Review: Jimmy 'James' Shaw and his wife Maureen were collectively known as Unity, and were backed by eight piece NYC funk band Downbeats. It is these people being this 1968 slice of smooth R&B and bubbly funk that is now reissued by Fantasy Love. It's the sort of superbly tender and heart aching slow motion soul that will sound good until forever. 'High Voltage' is a more upbeat funk cut powered by deriving rhythms and big horns. Unity & The Downbeats would continue to tour the East Coast until the end of the 70s when they disbanded and left a fine legacy of great singles.
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.
Notes: These are the same high-quality inner sleeves that MOFI use for their most-prized vinyl releases. They are imported, three-ply, anti-static, premium sleeves (similar to rice paper) and work with both LPs and laser discs.
Back construction consists of a paper layer sandwiched between two sheets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a translucent HDPE front.
These custom-designed inner sleeves protect against all common problems associated with regular sleeves of all types, such as scratching, static build-up and contamination etc.
Your records are irreplaceable, these sleeves will guarantee they last a lifetime.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: You will no doubt have spotted Marcel Vogel's handiwork steering the good ship Lumberjacks In Hell, or perhaps even his choice edits under the Em Vee banner, but increasingly the Dutch artist is turning to his own name to get some fine records laid down outside the realms of pure edit territory. This second outing on Intimate Friends comes on like a mini-album of sorts, with eight tracks made up of remixes as well as originals. It's a powerful step on for Vogel, touching on a grounded variation on neo-soul with a house kick in the rhythm department. Soulful vocal spots from Mey, Milos Gersi, Gianni Tam, Khadija and Tim Jules all add to the sensation, heading away from the dancefloor as an expansive EP for all time.
Review: .Mikhail Khvasko has been painting a vivid, sunkissed picture of Balearic bliss with his A Vision Of Panorama project since it first emerged on Mellophonia back in 2016. As the nights start to draw in, this latest drop is just what you need to escape to an imagined coastal idyll where the sun never sets. From the steady groove of 'Floral Rhythm' to the gentle skank of 'Seaside Tune' this is immaculately rendered feel-good music rendered in plush synths with an unmistakable 80s finish. There are beats to be enjoyed on 'Blues 909', but you've never heard the totemic techno machine sound as smooth and mellow as it does right here.
Review: Italian duo Rufus and Mass_prod are back once again as Nightdrivers, shoring up to Holic Trax with more of their infectious club-ready material. Beyond the functionality of their drums, where the Nightdrivers excel is in their choice of samples and textures to add a psychoactive twist to their craft. "A Funny Thang" is a delightfully unhinged workout, while "Stressedout" does a fine job of digging into a heads down, RnB inflected groove. "Rising" switches things up with a broken beat groove that loads up sunkissed soul samples to great effect, and then the record rounds out with a dub mix of "A Funny Thang".
Review: After a strong start from Haners, the second drop on Misadventures steps once again into the neon-lit alleyway of finest Italo disco, with all the seductive sass you could ever wish for in a party 12". On the A-side, 'Aargh Money' works around a seriously funked-up rhythm section and a choir extolling the virtues of working together. It's bombastic and elastic, just the right thing to get the limbs greased up for a heated hoedown. 'Little Looks' takes things rougher and tougher, with one of those Italo basslines so nasty it borders on proto-acid. The vocals are divine here too - smouldering come hither lines that amp up the intensity of the track to 11.
Review: Sushitech toast 15 years with a plush new edition of one of the label's classic albums. Delano Smith hit a high watermark with An Odyssey when he first dropped it in 2012, and it still sounds utterly flawless as a shining example of Detroit house. From the slinky funk of 'Survival' to the minimalist dub inflections of 'Trust In Someone', this is the positively classy end of the club music spectrum. At all times a sturdy rhythm section carries the tune, whether it be the shuffling hats of 'Midnight Hours' or the shimmering jack of 'No Turning Back', but the real prize here is the seductive mood Smith weaves throughout all 11 tracks. Looped up and hypnotic, but with each piece telling its own unique story, this is a masterclass in deepest house music.
Handsome Boy Modelling School - "Holy Calamity" (4:02)
Review: Handsome Boy Modeling School is an American duo made up of hip-hop beatmakers Dan the Automator of Gorillaz association and rince Paul from projects with Stetsasonic, De La Soul and Gravediggaz. Dan the Automator assumes his DJ Octagon Palais for the opera here - a hard hitting and deep cut rap with plenty of manic DJ scratching and big stabs. Handsome Boy Modelling School then link up for the flip side 'Holy Calamity' which is another floor filler with bold brass and mad scratching. Both tunes hark back to a golden era of rap and will get any floor pumping.
Review: Dark Entries is humbled to continue digging through the archives of legendary producer Patrick Cowley. While best known for his production on chart-topping cybernetic disco anthems such as Sylvester's 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' or his own 'Menergy', Cowley, who passed away from AIDS-related illness in 1982, left us with a substantial body of work. Since 2009, Dark Entries has been working with Cowley's friends and family to shed light on the lesser known facets of this singular artist's output. This has resulted in a string of celebrated archival albums, including Catholic (featuring Jorge Socarras), School Daze, Muscle Up, Afternooners, and the recent Mechanical Fantasy Box. Some Funkettes, the latest addition to this series, is a collection of previously unreleased cover songs recorded from 1975-1977. These raw, unembellished tributes both showcase Cowley's early musical interests and chart the development of his production techniques.
Review: The mystery of the Botanic Minds Sunset Series continues to unfold with another bout of surreal and sensual club tracks that balance tweaked minimalism with a warm and hazy atmosphere. "Track001A" is packed with intricate rhythmic interplay, but it's the fluttering guitar licks and displaced vocals that give the piece its unique vibe. "Track002A" is a remix credited to Eastenderz regular Lizz, and it's a particularly spellbinding jam shaped out with lingering chords and a wistful mood. "Track001B" hunkers down around a low, throbbing bassline, but there's some sweet keys hovering up top to keep things from getting too dark. Barut is on hand with a remix for "Track002B", where trancey undercurrents meet with expansive piano and ethereal ambient swells, all strapped to a sturdy minimal house groove.
Review: Malin Genie's purple patch continues to yield more delights with this latest drop on his self-titled label. This time around the prolific Dutch artist is delving into smoky, hidden corners of house music where dub lingers thick in the air and rough textures scuff depth and character into the synth work. "Aventijn" has a purposeful drum machine tick but its utterly somnambulant in its execution, while "KIAR" lilts on a dusty groove and woozy clouds of funk. "Duppy" has a distinct dub techno influence, but it's still a steadfast house groover at heart, and "Amulius Numitor" ditches the beats for a pure interstellar exploration. With some bonus locked grooves for creative DJs, this is a versatile and imaginatively rendered EP with creative spark to match its usefulness in the mix.
Review: Spain's Deep Explorer has always operated on the edges of the deep house universe and now they turn there again with this heavyweight 12" from Gregor Yan. It's the sort of classic sound that made first rave deep practitioners like Larry Heard and later Glenn Underground so well revered: musical, lush, layered. Drums feature but are often soft and subtle, with the chords and hi hats doing much of the work to get you in a groove. Highlights are plenty, but the serene and sombre shuffle of 'Garage' takes some beating.
Review: Felix Dickinson has been donning the Bastedos re-edit alias on and off for 18 years, occasionally popping up with a fresh selection of superb scalpel jobs. Here the Bristol-based veteran delivers two more incendiary rearrangements. The undoubted highlight is A-side 'What's Your Secret (Bastedos Edit)', a near ten-minute rework of a Clavinet-sporting AOR disco epic that moves through waves of spacey grooves, soaring female backing vocals, impassioned blue-eyed lead vocals and more low-slung sections designed to raise temperatures out on the dancefloor. Dickinson changes tack on flipside 'Do You Blow?', successfully dubbing out an oddball chunk of electro-era quirkiness built around a killer bassline, scat vocals, breathy flute solos and body-popping drum machine beats.
Review: Get ready for a lost Japanese house classic from the rare Kino-Moderno album that was first put out in 1990. Of course, it comes from the ever on the ball Rush Hour team and features two tracks that were used on the Video Drug 2 video game back in the day. The whole collection brims with future soul, nicely defined kick drums and the sort of rich sound design details that characterise much Japanese house. Echoing greats like Dan Curtin, Soichi Terada or Harumi Hosono, these are classy and timeless cuts that cannot be sniffed at.
Review: Ron's Reworks, a series of scalpel jobs and lightly beefed-up reworks from Crazy P co-founder Jim Baron AKA Ron Basejam, has now reached its fourth volume. Predictably, the included material is every bit as well-crafted as its' similarly inclined predecessors. The standout is undoubtedly A-side 'They Speak Colour', a loopy, soft-focus disco-house jam whose relentless grooves, synthesizer splashes and simmering orchestration make it sound like Soundstream after a bong full of Marijuana smoke and several disco biscuits. Elsewhere, 'The City' is a canny revision of an unusual disco-boogie number that builds through sections of drums and cut-up, scat style vocals before finally flourishing late on, while 'The Cull' is a deep and meandering head-nodder tailor-made for warm-up sets and sit-down bar gigs.
Review: Second time around for Banda Achilifunk and Original Jazz Orquestra's sought-after 2011 cover of disco classic "I Believe in Miracles", original copies of which now change hands for serious sums online. The expansive Spanish crew's baggy, sun-kissed and rumba-soaked Latin disco cover of the Jackson Sisters' classic is perfectly pitched, adding layers of crunchy Clavinets and punchy horns to a sumptuously summery groove. Over on the flip we get two different takes on McFadden & Whitehead classic "Ain't No Stopping Us Now": a decidedly Balearic Spanish language cover ("No Nos Pararas"), and an instrumental cover full to bursting with superb grooves and even more scintillating horn solos.
Review: Ant Plate's Vinyl Only ventures continue unabated, taking a break from the Yse Saint Laur'ant releases and turning to Minus The Majors instead. Whether it's just Plate in another one of his guises or not is unclear, but the music certainly fits in with the more exploratory, downtempo nature of previous Vinyl Only releases. "He Looked" is an especially funky number that revolves around crafty beats and warm Moog-esque synth ripples. Things get more broken on "Jizz Jazz", and then "Drongo" manages to go even further out to sea in its quest for the perfect balance between funk and freakiness.
Get On The Funk Train (Louie Vega original mix) (10:41)
Get On The Funk Train (Michael Gray & Mark Knight remix) (5:51)
Get On The Funk Train (Todd Terry Freeze mix) (6:04)
Review: Hot on the heels of her excellent Chapters of Beginning retrospective, Anane offers up something even more righteous: a storming cover of Munich Machine's 1977 disco epic 'Get On The Funk Train'. On the A-side you'll find the original mix by Anane's other half, Louie Vega, which brilliant layers mazy synth solos, undulating orchestration and her powerful vocals on top of a driving, house-style disco groove. It's a killer cover all told, offering a faithful update that should delight all disco heads. Over on the flip, Michael Gray and Mark Knight reach for the synth-bass on a smoother disco-house version, before Todd Terry drops some instant excitement via a sweaty, beefed up loop-house revision.
Review: Originally issued back in 1998, Mezzanine remains the most commercially successful album released by Bristol troupe Massive Attack, thanks in no small part to the Liz Fraser-featuring "Teardrop". This third album signalled a change in sonic direction that played more explicitly on the darkness and tension that was always an undercurrent of their much loved debut Blue Lines and successor Protection. After numerous bootlegs over the years, Virgin have done the right thing and presented this official reissue of Mezzanine to appease fans of Massive Attack and it's clear the LP has lost none of it's bewitching power. The Quincy Jones and Isaac Hayes sampling "Exhange" and "Exchange" remain a delight in particular.
Impeach The President (feat Kelly Finnigan) (2:52)
Campus Life (3:39)
Review: They say history repeats itself, and in the case of this single it certainly does. First released in 1973, it's a protest single by The Honey Drippers who were advocating for the impeachment of the then President Richard Nixon for the goings on of the Watergate scandal. It has now been put out again in the midst of the 2020 election campaign when many believe the missteps of Trump mean he himself deserves to be taken from office. Musically, it's a warm bit of classic soul with deep cut rhythms feat Kelly Finnigan. 'Campus Life' is a more happy go lucky wedge of funk.
Review: The Synthetic Gold story continues to unfold in the most curious nooks and crannies of the minimal techno scene, as this third volume welcomes in tracks selected by Anestie Gomez. Khan is in a looped up, insistent cycle loaded with alien synth tones and a focused rhythmic hiccup of a beat, truly aiming for the psych-out end of the night. Eloi Brunelle makes things a touch funkier on "Neneh", deploying choice splashes of dubbed out colour in between the sharp strut of the drums. Andres Garcia then spreads himself across the B-side with the loping funk of "Invisivel", working all manner of freaky sounds around the scuffed sway of the beats.
Review: Three years in, Blackhall & Bookless' Jaunt label is becoming a serious force for forward thinking, fractured techno exploration. On this split EP with Chad, the duo take the A-side and present two different versions of "Links". The "Battle rework" is a tense and dramatic tumble through dub techno soundscapes, while the "Bleak remix" pares the elements down to a more focused, minimalist thrum. Chad presents a wholly different vibe on the flip, using rich, warm synthesiser tones to draw you in to "Afters", and then Scenery regular ASOK takes up remix duties on the track with an immersive version that borders on breakbeat.
Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares (9:40)
Movements Of A Visionary (7:51)
Sequent C' (2:13)
Flute Organ Piece (10:57)
Phaedra (Out-take version 1) (11:40)
Phaedra (Out-take version 2B) (5:36)
Organ Piece (5:43)
Review: Tangerine Dream's sequencer-driven work may not feel quite so groundbreaking today, although it certainly has aged incredibly well. But you should take Phaedra, the first album entry in the band's back catalogue to fully realise that idea, as proof of the fact it was. Released in 1974, it's amazingly hard to distinguish between the opening title track and the synth arpeggiation you find in techno or ambient today, setting the bar for what is to follow.
In many ways you can trace so much of the last 30 years of dance music back to this era, if not this specific album, albeit it was light years ahead of its time. Perhaps what's most remarkable, though, is that far from crude noises that have since been refined for the more mainstream electronic world, much of what's here stands up to contemporary electronica in an exploratory, genre-melding, sound-art way. Basically, it's essential.
Review: ** Repress ** Disco Deviance surface for the first time this brandishing a pair of highly prized edits from the man, the myth, the maverick that is Dimitri From Tokyo! Dimitri goes where celebrated Frenchmen Alex Gopher and Etienne de Crecy have been before, re-arranging a seasonal classic from Miss Donna Summer on "French Affair" in suitably slinky style. Flip over and our Dimitri drops a rather dynamic tweak of a Bob James classic - there's no higher ideas at play here both edits are meant for the floor!
Review: "In Rainbows", Radiohead's seventh album, finally gets a physical release! It's one thing downloading this landmark album, but to actually hold this is something special. Not only do you get increased sound quality, but you also get the amazing artwork from Stanley Donwood. This album includes "Nude", a live favourite for many years that was originally written during the "OK Computer" sessions. More minimal that their "Kid A" period, "In Rainbows" does something that very few albums have done - its sound is distinct from previous Radiohead albums, but is still clearly Radiohead. Hail to the kings, they are back on top form. Get this album while you can.
Review: Gerd Janson's Running Back has rarely made a missteps in its many years of business. Whether serving up camp disco, rugged techno or the sweetest of deep house, you can always be assured of quality music from quality artists. This time out the boss looks to reissue the 1990 Love Club single 'Das Rote Jaar.' It's a mournful piece with a closely mined, whispering male vocal that makes for an intimate vibe, with the deep and dusty drums are for sensuous late night dancing. The dub is a subtle one that removes the vocal and lets the drums roll, and the instrumental is that bit more upbeat, though the mood remains pensive and alluring.
Review: Melbourne-based DJ and producer Prequel returns to the Rhythm Section fold for a second release after getting his debut with the much-loved Polite Strangers 12" back in late 2014. After a few appearances here and there in the interim period, this Freedom Jazz Dance 12" suggests Prequel has really expanded his production parameters with four tracks that add spoken word samples and subtle vocal lines to his stellar instrumental flourishes. Local Melbourne beat poet Cazeaux O.S.L.O. brings his distinct vocal tones and inspirations to lead track "Saints", a fine blunted opener that nods to KDJ classic "Amerika". You can see this one being played for months to come! Following this, Prequel throws down some effervescent jazz house on "Nothing Better" and "Walken" with a deviation into more beatdown territory, "You Shall Know The Truth", wedged inbetween.
Want You In My Soul (Summer In London edit) (4:51)
Review: Stee Downes is one of contemporary house music's most prominent vocalists and here he lends his silky tones to Freerange, Defected and OM Records associate, Lovebirds for this new one on South Street. "Want You In My Soul" is a mix of old and new, where disco percussion and cosmic synths nestle alongside a mid tempo house groove with plenty of warmth. Downes' vocals are the loved up icing on the romantic groove cake. Flip over for the "Summer In London Edit" - a more stripped back and direct version, perfect for outdoor stages as the sun beats down.
Review: Originally pressed (on a limited run) in 2013, LA Latin funk troupe Boogaloo Assassins have reissued these two spellbinding cover versions again due to public demand. Still on a highly limited run, both cuts need to be in your collection: Dawn Penn's "No No No" gets a strict samba switch with lavish percussion and consistent vocal harmonies throughout while Sonny Henry's "Evil Ways" (best known from its Santana cover) gets the dreamy instrumental treatment where the horns and glocks do the narrating over a tight bed of wood blocks, shakers and liquid Rhodes. Killer stuff and Juno is one of the few stores outside of USA which is carrying the 45. Don't Sleep !
Review: In line with the timely reappraisal of all things R&S related, the resurgent Apollo have seen the opportunity to bring one of their most celebrated records back for another round. Aphex Twin's ambient recordings mature magnificently with age, sounding ever richer and more emotive as the rest of electronic music continues to play catch up all around. From the gentle breakbeats of "Xtal" to the aquatic techno lure of "Tha", the airy rave of "Pulsewidth" to the heartwrenching composition of "Ageispolis", every track is a perennial example of how far ambient techno could reach even back then. It's just that no-one quite had the arm-span of Richard D. James.
Review: 'I Feel Love' is one of the first every hit singles to be made using synths and sequencers and has remained and enduring classic more than 40 years after it was first unleash. It was brave of contemporary pop vocalist Sam Smith to have a go at it then, but with production from one half of Disclosure also part of the project they always stood a good chance of doing it justice. "This song to me is an anthem of our community," said Smith at the time with regard to the track's queer credentials. The results will surely give the single new legs for many years to come.
Review: Twenty years ago it sounded like an oddly poignant evocation of pre-millennial tension. Two decades later it stands as an eerily prescient glimpe into the technological alienation and dislocation of of a new era. Yet more importantly, OK Computer is no more or less than a sparkling, dramatic and moving collection of songs that haven't lost any of their impact in the interim. The sound of a band stubbornly refusing to follow up the stadium-strafing stylings of its predecessor The Bends - and instead bursting headlong into experimentation and wild creativity -is portrayed in still more vivid colours by the alarmingly strong collection of out-takes and B-sides collected herein, Yet there's no getting away from the chill and spark that marked out OK Computer from everything surrounding it in the post-Britpop malaise, and continues to do so in the pre-Brexit counterpart.
Spiritual Souls - "We Came To Show You The Way" (5:11)
Heaven's Sound - "Fire" (3:16)
Review: Tone B Nimble's eight part 7" series is shining a light on some essential gospel, disco, boogie and soul sounds which, when all put together, reveal a beautiful design courtesy of designer Charlotte McCrae. That makes this an extra special collector's piece even before you add the music into the bargain. Chapter 7 is a busting one with Spiritual Souls 1982 jam 'We Came To Show You The Way' layering up hardcore funk rhythms with some early rap vocals that bring the attitude. Reverse it for Heaven's Sound's 1984 gold, 'Fire,' which is an expansive and expressive vocal masterpiece.
Review: A Certain Ratio's core trio of drummer Donald Johnson, bassist/vocalist Jez Kerr, and multi-instrumentalist Martin Moscrop make ACR Loco a perfectly fluid and funk album. In fact, on this, their first album in more than ten years, the Manchester post-punk outfit are as funky as they have ever been. Their tried and tested sound gets nicely updated with modern beat driven sounds and plenty of redefines to today's political strife in the lyrics. There are plenty of smooth and cool synth led grooves like 'Get A Grip' and messages of unity on 'Family' that we can all relate to.
Park Talk (Johannes Albert party Talk remix) (6:42)
Review: House of Disco throw open their doors to Boots & Kats for a jolly good time across three originals and a remix from German house artist Johannes Albert. His version of 'Party Talk' sure is a fine one, with colourful arps and pixelated leads all vying for your attention of driving drums. 'Seratona' is a retro-future disco stomper to open with and 'Park Talk' is a manic disco-house workout that will leave you breathless. 'Gorlami' is a glistening melodic explosion that surges through the cosmos on a wave of positivity. These are the sort of good time grooves that we all need right now.
Review: Italian pianist and composer Paolo first came to light during the acid jazz explosion in the early 90s. Largely overlooked by his UK counterparts, his Trio's albums Do It and Ombre are both well worthy investments for any funk fans. As is "Chameleon". Delivered in two parts, both jams are tighter than a bouncer's crotch squeeze and about a million times funkier. "Part 2" pips it for a highlight thank to its leniency towards sultry wig out territory. Lovely stuff.
Review: As long as there is hip-hop, debate will rage as to which album by A Tribe Called Quest is their finest. Of course, they're all superb, but 1993's "Midnight Marauders" - their third full-length - may well be the best of all. That's a big call, but we'd ask any doubters to give it another listen. The New York crew is in particularly fine form on the mic throughout, while the backing tracks, which make great use of crunchy, head-nodding beats and hundreds of superb, hand-picked samples, are amongst the most intricately produced, groovy and deep ever committed to wax. It's one of those hip-hop sets that should be in the collection of any committed music head, and not just rap fans.
Review: If you want hugs on the dancefloor deep into the night, Late Night Tough Guy's (formally DJ HMC) "Bless The Rains" is the perfect drug. The Adelaide based luminary rehashes Toto's "Africa" in a heavily pitched down and simple edit fit for any fromage-laced discotheque. Skirting around the throbbing bassline and triangle hits of "My Body On Fire" is a vocal that will have some train-spotters pulling their hair out in frustration, while "Not In Love Anymore" will have both Warren G/Nate Dogg and Michael McDonald fans bumping and grinding to excess.
Review: Deep house might not be getting the headlines it did a few years ago, but that actually means those who jumped on the hype train have all alighted once again and now only those truly devoted to the form remain. That means we get high quality EPs like this one from Visions Inc. Aleqs Notal takes us on a spiritual trip littered with toms and jazz-chords to kick things off before Meftah gets more experimental with a broken beat, tripped out keys and rubbery bass all sinking you into a state of trance. For those who like it more straight up, Taelue obliges, and as with all Afrikan Sciences tunes, the closer is a masterfully deep concoction.
The Prodigy - "Everybody In The Place" (Fairground remix) (5:08)
Kicks Like A Mule - "The Bouncer" (Housequake mix) (6:04)
Altern 8 - "Evapor 8" (5:23)
Son'z Of A Loop Da Loop Era - "Far Out" (original Scratchadelic mix) (4:59)
Bizarre Inc - "Playing With Knives" (Quadrant mix) (6:45)
A Guy Called Gerald - "Voodoo Ray" (4:30)
Xpansions - "Move Your Body" (3:49)
The Shamen - "Ebeneezer Goode" (club vocal) (6:15)
Hyper Go Go - "High" (5:00)
Felix - "Don't You Want Me" (Hooj mix) (5:56)
Run Tings - "Fires Burning" (4:42)
Krome & Time - "This Sound Is For The Underground" (6:13)
Landlord - "I Like It" (Blow Out dub) (5:10)
Phuture Assassins - "Future Sound" (5:04)
Review: The Ministry of Sound continue to document the roots of our culture with another instalment in their Origins series. This time their focus is on rave, a decidedly UK centric sound that chewed up and spat pout all manner of tongue in cheek samples, gabber drums, and strobe lit synths back in the 90s. All the main and predictable highlights are included here with mainstays Altern 8, The Prodigy, A Guy Called Gerald and The Shamen making the cut across 14 hardcore cuts that will blow the doors, roof and anything else off any space in which you play them. Rave long and prosper, as they say.
Review: Since guitarist Tomayasu Takeuchi's first album as Tomoyastone, Breaks & Torus, wasn't pressed to wax, Japanese imprint At Home Sound has decided to offer-up a string of seven-inch singles showcasing the set's most potent tracks. The latest opens with 'Sunrise Dance', a gnarled and low-slung affair with Takeuchi's glistening, sun-bright guitar parts and kaleidoscopic musical textures provide a counter-balance to a heavyweight funk groove that was seemingly inspired by a mixture of Barbarra's 'Shack Up' and Herman Kelly & Life's 'Dance To The Drummer's Beat'. Takeuchi opts for a jazzier feel to his fluid guitar solos on flipside number 'Plute Funk', a more laidback but no less club-ready affair that's little less than audible sunshine.
Review: Stetasonic was a short lived American hip-hop group who managed to put out three strong albums in their short time together. It was a remix of their 'Talking All That Jazz' by Dimitri From Paris that resurrected interest in the group in 1998 and now this 7" continues to shine a light on the often forgotten group. '(Now Ya'll Givin' Up) Love' is a hard hitting beat with a tense atmosphere. The crashing hits and reverberating drums break only for big stabs to light up the groove, all the while the biting rhymes keep on coming. An a cappella is provide don the flip for more adventurous DJs.
Review: Record Store Day 2020 seems to have gone on for months, and months, and months. Roxy Music fans won't be complaining though as one of the many million special releases is this, the final piece of the Roxy Music debut album celebration jigsaw. Steven Wilson's stereo mix of the fabled original album was meant to come out as part of 2018's huge box set and has been much debated online ever since. Now, after the band have given it their full blessing, it finally arrives on strictly limited clear wax, and has been specially mastered for vinyl by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road Studios.
Review: When it comes to breathing new life into well-known classics, there are few better than Frenchman-in-London The Reflex. Further proof of this assertion can be found on RWY, the third 12" on the producer's own Revision Records imprint. The title track sees him once again take his scalpel to a track by Michael Jackson, subtly building layering up and extending "Rock With You" (a feat made possible by his ability to get hold of multi-track parts to the material he re-edits). On the flip, he successfully tampers with Lionel Richie's end-of-night classic "All Night Long". Brilliantly, he removes much of the percussion during key vocal passages, which in turn gives subsequent choruses extra dancefloor oomph. Bravo, Sir.
Review: Before the pandemic struck, Versatile Records veteran Nicolas Chaix was working on a new improvised I:Cube live show to be taken on the road this summer. Sadly, events put paid to the long-serving producer's plans, so instead he sat down with the same hardware set-up and recorded some improvised workouts. It's those - or at least some of them, a second volume may appear in future - that form the backbone of Cubo Live Sessions. In typical fashion, 14-minute A-side 'Session 1' is formidably psychedelic, with Chaix peppering a jacking hardware groove with echoing, alien-sounding riffs, brooding pads and hallucinatory TB-303 motifs. He gets extra aggressive on fiendishly trippy and growling B-side opener 'Session 2', while 'Session 3' is a creepy, slow motion acid delight.
Felipe Gordon & Will Buck - "Back Into Time" (5:49)
Will Buck - "I Think It's Too Late" (6:31)
Will Buck - "I'll B Right There" (6:11)
Review: Off Track's second EP is a masterclass in tough and ready house that is jam packed with musicality. The kicks of Felipe Gordon's 'We All Got The Time' are scuffed up and heart felt, and the noodling keys are pure joy. 'Back Into Time' then brings even more jazz-funk vibes to a languid beat perfect for sundown and Will Buck then goes solo after that collab with a soul drenched tune Moodymann would be proud of. The vibe is totally switched up for 'I'll B Right There,' which pairs the classic sample with sustained pads and hardcore house drums designed purely to make you sweat.
Review: Having landed his debut album Bosq Y Orchestra De Madera on Ubiquity Records back in 2013, Bosq will be returning with his second long player on the Californian label later this year. Take Over is the second 12" laid down as a precursor of what Bosq has up his sleeve and the Boston-based Whisky Baron is certainly on good form. Known for his towering vocal contributions to Fela's Egypt 80, Benin-born / Nigerian-raised singer Kaleta once again lines a Bosq production in lead cut "Take Over", and it might just be their heaviest collaboration yet! The Less Patient edit adds a bit of dancefloor weight to the track. Flip for the dense, delay heavy afrobeat burner "Bounce And Pull Up" which features some devilish horns from Evan Laflamme.