Review: Enjoying a brief sojourn away from then 2000 Black label he's long called home, sometime 4hero member Dego pops up on Neroli with a two-tracker that blends his usual jazz-funk inspired instrumentation with warm and fragrant, dancefloor-focused grooves. The jazz-funk influence is strongest on flipside "Just Give It A Long Shot", a more languid affair rich in squiggly synth lines, toasty bass guitar, slack-tuned drum breaks and the kind of group vocals that would have once sent rare groove heads into a spin. A-side "Twelve Steps" is arguably even better, with whispered vocals, jazzy synth lines and sunny guitars wrapping around a pleasingly rubbery Brit-funk groove.
Review: Digger and editor extraordinaire John Zahl returns with three more deep dug oddities from the disco cosmos. Early 80s stadium synth boogie with Italo stamped deep into the core and some fantastic horn stabs, "Show Me Luv" kickstarts the party all synths blazing. It's backed up by an Alexander O'Neal meets-D-Train smoocher "Oh Jaaaz" before "Let Me Treble" closes the show with a vibe that you could imagine Abba sounding like if they spent a day on the beach jamming on high doses of peyote. Divine.
Review: Under the Javonntte pseudonym, Brian Garrett has delivered some of the most impressive deep house records of recent years. Predictably, the quality threshold remains high throughout this latest Javonntte EP, Garett's first for Alex Attias's Visions Inc. label. On the A-side you'll find "Vocal" and "Radio" versions of "Searchin", a soul-powered chunk of analogue-rich deepness that sits somewhere between the musically complex brilliance of Ron Trent and the slick, rolling warmth of early '90s Goldtone Records releases. Turn to the B-side and you'll find "Private Party", a chunkier and rougher, riff-propelled peak-time bumper, and the redlined, Chez Damier-meets-Derrick Carter bounce of "Life Rhythm". As the old cliche goes, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: There's plenty to set the pulse racing on the latest EP from long-serving electro producer Automat, whose recent outing on Brokntoys is also well worth a listen. Opener "Sugar Cane" eases us in gently, with the French producer opting for a slow and sanguine deep electro flavour, before the chunky and pleasingly spacey analogue deep house/electro fusion of "The Void" begins to get the blood pumping. Peak-time pressure arrives on B-side opener "Sad Days", where wild acid lines and rubbery machine bass drive a ghetto-tech style electro rhythm forwards at a frenetic pace, while closer "Noar" is a post-apocalyptic slab of clandestine, industrial electro darkness.
Review: For the second salvo on Cornhusker Records, the publicity-shy crew is treating us to a quartet of re-edits starting impressively with "Easily", a floor-focused rearrangement of a slap bass, woodblock and sax-heavy chunk of jazz-funk goodness, before turning a jaunty Mizell Brothers cut into a rolling house groover. The fun continues on side B, where the sweaty percussive Hammond funk of "Launchpad" is followed by head-in-the-clouds delight "Bring It", a subtle scalpel rework of a Clavinet-sporting Blaxploitation era disco-funk workout. Given the variety and quality on show, this has the feel of a record that might stay in your "playing out" box for a while.