Review: Boston's A-grade record digger, funk and soul boffin and master edit maker Kon is back with his Gang for this tidy 7" that also features Rick James. It is once again an edit aided by Kon's long time engineer Caserta, with slick, life affirming jazz tinged and super funky production. Soul Supreme is on keys, the knotted bass comes from Xander Vrienten and together they all serve up a real late summer jam that could be 50 years old. The dub is just as delicious on the flip, with more room for the lux and authentic production and very real musicianship to shine through
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: Alison Limerick's 'Where Love Lives' is the sound of a generation, a reminder of one of the most vital cultural movements of the last 100 years. It is a perma-hit that unites all ages, colours and creeds, even now, 30 years after it first got hands in the air and tears in the eyes on dance floors of cult clubs around the world. To mark the occasion it gets a special remaster treatment and 12" release for Record Store Day. The Classic Mix - which is still the best - kicks off, followed by a big piano version from Mo Knuckles and a darker, more stripped back Cut To The Bone mix.
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).
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: Canadian Jorun Bombay is a long time remix master who now lands on Soundweight Records with his latest cut up and reworking efforts. The A-side finds him take on Blondie's legendary 'Rapture', which mixed slick raps with post-punk guitars. Here it becomes sweet rolling funk gem with molten chords and plenty of soul. The flip-side is a tropical rework of 'Don't Pay Any Fuller' that ups the bass and beefs out the drums, while layering in steamy chords and percussion that brim with character. These are two more classics in the spotless catalogue of Jorun Bombay.
Beastie Boys vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:11)
Review: On his last two singles on Soopastole, mash-up maestro DJ Soopasoul smashed together elements of Stevie Wonder and Redman/Method Man, and James Brown and Crooklyn Dodgers. For his latest trick he's decided to pepper an edited version of "People All Over The World" by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB, with raps from a stone cold classic Beastie Boys tune. It's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but the Beasties' flows work perfectly over the flanged guitars, undulating bass and unfussy 4-to-the-floor Philly Soul grooves of the MFSB track. You can hear his instrumental rework of that track on the flip; it's so good that it's arguably worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: Earlier this year, long-serving Canadian DJ/producer Philip Cabrita donned his familiar Flipout alias for the first time in two years in order to deliver a fresh remix of pioneering Texan gangsta hip-hop crew Geto Boys. Here he goes one step further, offering up a pair of B-boy and B-girl friendly cut-and-paste workouts for Agogo offshoot Resense. A-side 'Let the Soulpride In' is a bona-fide club rocker, with the Vancouver-based producer peppering a crunchy, 120 BPM, jazz-fired soul breakbeat with warm bass, guitars, chiming melodies and all manner of familiar spoken word snippets. Over on the flip he switches focus, fusing a cut-up, rearranged version of a Jungle Brothers instrumental with Clipse's raps from 'When The Last Time'. As you'd expect, it's a genuine boom-bap treat.
Review: Balearic titans Chris Coco and DJ Rocca team up on this new slab for Faze Action which celebrates all the finest qualities of these two veteran maestros. 'Discoteca (Heavy Fun Dub)' pours plenty into the mix, from sizzling disco and dreamy dub to slick 80s motifs, and yet it all comes off feeling very chilled indeed. 'Brute' plays around with analogue synths and raw drum machine punch to create a slow but intense cosmic workout, before Faze Action themselves step up to rework 'Discoteca' into a lean and mean club tool. For those who want to skip the breathy vocals, there's also an instrumental mix of 'Discoteca' included on the B2.
Review: For the latest edition in their ongoing series of golden-era hip-hop seven-inch reissues, Mr Bongo is taking us back to 1992 and Positive K's biggest hit - the 500,000-selling ode to unrequited love, "I Got A Man". Lyrically impressive, with the Bronx mic man delivering both male and "female" rap parts (the latter via voice-changing studio trickery), the song owes its success in part to a beat that makes great use of a funky loop from A Taste of Honey's "Rescue Me", which famously also formed the backbone of Funky Four + 1's early hip-hop classic "That's The Joint". Over on the flip you'll find the hazier and jazzier "SHakin", whose killer beat boasts judicious lifts from tracks by Wade Marcus and the D.O.C. In a word: essential.
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: There are so many juicy in-jokes and nuances here diehard fans of cold wave and synth pop pioneers Soft Cell will be in their element. Magick Mutants gives a subtle nod to the band's ultra-cult 1980 EP Mutant Moments, and is a great example of why we should sometimes look back when trying to look forward.
All four songs here are from the archives, 'Back To Nature' is a cover of Fad Gadget's 1979 single, here with all the dystopian electronic boom and gloom of the original work also included on the release. 'Science Fiction Stories', 'Bleak Is My Favourite Cliche' and 'The Girl With The Patent Leather Face' are reimagined classics, re-done for this package often in very subtle ways to make them more suited to 21st Century ears and dancefloors. Read that as solid, darkwave, electro punk goodness and grab a copy.
Iwishcan William (Nad Tyler dub Strip version) (7:12)
Review: Washington D.C's The 3 Pieces initially put this out on their own private pressing on DL Records in 1982. It is a cosmic-boogie-disco-jazz and rap jam with lashings of funk and a curious spoken-word delivery and guest spot from a school aged vocalist that lends it plenty of character. The synths are glossy and harp-like, the bass grumbles are infectious and the whole thing overflows with feel good factor. The Lexx vocal mix is like an early house track with claps straight from a Peech Boys record and the Nad Tyler dub is even more ready for the dancefloor.
Review: While the label has been operative since 2014, it's only in the last couple of years than Russian imprint Shanti Radio Moscow has finally found its groove. By and large, the label's releases are wonderfully hard to pigeonhole, combining tech-house rhythms with inventive instrumentation and a wide range of stylistic influences. This EP from newcomer Minnado continues that trend, moving between the plucked gypsy guitars, sweet strings and hazy vocal samples of 'In Silence', the picturesque, soft-focus dancefloor shuffle of 'Just For Today', the Eastern European-acoustica-meets-German tech-house stylings of 'Sofia', and the piano-laden sweetness of 'Ori'.
Review: Sound the alarm, Borai is back with another essential drop of rough n' tough breakbeat business on his Higher Level label. In the same vein as his celebrated Club Glow work with Denham Audio, these are well-schooled rollers with sonics to make the sternest soundboy shock out. 'Sanctuary' calls to mind the earliest strains of Good Looking Records in its dreamy moments, with ample space afforded for the amens to get gnarly too. 'Carpet Bagger' strikes a deadly blow in the hardcore vein, piling on the darkside synths for a rave-ready showstopper to get synapses tingling and jaws clenching.
The Truth (DJ Jazzy Jeff & James Poyser remix) (4:02)
Run Away (Eric Lau & Kaidi Tatham remix) (3:24)
Review: Tru Thoughts has genuinely pushed the boat out for Record Store Day 2020, offering up a couple of extra-special 7" singles that are well worth your hard-earned cash. Perhaps the most visually startling of these comes from Los Angeles neo-soul trio Moonchild, who have selected two of their favourite remixes from the vaults and whacked them on a red and blue splatter pattern 45. On the A-side legendary decks-man Jazzy Jeff joins forces with Jeff Poysner to transform 'The Truth' into a woozy, head-nodding slab of soft-focus hip-hop soul, making great use of Amber Navran's lead vocal. Over on the flip, Eric Lau and Kaidi Tatham head towards the dancefloor via a hybrid hip-hop/jazz-funk/broken beat take on 'Run Away' that's as effervescent and vibrant as you'd expect.
Review: In eleven years of deep digging, Dark Entries has uncovered many curiosities, lone exemplars of the scarsest breeds. They are lurking in Croatia, on the streets of New York, maybe in the back of your own dusty closet - these odd-ball Italo and synth-wave monsters are too rare to live, too divine to die. Once-lost creatures now have a home with Dark Entries' new Endangered Species series. The inaugural edition features five specimens previously deemed extinct, only mentioned passingly in lore and speculation, but now safely preserved on vinyl.
Review: Earlier in the year, Mint Condition started offering up gems from the bulging back catalogue of Housey Doingz, an all-star collective of early UK tech-house producers (Terry Francis and Nathan Coles included) whose numerous late 1990s releases did much to popularize the sound they helped pioneer. The label has already mined their fabulous debut album, Doing It, and has now decided to reissue their 2000 EP House Utensils. A-side 'Kitchen Spasm' is a bustling, loose-limbed treat that layers aggressive acid lines and jumpy bass over a hip-swinging breakbeat house beat. The original mix is complimented on the flipside by a more slamming, funk-fuelled tech-house style 'Dub' mix, while the track sandwiched in between, 'Lounge', is a lusciously positive chunk of chunky '90s tech-house puritanism.
Review: Jim Sharp slows things down a little with a pair of edits from the American South. Early West Coast gangsta hit "Dopeman" is the subject of side a with original drums but extended breaks designed to get the floor pumping. On the flip is a dirty south classic with prickling 808 kicks and hi hats that hit hard. It's super sweet soul music with raw grooves that can get any party started topped with vocals from Willie Hutch finishing things off in real style.
Review: Siggatunez kicks off a new imprint, Gooey Editz, with four of his own edits of disco and funk gold. The Frankfurt producer also runs his own label Tieffrequent and this time out opens up with 'I Who Have Nothing,' a joyous and piano laced jam that never lets up. Elsewhere there is the vocal laced, slow motion slide-funk and disco daze of 'Living Easy' with its big guitar riffs. Last of all, 'Boatride' brings a Balearic vibe that will transport you to the side of the sea in no time, then keep you dancing until well past sundown.
Don't Let Your Life Go By On Automatic Pilot (12:33)
Vesper Sprites (8:01)
Review: We all know anything released on Mystic Quantum is worth buying for the cover art alone, and this mightily impressive return of Legowelt is certainly no different. Beautiful on the inside and out, it's packed with the kind of delicately detailed soundscapes we've come to expect from the revered producer, who proves every bit of the musicality we associate him with across seven very good tracks.
'Squirrel' is perhaps the exception to the rule, its frustrated and distorted rumbling breakbeat and chain-gang high-hats cry out for some monster or other to be fed through the arrangement. On the whole, though, this is far from club stuff, opening on the lush bleeped harmonies of 'Once At The In & Out Burger Academy', closing out on 'Vesper Sprites'' mysterious, breathy refrains and metallic percussive accents, by way of the cinema-worthy piano piece, 'Meekian Lovedance'. Enough to keep you going until next month's album.
Review: This rather rare and emotionally raw disco bomb from Jackie Stoudemire & Al Stewart landed back in 1998 and often fetches upwards of L300, if you can find it. It now gets a full remaster and is presented with replica artwork for Record Store Day 2020. Opening salvo 'Dancing' is an uplifting jam with laid bare vocals soaring over a tight, kinetic rhythm section. After the dancing thrills of that one, 'The Two Of Us' is a more sentimental slow dance for lazy Sundays, and 'Running' closes out the triptych somewhere in between, with soaring strings and life-affirming Rhodes riffs.
Review: Summer may be well and truly over - in the UK, at least - but the sweaty, steamy and sunny seven-inch singles keep on coming. As the title suggests, Vito Lalinga's latest offering is an undeniably tropical affair, with Mariachi style trumpet solos, rousing Afro-beat horns, tactile electric piano keys and flanged guitar riffs dancing atop a punchy, jazzy and bass-heavy funk groove. It's the kind of joyous excursion that should appeal to a wide variety of DJs, particularly those who dig funk, hip-hop and jazz-funk. Label chief Lego Edit gets his virtual scalpel out on the flip and reinvents the track as a driving chunk of four-to-the-floor Afro-funk. It's a weighty revision with serious dancefloor chops.
Review: Last time out, Stefan Ringer came well and truly correct for People of Earth, so the follow up EP was always going to be a tough challenge. French producer Hugo LX proves himself more than worthy of the job, however with this superb deep and spaced out four tracker. 'Freedom House Dance' is the opener, and rides on waves of cosmic synths and deft pads. 'Catching Thunder' is more business like thanks to the chattering claps and more direct and purposeful bassline. 'Track three layers in some doleful trumpets to a taught baseline to make for stylish jazz vibe and lastly, you're cast off into the universe on a wave of infinite pads and meandering leads.
Review: On the latest missive from his energy packed Power House imprint, Rene Pawlowitz - he of Shed and Head High fame - has chosen to showcase tracks from two of his lesser-celebrated alter egos, WK7 and Zigg Gonsalezz. As befits the peak-time ready, party-starting nature of the label, A-side 'Wait' offers an addictive blend of bustling, beefed-up house drums, glassy-eyed female vocal samples and sleazy, rave-igniting riffs. Over on the flip we get two distinctive takes on 'Sunday': the classic New Jersey garage meets Nu Groove style deep house warmth of the '3pm' version, and a stomping late night revision (entitled 'Work It') that peppers a chunky, extra-percussive beat with tight electric piano stabs and booming bass.
Review: Rabo & Snob's new one is all about exploring forgotten jams from the outer limits of Tel Aviv, the city they call home and a city with a rich 1980s scene to mine. This super fine EP kicks off with a mix of boogie, new wave synth and disco that is full hearted and high definition. 'Hare Rama' is a real chugger that roots you to the floor with its rubbery kicks while freaky vocals bring plenty of character. There is a withering sci-fi feel to 'Ego Intrigo' that is embodied today by the likes of Red Axes and 'Tik Wah Hood' closes out in psyched-out fashion with weird percussion and intoxicating vocal wails.
Anthony Rother - "Stellarator" (Plasma mix) (3:43)
Sync 24 - "Hyperway" (4:20)
Sync 24 - "Hyper Loop 1" (2:14)
Sync 24 - "Hyper Loop 2" (2:08)
Review: Electro might be having a big moment in the spotlight but for Anthony Rother, it has been his way of life for decades. Here he serves up a crisp and kicking single 'Stellarator' that's built on booming analogue drums and has molten, Millsian melodies rippling through its core to mind altering effect. A Plasma mix makes even more of those magically modulated synths. On the flip, Sync 24 gets more aggressive with his frazzled 'Hyperway', which rough rides on slapping hits and alien synth life forms. Also included are a pair of tense, teeth clenching intergalactic electro loops.
Review: **RAUM REPRESS** Although Ricardo Villalobos has already appeared on Raum Musik under the RiRom moniker together with Roman Flugel, the Baby EP is his first full release for the label. The title track sees a firm kick and wood block snares forming the backbone for a drifting piano chord and sensual vocals which lead to a climax of delightfully glitchy vocoder. On the flip, "hansup" takes on a tougher groove, as sprung bass and minimal house stabs are joined by ethereal chords and twisted vocal samples.
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.
Review: Thus far in her career, Oona Dahl has made a habit of delivering melody-driven, often intoxicating tracks that seem to draw as much inspiration from 90s trance and progressive house as they do contemporary deep house and techno. Her first single for Watergate, 'Godtripper', ploughs a similar sonic furrow. Her original mix (A1) bubbles away impressively, with psychedelic, acid-style flourishes and grandiose, rising-and-falling melodies riding unfussy drums and an impressively undulating bassline. Patrice Baumel's accompanying remix is, if anything, even more rushing and trance-inducing, with the Dutch producer making great use of an epic, suitably spine-tingling breakdown. Over on the B-side you'll find the equally impressive 'Manic Space', a hypnotic, spaced-out tech-house excursion full of psychedelic acid lines, booming sub bass and crispy drums.
Review: The Crue label comes through with two huge remixers on this lovely marled 10". On the A-side is none other than Wild Oats label boss and Detroit innovator Kyle Hall. He kicks off with a frazzled analogue synth and crisp, raw drum grooves before layering in more dreamy and warm hearted pads. Distant vocals add the detail which allow this one to roll and roll and keep you locked. Running Back boss Gerd Janson then steps up with another punchy deep house cut, this time driven by a bulbous bassline and huge, oversized claps. It's an immediately classic cut.
Review: We've become accustomed to Andres Ordonez AKA Specter offering up deep house that's simultaneously warming, hazy and quietly positive. Even so, his first outing on French label Into The Deep Recordings is particularly drowsy and delicious, more than living up to its "Dreamscape" title. He begins by wrapping sparkling, life-affirming synthesizer motifs, starry chords and lilting lead lines around unfussy machine drums and groovy bass and summery opener "Rolling With Tops", before burying old school piano stabs beneath bubbly, acid-style electronics and off-kilter, post-electro drums on "Pitchin' Quarters". He brilliantly dips the tempo on quality flipside cut "Play The Myth", successfully joining the dots between ultra-deep house, Detroit beatdown and outer-space boogie.