Djin (Jonny Rock remixes)
For the third volume in his excellent Hamam House series, label chief and Music For Freaks regular, Jonny Rock indulges us with the pleasure of two stunning remixes of ‘Djin’ by Lebanese indie rock troupe, Mashrou' Leila. In contrast to the original version by the band, Rock’s remixes come in startling, club ready new wave/proto house flavours, playing with the haunting vocal and stripping things back to rugged, old school style tracks that are part Jesse Saunders and part Nitzer Ebb. Pure class.
The Soviet Union
'Anamnesis (In Flagranti & Sinchi Remixes)'
New material from a chap that goes by the name of Stakker — not of ‘Humanoid’ notoriety, but one Richard Baldwin, who has been wielding his impressive vintage synth collection via tense, '80s style movie scores and disco-noir/Italo homages such as this. Fans of John Carpenter and Zombi will relish this hypnotic, pulsating electronic disco release, plus the bonus of a more percussive, old school NYC style version from the In Flagranti boys, and a minimal wave take from Amsterdam based producer, Sinchi.
This release sees Golden Bug’s La Belle label change pace, with new Afro-cosmic/nu-disco material from Spanish duo, AKKAN. The two lead cuts, ‘Ayuca’ and the title tune remind me of some of the recent Baldelli productions — using tribal drums, mid tempo beats and electronic disco touches — and both employ catchy marimba sequences over weighty dub basslines. Disco Halal's Naduve makes a remixing appearance and, although his version is a bit more direct, it’s no less characterful than the rest of the release.
The Supermen Lovers
'Clock Sucker EP'
La Tebwa / Word Up Records
The seasoned disco producer delivers a six-track EP of surprisingly varied material that’s not just the usual Chic-inspired Daft Punk mimicry. The Frenchman, known to friends and family as Guillaume Atlan, drifts a little out of his comfort zone with a couple of mid tempo tracks that throw some character into the release. But worry not, loyal Supermen Lovers fans, there's enough pomp in this release, plus plenty of brilliantly over-the-top touches for the most glam of clubs. Woeful title pun, however, but decent release nevertheless.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
'It's A Beautiful World (Andrew Weatherall/Mike Pickering & Graeme Park Remixes)'
Sour Mash Records
A punk-funk/death disco reduction of Noel Gallagher's positive message, 'It's A Beautiful World', from Andrew Weatherall. His vocal mix keeps all the elements, with a driving no-wave beat, but his dub mix is the real showstopper here, with primitive-sounding drum machines triggering scorched acid hooks. To accompany, Hacienda survivors Mike Pickering and Graeme Park work a sterling effort with their proggy, back-to-'92 style UK house remix.
Denver’s electronic disco exponent, Wonder Stories, enter the new year with an EP of gleaming acid disco and proto house music. The man behind the spicy, disco-pop label Exxxtra Picante, Macaulay, dispenses with the cheese for this moment of tense disco-noir. Not a lot new happening here, but the acid tracks will have an effect when dropped at the right moment. However, the release's highlight comes in the form of a super hot remix from Comeme’s Alejandro Paz, who jams the 707 for a thrilling, tribal flavoured revamp.
'The Masters Series 04'
From stepping into the spotlight with his flip of Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ for Moodymann’s Mahogani Music, to disco-fied house jams for the likes of Strictly Rhythm and Defected, the Tel Aviv producer is in a pure disco mood for Masterworks Music. The A-side, ‘Candies’, is a Zapp style, vocodered funk jam backed with the B-side boogie of ‘Stay’, which lifts an '80s soul hook and lays it over a rubbery acid bass.
Lo Recordings’ Jon Tye and industry artist Pete Fowler are better known together as Balearic production unit Seahawks, and their variety of psychedelic beach music has been dazzling us for almost a decade. The duo take a moment to reinvent themselves for a single on the promising Tracy Island imprint (I hope none of you missed last spring's release of Mori Ra’s brilliant edits) as the Beach Wizards, to serve up a potent cocktail of trippy, library music style disco instrumentals, Jibaro fusion tracks, dream house and beyond. Stunning.