Review: Having previously blessed us with "Ocean Side" two years back, Benedek and Tom Noble return to Superior Elevation with two more Balearic gems. One for the night time, one for sunrise; "World Gruuv" hits the boogie spot with spiralling keys wandering freely up and down a tight shimmering synth-bass led groove. Meanwhile "Profesora" on the B brings us back into reality softly with its addictive percussive hook, aquatic backing and totally tropical taste. Imagine Art Of Noise on Claremont 56 and you're on the right route.
Review: The Dessert Island Discs series continues with yet more arch remixes from across the disco and boogie spectrum. Bubbles The Pimp kicks off the A side with a tasteful treatment of Gil Scott Heron's "Winter In America," which gets rustled up into a sweet and sassy house number with a cheeky acid b-line underneath. Nelly Wilson whips up a storm on the tightly clipped, peak time-oriented "Trapped & Confused". Pierre Pressure's "Love & Beyond" takes it easy on the B side with plenty of fluttering synth wobbles to offset the choppy funk of the guitar - it's a cosmically enhanced floor burner to get you all astral under the collar.
Roger Damawuzan - "Loxo Nye" (Pushin Wood remix) (5:39)
Napo De Mi Amor - "Cacatchoule "Berceuse Bassari"" (3:04)
Sewavi Jacintho - "Miade Dua" (5:35)
Review: Hot Casa's latest must-have release is a veritable smorgasbord of Togolese treats. It focuses specifically on obscure soul music made in Togo in the 1970s, with two hard-to-find original cuts being joined by two contemporary re-edits of similarly obscure classics. The EP opens with Bosq's smooth, dancefloor-focused tweal of Yta Jourias's breezy, horn-heavy tropical soul workout "Adome Nyueto", before Pushin Wood takes over and adds a little contemporary electronic bounce - and some particularly colourful synths - to Roger Damawuzan's "Loxo Nye". Over on side B, Napo De Mi Amor's "Cacatchoule Berceuse Bassari" is a fuzzy soul shuffler rich in bright, Juju style guitar solos, hazy vocals and Hammond organ stabs, while Sewavi Jacintho's "Miade Dua" is a sweatier and heavier concoction powered by loose-limbed drumming and sun-kissed instrumentation.
Review: Nebraska's Friends & Relations series continues to deliver the goods as another no nonsense slab of sample-a-delic house delights lands on our platters. There is a fine balance struck between familiarity and obscurity on these edit-esque productions, where you might well recognise the odd break or sample, but Nebraska applies a deft touch to keep things mysterious and fresh. There is funk spilling out of the grooves like you wouldn't believe, from rugged basslines to heavy vibing keys, with splashes of dub FX and a little cosmic dust sprinkled on top for good measure. Heads down business for serious dancers, and the DJs that love to keep them locked in.
Lenny Fontana, Tension - "A Place Called Heaven" (Joey Negro dub Groove) (6:58)
Jay Denes, Ada Dyer - "You Make Me Whole" (Joey Negro Rhodes dub) (5:17)
Julian Sanza - "To Love" (5:16)
Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie, Andrea Mendez - "Bring Me Love" (Eventual dub) (6:56)
Review: Some serious no-nonsense house grooves for all true-school DJs to cop, dug out from the annals of club music history. Things kick off good and proper with Joey Negro's insanely powerful "Dub Groove" mix of Lenny Fontana's "A Place Called Heaven". Negro's on the buttons once again with the classic, pumping "Rhodes Dub" of "You Make Me Whole" by Jay Denes and Ada Dyer. On the flip, Julian Sanza drops the squelchy boogie inflected "To Love" before the record ends on a serious bang with the dream team of Frankie Knuckles, Satoshi Tomiie and Andrea Mendez's "Bring Me Love (Eventual Dub)". This is as actual house as actual house can get - the real deal, crystalised in four evergreen gems pressed on one handy record.
Dance Your Blues Away (The Mighty Zaf edit) (4:32)
Review: Originally released in 1979 as a B-side to The Neville Brother's "Sweet Honey Dipper", "Dance Your Blues Away" saw Ivan go solo for the first time on this sultry modern soul jam. Laced with a plucky bass and just the right smattering of sleaze, it set the foundations for Ivan's extensive solo career. It also provides the perfect groove tools for The Mighty Zaf to work his editor craft and beef up the vibe with subtlety. Keep on dancing!
Review: Here's something to savour: two killer, previously unheard P-funk style workouts from regular Rick James collaborator and former Motown artist Bobby Nunn. Both the lolloping, horn-laden, Prince-esque brilliance of "Cherry Pie" and the more stripped-back, synth-fired "Got My Eye On You" were apparently recorded in Nunn's home studio at some unspecified point in the early 1980s, before being forgotten for the best part of four decades. They're well worth checking, as is Nickee B's rework of "Got My Eye On You", which brilliantly strips back the track further in order to allow Nunn's brilliant electronic instrumentation a chance to shine. If synth boogie's your bag, you need this in your life.
Review: The mysterious NY Underground label and production team are keeping tight-lipped on their identity. What we do know is they love editing, dubbing and reworking Big Apple house and disco tunes and are good at it, too. Following a number of sold out EPs they come correct again with number 9. "New York Underground IX (part 1)" is a tense dance floor workout with acid prickles and flashes of synth that are perfect for strobe lit spaces. Part 2 then goes disco, with stomping drums you will likely recognise driving along some exotic synth lines and steamy vocal work. Top tools.
Nigel Martinez - "Better Things To Come" (Joey Negro edit) (4:27)
Review: Originally released on CD and digital download way back in 2010, Joey Nergo's superb "Backstreet Brit Funk" compilation finally comes to vinyl. Given the recent rise in interest in "Brit-funk" - an early-to-mid '80s UK style rooted in jazz-funk, boogie, electro and soul - the timing seems perfect. It contains some genuinely killer cuts throughout, with highlights including the Hammond-heavy hustle of Ed Bentley's "Bentley Boogie", the scorching sax solos and huggable grooves of Mirage's "Summer Grooves", the breezy jazz-funk of Ritual's "Sore Lip" and the sun-kissed electrofunk/lovers rock fusion of The Cool Notes' "I Wanna Dance". The collection also contains a smattering of tidy, DJ-friendly re-edits from the long-serving Essex producer.
Review: On their debut album, 2016's the Tony Allen Experiments, Naples twosome Nu Guinea re-invented tracks by the legendary Afro-beat drummer as synth-heavy chunks of deep jazz-funk and nu-Balearica. For this follow-up - their first full length entirely made up of their own compositions - the duo serves up a set of jazz-funk, disco and boogie cuts rich in both their trademark colourful analogue synthesizer sounds and live instrumentation. It's a formula that guarantees a string of memorable highlights, from the sun-kissed peak-time brilliance of "Disco Sole" and rubbery, funk-fuelled "Je Vulesse" (a killer vocal number), to the wobbly downtempo trip of "A Voce E Napule" and Mizell Brothers fizz of closer "Parev Ajare", the album's most synthesizer-heavy cut.