Review: Rhode Island-based Katakana Edits bring us the 98th installment in this long-running series, and once more we're in the hands of Morlack, who's contributed no fewer than 14 previous volumes. The French DJ/producer has dug pretty deep for source material: 'Cali Style' bites Eddy Grant's 'California Style', the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1975 novelty funker 'King Kong' gets a light-touch refix and 'L.Cats' gives The Cure an unexpected breakbeat makeover, but that's about as much as we can tell you! The rest of the EP draws on unidentified soul, funk and boogie nuggets, many of them with non-Anglophone vocals.
Review: Igor Gonya has enjoyed a productive year so far, delivering EPs on Moodyhouse, Moiss Music, Moulton Music, Gents & Dandys and Good Luck Penny. Now the Russian producer can add Discoweey to that list, too. As you'd expect, he's in a chunky disco-house kind of mood on virtual A-side "To Make Your Heels Sparkle", a bouncy and entertaining affair in which bustling new beats underpin groovy and occasionally spaced-out sections of a tried-and-tested disco classic. Gonya shakes things up on sax-laden second cut "Mel Brooks", which sees him conjure up a head-nodding house cut crafted from hard-wired funk loops.
Review: The Broken District label has so far proved adept at offering-up warm, groovy and sun-kissed cuts that tend towards the Balearic end of the spectrum. They're at it again on "Brokenbits Volume 1", whose opening salvo - "Bubbels" by Duktus - sounds like Dam Funk after an afternoon kissing and cuddling in the Ibizan sun. Jeppe Woolmer injects a little early evening energy via the dusty, woozy and quietly jazzy deep house shuffle of "Infinitives", before Jus Jam invites us to "Escape From The Hood" via a slow-burn chunk of deep broken beat/Balearic house fusion. To round things off, SofaTalk offers up the warm deep house/jazz-funk fusion of ear-catching closing cut "A Sparkling Day".
Review: Noire & Blanche is a new sub-label from long established French imprint Delicieuse Records, whose catalogue is full of slinky deep house gems. EP number one comes from sometime Fauxpas Musik and Moonrise Hill Material producer Folamour, and features five loose, toasty tracks. Folamour excels at combining live instrumentation, choice samples, and swinging deep house beats. This is particularly evident on the glistening "You Never Told Me I'll Miss U That Much" (check the evocative guitar parts and hazy chords), but can also be heard on the soulful loop-jam "When U Come Into My Life", and superb opener "Lampadaire". Arguably best of all, though, is "Just Another Lonely Night Eating Sushi", which manages to be both bittersweet and strangely heartwarming.
Review: After six years spent teasing and titillating with a steady stream of high value singles, David Kennedy is finally ready to release his debut full-length under the now familiar Pearson Sound alias. The first artist album to appear on the Hessle Audio imprint he co-founded with Pangaea and Ben UFO, Pearson Sound is a surprisingly sparse and otherworldly affair. Intriguingly, Kennedy's usual twisted, dubbed-out analogue rhythms largely take a back seat, with moments of tough dancefloor abandon (see "Rubber Tree" and the tipsy "Headless") playing second fiddle to stripped-back synth-scapes and otherworldly ambience. It's striking on first listen, and only gets more impressive with repeat listens
Review: Strut's archival remit remains as international as ever, with their latest compilation squaring the focus on late '70s Hawaii on the delightful Aloha Got Soul: Soul AOR & Disco In Hawai'i 1979-1985. Across the backdrop of societal change on the island (statehood into America in '59 and the Vietnam War) Hawaiian youth found inspiration in the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and later Earth Wind & Fire leading to a truly vibrant scene by the mid-'70s. It's after this where Strut pick up the story, bringing together a glorious 16 track collection that spans the genres and suggests Hawaii to be a most fertile location for music during this era. Do take some time to check the detailed sleeve notes from Aloha Got Soul's Roger Bong which offer further context for the music!
Review: Originally starting back in the mid-noughties as a slightly Ed Banger-esque producer, London based Swede Blende has mellowed over time into a more discofied take on the electro sound. He's also forged a bond with the always-hip Eskimo recordings. Here he presents three new sparkly gems: the cowbells and string-laden "Paramount", the raw '80s punky-funk of "Sparkle" and the wall of synths beauty that is closer "Plush". Just lovely.
Review: The third instalment of Hotflush's compilation series drops and it's a seven year flashback to the label's most fractured, far-minded roots as Scuba's label explores their foundations on the fringes of bass and left sided echelons of dubstep. Cuts like Jamie Vex'd's almost p-funk level of bullishness on "Twitch", the loose jazz drums of Elemental's "Sparkle", even looser jazz horns of Jazzsteppa's still-filthy "Two" and Si Begg's baggy, bulbous rhythm on "Angel" represent Hotflush's consistent surges past the very forefront of the once-burgeoning genre, joining the dots and helping make sense of the stern techno cityscapes the label constructs today.
Review: Having made their mark in the Afro-house scene as part of the Basel-based Alma Negra collective, Dario Rohrbach and Dersu Figueria have decided to try their hand at musically expansive deep house. Given their production experience, it's little surprise to find that this debut EP for Drumpoet Community is really rather good. There's much to admire throughout, from the soul-soaked, gospel-tinged jazz house of "River" and hypnotic dreaminess of "Giesterlied", to the starburst electronics, soulful vocal samples and hazy shuffle of superb opener "Sparkle". "All The Love To You", a jazz-funk influenced chunk of deep house/disco fusion, and the gospel-inspired "Honey" are also pretty darn tasty, too.
Review: Liquid Pegasus's synth-funk focused 2016 debut album "What I Actually Do" was so good that many expected him to become a major force in the growing nu-boogie scene. His career seems to have stalled since then, with this outing on Clandestine Boogie marking his first outing in almost two years. It's a vibrant, colourful and sun-kissed affair that regularly reaches rush-inducing levels of positivity. Check the meandering synth-bass, sparkling stabs and eyes-closed jazz guitar solos of "Makin' It Hot". "Sparkle" is deeper, more laidback and a touch more disco-fied, with Dave Allison upping the tempo a little while increasing the Balearic factor on his accompanying remix. Matt Hughes' tidy take on "Makin' It Hot" is arguably sturdier and more club-ready than Liquid Pegasus' original version.
Review: Former Evangelista member Dominic Cramp first made waves as Lord Tang with 2012's Hello, an eccentric but inspired debut album of quirky electronica on Gigante Sound. Butterflies is his first album since, following a couple of dub influenced 12" singles, and contains 12 more hard-to-pigeonhole explorations. Occasionally dreamy, sometimes sparse, and often odd, Cramp's tracks draw influence from many styles and artists - experimental electronica, drone, dub, Autechre, the Radiophonic Workshop, grime, Chris Watson style field recordings and deep space ambient - but always sound distinctive. This spacey, weird and trippy sound soup more often than not results in thrilling music, making Butterflies an exciting proposition.
Review: "Unlovable" eh? Either our kid Andria is being ironic or he's got serious confidence issues. We've dispatched Juno's resident agony aunt to France to find out which one. In the meantime let's check out his beautiful debut... The title track oozes soul and classic Continental panache, operating with a wonderful sample that really wouldn't have gone amiss on Discovery back in the day. "Sparkle" lives up to its name in every way with a real dreamy twinge to the well crafted loop. "Turbo Disco" lives up to its name even more - it's fast, and it's got stunning disco loop. Do you need any more superlatives? Classic French vibes throughout; you can hear the influences but, more importantly, you identify a new distinctive artist to watch. We love him already.