Review: In 2015 DJ Harvey made his hugely anticipated return to Ibiza and made Pikes the home for his Mercury Rising debut, a concept inspired by the beauty of the real Ibiza, the incredible history of the hotel (aka The Chelsea of Ibiza) and a genuine love for music. This Balearic spirit perfectly and poetically encapsulated by DJ Harvey has seen Mercury Rising widely recognised as the most special night to embrace the island in over a decade. The next step in the story sees him launch Pikes Records - the first record label founded by Pikes owners and Ibiza Rocks co-founders Andy McKay and Dawn Hindle. From his own Locussolus project's slow burner "Next To You" (Marcy Rising edit), to fellow London disco heroes Idjut Boys who serve up "One For Kenny" where they get really deep. There's also party favourite Gatto Fritto with "Invisible College" and Eric 'Dr. Dunks' Duncan, on form as always, with Chris Munoz on the scorcher "Zona De Perigo".
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.
Review: Nouveau Balearic peddlers The Project Club are back for a split EP with Twisted Tongue in order to prolong the summer vibes...and we're not complaining! First up, the former deliver their trademark 'dreamy guitar' and soothing beats while enlisting the emotive vocals of Johanna Lee. Twisted Tongue's "Jammin For Sojka" follows with arpeggiated bleeps, an electro-house bassline, North African-style percussion and self-empowering lyrics. Both acts collide too on Project Club's soulful and sublime remix of "The Full Sentence". Chillout never sounded so good!
Review: For the second volume in their ongoing "Disco Funkin" mix series, the Bomb Strikes crew has handed over the controls to former Tru Thoughts artists Flevans. While his DJ mix is naturally superb, it's the quality of the 23 unmixed, full-length tracks included in the package that makes the compilation a must-check. There are naturally a few recent disco-centric club hits present - see Lance Ferguson's terrific cover of Pleasure's "Joyous", Dimitri From Paris and Cotonete's remix of Izo FitzRoy's "I Want Magic" and Purple Disco Machine's warm and toasty revision of Kraak & Smaak's "Alone With You" - alongside lesser-known nu-disco, boogie and disco-funk treats from the likes of ATOA, Hotmood, Fouk, Michael The Lion and, of course, Flevans himself.
Review: With trance music enjoying a current streak of vogue through club culture today it's important to remember legends of the past alongside what's going on now. In Search Of Sunrise volume 15 does exactly that by pitching artists like Jam & Spoon together with Jerome Isma-Ae in a Blade Runner-reminding remix to "Follow Me" - full of tension and release! Furthermore the compilation highlights the Gouryella project from Ferry Corsten with the epicly synth-drenched "Surga", while other bona fide numbers come from Markus Schultz, and Fonzarelli with '80s Italo disco trance throwback "In My Dream", while Peppemansion & Angelo Di Franco' are another highlight with their minimal burner "Mariposa". A secret weapon hidden deep within.
Review: UK purveyours of funky breaks, Bombstrikes Records, may have a controversial name but there's everything to love about their sound. The fun loving and dancefloor bothering label run by Mooqee & Beatvandals was founded in 2004 and they claim that if you have been to a club since then you will most likely have heard their releases. Well then! Starting off with the low slug funk of A Skillz's "Mooger Fooger (dub mix)", Mooqee & Beatvandals themselves appear with "Back Up" and the legendary Cut La Roc is still at it; "Sunday Morning People" (Herbgrinder remix)" proves that he's still got his finger on the pulse. Other highlights include Pimpsoul's ever soulful "Is This Love (feat Pat Fulgoni - Pimpsoul funk remix)" the street attitude of A Skillz & Beatvandals "Simply Playing (feat Real Elements)" and the legendary Martin Solveig (remixed by the equally legendary Mousse T) who appears with the James Brown sampling "I'm A Good Man".
Review: This Parisian ensemble arrived in the late '90s, fusing all kinds of rhythms and instruments with a DJ's approach. This saw them rocket to success with help from the likes of Gilles Peterson, and here they've decided to remind listeners of their dance culture roots. Club Secreto is their first compilation of remixes and over the course of 12 tracks we get an exotic mix of sounds including digital cumbia from Lagartijeando, tropical bass from Poirier, Daniel Haaksman's Soca from Berlin, Parisian swing from Nicolas Repac and finally an Arizona acoustic 'version' from Calexico. Good stuff!
Review: Chillout hero, Kenneth Bager (aka Dr. Baker & The Kenneth Bager Experience) is a man on a mission - running his Music For Dreams label and forever searching for, and releasing, the finest downtempo beats on the international Balearic scene. His Sunset Sessions series is hugely popular, and here we have the fifth instalment. Highlights of the 28 tracks(!) featured include the quirky synth pop of "Thank You Wally" by Ruf Dog, the deep acoustic tech of "Night Wind" by Islandman and the sunkissed 80s disco vibes of "So Elvissa (RunSQ mix)" by Blank & Jones feat Mike Francis.
Review: Glasgow's Shaka Loves You has rightly earned a reputation as disco-centric duo on the rise. Because of this, it's little surprise to see them at the controls on Bomb Strikes' first foray into the disco-focused compilation market. The Scottish pair have naturally pulled out all the stops for the occasion, selecting 20 hot-to-trot cuts that aptly blur the boundaries between disco, funk, nu-disco, electro and boogie. Highlights include, but are in no way limited to, the hazy, sun-kissed soul of Lack of Afro's "Back To The Day", the thickset P-funk revivalism of Kraak & Smaak's "Dynamite" and the rubbery disco-house-meets-UK soul flex of the Reflex's remix of Omar's "Vicky's Tune". Throw in a tasty selection of the pair's productions and you have a suitably strong collection.
Review: The latest volume in Running Back's celebratory Mastermix series pays tribute to Hamburg's legendary Front club, which did much to popularize American house music (amongst other things) in Germany the late '80s and early '90s. The expansive set contains an epic DJ mix in two parts from original resident DJs Klaus Stockhausen and Boris Dlugosch, plus no less than 37 vintage cuts that made Front's dancers move. It's pretty much all solid-gold fare, with killer proto-house and first wave house jams being joined by obscure early UK electro (Syncobeat), Balearic deep house (Fila Brazillia's often-overlooked "Mermaids"), sleazy Italo-disco (Answering Machine), New Wave-era Euro dance, Paradise Garage-era New York anthems (Temper, Hot Streak), punk-funk (Modern Romance) and breezy, loved-up synth-pop (the brilliant Dub of Blue Moderne's "Through The Night").
Review: Should you want to turn your place into a swinging cantina let Beatnik City's first release of The Latin Leaks be your soundtrack, and slam those tequila's to "Uhh! Ahh". There's some sampled Wu Tang thrown in among a clamour of drums in "Shimmy Cumbia", while tempos are lowered in "Lift Ma Soul". For some electro-swing vibes check out "Golden Boy" and get tropical on "Real Smooth". Consider your next fiesta sorted!
Review: Although famous for straight-up house productions, Joey Negro's Z Records has spent the last few years cosying up to the nu-disco crowd. Here, many of the label's most disco-centric releases get a new lease of life, on a collection that gleefully joins the dots between nu-disco, disco-flecked house, boogie and electrofunk revivalism. There's another chance to check the Revenge's excellent edit of Chapter 3's "Smurf Trek", remixes from Faze Action, Tornado Wallace and The Idjut Boys, a smattering of classic re-edits from Onur Engin and Red Greg, and plenty of original material from Dave 'Joey Negro' Lee under a multitude of aliases. Oh, and a sparkling 60-minute bonus DJ mix from Faze Action.
Review: Sometimes it pays to be a label boss, like for example here, on this latest Bomb Strikes comp where head honcho Mooqee has decided to hand himself the reigns. Manning the decks for nearly an hour, he whips up a frenzy of party breaks delirium over the course of 24 tracks. The tracks are supplied individually too, with highlights including the tropical trap-house of "Ladies Look Pretty" by Basement Freaks, the furious electro-bass mash-up "Get Got (VIP mix)" by Nick Thayer & A Skillz and the strompingly retro electro-funk of "How We Do This" by Tom Booze.
Review: Joe Mount of lovable scuzz pop outfit Metronomy mans the latest volume in the long running Late Night Tales, a series who always seem to get the best results out of an unexpected cast of participants (Belle & Sebastien, MGMT, Trentemoeller and Midlake being recent inductees) It's hard not to get sucked in from the sugar sweet opening of Outkast's "Prototype", which is the first of several tracks that demonstrates Mount has a penchant for slow bumping R n B and outsider hiphop with Tweet, Sa Ra and a Dr Octagon classic also appearing. A typically far reaching approach to genres applies here with the cosmic jazz of Chic Corea happily mingling with Autechre and Two Lone Swordsmen and American synth oddities Geneva Jacuzzi and Appaloosa mingling for attention with The Alan Parsons Project and Herman Dune. The de-rigueur cover version arrives with a Metronomy rendition of Jean-Michel Jarre's"Hypnose" whilst Paul Morley ends the selection with a spoken word piece.
Review: This compilation to celebrate Miami 2014 features 67 tracks in total, each one resonating with forward-thinking creativity and contemporary commercial dancefloor charm. There are millions of highlights but be sure to check out the slamming stomps and vocal edits on "Unspoiled Perfection", Angello, Matisse & Sadko's cathedral-level synth anthem "SLVR" and the mad-jack fusion of Nile Rodgers and Eats Everything "Do What You Wanna Do". These are just three of many - CR2 have raised the bar ridiculously high right here.
Review: The new I:Cube album is a rapid-fire collection of tracks woven together (there's a clue in that title you know) which takes the manner of a live set. The idea is essentially to bring the dance music album back to its raison d'etre, the dancefloor. To keep things interesting, the tracks are whipped through with a wonderful irreverence, as cheeky radio interludes and impulsive switch-ups keep things from staying too formulaic. Rather than some vision of a smooth, linear DJ set, this album instead takes the stance of creating pleasure through disorientation. Mr Chaix is a master of alluring grooves, and he uses that gift to really mess with your head when he changes tack, as between the edgy bleeps of "Y.O.U.R.O.C.K." and the light-hearted disco stomper "Get The Fever". Those surprise moves keep you engaged through all 23 tracks of this joyous beast. Chaix's lack of pretension is one of his greatest strengths; the I:Cube way is a direct and satisfying one. At no point is it cheesy or hackneyed, but it never tries to be too clever for its own good. With a live feel to match that immediacy, the "M" Megamix is a triumphant statement of what a dance music album should feel like. It might not be a comprehensive answer, but it certainly puts paid to all those "collection of singles" efforts out there.
Review: For disco heads, this Odyssey remix set should be an exciting prospect. Admittedly, the tracks being remixed are their 2011 re-recordings (originally seen on last summer's Legacy album) rather than the 70s and 80s originals, but don't let that put you off - especially as some of the reworks are superb. There's plenty of delightfully floor-friendly fodder on show, from Ray Mang's guitar-flecked re-invention of "Use It Up & Wear It Out" and Flash Atkins' Shaft-goes-dub-disco take on "Don't Tell Me Tell Her" to the everything-but-the-kitchen sink antics of Faze Action and DJD. While not every mix hits the spot, there's more than enough to warrant further investigation.
Review: ISM Records' two Futurism EPs have proved so popular that label boss Yam Who has decided to use them as the inspiration for an expansive compilation of previously unreleased gems. Unlike the label's other popular strand, Midnight Riot, there's always been a bit more of an open-minded, eclectic feel about the Futurism releases. This is no different. Whilst rooted in nu-disco and deep house, Futurism: Shades of Space also touches on 21st century jazz-funk (Manmademusic), bongo-laden spiritual house (Nu Ak's "Fly Away"), fluid garage (Nega Tiv's excellent "Liquid Call"), woozy Balearica (Ben La Desh and Plan DAqua), block party boogie (Questlife feat Wildstyle, Freekwency) and nu-jazz (Hamish Balfour). More importantly, the quality threshold remains high throughout.
Review: While this release might not be the highest profile of disco compilations to land in recent times it does feature some great artists, namely the mighty Eddie C and Greta Cottage Workshop's Paxton Fettel. The former delivers a snare thwacking remix of Trujillo's "Fruit Punch" that's full of the Canadian's trademark use of singing guitars, while the latter, on the other hand, provides a class original that's filtered, lo-fi and full of loving melody. Other highlights include Mario Basanov's clubby remake of "Love Someone", and tougher, phased beats can be heard on Florian Anders "Back Down, Back Up". And for that extra bonus there's a DJ mix of all the tracks by Trujillo. Get. On. Board.
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.
Review: Ibiza institution Cafe Mambo needs little introduction. Starting as a sunset hangout, it soon became a perfect venue for the island's pre-parties and has developed an iconic status worldwide. It has served up thousands of sunsets since it first opened it's doors in 1994 and here's Sunset to Afterdark: an expertly crafted collection compiled by the team behind the successful Future Disco series and Needwant label. This one takes you from those unforgettable sunsets to, like the name suggests, the nighttime where things really heat up. If there is one essential soundtrack required this summer, this is it. Highlights not limited to: Zero 7's sublime drifter "Last Light", Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak's emotive and bittersweet little ditty "Stumble" (Blue Hotel Mix) through to the gorgeous remix of Tempelhof & Gigi Masin's "Blue 13" by Declasse main man Steve Coby. There's even a bit of slinky and uptempo tech house from hot UK duo Dusky. Comes with two continuous mixes for your convenience: Sunset and Afterdark, naturally.
Review: British electronic music legend Justin Robertson came back under the Deadstock 33's alias with a full length titled Everything Is Turbulence in late 2016. The album was rather eclectic, showcasing his decades long musical experience and featured psychedelic guitars, dubby rhythms plus a bit of techno, acid and a generous serving of disco arpeggios. But on this compilation it features the remixes and it's a pretty stellar bunch, if we do say so ourselves. Starting off with the rather Screamedelica sounding remix of "Metal Taste" by the man himself Andrew Weatherall. Also worthy of mention are French up and comers Lokier & Morgan Hammer aka She Made Monster giving "If You Want To Get Into It" a brooding and smacked out EBM-noir makeover which rocked, as did Berghain regular and Falkplatz mainman Oliver Deutschmann's slamming peak time assault that embodies the remix of "Bajo La Luna".