Review: Toolroom Live 01 is a behemoth. At 61 tracks large, inclusive of three continues DJ mixes, this new concept by Toolroom, as they say, is to highlight key artists, present new tracks, and give their fans a taste of the live experience. On here there's music from Harvey Mckay, Gary Beck and Maison Sky, to Bat For Lashes, Hot Since 82 and label owner Mark Knight, and if you're looking to grasp the Toolroom Live concept (and other oddities you might not expect), while getting some bang from your buck, this release is a well informed start.
Review: Midnight Riot's first celebration of gospel-fired disco and boogie, "Take It To Church", was rather special, so hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, we can confirm that Yam Who and company have once again nailed the brief. As with its predecessor, the 23-track set offers up a scintillating, soulful mixture of bumpin' gospel house (see Redsoul's superb "Born Again" and DJ Spen's bass-heavy tweak of Boorman's "God's Got It"), righteous disco-house (the Showfa, Alan Dixon, the piano-heavy stomp of Yam Who's "Tomorrow"), synth-laden gospel boogie (Dr Packer, Yam Who's tidy revision of Andre Esput's "Call Me"), breezy sing-alongs (Lux Experience) and plenty of dusty disco, electrofunk soul rearrangements (Divine Situation, Sweet Jubilees, Phil Jaimes). In other words, it's another essential collection.
Review: Basement Phil's Basement imprints proudly drop their first release in the form of a remix compilation - a rather unexpected format but nonetheless enticing! This is a 26-track monster release by Phillip Wells aka Basement Phil who put out some of the most forward-thinking hardcore and jungle back in the early 90's when all of this fuss began! As the title implies, the compilation is a retrospective of sorts, where tracks from the golden era of UK rave are reworked and rebooted, placed next to contemporary sounds form the hardcore continuum. If you're a love rof the jungle variety then this is definitely worth a listen - essential!
Review: The German label is 12 this year, but as it faces into its teenage life, it retains the same hunger for new music. Get Physical owner DJ T delivers one of the compilation's highlights, a stab-heavy techy take on John Tejada's "Timebomb". Like a slowed down take of Dave Clarke's "Red 2" infused with disco riffs, it sets a high watermark. Nonetheless, T faces stiff opposition from The Martinez Brothers, whose "Issshhh" is all tough percussive volleys and insistent chords, like a tough take on Levon Vincent. Elsewhere, new acts like Siopis and Gorge impress with drum-heavy tools, while old hands Tiefschwarz deliver a spaced out, bleep-heavy version of John Monkman's "Follow Me".
Review: The latest must-have compilation from crate-digging label Spacetalk comes courtesy of little-known record collector and DJ Ilan Pdahtzur, a man who enjoys nothing more than strolling around the City of London at night listening to obscure Italo-disco, synth-heavy Balearic beats and dusty, hard-to-find synth-pop cuts. The tracks on "Night City Life" are some of his night-stroll favourites and, as you'd expect, are uniformly superb. Our highlights - and you may have others - include the rubbery instrumental boogie business of 1 Plus 1's "Coming Up For Air", the late night NYC freestyle brilliance of Jarmaz's "Night City Life (Dub)", the low-slung boogie-funk/synth-pop fusion of Mac & Monica's "You're So Good To Me" and the insanely intergalactic, synth-laden thrills of Brian Tatcher's "Hot Love (Instrumental Dub Mix)".