Review: This latest installment in Audaz's 'Lolita' re-edit series opens with the Soul II Soul-biting '101', and also reworks cuts from reggae legend Little Roy (his take on Nirvana's 'Come As You Are' provides the basis for '107'), electro pioneers Freestyle (1985's 'Don't Stop The Rock' becomes '108') and 70s soul outfit The Moments ('110' revisits 1974 jam 'Girls'). The source material for most of the rest of the EP has us beat, but this time out it's mostly actual soul, funk and disco tracks that have come in for re-editing (rather than rock or pop classics), which means that while that fuzzy warm feeling that comes with the familiar may be in short supply, dancefloor appeal certainly isn't!
Review: You're only five years old once, so why not celebrate in style? And here Warrington lad Danny Worrall's disco and re-edits label Masterworks Music do just that, with an anniversary collection packing a whopping 50 back catalogue nuggets. You'll excuse us the full track-by-track, then, but suffice to say that this is the label that helped launch the careers of Dr Packer and Natasha Kitty Katt, both of whom feature here, and with names like Ziggy Phunk, Rayko, Alkalino, Chuggin' Edits and Fabiolous Barker also on bill, you should already have a pretty good idea what to expect. Classy stuff all round, and a great VFM package - here's to five more years!
Review: We have a grudging admiration for Audaz's Lolita series, which offers up untitled, numbered re-edits with little fanfare or fuss. While track titles wouldn't go amiss, there's no denying the high quality of the cut-jobs on show. Predictably, volume 10 in the ongoing series boasts another swathe of must-have edits. These include a gently sped up and tooled-up take on Cymande classic "The Message" ("091"), a shirtless skip through one of the Pet Shop Boys' most Italo-disco influenced early cuts ("092", which bites 1986 single "Love Comes Quickly"), an electric piano-solo-laden Euro-disco bounce-along ("094) and a disco-house revision of what sounds like a classic disco cut ("096"). In a word: superb.
Review: Fresh from fine outings on Editorial, Spa In Disco and Midnight Riot, Frank Virgilio pops up on Hot Digits with a quartet of warm and seductive workouts. He kicks things off via the sun down beauty and woozy grooves of "Your Whisper", before joining the dots between beatdown, Italo-disco and dancefloor Balearica on the bubbly and hypnotic "Get Now!" Title track "Donde Estas" is an impressively warm and groovy shuffle through pitched-down samba disco territory, while closing cut "Beautiful Sister" is a slightly bolder (but no less deep) mixture of drifting melodies, head-nodding house beats, groovy bass, select vocal snippets and enveloping chords.
Review: "Quando Tu Dances" was a hit for Micky Milan back in 1982 when it came out on Salsoul, and it has that seminal label's brand of disco funk spilling out of every bar. Now Faze Action have drafted a strong serving of remixers to bring a few deft touches to some of Milan's biggest hits, leading in with Willie Graff and his tasteful edit of the title track that lets the original vibe shine through in all its sunny finery. Faze Action themselves take on "C'est Une Bombe" - another slick '80s jam with plenty of boogie licks to complement the warmth of the guitar and Latin percussion. Finally we get an untouched original, the more spaced out cosmic pop jam "Les Vacances On S'eclete, On S'evade".
Review: Italian party crew Rollover Milano present their second record, harnessing the vibe of their legendary nights. The Celeste EP sees duo Claudio Brioschi & Cristian Croce aka Boot & Tax (Optimo Trax/Endless Flight) continue to put their unwavering passion for analogue synths and deep knowledge of Italo music to great use. From the dark disco of the title track, to the brooding dancefloor drama of "Tempo" which is sure to have wide crossover appeal, or the slow burning raw techno banger "Vortice" - this fine EP show that there's a lot of diversity in the pair's sonic repertoire. There is also a remix of the title track by Fatnotronic, which goes down a sludgy slo-mo EBM route - nice one!
Review: Bomb Strikes, the UK hip-hop/funk/soul/breaks label headed up by Mooqee & Beatvandals, celebrated their 15th birthday in 2019 with a fantastic compilation album, and to further celebrate the success of the label in 2019 they're releasing another compilation featuring 15 of their best cuts from the past 12 months. What's most impressive is the variety on offer, ranging from straight-up hip-hop from Alexander Norman Prosper & Stabfinger, to party breaks from Ali B and Krafty Kuts, to 'new old' soul from Flevans, to the fairly self-explanatory 'Disco Weapon' and 'Mirror Ballin'' (by Shaka Loves You and X-Ray Ted, respectively. Tons of fun for festive season funkateers of all ages!
Review: This year Alexny has been busy... and we mean really busy. We make this outing on Furious Mandrill - his first disco-focused EP for a fair few months after a run of deep house cuts - the producer's seventeenth solo set of 2019 - an astonishing figure when you think about it. We'd argue that the headline attraction is opener "Que Beleza", a percussion-rich, beefed-up take on a horn-toting Latin disco workout, though some may be more attracted to the breezy, piano-sporting positivity of samba disco edit "Do Sol". Elsewhere, "Deixa A Tristeza" sees him craft a filter-heavy house chugger from bits of a joyous old samba jam, while "First Pay" is a sludgy loop-house head-nodder rich in jazzy guitar licks and twinkling melodies.
Review: If you were looking to nominate a producer for the (entirely imaginary) "nu-disco don of 2019" award, Andy Buchan would be a strong contender. Here he rounds off a hugely successful year via a four-track missive on Masterworks Music. He begins with a driving slab of tooled-up funk fuzziness (the straightened-out righteousness of "Brand New Girl (Billy Garner Edit)", before flexing his disco muscles on the string-laden, percussion-heavy mid-tempo sweetness of "Bless My Soul (Bettye Swan Edit)". 'Disco Overtime (G'Night Edit)" is a filter-sporting take on a mid-80s dancefloor gem rich in soulful vocals, glistening guitars and colourful synths, while "Let's Dance (JB's Bo Horne Edit)" re-imagines a sing-along 1980s classic as a bump-along exercise in filter disco.
Review: As the year comes to a close, labels are naturally offering up celebratory compilations showcasing their strongest releases of 2019. The latest comes from Midnight Riot, a prolific imprint that rarely fails to serve up the fieriest contemporary disco heat. As you'd expect, the 26-track selection includes a blend of superb original productions (the nu-disco soul warmth of Jack Tyson Charles' "Glory", Alton Edwards sweaty, synth-bass propelled boogie-house gem "I Just Wanna Spend Time With You", the swirling disco headiness of Arthur Baker's "Reachin' Out") and re-edits/reworks (Dr Packer's gospel boogie revision "The Power", C Da Afro's disco-funk slammer "Party Purpose" and the suitably celebratory "Boogie On Time" by Ladies On Mars). As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains impressively high throughout.
Review: Ten more re-edits from Audaz's mysterious Lolita here. No idea what the source for opener '071' was but it's ended up as bluesy, organ- and harmonica-driven house stomper in the vein of Lemon Interrupt's classic 'Big Mouth', and sets the tone nicely for an EP that packs some killer dancefloor grooves, including a sterling re-edit of Geraldine Hunt's 1980 disco gem 'Can't Fake The Feeling' ('076'), a throbbing, Balearic take on 'Another Brick In The Wall' ('073'), the white-socked boogie of '077' and the driftaway space-lounge loveliness of '078' - though a beefed-up take on 'Oh What A Night' ('075') is probably one for the wedding jocks...
Review: We were rather astonished to discover that "24/7 Love Affair" is Michael Baumann's first album as Soulphiction for 11 years. We were a little less surprised to find that it's superb. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that it could be considered a "best practice" example of the kind of loose, sample-heavy, soul-fired deep house that is all the rage right now. Yet the album's epic length - it comprises no less than 17 tracks - also allows Baumann to mix it up a little too, with a swathe of ocean-deep club jams being joined by search diversions as the morning-fresh broken beat loveliness of "Jus Listen", the stomping disco-funk of "The Mood", the bustling breakbeats of "A Freak" and the blazed instrumental hip-hop of "Good Night Ema".
Review: Almost three years have passed since Philadelphia duo Superprince debuted on Razor 'N' Tape with a vinyl-only EP of rather good re-edits. Here that four-tracker finally makes it to digital download. It's worth picking up, if only for the flute-laden, horn-heavy bounciness of down-low disco-funk rework "Strong Feeling" (a fine revision of Morning, Noon & Night's "Feelin' Strong"). The highlights down end there, either, with "Down On Bitter End" providing a chunky, peak-time-ready revision of a Vicki Sue Robinson disco anthem, "Start Again" offering a breezy new spin on a lesser celebrated One Way cut and "Up Up To The Sky" turning Silver Convention's "Fly Robin Fly" into a hypnotic chunk of mid-tempo disco hedonism.
Review: When operating under the V's Edits alias, re-edit maestro Valique can always be relied upon to bring the goods. It's little surprise, then, to find out that his latest collection of fresh cut-jobs - an epic affair featuring no less than 24 tracks - is packed to the rafters with high-grade fare. We don't have enough space to list all of the highlights, but we'd suggest checking out his rolling revision of Lee Dorsey's "Night People", the low-slung disco-funk heaviness of the Brass Construction rework ("Gotta Do It"), the intergalactic disco deepness of the Marvin Gaye revision ("Funky Space"), the lightly tooled-up, slowly unfurling take on Tom Browne's "Funkin For Jamaica" and the sweeping, string-laden disco brilliance of "Miracle (V's Edit)".
Review: Jan Schulte aka Bufiman drops his debut album on Dekmantel, and it's a thing of cosmic beauty. There's the odd ball groove of "Galaxy", on "Sara Sara", he tackles electronic boogie with great flair and "Hoolock Rock" is a superb slice of spaced out disco. However, Schulte's project is not just concerned with revisiting existing styles, and he seems to be just as content when teasing out weird and wonderful new hybrids. These are articulated most impressively on the frazzled acid and steely drums of "Blow Your Mind", the dreamy down tempo drums and tropical sounds of "News From The Treetops" and the sludgy electro funk on "Langsam Aber Slowly".
Review: Bergsonist aka Selwa Abd follows 2017's From Dualism To Monism long player with this collection of left of centre tracks. Drawing on her Eastern roots, Middle resounds to organic drum sounds. At times chaotic and dense, audible on the title track's clattering arrangement, in other instances club-friendly and direct - just check "Gaza Border Violence" or the electronic groove of "Otology" - it marks her out as an artist with a unique approach. In case you are in any doubt about Bergsonist's capabilities, on "Magnesium" she deconstructs beat down house and adds extra, textured layers that are nothing short of hypnotic.
Review: By his normally prolific standards, Marquis Hawkes has been surprisingly quiet in 2019. In fact, this three-tracker for regular home Aus Music is just his third outing of the year, following typically well-received releases on Honom and Unknown To The Unknown. Opener "Hashtag Life Goals" is a wonderfully dreamy and glassy-eyed affair, with female spoken word samples, drowsy chords and picturesque melodies rising above booming bass and beats so sweaty they might have a fever. Hawkes successfully breaks up the beats on "Don't Forget To Subscribe", where thrillingly positive synthesizer motifs and woozy chords envelop NYC Freestyle-influenced electro drums, while "CS Groove" is a locked-in deep house box jam full of crunchy machine percussion, headline-grabbing bass and enveloping chords.
Review: The long-running 'Katakana Edits' series reaches #94, with Parisian funk and disco producer Morlack at the controls and bringing us four tracks. Opener 'Wipe Mo' (source unknown) has a soca-ish feel, while 'Dance Dance Dance' feels like it's been reworked from an old African disco record. 'Wonderful', on the other hand, revisits Kid Creole & The Coconuts' 1982 hit 'I'm A Wonderful Thing Baby', while 'Whip' is a slowed-down, Temazepam disco reversioning of the Dazz Band's 'Let It Whip' from the same year. The EP as a whole will suit those who like their disco on the more leftfield side.
Review: Clich?s like 'melting pot' or 'smorgasbord' are chucked around way too freely in music reviews, but it's hard to describe the wide array of influences on display here any other way! 'Baller' is an Afro-jazz workout, albeit more 'Afro' than 'jazz', with something of a makossa-ish vibe about it. 'Schweet' itself, which follows, is a more straight-up homage to 70s funk and soul, but we're back in jazz (or more accurately swing) pastures for 'Les Frites', albeit here served up in Latin rather than Afro flava. The EP's then completed by 'Listen', another electro-swing cut with a ragtime kinda feel.
Review: Ichisan's 2017 debut album on Bordello A Parigi was arguably a little overlooked, which is something of a surprise considering the quality of the assembled Balearic, synth-wave, nu-disco and Italo-disco tracks on show. Hopefully the same fate won't befall his sophomore set, "Polykarp", because it's every bit as alluring and ear pleasing. It offers up a similarly colourful and vibrant collection of synth-heavy tracks, with highlights including the acid-flecked Italo/nu-disco fusion of "Polykarp", the Lindstrom style space disco positivity of "Kino-Sloga", the Todd Terje-esque Scandolearic dancefloor warmth of "Gonzo-Bossa Nova" and the Italian dream house revivalism of "Halo House".
Review: Marc Hype, boss of German 7-inch label Dusty Donuts, mixes up this seventh volume in Bomb Strikes' 'Funk N' Beats' series. It's an eclectic, funked-up selection that ranges freely through hip-hop from The Nextmen and Red Astaire, 'new old' funk and soul from Speedometer, Soopasoul and the Hot 8 Brass Band, nu-jazz from Nicole Willis and Jazzanova and more besides. Highlights include The Traffic's funked-up cover of Daft Punk's 'Harder Better Faster Stronger', Speedometer's cover of The Chi-lites' 'Are You My Woman?' (AKA 'Crazy In Love'), and Hype's own take on electro classic 'Al Faafyish (The Soul)'.
Review: If you've ever heard 'Another Brick In The Wall' and thought "What this really needs is an extended Italo synth intro," then this is the EP for you, as the Pirate Edits crew serve up 16 more dancefloor reworks of vintage favourites including Sister Sledge's 'Lost In Music', Space's 'Carry On, Turn Me On', Chaka Khan's 'I Know You, I Live You' and The Joubert Singers' 'Stand On The word', as well as many other, more obscure disco and boogie nuggets. There's a slightly 'kitchen sink' approach to the production at times, but disco and funk spinners should still find plenty of fresh dancefloor ammunition here.
Review: The 'Jalapeno Funk' series reaches its 11th installment, which is no mean feat! As such, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect here already, and you'd be right. All the usual Jalapeno suspects - Flevans, Skeeweiff, Smoove & Turrell, Speedometer, The Allergies, Dr Rubberfunk, Aldo Vanucci - are present and correct, and while it has to be said there aren't many stylistic surprises or curveballs on offer, fans of the label's trademark funk 'n breaks sound will be more than satisfied, with highlights including Flevan's light-footed 'Speculate' and Vanucci's Hammond-toting 'Get A Hold On This'.
Review: It would be fair to say that this EP from Bigz and Soire, featuring guests Kiano and Below Bankok, is something of an expansive beast. It features two original cuts - the ultra-deep, pitched-down tropical-tech chug of "La Yeil" and the marginally more up-tempo haziness of "Zoned Out" - plus a plethora of alternative remixes. Arguably the most memorable rework of "La Yeil" comes from Jean Vayat, who gets busy with deep chants, psychedelic guitar flourishes, trippy melodies and a suitably druggy, arpeggio style bassline, while Haris Kate's slo-mo revision of "Zoned Out", in which the producer utilizes Middle Eastern instrumentation and hushed chords, is also superb.
Review: When we heard the news that Cimm had an album on the way, we could barely contain our excitement. When we then learnt it was to be featured on Sentry, our expectations tripled, and boy does Cimm deliver! The project takes the name 'Unknown Caller!!' and is a perfect embodiment of what today's deep dubstep scene represents, from the irresistible sub pressures of 'The Corner' alongside Rider Shafique to eastern-dub hybrids of 'Blue Sapphire' and lower tempo bass quakes of 'I Am Jack Travis'. The collaborations are fruitful on this one, as Cimm also invites Youngsta, Mr K, SGT Pokes, Riko Dan and Animai to take part in what is undoubtedly one of the strongest dubstep projects of the year.
Review: Shady scalpel field Lolita clearly has a vast archive of edits just waiting to be unleashed, as this bumper collection of tried-and-tested reworks follows hot on the heels from several other seemingly expansive volumes. So what you we expect this time round? It begins with a warm, drowsy and sun-kissed slab of soft focus soul ("051") and ends with a decidedly Balearic shuffler full of glistening, delay-laden guitars ("060"); in between, you'll find a mix of re-tooled classics (the piano-heavy disco stomp of "059", the slap-bass propelled brilliance of peak-time workout "056" and the party-starting goodness of "055") and rearranged obscurities (the Italo-disco/new wave throb of "057" and the deep disco bliss of "053"). From start to finish, it's an excellent collection of tasty, floor-focused revisions.
Review: The 1990s Afro-Cosmic scene, highlighting on Munich's The New Morning project, is the focus of an in depth reissue, collected across 3 six-track EPs.
As the influence and cult of Baldelli's Cosmic sound spread out across Italy from the late 1970s, the music expanded, mixing new wave, African, funk, electro, space rock, Brazilian, jazz and dub, all delivered in a freestyle playing that became Afro.
Adding percussion, samples and effects, the music spread north to Austria and Southern Germany, where DJs, producers, labels and parties flourished. In 1994, DJ Otti and Jay Pee started Global Rhythm Records and with friends DJ Thilo and DJ Fred released 1O EPs and 1 LP over 4 years.
The 3 EPs select the best of this output, including unreleased tracks, mixing a love of funk, disco, hip hop and house with syncopated analogue beats and live percussion. The 90-110 bpm sample heavy tracks, often running for only 3 to 4 minutes, showcase their eclectic sound collage.
More than DJ tools, the EPs were warmly received by aficionados and clubbers alike, becoming mainstays at the afro-tribal gatherings taking place throughout the scene. Secret plays for taste-making DJs since, their scarcity and value have increased considerably, bringing a new appreciation of their Afro-Funky sound.
Review: Audaz serve up a second set of re-edits by the mysterious Lolita. Whether label boss Alkalino or an anonymous backroom boffin are to thank we couldn't say, but whoever it is they take on an impressive range of source material, from Gene Pitney ('020') to 80s synth-poppers Alphaville ('013') via Talking Heads ('019'), Stargard ('016'), Laura Branigan ('014') and even a cover of Hank Williams' country classic 'Kaw-Liga' by new wave weirdos The Residents ('017') - all of which are given a druggy, chuggy makeover for today's nu-disco floors, with '015' (a take on 1979's 'Marathon Runner' by August Darnell and Bob Blank's Aural Exciters project) a particular standout.
Review: For the second volume in their ongoing "Disco Funkin" mix series, the Bomb Strikes crew has handed over the controls to former Tru Thoughts artists Flevans. While his DJ mix is naturally superb, it's the quality of the 23 unmixed, full-length tracks included in the package that makes the compilation a must-check. There are naturally a few recent disco-centric club hits present - see Lance Ferguson's terrific cover of Pleasure's "Joyous", Dimitri From Paris and Cotonete's remix of Izo FitzRoy's "I Want Magic" and Purple Disco Machine's warm and toasty revision of Kraak & Smaak's "Alone With You" - alongside lesser-known nu-disco, boogie and disco-funk treats from the likes of ATOA, Hotmood, Fouk, Michael The Lion and, of course, Flevans himself.
Review: 2020 has arrived, and with it we are expecting yet another year of experimental breakbeat goodness, especially from the heavyweight labels such as Breakbeat Paradise. This first EP of the year from Mined & Forrest is a perfect way to kick off as we leap into four tasty originals, starting with the swagtastic bass moogs and drum shifts of 'The Big Mama', alongside the demonic vocal slaps of 'Acting Like You Know', the sauce-dripping smoothness of 'Gimme The Best' and the hard hitting bass drives of 'Fire Back' alongside IamLawn. On remix duty, Mr. Ours steps up first for a colourful rethink of 'The Big Mama', with Crash Party providing a grizzly d&b switch up of 'Acting Like You Know'. Tidy!
Review: It's been just a month since the loose musical collective centred around Greek producer Angelos Stoumpos released their fourth long-player 'Theory Of Revolution', and now here comes what is effectively Part Two, featuring instrumental versions of seven of the original 19 tracks. As per the album proper, reggae and dub vibes predominate, with the well-chosen title track and the Afro-influenced 'Restart' particularly deserving of your attention, but for funkateers the standouts will be lead single 'Realistic' (which sounds a lot more funk/hip-hop-oriented when stripped of its doo-wop vocal) and the lounge-y, Hammond-tastic 'I'll Be Okay'.
Dem Dem (feat Killa P/Chunky/Trigga & Slay) - (4:45) 107 BPM
Review: Here we are gifted an unusual yet inspiration link up as we see the combined forces of both Zed Bias and Metrodome link up for a super choppy footwork party as they lay down four tasty tracks on Maddstyle. Firstly, we witness an even craziest link up as Killa P, Chunky, Trigga & Slay lay down some hard hitting, high energy vocal lines across the breadth of 'Dem Dem', giving us some serious rave ammo. We also witness the jungle infused latherings of 'Feeding Frenzy', followed by the super punchy drum sub combos of 'Off It's Head'. We finish up with a smoothened take on the lead vocal track as 'PART2STYLE' gets busy with lofi, spacey, synthy rework. Amazing stuff!
The Soul Investigators - "Mo Hash" - (2:12) 107 BPM
Review: One of two turntablist-oriented compilations this week from School Yard Breaks, but where 'Dusty Fingers' is jazzy and cinematic in mood, this one's smooth and soulful, with cuts from well-known veteran players like Mandrill, Larry Sanders, Con Funk Shun and Silver Convention nuzzling up alongside contributions from lesser-known 60s and 70s artists (The Soul Tornadoes, Kansas City Express, Lee Williams) and contemporary practitioners (Finland's Soul Investigators). Highlights include Silver Convention's phat, sleazy 'Madhouse', Lee Moses's country-soul-blues take on 'Hey Joe', Art Butler's Hammond-tastic 'Soul Brother' and a blistering James Brown medley courtesy of the Max Greger Orchestra.
Review: Spain's Raico Pe?a drops his fourth long-player, but only the second on his own Rare Wiri imprint (albums two and three having come out on Nang Records). Opening with a near-instrumental re-edit of The Passions' classic 'I'm In Love With A German Film Star' sets the tone nicely for a long-player that wears its 80s influences proudly on its sleeve, with Syndrum beats and analogue synths much in evidence throughout. And just to drive the point home, there's an 'Axel F' reversion called 'Super Suelto En Hollywood' thrown in for good measure! If you dig that spangly, 80s-influenced nu-disco sound, you'll dig this set for sure.