Review: Thomas Smorek, aka Dunkeltier, was last seen lurking on Bahnsteig 23 back in 2015, and now he's back under a fog of VHS fuzz with madcap sampling and off-kilter disco freakiness in abundance for all the freaky dancers. "Arcade" has a motorik pulse to it, and one of the best warbling bell chime sounds we've heard in a long time. It's a creepy, but deceptively funky beast. "Arabian Town" is a more post punk flavoured cut with raw live instrumentation and vocals that seem to channel Joy Division, Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Cramps in the same breath. "Ce Soir" is a synth heavy affair purpose built to disorientate and disturb, while "The Blade" brings a stomping industrial death march mixed with twanging psych guitar ramblings. Yet more distinctive heat from the Bahnsteig crew then.
Review: Ray Mang's Mang Dynasty alias is next up on Bristol label Alfresco Disco, serving up the kind of bubbling disco house that sets the West Country party crew's infamous sessions alight. "Crash The Box" is speckled with psyched-out acid and an infectious bassline, giving the remixers more than enough trippy ingredients to get busy with. The Tee Mango "Revision" creates a more twitchy, dubbed out version for freakier spinners to get creative with, and then Lord Leopard amps up the funk with a remix that puts the bass at the front of the action.
Review: Mehmet Aslan and Miajica represent some of the finest operators in Basel, and their Fleeting Wax label is on hand to represent what's good in the Swiss scene and beyond. On this latest release they turn to Eva Geist, who has previously been spotted on Macadam Mambo and Elestial Sound with her beautiful mix of synths and vocals, striking a chord between noirish synth pop and heads down club music. "Blumareciano" is a wonderfully seductive, slightly spooky stew of a track which San Proper then injects with his usual freaky energy to make for a more uptempo party version. Then Geist's "Begum" stretches over the B-side in a bubbling blend of delayed voices, tribal percussion and general outernational surrealism.
Review: In the space of a year Bahnsteig 23 has positioned itself as a label of note with a strong run of 12"s that draw on a rich spread of influences from cosmic disco to world music to provide a little more spice in your dancefloor selections. Portland's Elliot Thomas takes his Etbonz alias out for its first proper outing here after a split 7" with Dro Carey some years back. This single-sided jam serves to raise the intrigue around the project further still with its dense, organically enhanced production and dreamy atmosphere, keeping the tempo slow and simmering for the early part of the party.
Review: When it comes to crafting lengthy, disco fired dancefloor treats, DJ Koze has previous form. His "Extended Disco Version" of Lapsley's "Operator" quickly became a White Isle anthem in the summer of 2016, and we fully expect "Pick Up" to be one of the disco-house hits of 2018. Based around spine-tingling samples from a heart-felt, orchestrated 1970s disco treat - think Tom Trago's "Use Me Again", and you're close - the veteran producer slowly builds the pressure before really letting loose in the closing stages. B-side "The Love Truck" is an altogether deeper, dubbier and dreamier affair, seemingly designed for leisurely warm-up sets and gentle, early morning shuffling.
Review: Hot of the blocks this year comes French curator imprint Unlimited Love. Drawing for rarities and oddities from artists whose repertoires are shockingly slim, this is their second EP in three months and, once again, it features a wide range of killer sounds from late 70s/early 80s. From Magnum's street kicking New York funk to the rich rare groove of Phyliss Bailey, it's a boogie odyssey through and through with sleazy guitar-twanging funk from Broken Glass and straight-up percussion-powered disco energy from Thunderbolt. Feel the love.
Review: Two years on from his first appearance on Brooklyn's finest re-edit imprint, Martin Hayes returns with a second salvo of DJ-friendly disco revisions. The Leipzig producer goes for the jugular from the start, delivering a slightly straightened-out, house-friendly tweak of a celebratory disco gem on boisterous opener "Easy Come Easy Go", before serving up a sizeable edit of a slo-mo orchestral disco groover ("Tiff"). He returns to peak-time pastures via EP highlight "Turn You On", a wickedly up-tempo anthem built around razor-sharp strings, jaunty piano riffs, bustling beats and a seriously good "walking" bassline. To round things off, Hayes delivers "Love Shine", a far warmer and groovier concoction blessed with breezy piano riffs, extended percussion breaks and incessant vocal snippets.
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray vocal mix) (8:40)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (Michael Gray dub mix) (6:19)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (vocal mix) (7:45)
I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You) (instrumental mix) (6:58)
Review: For their latest trick, Yam Who's Riot label has decided to offer up a brand new edition of Alton Edwards' 1981 UK electrofunk classic "I Just Wanna (Spend A Little Time With You)". You'll find Edwards' superb original vocal version on the flip, where his part whispered, part sung vocals rise above thickset, mind-altering synth-bass, drum machine beats and some seriously punchy horn lines. The obligatory 21st century updates come courtesy of Full Intention man Michael Gray, who delivers a suitably pumped up boogie-house vocal revision before dropping a similarly chunky dub that wisely makes much of the original bassline and Edwards' whispered vocal passages.
Review: The latest missive from Fingerman's Wax Digits imprint - the occasional vinyl offshoot of the digital-only Hot Digits label - is something of an all-star affair. It features contributions from some of the best-known talents in the contemporary re-edit scene, with solid results. Fingerman and Slync kick things off with "Saft Junk", a cheery, Chic style slab of summer disco goodness, before Hotmood takes aim at "Fake D.Js" via bumpin' grooves, fluttering flutes and swirling orchestration. Andy Buchan's "Dope D'Man" is a slap-bass-sporting nu-disco jam that joins the dots between King Bee's "Back By Dope Demand" and the original disco record it sampled, while "Turn It Loose" is a relaxed shuffle through laid back and loved-up funk grooves.
Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass (XL remix) (9:14)
Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass (instrumental remix) (6:39)
Pong's Run (with Intergalactic Gary) (4:06)
Review: It's been 22 years since the release of I-F's razor-sharp Dutch electro anthem, "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass". Given the upsurge in interest in electro of late, it's little surprise to see the man himself offering up this reissue, which is focused around two previously digital-only revisions that first landed back in 2010. Stretched out across the A-side is the brilliant - and undeniably mind-altering - "XL Remix", a nine-minute revision that gives greater prominence to the producer's twisted electronic riffs, industrial strength melodies and dusty drum machine percussion. This time round, it comes accompanied by both a vocoder-free Instrumental take and "Pong's Run", a lesser-known collaboration with Intergalactic Gary that's slow, spacey, out-there and thoroughly intoxicating.
Review: A 45 suiting the funky northern soul sound, re-reissued here on a great sounding Record Shack release. Both highly sought after versions of "What I Did In The Street" featured here: from the raw and original Gulfstream label version, backed with the smoother, disco release that came later. Originally released in 1978 as a B side to Betty Padgett's "Tonight Is The Night", King was a Florida based vocalist and this terrific song was her sole release.
Review: The fourth volume in G Markus' ongoing G Edits series delivers some serious disco heat from start to finish. While many will enjoy the more relaxed, groovy and gently housed-up B-side, "Partee" - all walking bass, sun-kissed chord progressions, eyes-closed synth stabs, jangling guitars and soft focus blue-eyed soul vocals - it's A-side "Eternal" that undeniably hits home hardest. Heavier and sweatier with subtle deep house flourishes (think drawn-out chords and filter tricks), the edit is based on a Latin-fired disco workout that boasts spiraling orchestration, eyes-closed rock guitar solos and a big budget horn section.
Review: San Laurentino (real name Lorant Talpai) first appeared on London's Electric Minds back in 2010 and has since appeared on top labels such as Mathematics, Let's Play House and Live At Robert Johnson. Like the latter, Smile For A While is a Frankfurt Am Main based imprint devoted to old-school house. That being said, there's a timeless quality to Talpai's new release. From the deeply hypnotic tones of "Paramaribo Calling" (Lounge mix) awash in celestial pads, FM synthesis and those gorgeous kalimba melodies, the new age deep house of "The Garden Of The Hesperides" that's powered by those emtove breakbeats and the original version of "Paramaribo Calling" reminiscent of the legendary Vangelis Katsoulis.
Review: This more than handy 7" single brings together two classic disco-era cuts from soul legend Willie Hutch. A-side "Easy Does It", which was originally featured on 1978's In Tune album, features Hutch in full-on Curtis Mayfield mode, singing passionately over a jaunty, jazz-funk influenced backing track laden with swirling strings, choral backing vocals (think Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album) and Dexter Wansel style synthesizer solos. It's undoubtedly one of Hutch's finest moments and deserves to be in any serious soul head's collection. Flip for 1979's "Kelly Green", a sumptuous soul slow jam in which Hutch pines over a lost lover.
Review: As with its' 12 predecessors, the latest compilation style EP from publicity-shy French diggers Unlimited Love gathers together an impressive selection of sought-after gems. This time round, many of the cuts are taken from eye-wateringly expensive and hard-to-find private press records. Check, for example, the fizzing 1982 boogie of Jeancy's "Reservation", the sweet breeziness of Karizma's "Will You Dance With Me" (an original 7" copy of which would set you back around L300) and the skewed, orchestra-smothered quirkiness of Marion Javius's "Waiting in the Wings". Elsewhere, Makonde's "Manzara" is a heavy chunk of psychedelic-minded Afro-funk, while Neo Experience's sumptuous "Human" is a lesser-known chunk of Philly soul bliss.
Review: Originally released in 2014 with a whole plethora of remixes, Robotnick's "It's Over There" finally sees the light of wax with two of the best versions from the series; Manuel Perez brings the psychedelic sweeps closer to the fore while laying down a whole new slew of keys and dreamy chords while Balza adds a mystic melodic techno hum that rises with church-like stateliness that's sombre yet uplifting, deep and heavy. Grab it while you can.
Review: Thomas Leer was mainly active in the late 70s and early 80s, dropping two singles on Cherry Red that provided the source material for the two original tracks on this Emotional Rescue reissue 12". Opener "Saving Grace" is a rich, bombastic blast of synthwave, all chugging arps and massive leads, while "Tight As A Drum" heads into more psychedelic territory, using strange gating techniques and deft FX to create a wondrous, shimmering bed for Leer's poetic chat over the top. Bringing an inventive angle to the release, the label signed Bullion up for two wonderfully warm, wobbly remixes. Honing in on the weirder qualities of Leer's work, these modern interpretations make a perfect bridge from the old to the new - highly recommended!
Natasha Kitty Katt & Dennis Probert - "Master Of The Moon" (5:40)
Glitter In The Dark (6:17)
Review: Edinburgh's Natasha Kitty Katt has previously proved to be a more than reliable source of contemporary disco sleaze. Here she returns to action after a 12-month absence with another batch of throbbing, floor-friendly cuts. Chief amongst these is opener "Master of the Moon" - co-produced by regular collaborator (and daddy Kitty Katt) Dennis Probert - which elevates the Winners' underground disco classic "Ready For The Future" to dubbed-out new disco-house heights via new beats, synths and tons of trippy effects. It's a party-starting winner, all told. Similarly impressive is chunky and throbbing flipside "Glitter In The Dark", a bouncy dose of Italo-disco/house fusion rich in thrusting arpeggio bass, glassy-eyed synthesizer melodies and sweaty layered percussion.
Review: New York-based Irishman Dec Lennon aka Krystal Klear had a massive year in 2018, with the disco epic "Neutron Dance" and the terrific Club Studies EP on Hot Haus Recs. Now, the Cold Tonic boss returns to Running Back with his electrifying new trip by the name of "Euphoric Dreams" which is a fitting title for this evocative and neon-lit dance floor burner which calls to mind the best of the golden era that was the '80s. He goes deeper into the night on the flip with "Miyoki"; a delightful boogie-down number which boasts of shimmering arpeggios, steely drum computers and an all-round vintage flair - there's more to come from Lennon this year for sure.
Review: Italian in New York Danyb dusts off his Busted edit series once again for two neatly contrasting disco gems. "Touching" splashes down with integrity; big electro boogie licks and the full vocal intact, he's given the cult 82 classic a touching facelift that loses none of the chic of the original. "Don't Stop" is more of a magpie moment with a selection of references all laced together with little Tom Tom flares and the voice of true 60s icon. As with all Busted editions, these go down exquisitely well in the dance.
Review: We'll be first to admit that the description 'neon-lit' gets bandied about a fair bit around here, but good lord we haven't heard anything this much like it: it's almost fluorescent! Following up their 'enigmatic middle eastern funk bonanza' (with Anony & Mous' The Nile Files), Fossils return with a new EP from Tel Aviv via NYC's UV & Nen, who reveal what the label describes as 'long forgotten.. disco funk nuggets that are bound to become classics in their own right.' Starting off on the A side with "The Bump" which is a funky and lo-slung chugger with sleazy disco elements: just the way we like it. On the flip, "Love Makin" is where things get epically psychedelic, seasoned with sexy moans and 'abnormal synth activities' while "Beatcoin" is a steady slow stomper that will get booties shaken (and shaking) across the dance floor.
Review: American artist Joe Coleman's soulful boogie-down number "Get It Off The Ground" was released back in 1982 and is still popular amongst those that know. Austrian imprint Record Shack present a hot edit by New York City legend DJ Spinna on this edition, which retains the infectious energy of the original but gives the track some much needed dynamics for modern dancefloors. Although we give credit to the edit, the lo-slung funk of the original will always be king and rest assured that is indeed featured here on the flip.
Review: Destination 78/79: Expansion take us deep into the illustrious back cat of revered boogaloo fusionist Willie Bobo for two of his many fiery delights. Side A is his feel-heavy cult instrumental take on Ronnie Laws' disco classic "Always There" while Side B throws us into the heart of his 1979 album Bobo with gutsy raw soul power (and just a few cheeky funk slap bass twangs for good measure) Two stone cold classics together for the first time on 45.
Review: Five years after Jolly Jams' inaugural "Mysterious" collection comes another shot of 'anon' action. Well, we know the brains behind the tracks but little else is given away. Not explicitly anyway. As you'd expect from the JJs camp (and the likes of label mates Richard, Claudio, Eric Duncan and More Lotion), it's nothing but a chug-fest as we're plastered with big lavish synth-blazed disco. From the late night technoid bounce of Richard's opener right through the Tijuanian cosmic finale, it's another concentrated shot of party fuel... And due to its hot nature, it's not likely to hang around for long. Jam on it!!
Review: Italian twosome Marvin & Guy (AKA Alessandro Parlatore and Marcello Giordani) channel the spirit of the early '90s on the title track from their latest rock solid EP, which marks their first appearance on Permanent Vacation for two years. "Hint of '92" is pulsating, energetic and druggy, with delay-soaked spoken word samples and "Brown Album" era Orbital electronics rising above a trance-inducing, arpeggio-driven groove. The influence of the Hartnoll Brothers (and saucer-eyed Balearic synth-pop, for that matter) can also be heard on the breezier and more loved-up "Underspreche Remix". Over on side B, "Discoteque" is a sleazy throb-job full of jacking drum fills, buzzing synthesizer sounds and razor-sharp Italo-disco bass, while post-Italo shuffler "Colours" lives up to its title.
Review: Lone Wolf McQuade and Freezy Freeze (to pick just two of their aliases) reunite for another Monkeyshop saga. Expressive and loaded with contrast, "Ozzyism" thumps with heady abandon. More disco than electro (but still crisp and edgy on the riff), it pounds as hard as Moustache can handle before giving us a much slower rub down with the spacious and mildly acidic "Ambibarb". Rutherfort adds more of a twinkle to the lead track while retaining the full thrust tempo while "Barbara BAM" is a much denser, heavier piece of analogue soul that's almost crunchy in its texture.