Blackbird (Joaquin edits & Overdubs bonus beats Organ dub) (8:16)
Rebel Nina (1:24)
Review: Here's a special club 12" for serious heads dealing in a set of mixes of "Blackbird". You have to come correct when you dare step to Nina Simone, but you know full well the cast of characters assembled on this 12" can be trusted with the high priestess of soul. Timmy Regisford is up first, bringing some intense organ lines and Lately bass into the mix with a perfect balance between jubilant expression and tension. Joe Claussell then steps up with two different edit and overdub versions, where the organs get poured on more liberally and the whole jam boils over. As a wonderful bonus element, you get a powerful acapella monologue from Nina Simone to close out the B side.
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: Chicago house heads rejoice, because right here we have a holy grail release. Marshall Jefferson originally recorded "Vibe Three" in 1985, and it was only ever played by Ron Hardy at seminal club The Music Box. Gene Hunt and Emanuel Pippin were amongst the only other DJs to have a copy of the tape, but the track was never released until now. This is pre-"Move Your Body" music, capturing the soul and vitality of house music at its inception and sounding as fresh as it would have back then. As well as Jefferson's instrumental original, the flip finds Jefferson teaming up with his partner in Jungle Wonz, Harry Dennis, for a poignant vocal version called "Human Condition". Don't sleep on this, as it won't be around for long.
Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot (extended version) (6:01)
Review: The seventies were a golden time for disco, soul and funk all the many different fusions of those sounds. Few are finer than Breakwater's "No Limits" which is a 1978 boogie classic. This version is a special reissue of the rare 'promo-only' extended version that's backed with the monster funk cut "Do It Till The Fluid Gets Hot." "No Limits" has soaring guitar riffs and the sort of breezy grooves that sweep you off your feet. The vocals soar just as high and make this a real classic. The flip side is more driven and kicking, with upbeat bass hits and kinetic hand claps all topped with a sense of peak time fun.
Review: Chicago veteran Boo Williams has put out almost as many records as his good friend Glenn Underground, and almost all of them are high-class. His latest limited-edition missive is, somewhat predictably, another gem. Opener "Tribulation" is sweet and spacey, with Williams wrapping fizzing, techno-tempo drums and bubbly bass in intergalactic synths sounds and chords so emotive you might start blubbing on the dancefloor. It comes accompanied by a deeper, acid-flecked flipside dub that also boasts some exciting new synth solos (track three) and a slightly slower, but no less energetic or musically positive, bonus cut called "Mental State". Predictably, this is every bit as alluring as the EP's other tracks.
Review: Back in 2014 Galcher Lustwerk and Palms Trax were both emergent artists making their first tentative steps into the scene. While they may be thoroughly distinct in their sounds, they found some crossover in an exchange of remixes, with Lustwerk's take on "Forever" appearing on Lobster Theremin. Palms Trax returned the favour with a version of Lustwerk's "Soul Control" which never saw the light of day until now. While it's certainly redolent of the earlier phase of Palms Trax's career, the effervescent musicality at the heart of the release is still completely in step with Palmsy as we know and love him today, replete with Lustwerk's inimitable laconic vocal delivery over the top.
Cyberian Nights (Siberian Nights remix In Tribute To Twilight 22) (4:59)
Hologram People (6:40)
Review: Fundamental Records, the electro music label behind the 808 Box, Electric Eclectics and Music for The Other People Place project starts with a new project and new label called Electro Records and has made something of a statement with its first release, not only opting for a striking clear and white splatter patterned slab of wax, but also by securing the services of sometime CPU, Craigie Knowes and Biosoft Record producer Phillip Washington aka Cygnus. Do not forget Fundamental Records is the home of the Dallas producer with a full album in 2016, several EPs and tracks for the 808 Box and Electric Eclectics and the project MACHINE FUNK!... a triple album released only a few months ago. Cygnus rarely disappoints, and we can safely say he's delivered the goods here too. For proof, check the robotic, vocoder-laden deep space shuffle of "Hologram Killer", the lilting melodies and emotive, starry synths of "She Work All Night" and the canny combination of bubbly acid house and deep electro tropes that is "Hologram People". Elsewhere, "Cyberian Nights" doffs a cap to original '80s electro crew Twilight 22 and closing cut "Satisfaction" flits between crunchy dancefloor aggression and drifting-through-space deepness
Review: Philly soul star Billy Paul made some great records during his mid 1970s heyday, though few are quite as sublime as "Let The Dollar Circulate", a passionate plea for economic equality that adds sumptuous orchestration and serious dancefloor chops to the then popular conscious soul template. Paul's lead vocal is superb, while Gamble and Huff's production is as good as you'd expect. Remarkably, this is the first time the track has featured on a 12" single, so props to Be With Records for spotting a gap in the market. You certainly need it in your life - honestly, it's incredible - while flipside "East", an incredible chunk of spiritual soul recorded in 1971, is every bit as awesome. Recommended.
Review: Acidworx present their tenth release, which label boss DJ Seri so eloquently describes himself as 'more funky, squelching acid cuts for your brain'. Their acid trips have assisted them in travelling (without moving) as far as Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland on this one. The acid flashback on A1 will take you back to the days of the Plastik parties at the legendary Packard Plant in Detroit, while the tunnelling and strobed-out mentalisms of "10.02" will certainly cause long term effects - at the very least it'll have you calling in sick on Monday. On the flip, strap yourself in for a wild ride on the full-throttle acid trance epic "10.03" and boldly exclaim 'stay up forever!'
Review: Over the past few years, Johnny Rock has proved to be one of the shrewdest re-editors around, delivering must-check reworks of thoroughly obscure gems that tend towards the exotic and intoxicating. Further proof of his dusty-fingered, scalpel-wielding genius can be found on this Orange Tree Edits outing. Check first the rubbery, off-kilter '80s electro-flex of "Kat-Woman Do", before admiring the Mascara-sporting, New Romantic style synth-pop goodness of "Bitter Juice". Elsewhere, he offers up some skewed, percussion-rich late-night eccentricity (the delightfully weird "Hippie Jam") and successfully dances his way through some Communism-era Yugoslav post-punk heaviness ("Streets of Belgrade").
Review: Isle of Jura boss Kev Griffiths has spent a lot of time digging into the Caribbean disco-reggae scene over the last few years, so it should come as no surprise that he's uncovered a slew of gems from obscure Jamaican duo The Pearls to reissue. Norman Watson and Stanley Shaw originally made their name in the late 1970s with a string of dancefloor-focused disco-rap and disco-reggae records, but it's 1980's "On & On" - here issued for the first time on 12"- that could well be their finest hour. It's a sparse, squelchy mixture of rubbery synth-bass, light disco instrumentation and party-starting rap vocals. It comes accompanied by the original "all-star" dub mix, and a brilliant new extended edit from Waxist that makes the most of elements from both versions.
Review: Demuir has plenty of accolades and achievements under his belt, from regular collaborations with DJ Sneak and Cassy to releases on Music For Freaks, Hot Creations, Robsoul and more. Now the Toronto-based artist is on Darius Syrossian's Moxy Muzik with a seriously rubbery slice of peak-time house music to get bodies jacking in the loosest possible way. "Soul Muzak" hinges around a wonky, modulating synth line that will do untold damage in any up-for-it party setting. Demuir's old sparring partner DJ Sneak steps up on the B-side to deliver the "Banger Dub Remix" of the track, honing things down to a tracky bounce in his instantly identifiable house gangster style.
Review: Ascendant Londoner Casey Spillman continues with his impressive run of releases, that have so far been seen on top imprints such as Infuse, 4plae and Beatniks London. He returns to his own Temperature imprint for the second installment, packed full of tripped-out afterhours boompty business, best heard on the infectious A side cut "C2C To Fenchurch St". On the flip, he sends the signal out loud and clear that the party is going well into Monday on the sunny and uplifting hypnotiser "Brickfields". This vocal -led number features a distinct UK garage style swagger throughout, said to be a big influence on Spillman.
Review: The latest missive on Cultivated Electronics' limited-edition offshoot offers up a quartet of cuts from artists based in the Hague, all of whom had some associated with the now closed cold war bunker turned studio space and online radio station Onderwereld. Cosmox kicks things off via the snappy, bass-heavy electro beats, creepy synth chords and spacey bleeps of "Electrostress", before 543FF wraps mind-altering, acid-style lead lines and paranoia-inducing electronic noises around a sludgy beat on "Easy". Over on the flip you'll find two versions of 543FF, Star Kid and Gamma Intel collaboration "Three City Firm": the dark, foreboding and mind-altering original mix, and a more minimalistic - but arguably heavier - club electro revision from 543FF.
Review: Do we need yet another enigmatic imprint devoted to tech house makeovers of dance music classics? Well, this one's a fairly worthy addition! Following in the tradition of ODE, YYY, EEE and countless others, here's a new contender in the form of Montreal's Sunday's Edit, said to be affiliated with the RawMoments crew. After a hot sophomore release which featured elements of a certain Icelandic chanteuse and the King Of Pop, 'SE03' is more straight ahead. From the sunny and uplifting tech house tool "Coral Capers" which calls to mind the sounds of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while B side cut "I'm Alright" is a serving of sensual Stateside deepness. It sounds familiar, but we're not quite sure who it is, but we can tell you that it's perfect for those heads down moments on the dancefloor.
Review: There are certain songs so eternal they could be re-edited and repressed into infinity and never grow old. There are also certain remixers and re-editors that can be trusted with even the biggest of anthems, and Psychemagick are surely up there. Taking on Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place" and Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere" is no mean feat, when the originals were such pop perfection to begin with. Balancing the scales between a fresh treatment and solemn respect for the sanctity of the original versions, these versions simply add a little oomph in the rhythm section and apply smatterings of blissful, dubbed-out FX where it counts to send these perennial favourites into the stratosphere.
Review: After a hot minute of hibernation we're finally back with our seventh release! This time it's our great pleasure to welcome Tom Ellis into the Lyssna fold with this scintillating EP. Full of eerie soundscapes, hollow grooves and jazzy melodies that is sure to transport you to a place that fills you with a sense of something else.
Give Myself To You (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul remix vocal) (8:01)
Give Myself To You (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul remix instrumental) (8:00)
Review: GLOW is a team of composers, producer and songwriters who work on solo projects as well as part of various groups, and they have a lush indie soul sound. Their "Ten of Diamonds" featuring the legendary voice of UK soul, Omar, is now revisited and remixed by a crack team of artists. Don-E goes first with a laidback, sun kissed version to make you well up with romantic feels. After an album version and a cosmic tinged, slow motion funk and soul jam known as "Track 3", the ever on point DJ Spinna serves up two fresh versions with jazzy chords and deep soul vibes that take you late into the night.
Review: Hot new French label Happiness Therapy run by ascendant DJ/producer Crowd Control proudly presents a brilliant double header following up a great inauguration by CC himself and Popka. HT02 features Vancouverite Jesse Bru on the A side, with the late night dusty deepness of "Uncle Frank" (which ventures into hypnotic acid territory later on) followed by the emotive and bittersweet vibe of "Good Life" which is absolutely wonderful. On the flip, rising Welshman Harrison BDP brings the goods as always: with the immersive dub techno flavour of "Eternal Space" followed by "Parallax" which similarly explores the cavernous and glacial aesthetics of Basic Channel and Echospace.
Review: Surreal was a sublabel of Swag Records that operated around the tech house scene of the mid to late '90s. After 17 years of silence, the label awakens from its slumber to repress a few of the choicest cuts from the back catalogue. First up is Ron & Roland, otherwise known as Laurant Webb, whose acid-laced "Nassaur Bassed Party" sounds as fresh and infectious as it did back in '96. Spacebunny's self-titled opus takes thing deeper, but there's still a strident metallic groove that harks back to the early days of tech house in fine style. Cheeky trio Coke, Stoned & Bailey's only made a couple of drops on Surreal, but "Your Dad" is surely one of the strongest - a rubbery acid line and splashes of dub all over the shop.
Review: While D Tiffany's Planet Euphorique label has always embraced the more psychedelic end of the electronic music spectrum, this debut EP from Psychedelic Budz - a collaboration between the label founder and fellow trippy techno traveller Ciel - is the most expressively hallucinatory record it has released to date. In its original form, "Faerie Stomp" is a wonderfully squelchy, acid-fired trip into '90s tech-trance territory that sounds like the kind of thing that Ewoks would listen to in order to free their minds at five in the morning. The pair's more percussive and spaced-out "Enchanted Mix" is, if anything, even better. Elsewhere, Ludwig AF's remix doffs a multi-coloured jester's hat to the Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia, while Adam Pitts turns the track into a psychedelic techno stomper.
Review: There's a good chance you've already heard the hook-laden crossover groove of LUXXURY & Scavenger Hunt's "Another Lifetime", which was recently featured on Future Disco's Poolside Sounds compilation. Now the track gets a full vinyl release for all pop-friendly spinners to get the maximum mileage out of this immaculate slice of sunkissed funk. The original version appears in extended form, brimming with slick '80s tinged disco notes and a sweeter-than-honey vocal line. LUXXURY then offer up a remix which takes on some Italo arpeggios while keeping the essence of the tune very much intact. On the flip you can dive into the instrumental version if you just want to home in on the groove itself before Impakt offer up a shimmering downtempo version for blissed out moments beyond the dance.
Review: Since debuting in 2016, Slovenia's PHI crew has delivered sporadic slabs of wax, with each occasional EP joining the dots between techno, acid, electro and IDM. This 12" narks the label's return to vinyl after a 15-month absence and boasts two tracks apiece from label regular Vid Vai and Luckison collective member Tzena. The latter kicks things off with "As The Dust Settles", a chiming and cheery chunk of funk-fuelled electro/IDM fusion, before returning to open side B with the crunchy sci-fi techno vibes of "Remixnotremix". Vid Vai's contributions are naturally impressive, too. "Syn20" joins the dots between Bleep & Bass and deep electro, while "Exciter" a rugged chunk of organ-sporting breakbeat/techno fusion.
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: Had we been able to flock to clubs and festivals this summer, this soaring disco earworm from Belgian nu-disco don and French legend Dimitri From Paris would have sound-tracked many a giddy, hedonistic moment. In its original "Extended Vocal Mix" form,"Can't Get Enough" is a sublime slice of authentically celebratory disco revivalism laden topped off with a superb lead vocal from singer Leela. The accompanying "Dubstrumental" also hits all of the right turn-of-the-80s disco dub mix notes - think extended percussion breaks, stripped-back instrumental passages etc - while Yuksek's fine remix takes the track further towards "French Touch" style disco-house territory with an added dose of delay-laden proto-house magic. Big!
Review: The third part of Joe Claussell's Joaquin Unofficial Edits & Overdubs series is as strong as the first two with four Special Extended Versions making for some joyous listening. "Tears Of Joy" is rapturous house music with gospel overtones that canto fail to bring the soul. "Al's Razerblade" is a lo-fi funk mash up with a strident rhythm section and "Morning" is golden soul with soaring strings that brings some 60s magic to the dance floor. "Life On Earth" is the steamiest of the lot, with tropical sounds and mad jazzy chords all laced with wild percussion that bristles with energy.
Review: Having already seen his synth-pop-meets-piano-house gem "Never Come Back" successfully remixed by Four Tet and Morgan Geist, Dan "Caribou" Snaith has now handed over the parts to Sam Shepherd AKA Floating Points. While those versions retained the core elements of Snaith's warm and ear-pleasing original mix, Shepherd has chosen to re-imagine it as the kind of positive, spacey, musically detailed and rushing late night deep house jam with which he originally made his name a decade ago. It has serious sub-bass weight, too, and is one of his most impressive club-focused outings for some time. It's worth buying the 12" for that mix alone, but his wonderfully deep, sub-heavy, garage-influenced rework of another "Suddenly" album track, "Sister", is also superb. In other words, you need this in your life.
Review: All of Joy Division's biggest hits have been remastered and reissues by Warner this month. This particular heavyweight wedge of 12" vinyl offers "Atmosphere", which interestingly enough was first put in March 1980 by the Sordide Sentimental label as a France-only single under the title "Licht und Blindheit". Like "Transmission" or "Love Will Tear Us Apart", it is an essential tune with a real moodiness in the production rom Martin Hamnett. Curtis's vocals have a sense of finality to them that was to prove all too real when he committed suicide not long after recording it. 1979's "She's Lost Control" is an other archetypal, angular groove with the jittery drums that made the band so essential.
Review: No mater how many times you hear it, you just cannot resist air drumming and foot stomping to Joy Division's most famous hit. It's a track that resonates through the ages, and when you know the story of lead singer Ian Curtis it always takes on extra sombre resonance. Here it gets a special remaster and is served up with a special Pennie Version which sends the drums into overdrive and mad echo and distortion all make the track that bit more frenzied, intense and essential. The short but sweet, hard hitting post punk banger "These Days" is also included on this heavyweight 12".
Review: There are nimble, rolling grooves aplenty to be enjoyed on the second drop from Mahal for Inner Shift. Of course, these grooves are framed within the context of moody, meditative soundscapes where you're as likely to hear some squalling guitar as you are spooky keys - that's certainly the case on stunning opener "Red & Blue". Deep Explorer comes on board for a remix that feeds some loose and limber breaks into the mix, which match the dusty feel of the track perfectly. "Behind The Scene" weighs in with a powerful bass presence and some classic box beats, capturing some serious Detroit-inspired energy in the process. "Mind Games" completes the record with a dreamy excursion into airy pads and submerged arpeggios to get you floating skywards.
Review: Long-serving duo Morphology are the proud owners of one of the most on-point discographies in electro and IDM, though it should be noted that their releases have become far more sporadic in recent years. Here the Finnish pair make their first appearance on Exalt Records and, as expected, they've delivered a terrific EP. The headline attraction is undoubtedly "Quallia", a fine fusion of fizzing, Middle Eastern-influenced melodies, chugging bass, yearning string sounds and off-kilter electro drums. This is remixed twice on the flip. First John Shima gives the track a dreamy, sunrise-ready spin in his effortlessly emotive trademark style, before B12 man Steve Rutter re-imagines it as a melancholic slab of deep electro beauty. A fine EP is completed by "Flatlands", a melodic electro number with a subtly stargazing finish.
Alex Attias & Justin Chapman & Hajime Yochizawa - "The Message (For You)" (10:00)
Alex Attias & Mark De Clive Lowe - "The Waiting Game" (7:57)
Review: Since -re-establishing his early noughties Visions Inc imprint in 2017, Swiss scene stalwart Alex Attias has delivered some of his most impressive and musically dexterous material. He's at it again here on a two-tracker that showcases his love of studio collaboration. Our pick of the pair is exuberant, life-affirming A-side "The Message (For You)", a sublime slab of loose-limbed Latin house soulfulness featuring vocals from Justin Chapman and keys-work from Japanese artist Hajime Yochizawa. Attias' old pal Mark De Clive-Lowe lends a hand of equally positive and sparkling flipside "The Waiting Game", adding all manner of jazz-funk inspired sound synths to a fine, rubbery deep house workout.
Review: Plant 43 is the quintessential electro stalwart, truly immersed in the sound and forever finding new realms of inspiration within the well-worn formula. Following the largely ambient The Countless Stones album on his newly minted label, the man known as Emile Facey now switches stance for some propulsive excursions that will keep his ardent followers more than satisfied. "Density Wave" splits the difference between ethereal pad moods and bruising machine funk, while "Dream Archive" keeps things sparse, deep and heavy. "21 Winters" piles on some of the most dramatic synth work we've heard from Facey in a hot minute, bringing serious levels of bombast to the electro arena and retaining that distinctive edge we expect from a Plant43 record.
Review: Pioneering disco outfit First Choice built up a fine arsenal of hits in the 70s and 80s. Amongst them was their epic "Armed and Extremely Dangerous" which now gets two new versions served up by Brookside. Hot Mix 5 and Chicago house legend Ralphi "The Raz" Rosario is the man doing the work and the brings big drums and vocals with some superbly soulful keys next to Craig J Snider. On the flip, the band's most iconic tune "Love & Happiness" gets a rework by Mike Maurro. It is more soulful and warm, laced with big drums and sweeping pads.
Fun Kool - "Jam Now" (feat Eruptia & Anna Dee Tee) (5:29)
Brothers In Arts - "What's Wrong" (6:56)
Review: When sourcing material, the prolific Tropical Disco edits and rework series has largely relied on a small handful of reliable producers, most notably Sartorial and Moodena. Significantly, neither are present on this action-packed four-tracker, with the imprint instead showcasing the work of some genuine rising stars. Javi Frias kicks things off in fine style via the gently beefed-up, low-down disco-funk sleaze of "Push Me", before Hurlee adds a humid South American twist via the carnival-friendly hedonism of "Brasilia". Over on the flip, Fun Kool aims for arms-aloft peak-time disco perfection on EP highlight "Jam Now", while Brothers In Arts' "What's Wrong" is a filter-sporting slab of weighty disco-house goodness.
Review: Well Street continues to be a hotbed of innovation in the cloudy climes of contemporary UK techno, with label mainstay Loop LF returning for his third EP. The record opens in subliminal style with the restrained, heavy-stepping sideswipe of "IZ 200" before melting into "Drifting Forwards," a richly dubbed-out dreamscape of clicking and popping percussion and sparkly chord drops with a purposeful swagger around the rhythm section. The B side kicks off with the nervy minimalist techno abstraction of "C Rota", where sound design plays a vital role alongside cyclical rhythms in creating a truly transcendent yet strikingly sparse sound. "Mondo" closes proceedings with one of the more forthright tunes on the record, following a strident if still proudly leftfield groove that captures a little '90s downtempo funk and gives it a cosmic, hi-def refit.
Rafael Cameron - "Let's Get It Off" (Dr Packer rework) (6:13)
Ripple - "The Beat Goes On & On" (Dr Packer rework) (7:30)
The Salsoul Orchestra - "You're Just The Right Size" (Dr Packer rework) (6:07)
Review: UK born, Australia based DJ and producer Dr Packer is back with more of his on point edits. He tackles some serious disco heavyweights here on Salsoul and first off, disco diva Loleatta Holloway and her mega-hit "Runaway" gets a fresh 2020 update with some soul uplifting studio skills. A heavy funk remix of Rafael Cameron's "Let's Get It Off" is next, with the original still taking centre stage, then the shimmering and glistening disco gold of Ripple's "The Beat Goes On" follows before in-house collective The Salsoul Orchestra also get treated to some elegant orchestral work and a sultry vocal hook.
Review: When Caribou, Four Tet and Morgan Geist appear on the same 12", you know it's going to be huge. And it is. First up, Kieran Hebdan takes "Never Come Back" and warps the bass, builds plenty of tense percussive energy and layers in some sci-fi synths that take the track into the next dimension. It's epic, as is always the way with Hebden, and ripe for some rave reactions. Cult neo-disco innovator Morgan Geist does something completely different - his drums skip and ping, with a breathy and soul drenched vocal next to lush cosmic chords. It's bouncy, playful, brilliant.
Review: More from the mysterious Ron's Reworks series, which appears (though it has never been confirmed) to have been launched in tribute to late, great Chicago DJ Ron Hardy. The shadowy scalpel fiend (or fiends) behind the series begins volume three with "Revelation", a sparkling rearrangement of a life-affirming, piano-laden number that sits somewhere between jazz-funk, Latin jazz, spiritual jazz and disco. It is, beyond a shadow of doubt, one of the most positive tracks you'll hear all month. Elsewhere, "Games You Playing" is a synth-sporting slab of disco-funk heaviness, and "Bada Bongo" a percussive, break-driven, bongo-laden workout guaranteed to get limbs moving on the dancefloor.
Review: Spanish label Mate are back with more excellent house cuts from different corners of the scene. The endlessly prolific Javonntte is in control on the A side, sounding as iconic as ever with the rousing thump of "Quantom". "Mr DJ" is a more soulful track with a catchy vocal hook you'll be humming to yourself for weeks after hearing it. On the flipside, Simon Garcia's The Blaxploited Orchestra is in heavy edit mode on "Ready To Go", bringing a full-frequency funk and sizzling house drums to the fore with a classic sample or two. "Explicit" has a lower tempo, allowing even more space to sink into the pocket and feel the groove from start to finish.
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.
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: Strictly Jaz Unit member and Glenn Underground collaborator Vick Lavender is enjoying a successful year, with this outing on the freshly minted Forbidden Dance label following excursions on Local Talk and Visions Inc. He starts in fine fashion via "Habano", a shuffling, soft-touch skip through Latin-fired deep house wonder rich in fluid vibraphone solos, layered beats, spacey synth doodles and squelchy synth bass. Over on side B, he first reaches for the Clavinet motifs, clattering timbales and intergalactic synth-chords on the jazz-funk/deep house fusion of "The Definition", before channelling the spirit of Ron Trent on the impeccably dreamy and positive closing cut, "NiteFlyte (Jessie's Journey)".
Review: To celebrate 30 years of his influential Z Records imprint, Dave Lee AKA Joey Negro has put together an epic, digital-only compilation of label highlights, plus a string of vinyl samplers featuring some suitably sought-after remixes. There's naturally much mouth-watering fare on offer on sampler one, from the classic disco celebration of Lee's string-laden, multi-track rework of Patrice Rushen classic "Haven't You Heard" (a mix as strong as any by Tom Moulton), to the modern deep house-soul flex of Lee's edit of Atjazz's terrific rework of overlooked Sean McCabe classic "Reach Out". Sandwiched in between you'll find a smooth, peak-time ready tweak of Akabu's "Another World" by Andre Lodemann, as well as the squelchy disco-boogie brilliance that is Hot Toddy's P-funk re-make of the Sunbrust Band's "Taste The Groove".