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: Given his productivity over the last four years, it's rather a surprise to find that "When You Find A Stranger In The Alps" is Mautits Verwoerd AKA Nachtbraker's debut album. Predictably, the sometime Heist Rand Dirt Crew producer is in fine form throughout, serving up an expansive, 13-track set that effortlessly flits between sparkling, melodious deep house floor fillers ("Flambo", "Randy"), reggae-tinged club tracks ("NSFW"), bouncy techno ("You Can't Run"), soul and disco-inspired mid-tempo shufflers ("The Dream Sequence", "Just Doing My Thing"), funk rock smashers ("Aliens") and a surprisingly large number of ambient interludes and MPC-driven beat-scapes. In other words, it ticks a lot of boxes whilst remaining enjoyable and entertaining throughout.
Review: Gatto Fritto set the bar high with his selections for last year's first "The Sound of Love International" compilation, so it's a thrilling surprise to find that this follow-up - featuring cuts selected by Max D and Ari Goldmann AKA Beautiful Swimmers - boasts an even more inspired track list. The Washington DC-based duo evokes the spirit of the Croatian festival behind the series via the synth-heavy Afro-Balearic bliss of Plunky's "African Sunset", the new age dancefloor shuffle of Svend Unseth's "Aquilla Aquela", the vintage deep house dreaminess of Mark Goddard's "Tiny's First Journey", the pitched-up R&B vocals and hot-stepping B-more beats of KW Griff's "Be Ya Girl" and the sparkling piano riffs and smooth New Jersey house grooves of Spirit Garden's "Electra City".
Review: With Valentines Day just around the corner, Editorial changes tack and takes a step into the world of loved-up, slo-mo groovery. It's a smart move. They've got some great up-and-coming producers involved, with Matthew Kyle's pal Joseph Terruel and Aussie moustache man Rocco Raimundo both offering deliciously deep, spine-tingling rubs. The latter's epic, filter-heavy "Looking For You" is arguably one of the best things he's done to date - a sinewy, string-laden disco slow dance that should impress all but the most miserable of disco purists. Heion's "Run" and DJ Steef's "I Can Win" are gorgeous, too, offering loopy, bass-heavy grooves with just the right amount of lip-smacking charm.
Review: Having previously released Orange, Blue, Green and Pink "collections", Eskimo Recordings continues its' colour-coordinated theme with a Yellow compilation. As usual, the collection draws on material from both established names and lesser-known talents, and does a bang-up job joining the dots between hazy Balearic pop, nu-disco, indie-dance and colourful, soft-focus house. While it's all of a high standard, we're particularly enjoying the sparkling dub disco-goes-Balearic flex of Satin Jackets' dub of Du Tonc's "We Can Hold On", the trippy analogue bump of Man Power's "Fisky", the splendid rush of Luxury's baggy disco groover "Breathe", and the camp, Italo-disco thrust of "El Wild" by the brilliantly named Zombies In Miami.
Review: Dave Gerrard has cut his teeth on the mighty Chopshop label, but for his latest EP he's opted to move to Sound Exhibitions. Perhaps this explains the poppier choice of edit material as this one's straight up party fodder. The lead track is a tasteful, if quite restrained version of David Joseph's classic 1983 funk-meets-proto-house anthem "You Can't Hide Your Love". Then it's back to the '70s and the familiar hustle flute rears it head on the beefed up grooves of "Bump N Hustle". Finally "Tom Tom Boogie" goes for the jugular - speeding up "Genius Of Love" to a feverish pace.