All I Do (Ryuhei The Man 45 edit instrumental) (4:05)
Review: Japanese live outfit, A Hundred Birds has a thing for creating classic covers. Over the course of their career, they've recorded countless covers, including organic, string-laden interpretations of techno scene staples such as "Blackwater" (originally recorded by Octave 8) and "Knights of the Jaguar" (The Aztec Mystic). Last year they offered up another warm and wonderous cover, this time of Stevie Wonder classic "All I Do". Here it gets a new lease of life courtesy of scalpel fiend Ryu The Man, who has delivered tightened-up, floor-friendly vocal and instrumental edits of the warm, rich, soulful and undeniably summery cover version. Both are rather good, though it's the vocal version that will win over dancers.
Akabu - "Ride The Storm" (feat Linda Clifford - Saison remix) (7:21)
The Love Symphony Orchestra - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Dr Packer remix) (7:31)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Everyday" (JN Disco Re-Bump remix) (7:28)
Art Of Tones - "Flower Child" (feat Anduze) (7:01)
Review: Like its numerous predecessors, 16th edition of Z Records' long running "Attack The Dancefloor" series is packed to the rafters with tried and tested dancefloor treats, most of which have never appeared on vinyl before. First up, Saison tackles Akabu's 2001 classic "Ride The Storm", turning it into a deep, bouncy and rubbery chunk of lilting, string-drenched house goodness, before Dr Packer delivers a subtly tooled-up take on The Love Symphony Orchestra's grandiose and sexually-charged 1978 disco classic "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Label head honcho Joey Negro provides a superb deep disco rework of one of his own productions, the Sunburst Band's 2004 summer sing-along "Everyday", while Art of Tones' "Flower Child" is a flash-fried, disco-funk romp laden with superb lead vocals from Anduze.
Review: Romana Records 003 Takes a slightly different route this time we got a original from Ted Amber Botanic Minds sunset Series and a remix from Magnus Asberg and a stella remix from TIJN Curte Vache,Moss Co. The original has been been a firm favorite for Arapu for some time now. Early support: Arapu, Vincentlulian, Sepp, Nu Zau, Iuly.B, Viceversa, Silat Beksi, Archie Hamilton, Miroloja, Cesar Merveille, Direkt, Fabrizio Maurizi, Barut.
Review: Having recently impressed with a deliciously off-kilter - and hugely impressive - debut album on Studio Barnhus (last year's must-check "Once Upon A Passion"), Stockholm's Bella Boo dons the alternative BB alias and offers up a cheeky, acid-laden future anthem. In its original A-side form, "Hey Ladies" sees the rising star top a sweaty, all-action house beat with dreamy chords, layered R&B/soul vocals, deliciously dirty bass and waves of angular, mind-altering acid lines. It's a brilliant combination of elements all told, with Boo's smart production and on-point arrangement making it a genuine peak-time banger for underground DJs. The accompanying vocal-free Dub Mix is superb, too, with the Swede replacing sampled R&B snippets with bubbly electronic motifs and even wilder acid lines.
Review: Whether they're operating on Toy Tonics, Freerange, Madhouse or NeoVinyl, Black Loops rarely fail to deliver the deep house goods. Predictably, the Italian duo's Shall Not Fade label debut is another quality collection of cuts. Our pick of a very strong bunch is probably "Badmanthing", a quirky chunk of rubbery deep house-funk built around a bold, memorable bassline, eccentric electronics and tipsy chords, though the skipping drums, meaty bass and tweaked New Jersey garage motifs of "Plastikhaus" are also hugely alluring. Elsewhere, "No Fear" is a notable fusion of bounding house beats, darting jazz-funk synth sounds and simmering synth-strings, while EP opener "I Know You" is a more classic-sounding slab of deep house cheeriness.
Review: 23 years have passed since Blue Boy (AKA Scottish producer Lex Blackmore) delivered one of the biggest club and radio hits of summer 1997, the Marlena Shaw-sampling "Remember Me". Here the familiar favourite is given a new lease of life via a pair of fresh 2020 re-rubs. David Penn steps up first, expertly layering sustained Wurlitzer organ chords, gospel-style, clipped disco guitars, piano riffs and the famous vocal sample over a thickset, 21st century house groove. Frank Rizaro's remix is even heavier, with Shaw's vocalizations riding a beat that's closer to tribal techno than deep house. The head-nodding, toe-tapping original 1997 mix completes a rock-solid package.
Review: Bolla's Afrikan Basement debuted with a warm welcome in 2008 as a limited 7" and is one of the many essential projects Joe Clasusell has been involved with over the years. Now it gets revisited on this tasty 7". The a-side is a special edit of "Makkusa", a steamy, spiritual, deeply layered and emotional house track that is lead by a standout sax line. Joaquin's Sacred Rhythm dub is just that on the flip-side, a punchy rework with groaning vocals and a tribal feel, marching drums and plenty of the steam and sweat that makes his music so unique and powerful.
High Power (North Street RAVE instrumental) (5:45)
High Power (North Street FunKay vocal remix) (5:50)
High Power (North Street FunKay instrumental) (5:50)
Review: Hip house is always bubbling away in the background and has been since the 80s. F*CLR bust it back in the headlines with this fantastically strong, old school tinged effort from famous hip house pair Bon Voyage. The opening mix is stuffed with acid, big pianos and plenty of attitude riddled vocals, while the instrumental allows those manic keys to really shine. On the flip, things get more funky with a remix laden with synth goodness and prickly percussion, as well as one instrumental that comes with big horns taking things into a more happy and emotional place.
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: 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.
Review: We were rather impressed by the first volume in the CCCP Edits series, a re-edit imprint seemingly dedicated to offering up reworks of obscure, largely unknown musical gems from Soviet-era Russia, so hopes are sky-high for this second instalment. We shouldn't have worried. Opener "Nochi" is a deep, woozy and off-kilter chunk of two-step garage/jazz-funk fusion, while "Ne Mojet Bit" is the most Balearic electro track we've heard in yonks. The fun continues on the flip, where the glassy-eyed deep pop-goes-two-step flex of "T=H2O" comes accompanied with the hip-house era breakbeat-house warmth (and jazzy keys) of standout track "Hare, Krishna".
It All Began In The East (The Sacred Rhythm version) (11:48)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Koto version) (3:39)
A Dance For Gratitude (Joaquin's Congo Arts Drum version) (7:15)
It All Began In The East (The Cosmic Arts Meditational mix) (3:18)
Review: Two years ago, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell donned his occasional Mental Remedy alias and offered up "A Journey To Noi", a decidedly spiritual album that mixed Japanese instrumentation with his usual ambient and deep house sounds. On this 12", Clausell offers up some heady new interpretations that - like much of his work over the last decade - are built around the percussive power of African rhythms. The opening "Sacred Rhythm Version" of "It All Began In The East" is particularly potent, with Clausell cloaking a warm, organic and percussive Afro-house beat in distinctive Japanese Koto melodies and jazzy piano flourishes. We'd also recommend the formidably heavy, drum-laden rework of "Dance For Gratitude", whose Latin American bassline and simmering synth-strings are almost as addictive as the weighty groove they sit upon.
Review: Joaquin "Joe" Clausell launched the "Xperiments" series back in 2016 with a box set containing two single-sided flexi-discs and a seven-inch single, all of which contained some pretty spaced-out sounds. Four years on he's decided to offer-up a new instalment in the avant-garde project: a single-sided seven-inch presented in a special hand-made sleeve by artist Akemi Shimada. Interestingly, the featured track, "Discombobulated Wing", is far more club-ready than its predecessors, with Clausell layering krautrock-esque treated guitars and Tangerine Dream style analogue synthesizer parts atop a low-slung, restless bass guitar line and sparse house drums.
Review: Following a sterling first drop from Nick Holder, Selections return in fine style with this EP from Tobi Danton. This is proper deep house in the modern mode - crisp beats and silky smooth synth lines shot through with a spaced-out attitude. Just tune in to "That's Right" and find yourself transported to the dancefloor of your dreams. "1988" is equally light and limber, with a classy vocal sample heralding the Chicago roots of the music, while "Last Dance" takes on a more anthemic tone with its strong melodic core and uplifting bump. Kevin Over comes on board for a remix of "Last Dance" that treats the original with care, edging some 90s motifs, dubby flourishes and a tougher jack into the mix without losing that hazy mood.
Review: Milan based Take It Easy label and party is back. This third drop comes from label owners, Bugsy and DJLMP with the addition of the historical italian dj and Paradise Pizza's label owner Memoryman aka Uovo. After their big success "Watchin Out" and "Catch Me", The EP opens with an Afro-influeced sample stomper followed up by an afrobeat vocal tool by DJLMP. "I Wonder" open the B side with some crackly Detroit atmosphere by Memoryman aka Uovo. "Pomiri Dan" completes the set, percussive sample stomper by Bugsy on his first appearance on the label.
Review: The latest artist to deliver a volume in digital download specialists Masterworks Music's occasional "Master Series" of vinyl EPs is Dirtytwo, a Scandinavian duo best-known for their releases on Local k and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. A-side "Consensual" is a genuinely deep and immersive affair driven forwards by echoing electric piano stabs, hissing ride cymbals and addictive bass, all topped off by glassy-eyed vocal samples of what sounds like Motown legend Marvin Gaye. Flipside "Get Down & Get With It" is an altogether sweatier and sleazier affair, closer in tone to the pair's various loved-up and peak-time-ready singles on Local Talk. It's rather good, though we still prefer the tactile and huggable A-side.
Review: The tracks on this EP from DJ Boring were made for his acclaimed live show, and have been getting fans in a spin ever since. Opener "Like Water" is lithe house music with a cosmic feel that will have you afloat in no time then "Another Day" get more ravey on thumping drums and busy synths. The lush, serene deep house of "Stockholm Syndrome" might be a highlight for us, then "Seems Like Yesterday" closes out in breezy, groovy fashion. The fantastic sleeve has been designed by New York based artist Amir Jahanbin, who was also responsible for the visuals at the live show, making this an even more essential purchase.
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: Italian scene veteran DJ Soch has been serving up classy, mature and musically rich house music for longer than many of us have been alive, so it's great to see him showcase his wares on Lobster Theremin offshoot Distant Hawaii. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing amongst the five tracks on show, from the effortless warmth of title track "The Power of Poetry" - a glorious fusion of Nu Groove era Burrell Brothers style deep house and sun-kissed Italian dreaminess - to the chunky, bass-heavy bounce of New Jersey garage-influenced closing cut "Magic Flute". Other highlights include "Underground Night", where slick, vibraphone style solos and twinkling pianos ride another thickset late '80s deep house groove, and the luscious Italian dream house revivalism of "Round The World".
Review: Consistently on form house master DJ Steaw is back with more of his essential nuggets. "Freee" (House mix) has something of a classicist feel, with its straight up drums and star gazing synth lines disappearing off into the cosmos. A sweet and tender vocal finishes it in style. "Freee" in original form is a perfect bit of late 80s jazz funk, disco and boogie fusion that rides low while making your temperature rise. "Walk In Broadway" closes out with more peak time grooves, pounding kicks and an old school bassline that nags down low throughout.
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.