Review: Having previously persuaded some of the re-edit scene's biggest names to contribute reworks, Razor-N-Tape has now recruited the Grand-daddy of the scalpel scene: 1970s disco original Danny Krivit AKA Mr K. He begins with "Stuff", a deliciously epic revision of an atmospheric and joyous disco cut rich in snaking synth solos, evocative instrumentation and glassy-eyed vocals. Krivit teases the tune in slowly, eventually cutting loose as the nine-minute edit reaches its final few minutes. Side B is all about "The Story", a jaunty and musically complex instrumental disco number that contains some fantastic orchestration, spacey 1970s synthesizer flourishes and heady female backing vocals.
Review: Back in the early-to-mid 2000s, Warren Harris AKA Hanna was responsible for making and releasing some of the most sumptuous and seductive blends of future jazz, broken beat, soul and deep house around. This 12" from Melodies International offers a neat reminder by serving up two tracks previously featured on a CD-only album from 2004. A-side "I Needed" is the clear standout: a glassy-eyed and loved-up slab of jaunty dancefloor deep house that combines the swing of future garage and the snappiness of jacking Chicago house with the smoothness of soul and the kaleidoscopic synthesizer lines of jazz-funk. Flipside "Intercession, On Behalf" is similarly minded with more of an emphasis on vibrant jazz-funk and the soul motifs and the soul-powered swing of U.S garage.
Something For The Dancers (Kerri Chandler Dark mix) (8:33)
Review: On the one-to-watch list for those in the know, Lea Lisa has released on Mona Musique, Memories and Chez Damier's Inner Balance Recordings, alongside her role within the InnerDisc record store family. Presenting "The Legacy EP" for the ever-reliable Wolf Music here, she showcases her unquestionable talent across the two opening cuts. The soulful, emotive and near spiritual vibes of opener "Something For The Dancers" reaches near Ron Trent like moments with its weighty synth lines, dream-like pads and powerful bass tones, and the sensual late night deepness of "From Garage" which combines sultry vocals, analogue keys and thumping percussion doffs a cap to Chicago and Detroit deep house classics. Arguably best of all though, is the remix on the flip by the one and only Kerri Chandler - the Kaoz Theory chief serves up a heavenly slice of house with his "Dark Mix"; a shuffling garage house beat blending beneath sustained string synths and signature stabs. Classic Kerri style.
Review: Dualismo Sound has a great track record when it comes to unearthing and reissuing gems from Italy's small but vibrant Afro-Cosmic scene. This 12" from Meo (real name Daniele Mei) is another. Both A-side tracks were initially released back in 1987 and are appearing on vinyl for the first time since. "Cikuana" is a jolly, synth-laden affair that inhibits similar sonic territory to some of Tullio de Piscopo's 1980s work, while "Alturas" does a great job in wrapping Flamenco guitars and new age synths around a rubbery electronic bassline and gentle drums. Epic flipside "Fiesta", meanwhile, was first featured on 1986 album "Sesta Traccia" and makes great use of both evocative fretless bass (a staple of Balearic records from that period) and snaking sax lines.
Review: Back in the 1990s, Pauline Henry was the voice behind the Chimes and their stunningly soulful mid-tempo hit, "Heaven". This 12", which is dedicated to the late, great Paul "Trouble" Anderson, boasts fresh, club-ready remixes of the singer's solo cover of that loved-up club classic. Masters At Work man Louie Vega handles the A-side, placing Henry's fine vocal above a bed of swinging NYC house beats, fluid piano motifs and string-laden chords. Arguably even better is DJ Spen and Reelsoul's flipside revision, a more electronic affair with jauntier synth flourishes, elongated organ solos and a bumpin' rhythm track.
Review: Emotional Rescue return to the music of cult British group Furniture, shining a light on this unique band's extended 12" mixes and alternate takes. In the 80s tradition, these versions shrug off commercial concerns for something more exciting - long run times and space to tease FX and processes that a radio-friendly single wouldn't allow. "I Can't Crack (Broken Mix)" is an epic crescendo, while the instrumental mix of "Throw Away The Script" locks into a scratchy percussive workout anchored by a moody bassline. The sprightly piano lines and cascading sax on "Dancing The Hard Bargain" are a delight to lose yourself in, while "Bullet" strikes a somber but stirring tone to close the EP out.
Listen To The Music (Apiento & Tepper remix) (7:08)
Review: Way back in 1988, Italian label Les Folies Art put out a dreamy chunk of Art Of Noise style ambient experimentalism by Quiet Force called "Listen To The Music". It's long been in-demand amongst Balearic collectors for its unique fusion of Fairlight-manipulated vocal samples, glistening guitars, sparse beats, snaking clarinet lines, jaunty fretless bass and new age synthesizers, so this licensed reissue on Rogue Cat Sounds is long overdue. This time round, the duo's original "For Love & Emotions" version comes backed by two fresh remixes. Justin Strauss and Max Pask turn it into a deliciously dreamy chunk of acid-fired early morning house, while Apiento & Tepper re-imagine it as a slick and seductive instrumental Sade B-side.
Review: Always adept at reading the crowd and armed with decades of experience behind the decks, well-travelled man and Discoweey label boss Hotmood makes his debut on UK-based Giant Cuts with four summery tracks on "The Rhythm EP". Combining slo-mo boogie, groove laden disco and quality house sounds, he kicks things off with the sleazy late night funk attack of "The Rhythm Is There", before going deeper on the bass-driven soul loops of "My Darling (Dina)", leading up to the thumpin' B1 cut - a remix by Doc Jam that's chock-a-block with dancefloor dynamics and closing out with a fusion of jazz-funk, disco-house and evocative tropical jazz samples on "Tropical Space". Fans of Tropical Disco, Ravanelli Disco Club and Samosa will especially love this.
True To Myself (Karizma Kaytronik Truth dub) (6:57)
Review: New label LDF clearly understands the need to make a big first impression, because this soul-flecked single from Angel-A and producer Rahaan - one of Chicago's true underground heroes - is a very impressive debut. Rahaan's A-side "Original Mix" is rhythmically tough and crunchy - think weighty drum machine kicks and snares - but also warm and woozy, with Angel-A's superb vocal rising above rich electric piano chords and jazzy synthesizer flourishes. Over on side B Karizma takes over, offering up a "Kaytronik Truth Dub" that wraps hypnotic, mangled electric piano notes, analogue bass and tech-tinged flourishes around a wonderfully locked-in but percussively lively rhythm track. It's very different to the original but exceptionally deep and floor-friendly.
Review: Kuldaboli is part of the Stilleben family and has helped define its sound with his searing take on electro. This time around he dials back the crazy and offers up some more thoughtful and mysterious electro that kicks off with the bottom-wiggling boom bap and gurgling bassline of "Eolileg Mannvera". Things slow down on the more eerie and unsettling "Kaldir Straumar" then its an all out computer game assault on "Lazer Tag" which is pristine digital perfection. "Where Are You" is a real floor wrecker and last of all alien life forms inhabit the haunting "Vakan Endalausa".
Review: After kicking things off with the killer "Mariachi Guadalajara" by Lewski, Or:la's Cead label returns with another emergent talent, Blu Terra. The Warsaw based producer comes on strong for this breakthrough release with the heavy slapping, sound design-enhanced electro of "Person Sans". Even if the opening track felt detailed, it's superseded by the barrage of information spilling out of crafty, distinctive acid monster "20,000". "Western/Eastern" spreads across the B-side in a nervous twitch of rave energy geared towards big dark spaces, perfect for that spine-tingling part of the night when the real world feels very far away indeed.
Review: Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo are back together once again as Doublet, with both seasoned tech house champs having fun in the studio jamming out the kind of stripped back, heads down grooves you'd expect to hear them play out. "Tee's 8" is a cheeky A side jam with the kind of acid line that goes down easy and then works you from the inside out. "Three Thousand Men" has a slight dubby thread to it which sits comfortably amongst the sturdy groove of the drums, and then "Tentation" switches gears for a bright and melodic creation that skips around in funky syncopation without even needing to worry about a kick drum.
Review: A throwback to early '90s hardcore rave here, courtesy of tight knit UK producers Objekt and Call Super. Running with the story of the mythical DJ Bogdan: legend and resident DJ of Berlin's fictitious Q Bar in the city's Schoeneberg district - which ran from the early 90s until its closure in 2012. "Love Inna Basement" is presented here in its two original versions: the Morning Dub which is cited by Objekt as the inspiration behind his 2016 tribute "Theme From Q", and 'Midnite XTC', hailed by Call Super as 'the track I've taken the most garys to in my entire life'.
Review: Just under 12 months ago, French imprint Arpege launched with a multi-artist EP rich in far-sighted and futuristic takes on tech-house. For the follow-up they've decided to flip the script, instead offering up a quartet of electro-focused cuts. The headline attraction comes from British electro titan Carl Finlow, whose "Fmseq" is a spacey and melodious mixture of body-popping beats, throbbing bass, lilting lead lines and sparkling chords. There's plenty to set the pulse racing elsewhere across the EP though, from the heady deep space bleeps and hybrid electro/tech-house grooves of Harry Wills' "Estren", to the drowsy electronic warmth, bubbly acid bass and skittish beats of A2's "Plonk".
Review: Three years on from his last outing on the label, Pessimist (real name Kristian Jabs) returns to UVB-76 with more heady fusions of techno and UK bass. He opens with a bang via the clandestine, claustrophobic and paranoid tribal techno-meets-experimental D&B insanity of "Burundanga", before creeping us out via the foreboding sub bass, horror soundtrack chords and analogue pulses of "Lithosphere". There's more end-of-days fodder on side B, where Simon Shreeve offers a dystopian, dub techno-meets-deep dubstep revision of "Paian" and Jabs unfurls the gritty analogue scariness of post-apocalyptic dancefloor number "Thug".
Paxton Fettel - "I'd Like To Know You Better" (5:50)
Kristy Harper - "Uncle Jungle" (5:27)
Manakinz - "Robopubez (Rust In Peace)" (6:59)
Maxime Alexander - "BSA Freestyle #1" (feat $hakes) (5:01)
Review: London-based Ben Gomori is back with the fourth installment of "Dialogues" on his Monologues imprint. It's another various artists affair featuring four choice cuts that pursue all things deep, emotive and sensual. Copenhagen's Paxton Fettel kicks off proceedings with some boompty and disco-fied vocal business on the loopy "I'd Like To Know You Better", followed by the smoky late night groove by Kristy Harper's "Uncle Jungle" featuring some infectious roaring diva vocals. On the flip, go deeper into the night on the sweltering and hypnotic vibes of Manakinz' "Robopubez (Rust In Peace)" where Sub Club resident Harri collaborate with his bud Max, and finally Maxime Alexander reps South Africa on the sultry mood music of "BSA Freestyle #1" with $hakes on the mic.
Review: Melbourne producer Hysteric is becoming a go-to man for those looking for killer re-edits of obscure, left-of-centre Italo-disco and synth-pop oddities. Here he serves up a fresh batch of reworked gems for new label Fuego International, following inspired outings on Bordello A Parigi and Public Possession. The title track is a steamy, exotic Italo-disco gem blessed with electrofunk flourishes and AOR disco guitars, while "Discotheek De Marathon" is a throbbing, synth-heavy chugger that makes great use of extended drum solos and synthesized cowbells. Flip for the sweet, Afro-Italo fusion of "Pescara Beach", and the pitched down, electro-influenced new wave shuffle of "Southend Pier".
Review: Third time's the charm. Low Bias parallel project Dream Cycle returns to the ever-comfortable Sneaker Social with the next part of their annual series. Once again it's a barrage of two-step delights ranging from dank and mystic to deep and dreamy. "Told You" kicks off proceedings on a serious London bumpy flex, all sassy vocal snippets and a steam roller sub line. "Long Time" follows and takes us down a much deeper, contemplative path that's almost Detroit in its mood with those lush pads and spirited piano lines. Deeper again we strike the more technoid twangs of "Sensa" before "Untitled Dream" closes the EP on the deepest, wooziest tip of the EP, all downbeat, trippy and far too addictive for its own good. The Cycle continues.
Review: Originally a white label promo, Mark Knight and Co. are finally letting this one out of the bag. A seriously classy and infectious record from the new UK duo Cashio, "Dancing (With Me)" is a record that's had everyone talking, including some of the worlds top DJs like Annie Mac and Danny Howard to name but a few. A proper, disco-fied funky house anthem (with infectious vocals) that harks back to the glory days of the late '90s popularised by Def Mix, Subliminal and Soulfuric et al - is this a comeback? With the Toolroom crew heading to ADE at the end of the month, we're sure this one will bang the party there, until the later part of 2019 and beyond!
Review: For their fifth release, Japanese label Eureka! presents Pablo Valentino: founder of Faces Records (with Motor City Drum Ensemble) for the "Space Tribe" EP. Kicking off proceedings is Berlin-based Kazuki Yamaguchi on the Detroit Beatdown influenced "Bananas" on which you'll hear the pair emanate plenty of soul and emotion, followed by the blunted urban blues of "Inspiracao" where Valentino goes into a wonderful downbeat hip-hop state of mind. On the flip is the EP's most poignant moment brought by the evocative and bittersweet mood music of the title track featuring British producer Simbad - this one goes ultra deep and we love every minute of it!
Review: The crew behind the Clut label has put together a fine debut EP here. It offers up a quartet of cuts from techno and electro producers renowned for the warm, melodious and emotive nature of their sound. To our ears, the best track comes from Riccardo Rizza, whose EP-closing "Mars" is a fine fusion of rolling tech-funk grooves, spacey chords and life-affirming, B12 style melodies. That said, John Shima's similarly-minded - and arguably even more positive - "Circulate" pushes it close, while Odracir's analogue bass-propelled bleep-out "Set" and Alec Falconer and Rob Amboule's wonderfully deep "Clarkspin" push it mighty close.
Review: Ex-Terrestrial associate Richard Wenger - better known as R Weng - dons a new alias here, for an album that's apparently the result of a "three-year experiment in minimal synth maximalism". In practice, that means a hugely enjoyable trip through Radio Workshop style synthesizer motifs, hypnotic machine rhythms, 1970s style electronic music soundscapes, jaunty turn-of-the-90s IDM and occasional forays into decidedly dubbed-out, synth-driven grooves. It's a hugely enjoyable collection of cuts, with Wenger providing finished tracks that sound like they could have been made in 1979 (or in some cases, '69) rather than 2019.
Review: Adam Monti aka ADMNTi heads up 4Plae Records out of London and joins Casey Spillman (who just debuted on Infuse) for his label's fifth release. Monti opens with the hypnotic, bass-driven and swing-fuelled loops of "0207", a sublime groove reminiscent of iO (Mulen) or Jack Wickham, while Spillman's contribution comes in the form of the very UK influenced bounce of "Juice Appeal". This takes the best of 2-step and garage (and even the mandatory "rewind") to create a sexy serving of late night mood music. On the flip they flip the script, with both artists remixing each other's track and for what it's worth we reckon it's all about Spillman's remix of Monti's - tough rolling and functional tech house that's aimed squarely at the main room at peak time!
Review: Modularz is back once again with a stellar release this time from seasoned producer Paul Ritch. The French native is here to deliver five tracks of pulsating techno breed for the club and another project that adheres to the flagship. The Modularz sound has become so distinct and this EP showcases those rhythmic bouncing basslines and deep riding kick drums. Nuit Blanche is four tracks of punchy dancefloor driving kick drums that are coupled with eccentric modulations and synths. Expect underground crevice hidden chords deep textured and dripping sounds. Some cuts deliver sci-fi alien beeps and stabs that would make any martian jealous. The hi-hats are icy and the snares hype inducing: no matter the pace each cut is a weapon.
Review: Diego Krause is a key part of the effervescing Berlin underground thanks to his work as a DJ, producer and co-founder of Beste Modus. Here he steps out on Mulen's 20th EP with three slick tracks that perfectly straddle the divide between deep house, tech and minimal. Opener "Apogee" gets busy on supple drum programming with all sorts of astral pads spiralling round the groove and a burrowing bassline brings the funk. "Dive" hits harder but is still detailed with deft synths, alien motifs and warped pads that make it so much more than a purely functional track and the lithe and elastic closer "Dominion" is simply irresistible.