugo Massien & DJ Haus - "Network Processor" - (5:29) 123 BPM
Justin Cudmore - "Straight No Chaser" - (6:45) 123 BPM
FRAK - "Protes" - (7:52) 126 BPM
Cosmic Garden - "Nature Spirits" - (5:49) 122 BPM
Louie From The Club - "Emoshuns" - (6:44) 121 BPM
Gropina - "Cristallo Di Bismuto" - (4:34) 113 BPM
SkatebArrd - "Maskindans" - (2:33) 103 BPM
Neil Landstrumm - "DX Madness" - (5:51) 85 BPM
Lauren Flax & Jimmy Edgar - "It's Ours" (Jimmy Edgar remix) - (5:35) 126 BPM
DJ Plant Texture - "Lloyd Goes To Mars" (Simoncino remix) - (5:50) 126 BPM
TRP - "Stellar" - (8:45) 127 BPM
DJ Shark - "Outro" (Fantastic Man remix) - (6:26) 130 BPM
Review: The second volume in DJ Haus's "Enters The Unknown" series is even more epic than its' predecessor. This digital edition is particularly potent, as it not only features two action-packed, CD length mixes from the Unknown To The Unknown chief, but also all 46 tracks he used in unmixed, DJ-friendly form. Given the quality of the retro-futurist gems contained in the UTTU archives (modern cuts variously inspired by ghetto-house, early trance, slamming techno, bleep, proto-jungle, hardcore and early New Jersey garage), it's unsurprising that the showcased material is so damn hot. The set also boasts a handful of previously unheard cuts, too, including DJ Haus's collaborations with DJ Boring, DJ Deeon and Marquis Hawkes.