Review: Munich-based Permanent Vacation perform their usual yearly ritual by serving up a bunch of essentials, with their seventh edition here including a whopping 25 tracks. Kicking things off in style is Madrilian producer Pional's uplifting anthem "Tempest", label chief Benjamin Froehlich appears with "Drawn From Memory" which receives an evocative rework by French legend I:Cube, while German nu-disco heroine Perel is on point as always with the neon-lit "Angelika". Elsewhere, Irish duo New Jackson present the glassy-eyed and bittersweet "Romancecar", label co-head Tom Bioly gives us the deep Italo vibe of "Night Heat", label staple Fort Romeau shows off his usual knack for emotive dancefloor drama on "Heaven & Earth", plus the worthy addition of Terr's dark disco delight "Have You Ever" (Dub Version).
Review: Spanish producer Pional has an incredible track record to date, delivering must-have releases for the likes of Hivern Discs, Young Turks, Permanent Vacation and Ninja Tune offshoot Counter Records. Here he continues this rich vein of form with an EP for Phonica that simply sparkles from start to finish. Check, for example, the darting, chiming synthesizer melodies, toaster-warm chords and bubby beats of "XME", which is subsequently turned into a psychedelic disco chugger on the similarly wonderful "A Quiet Ceremony mix". Heavier dancefloor thrills arrive in the form of "One Night Stand", where spine-ingling, manipulated vocal samples and stretched out chords come underpinned by heavyweight drums. The latter can be admired on the brilliantly throbbing "Slow Drumapella Version".
Review: Miguel "Pional" Barras returns for the first time since the release of his excellent debut album, When Love Hurts, on Counter Records back in 2016. Miracle also marks the Madrid-based producer's first appearance on Munich stable Permanent Vacation for almost four years. Opener "Miracle" is far dirtier and sleazier than mucj of When Love Hurts, with ultra-soulful vocals and piercing acid lines wrapping themselves around a sturdy, peak-time tech-house groove. Speaking of tech-house, there's a brilliantly bouncy bonus version in the shape of the Open Up Mix, while "Tempest" combines the spiraling, synthesizer-driven riffs of big room techno with the foreboding bottom-end of early morning heads-down house.
Review: As the matter-or-fact title suggests, this EP delivers fresh remixes of cuts from Catz 'N' Dogz bulging back catalogue. First to give the Polish outfit a thorough going over is Roman Flugel, who turns "Don't" into a melancholic mid-tempo dub-house shuffler rich in blissful electric piano chords, ricocheting echo effects and drifting vocal samples. Next, DJ Steaw delivers a fine deep house rub of "It's Happening" that fixes warm and dreamy elements to a typically bustling dancefloor groove, before Pional steals the show with a sparkling version of "Rave History" that sounds like late '80s/early '90s Pet Shop Boys after a four-day club session. Finally, LAWLER channels the essence of Danny Tenaglia for a big room-ready rework of "Keep On".
Review: Supposedly recorded to mark Permanent Vacation's 10th anniversary party, Raketenmix is full of surprises. Certainly the tripped out electronic disco of DMX Krew's "Disco Theme" is not what one might expect from the German label, while a similar, albeit more glossy-sounding approach is audible on Tensnake's remix of Sally Shapiro's "I'll Be By Your Side". There are plenty of feel good house tracks here as well; for example, the mix revisits Holy Ghost's 2008 disco reshape of indie rockers Panthers' "Goblin City" and the 'Rave Dub' version of John Talabot's "Destiny" is an excellent low-slung groove. It all comes together to create the ultimate party mix for a Munich keller.
Review: Crate-digging reissue specialists Africa Seven has decided to flip the script on this fantastic album, asking a range of contemporary producers to "re-imagine" a string of rare soul, funk, Afrobeat and disco jams. Thrillingly for those who remember the original West London broken beat scene, the comp contains some killer "bruk" revisions - not least Silkie's brilliantly fluid and groovy take on Ekambi Brillant's "Soul Castle" and EVM's rolling, Bugz in the Attic style revision of M'Bamina's "Mosi Zole". Elsewhere, Appleblim delivers a typically fuzzy and bass heavy rework of Sorry Bamba, Dj Food chops up Sookie's organ-laden funk slammer "Rhythm on Rhythm" an IDM heroes Plaid join the dots between vintage African jazz and woozy electronica. In a word: superb.
Review: The Munich based deep house and nu disco institution returns for their fourth safari and it is quite the trip if we do say so ourselves. The landscapes.. the wildlife.. be prepared for an epic journey! Highlights on here include the gutsy analogue punk of Drvg Cvulture's "Night Time Is The Right Time", prog house don Henry Saiz teaming up with sometime John Talabot cohort Pional on the dreamy "Uruboros" and Sweden's always reliable Axel Boman with the dreamily hypnotic "Die Die Die!" which despite its title is summery and lush: a potential anthem of Summer 2017. Hidden treasures, lost classics and exclusive tracks through the deepest house valleys and the highest disco mountains of the label's catalog.
Review: Spanish deep house purveyor and John Talabot affiliate Pional returns with When Love Hurts: Welcome To Paradise Land. On here are four typical servings of pop inflected, 80's inspired grooves that will get the better of anyone with their catchy hooks and sensibilities. First we've got the gorgeously dreamy epic "Casualty" which is reminiscent of Empire Of The Sun. We also have two breathtaking deep house journeys, starting out with the awe inspiring arpeggiations and enchanting vocals on "As Time Was Passing By" and the all-consuming and ethereal synth tapestries on display with the sublime "The Way That You Like (feat Empress Of)"
Review: Since making their debut on Firm in 2008, deep synth-pop meets wonky tech-house duo Coma has delivered a number of impressive releases for Correspondant and Kompakt. Here they return to the latter imprint with their first EP since 2013. A precursor to their soon-come sophomore set, "Lora" is warm, hazy, cute and bubbly, with rich synthesizer chords and melodies wrapping themselves around eyes-closed vocals and a peculiarly shuffling drum machine rhythm. It's radio friendly, but also off-kilter and "underground" enough for club plays. Pional doffs a cap to dub disco and Balearic pop on his eccentric remake, while Robag Wruhme provides the obligatory big room rub with a slice of quirky tech-house/deep house fusion.
Review: Permanent Vacation's Safari series has previously done a great job in mixing overlooked gems and forgotten highlights from the label's expansive back catalogue, with previously unreleased material. Two years on from the release of the second volume, the Munich-based imprint revives the (successful) formula for a third selection. With a rather grandiose 29 tracks to choose from, there's plenty to enjoy, with Permanent Vacation's usual dancefloor-minded eclecticism providing all manner of stylistic shifts throughout. Standout tracks include Kool DJ Dust's brilliant 808-electro workout, "Platonic Lover", the Balearic wooziness of Candyblasta's "The Ocean", a suitably big and bouncy rework of House of Wallenburg by Marcos Cabral, and a stunning chunk of vintage Chicago house revivalism from Beautiful Swimmers (the excellent "Excited").
Review: Second time around for Henry Saiz and Pional's overlooked 2011 cut "Uroboros". The original - a loose, lazy, melodic, atmospheric and borderline Balearic foray into gently building organic house - has lost none of its magical, wide-eyed, sunset-friendly feel, and should be an essential purchase for those who like their house music gentle and left-of-centre. Permanent Vacation's vintage remix - a more obviously upbeat, nu-disco tinged effort - gets another deserved airing, too. Best of all, though, is Henry Saiz's previously unheard 'Live Take', which features a trio of new attractions: a killer organ line, pulsating synth bass and judicious use of drifting choral samples. It's like a modern version of Orbital's "Belfast", and there's no higher praise than that.
Review: Second time around for John Talabot's brilliant debut album Fin, an expansive exercise in woozy dark-pop, off-kilter dream house and inventive IDM. This time round, the album has been padded out using a mix of previously released remixes, unheard versions and previously unreleased bonus cuts. There are some real gems among the nine additional tracks, from Bullion's breezy, off-kilter pop take on "Destiny" and the shimmering electronica of "Tragedial", to a hitherto unheard 'album version' of Talabot's seminal breakthrough cut, "Matilda's Dream". The droning synth-pop of "I Want Tonight" also impresses, as does the skittering rhythms and bold synths of "Zanzibar (80tapemix)". In truth, it's all pretty hot.
Review: There are two things Permanent Vacation do so very well; uncover and release music from the quirkier end of the electronic spectrum and commission some equally interesting producers to remix their output. This latest EP from the Munich based emporium epitomises those qualities perfectly with material from last year's Pollyester album Earthly Powers remixed by the likes of Baris K, Pional and Prins Thomas. It's the latter who kicks proceedings off with a trademark Diskomiks of "Concierge D'Amour" which presents the track as a taut, snapping disco burner which makes full usage of the excitable vocals of Polina Lapkovskaya. The label bosses also remix this track, wisely veering off into deep hous