Beastie Boys Vs MFSB - "Check It Out People" (4:19)
MFSB - "People All Over The World" (dub) (4:08)
Review: The latest edition in DJ Soopasoul's "Soopastole Edits" series looks like it may fly off the shelves, and with good reason. The lead cut is not an edit per se, but rather a crafty, clever and expertly produced mash-up that places selected rap flows from the acapella version of Beastie Boys classic "Ch-Check It Out" over a tightened up and fattened up rearrangement of MFSB's disco-era jam "People All Over The World". Sometimes these kinds of mash-ups can be messy, but this genuinely isn't, with the Beasties' vocals fitting the backing track like a glove. Over on side B Soopasoul shares his tweak of the MFSB track, which is entirely instrumental bar periodic use of the band's female backing vocals. In a word: ace!
Review: This is a Juno Exclusive from French producer Djar One that lifts off and cruises all the way to Puerto Rico. "Oye Como Va" is the breakbeat fuelled a-side with huge funk drive, oodles of instrumental flair and lively percussive sounds that bring that vital world flavour. "Dance Dance" on the reverse is a quicker jam with Latin flair to spare. It trills with summery time joy and drives on kicking drums. The fun loving vocals are the irresistible finishing touch. Both of these cuts will blow up and club, wherever you are in the world.
Review: Following on from his Bedrock debut on John Digweeds latest Quattro album, Miles Atmospheric delivers this excellent 3 track EP titled 'Defining Circles' which has had a very limited vinyl pressing. All tracks have been thoroughly road tested by John Digweed amongst many others.
Review: The first instalment of the Gallery edits series, which landed in stores at the very end of 2019, was an artful, off-kilter treat, so we're expecting big things from this eagerly awaited follow-up. A-side "Stop" is simply superb: a clattering, delay-laden, dub disco style revision of a poodle perm-sporting bunch of early-to-mid-'80s electronic disco laden with percussion hits, ear-pleasing synthesizers, druggy, arpeggio-style bass and familiar-sounding vocal snippets. It just keeps building throughout, suggesting dancefloor pandemonium is almost guaranteed. Flipside "Remember" is rather good, too, with the mystery audio art lovers re-wiring a deliciously camp, over-the-top electro-disco stomper.
Review: A couple of months after inaugurating the Outban imprint with a vibrant EP of mind-altering retro-futurism, Bakked returns with a speedy sequel. He first joins the dots between early '90s bleep techno and purist tech-house ("433"), before opting for a deeper and more ghostly take on the same bleeping futurism on "4111". "399" sees him switch tack and offer-up a breakbeat-powered romp laden with warehouse-ready riffs and New Jersey organ licks, while "444" adds sunrise-ready dreaminess to a vintage Detroit techno inspired rhythm track. Arguably best of all though is closing cut "Pullupthetune", a deliciously intergalactic tribute to the more spacey end of mid-'90s drum & bass.
Review: A decade has passed since Slum Village jumped on a KVBeats instrumental and delivered "We Do It", a warm, sweet and bass-heavy number full of the Detroit act's usual on-point rap flows. Here the track is given a 2020 makeover courtesy of hired hands DJ Spinna and Jazz Spastiks. Spinna naturally opts for a distinctively "Golden era" vibe, laying the Motor City crew's raps over a relaxed, head-nodding beat rich in jazzy double bass samples, crunchy snares and woozy electric piano chords. The jazz Spastiks up the tempo on their flipside version, delivering a revision that's closer in tone to Slum Village's original while offering all manner of subtle differences and dancefloor-focused touches.
James Brown & The Wu Tang Clan - "Sex CREAM" (3:33)
James Brown - "Sex Machine" (dub edit) (3:02)
Review: It would be fair to say that the latest edition in DJ Soopasoul's "Soopastole" edits series is one of the producer's biggest yet. A-side "Sex C.R.E.A.M" is particularly potent, with the mash-up maestro layering the vocals from Wu-Tang Clan classic "C.R.E.A.M" over a chunky beat crafted out of classic James Brown samples. To our ears, it's arguably better than the Wu-Tang original, or at least a little more dancefloor-friendly. Fittingly, Brown gets the treatment on the flip with Soopasoul getting busy with the EQs on a suitably heavy but stripped back "dub edit" of all-time-classic "Sex Machine". While it probably didn't need tampering with, he's done a very good job of delivering a version that successfully takes the track in a different direction.
Review: With wind in his sails following a surprise outing on Djebali, Nik Prunk returns to the good ship PIV Limited and sets a course for peak-time tech-house dancefloors. It's plain sailing from the off, with ear-catching opener "Office Gossip" cannily joining the dots between warm, bass-heavy West Coast dub house and the kind of future-focused tech-house hedonism that was once all the rage at pioneering UK club Wiggle. The attractively toasty retro-futurism continues on "Through The Walls", a soul-flecked vocal number that adds a little percussive crunch to a San Francisco style deep house cut. Scene stalwart JT Donaldson delivers a superb remix of that cut focused on jazz-funk bass, spacey chords and pitched-up drums, while "Femme" is the kind of groovy, bumpin' and Rhodes-laden deep house jam that Dubtribe Soundsystem used to knock out in their sleep. In a word: essential.
Review: Italy's Babe Roots crew show off their silky dub techno credentials here with a couple of immersive new singles. "Music Mission" (feat Galas) is a bottomless cut with warped bass rumbles and endless echo overlaid by a classic reggae vocal from Galas. "World Struggle" (Ambient dub) casts you free from the dance floor with its floating chords full of grainy greyness and cloudy tension. The EP highlight might be "World Struggle" (feat Danny Coxson), a heavyweight, slow motion dub with earth shattering kicks and a deeply buried low end oscillation that's detailed with thunder claps and a soulful Danny Coxson musing on struggle up top.
Review: If you're after some beefed-up, club-ready funk revisions, we'd heartily recommend this double dose of reworks from pals Robby Bergmann and Lego Edit. Bergmann kicks things on the A-side with "Get Up Sex Machine", a weighty, pitched-up James Brown revision that underpins key elements of the Godfather of Soul's original version with some tough new drums and cut-up vocal samples. Lego Edit takes over on side B with "Me & My Baby", a sprightly edit of a much-loved soul classic that's far more reverential in tone than the admittedly club-ready A-side edit. There's little in the way of contemporary trickery, just a DJ-friendly re-arrangement and extension.
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: Kraftwerk's Ralf Hutter has more or less disowned the krautrock-inspired music he and the late Florian Schneider recorded pre "Autobahn". From that album (1974) onwards, they became the electronic futurists we know and love today; before that, they swum in more organic musical pastures, mixing rudimentary synthesizer and other electronic instruments with guitars, drums, flutes and electric organ. It's this sound that's captured on "Soest Live", a rare recording captured for WDR-TV in 1970. Accompanied by drummer Klaus Dinger, Hutter and Schneider offered up a mixture of arty, proto-ambient experimentalism, and surprisingly funky, groove-based krautrock epics that combine prototype Kraftwerk grooves with the organic sounds of flute, violin and organ.
Review: The insatiable rise of Felipe Gordon continues apace. The Colombian has been in a rich vein of form over the last 18 months, chalking up must-check EPs on Quintessentials, Toy Tonics, Lost Palms, and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. Here he adds another label to his discography: celebrated Swedish house outlet Local Talk. Title track "For A Bright & Acid Future" hits the spot from the word go, with Gordon wrapping twisted, rough-neck acid lines around a bustling backing track rich in fuzzy synth stabs, jazzy bass guitar and crunchy beats. Over on the flip Kear lends a hand on the sun-kissed, soft focus brilliance of jazz-funk/Jazz/deep Latin house fusion of "Son Esquivias", a slab of breezy, percussion-rich goodness that could well be Gordon's most musically expansive track to date.
Review: Italian duo Souldynamic have been releasing a steady stream of work on respected labels from King Street and Tribe to BBE, with support from industry heavyweights like Louie Vega and Dennis Ferrer. Their latest release the 'West Side of Afrika' EP see's them land on Samosa Records, comprising of four tracks of Afro-centric house. From the spiritual life music of opening track "Guinee" to the uplifting sunshine vibe of "Faranah" with its uplifting group vocal harmonies, while closing cut "Beyla" is an evocative deep house number with the most killer bassline you will hear on a record this year. Terrific work by these Neapolitan scene veterans!
Review: Earl Sweatshirt's Feet of Clay album from late in 2019 was tantalisingly short in length, but not short in quality. The raw, woozy record found him exploring ambiguous wordplay that will keep you entertained trying to unpack it all for many hours. He himself described the 15 minute work as "a collection of observations and feelings recorded during the death throes of a crumbling empire" and it makes for a physical yet abstract record with emotion to spare. From gloomy and introverted r&b styles to more distorted jazz and loop beats, his silky tones always unify each track with great allure.
Review: The red hot 45 series from Dynamite Cuts continues apace with more gold carefully dug out from the rich archives of George Semper. This is the first time ver these tunes have been on 7", and the pressing is limited to 600. "Got To Find A Way To Make Some Money" is a sentiment we can all relate to right now. The tune will certainly lift your spirits though with its rousing vocal harmonies, cheery trumpets and vibe spreading soul sounds. "The Weight" (instrumental) is more intense, somehow, with bristling rhythm sections and lo-fi organs all serving up the heat.
Review: If you're in the mood for some cosmic grooves, wayward disco and pagan psychedelia, Multi-Culti's Cult Edits series is always worth checking. The imprint's latest offering is packed to the rafters with mind-altering goodness. Inigo Voltier sets the tone with "Ti Amo", a Fairlight-powered bounce through post-Italo oddball electro territory with added mix-80s power-pop guitars, before Angelina Amor reworks a sludgy slab of European industrial/new wave fusion. Youkounkoun's throbbing "Cosmic Yoyo" sounds like post-apocalyptic Italo-disco after a fist full of downers, while Asa Moto's "When The Funk Is On" is a funky but undeniably weird electro-industrial cut rich in delay-laden vocal snippets and metallic percussion hits.
Djidjo Vide (feat Elikeh - Jose Marquez remix) (8:06)
Lift It Up Again (6:21)
Review: Given the struggles the World has faced this year, the escapist hedonism of the Sol Power Allstars - a jubilant, floor-friendly fusion of African, Caribbean, South and North American influences - feels like a much-needed shot in the arm. They're at their celebratory best on Sol Power Sound's tenth release. Vocalist Massama Dogo and guitarist Frank Martins lead the line on impressive opener "Va Se Da", a contemporary slab of Afro-house goodness. The accompanying dub, a tougher, sweatier and more bass-laden proposition, makes the most of the previously buried horns courtesy of LA band Jungle Fire. On the flip, Jose Marquez provides a suitably spacey, percussion-rich, Afro-synth style rework of classic Sol Power cut "Djidjo Vide", while "Lift It Up" is a sleazy slab of trippy Afro-acid with added hazy horns.
Review: Over the course of their six-year career, French twosome Nummer have slowly morphed from fresh-faced angular techno enthusiasts, to makers of admired electronic music rooted in a widescreen and nuanced musical vision. Their growing maturity is much in evidence on "Night Confidence", an EP that effortlessly flits between deep, dreamy and delay-laden lo-fi deep house bliss ("Sea Junkies"), sleazy, acid-fired, alien-sounding late night house weirdness ("Hassen (Dub)"), extra-percussive fusions of Burrell Brothers style deep house and new age beauty ("Kyoto's Forest"), and the wonderful analogue/organic fusion that is rolling, outer-space house jam "Windchill". An inspired EP from a duo whose music is sounding fresher than ever.
Lost Desert & Simon Vuarambon - "Earth Before Humans" (7:23)
Lost Desert & Bona Fide - "No Strings Attached" (8:17)
Lost Desert & Amand - "That Moment & You" (8:10)
Review: Having spent a spell on loan at Russian label Shanti Radio, serial collaborator Patrick Bruyndonx AKA Lost Desert returns to his musical home-from-home, All Day I Dream, with an action-packed EP of joint productions. He first joins forces with regular studio partner Lee Burridge on the tactile, warming and ethereal dancefloor bliss of "Welch", before exploring darker, tech-tinged deep house pastures on Simon Vuarambon hook-up "Earth Before Humans". Over on side B, Bona Fire collaboration "No Strings Attached" is a percussion-rich shuffle infused with glassy-eyed watching-the-sun-come-up-at-a-rave nostalgia, while "That Moment & You", co-produced by Amand, confidently strides towards hypnotic tech-house-meets-deep house territory.
Review: Woo York seem to save their best work for Tale of Us's Aftelife label. Their previous outing on the imprint, 2018 debut album "Chasing The Dream", was an underappreciated gem, and happily this EP-length follow-up is equally as impressive. Musically, all four tracks draw great influence from what some are calling neo-trance, employing riffs and arpeggiated synthesizer lines more often found in both trance and progressive house. The weightiest cut of the lot is "Dancing With Sirens", whose star attractions include squidgy bass, moody acid stabs and sustained, spacey chords, while opener "Echoes From Beyond" is sunny, summery and almost rush-inducing in its melodic positivity. "Minimalism", a deep and trippy excursion dominated by psychedelic acid lines, hoover noises and a lengthy breakdown, is also rather good.
Review: International specialists Soundway provide some superbly soothing and cathartic electronic beats here from Reuben Vaun Smith. The debut album follows on from his vocal and production work on
Expositions's Yellow Haze EP early in the year on the First Jams label. The seven tracks that make it up are all different perspectives on chill, with mature musical motifs, seaside sounds and trips down to the beach at sunset all checked off the list. Spare a moment to admire the artwork, too, a seamless fusion of pastel colours, 80s graphic design and tropical escapism.
Review: Those who love classic Afro-Latin music should already know "Lupita", one of the standout tunes from the sole 1971 album by Belgian composer Nico Gomez (real name Joseph van het Groenewoud) and his Afro-Percussion Inc backing band. That album was reissued a few years back by Mr Bongo; here 'Lupita' is given a rare airing on 7" single by Matasuna. This time round, the deliciously percussive mambo workout - all punchy horns, wild organs and vocal breakdowns - comes backed by a fresh remix courtesy of Bosq. This version is arguably even better, with Bosq wisely choosing to focus on the drums, horns, bass and organs for added dancefloor pleasure.
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: Earlier this year, Bruno Schmidt and Robin Ordell rekindled their Asper Bothrop production partnership after two years away. Their comeback EP on Spinning Plates was well-received, and this speedy follow-up on Domesticated is likely to be greeted by a similar level of praise. There's certainly plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the swinging, bass-heavy shuffle of "Everybody Just", where glitchy electronics and ghostly chords ride a thickset tech-house groove, to the crunchy, stargazing electro bounce of closing cut "Body Movement". Sandwiched in between you'll find the warm, spaced-out haziness of "Jumpin' Jack Flash", and "Trenor", a slightly pitched-down tech-house box-jam for those who like to get busy in the mix.
Review: Versatile Records boss Gilb'r claims he still doesn't know who Floco Floco is, despite snapping up the shadowy artist's first release as soon as he heard it. It sounds a bit like a tall tale to us, but it doesn't matter; "On M'a Dit" is brilliant. In its' "Full Length Vocal Mix" form, it's a driving fusion of dub disco, acid house and lo-fi synth-boogie rich in vintage- synthesizers and trippy effects. Gilb'r provides a short and sweet, pitched-down reprise that's warm and woozy in tone, before Jan Schulte dons the Bufiman guise to deliver two contrasting takes: a dazzling, all-action, club ready "Disco Instrumental", and a beat-free "Prog Frog Mix" that sits somewhere between the Orb, Tangerine Dream and Terry Riley's synthesizer works.
Review: Cassy has largely been focusing on her own Kwench label in the past few years, exploring the crossover between pop sensibilities and underground dance music culture. She's carrying that through to her appearance on Pressure Traxx, while clearly nodding to her roots in the minimal scene with the elegant, spellbinding "Strong Sense", all underpinned by her subdued vocal. Tobias steps up for a remix on the B side which takes the track in a shivering techno direction that provides the perfect urgent foil to the cosy house demeanour of the original.
Review: Summer is here and there are few finer musical companions than this steamy 7" from Scandinavian soundsmiths the Lyskestrekk crew. Leoparden steps up for this one with an inimitable sense of coy funk, bubbly pop, bendy synth colour and deep and lazy groove. "Hoyt Oppe" simmers with a late night r&b charm that is all romantic and intimate with squidgy bass. On the flip, "Lope Bass" goes for a retro tinged 70s vibe with subtle acoustic riffs and a sexy strut all getting you in the mood. Once the astral led synth breaks out of the mix, the journey really takes off and boogie infects your bones.
Review: Butch has been turning out essential club sounds for many years. He has a wide range of styles in his arsenal and always manages to come up with original ideas despite being so prolific for so long. "Joe Le Taxi" is a mad acid cut that has off-grid claps, drunken kicks and a female vocal lost in it all. It's the sort of unhinged tune to drop at the peak of the night and watch the reaction from afar. On the flip is an Acid Tool version that is even more wonky and unhinged, with the squirrelling acid line doing even more work.
Breaka - "The Show Must Go On" (feat Adam Pits) (5:18)
Inner Zone - "Niaaru" (7:19)
Review: Space Lab invites you into their astral lair courtesy of some fine beat scientists in Adam Pits, Desert Sound Colony, Dr Baird, Inner Zone and breaka. Pits is the one who takes care of launch with his cosmic melodies and smooth cruising grooves heading out into the great beyond. Desert Sound Colony & Dr Braid offer a more choppy groove tinged with garage bump and alien sound designs, while Breaka gets you in a trance state with his ambient laced loops, and last of all Inner Zone's "Niaaru" is a dreamy, zoned out track equally suited to the warm up, peak time or come down.
Review: It was 1975 that KC and The Sunshine Band first put out their huge "I Get Lifted" tune, and its a prime example of the era's funk and disco fusion sound. The playful bass wobbles down low while the elastic vocals do plenty of tricks up top. Add in all manner of subtle percussive sounds and little key riffs and the whole track slowly but surely gets the club in raptures. On the flip side, Nordic disco master Todd Terje serve sup an edit that beefs up the drums and adds some extra effects for good measure.
Review: Tech-house is one of those genres that has been pulled in multiple different directions of late, with producers peppering typically glitchy, bass-heavy grooves with all manner of alien-sounding or pleasantly attractive musical elements. There's plenty of that kind of subtle eclecticism on Niko Maxen's latest EP, with the prolific producer bouncing between acid-fired tech-house funk (striking opener "Twist"), imaginative re-inventions of UK Bleep & Bass for the tech-house generation ("Bleep Test"), quirky, vocal-laden, Villalobos-influenced dancefloor eccentricity (the ace "Minimal Minds") and wonky, sample-heavy early morning jazziness (the hard to pigeonhole but undeniably impressive "Strung Out").
Peter Abdul & The Abeng Musical Box - "Inflation" (2:55)
Russ D In Front Room Studio - "Inflation" (Dubwise) (2:57)
Review: Italian label Dig This Way serves up a third sizzling offering, this time featuring Nigerian singer Peter Abdul. He does his heart aching work over a solid rhythm from Abeng's Musical Box and the results are steeped in romance and yearning. A flip side dub from Russ Disciple is also well worth checking for its smart effects and fathom deep bass. Abdul is a relative unknown but for his 1984 album Get Down With Me, which head in a more boogie and funk direction. Regardless, this is a tasty dub, make no mistake.