Review: Undoubtedly the strongest selling point of Z Records' second set of "Dubstrumentals" (largely instrumental remixes to you and me) is the sheer number of previously unreleased mixes on offer. Sure, the quality of the disco and house cuts on show is uniformly excellent but it's unusual to get so many previously unheard treats in one place. There are some genuine gems, too, including a sparkling Hot Toddy nu-disco instrumental mix of Joey Negro's "Stomp Your Feet", an inspired Saison instrumental of Akabu & Linda Clifford's "Ride The Storm" that features two exquisite extended breakdowns, a must-have "Disco Blend Instrumental" of Joey Negro and Horse Meat Disco's "Candidate For Love", and a stellar, proto-house style dub of The APX's "Sweet Surrender".
Review: Alan Dixon, who's resident DJ at Savage in London, returns to Gerd Janson's Running Back with an EP that's unsurprisingly long on keys action. 'Acid Drop' gets the ball rolling, opening with a squelchy, early 80s-sounding synth bassline before unleashing a deluge of hands-in-the-air rave/Italo-house pianos from around the two-minute mark. The accompanying Swimming Mix tones down the 80s bass and adds a shimmering synth top line, giving the track something of a Balearic prog feel, while elsewhere 'Poye Loco' is a druggy, hazy nu-disco chugger and 'Rudy's Selector' is a midtempo, contemplative piece, both also heavily laced with piano.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a high-profile collaboration between Balearic nu-disco don Aeroplane and veteran French DJ/producer/disco digger Dimitri From Paris. In its' original 'Extended Vocal" mix form, "Can't Get Enough" is a sublime slice of summery disco revivalism laden with walking bass, clipped guitar riffs, ear-catching synths, ear-catching cowbells, crunchy handclaps and a soaring lead vocal from Leela. The pair's accompanying "Dubstrumental" is an authentic, disco-era style flipside dub complete with extended percussive breakdowns and stripped-back instrumental passages, while Yuksek's fine remix takes the track further towards "French Touch" style disco-house territory with an added dose of delay-laden proto-house magic. Big!
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Wh0) - (1:16:56) 125 BPM
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Gene Farris) - (1:18:15) 124 BPM
Various - "Toolroom House Party Vol 2" (continuous DJ mix by Raumakustik) - (1:17:29) 126 BPM
Review: Toolroom is back with the second instalment of the 'House Party' series, with Chicago veteran Gene Farris, the enigmatic Wh0 and ascendant duo Raumakustik closing out the summer in style with their respective mixes. Featuring 80 tracks from leading international names including Carl Cox who goes for a minimal vibe on his remix of Hannah Wants & Kevin Knapp's "Call Me", Hot Since 82 serves up something different than usual on the summertime vibe of "Rise", Saved chief Nic Fanciulli gets some spiritual and life-affirming vibes in effect on "Virgo", Hamburg disco stu Tensnake gives Dombresky & Boston Bun's "Stronger" a neon-lit makeover and label boss Mark Knight impresses with the funky house anthem "Tonight" ft. Chenai and Mr. V.
Review: Neo Blues 3 announces its arrival via our most trusted Vehicle label that's been a port of call for disco edits for the world over. Turning in another four-tracks here it's spearheaded by the uber-warm kick, woofing bass and melodic percussion sequences of "Sea-Line". Harking back to the days when artists like Eddie C and Tornado Wallace were dominating the slo-mo, chugging disco sound, "Condition" adds yet another beefy boost to a Ken Roger's classic, while funkier soul and blues jams from Kings of Survival make the cut alongside that all time cinematic classic by Rodriguez's ("Sugarman").
Review: Two months after making his Masterworks Music comeback with an EP of tidy re-edits of rare and obscure jams, Chris Grubizna returns to Danny Worrall's popular label with a similarly minded sequel. There are six tracks to choose from, all of which have been given a slightly more metronomic swing and a bit more bottom-end weight to suit contemporary dancefloors. Highlights include rush-inducing opener "All You Need" (a rubbery revision of Barbara Roy and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain's 1981 gem 'If You Want Me"), the clavinet-heavy disco-funk chug of "Gettin' Down", the low-slung Miami Funk/disco fusion of "Miami Vice", and the jazzy disco sunshine that is closing cut "Summer Joy".
Review: We're not sure whether Detroit Swindle has previously released anything quite as driving and energetic as "Coffee In The Morning". Although the lead vocal from sometime Tartelet artist Jitwam is worthy of comment, it's the infectious and breathless music that sits beneath - a combination of a low-slung punk-funk bassline, sweaty house beats, addictive electric piano stabs and wild sax lines - that makes the track such a buzzing, caffeine-charged affair. The Dutch duo's accompanying vocal-free "Dub Mix" is rock solid, but it's Prins Thomas's 10-minute "Discomiks" - an ever-growing, pulsating fusion of dub disco sweatiness and jazz-house heaviness, with additional space disco electronics thrown in for good measure - that really sets the pulse racing. In a word: essential.
Review: Sultry warm disco sessions for the open air this season with this swift four-pack from Paper Disco combi Anoraak & Luxxury. "Fire Inside" swoons a summer disco vibe with Lauren Turk's breathy lead vocals - reminiscent of a certain Linda Clifford circa-79 or pop starlet Kylie (circa-99) - while look to Anoraak original "Up To You" for a percussive, cosmic and instrumental burner. Staccato guitars and drum machine sequences collide with the odd space pong and warehouse sized vocal processing in The Emperor Machine's remix, supported by a straight up free and easy 'Fire Side" instrumental with subtle chorus line. Hot hot hot.
Review: Within the release reviews we often discuss consistency and if there was ever a label that it applied to the most it is Strictly House And Garage. Since their inception as an imprint last year, they have barely put a foot wrong, with this latest six tracker from the ever-ready Daze Prism being a perfect example of that. We begin our journey into this one with a look at the smooth, warming chords within 'Burning' atop a colourful array of drums, before sliding into the futuristic percussive reverbs and winding sub structures of 'Header'. Next up we take in 'Just Get You' which combines nostalgic string notation with moderinzed crispy drum exploits, before 'Lazer' arrives with more catchy vocal chops to match. From here, 'Selekta' arrives with a lively set of drum moves and a catchy reese tone before we take in 'Shady', a slower groove that works perfectly to
round off the project with a bang.
Review: Sadly we fear more than love may be needed to fix 2020, but those plucky Midnight Rioters are on hand to give it a go anyway, as they serve up a 19-track compilation of disco, nu-boogie, disco-house and soulful house grooves, with the emphasis firmly on dancefloor thrills and belt-along vocals. Some of tracks are re-edits (Musta's 'I Like Dance', for instance, reworks Cheryl Lynn's classic 'Got To Be Real'), some are original productions; all are built with slinky hips and dancing feet in mind, and with cuts from the likes of Situation, Andre Espeut and Natasha Katt, not to mention Rony Breaker's soulful anthem-of-the-moment 'Change', disco dollies will be more than satisfied.
Review: He may have focused on Dave Seaman's Selador as an outlet in recent times, but Mannheim's 8 bit have certainly been championing the work of Danny Howells too. After two electrifying releases in the form of "Whiterock" and last year's terrific 'Players' EP, the industry veteran follows through with another riveting new EP for Nick Curly and Gorge's ever reliable imprint. Get stoned into the groove on the low slung and bass-driven funk of "Paradium", be utterly hypnotised by the sublime and dubby deep house of "Spindles" until he takes you back deep into the aether on the moody afterhours workout of "Chordlock".
Review: Although French veteran Ludovic Llorca has previously provided remixes for Z Records, "Flower Child" marks the first time one of his original productions has appeared on Dave Lee's long-serving label. While there are naturally some subtle nods towards Llorca's classic house sound in the track, it's little less than a flash-fried chunk of disco revivalism that brilliantly wraps period instrumentation - crunchy Clavinets, funk-rock style guitar licks, slap bass and sweeping strings - and a soulful lead vocal around live-sounding beats that are guaranteed to get you up and dancing. It's accompanied by a similarly impressive instrumental version, which wile a little less impactful is nevertheless a genuine aural treat.
Review: Javi Bora's popular and prolific Too Many Rules label has now been operating for two years, so to mark the occasion he's decided to offer-up this epic, 30-track retrospective of the imprint's output to date. There's naturally much to admire, including a string of fine cuts from the boss man (Chus and Cheballos's slamming, bass-heavy take on his hook-up with Huxley, "You're Everything", and the lolloping collaboration with Iban Montoro and Jazzman Wax, "Fresh Prince", being our picks), a terrifically bouncy, tech-tinged vocal number from Jairo Beltrami ("Don't Love Me"), multiple muscular workouts from legendary Chicagoan producer DJ Sneak (check the breathless, extra-percussive "Rising") and a notable disco-house workout from Junior Sanchez. Throw in headline-grabbing remixes from Groove Armada, Demuir and Roger Sanchez, and you have a seriously solid set.
Review: For his latest trick, spoonerism-loving rework maestro V (AKA sometime funk-breaks producer Valique) has decided to offer up a second selection of "Neo Blues" scalpel works. He begins by delivering a chunky, rolling revision of Ann Feebles' rock-tinged gospel-funk classic "Beware", before chugging his way through a pitched-down revision of a weighty T-Rex glam-rock classic ("Jewelry"). This is followed by EP highlight "Holis", an inspired - and suitably epic - "Afro-blues" revision of one of Nina Simone's greatest moments, and the low-slung voodoo-house hypnotism of "Mississippi Lullalby (V's Rendition)". To finish with a. flourish, the Vehicle main man then adds some elastic new drums to Otis Redding's version of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay".
Review: Having previously proved his mettle with a pair of albums in quick succession ((2015's "Projections" and 2016's "Love Songs: Part 2"), Archie Fairhrust AKA Romare decided to take a little longer to produce his third album for Ninja Tune. The thing is, you can tell. Full to bursting with great ideas and canny fusions of various strains of house, techno, electro and IDM style electronica, the album's nine tracks bristle with sparkling melodies, raw analogue basslines, occasional choice samples (see the bluesy "The River") and beats that demand further attention. The plentiful highlights include picturesque downtempo number "Deliverance", sleazy and rave-ready opener "Gone", cheery upbeat workout "Heaven" and quietly jazzy downbeat closer "Home".
Review: It's been a long time between drinks for Oliver Dexx. According to our records, this Slightly Transformed label debut marks the producer's first solo outing in almost 18 months. It's well worth picking up, if only for the down-low, Clavinet-fuelled strut of sweaty, funk-fuelled opener "The Get Down", which is the nearest thing to an instant party-starter we've heard this week. That said, there's plenty more to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP, from the pitched-up, soulful disco-house sweetness of "Do For Love", to the tidily beefed-up Brazilian disco-funk re-edit "Copacabana", via the rolling grooves, jazzy guitars and swirling vocal samples of "Do You Believe".
Review: Four-man crew Melon Bomb's only previous output has been a smattering of re-edits on compilation style releases, so this debut solo single for Tensnake's True Romance label is a significant step in their blossoming career. It's quietly impressive, too, with the Ibiza-based quartet offering up a pair of tracks that are the audio equivalent of sweltering afternoon sunshine. Lead cut "Sweetness" sees them cloak bumping house beats and thickset bass in wavy, delay-laden electric piano snippets, swirling orchestral samples and well-placed spoken word vocal snippets. Virtual B-side "Didn't I" is a little more Balearic in tone, with pulsing, French Touch-style motifs, tropical sound effects and glistening guitar samples riding another chunky bassline and energetic house beats.
Review: Manchester's Indigo Jung returns to Sprechen, the leftfield house/disco/Balearic label headed up by Paper A&R Chris Massey. 'Mean World' takes a proper 60s/70s soul diva vocal and places it atop a backdrop that marries fluttery disco geetars and Balearic-style atmospherics to a bassline that's hefty and resonant to the point of being almost junglistic in feel, the end result being a surging, looping cut that'll keep bodies moving nicely. The accompanying 'Aldi' is a more traditional-style, string-drenched disco-houser that could have come out at any point in the past 25 years, but still packs plenty of dancefloor punch with its intricate slap bassline, chopped string stabs and layers of white noise.
Review: London producer Ash Reynolds brings us vocal cut on his own Slightly Transformed that straddles the divide between deep house and garage - as so many records used to, but as so few, sadly, do today! The Extended Mix of 'Everytime' has a New Jersey-ish feel, while Siente sprinkles a little disco dust over a remix that's purpose-built for Iberican terraces. The Nine Lives Remix is a funkier pass and possibly the pick for deep house jocks, before Sons Of Satin throw us something of a curveball, in the form a breakbeat-led remix that harks back to the glory days of rave. Sterling work all round.
Review: To celebrate notching up ten years in the game, London blog and party-turned-record label SlothBoogie has decided to offer-up their most ambitious release to date: an epic collection of previously unheard cuts from a mixture of imprint regulars and like-minded friends. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, with highlights including the sparkling jazz-funk-meets-deep house sunshine of Levan's "U R Beautiful In The Face", the deep, breakbeat-driven dreaminess of Philippa's "That's What I Mean By Free", the piano solo-heavy disco-house bump of Leatherette's "Your Love", and the dub disco-meets-acid house heaviness of "Rewind Run" by Pablot. Throw in similarly impressive contributions from Kassian, Luvless, Casino Times and Soul Wun (the classic jazz-house of "Thank You, St Germain") and you have a must-have collection.
Review: A track here that's both highly topical, and potentially controversial. Topical because the spoken vocal is lifted from the Gil Scott-Heron track of the same name, a hard-hitting rant about the USA's slow progress towards true racial equality that holds as true in 2020 as it did when first released a full 50 years ago; potentially controversial, because said vocal makes extensive use of the N-word. So if in doubt, you might wanna head for the accompanying instrumental, wherein the languid disco-funk backdrop really shines through with its echoing guitar chops, exuberant trumpet parps and ponderous, unhurried walking bassline.
Review: Party-starting disco/funk bizniss here courtesy of Alien Disco Sugar, AKA Greek producer Leonidas Deejay. 'Sunshine In', as you may have guessed, is based heavily on The Fifth Dimension's classic 'Let The Sun Shine In' (from the musical 'Hair') and is served in Original and Extended Mix flavas, with the latter the clear pick for club play because it's here that the string stabs and AWB-ish horns really shine through. The NSFW vocal on 'Crank This MF Up!', on the other hand, is of unknown origin, but once paired with the track's lolloping funk groove is guaranteed to get booties shaking out on the floor.