Review: A few weeks ago, the sneaky Soul Masters label launched via a must-have "45" featuring two 1960s soul bombs from Welsh sex-machine Mr Jones. For this sequel, the limited-edition imprint has dipped into the back catalogue of premier Motown legends and chosen two killer covers of songs first made famous by other artists on the iconic soul label's roster. On the A-side you'll find their storming version of Stevie Wonder hit 'Uptight (Everything's All Right)', a take that's just as stomping and horn-heavy as the more familiar original, with the added bonus of smoother soul vocals from the ladies. Turn to the flip for their interpretation of Barrett Strong hit 'Money (That's What I Want)', a more fuzzy and sax-laden affair of a song that was famously also covered by the Beatles on With The Beatles.
When Is Deep (Thor & Octal Industries remix) (7:15)
Review: Russian techno mastermind Anton Kubikov has enjoyed an incredibly productive run that has seen him grace Nervmusic, Mayak and his own Pro-tez label. Now one of his finest works, 'When Is Deep', lands on AE Recordings in four new versions from a cast of top-shelf remixers. Idealist is up first, rolling out a smooth and sublime dub house medication to keep dancers locked in and shuffling, while Ben Buitendijk simmers things down to a hypnotic pulse. Dot kicks off the B-side with an immersive, propulsive techno blend before Thor and Octal Industries complete the set with a quintessential dub techno meditation to take your mind to spell-binding new spheres of exploration.
Review: We all taking up right about now and Yosh is the one to do it. Four crucial cuts flexing around the UKG/breaks axis, all heavily entrenched in the turn of the century breakbeat, dark garage melting pot. Classic vocal samples galore and really punchy drums, highlights include the classic "What I Need" and the pure kick drum militancy of on the title track "Take Me Up". Serious vibes for all ages and all floors.
Review: More Toxic Funk flavours from the Breakbeat Paradise crew, who've cannily snapped up a couple of killer collaborations from Prosper and Badboe. The experienced pair predictably goes in hard on A-side 'Beastie Lifestyle', where a classic Beastie Boys acapella is slapped down hard on a brand-new heavy funk-meets-breakbeat backing track that comes laden with mazy electric piano solos and fiery horns courtesy of Le Marabout. They change tack slightly on 'Without Funk', joining the dots between a handful of killer samples on a P-funk flavoured workout that's every bit as addictive and ear-pleasing as the duo's A-side banger.
Review: Fontaines D.C. is one of the most exciting new bands to have emerged in the last year. Their debut Dogrel was a standout offering that turned plenty of heads and now under a year later they are back with more brilliance. The grizzly, punk laced 'A Hero's Death' has snarling vocal work from the front man while big walls of impenetrable guitars wash over you in arresting ways. On the flip, 'I Don't Belong' is less angsty, with a more subdued sound and forlorn sounding voice repeating the title's refrain to sombre effect.
Review: Underground techno veteran Johannes Volk's impressive discography has seen him release on Jeff Mills' Axis and 6277 imprints, in addition to labels as diverse as Dolly, Token and Cocoon in addition to his own operation - Exploration. Volk can now add Running Back to his list of credible affiliations, where he incorporates all of his influences from the glory days of Frankfurt's legendary techno scene in the '90s on the Extra Dimensions LP. From the Giorgio Moroder-style homage of the electrifying title track, the Motor City also receives a respectful salute in the form of the Reese-driven dancefloor drama of 'Reload Love' and the funky techno workout of 'An Old Android On A Broken Piano', while the neon-lit "Rainbow Rockets" channels the spirit of Paisley Park.
Try My Love (On For Size) (Dr Packer extended remix) (8:16)
Review: Simon Marlin returns the source with one of his biggest tracks as The Shapeshifters in years. Loaded with the belting gospel-level charm of the currently unavoidable Teni Tinks (who's also sung and recorded with the likes of Dr Packer, Ghetts and Stormzy) it's an authentic nod to the enduring legacy of late 70s Salsoul or T.K Disco. Soulful, singalong, oozing positivity and tailored strictly for the dancefloor; this has been huge at all Glitterball and Defected parties this summer. Try it on for size...
Review: Back in 2016, Jah Wobble offered up a two-disc trawl through the more dub-fired corners of his vast back catalogue, In Dub. While that set included dub tracks and self-made reworks that spanned the whole of his then 40-year career, this belated sequel concentrates on material made since 1990. As you'd expect given Wobble's track record, there's little straight-up dub reggae present, but rather a ton of hazy, delay-laden musical fusions that mix and match elements of ambient, electronica, post-punk, no-wave, traditional Indian music, trip-hop, psychedelia, jazz and even dense, tribal style drum tracks - all laden with the sometime Public Image Ltd member's trademark weighty bass. Throw in some never-before-heard mixes and previously vinyl-only versions, and you have another fine collection of heady, dub-wise fusions.
Joey Negro presents The Sunburst Band - "Only Time Will Tell" (feat Angela Johnson) (5:52)
Mid Air - "Ease Out" (The Revenge edit) (7:31)
Joey Negro - "Do What You Feel" (JN Revival mix) (4:49)
Review: If you're looking for some high-grade, tried-and-tested disco and house fare, we'd strongly advise grabbing this second vinyl sampler celebrating 30 years of Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro's popular Z Records imprint. It begins with the insatiably sweaty disco-house hedonism of Doug Willis's down-low 2014 classic "Crystal Lover" - which, surprisingly, has never appeared on vinyl before in this original mix form - and ends with the Revenge's loopy, sort-after, synth-fired re-edit of Mid Air's early '80s disco-boogie classic "Ease Out". In between you'll find Lee's 2015 "JN Revival Mix" of his classic early '90s U.S garage/soulful house jam "Do What You Feel", and the similarly inclined and deliciously sunny "City Connection Mix" of Lee and the Sunburst Band's Angela Johnson-voiced "Only Time Will Tell". As the old cliche goes, this is "all killer, no filler".
Review: Having established himself many moons ago on Alphabet Set, Cignol has gone on to become a firm fixture in the contemporary electro scene with drops on labels like Lunar Disko, Furthur Electronix, Seagrave and many more. Now he appears on 20:20 Vision with an EP that slots perfectly into the electro direction the label has been exploring in the past couple of years. 'Past Futures' pivots around a nagging acid line, a pitched-down vocal hook and an easy tempo, while 'Virtual Array' swerves for the plushest Drexciya-indebted territory. 'Gantm' brings forth more 303 action, matched with all kinds of other playful synth strokes and a tumbling beat. 'Lessened By Lessons' completes the set on a plaintive note, but with a similar palette of expressive synth lines and a keen sense of harmony powering the track.
Review: Belarus' Iner launches a new label with a strong cast of international names all pushing a deep and distinguished strain of house music for those who want soul and invention in equal measure. Tilman is up first with 'Sweet Dreamer', a mellow, looped up roller. Sune's 'Flutes' takes a breezier approach shaped out by fluttering jazz funk motifs. Yann Polewka celebrates the sweetest Philly strings and some classic vocal licks for a disco-infused burner you can't help but love. Iner himself keeps things loose and organic on the wonderful 'Respectfull Kind Music', while Scruscru goes for a sleek approach to chopped up funky house. That leaves it to Buzz Compass to get heady and hazy with the bass-leaning cuts coursing through 'That Nighter'.
Review: US label coming with the ammo on it's debut 45 hooking up with their first release with a UK male Soul Legend with a masterpiece in dynamite vocal delivery. Two powerful renditions of funky soul classics first time on a 45. First up Toms gritty & powerful cover of Sam & Dave's ''Soul Man'' flipped by a tough version of ''Hold On I'm Coming''. Essential soul music with balls.Limited pressing. Don't sleep !
Review: The mystery of the Botanic Minds Sunset Series continues to unfold with another bout of surreal and sensual club tracks that balance tweaked minimalism with a warm and hazy atmosphere. "Track001A" is packed with intricate rhythmic interplay, but it's the fluttering guitar licks and displaced vocals that give the piece its unique vibe. "Track002A" is a remix credited to Eastenderz regular Lizz, and it's a particularly spellbinding jam shaped out with lingering chords and a wistful mood. "Track001B" hunkers down around a low, throbbing bassline, but there's some sweet keys hovering up top to keep things from getting too dark. Barut is on hand with a remix for "Track002B", where trancey undercurrents meet with expansive piano and ethereal ambient swells, all strapped to a sturdy minimal house groove.
Review: The first release on Kamarads pulls together a solid mix of established tech house figureheads for a classy, versatile set of club tracks. Politics Of Dancing goes up first with 'Ote', a deep and rugged groover geared towards hypnotism and total immersion. Djebali follows up with an equally stealthy roller that will appeal to those who like it stripped back. Terence: Terry takes things in a swirling, trippy direction with the afters-ready 'Eastern Boy' and Stephan Bazbaz finishes up with a gorgeous, lilting deep house lullaby to soothe the weary raver's soul.
Review: It's a while since we last heard from Pigalle Connection, an all-star group of Mocambo-signed musicians helmed by Hammond B3 master Guillaume Metenier. In fact, our records suggest that this is the occasional outfit's first 45 for almost five years. On side A's 'Casino & Church' they pay tribute to Peter Thomas via a fiery, floor-rocking fusion of Incredible Bongo Band style grooves, heavy organ chords, Afro-funk guitar motifs, hazy horns and Blaxploitation style riffs. The heaviness continues on the flipside's 'Vendetta James', where Ennio Morricone style spaghetti western trumpet lines and spacey synthesizer flourishes rides another weighty Euro-funk groove.
Review: Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors, having served up already nine excellent offerings on this label. Their latest careful bit of studio splicing work is again a cosmic and mind expanding jazz funk fusion with righteous grooves and life-affirming riffs. The A-aide is a sweet and seductive sound that comes up from below to sweep you off your feet and carry you away to the stars, then 'The Moving Finger' is a little more rooted on planet earth with its knotted bass riffs, glowing harmonies and rickety lead guitar riff, all finished off with some spiritual sax work.
When The World Is Runnin' Down (Mr K 7" edit) (5:35)
Review: The Mr K Edits series continues to be a hotbed of crucial dancefloor wares, taking stone cold classics and giving them a gentle refinement to make the grooves stretch out that little bit longer. The latest in the 7" series focuses on The Police and two of their finest jams - the first is no stranger to revisions, covers and remixes. "Voices In My Head" has been tackled by many, not least 90s hip house upstart KC Flightt, but here the original version goes on a version excursion that brings out the best in the tune. On the flip, "When The World Is Runnin' Down" shimmers with uptempo new wave refinement that should set any open minded dancefloor alight.
Review: Mind Fair have been around the block with their strain of disco-infused house music, stopping off at Golf Channel, International Feel and Kinfolk amongst others, so you know they've got you covered for classy edits that are actually useful and interesting. This heavyweight drop for Magic Wand kicks off with the righteous stomp of "Holding On" before dropping into a reworking of uptempo jazz funk classic "Feeling Good" by Francine McGee. "All Night Soca" beefs a classic cover of Lionel Ritchie up for the dance, while "Mastermind" finishes the record off with some cool and deadly funk.
Review: The latest collection of wayward floor heaters from Nuances De Nuit takes us once more into a colourful headspace where the possibilities are wide open to make house music with personality. Californian shining star Liquid Earth is up first, although he's better known as Urulu. 'X-Form' is a bubbling metropolis of futuristic synth squiggles with starry-eyed wonder in its heart and vintage techno smarts up top. Huerta follows up that sterling start with the enchanting electro incantations of 'Legwork', which build wonderfully on the sound laid out on his recent debut album for Voyage Recordings. On the flip, DJOKO brings a smart shuffle and some shimmering synth work to the forefront for a seriously smart twist on the tech house template, while T. Jacques opts for space age machine funk with a splash of boogie poured in for good measure.
Review: The latest featured editor to contribute to Magic Wand's Special Editions series is former Public Possession regular - and recent Internasjonal signing - Anton Klint. As you'd perhaps expect, the tracks he's chosen to rework tend towards the eccentric and more crate-digging end of the Balearic spectrum. For proof, check the slip-sliding fretless bass, bubbly drum machine rhythms and AOR-goes-synth-pop vibes of opener 'Rain', the sax-laden, mid-80s AM radio goodness of 'Special O', and the lolloping, late night soft rock-meets-reggae pop brilliance of 'Marie'. Best of all though is 'Full Dose of Love', an extra-percussive, delay-laden chunk of undulating dub that's just crying out to be played loud at sunset.
Review: Some five years on from the release of his previous EP, Inner Shift boss and former Moods & Grooves regular Brad Peterson returns to action. He effortlessly picks up from where he left of on EP-opener 'Expansion', a near perfect slab of heavily electronic deep house melodiousness rich in bubbly lead lines, opaque chords, vibraphone style melodic motifs and tight, undulating acid lines. 'Star Traveller' is an even deeper and more intergalactic affair where starry synth sounds, echoing chords and wavy pads rise above a chunky groove, while 'Machine Logic' is a chunkier, slightly darker and more analogue-rich affair built around a robust basline. Arguably best of all though is closing cut 'Sun Garden', a sumptuous slice of summery deepness rich in delay-laden flute solos and enveloping electronics.
Review: Spanky Wilson is one of the fiercest, sweetest voices in the golden era of late 60s / early 70s soul, with a modest but mighty mark left behind by her run of classic albums and later collaboration with The Quantic Soul Orchestra. This handy 7" gathers together two classic Wilson cuts, leading in with the heavyweight soul-funk of "You". On the flip is her evergreen cover of "Sunshine Of Your Love", which for our money bests Jack Bruce's original vocal performance to take the vintage track onto a whole other level of raw, passionate power.