Review: In a recent online poll hosted by acid evangelist Posthuman, Adonis's "No Way Back" was voted the greatest acid house track of all time. It's hard to argue - though we'd have opted for Phuture's pioneering "Acid Trax" - as the Chicago classic sounds every bit as fresh, futuristic and otherworldly now as it did when it was first released in 1986. This tasty red vinyl reissue from TRAX pairs the much-loved vocal version - in which the late, great Gary B talks about losing control over fiendishly sweaty, ultra-jacking drums and one of the sleaziest, most addictive acid basslines of all time - with the lesser-celebrated, but equally heavy, instrumental mix. If you don't already own a copy, don't sleep.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
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: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Review: Fresh from a quietly impressive outing on Cardiology, John "Freak D" Devecchis dons the Owl alias once more and offers up another must-check selection of re-edits and reworks. HE begins by cannily rearranging, tightening up and beefing up a flash-fried slab of later James Brown style funk-rock (the brilliantly bluesy, housed-up "Those Kicks"), before turning his attention to a righteous chunk of what sounds like AOR disco/deep disco-funk fusion ("Chance"). "Feel The Power" is a bouncy, piano-sporting revision of what sounds like a late '80s New York house gem, while title track "Boogie Man" is a subtle, house style remake of a jaunty, honky-tonk style rhythm and blues number.
Review: Following her knockout debut album Significant Changes, Jayda G is back on Ninja Tune with a new single that sees her expanding on her distinctive brand of soulful house music with a curious kink in the sound. "Both Of Us" packs in some breathless vocal turns, effervescent piano lines and a bass-loaded groove to sink into. "Are U Down" leans in on a snappy, tech-edged rhythm with a little Prescription-flavoured dreaminess hovering around the synth work. G's "Sunset Bliss Mix" of "Both Of Us" brings a more bruk flavour of drum magic and some dubbed out FX to the track, while the "Remix" of "Are U Down" subtly shifts the accents of the original with some nimble Rhodes fluttering in over the top of that deadly groove.
Take Down Enemies (Special Request Splurgecore remix) (6:17)
Review: Back in March, Jordon Alexander AKA Mall Grab returned to the Looking For Trouble imprint he founded in 2018 with his first missive of the year. Even by his standards, it was a wild, all-action affair, and this follow-up is no less giddy or sweaty. "Take Down Enemies" is a blistering, all-action affair, with Alexander peppering a stomping industrial techno beat with tight acid motifs and cut-up hip-hop vocals. Under the Special Request alias, Paul Woolford offers up a surging, scintillating rework that adds huge dollops of techno-funk to the Australian's slamming original. Elsewhere, "Alarmed" is a more psychedelic and trance-inducing take on Alexander's big room techno template, while "Smash" is a thunderous voyage through body-popping electro nastiness.
Review: Shanti Radio's previous multi-artists EPs were all superb, so it's little surprise to see that the latest also consistently hits the spot. Amonita sets the tone via the soft-focus tech-house shuffle of "Lavender Bloom", where lilting strings, dreamy chords and eyes-closed female vocal samples flutter around a hypnotic groove, before RVNZ offers up the similarly breezy and spring-fresh bliss of "Big Red Machine". Over on side B, Hermazez explores the kind of ultra-melodious and atmospheric hybrid progressive house/tech-house sound that the All Day I Dream label does so well ("Flame Keeper"), while Fulltone unfurls warm and ear-catching melodies and sumptuous chords on sunrise-ready closing cut "Woodland Oracle".
Review: Much loved and always impassioned vocalist and producer Norma Jean Bell is a firm favourite with greats like Moodymann, and for good reason. here she lands on Pandamonium with a new EP that utilises the voice of soul herself, Miss Aretha Franklin. "Got Me A Mann" is a gossip tinged, chord laced house track that will make you shuffle on the spot as you rejoice your sins. "Libre Comme Un Oiseau (Free As A Bird)" is another roller, this time with more free flowing vocals that ring out above the chunky, organic drums and busted bass. Excellent stuff.
Review: Underground Soul launches din 2016 and has not been in a rush to make headlines. What they have done though is put out a steady, sumptuous and high quality selection of house tunes that continues with this fourth offering. Frank Spirit and Keys Of Lynx come together for it to serve up two fresh cuts that have bumping US house drums and classic London jazz stylings. The one ad only Glenn Underground step sup to remix "Virtue" with his famous sense of musicality then ALT chops up the drums to make for a funky broken beat jam aimed squarely at the floor.
Review: Canadian maestro Jay Tripwire is a long time underground stalwart with countless gold-dust releases to his name, and still the modest artist keeps pushing on with more stellar tech house immersion heaters. Here he's been invited to Euphoria for an EP that burrows into the most shadowy corners of his sound. "H3misphere" is a spooky jam driven by a shuffling groove and offset with some dubby flourishes - a perfectly balanced workout for the club with a seductive air of mystery lingering around the rhythm section. "Werqles" is a lighter affair, but it's no slouch in the freaky department as a plethora of disembodied machine wriggles ping around the crisp 4/4 throwdown. The whole B-side is given over to SIT's "Remux" of "H3misphere", which holds the groove down in a more linear manner but keeps that chilling atmosphere intact just behind the beats.
Review: Berlin-based Korean Peggy Gou has been surprisingly quiet since first bursting onto the scene back in 2016. Here, she returns to action having graduated from Technicolour to parent label Ninja Tune. Many may already have heard EP standout "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)", a percussively ambidextrous beast based around a bouncy, off-skilter, snare-heavy rhythm track. It has been much discussed online after Gou included it her recent Resident Advisor podcast. On the B-side you'll find tracks representative of her developing style, which draws together elements of European deep house, electro, early '90s U.S house, the rubbery disco eccentricity of Maurice Fulton and the instinctive polyrhythms more often found in traditional African music.
Review: Last time out, Longhair popped up on Claptrap with a fine EP that effortlessly joined the dots between turn-of-the-'90s dream house, breakbeat-driven deep house and colourful nu-disco. They've slightly switched focus on this Love On The Rocks label debut, adding big rays of sweltering Balearic sunshine to their usual warming and kaleidoscopic sound palette. In its original form, "The Forbidden Dance" brilliantly re-purposes the melody from a familiar old Mediterranean instrumental number (you'll recognise it when you hear it), re-playing it on sparkling synthesizer settings and layering it atop a tactile deep house groove awash with vibrant nu-disco sounds. Arguably even better is the almost beat-free flipside "Rhumba Mix", which reminded us of those bonus "ambient house" versions you used to get on Italian dream house EPs.
Review: The first missive on Dublin's freshly minted, vinyl-only Space Shepherd label comes courtesy of Maltese producer Sound Synthesis, an experienced but still little-known artist within the global electro community. As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains high from start to finish. Opener "Arpeggiate" cloaks a squelching bassline and crunchy electro beats in sumptuous chords and sci-fi melodies, while "Diving In" adds sharp and mind-altering acid lines to the same far-sighted electro template. Sound Synthesis explores darker, horror soundtrack-influenced acid-electro pastures on B-side opener "Arp Reaktor", before rounding off a fine EP via the poignant chords, widescreen strings and bustling beats of "Love Drones"
Review: After some great EPs for tap labels such as Metereze, Half Baked and Tavera Tracks in recent times, Greek wunderkind John Dimas is back to inaugurate new imprint Synq with the 'Rave Wave' EP. As the name may suggest, there are retro-tinted party tunes that see Dimas make the journey into classic techno sounds like many others in the minimal house fraternity have tuned into in recent years - and he does a damn fine job if we do say so. On the A side, we have "Transmatik" and there's a clear enough reference found in the title, incorporating Rhythim is Rhythim style syncopated drums effectively for Motor City inspired number. While on the flip, the hi-tech soul themes continue on the acid-laced future funk of the title track.
Review: Donnell Knox and Mark Hawkins, better known as D-Knox and Marquis Hawkes respectfully, team up for a collaborative EP on Sonic Mind that speaks to their respective roots in underground techno reaching back to the 90s. "Kalamazoo" is a tough and clattering jacker with out-of-phase organ lines to send your mind spinning, while "Not The DX100" brings things front and centre for a comparatively direct, acidic workout. "Halfway" ramps up the melodic content as a displaced vocal celebrates Kalamazoo's location between Chicago and Detroit, and then "Just Let Me Go" completes the set with a tough and bumping vocal house cut.
Review: Welcome to Saike, a new French label that debuts with a collaborative project from Hadone and Shlomo. As Viper Diva the pair brings together their disparate respective backgrounds into brain frying new forms that are part techno, part rave, part trance. Particularly on the thrusty opener "Born To Be Slytherin" (Tbilisi mix) which is an all out assault with bright chords and menacing drums. "En Y" is a frosty and frozen affair, while "Hold Me Back" is a retro white knuckle ride through hardcore techno. "Cold Heart Prediction" closes at 100 miles an hour, with no prisoners taken along the way. This is high octane stuff, for sure.
Review: One of the joys of Pugilist's productions is that you never quite know what you're going to get, though there's a fair chance it will boast extraordinary amounts of sub-bass. It's this inventive and off-kilter approach to bass music that makes many of his releases essential. We'd put this first outing for Martyn's 3024 label in that category. A-side "Blue Planet" is particularly potent, with the Melbourne-based producer wrapping tribal style hand percussion, tweaked acid lines and occasionally creepy chords around a bombastic bassline and a funk-fuelled, trickily tweaked two-step rhythm. TB-303 acid lines are also a headline-grabbing feature of the similarly weighty and loose-limbed "Acid Flange", while Tamen hook-up "Guidance" is a surprisingly spacey tribute to the early days of UK jungle culture.
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
Jared Wilson - "Lynnwood2 Northgate Transit Center" (6:39)
Sohrab - "Sinking" (6:42)
KCLF - "Reloaded 9615" (4:17)
Review: Undersound Recordings hit release number 15 with a various artist EP that packs four vital techno punches. Audio Quest's "The Mental Screen" kicks off with some old school techno that recalls the sound of legendary Dutch label Djax-Up. It's filled with metallic snare sounds and deep space bleeps. Jared Wilson of course brings the acid that has defined his output for years, and Sohrab get busy with a kicking number and some busy melody patterns. KCLF closes out with twisted bass and shiny chords that look back to go forwards with "Reloaded 9615".
Review: Hoary Ukraine has kept up a busy rate of release since first appearing in the world, and as was the case with their eighth EP in April, this ninth offering is a various artists affair that calls on some slick tech house talents. Nick Beringer's "AI" is tight and crisp, with an old school feel thanks to the neon baseline, the Sota really pumps the party with his effervescing, fist pumping "Zerosandones". "UXB" on the flip is Nolga's clipped, bass driven tech-garage shuffler, then closing things out is Diego Krause with "Touchstone", a darker jam with some fresh sound designs.
Review: Having spent the last couple of years establishing the Tessellate label via fine EPs from the likes of Aleksandir and Armless Kid, imprint co-founders Max van Dijk and Oli Hiam have decided the time is right to debut their new production project, The Trip. "Wet Your Whistle" is certainly a confident and quietly impressive debut, with the title track adding a little intergalactic futurism and acid-flecked psychedelia to a retro-futurist deep house groove. They continue to join the dots between the eras on "Miss The Point", where glitchy tech-house style electronics and acid flashes leap above a chunky groove and bold organ stabs. The flipside boasts two versions of "Friend Request": their own bouncy, bass-heavy, skipping and acid-flecked "Sax Mix", and the weighty, off-planet tech-house flex of the Mbius rework.
Review: This ultra stacked remix EP see's artists, Lauren Flax, Josh Wink, Radio Slave, and the 'Missing' remix contest winner Kai Van Dongen. Legend Josh Wink brings his minimalistic approach to the classic 'Concentrate'. Lauren Flax brings her deep jackin acid flavor to 'Culture'. Radio Slave does what he does best and keeps his remix of 'Reflex' stripped down and tough, Rekids style. Lastly, remix contest winner and new comer Kai Van Dongen, balances out the EP with his deep but driving rendition of 'Missing'.
Review: When it comes to offering up authentically funk-fuelled, revivalist disco-funk treats, former crate digger to the stars turned re-editor and producer Lord Funk has an impressive track record. One of his most sought-after releases is 2018's colourful "Knock Me Out EP", so it's no surprise to see it being given the reissue treatment two years on. There's much to admire, from the early Sugarhill Records-sampling boogie/p-funk fusion of opener "Blow Your Mind", to the talkbox-sporting P-funk revivalism of "Knock Me Out" (seemingly a reissue of a lesser-known kaleidoscopic synth-funk gem from the early-to-mid '80s), and the rather brilliant, Prince style electrofunk headiness of closing cut "Do It (If U Like)".
Review: Barely two weeks have passed since Andrei Popa AKA Direkt delivered a strong contribution to the Atipic Lab series, but the Romanian producer is already back in action. "Language Point" is, of course, another rock-solid outing, this time on debutant label Thinc. Check first the deliciously spacey, sci-fi sounds of purist tech-house opener "Language Point", a slick, synth-heavy and far-sighted affair that's later given a glitchier, more contemporary tech-tinged makeover by remixer Vincentiulian. Direkt continues to dance his way through distant constellations on hypnotic EP highlight "Ephemeris", before combining chunkier tech-house beats, bubblier electronics and broken computer sounds on trippy, heads-down closing cut "Nova".
Review: Afrosynth Records has become renowned for its deep dives into the colourful, synth-heavy world of original South African disco, boogie and bubblegum. They're at it again here, offering up a fresh pressing of "Turn It Up" by Adaye, a one-off studio project featuring members of legendary South African 'supergroup' Stimela. This edition replicates the track listing of the original 1983 release, beginning with the A-side vocal version - a driving slab of bubblegum boogie laden with James Brown style lead vocals, colourful synth sounds and delay-laden drum machine beats. The flipside "Instrumental Disco Mix" naturally strips out all but the backing vocals, instead showcasing the intricacy of the studio outfit's Prince-style guitar riffs, jaunty bass and kaleidoscopic synthesizer flourishes.
House Music Will Never Die (GU Cei-Bei Foot mix) (7:08)
House Music Will Never Die (CVO Bismark Hotel mix) (7:13)
House Music Will Never Die (Mark Grant Paramount Room mix) (7:38)
House Music Will Never Die (Glenn Afro dub) (7:36)
Review: For their latest deep dive into the world of hard-to-find house classics, Italy's Groove Records take us back to 1996. "House Music Will Never Die" marked Glenn Underground's first collaboration with vocalist Cei-Bei (AKA Curtis Harman) and has long been considered one of the Chicagoan producer's finest releases. Wisely, Groove has decided against tinkering with a classic, instead serving up all four mixes from the original Cajual Records 12". Choose between the classic deep house soul of the GU Cei-Bei Foot Mix, the wonderfully summery, jazz guitar-laden CVO Bismark Hotel Mix, Mark Grant's brilliantly evocative, stretched-out interpretation, and a killer Afro Dub that makes great use of a heavy analogue bassline. All four versions are top notch.
Review: Modularz presents a new release by Japanese producer Hattori Hanzo - recorded in seclusion in a studio near the mountains of Mt.Fuji Japan - Hattori delivers a great body of work focused on Extremely functional tracks with lots of driving rhythms, space influenced hypnotic grooves with the right amount of tension and drama. This is a sure thing get it quick - TIP!
Review: Marco Pellegrino is Ancut, and here he make his debut on Wicked Bass with more fresh cuts that show off his ever evolving style. His opening statement is a strong one that finds him making his machines really dance - the drums are bumpy, the pads soulful, but there is a lithe looseness to the whole thing that stands it out. After "Sinergia", "Renaissance" is a more wonky late night tech house workout with twisted pads and spinning hi hats underpinned by double kicks. Innershades remixes with a slick Chicago energy and analogue hits, then "Stasis" trips you out with bubbly acid lines, smeared pads and the sort of dreamy emotions that capture your imagination at 4am.
Review: New gen dubsmith Sabab is making a serious impression with his current slew of breakthrough Artikal releases. First came the crucial "Guidance" EP in November 2019, then came the equally essential "New Dawn" 12" in May 2020. Now, our heads fully turned and all eyes locked, comes another massive EP: "System Skank" takes us back to the original science while "Piercing White Light" is the late night bulldozer of the bunch. Meanwhile on the B: "Fittest Of The Fittest" flips between a big sample splash and the sizzliest bassline you'll find all month while "Unity" closes on a deep space dub voyage, skittering breaks breezing in the background and all. Fit.
Review: K15 has been a man on a mission since he first emerged. The London based musician and beat maker has a truly cosmic sound that leans heavily on jazz for inspiration. He's worked on vital labels like Wild Oates and Eglo and now pops up on Mother Tongue to care of one side of this hot 12". His "elemental" is a far sighted track with cosmic keys and spiritual pads layered up over tumbling broken beats. On the flip, his other alias Culross Close appears with "Intrinsic Value" which is a lush track at the intersection of house, jazz, broken beat and jazz-funk. It is stuffed with the sort of very real feelings that define all his work.
Review: Strap in for a wild techno ride on the first ever offering from Psionic. The new label kicks off with an EP from Astral Travel. The aptly named artist reaches for beyond the event horizon on "Sky's The Limit", with its punchy kicks and relentlessly wobbly bass. "As One" gets into a nicely mechanical groove built on stomping kicks and rigid synth movements that make for perfectly robotic funk and the trip closes out with "Orbiting." With its urgent drums that are smooth and silky and serene synth work, it's one for peak time techno cruising.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a bumper collection of fresh remixes of tracks from Kraak & Smaak's superb 2019 album "Pleasure Centre". The Dutch combo's varied choice of remixers is notable, though it's the fact that they've all delivered the goods that makes the set so impressive. The plentiful highlights include Yuksek's driving, dub disco-inspired tweak of "Sweet Time", a deliciously dusty and drowsy downtempo soul revision of "Soul Liberator" by Karem Akdag, Atjazz's lusciously jazzy deep house version of "Say The Word", an acid-fired Turbitto re-wire of "Pleasure Centre" and a frankly superb boogie-house update of "24Hr Fling" by Mr Reliable himself, Opolopo.