Review: Second instalment from Belgian electro-label ZwaarteKracht, once again assembling a dream team of international producers to bring together this extraordinary selection of dancefloor tracks with dark sci-fi moods. All dynamically mastered by Karel De Backer to keep those subs moving like they should. Features Arsonist Recorder with the hard hitting retro futurism of "Brain Mode",
Deemphasis going deep on "In My Mind" with its underwater acid, Datawave served up our favourite on the darkly dystopian electro bass of "Quadrant" while Francois Dillinger's "Moon Prison" provides the abstract and minimal vibes.
Vertical, pedalboard-friendly version of the Instant Lo-Fi Junky pedal
Notes: This pedal was designed to emulate the sounds and textures of the Lo-Fi Loop Junky in real time, but it goes far beyond that. Click it on and mix your sparkly clear compressed signal with the smashed, lo-fidelity warbled signal and listen to it become a luscious emulsification that can be blended to the most perfect depth. Achieve new haunting chorus sounds and pulsating vibrato. Unusual and fun, you've never heard anything quite like it.
Review: Having previously impressed with two suitably atmospheric EPs on Propersound, Zug has decided to launch his own imprint. This label debut is naturally rather delicious, with the producer offering up a quartet of analogue-rich cuts that effortlessly combine the sci-fi sounding futurism of Detroit with the comforting melodiousness of Larry Heard. Such is the quality throughout that picking highlights is tough, though we're particularly enjoying the gentle grooves and alien melodies of "Constancia" and the suitably dubby, intergalactic pulse of EP opener "Alegria". Elsewhere, "Bienestar" combines bleeping melodies, dreamy chords and shuffling, tech-house style beats, while "Celebracion" sees him wrap far-sighted electronics around a bustling, two-step influenced rhythm track.
Review: LFT has already made a sizable impact on his gnarly, muscular brand of weathered electro and techno, and now he's been snapped up by Zement to deliver another four rowdy roundhousers. "Nucleon" channels the best of minimal wave and gives it a deadly dose of modern acid revelry that will incite fevered responses on the floor, while "Wounds" takes things in a spookier B-movie direction without shaking off those powerful 303 demons. "The Cure For My Kind" manifests as a kind of nightmarish electro, and "Hypno Haniwa" takes another route into machine funk for malevolent souls, with stunning results.
Review: If you're unfamiliar with the name Mavi Gunes 69, don't worry: it's a brand new project from Osman Murat Ertel - co-founder of cult Turkish psych-folk band BaBa Zula - and his life partner Esma Ertel, a talented singer, songwriter and dancer. There's much to admire on this out-there debut single, not least the lo-fi psychedelia of "3 Cember", where Esma Ertel's half-chanted vocals rise above hallucinatory Middle Eastern instrumentation (drenched in copious amounts of reverb) and a dark, low-slung groove. Flipside "Yafta" is a slightly more up-tempo affair, with flash-fried acid-funk guitar flashes and exotic instrumental flourishes rising above a near tribal late night groove. Both tracks are hugely atmospheric and undeniably intoxicating.
Review: ZamZam 72 comes from one of our favorite producers for the last few years, the elusive Andy Mac. Known in particular for his "Diving Bird" series, a buy-on-sight trilogy of 12"s on Bristol's Idle Hands, the idiosyncratic producer also has releases on No Corner (in collaboration with Ossia), and the seminal Punch Drunk label. His unique style of chopped, techy, warm, pastoralist dubwise had us from the first, and the tunes he sent us flew through our A&R gauntlet with ease. His are records we return to again and again, revealing more subtlety with each listen, free from genre or tempo constraints.
Bobby D’Ambrosio - "Moment Of My Life" (feat Michelle Weeks) (9:08)
Carlos Romanos - "121" (Doug Willis Raw edit) (5:15)
Joey Negro - "K-Jee" (Philly World mix) (8:48)
The APX - "Lose Yourself To The Groove" (JN Future Boogie edit) (6:55)
Review: Z Records' compilation style "Attack The Dancefloor" EPs rarely fail to deliver, with big cheese Dave Lee (AKA Joey Negro) collecting together floor-friendly treats with the label's vast catalogue. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on this 12th volume, starting with Negro's organ-heavy revision of Bobby D'Ambrosio and Michelle Weeks' classic '90s house cover of Inner Life disco classic "Moment of My Life". Purist disco thrills are provided by Lee's tidy Doug Willis re-edit of Carlos Romanos' boogie-era disco-funk bumper "121", as well as his vintage cover of MFSB classic "K-Jee". Arguably best of all, though, is Lee's sparkling, synth-heavy "Future Boogie" mix of The APX's revivalist electrofunk jam, "Lose Yourself To The Groove".
Al Man Muntzie & The Embraceables - "We Are Steady Rockin'" (8:02)
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: Back in 2016, Crackazat created a bespoke EP for Z Records in which he blended vocal acapellas from the label's archives with his own jazz-fired deep and soulful house grooves. Three years on, he's decided to repeat the exercise, in the process serving up four more killer cuts. He begins by layering Sunburst Band vocals atop bouncy pianos and rich Latin house instrumentation on "Fly Away", before effortlessly joining the dots between deep house, disco and jazz-funk on the superb "Crystal Eyes". "I'll Be There" is a colossal slab of gospel-tinged revivalist New Jersey garage smothered in weighty organ riffs, while "Some Day" offers a deeper and jazzier spin on the same retro-futurist sound.
Mistura - "Do You Love Me?" (feat Angela Johnson - Joey Negro Disco Blend) (6:20)
Sylvester - "I Need You" (Opolopo remix) (7:55)
Neapolitan Soul - "Welcome To The Dub" (11:44)
Raquel Rodriguez - "We Go Together" (Joey Negro club mix) (6:21)
Review: Over the years, Z Records' "Attack The Dancefloor" series has proved to be a serious source of tried-and-tested club cuts in a disco-centric style. Volume 13 is full to bursting with must-have tracks too. Label boss Dave Lee sets the tone, donning his famous Joey Negro alias to deliver a sumptuously summery "Disco Blend" of Mistura's Angela Johnson-voiced "Do You Love Me?" before Opolopo steals the show by turning Sylvester's surging disco anthem "I Need You" into a synth-sporting chunk of revivalist disco-boogie. Neapolitan Soul's "Welcome To The Dub" is a punchy chunk of disco-house laden in percussion and cute instrumental touches, while Lee's Joey Negro Club mix of Raquel Rodriguez's "We Go Together" is a sweet and seductive fusion of jazz-funk instrumentation and celebratory disco grunt.