Brotherhood (Of The Misunderstood) (feat Autarkic) (4:07)
Udibaby (feat Beatfoot) (3:11)
Review: 2020 marks the tenth of collaboration for Red Axes, the Tel Aviv-based duo of Dori Sadovnik and Niv Arzi. Informed by post-punk, new wave, and a plethora of club sounds old and new, they have cleaved a singular path with their hefty discography. To celebrate their anniversary, they reunite with Dark Entries for an eponymous 11 track LP brimming with jagged guitars, spacy arpeggios, and hypnotic vocals. Although Sadovnik and Arzi have previously released LPs on I'm A Cliche and Garzen Records, Red Axes is their first effort written and conceived of as an album-length listening experience. This work flows effortlessly through a variety of stylistic detours, highlighting their ears as both keen listeners and skilled DJs. Opener 'They Game' is a grooving number that unifies the psychedelia of cosmic disco with the early 90s 'baggy' sound. The energy mounts further with "Shelera", a guitar-driven acidic banger, and "Sticks and Stones", a certifiable club hit fueled by sassy vocals courtesy of Adi Bronicki. Launching Side B is "Break the Limit", an EBM-laced number that wouldn't sound out of place on a Razormaid compilation. The following tracks wax moodier, with "Brotherhood (Of the Misunderstanding)" touching on darkwave territory. "Udibaby" and "Arpman" close out the album with their respectively dense and sparse takes on kosmische lysergia. Red Axes was mixed by Steve Dub and mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. The album's artwork starkly depicts the project's name in blood-red smear. Also included is a postcard with full credits and album art. It's rare one finds an album that so casually challenges classification while still being firmly rooted on the dancefloor.
I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky (Fashion remix) (3:56)
Review: Legendary 70s funk band Ripple are back with two original members making new music again. Curtis "Kazoo" Reynolds & Keith "Doc" Samuels now go by the name of Ripple 2.20 and their first work is a new version of John Edwards' "Exercise My Love." It is a cover, but not as we usually know it - they lay down an incredible new vocal and play the parts with a real sense of sensuousness. On the flip is a new remix of some of Ripple's original material in the form of Fashion's take on "I Don't Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky", a raw, dirty, sleazy jam to get you in a sweat.
Akabu - "Ride The Storm" (feat Linda Clifford - Saison remix) (7:21)
The Love Symphony Orchestra - "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" (Dr Packer remix) (7:31)
Joey Negro Presents The Sunburst Band - "Everyday" (JN Disco Re-Bump remix) (7:28)
Art Of Tones - "Flower Child" (feat Anduze) (7:01)
Review: Like its numerous predecessors, 16th edition of Z Records' long running "Attack The Dancefloor" series is packed to the rafters with tried and tested dancefloor treats, most of which have never appeared on vinyl before. First up, Saison tackles Akabu's 2001 classic "Ride The Storm", turning it into a deep, bouncy and rubbery chunk of lilting, string-drenched house goodness, before Dr Packer delivers a subtly tooled-up take on The Love Symphony Orchestra's grandiose and sexually-charged 1978 disco classic "Let Me Be Your Fantasy". Label head honcho Joey Negro provides a superb deep disco rework of one of his own productions, the Sunburst Band's 2004 summer sing-along "Everyday", while Art of Tones' "Flower Child" is a flash-fried, disco-funk romp laden with superb lead vocals from Anduze.
Review: In a recent online poll hosted by acid evangelist Posthuman, Adonis's "No Way Back" was voted the greatest acid house track of all time. It's hard to argue - though we'd have opted for Phuture's pioneering "Acid Trax" - as the Chicago classic sounds every bit as fresh, futuristic and otherworldly now as it did when it was first released in 1986. This tasty red vinyl reissue from TRAX pairs the much-loved vocal version - in which the late, great Gary B talks about losing control over fiendishly sweaty, ultra-jacking drums and one of the sleaziest, most addictive acid basslines of all time - with the lesser-celebrated, but equally heavy, instrumental mix. If you don't already own a copy, don't sleep.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
Review: There's been plenty of online chatter about the confrontational title of Omar-S's latest full-length outing, and arguably not enough focus on the music itself (or the fact that the guest list contains Rick Wilhite, Norm Talley and OB Ignitt for that matter). This is unfortunate, because as usual Alex 'Omar' Smith has hit the spot. The six untitled tracks are impressively varied, with Smith effortlessly moving between 21st century P-funk (track one), cowbell-powered deep house funk (track 2), sparse and synth-heavy acid house hypnotism (track three), disco-house jack (track four), sub-heavy Detroit-meets-Sheffield minimalism (track five) and sunrise-ready dancefloor dreaminess (track six).
Review: Fresh from a quietly impressive outing on Cardiology, John "Freak D" Devecchis dons the Owl alias once more and offers up another must-check selection of re-edits and reworks. HE begins by cannily rearranging, tightening up and beefing up a flash-fried slab of later James Brown style funk-rock (the brilliantly bluesy, housed-up "Those Kicks"), before turning his attention to a righteous chunk of what sounds like AOR disco/deep disco-funk fusion ("Chance"). "Feel The Power" is a bouncy, piano-sporting revision of what sounds like a late '80s New York house gem, while title track "Boogie Man" is a subtle, house style remake of a jaunty, honky-tonk style rhythm and blues number.
Review: This is a sure fire reissue of a classic jam from Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud, the eighties hip hop and rap duo whose matching tracksuits and perfectly sharp flat tops tell you all you need to know about their lovably old school style. Both cuts here are snatched from their debut album Girls I Got 'Em Locked in 1987 and immediately take you back to those golden glory days. The titular cut is a chest pumping anthem with big stabs and the flip is a more smooth broken beat with perfectly timed flow.
Review: Acclaimed pianist Greg Foat is a mainstay of the current UK jazz revival thanks to works on Jazzman and Athens of the North. He draws on soul and library music for his inspiration and serves up lush symphonies that are rich in detail, layer and emotion. This new album, which makes use of pedal steel for the first time, goes even more widescreen in its approach and includes powerfully uplifting tracks like "Anticipation" as well as more sensual and slower groovers and languid movers like "Island Life." It is the sound of an artist and composer at the very peak of his powers.
Review: The people behind the Made To Dance re-edit series keep their cards close to their chest, offering up little information about their identities or aims other than some admirable words about drawing on "different musical traditions going beyond classifications". It would be nice to know a little more, because their occasional releases - and this tidy "45" in particular - are really rather good. A-side "Lothar" sees the mystery scalpel fiends make merry with a Latin jazz number, to which they've added squelchy acid lines and a little more dancefloor weight. Arguably even better is percussive and funky flipside "Bad Bad Puma", a tooled-up disco-jazz number that cleverly blends glistening guitar solos, wild Hammond organs, loose-limbed drum-breaks and locked-in, house-style kick-drum patterns.
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.
Voyage De Charme - "Hotel Des Savanes" (instrumental) (4:45)
Passion Theatre - "Vacation Day" (4:39)
Claude Miss - "Paco Ye Adama" (12" extended mix) (6:47)
Cecilia - "Chocolat" (2:50)
Nathalie David - "Coup De Foudre" (instrumental) (4:04)
Jade 4 U - "Rainbows" (Midnight mix) (6:09)
L - "La Boite A Musique" (3:02)
Jean Claude Watrin - "Game City" (4:47)
Marc Et Frank - "Cap'tain Coke" (instrumental) (4:25)
De Dion - "Sexy Cola" (Glu Glu version) (3:40)
Les 36 15 - "Zoulous!" (remix) (3:08)
Week End Millionnaire - "EXIT" (4:44)
Review: A couple of years ago French crate digger Charles Bals invited us to "Club Meduse", an imaginary Riviera club where the music was always obscure, European and decidedly mid-80s. Here he opens the doors once more, delivering an open-air friendly soundtrack heavy on rare private press gems, overlooked beauties and the kind of cuts that most would consider Balearic (even if they may have been more popular in Italy and France). Highlights are plentiful, from the eccentric instrumental of Voyage De Charme's fretless bass-powered "Hotel Des Savanes" and the soft-focus, flamenco-tinged bliss of Claude Miss' "Paco Ye Adama", to the sun-kissed jazz-funk/synth-pop fusion of Marc Et Frank's "Cap'tain Coke" and the reggae-zouk quirkiness of Les 36 15's "Zoulous! (Remix)".
Review: Canadian maestro Jay Tripwire is a long time underground stalwart with countless gold-dust releases to his name, and still the modest artist keeps pushing on with more stellar tech house immersion heaters. Here he's been invited to Euphoria for an EP that burrows into the most shadowy corners of his sound. "H3misphere" is a spooky jam driven by a shuffling groove and offset with some dubby flourishes - a perfectly balanced workout for the club with a seductive air of mystery lingering around the rhythm section. "Werqles" is a lighter affair, but it's no slouch in the freaky department as a plethora of disembodied machine wriggles ping around the crisp 4/4 throwdown. The whole B-side is given over to SIT's "Remux" of "H3misphere", which holds the groove down in a more linear manner but keeps that chilling atmosphere intact just behind the beats.
Review: Shanti Radio's previous multi-artists EPs were all superb, so it's little surprise to see that the latest also consistently hits the spot. Amonita sets the tone via the soft-focus tech-house shuffle of "Lavender Bloom", where lilting strings, dreamy chords and eyes-closed female vocal samples flutter around a hypnotic groove, before RVNZ offers up the similarly breezy and spring-fresh bliss of "Big Red Machine". Over on side B, Hermazez explores the kind of ultra-melodious and atmospheric hybrid progressive house/tech-house sound that the All Day I Dream label does so well ("Flame Keeper"), while Fulltone unfurls warm and ear-catching melodies and sumptuous chords on sunrise-ready closing cut "Woodland Oracle".
Review: To our ears, there are few greater golden era dancefloor hip-hop workouts than Main Source's "Looking At The Front Door", a stone-cold classic that remains a much-played anthem decades after it was originally released. Here the 1990 jam gets the reissue treatment. It's available in both vocal and instrumental versions, with both sides doing a great job in showcasing the duo's killer beat - a fine mixture of crunchy drums, woozy electric piano chords, scratched-in samples and toasty bass. Naturally it's the vocal version that we'd reach for more often than not - the trio's flows are particularly good on 'Looking At The Front Door' - but the instrumental is nevertheless a useful tool to have at your disposal.
Review: Second time around for the third and final part of electro hero Gerard 'ERP' Hanson's "Evoked Potentials" series, which first hit stores way back in 2011. A-side "Repose" is (quite literally) classic ERP, with Hanson peppering Egyptian Lover style drums and funky synth-bass with chiming lead lines, starburst chords and deep space chords. It's tuneful and picturesque, but will also have you on your feet and throwing shapes in no time at all. Over on the flip, Plant43 (London electro veteran Emile Facey) turns in a very Drexciyan take on "Sensory Process", in the process wrapping Hanson's bittersweet strings and 33rd century electronic motifs around a suitably deep sea electro rhythm.
Review: Unstoppable house machine Javonntte is the second signing for Ten Lovers Music, and he's changing tack and bringing forth a mini-album of luscious jazz inflected grooves to be savoured as an album as much as a collection of DJ cuts. The vision and scope on this record is impressive to say the least - just cop the advanced chord progressions powering the wide-open vistas of "78 Universe", or the wild expression of every instrument coursing through "Galaxies". This is Javonntte going full-flight on his artistry and it sounds impeccable - not one to be missed.
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 1)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 2)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 3)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Stage 4)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (extended Hypersleep Program 1 - Stasis Room)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (extended Hypersleep Program 2 - Cave)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (extended Hypersleep Program 3 - Rain)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (extended Hypersleep Program 4 - City At Night)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Reduction 1)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Reduction 2)
Stasis Sounds For Long-Distance Space Travel (Reduction 3)
Review: Earlier in the year, experienced ambient producers 36 and Zake released two different versions of the same album, "Stasis Sounds for Long Distance Space Travel", with the vinyl and cassette releases featuring totally different mixes. Happily, they've now decided to compile all of these contrasting takes on one limited-edition CD. It's well worth a listen, because in our opinion it's one of the best ambient albums of 2020 to date. The included tracks mix echoing sonic tones, drifting sound effects, drone-style aural textures, slow-burn electronic melodies, swelling, near neo-classical musical movements and the kind of immersive, sustained chords that were once the preserve of the late, great Pete Namlook.
Review: The third missive from crate-digging reissue specialists Discs of Fun & Love offers up a new pressing of a suitably obscure and hard-to-find private-press gem, Maggie Epting's sole single as Mandisa, 1981's "Summer Love". The song itself is superb: a wonderfully breezy and sun-kissed slab of dewy-eyed soul that sees Epting deliver an emotive lead vocal over a jazz-funk influenced smooth soul groove and plenty of spacey, intergalactic synthesizer sounds. Over on the flip you'll find original B-side "Love's Dream", a quirky, sax-laden slab of electric jazz that features an even bolder and more ear-catching Epting vocal. It's very good, though the real killer resides on the A-side.
Review: The first missive on Dublin's freshly minted, vinyl-only Space Shepherd label comes courtesy of Maltese producer Sound Synthesis, an experienced but still little-known artist within the global electro community. As you'd expect, the quality threshold remains high from start to finish. Opener "Arpeggiate" cloaks a squelching bassline and crunchy electro beats in sumptuous chords and sci-fi melodies, while "Diving In" adds sharp and mind-altering acid lines to the same far-sighted electro template. Sound Synthesis explores darker, horror soundtrack-influenced acid-electro pastures on B-side opener "Arp Reaktor", before rounding off a fine EP via the poignant chords, widescreen strings and bustling beats of "Love Drones"
Review: For the latest "45" in the Dusty Donuts series of edits and mash ups, the Berlin-based crew has turned to long-time crew member Jim Dunloop, a jazz-trained pianist-turned-producer best known for his work alongside Marc Hype. He begins with "Spirit De Rio", a wonderfully warm, head-nodding, hip-hop style revision of a summery-sounding old samba gem rich in dewy-eyed female vocals and glistening guitars. Long-time friend, and occasional collaborator Grizzly Adams lends a hand on flipside cut "Different Sweetnuts", a deep and woozy revision of a fragile, female-fronted soul number that wraps drowsy elements from the pair's source material around a bass-heavy beat.
Review: Given that he was making disco-fired house as far back as the early noughties, Simon Marlin AKA The Shapeshifters is a perfect fit for Defected's disco-focussed Glitterbox sub-label. These days Marlin's productions are closer to "real" disco than funky house, as last year's Salsoul influenced "Life Is A Dancefloor" with singer Kimberly Davis proved. "Second Chance" explores similar musical pastures, with the EP opening club mix layering Tony Montana-esque orchestration and Loleatta-like vocals atop a bouncy beat. Moplen delivers a classic disco revision mixed in a Tom Moulton style, where there's more clarity to each showcased piece of instrumentation, while the Shapeshifters provide a dub mix style "Reprise" that rises and falls in all the right places. A handy, delay-laden acapella version completes a very strong EP.
Review: Fabrice Lig on DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label backed with killer remixes from Aaron Carl and DJ Bone! Allegedly stored in the Subject archives for some time, "Hmong Dignity" is finally unleashed and the original will be familiar to anyone that's witnessed a DJ Bone set in recent years. Eminently raw, but filled with melody thanks to those chords and restless riffs, "Hmong Dignity" is a fine example of how Detroit influenced European techno. A remix from the late, great Aaron Carl opens the B Side, lending the track a familiar dose of murkiness thanks to some stomach churning bass, whilst that instantly recognisable central melody is wisely retained. The accompanying remix from DJ Bone glides along on a tough techno meets electro vibe, superbly slicing up the melodic element to form an entirely different refrain.
Review: 2020's inaugural Love Record Stores campaign is an exciting prospect for those who love coloured, marbled and "split" vinyl releases. The latest essential album to get this treatment is Black Pumas' self-titled 2019 debut. Helmed by multi-instrumentalist Adrian Quesada, the Austin-based band's trademark sound tends towards the psychedelic end of soul, offering up songs that variously doff a cap to Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone, Rotary Connection, Terry Callier and the Chambers Brothers - all topped off with impassioned, effortlessly soulful lead vocals from mic man Eric Burton. Given the inspirations, it's no surprise that the band's tracks sound authentically old, though there's also an inherent vibrancy and freshness that means they never stray into hollow pastiche.
Review: Itokim, aka Tendo-based producer Takuro Ito, aligns with DJ Bone's Subject Detroit label with the Subject Japan: Rhythm Poems EP and his opening gambit certainly leaves a dent. "Motechnique" has been a staple of Bone's 3 deck attacks in recent months and it will have eyebrows raised and mouths open from the off. Weighty but warm kicks start as they mean to go on, bursting with pace and vigour as thrusts and stabs pinprick the brooding chords. The laidback, easy-going connotations of the title to "Roll Up and Shine" are very much the ethos and aesthetic of the production, as a playful, bubbling melody sets a warm and almost sugary tone from the off before being bolstered by a suave melange of full-bodied kick and dexterous percussion. Itokim rounds off his first outing on Subject Detroit with "The Mood Device", a to the point groover that melds elements of the previous productions to stunning effect. A genuine builder of a track with a straight and true trajectory, "The Mood Device" melds innumerable coatings of percussion and synth as stabs are layered and layered again, clotting and coagulating the composition in to one delightfully deep and multidimensional slice of formidable dancefloor composite.
Review: Killarney's David Sheerin makes a strong step into the spotlight with this 12" on House Of Disco, which finds him rounding out his musical identity with some seriously slick house cuts. "Our Love" is a smooth and bubbling track underpinned by some tidy acid and peppered with vocals on top, while "Forgotten" rides a dusty groove and hazy chords for a lazy summer treat. "Jiraya" takes things higher with strafing arpeggios orbiting a steadfast groove, and then "Funk, Nah" drops some big room dynamics to seal the deal on this sturdy breakthrough EP.
Eddie Leader - "Way Back" (feat Hector Moralez) (5:54)
Washerman - "Twilite" (6:43)
Brett Johnson - "Mr Smarty Pants" (6:12)
Rhythm Plate - "Keep Moving" (6:40)
Review: Hudd Traxx 3rd installment of their 10th Anniversary series comes from Eddie Leader, Hector Moralez, Washerman, Brett Johnson & Rhythm Plate. Label owner Eddie Leader delivers a deep & moody house groover with the slick vocals of long time Hudd Artist Hector Moralez, aptly title 'Way Back'. Washerman picks the pace up with 'Twilite', which is reminiscent of legendary Detroit label Underground Resistance, and adds to the continued diversity of this project. Brett Johnson's 'Mr Smarty Pants' is re-released after gaining plays from the likes of Laurent Garnier and an edit by Dyed Soundorom. Closing out the EP are 2 of the most underrated Producers in the business; Rhythm Plate. 'Keep Moving' was Overshadowed by 'Inside Me' on the 'Robbin Hudd EP' in 2007 but is given it's time to shine on 'Now & Then Part 3' and is a fine addition to the 10 Year celebrations.