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re-imagine it as the kind of positive, spacey, musically detailed and rushing late night deep house jam with which he originally made his name a decade ago.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: 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: While many of Disclosure's EPs have tended to focus on festival-ready and radio-friendly numbers, "Ecstasy" has both eyes firmly on club dancefloors. Proof arrives via the surging title track, a filter-sporting bumper that offers distinctive nods towards late '90s "French Touch" house and Basement Jazz's superior early work, and the gleefully Afro-disco-flavoured Echo Roosevelt collaboration that follows, stomping summer anthem "Tondo". Elsewhere, they cannily turn Boz Scraggs' blue-eyed soul classic "Lowdown" into a loose-limbed, rubbery house workout on "Expressing What Matters", serve up some chant-along Afro-house hedonism ("Etran") and keep fans of their usual bass-heavy big room flavours happy via wonky closer "Get Close".
Review: Since he last appeared on Razor 'N' Tape six years ago via a digital-only debut single, Dino Soccio has built up quite a catalogue of re-edits, not to mention a reputation as one of the scene's more interesting editors. It's for this reason that we're not surprised that his return to Aaron Dae and J Kriv's rework imprint is so good. It sees him offer up a quartet of killer cut-jobs that bounce between sumptuous, string-laden, French language Afro-disco (the superb "Fred's Groove"), sparkling up-tempo disco-boogie brilliance (the awesome "Star Beaming"), languid deep disco warmth (the dubby, spaced-out goodness of "Laid Back") and ultra-sweet, reggae-influenced Afro-boogie heat (sublime closing cut "Forgot").
Review: Given the recent passing of Ennio Morricone, it seems fitting that we're being treated to a reissue of Babe Ruth's "The Mexican", a scorching funk-rock number based on the late, great Italian composer's theme from "For A Few Dollars More". The band's cover of that can be heard on the B-side, but it's the five-minute A-side, which boasts lyrics calling out the misleading narrative of John Wayne western "The Alamo", that you need in your life. Full of killer funk breaks that became staples during hip-hop's foundational block party era, plus driving musicality and some of rap music's best-known hooks, the track is still capable of slaying dancefloors 47 years after it was first recorded.
Review: DJ Soopasoul's last mash-up was an inspired affair that saw him perfectly fuse tracks by Philadelphia Soul legends MFSB and the Beastie Boys. Here he takes a similar approach, placing the rap vocals from the 1995 hip hop classic "How High" atop a suitably funky, lolloping beat crafted from Clavinet-heavy sections from Stevie party-starting floor-heater "Superstitioun". It works remarkably well on the A-side vocal mix, and those who'd not heard either track would be convinced that there was no mash-up antics going on. Over on side B you'll find an instrumental mix that showcases Soopasoul's editing skills; minus the Hip Hop vocals, is a fine re-edit of the Wonderful jam.
Double Exposure - "My Love Is Free" (The Reflex Revision) (8:13)
Instant Funk - "I Got My Mind Made Up" (The Reflex Revision) (7:25)
Review: Salsoul is a label as iconic as they come and decades after establishing that reputation it continues to deal in only the most original house and disco heat. The Reflex is a famous king of the remix who here adds his own vital spin to two new revisions for Salsoul Records. The Frenchman first up takes on Double Exposure's "My Love Is Free" to craft a layered remix that builds with a sick guitar riff and warm bass. Then comes a re-edit and remix of "I Got My Mind Made Up" that has chunky percussion and punchy drums. All in all a worthy addition to any collection.
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: Released to mark the tenth birthday of his Novel Sound label, Levon Vincent's latest 12" boasts one of his most talked-about secret weapons, "WKO", a track he famously included on a Resident Advisor podcast a few years back and has been a staple of his sets ever since. It's a real late night treat: a loopy chunk of slack-tuned techno looseness that sees the acclaimed producer pepper a lolloping, cymbal-heavy beat with quietly spacey synth stabs, progressively more intense additional percussion and some woozy late night sounds. B-side "Jackson Heights" is a deeper and more sanguine affair, with deep, dubbed-out bass and quiet melodies riding a locked-in drum machine groove.
Review: London's longest-running re-edit imprint returns to action, and fittingly it's label co-founder Diesel at the controls (albeit with fellow founder and old pal Dave Jarvis adding input via an "Executive Producer" role). A-side "US Lover" is simply superb: a blue-eyed, turn-of-the-80s AOR disco gem laden with heady horns, squelchy synth bass, swirling strings and heady harmonica solos. The Balearic disco fun continues on the flip, where the bleep-laden bluesy disco number "Hysteric Glamour" comes accompanied by the sunny, synth-laden instrumental disco oddity that is "Marabou". Deep cuts, subtly tweaked for extended dancefloor pressure: what more could any disco lover desire?
Review: The 5 Borough Breaks series has long been a good way of acquiring killer cuts that have some way played a part in the ongoing evolution of hip-hop culture in New York City. The hush-hush label's latest release boasts the full version of Betty Wright's head-nodding soul classic "Clean Up Woman", which boasts a breakbeat that has been sampled on scores of killer rap jams. On the A-side you'll find something a little less well-known: "Zulu War Chant", a 1992 cut by the Afrika Bambaataa and Rusty Egan-helmed Time Zone crew. It samples the familiar groove from "Clean Up Woman", adding a swathe of well known rapped and sung vocal samples and a hard-spun hip-hop beat.
Review: Here's a welcome surprise: a reissue of one of the most revered records in the back catalogue of sadly departed Sheffield deep house imprint Toko. This 1997 gem is actually an all-star affair, with Klarky Cat (a reference to legendary satirical show Brass Eye) being a collaboration between Chris Duckenfield, Toko bosses Alec Greenhough and Paul Ingall (better known as Attaboy) and influential, overlooked Manchester producer Si Brad. In. its original form, "Gumbo" mixes the wavy, loved-up dreaminess of classic deep house with the organ sounds of U.S garage and the swinging, occasionally glitchy drums of early UK tech-house. It comes backed with a darker, chunkier and more foreboding rework (the mesmerising "Blooty Mix"), and the bright, acid-flecked sunrise giddiness of rather good bonus track "Custard Gannet".
Ultra Flava (Darius Syrossian Full Pressure remix) (7:24)
Ultra Flava (Low Steppa & Johan S remix) (5:31)
Review: Back in the 980s everything Pete Heller and Terry Farley touched turned to go. So much so that ensuing generations continue to connect with their work and now Defected invite a wealth of new school producers to add their own spin to the huge "Ultra Flava". David Penn goes for a hands in the air, festival version, a 2016 version from the artists themselves gets more twisted but keeps its vibes 90s bassline in tact, then Darius Syrossian goes harder and faster with his sweaty rework. Low Steppa & Johan S go for a thoroughly modern rework with shuffling drums.
Review: Lego Funk are back with more of their big chunks of funk, with DJ Choice reworking a brace of Latin cuts for this fiery 7". The a-side is Pablo Ruiz's reflip of Roberto Roena's 1974 salsa-influenced number "Que Se Sepa" as sampled by Ugly Duckling on "Let It Go". It's extended from front to back, with extra drums and perc beefing things up. The Rebel DJ's monster re-rub of Ray Barretto's already monster Latin boogaloo funk original "Right On" then takes care of the flip, with plenty of Latin heat and big wind sounds all pumping those sunny grooves.
Dinosaur L - "Go Bang" (Danny Krivit edit Of Walter Gibbons remix) (8:55)
Hanson & Davis - "I'll Take You On" (Danny Krivit edit Of Larry Levan remix) (5:27)
Review: Dinosaur L's "Go Bang" is an enduring classic from the golden period when house and disco mixed freely. It was hammered at Paradise Garage and has been re-edited many times. Next up to have a go on Arthur Russell's Sleeping Bag is Danny Krivit who edits Walter Gibbons's remix. The drums are snappy, the groove urgent, the funk very real. ON the flip, Krivit tackles an edit of a Larry Levon remix of Hanson & Davis - "I'll Take You On". It is loose, with tumbling drums and tooting arps next to the shiny, soraing vocals. Classic stuff.
Review: The second release from the newly emerging If It Ain't Jazz label comes from Swedish producer Opolopo. For this one he takes two classics from the jazz-disco world and adds his own distinctive spins. The results soar into the stratosphere on golden chords and humid pads, funky drums and gliding grooves. Both are timeless reworks that will do plenty of damage on a wide range of dance floors. This marks another noteworthy release for this small but well formed label.
The Age Of Love (Solomun Renaissance remix) (8:13)
The Age Of Love (Jam & Spoon Watch Out For Stella mix) (6:49)
Review: Shockingly, it's been 30 years since the Age of Love's eponymous debut first started ripping up dancefloors. Made by a pair of veteran Italian producers, the original 1990 version cannily combined the kind of dreamy, new age style melodic themes that were then dominating Italian house, with a bombastic, techno inspired groove that bore all of the hallmarks of the style that would become known as trance. This 30th anniversary reissue omits that original version, instead pairing Jam & Spoon's brilliant, mind-altering 1992 "Mix for Stella" version - a proto-trance classic that has been reissued numerous times since - with Solomun's heady, piano-sporting 2017 tech-house re-make. The latter incorporates many of the track's most familiar elements whilst giving it a new 21st century groove.
Review: Presented on a rather striking green vinyl seven-inch, the latest volume in the hot-to-trot Made To Dance edits series could well be the mysterious crew's finest work to date. Our pick of the pair is undoubtedly A-side "Olhos Negro", a lightly tooled-up rendition of a suitably spacey samba-disco number rich in rubbery slap-bass, typically Brazilian percussion, jaunty guitars, blue-eyed soul vocals and dancing horns. That said, the more stomping and celebratory "Senorita Get Down", a bouncy AOR disco number powered forwards by undulating bass, ear-catching piano stabs, mazy horns and winding synth solos, is also a sizzling, summery treat.
Review: This superb split from Lemak gently sweeps you off your feet with the delicate percussion and airy pads of "Machines." by Seafoam, real name Brian Cavender. He's an artist with a back cat dating to the late nighties and including credits on Guidance, so oozes authenticity. His second offering "Fort A" is more techno leaning, with scintillating percussion and marching laser synths. Senator Bongwater is Urulu, aka Taylor Freels, aka Liquid Earth, a real master of minimal house and tech whatever alias he assumes. "Spastic Orgasmic" is another spaced out tech trip, while "Zoot Trooper" is a flurry of fantastic astral breaks.
Review: Robert Rental is an artist as influential as he is overlooked. An anchor of the early British DIY and post-punk scene, his name is most frequently uttered alongside illustrious collaborators such as Thomas Leer and Daniel Miller. Dark Entries and Optimo ally to illuminate some of Rental's early solo works with an expanded reissue of his debut 7" Paralysis /A.C.C.. Both labels have previously excavated Rental's catalog; we reissued the collaborative LP with Glenn Wallis in 2017, and Optimo released a collection of demos in 2018.
Review: Here's something to celebrate: a surprise joint EP from R&S regular Lone - a producer now best known for the colourful feel if his shimmering, retro-futurist workouts -and sometime Shall Not Fade contributor Kettama (real name Evan Campbell). Collaborative cut "The Way That You Feel" genuinely fuses the best of both producer's styles, with kaleidoscopic, neon-lit synth stabs and bubbly, eyes-closed electronic lead lines riding a busy bassline and 130 BPM techno drums that seem to fizz as much as they bang. They also contribute a solo track apiece. Kettama's "Anniversary" wraps gorgeous chords and restless, organ style melodies around a simple but effective groove, while Lone's "Dragonrush" is a rave-ready attack on the senses inspired by 1992 style hardcore hedonism.
Review: Having cut his teeth with some devilishly deviant drops on Primitive Languages, Lost Soul Enterprises and others, New York's R Gamble returns with a stunning mini-album for Public System that brings his canny twist on minimal wave and EBM to wax for the first time in years. As well as being a dab hand at programming his boxes to impart his ghoulish bangers, what sets Gamble apart is his sense of composition, making proper ear-snagging songs with structures and narrative. Marrying that accomplished approach with the clamour of his production style, and you've got yourself a slice of '80s inspired creepiness that's a cut above the rest.
Review: Producer and keyboardist Jon Dixon lands on his own 4EVA 4WRD label with some timeless house tracks that bring all his majestic melodic skills to the fore. "Times Of Change" (feat De'Sean Jones) is a mellifluous, comically minded cut with a fantastic lead sax and bubbly chords, and "Move 4WRD" (feat Britt Frappier) then gets more fluttering and percussive, with flappy hits and dreamy vocals making for a light and airy groove. There are dancing synths and lush astral colours on "Beautifully Equipped" but closer "Troopcafe" might be the best of the lot with its deft, arching pads and shimmering broken beats.
Review: There's no secret to the success of Late Nite Tuff Guy's long-running Tuff Cuts series. Buyers have simply responded to the consistency of the Australian producer's approach, and the quality of loopy, house-friendly re-edits. This eighth volume features more party-starting fare, from the glassy-eyed extended breakdown of "Go For That" (yep, a Hall & Oates rework) and soft-touch house take on Marvin Gaye ("Heard It"), to the end-of-night bliss of "Dreams", a decidedly warm and rolling rearrangement of the famous Fleetwood Mac cut of the same name. As if that wasn't enough bangers in one place, he finishes with a triumphant rework of disco-era Michael Jackson ("Starting Something").
Review: Spanish techno legend Oscar Mulero presents the second installment of Warm Up's limited edition Bandcamp Vinyl series, with three straight up techno tools from a true master of the craft. On 'WUBC 2', feel the mental overdrive of A-side cut "Gradual Blending" which will punish you with its relentless groove, go deeper into the later hours with the more restrained B-side offerings like the hypnotic and strobe-lit gallop of "Evolutionary Decay" or the Millsian majesty of "Natural Resources". Best described by the label itself as 'merciless techno designed to shake minds and feet.'
Review: Berlin-based rising star Sally C has decided to launch a label, the brilliantly named Big Saldo's Chunkers, with a debut EP of tracks she made after listening to copious amounts of turn-of-the-90s hip-house. The standout track - though the standard is uniformly high - is probably the sweaty and bustling A-side "OG Chunker", where bubbly motifs and rap vocal snippets ride a rolling, thickset groove. "Let's Get This" feels and sounds like a tribute to both hip-house legend "Fast" Eddie Smith and the more muscular style of "Sound Factory" house popularized by Junior Vasquez, while "Turn That" is a wonderfully low-slung and pumping affair that comes on like Mr Lee's "Pump Up Chicago" for the Boiler Room generation.
Review: Previously, London label Butter Side Up was probably best-known for offering up some quietly impressive EPs from rising stars Sweely and Christian Jay. This EP, which comes from high-profile Los Angeles-based techno producer Urulu (real name Taylor Freels) under his alternative Liquid Earth guise, is undoubtedly the fledgling imprint's biggest release to date. Across the four tracks, Freels explores the more psychedelic side of the Californian house and techno sound, variously doffing a cap to colourful 90s techno/dub house fusion (on the chunky and ear-catching "Transcedenton"), the Orbital end of the breakbeat hardcore spectrum ("Senator Bomgwater's Revenge", which sounds like it could have featured on the Hartnoll brothers' "Brown Album"), San Diego style tech-house (the Hipp-E and Halo-ish "Twisted Metal") and dreamy breakbeat techno (lovely closing cut "Neutral Circuits").
Review: Since launching a few years back, Deep Cover has proved to be one of the most interesting, eccentric and leftfield re-edit imprints). The label's latest essential missive sees Alexis Le Tan don the easy-to-spot Alexis Le Fan alias to deliver two vital re-rubs. On side A, the French producer and editor has his wicked way with a vintage Perfect Zebras track, expertly extending and rearranging the post-punk, new wave synth-pop cut to make greater use of the original's squally horns, bubbly bass and drowsy vocals. Over on the flip he delivers a fine rub of a squelchy, Clarinet-laden number from the early '80s that sounds like it might be Middle Eastern in origin (but, of course, may not be). Either way, it's an eccentric, oddball treat.
Review: K7 have assembled another crack team of remixers on this second set of reworks of tracks from Dominik Eulberg's excellent 2019 album "Mannigfaltig", a varied set we described as his most "coherent and listenable to date". First Anna wraps fluid, musically positive motifs around bustling beats and gnarled analogue bass on a fine revision of "Sechslinien-Bodeneule", before Recondite wrings maximum emotional impact out of Eulberg's hazy melodies on a shuffling, hypnotic tech-house version of "Vierfleck". Robag Wruhme is at his warming, wonky and otherworldly best on an impeccable minimalist remix of "Siebenschlafer" (check the yearning melodies and locked-in beats), while Donato Dozzy steals the show with a sublime ambient techno revision of "Einstagfliege".
Kenkou - "Everlasting Dreams" (Calm Still Dreaming mix) (11:08)
Deadbundy - "Lorenz" (Calm extended mix) (7:06)
Review: When it comes to sumptuous, sunrise-ready ambient, deep house and downtempo jams, there are few finer exponents of the art forms than Fukagawa Kivotaka AKA Calm - a Japanese producer whose work has been sound-tracking stunning sunsets since the turn of the '90s. Here Hell Yeah Recordings shine a light on two of his numerous killer remixes. On side A he delivers a stunning re-imagining of Kenkou's 2004 track "Everlasting Dreams", slowly building up from a lengthy Spanish guitar-sporting ambient intro to gentle, Latin-tinged deep house bliss over 11 atmospheric and evocative minutes. Over on the flip, he delivers his interpretation of Deadbundy's "Lorenz", serving up a chugging, mid-tempo cosmic disco-meets-deep house take flecked with jazzy guitar licks and propelled forwards by a suitably druggy electronic bassline.
Review: You have to admire Alex Warren AKA Kiwi's work rate. Here he makes his Kompakt bow with his eleventh EP since the start of 2018. Vocalist Bestle guests on superb A-side "Hello Echo", a spacey chunk of lilting nu-disco/synth-pop fusion that's so deliciously warm and summery that we believe it will become a sing-along anthem before the year is out. He shifts focus a little on B-side opener "Down With The Rhythm", a more sleazy, analogue-driven affair that sits somewhere between Chicago style acid-jack, effervescent NYC freestyle and bold, 21st century nu-disco, before offering a deep, melodious and melancholic take on acid-electro that could well be the most arresting, ear-catching moment on an EP that's full of them.
Review: Often caned by the likes of Bonobo, "Endless" is taken from Portico Quintet's album Art in the Age of Automation' which was released on Gondwana Records back in 2017 Now it gets its own pressing on a super 7" with "Undercurrent." The former is lush, spring day and mellifluous jazz with tumbling live drums and lead wind that takes the mind away. "Undercurrent" was reared din the same sessions and is here making its long awaited vinyl debut. This is part there of the special 7" series the label is running and features bespoke artwork from Gondwana Records designer Daniel Halsall.
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: Somewhat surprisingly, "Eyes Of My Mind" marks Axel Boman's first solo single on Studio Barnhus, the label he co-founded, since 2013. It's also his first EP of any sort since 2017 (though 2019 did see the release of his fine "Le New Life" LP on Mule Musiq). The track is little less than a loved-up aural hug; a deliciously glassy-eyed affair in which dreamy chords, quirky vocal samples, droning bass tones and bubbly electronic motifs wrap around a bustling, loose-limbed drum track that sits somewhere between regular deep house, Max D's Dolo Percussion project and good old-fashioned breakbeat. Over on side B he calms things down dramatically via "Echoes of My Mind", a swelling, wall-of-sound ambient revision of the A-side that's as comforting and meditative as they come.
Review: Hearse's third transmission is as strong as their previous two. It's a fine gathering of dark electro cuts from a varied but vital crew and starts up with Miami's Exzakt & BFX collaborating on the rough around the edges "Raw." Hamburg's Kluentah then goes hard with "Jungle Juice," which is frosted and tense, and then acid madness comes to the fore on Luke Eargoggle's "Olympia." Syncoatped kicks are pile don top of each other and freaky vocal apparitions appear on Amboss's closer "I Want To Live In My Car" making this a beguiling listen indeed.