Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik main mix) (7:17)
Les Mondes Engloutis (Psychemagik 5am mix) (9:07)
Review: Martin Brodin's MB Disco imprint continues to deliver the good stuff, this time featuring two utterly essential Psychemagik mixes of Alico vs Cagri's "Les Mondes Engloutis". These mixes actually first surfaced on a digital-only release back in 2013, but now they've been buffed up for a full vinyl pressing, and rightly so. A side "Main Mix" is a full bodied, emotional banger with a lead drop to get crowds waving arms and singing along wholeheartedly. Our pick is the "5am Mix" on the flip though, where the synths take on a more shimmering nocturnal tone without losing that bright and bold character that will land this 12" in all manner of record bags this summer.
Review: The hitherto unknown BEFORETHEBEATSBREAK crew step up with a low key drop on Blah Records, a label that has previously hosted the talents of Ronaldo and Crazy Bank. The mood is resolutely fixed on pumping garage house with oodles of swing, from the deeper shuffle of "Closer" to the heavy bump of "I Don't Want U". "Freak Me Out" is a wonderfully frantic workout with all manner of samples and skittish key flex pinging around an uptempo groove, before "Talkin' About" pushes the swing even harder to conjure up a jazzy feeling smattered with sax licks and squelching synth stabs.
Review: Pepe Bradock's recent album "What A Mess!" might have been a cut-and-paste collage of weirdo track fragments, occasional rhythms and spaced-out ambient aesthetics, but the veteran Parisian producer is still capable of crafting killer dancefloor cuts when he feels like it. This weirdo deep house two-tracker proves as much, with A-side "Peeped Booths" offering a near perfect fusion of hypnotic bass, locked-in grooves, ultra-deep riffs, angular electronic noises and strange vocal samples that have been manipulated within an inch of their lives. It's more than a bit good. "Klezmorim Telepathique" sees Bradock raise the tempo and intensity via a bumpin' fusion of panicked electronic motifs, paranoid bass and fizzing synthesizer flashes.
Review: Few are held in as higher esteem or instill as much admiration as the Italian deep house legend, Don Carlos. Imogen Recordings continue their stellar release form, locking down the maestro for a blissful two tracker that gives just as much energy, awe and emotion as his early '90s output. 'Alina' is eyes closed business right from the off. Waves of atmospheric synth strings and hazy chords roll in, as blissful pads sway with filtered drum loops. First come the dusky piano twinkles, then the trademark Don Carlos analogue bass tones, proving as prominent as ever behind melt-in-the-mouth sax grooves. Every turn and tweak conjures up memories of carefree elation - its ecstasy inducing dance music without the need for artificial enhancements. Part II is a variation on this masterpiece, progressing through the intro in a speedier fashion for those that need an express ticket to that peak time power. Shakers, claps and congas are brighter in the mix whilst the addition of a springing synth arp, fluctuations to the bassline and a re-sleazed sax line give just enough diversity to make it distinctive. It's hardier than Part I, but with every bit as much finesse and feeling. This is the real deal - no nonsense house music from a heart and head that have seen it all. Alone on a Mediterraneo beach or surround by a packed dancefloor, Alina is one to get lost in from start to finish and a solid statement that Don Carlos certainly still has 'it'.
Review: If you've yet to succumb to the charms of Children of Zeus - and there can't be many out there who haven't - then this "odds and ends" LP offers a neat introduction. Five of the seven tracks have been plucked from the Manchester crew's previous full-length excursions, while the other two - seductively soulful two-step garage reworks of "Vibrations" and "Slow Down" by fellow Manchester resident Zed Bias - have previously been almost impossible to get hold of. Setting aside the club-ready remixes, what "Excess Baggage" proves is that Children of Zeus are one of British music's most essential outfits right now, delivering sensual and life-affirming cuts that brilliantly blend the best aspects of hip-hop, R&B and modern soul.
Review: Berlin deep house heroes Cinthie and Stevn Aint Leavn are back on their ever reliable Beste Modus imprint for its ninth edition and they aren't messing around on this one. Quality classic house vibes all the way - a timeless Windy City vibe dominates the A side courtesy of Cinthie, who serves up the sultry and swing-fuelled late night groover "Everything I Say" before taking it back to '94 with the dusty and soulful "Good For You & Me". On the flip, Stevn Aint Leavn is in fine form, too, particularly on the moody and bass-driven back room dub "Quins".
With More Love (Special edit instrumental version) (6:42)
Review: Originally released back in 2009 in its' epic 13-minute original form, "With More Love" remains one of Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's most endearing tracks - a gorgeous chunk of sun-kissed spiritual house rich in fluid piano solos, sunset-ready classical guitar solos, undulating bass, non-verbal vocal harmonies and the producer's bouncy Afro-Latin house beats. Happily, Clausell has decided to reissue the track, offering up two scaled-down versions that fit on one tidy seven-inch single. On the A-side you'll find the "Special 7" Edit", a six minute blast of ultra-positive dancefloor bliss that's about the most positive thing we've heard in ages. Turn to the flip for a previously unreleased instrumental take that strips the track back further, allowing the gorgeous piano solos and busy bass guitar more room to breathe.
Review: Whereas the first volume in Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's "Cosmicdelic Africa" series focused on sneaky re-edits by the Sacred Rhythm founder, this second instalment focuses on original productions "for the dancefloor and the head". In other words, Clausell has offered up DJ-friendly extended versions of some of his most cosmic, Afro-centric creations. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the psychedelic rock guitar solos, restless bass, layered Latin house rhythms and rainforest sounds of Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas (Demo Sketch Mix)", to the piano sporting cosmic house positivity of Mampo's "Emarofo Tech (Extended Sketch Mix)", via the spaced-out electronics, hallucinatory synth lines and sparse drums of intoxicating downtempo workout "Mundo De Agua (Psyxchdelic Transfusion Mix)".
Review: Legendary New York DJ, producer and remixer Joe Claussell launches the new mixtape series for Secretsundaze. The 85 minutes mix is a typically spiritual and introspective selection recorded at The Cosmic Arts Center, Brooklyn.
Review: The sixth volume in Toy Tonics occasional "Tonic Edits" series comes courtesy of label regulars COEO, a Munich-based duo who previously proved their edit credentials via a tasty 12" on Razor-N-Tape. This collection is arguably even better than its predecessor and sees them take their rusty scalpels to a quartet of Japanese disco-pop tracks from the 1980s. There's much to admire, from the sleazy electrofunk grooves, bold pianos and sparkling pianos of "Matchbox" (A2) and the slap-bass propelled boogie goodness of the Teena Marie-esque "Uber Man" (B1), to the freestyle influenced synth-pop bounce of cheery closing cut "Tibetan Dance". Arguably best of all, though, is lead cut "Japanese Woman", a bi-lingual disco song rich in rubbery bass, Chic style guitars and sparkling synthesizer flourishes.
Review: As soon as the sun pops out, we tend to reach for exuberant, celebratory fare. Helpfully, there's plenty of that kind of sweaty, arms-aloft fare to be found on Dan Snaith's latest outing as Daphni. While his releases under the alias were once percussive and Afro-centric, this one comes with a big dollop of funk-fuelled goodness and more dancefloor weight than you can shake a stick at. Check, for example, the pots-and-pans percussion, soaring strings and low-slung bass of disco-sampling smasher "Romeo", the saucer-eyed rush of "Just", where another loved-up disco cut is smothered in loose-limbed carnival drumming, and the jazz-house-goes-breakbeat heaviness of "If". Best of all, though, is "Sizzling (Featuring Paradise)", a colossal chunk of pitched-up carnival disco-house full of ear-catching vocal refrains, rubbery bass and tropical horn blasts.
Review: Enjoying a brief sojourn away from then 2000 Black label he's long called home, sometime 4hero member Dego pops up on Neroli with a two-tracker that blends his usual jazz-funk inspired instrumentation with warm and fragrant, dancefloor-focused grooves. The jazz-funk influence is strongest on flipside "Just Give It A Long Shot", a more languid affair rich in squiggly synth lines, toasty bass guitar, slack-tuned drum breaks and the kind of group vocals that would have once sent rare groove heads into a spin. A-side "Twelve Steps" is arguably even better, with whispered vocals, jazzy synth lines and sunny guitars wrapping around a pleasingly rubbery Brit-funk groove.
Review: In recent years, Detroit Swindle's outings away from their own Heist Recordings imprint have been few and far between, so it's nice to see them popping up on Will Saul's Aus Music imprint. He's done a good job A&R-wise, with all three tracks hitting the expected highs. The Dutch duo are in fine form with "Wado Baya", a rubbery chunk of hot-stepping Afro-house where bleeping electronic melodies and glassy-eyed chords rise above a snappy-but-bouncy groove. "Rhythm Girl Swing" sounds like a slipped and slightly skewed take on hypnotic mid-90s house - all trippy riffs and slowly rising filtered motifs - while "Vibrations" sees them join the dots between warm and woozy early '90s deep house and organ-rich New Jersey flavours.
Review: Having previously collaborated on tasty 2013 single "Speckbass", partners in audio insanity DJ Fett Burger and DJ Speckgurtel have united for a full-length excursion full of "dance music for clubs and pubs and some easy-going jams to jazz the sheets". In practice, that means a saucer-eyed mixture of retro-futurist house treats (see jaunty opener "Harpo" and the Italo-house giddiness of "6Drops (Piano Mix)", loved-up deep electro (the spacey warmth of "Red Scorpions"), unashamed Larry Heard tributes ("Sunshine In The Limousine"), densely percussive peak-time workouts ("Enjoy This Limousine"), ragged acid ("6Drops (Technocid Mix)"), rushing Balearic synth-pop ("Sting Collins") and chiming, early '90s style ambient house (the beat free lusciousness of "Sonnen Ambiente").