Review: Pepe Bradock's recent album "What A Mess!" might have been a cut-and-paste collage of weirdo track fragments, occasional rhythms and spaced-out ambient aesthetics, but the veteran Parisian producer is still capable of crafting killer dancefloor cuts when he feels like it. This weirdo deep house two-tracker proves as much, with A-side "Peeped Booths" offering a near perfect fusion of hypnotic bass, locked-in grooves, ultra-deep riffs, angular electronic noises and strange vocal samples that have been manipulated within an inch of their lives. It's more than a bit good. "Klezmorim Telepathique" sees Bradock raise the tempo and intensity via a bumpin' fusion of panicked electronic motifs, paranoid bass and fizzing synthesizer flashes.
Review: Garden Of Eden was another one of those obscure, one-shot bands who released a sole single at some point in the 1970s and then promptly vanished from view. That single, "Everybody's On A Trip", has long been sought-after amongst collectors of intergalactic disco-funk, hence this reissue from the Backatcha crew. The title track is a downlow delight, with flanged guitar riffs, spacey synth lines, punchy horns and quality male vocals rising above a hot and heavy groove. Over on the flip "It Takes Two" is sweet, slow and dewy-eyed in the tried-and-tested tradition of B-side ballads.
Review: Xtra xtra read all about it! Backatcha excavate a serious New York disco boogie rarity from 82. One of the first productions by BC Records founder Began Cekic, led by prolific backing-vocalist for the likes of Chic and Talking Heads Dolette McDonald, the result is a sultry downtempo affair with an obscene slap-bass line, sweet synth sprinkles and a strut that's roomy enough for Dolette to do her thing. Complete with an instrumental, this lives up to its name. Special.
Review: Having recently rounded off his Prolific Trilogy 009 series with a third and final collection of deep and groovy club cuts, Samuel Andre Madsen returns to action via a tightly wound two-tracker full of funk-fuelled grooves and rush-inducing moments. There's something wonderfully loose-limbed about flipside "Alright", a post two-step club cut rich in foreboding acid bass, looped spoken word samples, acid flashes and twisted tech-house electronics. It's good but nowhere near as life affirming as lead cut "Fury's Laughter", an acid bass-propelled peak-time stomper blessed with the most wide-eyed and spine-tingling breakdown we've heard this month. The clips alone are giving us chills, which is always a good sign.
Review: Having built up a rock solid reputation via a handful of fine rework EPs on his own Orange Tree Edits imprint, Jimmy Rouge has been snapped up by Aaron Dae and JKriv's Razor-N-Tape imprint. He's in fine form on this label debut: A-side "So Long" is a quirky but undeniably peak-time-ready affair, with hazy, dewy-eyed vocal snippets and bold, Moog style synthesizer motifs rising above dusty, full-throttle drums and a warm, metronomic bassline. He moves further towards shirts-off disco territory on flipside "Movin'", a thickset and energy-packed affair whose mind-altering, delay-laden vocal snippets will appeal to all those who enjoy the output of the Idjut Boys and DJ Harvey.
Review: Camarao Orkestra may be based in Paris, but their hearts are always in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. The incendiary live band has a new album on the way (their last dropped three years ago) so to get us in the mood Favorite Recordings has served up this suitably steamy workout. In its' A-side original mix form, "Nacao Africa" is a mid-tempo chunk of low-slung Latin boogie rich in drunken trumpet lines, sweet female vocals, Marcos Valle guitar riffs and weighty dub disco bass. Patchworks man Bruno Hovart handles remix duties, first offering up a sweet two-step soul/laidback boogie revision before slamming down a hypnotic, stripped-back and delay-laden "Late Night Dub".
Review: By now we should know what to expect from Tropical Records, namely beefed-up, house style re-edits of disco and boogie tracks that tend towards the hot, sticky and humid. Sartorial kicks things off this time round via the swirling, Latin style disco-bounce of "Warping" - all low-slung bass, new house beats, big orchestration and snaking sax solos - before Moodena straightens out and tools up a hybrid jazz-funk/disco jam that boasts some seriously exotic guitar solos and jammed-out electric piano parts. Simon Kennedy's contribution, "Back To Soul", is a bumpy and bouncy take on a fine disco soul classic, while Hotmood's "Everybody" is a sweaty, house style revision of a P-funk flavoured boogie number.
Review: The latest must-have reissue on Athens Of The North's psychedelic-minded Ocean of Tears offshoot comes from Symphonic Four, a St Louis-based combo who released one seven-inch - from which both these tracks are taken - on local label Zudan in 1978 or 79. Interestingly, "Who Do You Think You're Fooling" - a languid, bass-heavy deep soul treat with a suitably psychedelic sound - was reportedly recorded in Detroit with members of Parliament/Funkadelic amongst the backing musicians. The A side "Part 1" version is the more straight-laced of the pair, though we prefer the wilder and weirder "Part 2" version on the flip, where odd electronic noises, delay-laden vocals and reverb-heavy instrumentation create a seriously psychedelic mood.
Neon - "Don't Mess With This Beat" (instrumental mix)
The Future Sound Of London - "Papua New Guinea"
De-Lite - "Wild Times" (Mayday mix)
D-Mob - "That's The Way Of The World" (feat Cathy Dennis)
Top Buzz - "Living In Darkness"
Brainkillers - "Screwface"
Tic Tac Toe - "Ephemerol"
Ability II - "Pressure Dub"
Awesome 3 - "Don't Go"
Review: To mark the passing of three decades since they became resident DJs at weekly club night Rage, Fabio and Grooverider have put together this killer collection of tunes that not only rocked the party, but also laid the foundations for the jungle revolution that followed. It's a fine collection, with the veteran D&B duo serving up deep early progressive house (Leftfield), weighty bleep and bass (Ability II's peerless "Pressure Dub" and Juno's "Soul Thunder"), breakbeat-driven hardcore smashers (Zero B, Frankie Bones), early jungle (Wots My Code, Foul Play), slamming techno (Rhythim Is Rhythim, Cybersonik), UK acid house (Ecstasy Club) and rush-inducing rave anthems (Awesome 3, Lennie De Ice). A nostalgic trip down memory lone that boasts just as many underground selections as it does chart-bothering classics.
Pat Thomas - "Enye Woa" (LeonxLeon Keyed Up mix) (7:20)
Ebo Taylor - "Atwer Abroba" (8:14)
Ebo Taylor - "Atwer Abroba" (Leo Nanjo remix) (5:03)
Review: Comet's "Disco Highlife" re-edit series continues with an EP that draws together original tracks and reworks from two of the Highlife scene's biggest stars: Ebo Taylor and Pat Thomas. The latter can be found on side A, with the tipsy, synth-driven highlife-boogie fusion of "Enye Woa". This is in turn re-edited by LeonxLeon, who has not only extended the original track but also added some superb new spacey synth solos. Turn to the flip for Ebo Taylor's richly percussive, Hammond-laden disco-highlife bubbler "Atwer Abroba" and Leo Nanjo's brilliant remix, which re-imagines the track as a rubbery chunk of Highlife-house drenched in dub delays.
Review: Following 2017 and 2018 outings on Concrete Music and Bass Culture Records, French producer Leo Pol returns to the Iile imprint he founded in 2016. There's plenty to admire across the five included tracks, from the rubbery acid bass, sweaty drums and glassy-eyed melodic breakdowns of opener "626 Mafia", to the sturdy beats, hustling drum fills, filter-laden chords and sweet vocal samples of closing cut "Keep This Thing". Leo's collaboration with Max Ulis, "On My Face", is a thrillingly high-octane fusion of ghetto-house, techno and woozy New Jersey garage, while "FEM" is an acid-flecked chunk of sun-kissed deep house breeziness that sounds like it could have been made in Italy in 1992.
Synergy - "More People Than Me" (feat Donnell Pitman)
Al "Man" Muntzie & The Embraceables - "We Are Steady Rockin'"
Are & Be - "If There Is No Struggle" (long version)
Juice - "Mercy On Me"
The GT's - "Let's Do It Together"
Eklips - "My Love"
Ms Victoria Barnes - "Never Too Late" (disco version)
The Olympics - "Do You Like It"
Suave - "Salsa Gon Gitcha"
The Rappers - "Funky Juice" (part 1)
Review: It would be fair to say that Winston is nowhere near as well known as some of the record collectors who've compiled volumes in the "Under The Influence" series (think Nick The Record, Sean P and Red Greg), but it seems his crates are every bit as deep. Check, for example, the unashamedly celebratory, slap-bass propelled disco-funk of Doug Payne and Polygon's "Holiday", the heady, high-octane disco thrills of Expose's "I Just Wanna Dance With You", the low-slung early funk-rap headiness of Jungle Band's "Jungleland (Part 2)" and the wickedly percussive salsa-disco heaviness of Suave's "Salsa Gon Gitcha". In other words, it's a killer collection of top-notch cuts that you'll never have heard before. What's not to like?
Review: We can think of a fair few disco diggers who will be more than a little annoyed by this re-issue. Originally released on the obscure La Shawn label back in 1980, "Take Me I'm Yours" is widely considered to be one of Patrick Adams' best productions. It's certainly something of a dusty gem, with Mary Clark's soulful, country-tinged vocals simply soaring over a reggae-tinged, string-drenched disco groove. It would have been nice to have seen original flipside "You Got Your Hold On Me" included, but it's not a major issue; given the in-demand (and hard-to-find) nature of the A-side, we should be pleased it's come back round again.
Review: London's FUSE returns with more expertly curated tech house by two of the scene's major players: label staple Rich NxT and Eastenderz honcho East End Dubs. A side houses the tripped-out, tough rolling bounce of "E3" with its squelchy stabs, booming sub bass and swing-fuelled rhythms while on the flip, a fierce banger in the form of "Bubbles" which will no doubt get the crowd moving with its heady 303 acid, airy chords and locked-in drums. Note: drop at 7AM for maximum impact.
Review: The latest missive from Russian imprint Private Persons comes courtesy of Formally Unknown, a bass-obsessed duo who won plenty of plaudits for last year's "Off Peak EP" on Dusky's 17 Steps label. Their love of weighty, bowel-bothering sub-bass comes to the fore on opener "Hectic", a clandestine stepper rich in metallic percussion hits, rumbling low end frequencies and watery, dubbed out electronic motifs. The sense of foreboding continues on the pulsating peak-time creepiness of "Rave Safe", while "Fields" sees them pepper an off kilter two-step rhythm with glassy-eyed chords, ear-catching bleeps and wonky percussion fills. Fittingly, the pair finishes with an inspired flourish via "Feel It", a rush-inducing breakbeat cut that recalls the glory years of British rave music.
Review: Lauren Lo Sung's star continues to rise as the talented minimal house producer and DJ partners up with the mighty Lazare Hoche. This four track EP is packed with bombs, from the shimmering, metallic deep house finery of "Running" to the cheeky acid wriggle of "Dusty Pink". Things take a darker, deeper turn on the fierce "Fixate," and then lift into fluttering after hours tones for the sublime and ever so slightly trippy "Lara's Dub". Now firmly entrenched in the cut and thrust of the European minimal house scene, Lo Sung's talents spill out in abundance on this assured pack of highly workable and versatile floor filling 4/4 burners.
Review: While the world may be going to hell in the proverbial handcart, The Allergies show no signs of losing their heads. Each successive single is on the money, offering a blend of funk-fuelled hip-hop party-starters and the kind of boom-bap beats that will get your head nodding quicker than a toy dog on a car dashboard. Their latest seven-inch is another incendiary affair, with A-side "2 Much!" featuring a near perfect blend of dancefloor-ready grooves, funky instrumentation and high-speed raps from regular mic man Andy Cooper. The latter also makes his presence felt on flipside "Special 45", a scratch-sporting head-nodder rich in atmospheric chords, simmering strings and oven-warm bass.
Review: Since 2012, Munich duo COEO has served up a swathe of sample heavy, disco influenced house EPs for such labels as Let's Play House, Toy Tonics, Lagaffe Tales and Razor-N-Tape Reserve. Here they pop up on Razor-N-Tape's main edit label with something different: a quartet of traditional scalpel works from their personal stash. First up is the elastic, horn heavy disco-funk of "Express Lane", which is quickly followed by the skewed Arabic boogie-funk brilliance of "Libyan Sun". Over on side B, "Don't Oho" is a breezy revision of a sun-kissed Afro-disco workout that sounds like it would be capable of causing a commotion in the club, while "Move Your Body" makes merry with a warm, rich and intoxicating early '80s boogie-soul jam of unknown origin.
Review: Some 20 years after "If" first hit stores, Jeff Mills has decided to get his old pal Terrence Parker to remix it. He's done a rather good job, with both versions making great use of Mills' ghostly original chord sequences and two different variations on the mesmerizing, seemingly drifting scat-style vocals that was arguably the track's most memorable feature. The A-side "Vox Soul Mix" includes new vocals in the original style by Marachka, whose haunting but soulful improvisations brilliantly rise above metronomic techno drums, spacey effects and those now famous chords. The similar sounding "Original Remix" is a little tougher and weightier, with tooled-up percussion (check the restless hi-hats) underpinning Anna F's original scat vocal and Mills' ethereal, ambient style chords.
Review: Since first appearing in stores back in 2016, this cover of Rick James' sweet and punchy "Mary Jane" by Brooklyn collective Breakdown Brass has become something of an in-demand item. Happily, they've decided to sling it out again for those of us who missed out first time round. Their version of "Mary Jane" is impeccable, with funk-rock guitar solos, heavy tuba bass and lolloping drum breaks underpinning the band's rousing brass rendition of the song's famous refrains. Throw in a few tight solos and you've got a stone cold party-starter. Turn to the flipside for "The Horseman", an urgent and foreboding chunk of fuzzy New Orleans brass band funk complete with psychedelic organ solos and fizzing Mariachi style horns.
Review: British-born producer/DJ Christian 'Jay' Newman who now resides in techno mecca Berlin inaugurates his new Meld imprint (which he runs with some friends) with a four tracker that rides on the new wave of ex-minimal, retro-influenced techno/house. With a decent portfolio of releases for Idle Hands, Butter Side Up and NorthSouth, Newman is in great form here on the "Preservation EP". Whether it's the hyperware bleepy bounce of the title track, lo-slung UK breaks on "Greasy Spoon" or hypnotic afterhours tackle by closer "OJT", we foresee big things from this fledgling label. Fans of Time Passages, Pager or Limousine Dream will love this.
Review: Almost a year to the day since their last essential re-edit outing, Prescription Pricing Authority returns to G.A.M.M. with two more floor-friendly slabs of contemporary scalpel science. A-side "Pick 'Em Up" is a rolling, filter-sporting revision of a down-low disco-funk classic rich in bouncy pianos, soaring female chorus vocals, metronomic drums and punchy horns. It sounds like a peak-time monster in the making, which is never a bad thing. They up the tempo on flipside edit "Cali '76", a tidy, DJ-friendly rearrangement of a horn-sporting chunk of polyrhythmic jazz-funk that boasts some suitably spacey synth solos and horn lines sharper than your average razor.
Review: Fresh from delivering the "Dance Music" trilogy of 12" singles, NYC native Levon Vincent returns to action with an EP of untitled tracks. It's an impressively melodious and ear-pleasing affair, with the Berlin-based producer's no-nonsense house and techno drums being smothered in a variety of tuneful synthesizer lines, fuzzy but futuristic electronics and warm basslines. Picking highlights is tough, but we'd suggest starting with the bubbly analogue bliss of "Track 1" before moving on to the chunky goodness of "Track 3", where cheery lead lines dance above non-stop bass and crispy machine drums. Elsewhere, "Track 4" sounds like a tribute to the soundtrack to forgotten early '90s Commodore Amiga game "Fire and Ice" and "Track 2" is a heartwarming rush of luscious lo-fi lead lines and unfussy drums.
Review: Platform 23 continue to do a great service to all seekers of furtive sounds from the DIY underground, this time shining a light on the wonderful Mode I/Q. Anyone who digs the sound of New York-tinged new wave and danceable post punk will love this record - the limber disco funk of the rhythm section meets with squalling guitar textures and dubby FX, all shot through with a hooky pop sensibility that makes this record so easy to fall in love with. "Confidence" is especially strong, as is the ramshackle party starter "Two Different Things". It seems there's no end to the overlooked gems from this golden era of independent music - it's time to catch up with Mode I/Q and file them next to your favourite disco-not-disco movers and shakers.
Review: Last year, obscure 1980s soul singer Garfield Fleming returned to action with a mini-album of tracks co-produced by modern boogie maestro Simon Tappenden AKA Ourra. Here we get a chance to savour once again his 1981 debut single, the much-sampled "Don't Send Me Away". It's something of a "groove"-era boogie classic, all told, with Fleming's superb lead vocal rising above sweeping orchestration and a chunky groove. It also boasts a seriously good breakdown in which Garfield's repetitive chorus vocals ride a stripped-back but percussive groove. Turn to the flip for the solid original B-side "You Got Dat Right", a jaunty slab of disco powered by honky tonk style pianos and a superb "walking" bassline.
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
I Can See It In My Dreams (Orgue Electronique remix) (6:04)
Review: The ever-impressive Organic Analogue returns with another crucial excursion into seductive hardware jams from the deeper end of the electronic gene pool. Marvis Dee is an alias for Dutch electro champ Jeremiah R, and finds the promising upstart on impeccable form. There's something seedy in the air on killer opening jam "Alpha", while "Dipper" makes no bones about its classic, Drexciya-informed electro intentions. "I Can See It In My Dreams" is a wistful trip into Chicago house territory, which Orgue Electronique dutifully remixes in his warm, effervescent manner. With "Intervention" and "Cygnus" taking a deeper direction it's a record with depth to match the other excellent releases on OA, and one of the strongest sleeve designs we've seen in some time.
Review: KNLB first appeared with the Initialize 12" on Vibraphone in July of this year, and it's not taken them long to return with another slab of on-point, upfront house music loaded with flair and imagination. "Up Again" is a heavy, chugging and bumping jam that should inspire all manner of screwed up faces of appreciation on the floor, and then "Fog Machine Smell" simmers things down to a more measured house groove. "Half Life" brings a few more dubby elements into the mix, and then the club mix of "SIN" sends the record spinning off in a wonderfully dusty reverie of detuned pianos and late-hitting drums.
Review: Having served as a reliable source of heads down deep house, deep techno and other such electronic gems for a long time now, Michael Zucker finally steps up to Finale Sessions with his debut album, and it was worth the wait. He frames it as presenting his life story across eight tracks, leading in with the elegant, heads-down tech house roll of "40 Days" and the immersive ambience of downtempo jam "Choosing Sides." There are diversions into broken beat on "Tokyo Sunrise" and rawer drum sounds powering "Divine Power," but the vibe is consistent across the LP. Melodic, mellow machine soul positively pours out of this one.
Review: Having previously appeared on Vibraphone with the Isole Del Tramonto 12" back in 2016, Nick Anthony Simoncino returns to the perennial Italian deep house label with a full album, his fourth following previous turns on Thug, Mathematic and Creme Organization. As you would expect, Mystic Adventures is a masterclass of classic drum machines and synthesisers, loaded with the passion and mystery that Simoncino has always managed to imbue his music with. The highlights are too many to list - if you're familiar with his other work, then Simoncino has everything you need on this LP. If you're not already wise, these nine new tracks are a wonderful introduction.
Review: Moto Music round off a cracking year with this essential collection of deep diving techno finery from Bigeneric, one of Marco Repetto's many long-lasting aliases. The Swiss polymath is a dab hand at wringing illustrious machine soul out of his machines, whether it be crafty, head-snagging rhythms or plush and expressive threads of synth work, and on this double pack you get an abundance of both. With one foot firmly in the heritage of Detroit and the other gazing into the stellar orbit of the finest European techno dreamers, this is elegant, thoughtful electronic music of the highest order.
Review: AUX88 The 1990's launched an onslaught of projects and musical influences to a new generation of listeners to a re-emergence of electro. Paying homage to those before, a four-man crew from the east side of Detroit, AUX88, laid down the foundation of the gritty sound of the streets, and made their presence known via urban radio, dance clubs, and overseas venues. The time has come for those who were major influences to add their touch to the continuation of that sonic pallet.
Review: On wax by dope demand! This Razor-N-Tape 2013 release has been a cult classic for many years but never seen the light of the 12"... until now, thanks to the constant pestering of the Discogs community. All three tracks from the original release are here but it's "Where You Belong" that most are after due to its beautiful spacious beats, sweeping strings and awesome Dionne Warwick vocal texture. The whole release is charmed, though; "Here's To You Mr. Robinson" gets a little smokey on our souls while "Makes Me Feel" should get us all very blissed out. Do not sleep on this one, it won't hang around.
Freakenstein - "Feakin' Time (+ Freak-A-Pella)" (7:24)
Review: Leeds-born session Hearlucinate makes the leap to wax with a special series of 12"s that correspond to line-ups for parties in London, spearheaded by resident Tristan da Cunha. On this first release, Dawl shores up on the A side and sets the bar very high indeed with the killer bleep techno stylings of "Energy Overdrive" and the tough, punchy electro of "Cyborg". Da Cunha himself follows up on the B side with the equally tough and thumping "Move (Let Me See U)", a seedy and sensual peak timer if we ever heard one. Freakenstein completes the set with a rabble-rousing booty bass beat down that will appeal to those who likes their electro fast and nasty.
Review: Given her runaway success in recent years, it was almost inevitable that Peggy Gou would launch her own record label sooner or later. Wisely, she's chosen to kickstart said imprint - the freshly minted Gudu Records - with her first EP of fresh material for over 12 months. A-side "Starry Night" is an unashamedly positive and life-affirming affair, with Gou placing bouncy piano riffs, sultry South Korean and English vocals and Boyd Jarvis/Paul Simpson style synth-bass atop a snappy, late '80s style house rhythm. There's a similarly retro-futurist feel to the equally loved-up "Han Pan", where Gou's attractive vocals once again catch the ear alongside heavy analogue bass, chiming synth lines and Kwaito influenced drums.
Review: The latest outing from Swiss reissue specialists WRWTFWW takes us back to 1981 and the debut single from Bern-based post-punk combo Grauzone. The 12" release of "Eisbaer" has long been a must-have amongst fans of off-kilter, dancefloor-ready new wave, and this replica reissue includes all three tracks featured on that version. Opener "Eisbar" sets the tone, with the bands weary, half spoken/half sung vocals rising above a backing track that's powered forwards by relentless bass guitar, screeching riffs and broken computer style electronics. "Film 2" is a heavy, synthesizer powered workout peppered with delay-laden drum hits and odd noises, while closing cut "Ich Liebe Sie" is a clicking and quietly melodious affair that's almost entirely electronic.
Review: Platform 23's celebration of Exquisite Corpse wraps up with this fourth installment of visionary proto trance bubblers from the dream team of Robbert Henyen, Debbie Jones and Tim Freeman. As with the previous installments, they've picked choice tracks from across the spectrum of the PWOG-affiliated project's output, kicking off with a transmission from the debut release, "Honeymoon". Throughout the mood is loose and wigged-out, with a pleasant stew of New Beat, acid, house, trance and dub among the core ingredients flavouring this thoroughly early 90s dish. This is psychedelic dance music crafted before the genre boundaries were established to ruin everyone's fun - savour the vibe as we return to more freewheeling times once more.