Review: Fresh from a quietly impressive outing on Cardiology, John "Freak D" Devecchis dons the Owl alias once more and offers up another must-check selection of re-edits and reworks. HE begins by cannily rearranging, tightening up and beefing up a flash-fried slab of later James Brown style funk-rock (the brilliantly bluesy, housed-up "Those Kicks"), before turning his attention to a righteous chunk of what sounds like AOR disco/deep disco-funk fusion ("Chance"). "Feel The Power" is a bouncy, piano-sporting revision of what sounds like a late '80s New York house gem, while title track "Boogie Man" is a subtle, house style remake of a jaunty, honky-tonk style rhythm and blues number.
Review: Canadian maestro Jay Tripwire is a long time underground stalwart with countless gold-dust releases to his name, and still the modest artist keeps pushing on with more stellar tech house immersion heaters. Here he's been invited to Euphoria for an EP that burrows into the most shadowy corners of his sound. "H3misphere" is a spooky jam driven by a shuffling groove and offset with some dubby flourishes - a perfectly balanced workout for the club with a seductive air of mystery lingering around the rhythm section. "Werqles" is a lighter affair, but it's no slouch in the freaky department as a plethora of disembodied machine wriggles ping around the crisp 4/4 throwdown. The whole B-side is given over to SIT's "Remux" of "H3misphere", which holds the groove down in a more linear manner but keeps that chilling atmosphere intact just behind the beats.
Review: Donnell Knox and Mark Hawkins, better known as D-Knox and Marquis Hawkes respectfully, team up for a collaborative EP on Sonic Mind that speaks to their respective roots in underground techno reaching back to the 90s. "Kalamazoo" is a tough and clattering jacker with out-of-phase organ lines to send your mind spinning, while "Not The DX100" brings things front and centre for a comparatively direct, acidic workout. "Halfway" ramps up the melodic content as a displaced vocal celebrates Kalamazoo's location between Chicago and Detroit, and then "Just Let Me Go" completes the set with a tough and bumping vocal house cut.
Review: Ryan Kattner fronts a Man Man album for the first time in seven years, and there's a lot going on. Within the first two tracks alone, 'Dreamers' and 'Cloud Nein', we've had a sultry evening's jazz warm up and a rollocking, boozy, piano rock stomper of the early-Cold War Kids variety. Off we go. 'Goat' is a curious epic that has more than a shade of gypsy funeral punk to it, long brass notes somewhere between exoticism and blues, chorus rooted in folk song. Eyes grow more like saucers when 'Unsweet Meat' unfurls its seductive and increasingly frantic groove, erupting into stepping rhythm and closing chant. Elsewhere, 'Inner Iggy' is a jangling rock 'n' roll classic, and 'Swan' is a broken and honest but sweet piano solo. The point being, you won't hear much like this again for a while.
Review: Mr Bongo recently served up a tasty 7" single featuring two of Cymande's best-loved tracks, "Fug" and "Brothers on the Slide". Here they repeat the trick, slapping the two most-played tracks from the British band's incredible 1972 debut album, Cymande, on one "45". The A-side boasts "Bra", a killer chunk of funk/soul/reggae fusion with one of the most recognizable grooves around. Hip-hop heads will know it inside out, since DJs have been doubling up with copies of "Bra" since the mid 1970s. On the flip you'll find "The Message", a sublime, slightly more spaced out reggae-funk workout rich in snaking sax lines, memorable vocals and a groove so distinctive it couldn't come from any other band.
Review: If pure party-starting pleasure is your thing, you'll find plenty of instant gratification within the bulging catalogue of Bristol boys The Allergies. Alternatively, you could start with the pair's new seven-inch single, which boasts two steaming summer anthems in the making. Their old pals the Cuban Boys guest on A-side "Let Them Know", adding their distinctive rapped and sung vocals to a hip-swinging mambo-influenced backing track full to bursting with Cuban rhythms, jaunty guitar licks and barrio horns. Over on the flip, regular collaborator Andy Cooper raps his way through a fiery funk-rock-meets hip-hop bomb that will have hands shooting skywards faster than you can say, "Mine's a Tequila shooter!"
Review: Since 2013 Tijn (not to be confused with J. Tijn) has been issuing a steady stream of high grade minimal and tech house for labels like Decay, Memoria, Moss Co and more recently Vuew. Now he comes to Aesthetic for a varied EP that leads in with the dusky, blue-hued tones of "Waves" - a moment for true immersion and introspection. By way of contrast, "CC" captures the energy of classic mid 00s minimal a la labels like Cynosure - all bugging samples hopping around a swinging groove - and we can't get enough of it. "Sundayyzz" takes things in a spookier direction, keeping that stripped back shuffle but holding down a more mellow energy compared to "CC".
Review: Having recently revived his Utopia Project alias for a surprise new 12" on Running Back, legendary New York deep house producer Rheji Burrell returns to Gerd Janson's label with an EP credited to another one of his Nu Groove era pseudonyms, NY Housin' Authority. "Out Of Body Experience" boasts seven tracks, all of which explore similar sonic pastures to the project's classic, late '80s/early '90s material. That means tactile synthesizer basslines, ear-catching melodies, classic house synth sounds and drum machine beats rich in Burrell's usual infectious swing. Highlights include the breezy and life-affirming jazziness of "3rd Time", the bass-heavy, intergalactic thump of "5th Time" (a cut that would neatly fit into Bleep techno-influenced sets) and the summery warmth of "2nd Time".
Review: Those heavyweight funksters at West Loop Chicago are back again with more crucial heat for your boogie bag. This time the mysterious international cabal of edit heads have slipped from City Volts over to Vong45 - a label that may or may not also be under their control. The name tells you all you need to know - seven sweet minutes of luxurious grooves edited with a soft touch to keep the musicality smooth and flowing across both sides of this 7". Anyone who takes the classic '70s sound seriously will be jamming to this - buttery smooth and hot as hell, just how we like it.
Review: There's plenty to set the pulse racing on this inaugural, limited-edition seven-inch single from Off Records. Check first Parisian producer Son of a Pitch's A-side spin "Alice Donut", a hot-to-trot re-edit of what sounds like a late 1960s French fusion of lounge music, Phil Spector wall-of-sound pop and Hammond-heavy funk. It's undeniably quirky, but thanks to the presence of ear-catching organ lines and crunchy breakbeats, also a bona fide dancefloor hit. Over on the flip, French Zulu Nation member DJ Suspect turns his attention to a tongue-in-cheek Gallic Mod-era number, fattening up the breakbeats and emphasizing the killer horn lines and swinging sixties vibes.
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: REPRESS ALERT: Needs is back with its fifth installment of charity-raising goodness from some seriously quality producers. This time the gauntlet is thrown down by the increasingly prolific DJ Normal 4, who wields some of his signature breakbeats over a cheeky synth that nods to Da Hool for a dark and deadly roller. Israeli duo Red Axes pop up fresh from outings on !K7 and Phantasy Sound for the worldly percussion and mystical atmosphere of "Treacksheni" before Bristol bass-wielding techno titan Hodge finishes the package off with the stunning, dramatic undulations of "Signal," making this a collection of tracks that all feed into the same vein of rhythmically adventurous, moody club music.
Review: The Bonfido Disques label comes to life with a strong cast of edit-happy movers and shakers focusing on music from the African continent. Panama Cardoon is up first with the heavy-stomping "Olofofu", which rides a sturdy rhythm section and lets rip with some gorgeous, warm sax and a vocal hook that will get under your skin. Fixed Angles take on "Tabou", a gorgeous high life edit that takes on a supercharged jacking quality thanks to some savvy drum programming. Sirhan gets into a pleasant, piano-backed reverie on "Le Flute", where the titular wind instrument pirouettes over the broken beat with grace and dexterity. Chico & Bianca complete the set with "Anole", a limber and funky number with some carnival spirit in its drums and the most effervescent guitar lines you're likely to hear all year.
Review: With no less than nine releases on the label to their name already, Black Cash & Theo AKA Thelonious Beats are Galaxy Sound Co's most experienced editors. Here they deliver another fantastic "45" packed with righteous grooves and life-affirming jazz moves. It's the latter that comes to the fore on side A's "Flute Thing", a sweet and seductive drift through picturesque jazz territory with some additional loose-limbed drum solos edited in halfway through. "Do What You Gotta Do" on the other hand is a simmering, string-laden soul treat rich in killer instrumentation, sumptuous orchestration, chunky grooves and hazy vocals. It's a fine edit of a superb cut and easily the record's standout cut.
Review: Quavius finally follows up on his self-titled debut LP for Lustwerk Music three years later, and it's worth the wait. As you'd expect of an artist snapped up by the close-knit crew Galcher Lustwerk orbits, there's a hazy, dreamlike mood lingering over all the tracks on "Find Ready", but there's plenty of variety taking place within that context. "Heaven Is In You" is as peppy as it is spaced out, while "Let It Rock" lays down a melancholic synth twist on trap. There's spacey acid, dusty, mechanical house and plenty more besides. Fun, varied and drawing on an angle that's all his own, Quavius has more than delivered on the promise of his first record.
Please Don't Make It Funky (The Patchouli Brothers Re edit) (5:05)
Review: "Please Don't Make It Funky" is one of those delicious curiosities that dusty-fingered crate diggers unearth every now and then. Recorded and released in limited qualities in 1980, it was apparently an attempt by Frank Pisani, then a veteran American singer who had last tasted success in the rock and roll era, to capture the disco/jazz-funk zeitgeist. While it was a commercial flop, the track is undeniably attractive and fun, with squelchy synth sounds, ear-catching horns, fluid piano solos and Pisani's blue-eyed-soul vocals rising above a tidy groove. This surprise - but most welcome - reissue backs Pisani's cheery original with a fresh re-edit by the Patchouli Brothers. This includes some filter trickery and a DJ-friendly arrangement, but otherwise sticks close to the original mix.
Review: We may not be able to gather to dance outdoors under a blazing sun or a blanket of stars, but there's no harm in a little musical daydreaming. That's what the latest multi-artist Ravenelli Disco Club release is all about: summery escapism that comes with a big dollop of rush-inducing disco release. Ethyene sets the tone with the colourful boogie-house fusion of "Let Love" - all twinkling synth motifs, echoing percussion hits, thickset grooves and hazy vocal samples - before Carlo raises the temperature via some jazzy deep house heaviness in the vein of Derrick Carter's "boompty" era. Over on side B, Hotmood's "Magical Flight" is a surging, string-drenched disco-house roller, while Rees' "The Way You Mood" is a tooled-up take on what sounds like a classic Philadelphia International cut.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Cruise Music gather steam as they plot a course for their second release with a strong team to help steer. SAMO's "Straight On" is a sweet disco burner with a powerful vocal hook front and centre - it's a truly uplifting edit to get you up and running whatever the situation outside. Mirko & Meex take things deeper on "For Your Love", working with the incredible sound of Gloria Ann Taylor and creating a smoky terrace smasher in the process. The funk levels reach into the stratosphere with Buba's "Feels Like Dancing", and then Giman finishes things off with the heavy edit groove of "Up & Down", which should have bodies bending and flexing all over the place thanks to the much-loved sample sources.
Review: Hold tight for more absolutely essential garage fodder from the Plastik People camp. This sharp and snappy two-tracker kicks off with Highrise, aka Darlington-based producer Dinn Warde who's been making increasingly large splashes with his jungle productions as Dwarde and more recently his on-point garage productions. His mix of "Want You Back" is a tightly wound, bumping slice of 4x4 with cool and deadly organ stabs. By contrast, label boss Marc Cotterell brings a more outwardly soulful flavour to his original version, leaning on uplifting chord sequences and putting the vocal front and centre. Depending on the mood you're looking to set, this record has you covered in two distinct and supremely classy ways.
Review: We've become accustomed to Matsauna Records licensing and reissuing dusty old gems from Africa, Central America and South America, so it's a pleasant surprise to find that their latest "45" features tracks plucked from a more recent album - the 2015 debut of Portual-based Angolan singer/songwriter Chalo Correira. It's a wise move, because both of these tracks are superb. A-side "Kudiholola" is a galloping celebration of the Angolan Kazakuta style blessed with infectious rhythms, glistening electric guitar solos and wild harmonica melodies. Flipside "Chercher Crioula" is a bilingual song sung in both Quimbundo and French, with musical accompaniment that neatly highlights the cultural links between Angola and the Iberian Peninsula.
Notes: Specially formulated record cleaning fluid to deeply clean between vinyl grooves and help prolong the life of the vinyl surface. Dries to eliminate static without smears. Microfibre lint free cloth supplied in lid. 250ml.
Review: The campaign for real, modern UKG continues unabated over at Instinct, as another crew of like-minded bassbin botherers step up with their own fresh takes on the 2-step sound. Pinder is super speedy and tight as you like with "Forever", while Instinct regular 0113 gets freaky with the subtly tripped out "Hard Lines". Zac Stanton is perhaps the stand out turn on this 12" with the absolutely surefooted and sharply soulful "Stop Tellin Me". Holloway comes in strong on the B2 though, channeling that impeccable Ghost sound for the stripped and spooky "Places To Be". Classy club gear throughout, but especially on that B side.
First Choice - "Let No Man Put Asunder" (Moplen remix) (9:41)
Candido - "Jingo" (Moplen remix) (10:26)
Review: Italian purist editor Moplen gets given the raw stems of two famous Salsoul classics: First Choice's game-changing "Let No Man Put Asunder" and Candido's light-years ahead of time thumper "Jingo". The former gets a little dancefloor edge as the vocal begins to loop towards the end and the groove gains more momentum. The latter remains one of the most driving, physical and addictive tunes Salsoul ever released but with added length and more of dynamic in the percussion. Known for adding little to no additional production, once again Moplen's extensions and rearrangements are done in their most honest form.
Review: Peak time dancefloor action with this 45 with the familiar classic b-boy sampling fodder coupled with an infectious r & b vocal club monster. It's never had a physical release till now. On the flip it's instrumental breaks galore for B-Boy/B-Girl back flips action from a sought after uk trio release now in handy 45 form with tuff breakbeats and smattering of electro vibe...Only 200 copies..