Review: German DJ/producer and Dimitri From Paris doppleganger Purple Disco Machine has been on a fine run of form of late, offering up a fine mix album on Glitterbox and a swathe of peak-time-ready singles. His latest workout is another all-action anthem that should delight both disco and house fans. "Emotion" sees him place re-sung vocals from a well-loved disco classic atop a bustling disco-house bed of Giorgio Moroder style arpeggio bass, Nile Rodgers-esque guitars and Italo Disco-aping synthesizer motifs. Over on the flip he joins forces with pal Lorenz Rhode to offer up a P-funk flavoured boogie-house onslaught rich in throbbing synthesizers and tasty talk box vocals.
Review: Sammy Massamba's "Azali" originally came out in 1990. The afrobeat artist's sound is shockingly potent, fusing his roots with disco and boogie to create the stuff party dreams are made of. The song has just the necessary edge to make a classic, with the vocals leading the way through the tune beautifully. "Birika" is a slower jam, but no less bold with its keyboard brass and choice guitar solo. Aroop Roy jumps on the flip to edit "Azali", stretching out a touch and adding a little subtle drum machine jack to the beat. It's tastefully done, keeping the vibe on the original intact.
Review: After building a reputation via a swathe of rock solid, digital-only EPs on About Disco (an imprint he founded in 2015), Rafael Cancian has finally been given a chance to showcase his wares on wax. There are lots of top-notch edits to enjoy on the Brazilian producer's first Razor-N-Tape outing, from the sax-powered, solo smothered disco-funk cheeriness of "C'est La Douceur", to the low-slung South American disco grunt of "Fragil" and the jazz-funk tinged carnival goodness of superb closing cut "Besos Libres". There's no needless production trickery or shamelessly beefed up house beats, just perfectly DJ-friendly rearrangements of obscure, little-known gems.
Review: Russian producer Swoy has been spotted alongside Djebali in the past, so you know this cat means business when it comes to minimal house. Recent releases on EWax and OGE have set the scene perfectly for this latest trip into the undergrowth on Aesthetic. "Sunrise" is a heads down groover with subtle threads of melody scattered throughout, while "Imagine" ups the wriggling sound design and threads a lighter mood through the middle distance of the track. "Voltage" drops things back to a loopy, techy sound, and then "Time" drifts into dreamier headspace without sacrificing the crafty little production flairs that make Swoy a standout artist.
Review: Last time we heard from Julion De'Angelo, the Detroit-based producer was sharing vinyl space with Thomas Xu on Sound Signature. This, then, is his debut solo EP, and rather good it is too. Deep and drowsy with loose, jazz-flecked house drums and skewed, hard-to-pigeonhole rhythms (see the bass-heavy shuffle of "Sizzlelean"), it should appeal to all those who dig the unique dancefloor visions of Kenny Dixon Jr and Theo Parrish. The standout is arguably A-side "Stand On Your Square (Part 1)", a hypnotic and decidedly dusty sounding workout rich in marimba style melodies and fusty drum machine beats. The broken, jazzy and ultra-deep "Stand On Your Square (Part 2 - Bird)" is also worth a listen, if only for the quality of the drowsy liquid bass and heady ambient chords.
Review: Way back in 1970, People In The News released their sole single on Knap Town, a tiny label based in Indiana. Original copies of that funk "45" are notoriously hard to find, thanks in no small part to the quality of both cuts. Step forward Athens Of The North boss Euan Fryer, who has secured the rights to reissue the single for the first time. A-side "Color Me" is the real bomb: a down-low chunk of mid-tempo funk with politically charged group vocals, rasping guitar licks and hip-hop style drum breaks. Over on side B, "Misty Shade Of Pink" is the kind of rock solid instrumental funk workout you'd expect to hear from the Meters.
Review: Active for the past couple of years, Burnski's Instinct alter ego has been a revealing window into the ruder side of this seasoned producer's repertoire, and so it continues on round seven of this self-titled label series. The A-side jam "Operation" finds the Leeds stalwart in UK Garage mode, riding a mean bassline flex and amping up the 2-Step shuffle. Jack Michael takes up the B-side mission with a razor-sharp electro workout that matches bleepy electronica with badass breaks and nasty bass to get bodies freaking all over the joint. This is a record precision primed for basement sessions - if you're looking for some sounds to do real damage in the dance, look no further.
Review: Joe Corti has had a breakthrough 12 months, with releases landing on Better Listen and his own China White. Bringing more of that sweet, disco tinged house music to the second volume on his label, Corti strikes a heady mood on "Move Your Seat" with a mixture of swirling Philly string samples and looped up elements that should set the dancefloor alight in that most tender of ways. "Think Twice" is on a similar tip, albeit with a choice run of dreamy trumpet coursing through the track. "Just You" has a slightly techier edge, but it's embellished with the kind of keys that will appeal to fans of Glenn Underground. Classy stuff from a rising talent.
The Industry Of Dreams (Jeff Mills Commentary) (1:52)
Review: For those new to Jeff Mills' vast - and largely incredible - back catalogue, the Director's Cut series should be essential. Like its predecessors, this fourth volume gathers together various versions of killer cuts previously produced and released by the Motor City legend over the past two decades. Highlights include deep space techno workout "Deadly Rays (Of A Hot White Sun)", the densely layered African percussion, low slung bass and echoing organ stabs of "Gateway Of Zen (Percussion Mix)", the bleep-heavy electro/techno fusion of sweaty workout "999" and the alien-sounding, minor-key hypnotism of "The Industry Of Dreams". Each track is accompanied by a separate "audio commentary" from the man himself, which is ideal for those who love to hear artists talking about their work.
Review: Originally active around the turn of the century, Difusion are back in action with a mission to champion real songwriting in the deep house scene. "Playin' With Fire" rides a funky disco groove and works around some seriously catchy vocals, while Daniel Maunick dubs the track out and rides the filter to deadly effect. "Shining" rounds the EP off with a sweet, sensitive jam that strikes the kind of melancholic tone that wistful dancefloor memories are made of. Once again the vocals lift to the track to another stratosphere of heartfelt expression - this is sure to go down a storm with the late summer crowd.
Review: For the first volume in their brand new Toxic Funk 45s series, the Breakbeat Paradise crew has turned to two stalwarts of the breaks scene, Easy Now Recordings co-founder Tom Showtime and long-serving DJ/producer Badboe. They hit the ground running with A-side "We Funk Tings", a cut-and-paste workout that peppers a head-nodding, bass-heavy hip-hop groove with funk licks, hazy horns and sneaky vocal samples from a variety of ragga and rap records. They continue in a similar vein over on side B, where the horn and piano-heavy hip-hop-funk of "We Have It Hot" is followed by the boom-bap booty business of "The Time Has Come".
Cody Currie - "As Of Yet" (feat Joel Holmes) (5:09)
Grant Nelson - "In The Dark" (5:59)
Pontchartrain - "Don't Change It Up" (5:43)
Goddard - "Almasti" (6:11)
Review: With such a star-studded line-up of old and new talent involved, it's little surprise to find that De La Groove's fourth vinyl release is seriously good. It's that good, in fact, that there's no space to go into each and every highlight. Instead, we'll point you in the direction of some of our personal favourites. Check first the breezy and soulful US garage revivalism of Art of Tones' impeccable "So Sweet", before turning your attention to the dreamy, vibraphone-laden deep house sexiness of Cody Currie's "As of Yet (featuring Joel Holmes)". Grant Nelson's "In The Dark" is a fine slab of late '90s style UK garage, while Goddard's "Almasti" sounds like a nu-disco era riff on Pepe Bradock deep house classic "Deep Burnt".
Flying Fantasy (exclusive instrumental version) (4:35)
Rhodes E Serenidade (3:37)
Review: Small repress of the Modern Sun Records founder and experienced jazz-wise producer Marc Friedli AKA Skymark. A-side "Flying Fantasy" originally appeared on the Spanish producer's 2016 album "Resistance Sonore", but is here featured in instrumental form for the first time. If anything, it's better than the original version, largely because we get to revel in Friedli's mazy Fender Rhodes solos, rubbery jazz-funk synth bass and loose-limbed, West London style broken beats. You'll find plenty more jaunty jazz-funk vibes and liquid electric piano solos on B-side cut "Rhodes E Serenidade", which first slipped out way back in 2015. DJ Support so far from Dom Servini, Emanative,Red Greg,Kevin Beadle, Mike Chadwick,Dynamite Cuts & Rocafort Records so far
Review: For their latest must-check full length, Swiss ambient and jazz enthusiasts WRWTFWW have offered up a timely reissue of Satoshi Ashikawa's previously Japan-only 1982 album "Still Way". In some quarters it's considered a triumph of Japanese minimalism - an ambient set that was equally as inspired by Erik Satie as Brian Eno. The sounds are sparse, atmospheric and alluring, with simple harp, vibraphone, piano and flute motifs taking it in turns to rise and fall across the soundspace. It's intricate, soft-focus and hugely poignant, evoking memories of similarly lauded sets by Ashikawa's countrymen Hiroshi Yoshimura and Midori Takada. In other words, it's sublime.
Review: The latest record from Georgia's Bassiani label comes from L.I.E.S. veteran Voiski. True to the label (and club)'s style, it's a release that celebrates interesting, bold expressions within the realm of techno. "Chasing Shadows" is certainly a track with the kind of freaked out atmosphere that you also heard on the recent HVL album, admittedly with an extra dose of edgy synth working its way through the core. Whether it's high speed tripping or dubby incantations, Voiski brings vitality and character to the well-worn realm of deep techno.
Review: IDM legend Steven Rutter has been presenting some awe-inspiring electronic explorations on his FireScope imprint in recent times. The label's latest instalment comes from British producer Miles Atmospheric Sagnia, whose classic techno perspectives on the SkyHealer EP sound right at home here. The Atmospheric Existence Recordings boss moves wonderfully through the deep shades of techno soul ("Exoplanetology"), chilled-out and dub-inflected electronica ("Our Future"), classic hi-tech soul ("Waters Of Life") and highly engineered electro of the most evocative kind on the brilliant "See The Light".
Review: Between 1996 and 2010, Move D and Pete Namlook recorded 24 collaborative albums, offering up an otherworldly blend of dreamy deep house, hypnotic techno, deep space ambient and jazz-tinged soundscapes. Sadly, none were made available on vinyl, making this EP a must-have. On side A you'll find two cuts from 2001's "Move D/Namlook VI - Live In Heidelberg": the acid-flecked dirty techno hypnotism of "Footer" and the dubbed-out ambient/jazz fusion of "Der Bergkonig". Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy the epic 2010 cut "Stranger", where the pair wrap sampled speech, twinkling pianos and enveloping aural textures around a suitably deep and tactile tech-house groove.
Review: If you're in the mood for something that sounds like a 21st century update of the Jackson Five's "ABC", step this way. It comes courtesy of The Tribe Of Good, a quartet whose funk-fuelled exploits have previously been released by Ultra Records. "Broken Toys" is very Jackson Five-esque, with what sounds like a young male vocalist singing "MJ" style over crunchy drum breaks, heavy horns, cheery guitars and headline-grabbing piano motifs. It's ear catching and addictive, with the accompanying flipside "Percapella" providing light-touch, bongo-driven percussion, vocals and some suitably trippy effects. It's certainly a handy DJ tool.
Theme For Us (feat Joshua Idehen & Chip Wickham) (7:28)
The Socials (feat Soothsayers) (5:23)
Life Is Valuable (feat James Alexander Bright) (3:13)
After (feat And Is Phi) (6:03)
I Never (feat Madison McFerrin) (8:29)
Won't Get Better (feat Emma-Jean Thackray) (6:55)
Don't Stop Here (feat Ego Ella May) (4:47)
Thru You (feat Georgia Anne Muldrow) (5:44)
Review: Although he never stopped delivering breezy and evocative blends of hip-hop, soul and jazz, Adam Scrimshire hasn't offered up an album in almost six years. That's one of the reasons that we were so excited about "Listeners", his new full-length excursion. Happily, we can confirm that the Wah Wah 45s affiliate has hit the spot with his more jazz-focused set yet. While it's not "pure" jazz in the traditional sense - there are odd electronic noises, differing rhythms, soulful vocals and trips into ambient, broken beat and hip-hop soul territory - it features a wealth of talented jazz players, some inspired vocalists and the kind of soft-touch production that rewards repeat listens. In other words, it's his musically intricate set to date.
Review: Latvia's Blind Allies continues its series of crucial various artist trips into the underbelly of ravey electro, with another cast of underground operators on the buttons. RNBWS brings a hefty dose of old-skool bleep magic to "Engage", before stripping things back for the cool and deadly "Backtrack". Caprithy's "Smoky Sunday" has a seductively sinister side to it, while CYBEREIGN's "Accelerate" keeps things tuff and taut. RNBWS returns on the tripped out "Little Things Important", and Universo completes the set with the vintage tape-warped tones of "Mercury Retrograde".
Review: Selva Discos' Fernando Falcao reissue series continues via a fabulous new pressing of the Brazilian percussionist's experimental 1987 album "Barracas Barrocas". Like the artist's 1981 debut, it's a brilliantly eclectic and esoteric affair, offering up a heady - and uniquely South American - blend of off-kilter jazz, pastoral neo-classical compositions, academic ambient, jaunty tropical fusion, narrated soundscapes and heavy drum workouts. Given that it moves in a multitude of directions, the set actually holds together remarkably well, with Falcao's use of bespoke orchestration acting as a constant thread linking disparate sounds and styles. It's both utterly brilliantly and thoroughly mesmerizing, while the accompanying insert includes essays in Portuguese and English telling the story of the album and Falcao's little-known career.
Review: Priku has really ramped up the output of his Atipic imprint in the last couple of years. While its past output seemed to focus on more experimental stuff by himself (as Adrian Niculae) and Vincentiulian, the last few releases by Vlad Arapasu, Arapu, Faster and Romar sees the label's sound now aimed squarely at main room dancefloors. The latest offering comes from ardb aka Bogdan Ardeleanu. ATIPIC 008 maintains the same level of quality you've come to expect from the label. On the A side we have some sublime minimal house tackle, properly tried out on the dancefloors of Bucharest's acclaimed afterhours scene - no doubt. On the flip, "008.3" is a smooth and sensual deep house groove, followed by the glacial introversion of dub techno influenced journey "008.4".
Review: If you enjoyed Yu Su's brilliant EP on Second Circle earlier in the year - and, let's face it, who didn't? - there's a rather high chance that you'll enjoy her first outing on Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour. "Watermelon Woman" is a superb chunk of bass-heavy house music positive - an inventive and hugely enjoyable fusion of unfussy drum machine rhythms, sampled tribal drums, toasty bass, dubbed-out effects, stargazing electronics, fluttering flutes and jazzy motifs that have just the right amount of breezy Latin flavour. The original version comes backed with a hazy and laidback Dub rework and a boisterous, off-kilter remix by Francis Inferno Orchestra that layers rubbery sounds and heady vocal samples above a skewed tribal house beat.
Review: Brand new Marky! It's about time... Four years after his "My Heroes" album landed (and two years after his last single - "Silly VIP") the Sao Paulo don returns with two perfect soulful D&B gems. "Should I" looks back to the early 2000s with its powerful sample and Bingo-style bubbling bassline while "Love Break" takes off where "Silly" left us; swooping instrumentation that will have you leaping behind the decks and a break that will never ever quit. Don't leave it so long please Marky!
Review: Dutch minimal house Maestro Ion Ludwig makes a somewhat surprising yet absolutely worthy appearance on Raresh's Metereze imprint. The Deventer native's idiosyncratic sound shines on "A Better Future To Long EP", comprised of what the label describes as three "electronic mandalas". Mesmerising A side cut "140 KM/H" is reminiscent of his acclaimed live sets - a long and meandering cut that's perfect for a deeper stage of trance after hours. The title track on the flip is as rolling, bass driven and hypnotic as you like it, and introspective minimal house cut "Abstracy" with its subtle dub techno inflections calls to mind some of the material on his seminal "Ghost To Coast" LP. Killer!
Review: Thomas Berg's Soundscape Versions presents the third instalment on sublabel Mystic Versions with four unknown cuts by different artists across the globe, produced and performed using all analogue hardware gear. Sublime dub techno experiments captured in all their glacial and cavernous intensity, from the deep minimalist groove of "A1", the thumping delay-drenched reduction of "A2" to the housey and uplifting feel good vibes of "A4" with its jazz-bar loops. It's about quality over quantity on Mystic Versions and the wait has most certainly been worth the while.
Metal Banshee ( Mad Professor Mix One) (CD2: Mezzanine Mad Professor)
Angel (Angel Dust)
Teardrop (Mazaruni dub One)
Inertia Creeps (Floating On dubwise)
Risingson (Setting Sun dub Two)
Exchange (Mountain Steppers dub)
Wire (Leaping dub)
Group Four (Security Forces dub)
Review: Two decades have passed since Massive Attack signaled a new stage in their career with the dark, paranoid and claustrophobic brilliance of "Mezzanine", their third studio album. Given the current global political climate, it arguably sounds even more relevant 20 years after it first hit stores. This time round, the re-mastered original set comes accompanied by something none of us have heard before: Mad Professor's complete dub translation, which was slated for release around the turn of the Millennium but for one reason or another never came out. Like his take on "No Protection", it's an inspired set of revisions that takes 3D and Daddy G's dense and red-eyed originals into wild new bass-heavy places. Even if you own the original version already, it's well worth picking up this special edition just for that alone.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this tasty 12" marks Years Of Denial's first solo release since 2016's "Blood Debts" LP, an intoxicating, otherworldly fusion of industrial, EBM, experimental electronica and mind-bending rhythmic noise. The Italian artist hits the ground running with "Crow", where drowsy, stylized spoken word vocals echo above tight acid flashes, moody bass, doom-laden chords and bustling drum machine beats, before rushing towards throbbing EBM territory on "Body Map". Over on the flipside the Mascara-clad fun continues on the clanking industrial-meets-electro warp of "Love Comes And Goes" and the guitar-laden moodiness of closing cut "Cold Blooded Hands".
Review: Sheffield based event series (and now label), Groundwork, has been running small parties in intimate spaces, with the aim of pushing local DJ's in a relaxed, non-commercial environment. Inaugurating the imprint is 18-year-old newcomer Porter Brook with his debut EP which effortlessly joins the dots between breakbeat, techno and UK bass. From the deep neo-junglist stepper "Exit 14th Street", barrelling techno banger "Dipole" (laced with bustling drum machine breakbeats), to the intoxicating, contorted experimental twist of "K41 018 BXH9", this is a quality debut from the Steel City. Let's hope it won't be too long before we get a sequel.
Review: Mulen's latest must-check release is a collaborative affair from experienced producer Alexis Cabrera (Raummusik, Salty Nuts, Yaji) and Jorge Saveretti (Esperanza, Visionquest, Cadenza). Given their collective history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that the "Some EP" is really rather good. They set their stall out via an impressive title track that wraps spacey but funky riffs, deep space pads and undulating acid lines around a memorable bassline and typically swinging tech-house beats). "KInda" tips a wink to the glitchy, bass-heavy sound of Romanian minimal techno and the swinging intergalactic tech-house funk of Paris's YYY label, while "Science" is a deep, woozy and wonky affair full of minor key bleeps, jazzy motifs and locked-in beats.