Blackbird (Joaquin edits & Overdubs bonus beats Organ dub) (8:16)
Rebel Nina (1:24)
Review: Here's a special club 12" for serious heads dealing in a set of mixes of "Blackbird". You have to come correct when you dare step to Nina Simone, but you know full well the cast of characters assembled on this 12" can be trusted with the high priestess of soul. Timmy Regisford is up first, bringing some intense organ lines and Lately bass into the mix with a perfect balance between jubilant expression and tension. Joe Claussell then steps up with two different edit and overdub versions, where the organs get poured on more liberally and the whole jam boils over. As a wonderful bonus element, you get a powerful acapella monologue from Nina Simone to close out the B side.
Review: The third drop in the Correcciones Calypso series finds the Mexican label turning to regular fixture Thomass Jackson for the A side, where he brings some heavyweight crossover pelters for the ever-broadening tastes of the dancefloor. "Maquina De Bongo" is a fierce percussive throwdown with a chuggy cosmic disco sound that drives crowds into a frenzy, while "Lavora!" follows on a similar tip albeit with a slightly punchier EBM undercurrent. On the flip, Plot Pilot has an equally adventurous sound that draws on freaky synth flourishes and Eastern motifs for a pan-continental trip on a seductively dark tip. "Move To The Nida Beach" slows things down to an insanely catchy, chant-along synth pop pulse.
Review: Chicago house heads rejoice, because right here we have a holy grail release. Marshall Jefferson originally recorded "Vibe Three" in 1985, and it was only ever played by Ron Hardy at seminal club The Music Box. Gene Hunt and Emanuel Pippin were amongst the only other DJs to have a copy of the tape, but the track was never released until now. This is pre-"Move Your Body" music, capturing the soul and vitality of house music at its inception and sounding as fresh as it would have back then. As well as Jefferson's instrumental original, the flip finds Jefferson teaming up with his partner in Jungle Wonz, Harry Dennis, for a poignant vocal version called "Human Condition". Don't sleep on this, as it won't be around for long.
Cyberian Nights (Siberian Nights remix In Tribute To Twilight 22) (4:59)
Hologram People (6:40)
Review: Fundamental Records, the electro music label behind the 808 Box, Electric Eclectics and Music for The Other People Place project starts with a new project and new label called Electro Records and has made something of a statement with its first release, not only opting for a striking clear and white splatter patterned slab of wax, but also by securing the services of sometime CPU, Craigie Knowes and Biosoft Record producer Phillip Washington aka Cygnus. Do not forget Fundamental Records is the home of the Dallas producer with a full album in 2016, several EPs and tracks for the 808 Box and Electric Eclectics and the project MACHINE FUNK!... a triple album released only a few months ago. Cygnus rarely disappoints, and we can safely say he's delivered the goods here too. For proof, check the robotic, vocoder-laden deep space shuffle of "Hologram Killer", the lilting melodies and emotive, starry synths of "She Work All Night" and the canny combination of bubbly acid house and deep electro tropes that is "Hologram People". Elsewhere, "Cyberian Nights" doffs a cap to original '80s electro crew Twilight 22 and closing cut "Satisfaction" flits between crunchy dancefloor aggression and drifting-through-space deepness
Review: Back in 2014 Galcher Lustwerk and Palms Trax were both emergent artists making their first tentative steps into the scene. While they may be thoroughly distinct in their sounds, they found some crossover in an exchange of remixes, with Lustwerk's take on "Forever" appearing on Lobster Theremin. Palms Trax returned the favour with a version of Lustwerk's "Soul Control" which never saw the light of day until now. While it's certainly redolent of the earlier phase of Palms Trax's career, the effervescent musicality at the heart of the release is still completely in step with Palmsy as we know and love him today, replete with Lustwerk's inimitable laconic vocal delivery over the top.
Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot (extended version) (6:01)
Review: The seventies were a golden time for disco, soul and funk all the many different fusions of those sounds. Few are finer than Breakwater's "No Limits" which is a 1978 boogie classic. This version is a special reissue of the rare 'promo-only' extended version that's backed with the monster funk cut "Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot." "No Limits" has soaring guitar riffs and the sort of breezy grooves that sweep you off your feet. The vocals soar just as high and make this a real classic. The flip side is more driven and kicking, with upbeat bass hits and kinetic hand claps all topped with a sense of peak time fun.
Review: Chicago veteran Boo Williams has put out almost as many records as his good friend Glenn Underground, and almost all of them are high-class. His latest limited-edition missive is, somewhat predictably, another gem. Opener "Tribulation" is sweet and spacey, with Williams wrapping fizzing, techno-tempo drums and bubbly bass in intergalactic synths sounds and chords so emotive you might start blubbing on the dancefloor. It comes accompanied by a deeper, acid-flecked flipside dub that also boasts some exciting new synth solos (track three) and a slightly slower, but no less energetic or musically positive, bonus cut called "Mental State". Predictably, this is every bit as alluring as the EP's other tracks.
Review: Over the past few years, Johnny Rock has proved to be one of the shrewdest re-editors around, delivering must-check reworks of thoroughly obscure gems that tend towards the exotic and intoxicating. Further proof of his dusty-fingered, scalpel-wielding genius can be found on this Orange Tree Edits outing. Check first the rubbery, off-kilter '80s electro-flex of "Kat-Woman Do", before admiring the Mascara-sporting, New Romantic style synth-pop goodness of "Bitter Juice". Elsewhere, he offers up some skewed, percussion-rich late-night eccentricity (the delightfully weird "Hippie Jam") and successfully dances his way through some Communism-era Yugoslav post-punk heaviness ("Streets of Belgrade").
Review: Philly soul star Billy Paul made some great records during his mid 1970s heyday, though few are quite as sublime as "Let The Dollar Circulate", a passionate plea for economic equality that adds sumptuous orchestration and serious dancefloor chops to the then popular conscious soul template. Paul's lead vocal is superb, while Gamble and Huff's production is as good as you'd expect. Remarkably, this is the first time the track has featured on a 12" single, so props to Be With Records for spotting a gap in the market. You certainly need it in your life - honestly, it's incredible - while flipside "East", an incredible chunk of spiritual soul recorded in 1971, is every bit as awesome. Recommended.
Review: Isle of Jura boss Kev Griffiths has spent a lot of time digging into the Caribbean disco-reggae scene over the last few years, so it should come as no surprise that he's uncovered a slew of gems from obscure Jamaican duo The Pearls to reissue. Norman Watson and Stanley Shaw originally made their name in the late 1970s with a string of dancefloor-focused disco-rap and disco-reggae records, but it's 1980's "On & On" - here issued for the first time on 12"- that could well be their finest hour. It's a sparse, squelchy mixture of rubbery synth-bass, light disco instrumentation and party-starting rap vocals. It comes accompanied by the original "all-star" dub mix, and a brilliant new extended edit from Waxist that makes the most of elements from both versions.
Review: Hot new French label Happiness Therapy run by ascendant DJ/producer Crowd Control proudly presents a brilliant double header following up a great inauguration by CC himself and Popka. HT02 features Vancouverite Jesse Bru on the A side, with the late night dusty deepness of "Uncle Frank" (which ventures into hypnotic acid territory later on) followed by the emotive and bittersweet vibe of "Good Life" which is absolutely wonderful. On the flip, rising Welshman Harrison BDP brings the goods as always: with the immersive dub techno flavour of "Eternal Space" followed by "Parallax" which similarly explores the cavernous and glacial aesthetics of Basic Channel and Echospace.
Review: There's a good chance you've already heard the hook-laden crossover groove of LUXXURY & Scavenger Hunt's "Another Lifetime", which was recently featured on Future Disco's Poolside Sounds compilation. Now the track gets a full vinyl release for all pop-friendly spinners to get the maximum mileage out of this immaculate slice of sunkissed funk. The original version appears in extended form, brimming with slick '80s tinged disco notes and a sweeter-than-honey vocal line. LUXXURY then offer up a remix which takes on some Italo arpeggios while keeping the essence of the tune very much intact. On the flip you can dive into the instrumental version if you just want to home in on the groove itself before Impakt offer up a shimmering downtempo version for blissed out moments beyond the dance.
Review: Do we need yet another enigmatic imprint devoted to tech house makeovers of dance music classics? Well, this one's a fairly worthy addition! Following in the tradition of ODE, YYY, EEE and countless others, here's a new contender in the form of Montreal's Sunday's Edit, said to be affiliated with the RawMoments crew. After a hot sophomore release which featured elements of a certain Icelandic chanteuse and the King Of Pop, 'SE03' is more straight ahead. From the sunny and uplifting tech house tool "Coral Capers" which calls to mind the sounds of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while B side cut "I'm Alright" is a serving of sensual Stateside deepness. It sounds familiar, but we're not quite sure who it is, but we can tell you that it's perfect for those heads down moments on the dancefloor.
Review: The latest missive on Cultivated Electronics' limited-edition offshoot offers up a quartet of cuts from artists based in the Hague, all of whom had some associated with the now closed cold war bunker turned studio space and online radio station Onderwereld. Cosmox kicks things off via the snappy, bass-heavy electro beats, creepy synth chords and spacey bleeps of "Electrostress", before 543FF wraps mind-altering, acid-style lead lines and paranoia-inducing electronic noises around a sludgy beat on "Easy". Over on the flip you'll find two versions of 543FF, Star Kid and Gamma Intel collaboration "Three City Firm": the dark, foreboding and mind-altering original mix, and a more minimalistic - but arguably heavier - club electro revision from 543FF.
Review: Demuir has plenty of accolades and achievements under his belt, from regular collaborations with DJ Sneak and Cassy to releases on Music For Freaks, Hot Creations, Robsoul and more. Now the Toronto-based artist is on Darius Syrossian's Moxy Muzik with a seriously rubbery slice of peak-time house music to get bodies jacking in the loosest possible way. "Soul Muzak" hinges around a wonky, modulating synth line that will do untold damage in any up-for-it party setting. Demuir's old sparring partner DJ Sneak steps up on the B-side to deliver the "Banger Dub Remix" of the track, honing things down to a tracky bounce in his instantly identifiable house gangster style.
Give Myself To You (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul remix vocal) (8:01)
Give Myself To You (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul remix instrumental) (8:00)
Review: GLOW is a team of composers, producer and songwriters who work on solo projects as well as part of various groups, and they have a lush indie soul sound. Their "Ten of Diamonds" featuring the legendary voice of UK soul, Omar, is now revisited and remixed by a crack team of artists. Don-E goes first with a laidback, sun kissed version to make you well up with romantic feels. After an album version and a cosmic tinged, slow motion funk and soul jam known as "Track 3", the ever on point DJ Spinna serves up two fresh versions with jazzy chords and deep soul vibes that take you late into the night.
Review: Since debuting in 2016, Slovenia's PHI crew has delivered sporadic slabs of wax, with each occasional EP joining the dots between techno, acid, electro and IDM. This 12" narks the label's return to vinyl after a 15-month absence and boasts two tracks apiece from label regular Vid Vai and Luckison collective member Tzena. The latter kicks things off with "As The Dust Settles", a chiming and cheery chunk of funk-fuelled electro/IDM fusion, before returning to open side B with the crunchy sci-fi techno vibes of "Remixnotremix". Vid Vai's contributions are naturally impressive, too. "Syn20" joins the dots between Bleep & Bass and deep electro, while "Exciter" a rugged chunk of organ-sporting breakbeat/techno fusion.
Review: There are certain songs so eternal they could be re-edited and repressed into infinity and never grow old. There are also certain remixers and re-editors that can be trusted with even the biggest of anthems, and Psychemagick are surely up there. Taking on Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place" and Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" is no mean feat, when the originals were such pop perfection to begin with. Balancing the scales between a fresh treatment and solemn respect for the sanctity of the original versions, these versions simply add a little oomph in the rhythm section and apply smatterings of blissful, dubbed-out FX where it counts to send these perennial favourites into the stratosphere.
Review: Matthew "Bushwacka!" B may not be as high profile a producer as he once was, but it's worth remembering that he was once one of the leading lights of both the early UK tech-house movement and the recently revived breakbeat house sound. The two tracks featured here touch on both styles in a roundabout way, and were first released way back in 1997. "Traffic Jam" is an insatiable, funk-fuelled peak-time workout that sees the London scene mainstay pepper a vintage, electro-influenced breakbeat house groove with UK garage style bass, fizzing scratch sounds, warm deep house chords and selected vocal samples. "Bus Stop" meanwhile is jaunty and melodious, with chiming, ear-pleasing riffs riding crunchy house drums and the kind of booming bassline that was all the rage in London at the time of recording.
Review: There's been quite a boom in minimal tech house edit labels in recent years, and here's another addition to the list: Retrospect - reshaping the '70s, '80s and '90s with the sounds of now. On Volume 4, there's a very familiar synth-pop hook on "East End Boys" and there's an obvious clue in the name. A slick and spacey 'Rominimal' style groove in the vein of scene stalwarts such as Sublee or Alci. On the flip, we have the more ethereal and downbeat deepness of "Sunrain". We can't quite say what the original was, but it certainly could have been the perfect closing track to this year's Sunwaves - if only it could possibly have happened!
Review: Is there a more positive, soulful and life-affirming dancefloor anthem out there than Roy Davis Jr and Peven Everett's 1996 jam "Gabriel"? As many will be aware, it has long been sought of as a classic, with soulful house, deep house, US and UK garage DJs all championing it back in the day. This white vinyl reissue boasts all of the mixes featured on the original 12". Perhaps the most famous version is the rolling, bass-heavy two-step flex of the "Live Garage" mix that opens side B, but there's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere. The driving, jazzy-but-stomping "Words To Give By" version has been annoyingly overlooked over the years, while the "Tambourine Dub" is deliciously sweaty and driving in the best possible way.
Review: While D Tiffany's Planet Euphorique label has always embraced the more psychedelic end of the electronic music spectrum, this debut EP from Psychedelic Budz - a collaboration between the label founder and fellow trippy techno traveller Ciel - is the most expressively hallucinatory record it has released to date. In its original form, "Faerie Stomp" is a wonderfully squelchy, acid-fired trip into '90s tech-trance territory that sounds like the kind of thing that Ewoks would listen to in order to free their minds at five in the morning. The pair's more percussive and spaced-out "Enchanted Mix" is, if anything, even better. Elsewhere, Ludwig AF's remix doffs a multi-coloured jester's hat to the Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia, while Adam Pitts turns the track into a psychedelic techno stomper.
Review: Surreal was a sublabel of Swag Records that operated around the tech house scene of the mid to late '90s. After 17 years of silence, the label awakens from its slumber to repress a few of the choicest cuts from the back catalogue. First up is Ron & Roland, otherwise known as Laurant Webb, whose acid-laced "Nassaur Bassed Party" sounds as fresh and infectious as it did back in '96. Spacebunny's self-titled opus takes thing deeper, but there's still a strident metallic groove that harks back to the early days of tech house in fine style. Cheeky trio Coke, Stoned & Bailey's only made a couple of drops on Surreal, but "Your Dad" is surely one of the strongest - a rubbery acid line and splashes of dub all over the shop.
Review: It's been a while since the last solo missive from Finland's premier dubstep producer - three years in fact - so this expansive double-pack on Innamind Recordings is undoubtedly well overdue. He begins via the skittish beats, deep sub-bass and expansive, deep space electronics of "Flo", before bouncing between the pummelling analogue bass and trippy layered vocal samples of "Trippin" and the deeper, echo and reverb-laden deep dubstep shuffle of "Float". Over on record two, "Swamp Dub" is a quietly positive chunk of liquid dubstep warmth; "Tarrot" is a slow, steady and insanely weighty chunk of future dub; and "Morning Glory Dub" is one of the finest chunks of ambient dub we've heard in 2020. Impressive stuff!
Review: Having spent the last 18 months guesting on numerous compilations and multi-artist EPs, rising electro star Arsonist Recorder has finally been given a chance to showcase his wares across an entire vinyl EP. He's grasped the opportunity with both hands, filling his debut outing with club-rocking rhythms, foreboding Drexciyan bass, and similarly mind-altering synthesizer sounds. We're particularly big fans of EP opener "Vaxxer", which feels like a breathless, hyper-speed rush through the farthest reaches of the galaxy, though the deeper, more evocative "Multivers" and fizzing "Shifty" are also top-notch. As debut EPs go, this is pretty darn good.
Review: It's been a while since Zolta Pal last used the Jaffa Surfa alias. In fact, his last outing under the pseudonym dropped three years ago on Houseworx (the US garage-flavoured Pimpin' EP). This three-tracker happily finds him in fine form, delivering a more tech-tinged trio of aquatic deep house cuts. There's naturally plenty to enjoy, from the subterranean shuffle and liquid melodies of "Bazz" and heavy percussive bump of "Psy Lance" - all thickset, multi-tracked drums, calming pads and fizzing electronics - to the beatless bliss of "Preacha Bonus", which - unsurprisingly given the title - features a deep south preacher chatting over heady ambient chords.
Where Is The Love (Disco Purrfection DJ Delight version) (8:00)
Review: The late, great Betty Wright sadly departed earlier this year, but she leaves behind a mighty legacy in the American soul canon. Among her most universally adored recordings is Betty Wright Live, released in 1978, and that's where High Fashion have turned for this full-bloom yellow 12" release. "Tonight Is The Night" is arresting in any form, but Wright's engaging intro with the crowd takes this version into a whole other realm. As a foil for the tenderness of the A side, the B side finds Ben Liebrand getting in on an edit of "Where Is The Love" that lets Wright's more fiery side shine through with a surefire floor filler.
Review: Holding Hands are back with another crucial summer VA EP and it's another hearty selection. Breaka's "Loose Subs" takes the lead on a bubbling 160 flex with a vibe that's not dissimilar to Zinc back in his golden days. Guava drops the tempo for an acidic two-step piece while Lrds' "Quanda" is an ice cold electro joint with more shuffle than a poker house. Last but not least Dawn Razor shuts down the EP on a deliciously stripped back breaky tip that blossoms with a new element on every 32. Slam Jam thank you ma'am.
Review: Russian has long been a world unto its own when it comes to electronic music. Often the sounds reflect what we think we know about the vast country and that is the case here on a blistering new 2 x 12" from Buttechno. "Xsaw" is a dense blizzard of white noise and buzz saw synths that gets you on edge. "The Big R" is fun of suspense and paranoia and "Sirenius" is mysterious synth melodies with arresting blasts of dystopian noise. There are plenty of other haunting and unsettling soundtracks, art noise sketches and bleak moments of musical cinema that are brilliantly beguiling.
Review: The big FS on Warehouse Rave to dark up the dance with the second part of his "Inflorescence" release. As always, it's a heavyweight affair... "ZBlossom" sets the agenda with a proper old school 93 type of feel. Big humming subs and twisted pitches on the breaks. It's backed by three more bumpy trips; "Away With The Fairies" is all about those early Krome & Time vibes, "On Me" is fast lane jazz that nods at the early 2000s Sao Paulo sound and shades of Soul:r while "Wiara" shuts us down on a straight up butt-wriggling jungle breakbeat vibe. Your mother warned you it's a Fiesta Soundsystem banger.
Review: Here's something rather special from Parisian imprint Steppin' Motion: an EP of previously unheard tracks produced by Italian scene stalwart Enrico Mantini during the early stages of lengthy career. They don't say which is which, but we know that some of the cuts were recorded in 1993, while the others were laid to tape in 1995. Mantini first offers up "Prejection", an undeniably bass-heavy affair that peppers a Bleep-influenced, sub-heavy groove with echoing, New Jersey style organ stabs, before exploring a funkier vibe on the similarly low-slung and swinging "Isolation". Over on side B, "Living Without You" boasts chiming lead lines and a more lolloping, acid-flecked groove, while closing cut "Be One" is a lusciously warming, sax-laden shuffle through hybrid tech-house/deep house pastures. It's a fittingly fine finale.