Pimping People In High Places (Woodword Ave alternative mix) (6:50)
The Medusa Touch (6:52)
Review: Gary Martin is well known for his unique productions and his label Teknotika is surely a classic coming out of the famous motor city. This special 10" holds two sought after tracks that were found on a lost DAT tape by Yossi Amoyal and Gary Martin himself. On the A side we have a long time secret weapon, it's a hypnotic groove that was heard on many classic sets, Zip and Ben Klock to name a few. An extremely insane, hard to find Gigi Galaxy track that was changing hands for silly prices is on the B side, for those who know... massive release!
Turn Me Loose/My Design (extended version) (13:58)
Turn Me Loose (Sirs cut) (10:32)
Review: Best Records present another deep cover jam Balearic diggers will rejoice at being able to lay their hands on. Blue Night was the brainchild of Peter Miconi, who created "Turn Me Loose" in 1983. All the elements are present here, from the aching blue-eyed soul vocals to rich guitar solos and an irrepressible funk bedded down in the groove, here stretching out for a full 14 minutes of pure sunkissed bliss. On the flip, SIRS takes a careful run at the original that simply reframes the elements with a more pronounced rhythm section - this is someone who knows exactly what the track needs and declines to change anything for the sake of it. Classy stuff, as you would expect from a reissue on Best Records.
Review: Best Records sure love their jams from 1983, and they've dusted down another impeccable Balearic curio from one hit wonder Flayer. Originally released on F1 Team, "Wanna Get Back Your Love" sets adrift in a truly dazzling bed of woozy pads and airy vocals that have pure escapism at the top of the agenda. On the A side, this hypnagogic adventure stretches out over a wonderful eight minute extended mix, while the B side features two alternative versions that offer subtly adjusted, abridged versions to give you many different ways to run at this heavy-lidded blast of balladry.
Review: Apart from a very limited under the radar release in 2015, it took Vincent Halliburton 13 years to deliver a follow-up to his 2002 debut single on Ferrispark "RM1x Files" (both records go for silly money). The Detroiter hasn't left it quite so long this time, with this alluring three-tracker appearing just four years after its predecessor. Clearly Halliburton believes in quality over quantity, because "Vibe Under A Different Frequency" is superb. Check first the swirling deep space chords, delay-laden vocal snippets and layered, Ron Trent style deep house percussion of the fittingly titled "On A Deep Groove", before gaping in awestruck wonder at the dreamy, deep and hypnotic "Going Away", which boasts some suitably breathy, out-there vocals from none other than Sade. He rounds things off in style via the groovy warmth and sun-kissed dancefloor positivity of "Go Down".
Review: Alberto De Santiago has already slipped out a few killer edit-rich hits, which drew favourable attention from Spanish label Night Shift. He launches the Discollection EP with the soul-soaked feel-good flavour of "Love Sauce," steeped in the finest disco ingredients to inspire impassioned expression on the floor. The heat stays right up for "Since I've Been Gone", which is packed full of Philly strings aplenty and enough dramatic drops and chops to melt even the hardest frown. "Most Expensive Diamond" and "All The Way" have that magic touch too - these are loud and proud vocal edits to get people dancing on the ceiling. You can't go wrong with classic source material like this - Never Dull indeed.
The Family Daptone - "Hey Brother (Do Unto Others)" (3:52)
Soul Fugue - "The 100 Knights Orchestra" (4:58)
Review: Soul and funk heads won't want to miss this very special seven-inch from the Daptone Records crew, and not just because it's the label's 100th "45". The A-side features an all-star '60s soul cover of the Frightnrs rock-steady cut featuring vocal contributions from Saun and Starr, James Hunter, Lee Fields, Naomi Shelton, Duke Amayo, the Frightnrs and two legends who are no longer with us: Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones. It's a one-off that won't be repeated for obvious reasons, but more importantly it's very, very good. Over on the flip main man Bosco Mann takes charge, conducting and producing "two opposing armies" of woodwind and horn players from the label's expansive musical roster. As you'd expect, it's something of an epic.
Review: Sam Shepherd may have spent the last few years offering up off-kilter, jazz-fired grooves and heady ambient soundscapes, but he still knows how to rock a dancefloor. That much is proved by his first Floating Points single for almost two years. "LesAlpx (Extended)" is his most forthright, club-focused cut in ages - a thrusting chunk of rumbling, peak-time techno built around heavy bass, sweaty drums, twinkling electro piano motifs and raging, foreboding electronics. Shepherd teases in the most melodic, rush-inducing elements, introducing spacey synthesizers and dreamy chords midway through. It's breathtakingly good. Flipside "Coorabell" is similarly potent, with acid style electronics, warm chords and sun-kissed electronics wrapped around swinging, two-step influenced house beats and a weighty, sub-heavy bassline. In a word: essential.
Review: You should know by now that Plastik People is the go-to spot for the most upfront garage house done in a classic style, and they're spelling it out good and proper with The Sound Of Garage House. Marc Cotterell leads the way with the jazzy vibes and deliciously liquid chords of "Those Days" before Ed The Spread brings a nagging shuffle and sharp string stabs to hard-stepping bumper "The Bauhaus Movement". Grant Nelson keeps things tuff with the natty piano hooks and diva slices of "Move Close" while Rocket Dubz ups the funk to 11 for hands in the air party starter "Dirty Bath".
Review: If you enjoyed the loose, warm and organic musical fusions of Italian outfits Nu Guinea and Mystic Jungle, we'd recommend checking out this fine debut album from fellow countrymen Aura Safari. The Perugua-based quartet explore similar influences - think jazz, jazz-funk, dusty deep house, Afro-cosmic, Balearica and boogie, for starters - and rely on a similar blend of vintage synthesizer sounds, live and programmed drums, jazz-friendly brass instruments and elastic bass guitar. The resultant album, then, feels like it comes from a similar sonic place, even if Aura Safari's distinctive musical blend is even more eclectic, emotive and atmospheric than that offered by their aforementioned contemporaries. Either way, it's a superb set.
Good Good Lovin' (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) (3:58)
Review: Recently, legendary American dance producer Arthur Baker discovered two tracks in his storage on 1/4" tape recorded in 1979. He asked Hifi Sean (aka Sean Dickson of The Soup Dragons) to rework them - who brought on board Riot Recordings boss Yam Who? and they quickly got to work resurrecting these soulful disco anthems. On the A side, we have the souled-up disco power of "Reachin'" featuring Minnie Gardner's powerful vocals, then get prepared to get down proper to the group vocals and epic brass section in the uplifting "Good Good Lovin'" (Hifi Sean & Yam Who? edit) all accompanied by Baker's immaculate production style.
Review: Brazilian label Allnite Music is back with another sure shot from label boss Apoena that locks into an immersive, head-nodding groove from the get go. "Retoside" is a perfect deep house burner, understated and yet utterly grooving where it counts. "Attachment" has a more sprightly, uplifting quality tailored to sunny situations, while "Hemp Restriction" takes things in an airy direction while rocking a solid 90s backbone. "The Sutilties" completes the set with a dreamy roller splash, with sweet leads and some chopped up vocal hooks that accent the innate funk of the track in fine style.
Review: Since first pitching up on Disco Halal two years ago, Simple Symmetry has released some of their most cosmic and psychedelic cuts on Moscoman's distinctive imprint. They're at it again here. Check the high-grade arpeggio-driven sleaziness of "Gilgamesh", where hallucinatory electronics, exotic lead lines and twisted vocal samples rise above unfussy beats and an impressively driving bassline. Further examples of dazed dancefloor psychedelia follow, with the Turkish pysch/cosmic disco pulse of "Fight" ushering in the raw and intoxicating Middle Eastern throb of "Enkidu". To round off the EP, Adam Port provides a slightly chunkier re-edit that cannily makes the most of the track's squelchy bassline and eyes-closed psychedelic guitar solos.
Nata Alma (feat Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesswltoft - club Smash Hit version) (8:38)
Venq Tolep (Hit club version) (6:25)
Review: Veteran German producer (and one half of Wighnomy Brothers) Robag Wruhme returns to Pampa Records with two delightful servings of his idiosyncratic sound. The glassy-eyed and bittersweet daydream fantasy of "Nata Alma" (Club Smash Hit version) features some right legends of the Norweigian jazz scene: Bugge Wesseltoft on piano accompanied by a heartfelt vocal performance by vocalist Sidsel Endresen. On the flip, "Venq Tolep" (Hit club version) is equal parts melancholic yet utterly evocative, and is the title track of his first album-length release on DJ Koze's label in eight years.
Negro Es Hermano (The Utajiri Heritage mix) (13:49)
Sexy Things (V Lavender Sophisticado Black Soul main mix) (9:35)
Review: Hot on the heels of his sold-out "126.96.36.199 (Where It Started)" EP, Strictly Jaz Unit mainstay Vick Lavender returns with two more seductive and sophisticated deep house treats. He opens up with "Negro Es Hermano (The Utajiri Heritage Mix)", where jazzy guitar solos, jazz-funk synth doodles and ultra-dreamy chords bob and weave around a Glenn Underground/Ron Trent style, Latin-tinged deep house groove. Further warmth and wooziness can be found on deliciously rich and sugary flipside "Sexy Things (V Lavender Sophisticado Black Soul Mix)", an even deeper and more groovy affair built around warm bass guitar, unfussy drums, echoing Rhodes riffs and cascading jazz-funk synths.
Evasion 85 - "Van La Ka Vante" (Omar Mendez TD Fix) (3:55)
Bessoso - "Para Decir Que Te Quiero" (4:45)
Goma-Laca - "Do Pila" (feat Karina Buhr) (4:38)
Equipe Radio Cidade - "Bon Tempos" (2:34)
Voilaaa - "Spies Are Watching Me" (4:56)
Blyk Tchutchi Loy Dtchutchi - "Mandamento De Deus" (3:43)
Gordon Henderson - "The Highest Bidder" (3:21)
Simon Jurad - "Macadam" (3:35)
Mubashira Mataali Group - "Emaali Ya Bamulekwa Orphans Property" (2:42)
Eko Roosevelt Louis - "Tondoho Mba" (4:41)
Slim Young - "Otan Hunu" (4:48)
Jacinta Sanches & Pedro Ramos - "Vizinha Ka Bale" (3:13)
Andre Marceline - "Candencedisco" (4:17)
Misumami First Touch - "Prove Your Love" (4:01)
Alma Luma - "Princesa Isabel" (3:36)
Review: While he's been offering up some sizzling solo albums of late, French DJ/producer GUTS is still arguably better known as the seasoned selector behind the excellent "Beach Diggin'" compilations. Here he offers up another compilation, this time showcasing tried-and-tested tracks that have been rocking his DJ sets for the last few years. Mostly focused around club-friendly global sounds past and present, the 17-track selection is full of little known killers, overlooked dancefloor workouts and forgotten gems. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the horn-sporting boogie-zouk bounce of Evasion 85's "Van La Ka Vante" and the cheeky "Rappers Delight" re-write "Bon Tempos" by Equipe Radio Cidade, to the sparkling Afro-disco heat of Eko Roosevelt Louis' "Tondoho Mba" and the righteous Afro-Brazilian drum workout that is Alma Luma's "Princesa Isabel".
Review: There's much to admire about Andrew Wilson and John Tanner's second collaborative full-length, which sees them build on the fluid and atmospheric ambient of 2016 debut "69". Utilizing a relatively small array of instruments - mainly piano, acoustic guitar and a few choice synthesizers - the pair serves up ear-catching soundscapes wrapped in atmospheric field recordings and just the right amount of processed effects. For the most part their compositions are summery and seductive, emphasizing unfussy combinations of melodic refrains and positive chord progressions. There are, though, one or two more experimental cuts, with the tipsy, slow-motion shuffle of "Idle" and spaced-out "Safe Bird" standing out.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, two years has passed since Traumer launched the "Gettraum Hors Series" of ultra-limited, hand-stamped singles. We're not quite sure why the French producer - real name Romain Reynaud - has held back volume two, but we're happy to say that it's been well worth the wait. He hits the ground running with "Exercise", a sun-soaked chunk of tech-house funk built around jaunty stabs, glistening chords and a thickset synth bassline, before reaching for sub-heavy analogue bass, rolling drums and more sparkling electronics on the similarly positive sounding "Pago". Over on side B, "Bassomatic" is an acid-fired slammer shot through with sneaky audio references to turn of the '90s "bleep and bass", while gorgeous closing cut "Brocomania" wraps attractive dub techno motifs and ambient chords around warm bass and bustling breakbeats.
Review: Gallic producer Yann Polewka has previously impressed via sizzling singles on Roots For Bloom, The House of Love and Cardiology, so hopes are naturally high for this outing on Ravenelli Disco Club. We shouldn't have worried. Title track "Le French Touch (69 Mix)" is the kind of celebratory, sample heavy disco-house cut that could have been made by a previous generation of French producers - all bumpin' beats, filtered disco samples and restless bass. On his jazz deep house remix, Cody Currie filters the disco samples out further while adding some psychedelic acid lines. Polweka gets a chance to showcase his skills further on side B, first via the hot-to-trot peak-time disco deepness of "Cannabliss" and then through housed-up Jimmy Ross revision "The Rebound Love Affair (featuring Paul Rudder)".
Review: Phil Gerus is a rising talent that fits right into the (Emotional) Especial mould with his sharply realised 80s bombast and dynamic electro funk production style. Treating body-popping club tracks as a vessel for heartfelt expression, these tracks have it all from Linn Drum boogie to fully capable instrumental chops, all shot through with Gerus' choice new wave vocals. Lauer hops on board for a seductive remix of "Still Blind" that ups the sensual intensity of the track while keeping the club foremost in his mind, before Jamie Paton steps up on the flip with a couple of freakier turns that dub the original out into deadly, spooky jams for more adventurous party people to get loose to.
Review: London duo Dusky are up next on Running Back, with what appears to be the first volume in their new Life Signs series. Best described by Gerd Janson and Co. as British bass science applied on classic house tropes, where breakbeats underpin transcendent melodies and IDM meets UKG. The lads behind the much lauded 17 Steps label are in fine form here: from the electrifying Italo disco influenced number "Boris Borrison's Trip To Morrisons" on the A side being unlike anything we've heard from the pair before. On the flip, it's a throwback to the illegal dance parties of the early '90s on the pitched-down hardcore breaks of "Lea Valley" and harking back to a similar era is the euphoric "Static".
Review: It feels like this reissue on the mighty Vibraphone has been a long time coming. While the Italian deep house bastion seemed to be focusing more on contemporary releases, they kept this gem from their back catalogue in their back pocket and now its time has come. Ricardo's "High Flyer" is a stone-cold deep house stunner, whichever version you plump for. The swooning pads and sweet organ lines are great on the original version, but for us the "Angel Mix" pips it with the edges smoothed out for a pure escapist strain of deep house truly sent from the heavens.
Louie Vega starring Toni C - "Time Don't Wait" (Roots NYC mix) (6:45)
Louie Vega Starring Toni C - "Time Don't Wait" (instrumental) (6:30)
EOL Soulfrito - "Soulfrito Burnin'" (9:26)
Review: No one does soulful house music better than Lil Louie Vega! The New York City legend is back on his eponymous imprint, with a new anthem crusading for the cause of deepness entitled "Time Don't Wait". Featuring the life affirming vocals of Toni C on the Roots NYC mix, over bluesy guitars, creamy Rhodes and smooth latin rhythms - this one is absolutely perfect for those long hot summer nights. Then there is a handy and useful instrumental mix for your satisfaction, followed by the pure elevation of EOL Soulfrito's "Soulfrito Burnin'". Much sought after by vinyl enthusiasts, these were previously only available as part of a five pack 12" which now commands high prices on the second-hand market, and have never available outside of a few select stores worldwide.
Review: The Vega Records five pack vinyl unreleased projects have become very sought after pieces amongst vinyl enthusiasts and collectors. Now available as unique 12"s for the first time, the third part features Louie Vega & Joe Claussell on the A side with "Getting Deeper" - proper spiritual life music right here by two absolute legends of the New York City underground - absolutely. On the flip we have C.O.O. with "Funky Cadets" (Daddy's Workshop Demo Ruff) -this funky little number is a more upbeat and feelgood number that's just as worthy of being played to the dancefloor. The originals now command high prices on the secondhand market and have never been available outside of a few select stores worldwide - don't sleep on this one!
Review: Russian label Mosaique has thus far carried some serious heat from artists like JASSS, Caron and Savage Grounds, and now they're shifting their nightmarish electro tendencies back to the various artists format of their Universe series. Umwelt leads the charge on this second installment with the eerie machine snarl of "Fallen Empire", followed up by two versions of the devilish "Sleep When You Die" by Moralez & The Horrorist. Alessandro Adriani is first up on the B side with the driving, noirish techno pulse of "Cosmic Transmissions," and then Morah rounds things off with the squelchy, spiky workout "Track 5".
Review: As part of this year's Manchester International Festival, local legends New Order performed live in collaboration with NYC-based British artist Liam Gillick, who has previously presented solo exhibitions at venues such as Tate Britain and MoMA. It was orchestrated by composer-arranger Joe Duddell, a fellow son of Manchester and a frequent collaborator with the band. The live show was performed by the band with a 12 member synthesiser ensemble from the Royal Northern College of Music on 13th July 2017. This release includes the full show and encore plus 3 additional tracks recorded over the residency to give listeners a full representation of the breadth of material performed. Features timeless classics such as "Ultraviolence", "Shellshock" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" in addition to some Joy Division classics such as "Disorder" and "Heart & Soul".
A2 (feat Loa Myst & Nu Fvnk - El Buho remix) (6:53)
A1 (Sooma remix) (7:32)
Review: The Banana Hill crew continue in their quest to represent some of the finest sounds transmitting from the African continent, this time showcasing the immersive ruminations of Kenya's Jinku. "A1" takes a seriously deep trip into stripped back house percussion and atmospheric vocal chants, while "N1" sports a more jagged rhythm section that meanders through emotive suites of sound before the mellower downtempo mood of "N2". On the flip, "A2" features moody vocal turns from Loa Myst and Nu Fvnk that suit the laconic house structure, which El Buho gently nudges into a more crooked remix without losing the heady atmosphere. Sooma then tackles "A1" and ups the bass-led house pressure with a measured touch that respectfully embellishes the original.
Review: Uwe Schmidt - he of Atom Heart, Atom TM and Senor Coconut fame - has used an insane number of aliases over the years, so you'd be forgiven for not knowing about the sole album he produced as Dots. It first appeared on CD way back in 1994 and has long been considered something of a slept on classic by '90s ambient fans. Here it appears on vinyl for the very first time courtesy of Astyral Industries, a label that knows a thing or two about unearthing forgotten ambient treasure. Stylistically, there are hints to some of Schmidt's other work - a dub bassline here, an abstract motif there - but for the most part the becalmed and beguiling soundscapes have more in common with the work of German ambient legend Pete Namlook.
Review: Italian producer Reekee is back on his Wrong Notes label with another assured take on the soulful house template, which leads in with the bugged-out funk of "Another Day." Erik Rico's vocals sound on-point for this track, pushing Reekee's production into the stratosphere. "Tell Me Something" keeps the vibe resolutely deep, while "Feel Good" shuffles through a heads down club workout of the highest caliber. You'd be forgiven for thinking this record was landing on a label like Kai Alce's NDATL. Patrice Scott lends his masterful touch to "Another Day", edging the track into a different plain of emotional expression without losing the focus of Rico's vocal.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: Frankfurt record shop Gosu are back with the next instalment of their in-house label by OFFM regular Rob Amboule. The British producer has been making records for some years now, on labels like 20:20 Vision, Heidi's The Jackathon and more recently OSMAN and NorthSouth, initially starting out in London. A chance encounter led him to Frankfurt and after a short while he decided to relocate out to the Main area. A long-time friend of the label as well as Freebase (RIP), his skills developed with the encouragement of label bosses Manuel Schatz and Phil Evans. Amboule presents Gosu 9.5: on the A side we've got the funky and chunky all analogue electro futurism of "9.5 B", while on the flip things go in a more straight ahead direction on the classic techno excursion of "9.5 D" - taking the very best elements of Detroit and Yorkshire in its stride.
Review: South Carolina's John Zahl aka Jaz returns. He's said to be a DJ/Episcopal Priest from Charleston, South Carolina who digs deep, uncovering vinyl gems from the mid-80s with lots of drum machines and tons of fun weirdness - as heard on his many mixtapes on Soundcloud. Some of that material gets featured on this collection of edits here for P&F Recordings, who make a departure from original compositions in favour of these four beautiful downtempo edits by a modern day master of the craft. From the low slung boogie funk of "Dancing In The Sunshine", to the neon-lit '80s R'n'B of "Here We Go" and the slo-mo rock swagger of "Push Comes To Shove" - there's all you need right here!
Review: The long-serving Psychoskunk label comes back in full force with some unflinching underground techno gear from Error Etica, otherwise known as label boss Victor Martinez. "Inductors V2" sets a serious tone for this record with its reduced soundscape and needlepoint sound design attitude. Hironori Takahashi then makes an appearance remixing "Diatonic Scale" and turning it into a deadly, minimalist bruiser. 65D Mavericks jump on "Schematic Diagram" and laden it with blown out kicks and eerie atmospherics, and then Pelacha tackles "Inductors V1" and embellishes it with creeping, modulating textures that bring the track to life in a most unsettling of ways, as was surely the intention. This is techno for darkened souls if ever we heard it.