Review: Since starting their career with a couple of well-regarded EPs on Toy Tonics in 2013, Black Loops has been label hopping. This return to the German imprint follows four years spent churning out EPs for Gruuv, Neovinyl and, most recently, Pets Recordings. Opener "Le Mirage" is a bustling and bass-heavy affair, with melodic deep house pleasantries wrapping themselves around a chunky, U.S-garage influenced groove. The rhythmic skip and bass-heavy bounce continues on "Red Light", where fuzzy electric piano parts come to the fore, while "Sex (Part 2)" effortlessly joins the dots between the hazy loveliness of Italian dream house and the bustle of classic Kerri Chandler records. 'Sex", which boasts a wonderfully sleazy spoken vocal, completes another ear-pleasing package.
Review: Having spent the last few years giddily hopping between labels, COEO has decided to settle down. Flesh World is the Munich-based twosome's third 12" of 2017 for Toy Tonics, an imprint they first graced back in 2014. As usual, they're in a positive frame of mind, serving up a trio of tracks rich with both the feel good pulse of disco and boogie, and the metronomic heaviness of house. Both "Flesh World" and "In Motion" explore similar sonic territory, with the duo working a range of ear-pleasing samples from killer old disco and boogie cuts. Best of all, though, is the Kapote Drum Jam version of "Flesh World", which adds a little percussive pressure to an already celebratory workout.
Review: Following a recent dalliance with Brooklyn-based Razor 'N' Tape Reserve, COEO returns to the loving arms of Toy Tonics with another solid four-track excursion. Happily, they hit the ground running with the rushing positivity of "Mydonna", a bumpin' chunk of peak-time house goodness built around some superb disco samples and a bustling groove. The accompanying, "alternate cut" smartly emphasizes some of the original instrumentation, whilst adding some subtle swing to the disco-house drums. On the flip, you'll find the deep, smooth and sensual "Torrow", and the breezy, atmospheric, piano-laden shuffle of "Coast To Coast".
Review: Although it was established three or four years ago, it's only been in the last 12 months that Toy Tonics' edit offshoot Tonic Edits has really come into its own. The label's seventh missive is one of its strongest to date and comes courtesy of Berlin-based deep house stalwart Kapote. He kicks things off in style with the eccentric electrofunk brilliance of "Give It To Me" before diving into hybrid disco/P-funk pastures on the deliriously tongue-in-cheek silliness of "Pump It". Over on side B, "Grandmaster" is a fine rework of a strange, stripped-back early disco-rap tune laden with spacey synthesizers and clipped guitars, while "Pleasure" puts a new spin on a hazy, boogie-era cut by the band of the same name.
Do What You Like (David Bay extended remix) (6:30)
Review: Toy Tonics has long been one of the best house labels out there for organic, inventive and big hearted sounds that are happily influenced by a wider sphere of music than just what the club has to offer. This time they enlist four fine remixers to tackle material from the latest album of New York's Phenomenal Handclap Band. Body & Soul legend Danny Krivit opens up with a sensuous version which pairs glistening keys with dripping bass riffs, and Scandi-disoc king Ray Mangler's then reaches for the stars with his funky little number. Cooper Saver goes for something more direct and driving and David Bay ends with a light-footed tune that will skip its way into your affections thanks to its blissful waves of disco lushness.
Review: Brooklyn's finest The Phenomenal Handclap Band continue to bolster their relationship with Toy Tonics via this second 12" that interestingly places the remixes out front and holds the original track back for the B2. That said, when the remixes come from the likes of Superpitcher (in original and dub form no less) you can see why the A side has fierce competition. The 'Pitcher is sounding stronger than ever taking the Handclappers to astral heights with his two sparkling, otherworldly takes on "Remain Silent". By contrast, Ray Mang brings a crystal clear beatdown vibe to his version on the flip, all fierce drums and slick licks to get strutting to. The original is no slouch either, channeling a little 70s AM radio gold and nailing it in style.
Review: New York psychedelic soul/stoner disco fusionists Phenomenal Handclap Band have been rather quiet of late, with this surprise single on Toy Tonics marking the New York combo's first outing for 18 months. Curiously, there's no original version of "Judge Not" for us to assess, just three reworks from disco stalwart Ray Mang. They are, though, extremely good. The A-side "Special Remix" is particularly potent, with Mang lacing the band's breezy, gospel-influenced vocals and killer pianos solos over a lolloping West Coast disco groove. Those pianos take pride of place on the dub disco style flipside "Reprise Mix", which may well be our pick of a very strong bunch, and on the sweaty, dancefloor-ready "Instrumental" version.