Tevo Howard’s Black Electro Orchestra – Holiday EP

February 9, 2016 in Singles

Tevo Howard's Black Electro Orchestra Help EP Beautiful Granville Y’know that fine line between ‘geniusly camp’ and ‘cheese’? Well, can you guess what line Mr Howard’s walking today?

For what we have here, you see, are instrumental covers of Madonna’s Holiday and not one but TWO Pet Shop Boys tracks, What Have I Done To Deserve This and My October Symphony, reworked inna a Balearic nu-disco style. And yes, it sounds like a terrible idea on paper but it actually works pretty well. Never having been a fan of the Pet Shop Boys I can’t really comment on the latter two tracks except to say they make for pleasant enough listening, but in Howard’s hands Holiday becomes a spangly, cruisin’-round-the-marina-in-your-Porsche-coupé kinda cut that’s sure to raise a few smiles once listeners cotton on, slowly but surely, as to what it actually is. And that may or may not make you walk around singing Holiday Rap all day, depending how old you are!

For fans of Balearic Gabba Sound System, yacht rock, Scandi disco, Tummy Touch Records and other such kitschy midtempo delights.

Out: Now

About: This comes on Howard’s own Illinois-based Beautiful Granville Records. They don’t really seem to have much of a web presence of their own but you can find Mr Howard on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Fouk – Groove EP

January 17, 2016 in Singles

Fouk Gruff House Of DiscoSome classier-than-your-average nu-disco/disco-house bizniss here from London label House Of Disco and the Dutch duo of Daniel Leseman and Hans Peeman, AKA Fouk. Actually, even labelling this as “disco-house” is possibly doing Fouk a disservice – it’s arguably closer in spirit to vintage west coast funk à la Zapp.

Freebooter opens proceedings, a fairly laidback groover with talkbox-like sounds (hence the Zapp comparisons) and a bassline that could’ve come straight off a Credence release from the early 00s. You then get three mixes of Gruff itself to choose from: the loungey, Balearic-leaning original, a more stripped n’ strutty Snacks Remix and a Ron Basejam Remix that you can imagine finding favour with the likes of Mr Scruff or Gilles Peterson with its Bugz/Recloose-y feel. Completing the EP is Orchard, a slightly lower-tempo offering with restrained funk geetar and mournful trumpets.

Freebooter and the original of Gruff lead the pack for yours truly.

Out: This week coming on vinyl, digitally from 1 Feb.

About: You can find House Of Disco on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Soul Equation – After Dark EP

December 6, 2015 in Singles

Soul Equation After Dark EP Artefact RecordsA pleasingly varied three-tracker here from Soul Equation, who’s based in the northwest of England.

After Dark itself is up first, which sits somewhere between laidback deep house and nu-disco, and foregrounds soaring, analogue-sounding synths. Back To Mine is more yer straight-up deep house jam, with nagging chords, tuff-but-muted 4/4s, spacey synths and spoken “don’t stop” vox. And then finally there’s Morning Calling which heads in the other direction, being a slice of druggy, slo-mo disco with some nice fat, squelchy 80s-style analogue synth-bass.

Back To Mine stands out for me, but it’s all good as they say and the variety on offer is testament to Soul Equation’s versatility, suggesting we’ll be hearing much more from this relative newcomer.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you a label who haven’t featured on TIWWD for a little while (since May, in fact) – Macedonia’s Artefact Records. Renew your acquiantance with them on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Javier Penna & Cristian Poow – Illusion

November 28, 2015 in Singles

Javier Penna Cristian Poow Illusion Dbeatzion RecordsMoving into more uptempo house territory, here we have a cheeky little number from Argentina’s Dbeatzion Records.

Illusion sees label boss Cristian Poow teaming up with Javier Penna for a remake of/homage to Imagination’s 80s boogie classic Just An Illusion that sits somewhere between deep house and nu-disco, and that also sports a nagging keys riff that doesn’t half remind me of the riff from 2 In A Room’s 90s stomper El Trago. It’s presented in simple Club and Radio mixes, so not much more to tell you, really.

Not the most groundbreaking of cuts, admittedly, but it’ll work on the floor without a doubt.

Out: This week

About: You can find Dbeatzion Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Mikkelrev – Everytime

November 27, 2015 in Singles

Mikkelrev Everytime Oh! RecordsWhere d’you stand on chipmunk’d vocals? If you can’t stand ’em, you’ll want to skip this one. Personally though I’ll take a woman’s voice at +10 over yet another male one at -10 all day long…

Everytime, then, is a midtempo jam sitting somewhere between nu-disco and beach house, with – yes – a chipmunk’d female vocal and a fat, throbbing bassline, while Dana Bergquist’s remix is a more delicate, lilting affair that tones down the bass and vox but does have a hint of acid squelch towards the end. The other original cut, Nu, is the kind of laidback, Nang-ish nu-disco you really want to be driving round a marina in a convertible to, but works better to these ears in ‘bassier with added vox’ Claus Casper & Jean Philips Kind Of Slow Remix form.

Solid nu-disco vibes all round but it’s the original of the title cut that’s earning it its place here.

Out: This week

About: This is brought to you by Sweden’s Oh! Records, who you can find on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Kapote – Fuck Music EP

November 21, 2015 in Singles

Kapote Fuck Music EP Toy TonicsAnother satisfyingly varied EP here, this one coming from Germany’s Toy Tonics.

Label boss Kapote is the man at the controls, serving up three original tracks. Arpeggio opens the EP and sits slap bang in the middle of a Venn diagram where tech-house, punk-funk and nu-disco collide with its throbbing disco synth-bass and squelchin’, squealin’ analogue synths. It gets a bit in-your-face for me in places, but the floors it’s aimed at will lap it up I’m sure. Better for me though is Fuck Music itself, a far deeper house groove with, again, a strong disco influence. Session Victim provides a remix that adds crowd noise, chopped-up vocal snips, jazzy keyboard trills and hand percussion, and then finally N1 comes on like disco-house gone minimal, if you can imagine such a thing, before breaking out into heavily filtered soulful vox towards the end. It also makes me want to sing Fatback’s Master Booty over the top, for some reason.

The Original of the title track is the standout to these ears, though.

Out: This week

About: Find Toy Tonics on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

Planet Jumper – Stick That One In There

November 15, 2015 in Singles

Planet Jumper Stick That One In There Slap Gravity RecordsNext up tonight, some neo-funk* vibes courtesy of Melbourne’s Steve Ford and Drew Schaper, better known as Planet Jumper.

Stick That One In There starts out sounding like Daft Punk’s Around The World but then, 4/4 electronic drum beats aside, evolves into a nice chunky slab of vaguely Zapp-ish electrofunk. Disco legend Ray Mang then surprises with a remix that adds some hefty nods to early Chicago house, while elsewhere, Silence Demands That Its Enemies Disappear is a slap-bass-and-bongos workout built strictly for the dancers and You Owe Me nudges almost towards disco-house territory.

The Ray Mang rub and Silence… share top honours for me.

Out: This week

About: This comes once more on the PJs’ own  Slap Gravity Records, who you can find on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.

* Let’s not all start saying ‘neo-funk’, BTW. But it’s an easy way of getting the point across.

Moon Mood – Stargazing

November 15, 2015 in Singles

Moon Mood Stargazing Nang RecordsAfter last night’s ‘nothing but house’ selection, a more eclectic reviews line-up for you tonight, starting in the nu-disco arena with this latest offering from the mighty Nang and Russian producer Alexey Vorobyov, AKA Moon Mood.

In its Original form, Stargazing is fairly archetypal Nang material, all shimmering synths and lazily strollin’ beats. It’s accompanied by two remixes: the Pharoah Black Magic Breathless Remix takes us into slightly housier, more floor-oriented territory, while Irregular Disco Workers supply a stripped back n’ dubby take with a strong cosmic/Italo influence. That’s my personal fave rub of the title cut, but even better is bonus cut The Cove, which looks to early 80s boogie for inspiration with its syndrums and squelchy analogue synth-bass. Hypernova, another ‘typically Nang’ affair but pacier than Stargazing, completes a strong package.

Out: This week

About: Find Nang Records herehere and here.

Mirror People feat Hard Ton – Dance The Night Away

October 4, 2015 in Singles

Mirror People Dance The Night Away Belong RecordsDeep electronic disco vibes on this three-tracker from Portuguese producer Mirror People, AKA Rui Maia, coming on his own fledgling Belong Records imprint.

There are two quite different rubs of Dance… itself to choose from. In its Original form, it’s quite a Nang-ish nu disco jam, with some lovely squelchy synth sounds and soaraway strings topped with Hard Ton’s distinctive falsetto vox. Pixel82 then supplies a druggy, hypnotic house remix. Completing the EP is Look Out, another discofied cut but this time with a more New York-y, punk-funk kinda feel, with (appropriately enough) DFA man James Curd supplying the half-sung, half-spoken vocal.

The latter track may, in fact, just nudge it, but this is all very solid ammo for your nu-disco machine gun.

Out: This week

About: You can find Belong Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website. This is the label’s third release.

Drop Out Orchestra – Drop Out Drill

September 30, 2015 in Singles

Drop Out Orchestra Drop Out Drlll Love Harder RecordsDon’t seem to get as much nu-disco sent through of late, so when some of the good stuff lands it’s always very welcome… as in the case, for instance, of this offering from Munich’s Love Harder Records.

Actually, though, to simply file Drop Out Drill as ‘nu disco’ would be to do the track something of a disservice. The original sits somewhere between nu-disco and disco house, its funky-ass rolling bassline and handclaps augmented by the finest strings this side of Steve Mac’s classic That Big Track (or Lovin’ You More, if you prefer). Remix-wise, the Italo Brutalo Mix is a bit more, well, Italo-ish, Simon Dremon & FG up the house ante on their rub and as for the refix by Chuggin’ Edits, suffice to say the Essex newcomers have chosen a very apt name for themselves. But while all the remixes are plenty playable, it’s the Original that takes the gold.

Out: This week

About: You can find Love Harder Records on Soundcloud, on Facebook or at their own website.