Confidently sitting in the ‘this is a great record’ position Badam Music’s debut release is right in so many ways. Retrospective yet resolutely futuristic, musical yet tough and demanding, Roger almost feels like a lost Jazz-Funk classic, albeit with a very strange twist of course. Check the uplifting, smoky chords employed by the original accompanied by the Stevie Wonder inspired improvisations, or Huxley’s absolute killer remix which beefs it all up while retaining that rocksteady sense of bliss.
Four new tracks forthcoming for Huxley’s imprint each pulling their own unique punches, each party packed. My favourite on first listen is the undeniably hard-hitting Subsurround which sequences fizzy Acid basslines along with commanding vocal edits plus super crunchy drum machines tuned into nightclub intensity that feels just as good night or day, or both. The EP’s title track follows with a blistering, almost Hip-Hop informed rhythm section that plays fast and loose with beats and bass, then contrasts by emotive, if slightly warped, pads. The sefl-explanatory My Answer Is Moog follows with the most brutal production on here as nasty drums fight for your attention with caustic synths. Order is then restored via Dusty In The 313 which journey’s back to the gritty realities of House Music with tough, gritty grooves offset by deep keys and punchy vocal hits to complete this standout release.
It’s hard to top the Larse reworking of Endless Feeling from the tail end of last year’s E.P from Gavin Herily. I mean not that the original was more than good enough (it was after all excellent) but this new version adds some extra fizz to the production for 2012. The array of impressive vocal treatments remains intact as indeed do the tension building guitar/ synth licks but Larse re-tweaks it all supplying energetic, shuffling hats and a choice pounding beat. Inxec and Shaun Reeves then replay Tell Me What You Need by perking up the drums and evolving the sounds into a blissful climax, while Geddes hits home with a heavy-duty bass driven 928 version that shimmers distinctively with funky percussion and emotive electronics. 8
Lawnchair Generals ’Don’t Stop’ Lazy Days Recordings
Not only does this reference a personal Disco favourite but also screams syncopation is King and/ or indeed Queen. Produced by Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza this Hi-Nrg trip down memory lane is nothing less than excitement personified, although this time with added punch, fresh synth and a faster tempo. Try the Original or the Dub which has extra chords and drums for satisfaction most definitely guaranteed. Rob Mello’s No Ears Mix reconstructs everything bar a touch of voice and neatly transforms it into deeper tech styled intrigue. 8
Pulp Disco & The Outcasts ‘Witches’ Legendary Sound Research
Following on from Overnight To Dusseldorf on Ashley Beedle’s Out Hear Audio comes this smoothly pulsating and rather fabulous exercise in Cosmic/ Disco/ House (definitely not a genre but certainly a cool clash of ideas). Sensibly paced and augmented by tasty percussion throughout this blends together sassy euro-syncopation with a timely House chord sequence and breathy voices impressively, leaving The Legendary 1979 Orchestra to rework the elements with hats to the fore and additional off-kilter keys. Second track Rimini (Estasi Dell Amore) feels even better getting sleazy with nasty synths and a climatic arrangement that oozes European appeal, and then some more… 8
Sandman & Riverside feat ft. Kymberli Wright ‘It’s Too Late’ Fast FWD Records
The Original version of It’s Too Late combines a powerful sparing of percussion played intently with Jazz in mind alongside heavy Rhodes and notable scat vocals. And as truly impressive as it that all sounds (and is), for me Ron Trent once again provides the icing to the cake. Intensity is the middle name here as an array of rhythms envelope you in a series of dance reference points that score equally high on passion and imagination. The Dub proceeds to play around with the gorgeous instrumentation paying perfect compliment. KZR then strip it all back to highlight more voice on their Late Night Dub with a neat Reprise taking care of the rest. 9
Alter Ego Nolan’s instantly appealing production sounds like it was recorded in the hot sunshine on a sandy beach somewhere in the Med. I know it’s only February but who’s counting. Out soon on NYC’s sister label to the seminal Nurvous imprint this is based around a familiar, though not obvious, party-time piano loop with competing vocal edits and thumping beats all vying for your attention. However the HXU aka Huxley vs Timo Garcia remix is an altogether more sober affair: dropping the mood, feeling deeper, more soulful and is sublimely fine. Cocktails at dawn. 8
Jon Sweetname ‘Dulce Amor’ (Remixes) Loco Records Supreme
Love the Touchan remix of this track from Barcelona’s Jon Sweetname precisely because it delivers the unexpected. Which in this case is a slightly sinister bassline aided by a whirring vocal loop and creative electronics all of which create an unsettling, though thoroughly enticing mood. The Martin Nowakowski follows with yet more imaginative touches and treatments on his slightly more ‘up’ feeling version. Something a bit different and therefore clearly worth your time. 8