Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Far Beyond" (6:37)
Review: Following on from the bumper compilation on Z Records of all the label's greatest hist, boss man Joey Negro offers up a third volume of 12"s. He goes first with a nice loose mix of 'Love Hangover' that bumps in all the right places. Opolopo's 'Get On Up' is a dazzling cut with cosmic chords and long legged drums that move you to your core, then Joey is back with a slick dubwise version of the classic TW Funkmasters cut 'Love Money.' Last of all, 'Far Beyond' is a reflective closer with far-sighted chords and a late night glow.
Review: Here's something for those looking to fill in the gaps in their classic hip-hop collection: a sizzling seven-inch boasting two of the Jungle Brothers hottest hits. On the A-side you'll find "Because I Got It Like That", a lolloping party hip-hop jam built around an assortment of complimentary samples, most notably a lift from Sly and the Family Stone's killer cut "You Can Make It If You Try". Over on the flip you'll find one of the most recognizable dance anthems of the late '80s, the early hip-house classic that is "I'll House You". Based on Todd Terry's similarly big "Can You Party", the tune is a warehouse-ready bounce-along that sounds as fresh now as it did way back in 1988.
Review: The mysterious Sault troupe is back with a call to action and revolutionary soul soundtrack that really bangs the box. "Ain't nothing gunna keep us silent" the lead singer yelps on 'Stop Der', which is an immediate banger after the soothing ambience and closely mic-ed whispers of the opener, which muse on what it means to be black. The rest of the record is a hard hitting mix of crisp drums and empowering vocals, with elements of classic soul as well as contemporary jazz colouring the grooves. This is powerful music with an even more powerful message.
Review: If you've ever tried to track down Gaston's obscure funk-soul album My Queen, you'll know that second-hand copies of the 978 set regularly change hands online for eye-watering amounts of money. Happily, Soul Brother Records has managed to license it and have pressed 1,500 new copies of a special Record Store Day 2020 edition. Musically, it's one of the more interesting and hard-to-pigeonhole sets to come out of the North Carolina funk and soul scenes during the 1970s, with the obscure band offering up a mix of intoxicating, rock-tinged instrumental workouts (the decidedly cosmic 'Magnificent Choo Choo'), piano-laden Latin jazz-funk numbers ('Fantasy Garden'), sun-kissed songs ('Clock In', the twinkling 'My Dreams'), and hot-to-trot dancefloor cuts ('My Queen', the extra-percussive and alien 'Clap Song').
Jim Dunloop - "Espirito Do Rio" (Brazil Wave edit) (3:13)
Jim Dunloop & GRZLY Adams - "Different Sweetnuts" (Walk In The Shade edit) (3:58)
Review: For the latest "45" in the Dusty Donuts series of edits and mash ups, the Berlin-based crew has turned to long-time crew member Jim Dunloop, a jazz-trained pianist-turned-producer best known for his work alongside Marc Hype. He begins with "Spirit De Rio", a wonderfully warm, head-nodding, hip-hop style revision of a summery-sounding old samba gem rich in dewy-eyed female vocals and glistening guitars. Long-time friend, and occasional collaborator Grizzly Adams lends a hand on flipside cut "Different Sweetnuts", a deep and woozy revision of a fragile, female-fronted soul number that wraps drowsy elements from the pair's source material around a bass-heavy beat.
Jensen Interceptor X Assembler Code - "Red Cell" (5:51)
CKFT (Keith Tucker X Carl Finlow) - "Coder" (4:55)
Voigtmann - "Subtopia" (6:07)
Cignol - "51D" (5:13)
Review: 20/20 Vision's electro mission continues unabated with this second compilation drop in the Exit Planet Earth series. The record opens up with Jensen Interceptor working alongside Assemble Code for a darkside workout heavy on the details and rude around the low end. Carl Finlow and Keith Tucker form a mini-supergroup for a new partnership CKFT, displaying their formidable chops with the body-rocking dystopia of 'Coder'. Voigtmann keeps things closer to the 4/4 spectrum on 'Subtopia', but with plenty of machine funk tropes woven into the mix. Cignol completes the set with a widescreen sound that's steeped in emotion and sci-fi noir from a dazzling array of finely tuned synths (including some essential 303, of course).
Love Somebody Else (Glen Horsborough remix) (6:54)
Review: If anyone has turned out more seminal deep, funky and vocal house classics than Sandy Rivera, we're struggling to think of them. Now the enduring hit maker has done it again, this time with vocalist April Morgan on the Let There Be House label. 'Love Somebody Else' is a timeless tune with lung-emptying choruses from Morgan riding on top of a dense bed of piano stabs and sleek mid-tempo drums. It's the sort of universally accessible tune that could be dropped as an end of night send off in PBar, a floor filler in a commercial club or on some terrace in Ibiza.
Review: Expansion is pushing the boat out for Record Store Day 2020. Chief among the label's must-check RSD releases is this 12", which offers up fresh re-edits - courtesy of an un-credited re-editor - of two sought-after cuts by late-'70s and early '80s West Coast fusionists Halo. The headline attraction is undoubtedly the fresh edit of the ultra-rare extended mix of 1981's 'Let Me Do It', a warm and groovy modern soul/boogie jam primarily known for its' familiar "let me do until you're satisfied" vocal refrain. The band's shorter original version is also included in the package, alongside a shorter re-edit of their sparkling, synth-heavy 1988 single "Life". In keeping with the more celebrated A-side, it's an energetic, life-affirming earworm.
Review: Detroit's Jay Daniel can no longer be referred to as a protegee. The Watusi High boss is very much a talent unto his own after forming a small but superb discography in the last few years. His latest outing is another exquisite mixture of his very real drum playing skills and an ability to coax real feeling out of his lush synths. After the ambiance of 'Muse,' 'Solo' sinks into a late night vibe with glowing pads and wooden hits making for a perfectly reflective mood. 'Dew' cuts more loose into ticketing drum work that is raw and off-grid, but again soften but those gaze-inducing pads, and 'Cherry' closes out with crunchy, dance floor ready grooves.
Just (feat Pharrell Williams & Zack De La Rocha) (3:26)
Never Look Back (2:57)
The Ground Below (2:32)
Pulling The Pin (feat Mavis Staples & Josh Homme) (3:37)
A Few Words For The Firing Squad (Radiation) (6:46)
Yankee & The Brave (instrumental) (2:26)
Ooh La La (instrumental) (3:00)
Out Of Site (instrumental) (3:23)
Holy Calamafnck (instrumental) (3:57)
Goonies Vs ET (instrumental) (3:05)
Walking In The Snow (instrumental) (3:57)
Just (instrumental) (3:27)
Never Look Back (instrumental) (2:58)
The Ground Below (instrumental) (2:31)
Pulling The Pin (instrumental) (3:38)
A Few Words For The Firing Squad (Radiation) (instrumental) (6:40)
Review: Hip-hop super group Run The Jewels aka Brooklyn-based rapper-producer El-P and Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike return with their fourth in their self-titled album series. Once again the American heavyweights call on a big roster of collaborators with DJ Premier, 2-Chainz, Pharrell Williams and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme all appearing. The tracks remain hard-edged and direct, with cacophonous synths and oversized hits making each track an attention grab. The rhymes are of course on point throughout, with standouts including the machine gun bars of 'Walking The Shadow.'
Review: Ole Mic Odd aka Michael Padgett is a hardware operator and DJ from Los Angeles and runs the wonderfully named label The New U.S. Government. Here he sweeps to power with four tracks across four sides of vinyl for the Zement label, two following a slower, punishing pulse that's like P-funk remade in a robot factory, only with tons of added bubbling acid, Drexciya-style filtering and Juan Arkins-like synthetic strings. The other two are way faster, Ice So Bright sounding like someone secretly spiked Kraftwerk's cocoa with something extremely sinister, sending them racing off on their bikes at treble speed. Echo Park has an even more distinct flanging acid flavour and hyper, hooligan electro foundations, again with those Model 500 misty clouds of synthesiser floating overhead. Absolutely cracking stuff.
Review: The ever-prolific Burnski is back on Constant Sound with some upfront bumpers that once again demonstrate his standing as a leading light in the modern tech house movement. 'Process' manages to balance moody, melodic atmospherics with a rock solid rhythm section, while 'Systems' takes things in a decidedly more jacking, tracky direction. 'Long Train' keeps the pressure up with a mean low end and some whipcrack claps to made your head spin. 'Effect' finishes the set off with a sumptuous dub excursion that will appeal to all those who like Basic Channel headspace matched with a sturdy house groove.
Review: Northern Ireland's Dominick Martin, or Calibre, to the drum & bass buying public, has a reputation for bringing new angles on this well-worn sound and these two new sides of vinyl are no exceptions. The VIP version of Falls To You sees his crisp, irresistible beats doing their magic but the piano, reflective vocal and minimal electronic flourishes lend this roller a spooky, eerie quality. The flip track End of Meaning has a slightly warmer, more optimistic vibe but is still reflective, the vocals being sent through echoey dub effects for maximum atmospherics. Definitely ploughing his own furrow, as ever, Calibre demonstrates here why those in the know will always check what he's up to.
Review: The 10th release on EYA comes from French producer Master Flashhh, who delivers punchy, cool-headed house music with a strong early 90s slant. 'Too Big To Fail' keeps things stripped back and weighty, with a bassline so thick you could sink your teeth into it. 'Beat Boxxx' has a more psychedelic, slow-techno slant to it, not least thanks to the ranging 303 gurgles sliding around the track. 'Boulevard Mystere' adds a little cinematic spookiness to the mix for an ear-snagging warm up track, and 'Enigma' completes the set with the kind of eerie mood and crisp box jam sounds that make artists like RVDS so compelling. Highly recommended for those who like their machine music with personality and punch in equal measure.
Review: If you were judging Kieran Hebden's 11th Four Tet studio album merely on the way it's presented, you'd immediately think he'd spent the last two years immersed in early '90s ambient house albums. While it's unlikely he's done that, it's fair to say that New Energy does owe a debt to classic electronica sets from that period. For all the exotic instrumentation and subtle nods to post-dubstep "aquacrunk" experimentalism and chiming, head-in-the-clouds sunrise house, the album feels like a relic of a lost era. That's not meant as a criticism - New Energy is superb - but it is true that his choice of neo-classical strings, gentle new age melodies, sweeping synthesizer chords and disconnected vocal samples would not sound out of place on a Global Communication album.
Review: You wait three years for a new Arca album and then two come along at once. The Barcelona-based, Venezuelan artist has already dropped 'Kick I' and 'Kick II' on his standard XL stomping ground this month, and has now decided to remind us why we fell in love in the first place. &&&&&& is the producer's seminal debut album, and it still sounds fresh today.
Occupying a space somewhere between techno, the proto-footwork and juke popularised by the likes of Addison Groove at the turn of the last decade, IDM and ambient, it's a difficult thing to get your head around, from the strange piano discordance of 'Mother' to 'Feminine''s suggestion of intense 140s and the submerged liquid downtempo of 'Anaesthetic'. A seminal moment in recent dance history.
Gladys Knight - "It's A Better Than Good Time" (Walter Gibbons Acetate mix) (12:25)
TC James & The Fist O'Funk Orchestra - "Get Up On Your Feet (Keep On Dancin')" (Walter Gibbons mix) (11:05)
Sandy Mercer - "You Are My Love" (12" version) (7:32)
Bettye Lavette - "Doin' The Best That I Can" (Walter Gibbons 12" mix) (11:05)
Arts & Craft - "I've Been Searching" (Walter Gibbons 12" mix) (9:54)
Dinosaur L - "Go Bang" (Walter Gibbons unreleased mix) (12:26)
Luv You Madly Orchestra - "Moon Maiden" (12" mix) (8:48)
Review: With the capabilities of modern discology allowing for the current deluge of disco 'edits', most of which do little beyond extending an intro for ease of mixing, it would have been an intriguing prospect to see what disco edit progenitor Walter Gibbons thought. Sadly we'll never find out, but current edit profiteers could do worse than check out this retrospective of Walter Gibbons remixes compiled by Strut. Nominally split between the 70s and 80s, the first section documents the imaginative reworks of the Salsoul catalogue that helped cement Gibbon's reputation whilst the second focuses on the mid eighties period where he worked closely with Arthur Russell. It was a chance encounter at the Salsoul office which afforded the then 22-year-old Gibbons an opportunity to remix Double Exposure's "Ten Percent", which became the first commercially successful 12inch release. That mix is one of seven tracks which aptly demonstrate the percussion heavy style Gibbon's branded Jungle Music, with the closing 11 minute mix of Betty LaVette perhaps the most impressive example. The second section provides more sonic intrigue, starting off with a previously unreleased remix of Arthur Russell's "See Through", which is followed by Gibbons seminal take on Dinosaur L's "Go Bang" and perhaps the masterpiece of his career - a nine minute remix of Strafe's "Set It Off". Strut have delivered yet another superlative retrospective here. Released on a double LP with a limited bonus mix CD, this is not to be missed!
Break - "Whispers In My Ear" (feat MC GQ - Break remix) (4:16)
Break & Total Science - "Dog's Dinner" (Mefjus remix) (4:16)
Review: MC GQ has a pedigree that stretches all the way back to the early jungle nights of AWOL and his presence on this new version of Whispers In My Ear by Break shows he can imprint his personality on a piece of vinyl with a bare minimum of chatting. That's how good he is. Break knows what he's doing too, and his the gnarly electronic harmonics and descending one note bass riff, combined with fresh sounding, spacious breakbeat action, make this the kind of workout that DJs will build their set around dropping. Dog's Dinner with Total Science gets remixed by Mefjus in powerful fashion too, a little more roughneck perhaps than its A-side companion, but a choice selection of ruthlessly applied sonics all the same.
Review: London deep house experts Quintessentials are back, doing what they do best by giving a platform to new and established artists from all over the world. On the second edition of Enjoy Your Cuppa are two new artists and another two label staples. Newcomer Saine delivers the smoky late night jam 'Love Music', while fellow debutante Andy Ash provides emotive mood music in the form of 'Bread'. On the flip, seasoned producer Jank has got you covered for life affirming soul power on the chill-out vibe of 'All Be Free' and another curveball comes in the form of 'Low Grav' by Decent Rides - a deep, down and dirty minimal house groove that is perfect for the afterhours.
Review: It's been a while between drinks for Alexander Green, who has not released a solo record under the Boddika alias for nearly seven years (his most recent outing was a 2016 collaboration with Joy Orbison). The Walk Talk EP, which marks his return to the Nonplus label he founded 11 years ago, is therefore something of an 'event release' - in certain circles at least. Interestingly, opener 'Walk Talk' is a creepy and clandestine chunk of brooding analogue techno in its most traditional form, while the track that follows, 'Croak', adds buzzing and brain-melting bass to an otherwise similarly moody groove. Over on the flip '808 (Hacked)' doffs a cap to the polyrhythmic techno sparseness of Livity Sound, while 'Metal Forest' is as weird, wonky and mind-altering as they come.
Review: Finally... One of last year's biggest dubs has been unleashed! A rare golden tune that resonates with both the soulful and darker sides of the scene, 'Ubiquitous' hits all the right spots with those jazzy chords, breathy vocal refrain and grizzled bassline. Think Hidden Agenda for the modern age. It's backed by three more bonafide delights; turbine Reese-shredder 'Isiah', the urgent dark funk bubbler 'Boogaloo Shoo' and the almighty old testament drama of 'Deus Ex'. Lord have mercy.
Review: Fresh from a sublime, suitably psychedelic EP on Sophie Sweetland's Planet Euphorique imprint, Melbourne twosome Sleep D returns home to their Butter Sessions imprint with two robust chunks of glassy-eyed techno. A-side 'Freak Of' is particularly weighty and forthright, with psychedelic electronics, hallucinatory electronics and trance-inducing synthesiser sounds rising above a chunky bassline and seriously jacking beats. 'Nature' is a little deeper and more melody-driven - all hypnotic synthesizer loops, sunrise-ready chords, tactile synth-bass and blissful keyboard melodies - but no less energetic. It's basically a loved-up dancefloor treat, albeit one from the more gently psychedelic end of the dance music spectrum.
Notes: Exclusive To Juno.Mukatsuku engraved Stainless Steel record weight/disc stabilizer
Latest engraved version of the Mukatsuku disc stabilizer/record turntable weight is great for DJ use in a club environment, or when recording from vinyl to digital. It may even help dished or skipping records in a bumpy club environment
No springs, clips or screws required, just place the Mukatsuku disc stabilizer over the spindle and hey presto, you can obtain tighter bass and sweeter treble, as well as improved dynamics/less distortion, bringing the record into more intimate contact with the platter.
Review: Swiss imprint We Release Jazz (an offshoot of the more eclectic WRWTFWW) seems to specialize in reissuing rare and hard-to-find European and Japanese albums. Their latest release falls into the latter category. Originally recorded at Avatar Studios in New York in 1999 and released in Japan only the following uear, Ryo Fukui in New York is undoubtedly a little-known gem. With just bassist Lisle Atkinson and drummer Leroy Wlliams for company, it sees the virtuoso Japabese pianist offer up superb takes on bop and modal classics by such luminaries as Charlie Parker, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. The album also boasts an incredible re-make of his own 'Mellow Dream' that's infinitely better than his already impressive original recording.
Forever (Reconstructed By Octal Industries) (6:25)
Another Day (Ohm Morning Glory) (5:08)
Review: Back in December 2019, Jonas Thor Gudmundsson released his first album as Octal Industries in almost six years, a perfectly pitched set of hypnotic dub techno/deep techno fusions entitled Our Seasons. Here he offers up a double pack featuring a swathe of new interpretations of some of the album's most inspired moments. Perhaps the most instantly arresting remix comes from ASC, who brilliantly re-imagines 'Roblegt' as an immersive, 13-minute journey that's equal parts club-ready breakbeat electronica and sofa-bound ambient haziness. Former long-term studio partner Mike Schommer's gentle and warming, beat-down style version of 'Borg Telkin' is equally brilliant, while the contrasting GRIT and Ohm interpretations of 'Another Day' both hit the mark and then some.