Some albums, quickly…

August 24, 2015 in Albums

Okay, slowly getting back up to speed after the two-week break! Tomorrow it’ll be back to business as usual, reviewing this week’s releases, but first there are a few albums from the past couple of weeks I need to tell you about…

Julius Papp Healing Force NeoDisco MusicJulius Papp – Healing Force
The US deep, soulful house veteran returns with his first long-player since 2012’s Music Is The Key, coming once more on his own NeoDisco Music imprint, and it’s fair to say it’s a bit special. Kicking off with the laidback Spanish guitar vibes of A Flower Blossoms, the album goes on to take in cinematic downtempo-isms (A Theme For Sereen), classic-style Balearica (Kosmosis), soulful house (Dontcha Wanna Dance, A Thousand Years), throbbing main room house (Primitive Future) and more besides. Healing Force? They could just as well have called it Tour De Force
More info

Magnetic Cuts Vol 2Various – Magnetic Cuts Vol 2
The second installment in this six-part best-of series from DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings. Compared to Volume 1, the overall mood here is a little more peaktime and driving, though as ever with the Sneaky one the funk is in full effect throughout, with highlights for this reviewer including DJ W!ld’s Shiva with its echoes of Aly-Us’s classic Follow Me, Sneak’s own swing-tinged I Rep Underground and J Paul Ghetto’s jazzy Imma Let You Know.
More info

Singers & Players War Of Words On-U Sound

Singers & Players – War Of Words
A must-check for the reggae and dub lovers here, as this highly sought-after LP from 1981 gets a long-overdue re-release courtesy of On-U Sound. Singers & Players were a short-lived supergroup that included Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Jah Woosh, Keith Levene of PiL, Ari Up of The Slits and members of Roots Radics and The Arabs… with Adrian Sherwood on production duties. And yes, the results of this stellar studio collision are every bit as good as you’d expect!
More info

Beach Disco Sessions Vol 6 NangVarious – Beach Disco Sessions Vol 6
Nang serve up a compilation here that may surprise a few listeners. Because while it’s true there’s a certain style of spangly nu-disco that Nang have made their own, Beach Disco Sessions 6 serves as a timely reminder that they can do a lot more. Across its 13 tracks you certainly will find synth-y Italo-esque joints – see, for instance, Ilya Santana’s HypnoDisco. But you’ll also find funk-fuelled breakbeats (Bronx Dogs’ 212), Kraak & Smaak/Fat Freddy’s-ish neo-soul (Material’s Come Down) and soulful house (Situation’s Here Comes The Sun)… not to mention Fuzz Against Junk’s County Clonk, as remixed by Lindstrøm into what sounds suspiciously like an homage to Faze Action’s In The Trees!
More info

Real Ibiza 8 React

Various – Real Ibiza 8
React’s Real Ibiza series returns after an eight-year hiatus, with a 16-track collection of smooth downtempo sounds. The Korvids kick things off with the Groove Armada-ish Ursula My Dear; after that, scene stalwarts like Chris Coco, Jose Padilla and The Kenneth Bager Experience rub shoulders with a host of newcomers on a comp that ranges freely between Balearica, slo-mo disco and all-out ambience. Sonic Radox for club-weary souls (and soles).
More info

Various – Nang The Array Vol 6

April 20, 2015 in Singles

The Array Vol 6 NangYes, it’s time for another The Array compilation from Nang Records…

Given that this is Volume 6, and given Nang is definitely a label that’s got quite a defined sound, most of you should have a pretty good idea what to expect by now. But for anyone that’s just wandered in, spangly nu-disco that borrows heavily from early 80s synth-pop is the over-riding musical theme here. As with previous volumes, there’s a mixture of familiar names (Proper Heat, Venice Beach, Egotrya, Ichisan & Nakova) and newcomers, and even if the constant shimmering Italo synths do get a little wearing when consumed whole, there’s plenty here to keep nu-disco jocks in dancefloor ammunition for the next little while…

Out: Now

About: Find Nang Records here, here and here.

Various – We Are Five

December 19, 2014 in Albums

We Are 5 Nang RecordsCongratulations to nu-disco dons Nang Records on reaching their 5th birthday! To celebrate, they’ve released this 13-track compilation featuring some old faves, and some lesser known gems, from their back catalogue.

Now, what with Nang being five, and what with all of these tracks being out before, you’ll already have a pretty good idea what to expect here… spangly disco vibes drawing heavily on early 80s Italo for inspiration are the order of the day pretty much all round, brought to by label faves like Situation, Sare Havlicek and Sportloto. Hiem & Roots Manuva’s DJ Culture is one gem you might have forgotten about, Lindstrøm makes an appearance with the excellent Paaskelyd, as remixed by fellow scene legend Bottin, while Sare’s White Russian remains a personal fave with this reviewer. But the standout for yours truly here is actually Tinpong’s New Religion, a track I reviewed four years ago but had completely forgotten about. It’s a killer… so very glad they chose to include that, and not Magic Fly for the 113th time!

Anyway, happy birthday Nang peeps… here’s to five more years. Damn it, have six.

Out: This week

About: You can find Nang Records here, here and here.

Various/Situation – Beach Disco Sessions Vol 5

July 19, 2014 in Albums

Beach Disco Sessions Vol 5 Nang RecordsUK nu-disco outfit Situation step up to compile and mix this latest compilation set from the mighty Nang.

The great and the good of the nu-disco world are definitely conspicuous by their presence here, with Daniele Baldelli, Todd Terje, Prins Thomas, Greg Wilson, Escort, Max Essa, Proper Heat and of course Situation themselves all represented, either with original tracks or on remix duties. Stylistically, expect a heady mix of laidback beach/yacht party vibes and housier, more overtly floor-friendly bizniss – Marshall Jefferson Vs Noosa Heads’ classic Mushrooms even gets a run-out, in Justin Martin Remix form. A surprise inclusion but it kinda works.

For regular Nang buyers, Beach Disco Sessions Vol 5 is perhaps a little too ‘greatest hits’-y to be dubbed truly essential. But it makes for 95 minutes of very pleasant listening all the same, while for newcomers it represents a great snapshot of one of the UK nu-disco scene’s most stalwart labels.

Oh, and speaking of which, they’ve just turned five as well, so happy birthday Nang peeps!

Out: This week

About: Find Nang Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Some albums, quickly…

May 18, 2014 in Albums

Some more long players from the past couple of weeks that you might wanna check out… all of these came out this week or last so we’re not far behind the curve!

Madrid Music Days Stereo ProductionsVarious – Madrid Music Days
If you didn’t already know, Madrid Music Days is a Spanish conference for the electronic music industry. This year’s took place from 7-10 May and of course Stereo Productions, one of Spain’s longest running house imprints, were there representing – and this is the 10-track compilation they took with ’em. Compiled by label bosses Chus & Ceballos, expect the kind of tuff, drummy, tribal-tinged tech-house that’s long been Stereo’s stock in trade, with contributions coming from the likes of Joeski and David Herrero as well as a host of lesser-known names.

Puro Desert Lounge Vol 5 SeamlessVarious – Puro Desert Lounge Vol 5
Number five in Seamless Recordings‘s series of chilled/downtempo/lounge comps here. Label boss Ben Sowton is at the controls for CD1, serving up a 14-track mix of that takes in plenty of dub and Arabic flavas as well as downtempo electronica. But it’s CD2 that’s of more obvious TIWWD interest, wherein Seba Ramis – resident at the titular Purobeach nightclub/hotel/restaurant/beach bar complex  in Mallorca– serves up a 12-track mix of laidback deep and soulful house gems, featuring the likes of Moodymanc, Ian Pooley and 33Hz.

Rayko Rebirth Nang RecordsRayko – The Rebirth
Spanish nu-disco producer Rayko drops his second ‘proper’ full-length here, and he’s chosen Nang Records as its home. Suffice to say its blend of Italo and space disco with occasional pop vocals fits right in with the rest of the nu-disco imprint’s catalogue, with highlights for yours truly including the druggy, chuggy He Came From Space and the soaring, almost System 7-ish Balerica of The Cave.

Apologies to all concerned there wasn’t time for these to get a fuller appraisal!

JMRS – The Book EP

May 8, 2014 in Singles

JMRS The Book NangSome ultra-smooth grooves here from the mighty Nang and the Brighton/Dublin duo of Jonny Moy and Rob Spectrum.

Supplied in four mixes, The Book (Nothing Else) sits right on the cusp of deep house and Balearic-tinged nu-disco, with some Theremin-type sounds and a few nods to slick, George Benson-ish jazz-funk thrown in for good measure. The Original is the housier rub, the Get Down Mix a slightly mellower, more beach/late-night affair, each of the two mixes coming with or without the sampled God-bothering male spoken vox.

Must say I’m not quite as convinced by the more experimental/leftfield bonus cut Shatner’s Bassoon, though the Brass Eye-referencing title did make me smile! But given that all four mixes of The Book are eminently playable, that’s not really a problem.

Out: This week

About: Find Nang on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website. Their latest compilation The Array Vol 5 is also just out BTW and well worth checking, more details when I somehow find time to do an albums round-up!

Kim & Buran – Fly To Sea EP

February 27, 2014 in Singles

Kim & Buran Fly To Sea EP Nang RecordsMore of Nang’s usual exquisitively executed nu-disco goodness here courtesy of Russian duo Kim & Buran.

In total you get two mixes of the title cut, plus Modern Music and Sitizen. In its original form, Fly To Sea sits somewhere between retro cosmic/Italo fare and the kind of dreamy, star-spangled soul peddled by the Sunburst Band or even those Phenomenal Handclappers. The remix of the same comes from Irregular Disco Workers, whose slightly more floor-friendly take eases back on the dreamy synths and beefs up the beats… but only a tiny bit in either case. Modern Music is a decidedly 80s-informed cut with a spoken, vocodered “dance music” (male) vocal and all manner of analogue synth shenanigans, while finally Sitizen ventures more resolutely into the kind of cosmic/Italo pastures we were just discussing.

The Nang faithful will be more than happy with this one. I certainly am… with the original version of the title track especially.

Out: This week

About: Find Nang Records here, here and here (Soundcloud, Facebook, web)

Venice Beach – The Ressless Adventure EP

September 22, 2013 in Singles

Venice Beach The Ressless Adventure EP Nang RecordsIt’s Sunday night and time to wind down I guess, so now seems like a good time to tell you about this nu-disco three-tracker from Nang and Parisian duo Venice Beach, AKA Didier Clain and Jerome Potin.

Kids Of The Lagoon opens proceedings, a very laidback number with gently echoing synth chords sitting atop a slow, rumbling bass groove and lazy, headnoddin’ beats. Late Night Disco picks up the tempo by several notches and is all pulsing synths and reverbed, chorus female vocal “aa-ahs”. The standout by far though is Ressless, which rides in on a struttin’ bassline, bringing with it all manner of Italo-esque keyboard doodles.

The Nang faithful will be more than happy with this one…

Out: This week

About: You can find Nang Records here, here and here (Facebook, Soundcloud, web)

Nelue feat Funkwoman – Right Through You

August 28, 2013 in Singles

Nelue Right Through You NangI don’t know much about racing cars but I’m fairly certain some of them have a button that injects nitrous oxide or something into the fuel chamber, and makes them suddenly go much faster… and yes, I could look it up and get my facts straight but where’s the fun in that? And anyway I’m tired. The point is, if I had a car*, I’d want a button like that.

Well, Madrid-based disco lover Nelue has a button like that. Because sure, the original Vocal and Instrumental mixes of Right Through You are perfectly serviceable slabs of archetypal Nang nu-disco (leaning in this instance towards the livelier, disco-house end of the spectrum, as opposed to the sleazy/slo-mo/nu-boogie side of things). And yes, Space Ranger’s synthier and, er, spacier remix is also very playable.

But then our Spanish friend leans forward and hits the button marked ‘Faze Action remix’. And whooshhh! off we go into warp drive, as the Brothers Lee prove once more (or rather twice more, because there are Vocal and Dub options) that they remain the nu-disco capi du tutti capi.

Essential Saturday night struttin’ bizniss.

Out: This week

About: You can find Nang here, mostly.

* which would be a bit pointless because I can’t drive

Kim & Buran – Voyager

June 1, 2013 in Singles

Kim & Buran Voyager NangThis is one of those records that makes me go, ‘Oh come on… what the hell am I meant to say here? Really?’. Cos it’s on Nang – home to all manner of revivalist cosmic/Italo disco shenanigans – and it’s got three tracks called Voyager, Arp and Flight B. By the time I even tell you this record exists, you already know what it sounds like, and you’ve already got a pretty good idea if you need it in your collection or not.

So I’ll just tell you that Kim & Buran hail from St Petersburg, that this is refreshingly free of any of those nasty synthpop/electro/indie-dance tinges that can sometimes creep into this kinda tackle, and that I could listen to this shit all day. And then I’ll leave you to make your own mind up.

Out: This week

About: Here’s where to find Nang online.