Two of the finest producers in Dance Music once again deliver their skillset with flawless ease. Kicking off with the pounding, thrilling array of tribal drums delivered by the excellent Touchdown, which also contains one of those standout synth moments, the production both cleverly employs a Dub sensibility alongside a feverish dancefloor arrangement resulting in the sort of dark, intensely satisfying, lose yourself grooves that seem to chime with the times we live in most tellingly. Got You, follows with the introduction of commanding voices plus evolving layers of keyboards that build the tension into an inevitable release of energy. The drums are everything required being funky yet hard-hitting and of course most essentially irresistibly rhythmic, following the footsteps of the previous number with more first-rate drum programming coupled with the duo’s intimate knowledge of the process.
I wasn’t quite expecting this most welcome blast of cool, syncopated European Hi-Nrg to hit my airstream but the EP’s excellent title track introduces itself in a big way. Beyond the grinding bassline and sassy drums are lots of more subtle, striking, imaginative sounds and ideas all positively brimming with possibilities. This is music to transport you somewhere else, expanding the safe constructs of what plays for a lot of the more formularic releases out there, never mind the fact that it is simply exceptional. Darius Syrossian supplies a remix that inevitably employs a tougher, more robust slant while Kevin Yost plays host to a warmer introduction of percussive rhythms alongside deeper bass on his great version. Which then leaves the remaining two originals; the Acid inspired Love Fool and the sizzling guitar infused Take 4 to complete another cut-above release from both the label and the producer.
Two tracks adorn this new release from Celestial and both score high. Very high in fact. Hold Back, begins with a chiming sequence of notes that work their way into your consciousness, almost to the point where you don’t want them to end. Coupled with punctuating snare hits plus the flourish of shuffling percussion it’s a combination that works particularly well along with the tracks notably sombre vocal line. Next, True Emotion feels that bit more soulful with expansive pads colouring in the pallet of deeper sounds that come suitably charged via its respectively voiced message. The more I listen the more there is to love…
Release: January 30
The always important Rekids continue with something to say care of this excellent release from Detroit producer Monty Luke aka Mandingo. Let’s start at the start with the Melchior Productions Ltd version which exists in that intriguing hinterland between House and Techno combining informed rhythm, care off some well-timed claps, together with forward-thinking electronics that fuel the experience in addictive ways. Listening to this places you in reassuring territory but with the added advantage that almost anything could happen next. Then there is Larry Heard’s kick-drum pumping, bass line driven, uplifting yet strangely sleazy reworking that incorporates reversed voices with contrasting, brilliantly fizzy synth lines notably. Refreshing.
Horse Meat Disco’s very own Severino breaks loose from the collective to deliver this exceptionally tasty House number that for those of us old enough (to know better) succinctly joins the notes between past and present. Powered by an addictive, chugging bassline and enhanced by various keyboard and guitar hits this striking production also comes fully charged with Princess Magnifique’s cool vocal intoning a ‘do what I want to do’ attitude to life. The remix is care of Eli Escobar who of course blends his own distinctive Disco flavour into the affair with energetic instrumentation lending the voice a different angle to play with, while playing the guitar with a varying lick. Is there a better release to start the party with.
Yet more fresh, new – with the emphasis on new – music to shake up your existence as you journey into 2017. Ryan Artifact’s exhilarating title track sends smouldering bass pulses through your nervous system like there’s almost no tomorrow, then couples them with a series of unsuspecting sounds alongside insistent, nagging vocal hits. Perfectly tuned. Next, Direktions moves elsewhere focusing on taught Techno basslines, fast beats and the high life, as final number Provoke pushes its suitably titled succession of plastic beats plus reverberating voices to the limit.
Leonardo Gonnelli’s brand new alias launches into 2017 with a renewed vigour featuring three new tracks and collaborations. The opening gambit combines the effervescing production talents of perineal Magazine Sixty favourite Thomas Gandey with the aptly spacey Earth To You entailing the airwaves with dark, smoky drums and fizzy electronics running over the course of several thrilling minutes. Disguise, featuring KnowKontrol follows on with more rigorous drum programming accompanying throbbing basslines plus probing tones and Dwayzo Lawrence’s yearning vocals. Leaving the suggestive Simon Wish collab It Shows You to end this first rate release with punchier percussion fuelling energetic rhythms and forward thinking propositions.
Release: January 27
Danny Ward’s second outing on this imprint bares all the hallmarks of not only his Moodymanc moniker but also employs that finely attuned Jazz ear into this stark reminder of what musicality can be about. Featuring a handful of expert players as you will soon hear opening via Gone with its fine feast of sassy drums, melancholic vocals and unsettling yet thoroughly engaging slices of music, matters then feel all the more Jazzy on Cherries with its blazing Trumpets accompanyed by irresistibly tough filtered dance grooves that almost transport you back to the beautifully black and white 1950’s. A more revealing Dub follows exploring the brassier aspects of the tune, while the very excellent and sumptuously luxurious tones of Mark Francis’ piano led Stunt completes this first rate experience.
Let’s face it you’re going to hear the word Disco at least once as you course the veins of this glorious experience, which places the music somewhere around the mid to late nineteen seventies. But even before we even get to the music you first encounter this wonderful story, in this instance, illuminated by Al Kent whose supremely informed sleeve notes are almost as exciting as the music itself. The album’s title comes from the revered Vince Aletti who epically charted the genre’s progress through his columns for After Dark and Village Voice. Starting with the story behind Leon Collins’s 1974 release ‘I Just Wanna Say I Love You’ and the inspired role DJ John Luongo played in Disco’s ever evolving timeline the feature details the driving force that DJ’s played in the literal shaping of the sounds heard on the dancefloor. Filling in some overdue gaps in the chain of events he moves into more chartered territory with Double Exposure’s now infamous ‘Ten Percent’ an extended edit which formed the very first publically available twelve inch single. But of course that isn’t even half of the story as this compilation of DJ mixes from the era proudly lays testament to America’s instigators without whom we would be at a definite loss today. The prime difference with what you will hear here and what has been happening with Disco re-edits currently is that these tracks are what actually occurred there and then, not some re-imagination of the past, which makes this collection all the more significant, real even. Featuring the likes of Walter Gibbons, Tom Savarese, Bobby Guttadoro and Jim Burgess this proves to be indispensable listening both for those that like to remember plus for those who don’t want to forget.
A breath of fresh air is how we all like to start the New Year. And while this latest release from Lance DeSardi couldn’t exist without the past it still feels beautifully resonate for 2017. I guess that’s mainly down to the sweet melodies drifting across the stereo care of the vocals spacey treatments, plus the confident keyboard motifs that help fuel the groove alongside the crisp, insistent drums of Future Time. Either way this sounds like a great track and a proud addition to the Lazy Days canon, which comes complete with a sublime instrumental. The fashionably titled, Field Recording follows with a definite Detroit flavour coming across all emotional and poignant pushing you in the rewarding direction of atmospheric climes. Leaving the 90’s referencing, Wild B&^ch hitting you next with all the brutal intensity that the title suggests.
Release: January 27
Listen/ buy http://www.junodownload.com/products/lance-desardi-back-trax/3304119-02/