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: Already well known in his native France, Anglo-French soul singer Alexis Evans has set his sights on global stardom - or at least reaching his full potential and touring the world. "I Made A Deal With Myself" is his second single since making the move to Record Kicks earlier in the year. The title track is superb - a doozy of an early '60s style soul stomper that sees Evans pitch himself as a modern day version of soul great Jackie Wilson. Flipside "Your Words" is similarly stylistically authentic, with saccharine strings and woozy horns helping to create a suitably sweet, loved-up mood.
Review: To our ears, Rollover's ongoing "Edit Service" series has delivered some of the most interesting, obscure and intoxicating re-edits of recent times. The Milanese crew and their associates are in fine form again on volume three. They begin by offering up a re-shape of a pleasingly percussive, hypnotic and off-kilter chunk of pared-back Afro goodness (the drum-heavy quirkiness of "Mimi"), before Italian scene veterans Fabrice and Leo Mas go all low-slung and spacey on the dub disco chug of "Genius". Mark:eno savagely (and brilliantly) chops up a cosmic chunk of obscure disco-funk on "Io & Te", while Abbrangeli has his/her wicked way with a sleazy disco workout on druggy-but-funky closing cut "Dillo Ancora". In a word: essential.
Review: Oh gosh. Total Science ante up for the summer with this exceptional V/A EP on their CIA imprint. Kicking off with a crucial new remix of their classic "Nosher" by their new hybrid gang comprising of themselves, DLR and Hydro, full breadth and variation abounds as we dip into the gilded soul of Zero T & Phase's "Talk To Me", the gnarled grizzles and dubby danger of their own "Devils Gate" with Scar member Script and the grand finale; a heavyweight purring roller from two of the most respected newcomers in the game right now: Ill Truth and SATL. Each one a persy for different chapters of the night, any further information is classified.
Review: London label Olindo continues to explore the world of contemporary Venezuelan music via a three-track 7" from up-and-coming multi-instrumentalist and composer Isaac Sasson. The two original tracks here are sweet, loose and gently breezy, with Sasson offering up an atmospheric blend of soft-focus South American rhythms, evocative acoustic guitars, humid tropical field recordings, breathy flute solos and occasional flashes of his own improvised vocals. The flipside boasts a fine remix from Albert's Favourites artist Hector Plimmer, who fuses hand-picked Sasson samples - percussion, vocals, and so on - with dreamy synthesizer chords, lilting electronic melodies and a super-deep breakbeat groove.
Review: Smoke Machine returns with a new split ep featuring two artists from the Organik festival stable: Agonis and Valentino Mora. This will be Agonis' second outing on the Taiwanese based label anda first for Valentino. Now 9 years in the running with a successful podcast and parties, this will be Smoke Machine's second release on their newly established label with many more to come.
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: 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.
I've Been Waiting For You (DJ Duckcomb Discomix) (7:33)
Review: Emotional Rescue heads to the Caribbean and the effervescent boogie funk of Glen Ricks. The Jamaican groover originally released the much sought-after "I've Been Waiting For You" in 1983, and it's been hard to track down ever since. Whether in its full vocal form or the beautifully dubbed out instrumental version, this is a seriously sunny slice of good time party music that stands up to any boogie classic you care to mention. LA's DJ Duckcomb steps up for a Discomix of the original that draws on the vocal and instrumental takes to sustain that balmy vibe for even longer - the selector's dream!
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.