Review: FAR are excited to bring Chris Coco and DJ Rocca to the label for this release. Meeting at La Casella festival in Italy in the summer of 2019, the duo decided to team up in the studio resulting in the ''Discoteca'' EP, a shimmering slice of Balearic, Disco House containing all the right ingredients and forward motion required for maximum sunshine or nightime connection. Discoteca (The Heavy Fun Dub Mix), they manage to create a heady cocktail of synth riffs, ARhodes and Guitars all underpinned by a solid bass line, nodding to the Jazz funk of Atmosphere with the edge of Dinosaur L recording in Italy circa 1982. AAntonio prosper turns up on vocals, whispering, and chanting, evoking imagery of a night out in the mid-summer heat somewhere in southern Europe.
Review: Conrad Subs has been doing his thing for quite some time and ahead of his latest album, this time on Nuusic, he's dropping samplers, and this is the second. It's a superb effort as well and he's joined in said effort by Redders, an MC known for his work with Sam Binga and others, and who is on top form here. 'I Got Somethin' rolls out with a heavy dose of attitude, Redders' urban-tinged style dredging up touches of hip-hop as well as funk and dancehall and he sits expertly above Conrad's bouncing, moody beat. The flip is classic jungle and Conrad excels on this terrain, his penchant for breakbeats shining through amidst a stabby rendition of broken dancefloor pressure. This album is going to be immense.
Review: Fernando Bedrinana aka FER BR turns in some heavy tech house treats for Dirtybird that in another lifetime could of been found on a release for Mike Dehnert's Fachwerk label. Nevertheless, this debut W3lcome two-track goes large in every way possible, be it the pumping synth and bassline arpeggios, to tripped out vocals and classic 909 hats in "Caleidoscope" to the more rhythmcentric sequences of "W3lcome". Music that burns with gnarly club aesthetics and the devil's grin to deliver something sublime with dancefloor purpose and functionality. Welcome aboard.
Review: Whizz kid Whiney has his first ever full releasee on Hospital, following the closure of Med Schoo earlier this year. Bubblers (Part One) is a return to Whiney as a purveyor of pure darkness and it reminds us a tad of his second album, Waystone; there's special type of energy to the production and you can tell the focus is purely on the vibes. 'Guernsey Airport Bubbler' has to be the highlight, as GQ joins in the fun to provide a rave soundscape, across which Whiney spreads an infectiously bouncy bassline that'll stay in your head all week. it's a certified club number, and it's joined in that regard by the clattering breaks of 'No Good' and 'Black Ice'. 'November' switches things up as a stepping, synthy number that reminds us of 'The Edge' from Waystone. Top class.
Review: Given that most of his releases have been collaborative affairs with one like-minded producer or another - most frequently Lee Berridge - it's little surprise to find that Lost Desert's latest EP is another one built around joint productions. Berridge naturally lends a hand on epic opener "Welch" - little less than nine minutes of tactile, warming and ethereal dancefloor - before he moves in a darker, tech-tinged direction alongside Simon Vuarambon on "Earth Before Humans". Bona Fire collaboration "No Strings Attached" is a percussion-rich shuffle infused with glassy-eyed, watching-the-sun-come-up-at-a-rave nostalgia, while "That Moment & You", co-produced by Amand, confidently strides towards hypnotic tech-house-meets-deep house territory. There's also a neat digital-only bonus in the shape of Lost Desert's stirring, progressive house style remix of DSF's "Mystika".
Review: DNBB Digital is a Brazilian label that has recently come onto the scene, surprising most with its vibrant, south American approach to curating cuts both light and dark. This single by Mayforms is the perfect example, with a sense of lightness and depth that Marky himself would be proud of. 'The Movement' is absolutely gorgeous, with sparse stabs and a clean arrangement leaving plenty of space for a sultry vocal layer to flow out over the top, plus there's a dub version for those of you who prefer things more instrumental. The flip side is just as good and both tunes have us pining for more from this label. Go check it.
Review: Burt Cope and Wang Records? What an absolutely fabulous combination we have on our hands here as we welcome two of the brightest outfits in UKG. The single itself takes the title 'Desire' and forms itself into a blissful arrangement of colourful melodies, beautiful vocal additions and well processed drum chops. With the track constantly expanding across different rhythms and harmonies, this is a direction we are absolutely loving from Burt Cope and when the nightlife of the UK reopens, we can be sure to hear this brightening up evenings around the country.
Review: Josh Wink takes inspiration from 90s techno for his latest release. In its original form, the title track resounds to grinding electronic riffs and spiralling acid lines that ride tough, grimy kicks. The presence of a pitch-bent vocal takes the listener back to the sound that Wink explored on his mid-90s banger "Are You There". The label has tasked DJ Seinfeld with remixing the track, and he does a fine job. Deploying a lean, muscular bass, he retains the original's vocal sample, but it sounds less ominous as it is woven in and out of shiny synth lines.
Review: Jungle Cakes are one of those really cool labels that has an endearing DIY vibe that lends so much legitimacy to their music. It's not polished and marketed professionally, but exactly for that reason you know their music will always be straight up vibes. Brian Brainstorm is carrying that banner now and he's doing so with two roughshod tumblers that pack in old-school and new-school vibes in equal measure. 'Soldier Man' is our favourite, where Speaker Louis and Brian have laid out the funk in the vocal ranges over a fiery, punishing bottom line that stretches out below in lovely style. Top stuff from the Cakes crew.
Review: Definitely not your standard issue deep house EP, this one! Life On Planets is a pseudonym for Baltimore-based singer-guitarist Phill Celeste, a soul/house/R&B fusionist whose unique style sits somewhere in-between Black Coffee, Thundercat and a modern-day Bill Withers. 'Only You' itself is distinctly Afro-influenced, 'Move It Forward' nudges towards jazz fusion, Chas Bronze collab 'Friends In High Places' has catchy pop appeal and comes with a tougher, clubbier remix, and finally 'Brother' is a soulful house civil rights anthem in waiting. It might all take a listen or two to sink in, but when it does you'll be hooked.
Review: Having recently notched up a sixth year in business, Fingerman's Hot Digits imprint is in a celebratory mood - hence this all-action round-up of recent delights and unheard treats from the disco-loving label. Encompassing no less than 30 tunes, the collection giddily skips between warming beatdown disco (P-Sol's "Walter"), Mark E style slo-mo loop jams (Vigi's "I'll Be There") and glassy-eyed Balearic nu-disco (Picklejam's "Untitled Love"), before raising its hands skywards as the peak-time party-starters begin to appear thick and fast. Highights in this category include the vibrant jazz-house flex of Dexter Jones' "Swing Thing", the bustling boogie re-edit business of Monsieur Von Pratt's "Let's Dance" and the hearty disco-funk heaviness of Chewy Rubs' "Funky Bee Bop".
Review: Stephen Disario kicks starts his debut release on Planet Rhythm with the aptly-named "Rave". Built on solid kicks, he drops wave upon wave of noisy rave riffs over this cast-iron backing. On the title track, he teams up with Uakoz for a different proposition; resounding to steely hats and a deftly filtered rhythm, powerful chords surge up through the arrangement, creating a dramatic finale. "Auric" sees Disario shift style once again, as jittery drums support a pitched down vocal and choppy riffs, while on "Drifting", the emerging US producer integrates dub elements into his propulsive rhythm. Still, the end result remains the same - delivering impactful, peak-time tracks.
Review: Shy FX is set to drop a remix album of music from his outstanding Raggamuffin SoundTape, and with a couple already on the shelves from The Sauce, Potential Badboy and Skeptical, this time around its the turn of Bou. He steps up for a wobbling, bass heavy endeavour which blends sunshine sampling and funk-based devastation for a hands-in-the-air, day party of a drum & bass banger. Imagine Notting Hill Carnival embodied in a track and you'll pretty much be there.