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: Some of you may remember Ricardo Vincenzo from his 2015 debut Pororoca Transatlantica, a two-track missive that blended South American production with all the warmth of sun-kissed downtempo electronica. If anything, this belated follow-up for esteemed Finnish label Sahko is even better. Vincenzo begins with the farmyard animal samples, rolling tribal percussion, African chants and rich electronic bass of "Cabras No Elevado Quilombia", before chopping and looping a dusty old tango track on the mid-tempo house pulse of "Onna No Yujo". On the flip you'll find the low-slung, post-dubstep creepiness of "Haru", where exotic vocal samples drift across a sparse but heavy beat pattern, and the aural trip to Morocco that is "Excellent Drom".
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.