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: Those who heard Harvey Sutherland's excellent debut EP for Echovolt, Edges EP, will be familiar with his trademark sound - a toasty, analogue style take on deep house marked out by jazz-funk chord progressions, warming synthesizer melodies and shuffling grooves. He changes the script a little on this EP for Voyage Recordings, though there's still plenty of seductive deep house to enjoy (most notably opener "Oscillate" and the Inskwel style, boogie-influenced loveliness of "Bamboo"). Where the EP really comes into its own, though, is when he tries a different tack. "Old Wars" sounds like Moon B's electrofunk explorations wrapped in a snuggly duvet, while "Close Quarters" successfully fixes Herbie Hancock style synth melodies to loose, cymbal heavy beats.
Review: ** MCDE REPRESS ** Dani Plessow dons the Motor City Drum Ensemble name with Say A Prayer signaling a return to the production game following his much publicized creative burnout. It's clear that Plessow's period of convalescence has worked wonders, with the four tracks here every bit as deep and dusty as the much vaunted Raw Cuts series upon which the MCDE project was launched skywards. Proceedings open with the two part suite of the title track, laying down fuzzy chords and intermittent vocal swoons over a gritty 909 backbone on the opening track; part 2 meanwhile will have you digging out those Raw Cuts 12"s in order to do a MCDE master mix, such is it's immediate warmth and neck snapping drums. On the flip, Plessow uses "The Stranger" as a chance to traverse bleepier, rattling techno terrain with superb results, whilst "SP11" is rasping high octane house at it's finest.
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: The Australian edit machine known across the globe as Late Night Tuff Guy offers up two sublime dancefloor weapons from his armoury for the second in his series of limited, hand stamped Tuff Cuts 12"s. "Ain't Nobody" from Rufus and Chaka Khan is a classic, and has been subjected to numerous edits and reworks over the years; this version from Late Night Tuff Guy belongs amongst the better ones, looping and extending the original and laying it over his trademark crunchy slo mo beats. Face down, the "Back To Life" accapella is joyously diced and laid down over a glistening disco production from the Nile Rogers and Bernie Edwards discography.
Review: ** REPRESS ** As the name suggests the groove of Soundhacks's Soundstream 12" is a bit less hard cut-up styled but more floating. This doesn't necessarily mean a lack of energy, funk and fun. Expect peak hour house tracks in full effect. Do not expect just another 'French filter house' record. Remember: it is Soundhack who is in charge here. Full satisfaction guaranteed!
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: There's no secret to the success of Late Nite Tuff Guy's long-running Tuff Cuts series. Buyers have simply responded to the consistency of the Australian producer's approach, and the quality of loopy, house-friendly re-edits. This eighth volume features more party-starting fare, from the glassy-eyed extended breakdown of "Go For That" (yep, a Hall & Oates rework) and soft-touch house take on Marvin Gaye ("Heard It"), to the end-of-night bliss of "Dreams", a decidedly warm and rolling rearrangement of the famous Fleetwood Mac cut of the same name. As if that wasn't enough bangers in one place, he finishes with a triumphant rework of disco-era Michael Jackson ("Starting Something").
Review: Rush Hour did us plenty of favours this year but by far our most cherished was the reissue of James Mason's timeless, proto-house excursions on the infamous "Nightgruv" EP. There's really not much to be said about these peerless productions, the original mix is a stunning voyage through glimmering synths backed by a chugging beat groove, but the unreleased longer edit is the one - voyaging through those gorgeous drums and piano keys like there's no tomorrow! "I Want Your Love" is another masterpiece - slo-mo hip-hop beats mixed in with those killer funk bass lines and the infamous vocals taking you to another dimension.
Painel De Controle - "Relax" (extended Waxist version) (5:54)
Rabo De Saia - "Ripa Na Xulipa" (Charles Maurice extended version) (5:28)
Famks - "Labirinto" (Nick The Record extended version) (6:17)
Review: France's Favorite label dabbles in all things funky and disco-flavoured, and this time they've decided to go with a Brazilian edge on their latest 12". Painel De Controle begins with a Waxist mix of "Relax", a chilled-out boogie monster with sultry vocals, while "Ripa Na Xulipa" by Rabo De Saia is more uplifting and heavy on the disco strings. Finally, Nick The Record rewires "Labirinto" by Famks into a subtly electro-fied boogie nugget. Nice!
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: Australian techno royalty Carmelo Bianchetti has put out a lot of music under the Late Night Tuff Guy alias with his 2007 tweak of Roland Clark classic "I Get Deep" among his best work. Originally released through the short lived TBot's All Nite House Party label, the track is given a timely reissue through Bianchetti's own Tuff Cut label in newly remastered form. Clark's classic vocal would be arguably be a hit over anything with a 4/4 groove, but there is something satisfying about this grimy arrangement from LNTG. Complementing this is a fresh take on the track from Sydney's Cassian.
Can You Feel It (original instrumental mix) (5:46)
Can You Feel It (Robert Owens mix) (5:57)
Can You Feel It (Martin Luther King mix) (5:54)
Can You Feel It (Chuck D mix) (5:32)
Review: 25 years deep and still sounding as timeless and genre-defining as ever, Trax revisit their 2002 package with this highly limited reissue. Complete with the essential emotive Martin Luther King-adorned sermon, Chuck D's house-proud Jack narrative and Robert Owens deep yearning croons, this is the ultimate collection of versions that rise above the millions of copies and bootlegs and blatant rip-offs this track has endured over the years. An essential addition to all collections.
Review: Love Circle returns for a second release, digging deep into the misty past of golden era disco and finding rare gold for the reissue market to rejoice at. This time it's the work of Barry Blue and two projects he produced in the early 80s, lovingly re-edited for maximum dancefloor pleasure by Velvet Season & The Hearts Of Gold (aka gerry Rooney and Joel Martin). First up is surefire party starter "Breakin In" by Javaroo, and on the flip it's low down seduction workout "Love The Way You Love Me" by Marti Cane getting a fresh airing for all vintage-minded dancers and DJs.
Review: A home strictly for the tuffest cuts from the tuffest guy since last year, the Tuff Cutt label returns with a sixth grip of edits from Australia's finest exponent, Late Nite Tuff Guy. One of the country's true pioneers of house and techno under his previous House Master Cam guise, Carmelo Bianchetti has enjoyed a second wind as edit machine Late Nite Tuff Guy. Any jobbing selector that dips between house and disco will find these four cuts more than useful, featuring perfectly calibrated revisions of Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Revelations and The Jacksons. The latter take on "Shake Your Body (To The Ground)" is guaranteed to rescue any dancefloor.
Review: Suave Parisian scalpel-botherer Dimitri From Paris continues to churn out top notch re-edits, slightly altering his famous production persona from label to label. Here, he delivers a second 12" for Razor 'N' Tape under the Dimitri From Brooklyn alias. Like its' predecessor, it features a couple of stone cold bangers. "Right My File" offers a thunderous, housed-up take on a lesser-known cover version of Dan Hartman's grandiose disco smasher "Relight My Fire" - all vocal breakdowns, big builds and big-lunged sing-along moments. As for "I Want Your Back", it re-casts Dimitri as The Reflex, laying down a version of The Jacksons' "I Want You Back" that sounds like it was done from the multi-track parts. It is, of course, dancefloor dynamite.
Feel So Good Inside (extended Waxist edit mix) (6:51)
Feel So Good Inside (4:19)
Take Me To (New York City) (4:18)
Review: The result of a diligent digging quest since he heard DJ Klas drop it many years ago, Lyonaisse editor Waxist has finally track down his own copy of Lamar's 1980 disco soul love gem and given it some serious treatment. Extending the unfettered positivity of the original by almost two minutes (with special attention paid to that immense organ solo), it lives up to its name in every possible way. For authenticity's sake he's also included the original B-side "Take Me To New York". Still standing the test of time impeccably after 35 years, one tickle from the lolloping bassline and swooning keys and your dancefloor will be hooked.
Review: Mystery label Digwah debuted in the summer, with a soul soaked trip into minimal techno territory that was supported by Ricardo Villalobos, amongst others. Like that 12", Something Else is a single-sided, hand-stamped affair, with no information given about the identity of the producer (or producers) involved. This cut retains the late night techno vibe of the original, but with percussion and whizzing electronic noises that recall classic tech-house from the likes of Swag, Rob Mello and David Duriez, rather than Berghain-friendly minimalism. The subtle, party-minded approach is confirmed by the use of cut-up vocal samples from Cuba Gooding Jr's "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend", which also featured on Nightmares On Wax's 1990 bleep techno anthem, "Aftermath".
Review: Danny Krivit's officially sanctioned re-edits of Earth Wind & Fire's "Brazilian Rhyme" and "Runnin" have been sought-after since they first appeared on a Japan-only 12" back in 2004. In fact, such is demand that even later bootleg pressings now go for silly money online. As this reissue proves, though, they're arguably amongst Krivit's strongest scalpel works. Certainly, his three-minute revision of the always too short "Brazilian Rhyme" teases it out to just the right length, in the process delivering a sweltering, sing-along summer anthem. The flipside revision of the equally as summery "Runnin" is every bit as good, with Krivit making merry with the original's life-affirming scat vocals and killer piano solos.
Review: Late Nite Tuff Guy bursts through RSD 2016 with a hot selection of disco-flavoured house chuggers, and we'd been waiting on a comeback from both the dude and label - all boxes ticked from our side. "Hold Tite" is the perfect summer blazer, all luscious vocals and dripping beats, and "I Don't Like Acid" takes that same soulful spirit but strips the groove right down to a bopping little rhythm that is likely to be enjoyed by both hip-hop and house fans alike. The flip's "One Night In A Disco" is a sample-heavy, string-infused floor-melter, whereas "Shelter Me" goes all balearic and feet-up - the perfect lounge cut.
Review: The clue is in the title... OTE step up with two sparkling afro diamonds right here. Two of the coolest sides of the vibe coin, too: "Back To Kingston" is a carnival meltdown-in-waiting. Acidic, stamping, scorched with horn drama and gutsy vocals, this will absolutely shatter floors this summer. The label's own Jimmy Rogue maintains the heat with a much deeper, understated funk build on "Yeah Yeah", but when that acid and those horns riff back in.... Oh boy.
Review: In what is surely an unexpected collaboration in the field of house and techno, Mosaic mastermind Steve O'Sullivan teams up with Ricardo Villalobos for a hypnotic trip through minimal landscapes that plays to both of their strengths. The rock-solid rhythm of "Sullric" surely belongs to O'Sullivan while the rich, subtle layers of samples, tones and other such sonic decorations come straight from the Villalobos school of production. The two mixes on this 12" only have minor differences - whichever side you drop things will get considerably deeper than they were previously. Of such ingredients are classy, immersive techno joints made.
Review: For their latest journey into re-edit/original production fusion, Brooklyn's Razor 'N' Tape crew has turned to Munich duo COEO, who have previously impressed via fine outings on Toy Tonics and Let's Play House. The four-tracks here, which all blend samples from classic recordings with their own drums and musical flourishes, all sound like guaranteed dancefloor winners. Check, for example, the breezy Afro-beat-goes-disco cheeriness of "Nigerian Affair", the wonderfully rich keys and organic deep house bump of "Pajama Stomp", and the riotous, high-octane disco-house loop-funk of "Long Night Ahead". Best of all, though, is opener "Like It Is", a sweet, dewy-eyed, string-drenched soul revision that achieves the perfect balance between dancefloor grunt, and paying due reverence to the German duo's horn-heavy source material.
Review: The music that makes up Harmony of Difference, Kamasi Washington's first EP of note since the release of acclaimed 2015 album The Epic, was premiered live as a "six-track movement" earlier this year. The "suite" - here stretched across both sides of an essential 12" - sees Washington continue to explore the idea of what it means to be black in America in the 21st century. Musically, the EP contains some of his smoothest and most laidback compositions yet, with all his musical collaborators being on fine form. The headline attraction is undoubtedly 14-minute flipside "The Truth", an almost operatic jazz epic full of swelling choral contributions, fizzing drum solos, rising horns and, of course, plenty of Washington's distinctive saxophone.
Review: Originally released on Shelter Records way back in 1993, the Atmosphere EP from US house icon Kerri Chandler remains a great example of the New Jersey producer's sublime touch when it comes to driving instrumental house music. Some 22 years on, this new edition from Shelter demonstrates the qualities of Atmosphere remain undimmed, put simply the four tracks possess a certain energy that is undeniably timeless. If house music is a feeling, then cuts such as "Climax 2" and "Atmosphere 2" prove that emotion is that feeling. A classic 12" that any self respecting house DJ needs in their collection stat!
Review: Theo Parrish lays down a marker for a long overdue fifth album, apparently due out later this year, with the sublime Footwork 12". Named in reference to the dance as opposed to the breakneck offshoot of Ghetto House, "Footwork" is a sublime slab of Theo with many of his trademark production touches. Think lightly brushed percussion, meandering bassline that juts out with an odd funk, and subtle yet sumptuous musical touches, all topped off by a gruff "let me see your footwork baby" croon. Those Theo fans out there that like the man to get a bit rugged will be all over "Tympanic Warfare" too, where off the grid polyrhythms cannon around the channels, augmented by an ugly bassline and dexterous keys.