Review: Swiss trio Alma Negra have been on an unstoppable march in recent years, bringing their extensive knowledge of African and Latin music to contemporary productions in a circular fashion that exists beautifully out of time. That all the music on Sedowa is hand-played is testament to the natural flow of this infectious, instinctive dance music, leading in with the sprightly funk of "Sedowa" before easing into the transcendental stomp of "Sueno Latino." "Oya" is no slouch on the B2 either, bringing a heavier disco-funk groove to the record that will suit more house-inclined DJs without compromising on the organic rattle and clatter that makes Alma Negra such a stand out crew.
Review: Continuing their forays into the world of yesteryear grooves unabated, those pesky hell-dwelling Lumberjacks are at it again, this time drafting in O Boogie and Red Greg for some disco funk finesse for the smoothest get-downs. O Boogie lords it over the first side, leaning heavy on a rich piano hook that hammers lower register chords over an incessant disco tick, while evergreen track "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" gets re-versioned in such a floor-burning fashion you'll need asbestos boots just to get out alive. Red Greg's "Inner Rhythm" plies familiar tropes into a sweet instrumental groove that makes all the right moves.
Review: It's all going on for Cervo at the moment. Having just launched the Banana Hill label with an excellent record from Majid Bekkas (that he also did an edit for), the UK-based producer has now been snapped up by Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label to drop more of his worldly edit science. "On Rhythm" leads the charge with confidence on the A-side, using a bubbling, Afro-infused disco-funk source and making it lean and mean for the floor. There's a distinctly Nigerian lilt to the guitars that cluck away through "Dancing Dream", but it's accompanied by bright chiming chords and a solid beat that will stand up to any contemporary house jam. "Banku" is even more explicitly modern, although still layered up with gorgeous vocals and percussion from Africa.
Review: Australian synthesizer enthusiast, boogie revivalist and occasional house producer Inskwel dons his rarely used Cold Chillin' Inkswel alias for this outing on Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks in Hell outfit. While the Aussie producer's disco and boogie influences can be heard on Lemonade City, for the most part the EP is a house-centric affair. "Mercury Retrograde" melds a midtempo, head-nodding chugger out of backwards synth melodies and analogue sounding beats, while "Ompai" delivers his usual, soft-focus blend of vintage synths and warm, floor-friendly bottom-end. There's a chunkier feel about the heavily filtered disco bump of "Lemonade City", while "Degrees In The Shade" moves from metronomic house throbber to sparse P-funk jacker in the blink of an eye.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes deep house vet Andy Compton and Shamrock for a trip into plush disco, laid back funk and more besides. Bunny Chow was reportedly recorded in South Africa, and features the vocal talents of Asli on a number of the tracks. You can certainly hear the Afro influence creeping into the simmering groove of the title track, while Asli's vocals shine through the clearest on the downtempo tones of "Everything Is Gravy." "Nifanyeje" is another warm trip through Afro disco replete with noodling guitar lines and a crisp drum machine beat, while "Roga Mziki" ends the record on a high note with a final blast of that infectious, sunkissed sound the pair have clearly mastered on their musical adventure.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Italian producer Giovanni Damico (otherwise known as G-Machine or Ron Juan) has been busting out funkified gems for more than 10 years now, and his mighty back catalogue includes plenty of turns on Lumberjacks In Hell. He returns to the label with four crisp and refined slices of boogie business that span a range of tempos to give you plenty of party tackle for any situation. "The Sound Of Revolution" is a natural choice for the A1, dripping with cosmic synth flexes and an irresistible groove, while the snappily titled "Italians In A Line" brings a sweet strain of upfront robo-disco to the table.
Review: Fresh from an acclaimed outing on FACES, Giovanni Damico pops up on Marcel Vogel's inspired Lumberjacks In Hell label. The Italian producer is naturally in fine form here, with A-side "Tanzania" - a breezy, house-friendly rework of what sounds like a Tanzanian boogie cut - being one of the most addictive and life-affirming edits we've heard this month. You'll find more wiggling synthesizer lines on the deliciously dreamy and evocative deep house shuffler "I Need Me", while "Are You Somebody" is a successful exercise in subtly beefing up a low-slung disco-funk number. As if that wasn't enough to set the juices flowing, he completes a brilliant E.P with the jazz-fuelled deep house smokiness of "Humans After All".
Review: Founder of White Rabbit Records and one of the hippest swingers in the Southern reaches of Italy, Giovanni Damico has more than proved himself in the field of boogie infused, disco flavoured house music. Following plentiful appearances on labels like Black Key, Movida, Geography and Bitter Moon, Damico returns to Lumberjacks In Hell with a serious serving of sultry grooves for discerning diggers to get all moist over. "Essential" keeps things hyped up and just a little feverish, with a distinctly funky stew of guitar chops, bugged out flute, Rhodes flares and more besides. "Look At You (Sugar Bomb)" is a deeper affair revolving around a particular looped up lick, and then "Drums & Keys" shifts the focus out into accomplished broken beat territory that confirms Damico's skill and adaptability across a range of styles.
Review: The latest transmission from the Lumberjacks stable taps up London-based producer Alan Dixon, who tackles a soul-stirring gospel belter from Frank Booker on the A side. Whatever your spiritual persuasion, "Rise & Shine" can't help but inject a little joy into your life. On the flip, Dixon turns the piano house power up to 11 with the life-affirming thrust of "Whatcha Gonna Do", featuring Maleke O'Ney on vocal duties. Completing the set, Lumberjacks head honcho Marcel Vogel drops in a remix that twists the original into a loose and limber jazz-funk-house odyssey of epic proportions.
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell score a real coup here in releasing the "Chante vs James" edit from Chicago based DJ Hugo H; a long term weapon of Rahaan, it's been embraced ahead of release by the likes of Soul Clap and few could deny the instant appeal of it. Deftly cutting up some prime fonk from James Brown and the accapella from a late 90s Chante Moore's slow jam, it's the epitome of bumping Chi Town house. Hutchinson gets a further chance to flex his timeless Chicago style on 2 more tracks that apply the same equation of drum heavy rhythms with infectious vocal hooks and slick melodic turns. "Moments of Dance" is particularly beguiling in its execution.
Review: **Repress** The Lumberjacks in Hell imprint does a great job in sniffing out dancefloor-friendly re-edits and reworks that eschew the usual tried-and-tested formulas. This latest missive features a mixed bag of reliably groovesome oddities. There's the disco-jazz madness of Jamie 326's "Can You Feel It", and three wide-eyed bangers from the hitherto unknown Boogie Nite. Of these, the most obviously upbeat is the loopy funk/soul strut of "Do Your Thang" and James Brown-ish "Sexy Sexy Sexy". Most interesting of all, though is "Earth Calling Mickey", a Balearic disco weird-out that sits somewhere between oddball house and head-nodding disco.
Marcel Vogel - "I Got Jesus" (Karizma Stomp dub) (7:47)
Review: Lumberjacks In Hell just keep on trucking, this time calling upon the legendary skills of Karizma in setting their latest A side alight. "Work It Out" is a fiery slice of gospel choppery, whipping up a fevered line in vocal insistence that hardly needs a rhythm section to make you move, but still has the necessary goods underneath the hood. Marcel Vogel follows a similar tact on "I Got Jesus", spacing the jam out and working a bit more groove, but certainly tapping into the same spiritually enhanced vein. Karizma then returns to make an aptly named "Stomp Dub" of the track, rounding off an absolute beast of a party record.
Review: Koenig Saatgut supposedly appears for the first time in 15 years with this rough and ready piano house/breakbeat roller. "The Spirit" is an unabashedly big track, using a catchy 90s piano lick and sticking a brash boom bap beat underneath it. "Your Houze" is actually the smart pick here though, bringing a modernist approach to vintage, sample heavy house music. There's a whiff of French touch about this one, but mixed up with a ravey attitude that guarantees these tracks will be setting off more than a few dances.
Review: Belgian producer Krewcial is one of those producers who flits in and out of activity, and has done so since the mid 90s. Lumberjacks In Hell have called upon this slippery character to lay down some righteous grooves for their latest missive, and the results are sublime. "2U" is funky house how it should be done, all stomping drums, dreamy pads and soulful licks for the party people in the place. "Heal" takes a more edited approach, holding back the bass for the ultimate dancefloor payoff. "Hit Me Off" ramps up the jazzy keys for a Detroit flavoured looped up throwdown, and then "The Session" fires off one last sumptuous rip through peak time perfection.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: From the label: "This EP is a dedication to the Amsterdam based Alkebulan Project. Philou and Villy are both members of this project, the project brings artists from Africa & African Diaspora together. The Alkebulan Project is on a mission to change the perception of Africa an it's citizens. Nigerian artist Villy and his group "Villy & The Xtreme Volumes" are on a mission to educate Africans with their message calling for a revolution in Africa, politically and socially in all aspects. Philou has a combination of Congolese, Nigerian and Sierra Leonean heritage and it is in these roots that he has built his sound. His passion for the continent of his ancestors is fervent and his projects are challenging commonly held preconceptions about Africa. His goal is to challenge negative stereotypes, by making African cultures more approachable through music. Much love for Rudy Asibey for founding The Alkebulan Project and bringing the artists together and many thanks to Marcel Vogel for giving us the opportunity to tell our story through."
Review: Marcel Vogel's ever-ready LIH imprint celebrates six years of juicy, sassy, often illicit disco soul with some of the label's best cuts to date. Ideal for filling any holes in your collection, the likes of Uptown Funk Empire's Pharoah Saunders cover "Freedom", Manmademusic's gospel-level "Circles", Eddie C's tweaking, freaking drum funk "What It Is", Stacy and Peven's stuttering funk "Body Jerkin" still slap and tickle just as stylishly and smoothly as they did when Marcel first prised them from the editor's clutches... And still will in 10, 20 or 50 years-time. Proper dancefloor clobber.
Review: The excellent Lumberjacks In Hell imprint has served up some fine edits in its short lifespan to date, most notably from Chicago's Mutant Beat Dancer Traxx and the label's latest release turns to two other Windy City residents renowned for their collections and skills. Rahaan needs little introduction for the disco loving community with essential drops on Stillove4music, Disco Deviance and more, whilst Mr Sounds runs the excellent Bring The Heat website. This twelve is all about the A Side "Rainin Bleeding Boy" which puts a well loved UK EBM couple through the dub laden beatdown grinder - though DJs will get plenty of mileage out of both tracks on the B Side with "Flip Side" some supremely chopped up disco funk and "War I Declare" a stomping and heavily filtered bomb.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: This time on transparent vinyl. Amsterdam dwelling editor par excellence Em Vee took the solo reigns on the inaugural Lumberjacks In Hell - and truly excelled with a great reimagination of "Miss You". The second release on the label sees the German share duties with Spanish edit demon Rayko, with the Rare Wiri boss hogging the A Side. First up is an expert rearrangement of Candi Staton's cover of the Bee Gee's standard "Nights On Broadway" which strips the track of its orchestral leanings to focus on the groove! Following this is a meaty take on a classic, with Barbara Keith's cover of "All Along The Watchtower" reinforced with some bottom end bump. Em Vee spreads a special disco version of Alma Lee's late 70s Philly delight "Gimme Your Love" with an extended intro that fully displays his edit talents.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label shows no signs of slowing as it ramps up a killer new salvo from debutant artist C Scott. "Climb On" is an uptempo workout to capture the absolute peak of the party in the funkiest of ways, while "Hands Free" provides an apt alternative with its slow, organ-led whimsy. Disco remains the backbone of the sound here, whatever tempo the track rolls at and wherever it may head. "Stuttering" demonstrates this perfectly with its heavily treated, head-spinning FX still capturing that classic good-time mood, while "At Ease" finishes on a life-affirming canter of Rhodes led celebration.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: The unstoppable march of Dan Shake continues apace as he storms Lumberjacks HQ with some of that refined sample-a-delic house music that is fast making him a marquee booking for those who want their party started right. He sounds right at home on "Magic Marcel", throwing down an addictive bass hook and looping up the woozy romanticism of classic disco and filter house into a thoroughly potent brew. "The Bee Won" takes a more urgent approach, reaching towards a kind of jazz funk energy with some tumbling percussion shaken into the mix for good measure. Taking a cooler approach to round the record off, "Wake, Bake & Shake" lets the funk take centre stage and leaves the samples plain as day for that breezy Sunday afternoon feeling.
Review: Philpot Records maestro Soulphiction may not have appeared on Lumberjacks In Hell before, but he's cited as a big influence on the label, and here the Stuttgart-based artist gets four chances to unfurl his deft instinct for dusty, soul and funk-infused house music. "Stick Up" gets the MPC grooves and twisting bass licks rolling beautifully, while "B3B4URD1" injects a little Afro-flavoured funk into the mix with another addictive low end flex. "Acid Test" pours a little more jack into the pot without losing that crooked Soulphiction flavour, and then "Dirty Hot" does a mean job of teaching all newcomers how to really do an edit.
Review: Traxx - who has productions with International Deejay Gigolos and Creme Organization under his belt - is the man behind the third release from fledgling imprint Lumberjacks In Hell, following sterling efforts from Spanish edits don Rayko and the mysterious Em Vee. Sprawled luxuriously across the A Side is the epic 13 minute ode to Danielle Baldelli, "To The Beat Bizarre", all tumbling drums, Tangerine Dream synths, and perfectly timed claps and keys. "An Insane Experiment", influenced by Ron Hardy, clocks in at a meagre 09:47 and is characterised a straight up jacking rhythm, with junkyard drums, eerie synth squiggles and truly weird robotic gurgles trading blows before the track morphs into a full on acid wigout. In a word, awesome.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Marcel Vogel has decided to celebrate the first five years of his edit-heavy Lumberjacks In Hell imprint in the only way he knows how: by putting together a sumptuous double-pack stuffed with fresh new material. In keeping with the way the label has developed in recent times, the eight tracks blend the boundaries between original productions, illicit remixes and straight re-edits. There's a celebratory, life-affirming feel throughout, from the rubbery bass, D-Train synths and rolling house grooves of Giovanni Damico's "The Break Down", to the bluesy deep house brilliance of Borrowed Identity's "Queens Bridge". Highlights are plentiful elsewhere, too, from the hustlin' electrofunk-meets-disco of Vogel's own "Come On", to the killer synth solos and fuzzy bits of Tim Jules' thrilling "Slap Beat".
Review: The unstoppable Marcel Vogel is back with the saucily titled "Fuck The Bass Up", a raunchy, overdriven groover that adds another dimension to the multifaceted producer's sound. Tim Jules is present on this and three other tracks on this full fat EP, lending a hand on the gospel powered "I Got Jesus" and dusty shuffler "If You Like". Elsewhere there's more gospel influence on the artful stop-start stutters of "Get To Know Jesus", and the breezy funk of "Close The Door". You know all about the level of quality Vogel is operating at, and this is another richly musical addition to his ever-expanding catalogue.
Brown Curls (feat Khalil Anthony - Patchworks remix) (4:48)
If You Like (Alma Negras's Wisdom Of Oz remix) (7:38)
If You Like (feat Tim Jules - instrumental) (3:09)
Review: Marcel Vogel's latest on Lumberjacks In Hell welcomes the mighty leftfield NYC MC Sensational to flow over his learned disco house grooves. Sensational sounds right at home on "If You Like," and Vogel gives him a slightly freaked groove to riff on that works just fine. "Brown Curls" taps up Khalil Anthony, one of the finest UK house vocalists in operation right now, and Patchworks remixes it into a dreamy disco funk jam for the boogie brothers and sisters to shake it to. Alma Negra gets busy with "If You Like," creating a tumbling Afro-centric re-rub par excellence, and then Tim Jules comes on board with an instrumental version that nudges into tightly wound funk territory.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.