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: Chuck 'em in a black bag and give 'em a blotchy stamp. That's Delsin's modus operandi when it comes to re-releasing their favourite older material. And following their re-up of Son.Sine's beautiful Upekah 12", Claro Intelecto's first ever release makes its way on to the prominent Dutch label, a solid decade after it was first released on the now defunct Ai Records. For that 'must have' feeling "Tone" is the track you want to hear first; a gnarly acid work out of Drexciya-influenced techno that's been dragged through the mud and sounds all the better for it. Before that though there's a deeper and electro-leaning "Peace Of Mind (Electosoul)", and while "Signifier" mirrors it somewhat, it's deep house that's pure as the driven snow. And if you needed any more proof that Intelecto is the master of a phat-bassline, look no further than "Contact".
Review: Luke Vibert is an ever green sonic inventor who can do whatever he pleases with sound. The latest in a long line of projects with Hypercolour and its associated labels is another gem: Rave Hop mixes up downtempo beats, hip hop and r&b with twisted electronics, rave and techno. It's something that could go horribly wrong in the hands of a lesser producer, but here the fusions are amazingly seamless. "No Competition" is a classic era boom bap tune with lush piano chords, "Styles" sounds like a reworked Slick Rick tune with huge breakbeats and "All Night" is as smooth as silk thanks to a buttery vocals and long legged drums that sink you in deep.
James Brown - "Funky President" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:25)
The Vibrettes - "Humpty Dump" (part 1 - extended Breaks Special edition) (3:16)
Review: For the second in their series of clear vinyl reissues of some of their most sought-after "sevens", the mysterious Breaks & Beats crew have chosen to revisit their fourth 45, which originally landed in early 2018. It's well worth picking up, if only for the version of James Brown classic "Funky Presisdent", which features extended grooves and breakbeats for added DJ pleasure and double-up opportunities. That said, we're also big fans of the mystery scalpel fiends' light-touch revision of the Vibrettes' brilliant, voodoo funk favourite "Humpty Dump (Part 1)". This, too, makes more of the original's short drum breaks and strutting instrumental grooves, before unleashing the female vocal group's great vocals.
Review: Roy Of The Ravers may be best known for his lysergic rave pelters, but there's always been a hint of grandiose melancholy in his synth work that suggested there was more to the machine botherer than tear-out acid beats. Emotional Response worked with the artist in trawling through a vast archive of material recorded between 1997 and 2017, rescued from hard drives once thought lost, and now gathered as a compelling ambient release with the full fat hardware veneer of Roy's work to date, but coming from a more reflective angle. From cathedral-quaking drones to deeply submerged aquatic excursions, this album has plenty to draw you into the inner world of an acid hero.
Review: Warner has worked on a run of Joy Division reissues this month and after their most famous "Love Will Tear Us Apart" comes "Transmission" which is not far behind. A 2020 Digital Remaster reboots the sounds but retains the grit and urgency of the original, which is a surging post-punk anthem filled with angst but also a sense of vulnerability and melancholy that makes it so much more enduring. "Novelty" on the flip has a broken beat line, gauzy guitar riffs and is underpinned by an excellent insistent baseline that never lets up.
Review: Back in 2010 composer and Latin jazz specialist Claudio Passavanti put together a scaled-down ensemble of Latin musicians and percussionists to record a salsa cover version of the Jackson Sisters disco classic "I Believe In Miracles". The seven-inch single was a riproaring success, with jazz and Afro-Latin DJs around the world turning it into a bona fide scene anthem. Happily, Passavanti has decided to reissue it on red vinyl to celebrate the track's tenth birthday. It's a superb cover all told and, somewhat surprisingly, "I Believe In Miracles" actually works really well as a Salsa record. Full of fiery horns, sing-along, Boogaloo style vocals and infectious percussion, we actually prefer it to the over-played Jackson Sisters take. Recommended!
Review: When a white label launches from an artist called MPX with single letters for track titles, you know there's some serious techno incoming. This four track EP is brimming with rugged, street-tough energy; from the slapping drum jack and throbbing b-line pulse of opener "G" to the crunchy strut of "J." There's plenty of psychoactive flair to match the classic drum machine flourishes though - "L" has a wicked arp coursing through its veins, while "K" takes the same rhythm section and boils it down to a hypnotising whirl of techno perfection.
I Know You Care (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (5:18)
It's Your Love (Arranged & Produced By Roy Ayers) (4:01)
Review: In soul connoisseur circles, Ethel Beatty will forever be remembered for her sole single on Roy Ayers' Uno Melodic label, which first slipped out in 1981. This Expansion Records reissue - pressed on white vinyl in a Juno exclusive - proves why it is still so well thought of. A-side "I Know You Care" is super-sweet, with Roy Ayers' immaculate production wisely focusing on Beatty's lovelorn vocal, and a disco era deep soul groove that's effortlessly warm and tactile. Also impressive is flipside "It's Your Love", Beatty's sugary but emotive rendition of a Dee Dee Bridgwater and Ayers composition that features some skittish, jazz-dance friendly drums and all-round soothing and seductive vibe.
Review: According to the South American music specialists at Matasuna Records, Ralph Weeks' 1971 single "Let Me Do My Thing" - recorded alongside backing Los Dinamicos Exciters - is arguably the most sought-after Panamanian soul record around. As this reissue proves, Weeks' original version is rubbery, heavy and rousing, with the singer's rasping lead vocal soaring above a weighty backing track that sounds like a breezier take on the New York boogaloo sound. On the flip, Voodoocuts tools it up for modern dancefloors, underpinning his club-ready edit with punchy new drums that give the cut more of a breakbeat style swing.
Review: Long time disco diva Gwen McCrae is an eternally in demand artist whose music reconnects with each new generation. "All This Love That I'm Givin'" is one of her biggest hits and for good reason. Now it gets a special 7" release on stunning yellow vinyl. The soaring vocals do most of the work but the tentative stabs help bring the funk. It's a totally different vibe on the flip with "Maybe I'll Find Somebody New", a much slower and more sensuous tune with luxurious strings and wind instruments complimenting her smooth and seductive vocal work.
Review: Ted Amber first surfaced with an impressive 12" on minimal lynchpin Botanic Minds back in 2018. Now he's back on Romana with a new joint that maintains a seductively deep mood throughout, but still knows how to jack where it counts. The undulating synth tones of "808" get carried through to Magnus Asberg's ranging, steady building remix, while TIJN creates a delicate and detailed tapestry out of the ingredients to complete the set. For classy and consistent variations on a warm, mellow house theme, look no further than this deeply satisfying drop from the Romana crew.
Review: If you don't already own a copty of Gil Scott-Heron classic "The Bottle", one of the many highlights from the pioneering spoken word artist and musician's 1974 collaboration with Brian Jackson, "Winter In America", then we'd heartily recommend picking up one of these limited-edition, white vinyl singles. For the uninitiated, the track features Scott-Heron musing on alcoholism and poverty over a killer flute-laden soul-funk groove. This time round it comes backed by another Scott-Heron/Jackson gem, "Johannesburg" - a more musically inventive and bluesy meditation on arpartheid first featured on the pair's 1975 album "From South Africa To South Carolina".
Review: Four Tet is back with a new album of shimmering wonderment on his own Text label. As ever, it's the way that Kieran Hebden tugs at the heart strings so artfully that makes him so well-loved, and he's not holding back one iota as "Sixteen Oceans" opens up with the ineffably pretty "School". There's some advanced garage ruminations on "Baby", classic ambience on "Harpsichord", and so the eclectic and extremely soul-cleansing vibes continue across three sides of wax. In addition to this wonderful new album, Hebden has also held back the fourth side for a bunch of locked grooves so satisfying you could get lost in them all day.
Review: Second time around for Banda Achilifunk and Original Jazz Orquestra's sought-after 2011 cover of disco classic "I Believe in Miracles", original copies of which now change hands for serious sums online. The expansive Spanish crew's baggy, sun-kissed and rumba-soaked Latin disco cover of the Jackson Sisters' classic is perfectly pitched, adding layers of crunchy Clavinets and punchy horns to a sumptuously summery groove. Over on the flip we get two different takes on McFadden & Whitehead classic "Ain't No Stopping Us Now": a decidedly Balearic Spanish language cover ("No Nos Pararas"), and an instrumental cover full to bursting with superb grooves and even more scintillating horn solos.
Review: We'd argue that "Feelin' Love" is one of the most impressive productions in Psychemagik's growing catalogue. First released in the spring of 2019, it returns to stores in 2020 via a fresh white vinyl pressing. The track is impressively drowsy, warm and woozy, with fragile, eyes-closed female R&B vocals rising above a blend of snappy drums, thickset bass, swirling synth sounds and chiming melodies, all seasoned with the kind of trippy effects that hit home hard when you're feeling love (sorry) at four in the morning. Flipside "Wake Up Everybody" is arguably even better, with the production pair peppering a head-nodding, hip-hop influenced groove with impeccably dubbed-out piano sounds and opaque musical flourishes.
Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe - "Someone In The Crowd" (4:18)
Justin Hurwitz - "Mia & Sebastian's Theme" (1:38)
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone - "A Lovely Night" (3:55)
Justin Hurwitz - "Herman's Habit" (1:51)
Ryan Gosling - "City Of Stars" (1:47)
Justin Hurwitz - "Planetarium" (4:20)
Justin Hurwitz - "Summer Montage/Madeline" (2:04)
Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone - "City Of Stars" (2:28)
John Legend - "Start A Fire" (3:11)
Justin Hurwitz - "Engagement Party" (1:27)
Emma Stone - "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" (3:45)
Justin Hurwitz - "Epilogue/The End" (7:55)
Justin Hurwitz - "City Of Stars (Humming)" (feat Emma Stone) (2:44)
Review: It looks like Damien Chazelle, the young, impressive director of Whiplash and the more recent La La Land, likes to surround himself with equally talented youngsters. For the latter film, he's chosen Justin Hurwitz to compose the score for his successful musical featuring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and we have to say that this is a real keeper. There's a bit of everything in here, a little vintage pop, some classical elements here and there, but jazz is what's at the core of this original score, and that's why we think it's great. What's more, you can listen to Gosling and Stone sing on your turntables. Check it out.
Rebolledo - "Windsurf, Sunburn & Dollar" (extended raw version) (10:30)
Slove - "Flash" (Pachanga Boys Hippie dance) (8:34)
Red Axes - "Camino De Dreyfus" (feat Abrao - Rebolledo remix) (7:44)
Review: Having issued the excellent Momento Drive mix CD by Comeme maverick Rebolledo earlier this month, Kompakt present this addendum 12" sampler featuring three considered highlights of fifteen track set for the vinyl selectors out there. The mix CD itself was a fairly accurate representation of what you'd expect to hear in a Rebolledo DJ set, and it's great to see an 'extended raw version' of the man's own axe heavy "Windsurf, Sunburn & Dollar" lining the A Side, Vic Reeves pub singer style vocals and all! Rebolledo has a hand in the B Side cuts too, offering up a trademark Hippie Dance take on Slove as part of Pachanga Boys with Superpitcher and turning in a devilish solo remix of "Camino De Dreyfus" by I'm A Cliche dons Red Axes.
Review: The third drop in the Correcciones Calypso series finds the Mexican label turning to regular fixture Thomass Jackson for the A side, where he brings some heavyweight crossover pelters for the ever-broadening tastes of the dancefloor. "Maquina De Bongo" is a fierce percussive throwdown with a chuggy cosmic disco sound that drives crowds into a frenzy, while "Lavora!" follows on a similar tip albeit with a slightly punchier EBM undercurrent. On the flip, Plot Pilot has an equally adventurous sound that draws on freaky synth flourishes and Eastern motifs for a pan-continental trip on a seductively dark tip. "Move To The Nida Beach" slows things down to an insanely catchy, chant-along synth pop pulse.
Review: Featuring six tracks from an eye-catching array of rising stars and confirmed underground heroes, VEYL's latest release is a must-check affair. There simply isn't room to mention each and every track, so instead we'll pick out some of the many standout tracks. Check first the sleazy, foreboding filth of Jenson Interceptor's hybrid electro-techno treat "The Outer Limits", before diving headfirst into the even more mind-altering, synth-heavy darkness of Lokier's "Secrets". Randstad skilfully doffs a cap to Nitzer Ebb while keeping the grooves rooted in electro on the growling guitar-laden sweatiness of "Metalloid", while Cardopusher's acid-fired "Bloodlust" is a stylish blend of EBM weight, jacking drums and twisted electronic motifs.
Review: To many this is where Brazilian jazz truly began: 1966, the legendary saxophonist and composer Victor Assis Brasil laid down his debut album at just 21. Still as smoky and sentimental as it was 50 years ago (but sadder knowing his life was cut short by a rare disease just 15 years later), the playful sense of space, rhythm and technique displayed (and a slight freedom from the US and European sounds of the time due to him living in Brazil) are delivered with a rawness, clarity and sense of fun such as the R&B double bass backdrop of "Simplesmente" or the cat and mouse style counterplay between the horns on "Dueto". A touching and ultimately timeless piece of jazz history.
Review: It's been three years since their last LP, but ESCAPE marks Peaking Lights's sixth full length record overall. By now, the Californian psych-dub duo are masters of lo-fi and dreamy pop, escapist grooves that feel somehow retro and familiar yet also fresh and forward looking. It's music for cruising down the motorway in hot sun, or for zooming from day into night on a sun kissed terrace. It's loveable homemade DIY stuff with percussive loops and motorik kicks making for powerful and dynamic grooves that really move you. Add in hypnotic and haunting vocal hooks and you have a fantastic record.
Review: Seven years have passed since Burial first stopped us dead in our tracks with this universally acclaimed second album.. Sounding so different, so removed and far away from anything else, it changed the game entirely - and created a whole school of imitators in its wake. Now repressed by Hyperdub, this is a rare opportunity to grab it on fresh wax. Even if you have this on other formats in your collection, the dusty weight and chasmic crackles sound so much better on vinyl.
Review: Amerigo's The Big Payback series finds him bring together some fantasy all stars for his "J.B. and The Soul Mates" tribute concept. Here, James Brown's music is reworked, edited and chopped together with the work of hip hop giant Notorious BIG. It results in speaker blasting, floor filling, ass wiggling jams that mash up all the most iconic verses and choruses from each singer with their most recognisable guitar riffs, drum breaks and samples. It's a colourful collage that is as fun as it is funky.
Review: Essential repress! Tomas Bangalter's stone cold classic Roule 12" Trax On Da Rocks makes a return. The five tracks on offer - "On Da Rocks", "Roule Boule", "What To Do", "Outrun" and "Ventura" - have acquired legendary status, standing as sublime examples of the rough, raw end of the filter-soaked French house sound. Some 17 years since they were first released, these tracks have lost none of their madcap brilliance; if this isn't already a cherished part of your record collection, here's your chance.
Want You In My Soul (Summer In London edit) (4:51)
Review: Stee Downes is one of contemporary house music's most prominent vocalists and here he lends his silky tones to Freerange, Defected and OM Records associate, Lovebirds for this new one on South Street. "Want You In My Soul" is a mix of old and new, where disco percussion and cosmic synths nestle alongside a mid tempo house groove with plenty of warmth. Downes' vocals are the loved up icing on the romantic groove cake. Flip over for the "Summer In London Edit" - a more stripped back and direct version, perfect for outdoor stages as the sun beats down.
Review: How do you describe the indescribable, or explain that which doesn't always make sense? Pontiac Streator forsakes the standard debut album format for a sprawling, double-disc journey into soundscapes that feel thick, complex, familiar and weird, subtle echoes of rave legacies or cinematic sequences come and go, gliding on the gentle sense of rhythm that underpins the experience. If all that reads a bit too complex and conceptual, fear not. The act of listening is both rewarding and beautiful. An underwater dive into fizzing, dubby atmospheres with a constant sense of lightness and positivity. Whereas so many productions in this ilk seem to focus on cold, crystalline tones or details seemingly forged from steel, things are resolutely more rounded, inviting and hospitable here. More than a few strokes of genius at play.
Review: Second time around for Saint Etienne's 2012 album "Words and Music by Saint Etienne", a typically breezy, summery and ear-pleasing affair in which Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell delivered a suitably glossy, up-beat take on synth-pop that arguably owes more to the Pet Shop Boys and their own early works than some of their more celebrated albums. Highlights are plentiful, from sunny opener "I've Got Your Music" and the string-laden swell of "The Last Days of Disco", to the largely acapella "Record Doctor", baggy and Balearic "Twenty Five Years" and the attractively jangling "Haunted Jukebox". Pop perfection tailor made for sunny days and lazy afternoons: don't sleep!
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Review: Twenty years ago it sounded like an oddly poignant evocation of pre-millennial tension. Two decades later it stands as an eerily prescient glimpe into the technological alienation and dislocation of of a new era. Yet more importantly, OK Computer is no more or less than a sparkling, dramatic and moving collection of songs that haven't lost any of their impact in the interim. The sound of a band stubbornly refusing to follow up the stadium-strafing stylings of its predecessor The Bends - and instead bursting headlong into experimentation and wild creativity -is portrayed in still more vivid colours by the alarmingly strong collection of out-takes and B-sides collected herein, Yet there's no getting away from the chill and spark that marked out OK Computer from everything surrounding it in the post-Britpop malaise, and continues to do so in the pre-Brexit counterpart.
Review: Madvillain is the collaboration of the most dynamic duo from today's hip-hop underground, MF Doom and Madlib. "Madvillainy" has witty, mental lyrics combined with rugged beats fashioned from every possible source material, resulting in a truly unique album pointing the way to hip-hop's future.
Get Out Of My Way (Retro Roland Riso Eterno Regroove) (3:47)
Review: Earlier in the year, Matasuna Records reissued two rare and exceedingly hard to find tracks by Peruvian band Bossa 70. They'll soon be offering up more original cuts from the band's sought-after debut album, but before then they're treating us to two dancefloor-focused re-edits of Bossa 70 classics by American DJ/producer Retro Roland Riso. On the A-side he delivers a DJ-friendly "Perfecto Edit" of Think, a horn-heavy slab of Peruvian funk rich in rubbery beats and hazy bass. Just as cheery and life affirming is his interpretation of "Get Out Of My Way". This is an altogether heavier, faster and more stomping revision, though it's the vibrancy of the psychedelic era Latin funk backing track that really sets the pulse racing.
Review: After making a splash with releases on Twig and Lumbago, Raphael Beneluz brings his classy machine music to Cartulis with the P 12". Things get off to a pumped-up start with the dynamic, detailed thrust of "Xzomet" before the night draws in around the tastefully creepy workout "Darkanethesie". "Hostile Planet" opens up the B-side with more eerie atmospheres and stout box jam beats, and then "System Down" completes the package with another thumping tapestry of nervy acid and old-skool jack. For all the familiar touches, this is music dripping with personality and attitude, bottom-heavy and sure to devastation in the dance, real or virtual.
Review: Back in 1998 Groove Chronicles took on Myron's "We Can Get Down", delivering a hard-stepping breaks-y version which was dazzlingly fresh for the time, and still sounds effervescent now. DPR continue their incredible service to archival garage holy grails by digging this one out of the dust and offering up some newly aired versions to take you even deeper. This is the sweet and smoky side of the UKG scene, not least on the spacious and dubby "2step Re:re:refix" that kicks off the B-side. Mellow, moody and oh so smooth, but with bass pressure where it counts. Don't sleep on this one - it's guaranteed to fly out.
Review: Grammy award winning sound engineer Chris Lord Alge produced the music that makes up this Acid Rain release back in 1986. It has been somewhat forgotten an or overlooked ever since, but now Thank You rightfully bring it back to the fore. The tunes have a real sense of character and include two versions of an oddball leftfield downtempo chugger. One is a wild flurry of machine sounds and occult synths and the other gets even more unhinged. As well as those is a patriotic America monologue that comes with a superbly overblown and emotional piano that is best taken with tongue firmly in cheek.
Review: One of disco's biggest divas gets served up on a red hot platter here by Vinylators. "Extended Woman" is eight plus minutes of bubbling, piano laced and string happy disco with the iconic "I'm every woman" vocal taking centre stage over nice clipped drums. It's a tasteful edit that brings all the key parts to the fore. "Piano Woman" is more stripped back, with plenty of emphasis on some busy piano playing and the soaring original vocal left in place up top. "Dub Woman" is more paired back and built on the leggy drums, while plenty of golden strings add real colour.
Review: 40 years ago this rare afro-disco track made big waves. It's the work of Cameroonina disco talent Zogo and now gets a big reissue along with two remixes from the much loved Gerd Janson and Bellaire. The original is pure joy, with trilling guitars and a funky bass riff that does plenty of work up and down the scales. The percussion is just as lively, while the vocal finishes it off nicely. Bellaire flips it into a more contemporary bit of punchy disco house and Janson sits somewhere in between, with plenty of the upbeat energy of the original but some boosted modern flourishes to help it soar.
Review: <3 is a rather pop leaning new album from Atom TM written in collaboration with an "entity" called x1n. The producer himself refers to the sound as "hard code pop" and the entity generated human voice and natural language content. It came with an obtuse message from the entity which is worth finding if you want some extra back story, or else just dive headfirst into the music. It's a flurry of whirring machines and deconstructed electronic sounds, with dehumanised vocals lost in the middle of it all. Despite the cold futurism of it all, there is still plenty of soul to be found in these fascinating tracks.
Review: There's a touching story behind 'Casa', one that says as much about its sound as it does about the production setting and name. Ubaldo, whose ear for the minute-but-inescapable is more than evident across this record, has spent the last few years as something of a nomad, switching bases and never planting firm roots. This collection was recorded as he arrived in Brussels, where he helped a friend renovate a run down old house at the same time. The point being, sonically there's an overriding sense of isolation, of remoteness and vulnerability, particularly in the earlier moments and movements. Sounds are left alone to linger, as though dwelling on choices or reliving memories. Aural interpretations of the kind of emotions you might experience after arriving in a big city, perhaps. But then there are times when comfort and new beginnings seem to ring out, 'Des d'aqui, gracies per l'intercanvi' for example. Evocative stuff.
Review: Originally issued back in 1998, Mezzanine remains the most commercially successful album released by Bristol troupe Massive Attack, thanks in no small part to the Liz Fraser-featuring "Teardrop". This third album signalled a change in sonic direction that played more explicitly on the darkness and tension that was always an undercurrent of their much loved debut Blue Lines and successor Protection. After numerous bootlegs over the years, Virgin have done the right thing and presented this official reissue of Mezzanine to appease fans of Massive Attack and it's clear the LP has lost none of it's bewitching power. The Quincy Jones and Isaac Hayes sampling "Exhange" and "Exchange" remain a delight in particular.
I Have Been Waiting For You (DJ Duckcomb Digimix) (7:19)
Review: Emotional Rescue serve up a balmy curveball cut perfect for the summer months. Glen Ricks "I've Been Waiting For You" was originally released back in 1983 on the highly collectible Seraff label and recently reissued by the label (ERC081). Here, as an accompanying release to that boogie version is a 1990 digital rework for the Xterminator label. With a distinctive swung riddim and smoothly incorporated dubbed out chords, Ricks' vocal channels the most soulful Jamaican deliveries, sealing the deal on this evergreen jam that sounds great in original and version forms. DJ Duckcomb steps up with a tender "Digimix" that retains the dusty crunch of the original with just a little extra bite in the beats.
Review: Ron's Reworks is a mysterious new edit label that deals in tweaking disco gems. Whether Ron is the name of the edit artist, or a nod to the fact these tunes might have been played Ron Hardy, we don't know, but we do know they are worth having: Gilles Peterson played the lush soul grooves of "Flight Of The Eisenberg" on his 6 Music show which should be all the support you need to know about, while "Heads" is a more deep cut of late night funk with playful riffs and a gorgeous vocal sample next to jazzy Rhodes keys. "The Jubes" ends things with a heartwarming gospel vocal from beautiful outfit The Supreme Jubilees that will leave you feeling warm inside.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: For the fifth volume in their Tonic Edits series, the Toy Tonics crew has handed over the reins to label regular and sometime Razor 'N' Tape contributor COEO. There's plenty to set the pulse racing throughout. Opener "Orlando Magic" offers a tightened up, re-arranged take on a killer chunk of highlife disco, while "Cabrio Magio" appears to be a tooled-up take on a killer South American disco stomper. On the flip you'll find the rubbery electric bass, Chic style clipped guitars and eyes-closed vocals of "1981", as well as "She Keeps It Good", a superb P-funk/boogie rework which sees COEO brilliantly tease out the groove via some seriously cut-up loops.
Notes: These are the same high-quality inner sleeves that MOFI use for their most-prized vinyl releases. They are imported, three-ply, anti-static, premium sleeves (similar to rice paper) and work with both LPs and laser discs.
Back construction consists of a paper layer sandwiched between two sheets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a translucent HDPE front.
These custom-designed inner sleeves protect against all common problems associated with regular sleeves of all types, such as scratching, static build-up and contamination etc.
Your records are irreplaceable, these sleeves will guarantee they last a lifetime.
The One O Ones - "Radio Cosmos 101" (Bals edit) (4:27)
Gemini - "Take A Chance" (4:34)
The Clean Hands Group - "Night Fly" (4:24)
The CVQ Band - "Whatever You Do" (instrumental) (4:38)
Miss - "Hip Hop" (3:06)
Metal Voices - "At The Banks Of The River" (3:44)
The Clean-Hands Group - "Shake It On" (4:03)
Gigi Flag - "Nymphomaniac" (instrumental) (5:58)
Eddy La Viny - "Havan' Hamac" (3:43)
Review: BeachFreaks Records co-founder Charles Bals is a man who knows about records - and obscure European ones at that. Club Meduse, his first compilation for Spacetalk (a label with a track record for producing these kinds of killer, crate-digging comps), is loosely designed as the soundtrack to life around a mythical (IE imaginary) Cote D'Azure resort. Musically, it gathers together the kind of hazy, soft-focus and life-affirming cuts that you would have heard at resort discos in the mid-to-late 1980s. Suffice to say that Bals' selections tend towards the rare, magical and undeniably Balearic, from the glassy-eyed, cascading jazz-funk of the Keyboys and loved-up post-boogie sweetness of Gemini's "Take a Chance", to the sparkling Euro-electro of Miss' "Hip Hop" and pitched-down drum machine chug of Gigi Flag's "Nymphomaniac (Instrumental)". Essential.
Review: Nite Fleit has had a barnstorming couple of years with drops on Planet Euphorique and Unknown To The Unknown, a team-up with Mall Grab on Looking For Trouble and now this rabid electro stormer on Helena Hauff's Return To Disorder label. Compared to some of the grungier, punk-inflected electro you'd expect to find on the label, this is bright, bold, big-room stuff with plenty of ravey motifs to move large masses of bodies. "Empty Nest Syndrome" is hyped up to 11 while "Naive" pivots around a hard as nails electro beat. Watch out for the mad arps on "Can't You See" and "Rebel Faction" too - they're gunning for your cerebellum and you should take heed.