[Audio] Ronika’s ‘Marathon’

 

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We were a little light on the posts toward the end of last week ‘cos of illness. Chronic man-flu if you must know (yes, it’s a thing). But as we all know there’s nothing better as a pick me up than a new song from Nottingham’s finest; Ronika. Obviously named for the original version of Snickers, Marathon is the lead track of her forthcoming new EP which, frankly, we weren’t expecting so soon after Selectadisc. Then again, Ron’s a bit of a workaholic so it’s not that surprising.

Marathon is a little glossier than Ron’s previous offering. But glossy in a 70s sheen-y way, rather than a contemporary Pop way. It’s got that movie Disco vibe, recalling the height of the genre’s popularity, though injected with a little bit of an 80s Boogie undercurrent in the squelchy synths. A laid back three and a half minutes of smoothness, Marathon is the kind of tune that can inject a little warmth into these cold Autumn days. Bring on the EP (just in time for X-mas!)

♫ Ronika – Marathon

Ronika’s Marathon is released 1st December via Record Shop.

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[Download] Route94’s ‘Shards Of Glass’

 

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Route94 delivers possible his best tune to date with his new stormer. It’s an exclusive for Mixmag and Rowan Jones has serves up a wonderful Sci-Di Disco House tune that contains everything we love about both club music and synth music. This is the reason Route94 is fast becoming one of the most sought after in the country.

There’s hints of Boogie and Italo in Shards Of Glass, the cutting digital bassline has got a definite 80s swing to it, and the sparking keys leant toward the Jarre end of the synthesizer scale. Pairing that up with some ridiculously heavy bass and a pounding dancefloor beat Route94 delivers something both retro and contemporary, and ties it all up nicely in a House groove. Awesome stuff!

Route94 – Shards Of Glass

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[Audio] Lovestarrs’ ’80’s Love Song’

 

Lovestarrs

It seems like ElectroPop heroes Lovestarrs have well and truly shaken off the manacles of The Good Natured as Sarah and crew joyously revel in their new found freedom. After the monster rabble rousing début (comeback?) single Get Your Sexy On, team Lovestarrs have been drip feeding us a string of funky and uplifting tracks from their forthcoming new EP, Supernova. Well, premièring right here is the final drip ahead of Supernova’s release. This is 80’s Love Song.

With a surprising amount of retro Boogie in it’s DNA, 80’s Love Song is an exuberant and energetic hot-summer-nights anthem. It’s sassier and slinkier than anything we’ve heard from Lovestarrs (or The Good Natured) to date; rolling on a buoyant Disco groove, leaden with irresistible bass, the tune could have quite easily made for the latest vintage-tinged floorfiller. Not content with filling dancefloors alone though, Sarah adds a smooth, shimmering, and gloriously British Pop sheen with her urban dreamtime narrative, delivered with an infectious optimism. An interesting take on how DiscoPop should sound, a low down groove paired with Indie sensibilities. After a few summers full of LA-esque Indie-DiscoPop tunes, it’s refreshing to get down to a retro summertime vibe that sounds undeniably from the UK. Supernova is looking like the shake-up British SynthPop needs.

♫ Lovestarrs – 80’s Love Song

Lovestarrs’ ‘Supernova’ EP is released tomorrow.

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[Download] Ronika’s ‘World Is Turning’

 

Ronika

In a surprise middle-of-the-week highpoint there’s a new track from Ronika.That’s right; new! It’s not on her critically lauded début album Selectadisc, not on her awesome EP’s, this is like a DVD extra you only discover later! An whilst we certainly weren’t expecting anything new so soon we’re more than happy about it. This will be out last post for a while as we’re off to Bestival, and World Is Turning is the perfect tune to leave you with.

Ronika puts a different spin on her retro Boogie sound with this one. Leveraging a little chill summer R&B gives the track a blissful afternoon vibe that’s nicely offset with the shuffling Electro beats. As always, Ronika doesn’t dig too deep into one genre Moreover she serves up a smorgasbord of dancefloor goodness; with Disco bass, B-Boy beats, and sweet Pop hooks, and presents it in her own unique style. Going for a drive this afternoon? Here’s your soundtrack.

Ronika – World Is Turning

Ronika’s Selectadisc is out now.

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[Download] Ali Jamieson edits David Bowie’s ‘Magic Dance’, the Duckula theme and Mel Brook’s ‘To Be Or Not To Be’

 

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Producer, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, Heavy Disco label boss and electronic rumors alumni Ali Jamieson has been mucking around lately. The funny thing is though, Ali Jamieson mucking around tends to be quite a bit better than many Nu-Disco producers trying to be serious.

What needs to be said, Ali has taken on David Bowie’s Labyrinth destroying Magic Dance with surprising complexity, the Duckula theme tune, which is just amazing (for non British, or very young, readers Count Duckula was a badass cartoon int he 80s) and Mel BrooksTo Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap) (which, if you don’t know; welcome to comedy). Weird, nostalgic, amazing robo-Boogie ensues.

David Bowie – Magic Dance (Ali Jamieson Edit)

Mike Harding – Count Duckula Theme (Ali Jamieson Edit)

Mel Brooks – To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap) (Ali Jamieson Edit)

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[Audio] Shook’s ‘Violet Hues’

 

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It’s pretty much exactly a year sing Dutch musical prodigy Shook release his self titled début album, whether coincidence or not, the man has chose this week to première his first brand new tune is what feels like ages. Violet Hues, is here to remind us of what an exceptional musician Shook really is, as he teams up with someone (who we have no idea who) with a beautiful voice to drop a hazy slice of sweetness.

Smokey vocals, waves of calm and shimmering synths, a funky but gentle bassline; Violet Hues is like a warm blanket of funk, a groovy dream. The bassline really underpins the track, chugging along with a restless groan, carrying the layers of heady sounds that life your spirits on every listen. Add to the mix the sweetest of vocals leading up to a magical synth and piano solo; and need we say more? Amazing stuff, and a welcome return for Shook.

♫ Shook – Violet Hues

Shook’s Violet Hues is out now.

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[Audio] Foreign Boy’s ‘Dance Like A Light’

 

Foreign Boy

Out this week via Nude Disco comes the début EP from London’s Foreign Boy. We’ve been quite eagerly awaiting this release ever since he teased us with the slick BedroomPop tune Desperately Broken. The EP’s titled Dance Like A Light and holds four original songs and a reMix of the title track which all present a journey through the funkier side of retro electronics. Check out the title track and the reMix from Boysinadisco below.

Dance Like A Light is a full-on ‘jump up and dance’ track, awash with heavy layers of Italo and Boogie. It’s a surprisingly stomping tune after the introspective Desperately Broken, but still takes it’s cues from the most energetic of 80’s Pop. In five minutes of rapid fire basslines and shimmering synth riffs a vocoded dancefloor command becomes a mirrorball mantra that is easy to obey. Spanish duo Boysinadisco give the tune a Nu-Disco spin with their reMix, injecting the tune with a cheeky Disco licks and a blissful little lead line. Their mix manages to take the tune into heavier territory without loosing the original’s sense of fun. The whole EP is a strong début that makes Foreign Boy as one to watch.

♫ Foreign Boy – Dance Like A Light (Original Mix)

♫ Foreign Boy – Dance Like A Light (Boysinadisco reMix)

Foreign Boy’s Dance Like A Light is out now.

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[Audio] PWNDTIAC’s ‘Ready’ (+ Douze reMix)

 

PWNDTIAC

At the end of the month, German Disco demon PWNDTIAC has releases his brand new single. It’s called Hey Girl and it’s a fairly standard Nu-Disco floorfiller with loads of lovely nods to Boogie and Electro Funk. It;s well worth a listen, but it’s the B-side, Ready, that really caught out attention. Featuring the talents of fellow German digitalfoxglove; Ready is a soaring space oddessy.

Filled to bursting point with thick robotic bass and cosmic keys; Ready is a vocoder laden monster that takes both 80s Boogie and French Disco as references and wraps them up in a post-Italo machine Funk. Vocally, the track mixes up some surprisingly soulful vocoder work with little Soul II Soul samples with really nice effect, like a duet between Caron Wheeler and a sad robot. For us, though, it’s that bassline that really draws us in, thick and punchy it seems to evolve through the track. French producer Douze offers his version of the track on the release; upping the B-Boy beats quota. Douze delvers one of his trademark synthetic journeys, mixing up Funk and cinematic SynthWave, he slowly builds the track until an unexpectedly energetic high. The whole release is definitely worth your attention when it;s released later this month.

♫ PWNDTIAC (Feat. digitalfoxglove) – Ready

♫ PWNDTIAC (Feat. digitalfoxglove) – Ready (Douze reMix)

PWNDTIAC’s Hey Girl is released 30th June.

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[Audio] Justin Faust reMixes Glen Check’s ‘Pacific’

 

Glen Check

Glen Check are a South Korean duo who have had a pretty successful career in that particularly East-Asian brand of sweet Indie-Electro-y Nu-Disco that that part of the world does so well. The guys have just released the second collection of reMixes of tracks from their Youth! album, this time focusing on the tracks Pacific; and on that release is this joyous four minutes from German synth-Disco master, Mr. Justin Faust.

OK, first up, ignore the rest of the track for a second, just listen to that bassline. Pure boogie. As soon as that punchy, retro synth bass kicked in Faust has us hook, line and sinker; conjuring the best mid-80s dancefloor hits to mind. Add to this some lush keys, Glen Check’s buoyant, optimistic vocals and cool summer-pop swing; and you’re left with a track that  just puts a smile of your face, whatever the weather. Stick around for a mind-warping solo at the track’s finale. Groove on!

♫ Glen Check – Pacific (Justin Faust reMix)

Glen Check’s Pacific – reMixes From Youth! is out now.

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[Audio] Ronika’s ‘Selectadisc’ album

 

ronika

Ronika will always kinda’ be ‘the one that got away’ for us. After appearing on electronic rumors volume 1, the album that made us decide to launch a record label, we would have given our right arm to sign Ronika, we just never found an angle. Not only is she an incredibly talented songwriter, performer and producer (having been a professional sound engineer in her pre-Pop star life), but with her own releases via her label Record Shop, a shrewd businesswoman too. Honestly, we could never think of anything we could offer her that she couldn’t already do amazingly well herself. If only we’d had loads of money back then.

After spending the past couple of years releasing some of the finest singles in the country, Ronika is finally ready to drop her début album; Selectadisc. Named after legendary record Nottingham record shop (which is lucky, if we released an album based on our childhood crate digging haunt it would be called ‘Tony’s’, which doesn’t have the same ring to it.), the LP has already been a big part of our life since late last year (at this point I’m going to have to drop the blog ‘we’).

Late last year my dad died. Shit happens, it was pretty dark. Certain sections of the music industry sent over their condolences and musical care packages, it was touching and appreciated. Topping off the outpouring of sympathy Ron send over a copy of the then-just-mastered and untitled Selectadisc. Now, I’m not going to go all soap opera on you and say it made everything better. My dad had just died y’know. But it did do practically the impossible, take my mind of things for a while. And put a smile on my face. The album has been constantly play-listed ever since.

At this juncture, just before slipping back into the entirely more comfortable blog ‘we’, I’d like to point out that had Selectadisc been a bit shit none of that story would make sense. Luckily for all involved it’s not a bit shit, not even a tiny bit. If fact it’s fucking awesome, in every possible way and so far 2014’s best album (and looking unlikely to be beaten). Keep in mind that the likes of Tensnake and Chromeo have released records this year too and I swear that I am being as un-biased as humanly possible when I say that. Best album of the year.

So, to the music. As to be expected (almost) all the ‘hits’ are present and correct. Wiyoo, Forget Yourself, Paper Scissors Stone, Clock, Only Only, In The City and Rough ‘N’ Soothe are all here in newly recorded versions.Collected together here they present a timeline of Ronika’s journey as she weaves in and out of 80s Pop, Disco, Italo and Boogie; unleashing catchy hooks and infectious choruses as she travels. Only Automatic and Do Or Die from Ronika’s discography are missing, but seeing as they are making room for the new material we’ll excuse their absence.

The track we were most excited about hearing on Selectadisc was 1000 Nights. For a long time our live favourite; the tune doesn’t disappoint in studio form as Ronika puts one foot in the 80s Power Pop arena an delivers a huge cinematic epic. Like Bonnie Tyler meets Giorgio Moroder, 100 Nights is the hit single from an imaginary 80s movie soundtrack. There’ll be a ton of dry ice and wind machines in the video. It’s spot as our favourite of Selectadisc’s new material was usurped, though, by Video Collection. Video Collection reigns as one of the album’s standout tracks with it’s driving late 80s beat, punchy Italo bassline, sing-a-long chorus and sense of humour. We’re not sure if “built up my video collection, and now it’s good for nothing” is supposed to be a metaphor for life and emotional investment; but taken literally it pretty much describes our lives.

Album teaser Shell Shocked serves up it’s springy-bass laden soulful epicness, pairing Ron’s vocally sweeter side with some complex synth work, to offer a musically nostalgic TOTP moment amongst the Boogie. Selectadisc’s mid-point moment of cool comes in the form of Believe It, a laid back and involving slice of electronic Soul that finds Ron at her most Motown (vocally) over a shuffling late 80s groove, that serves as the calm before the Earthrise.

Earthrise treads similar bombastic territory to 1000 Nights, but adds a little B-Boy Electro to the Boogie with galloping hi-hats and a comfortable mixture of starlight synths and Disco licks sitting in-between the Robo beats and Ron’s passionate performance. Which makes for a nice contest with What’s In Your Bag?, a track that was our least favourite on first listen. Definitely a grower, our opinion of What’s In Your Bag? has gone from ‘filler’ to ‘work of pure genius’. Both the sunshine Pop vibe and the at-first-glace throwaway lyrics can seem alien on the record, but delving into the track revels a lyrical wit and 90s dance vibe that it is really hard not to love.

The other pre-album teaser Search Siren acts at the album’s spiritual epilogue. It’s enigmatic drama putting a full stop to proceedings with low key beats and one of the finest vocal performances on the album. We say ‘spiritual’ epilogue, because the album actually closes on Mixtape. A fun and funky tune, Mixtape feels a little out of place on Selectadisc but makes for a perfect encore and, in it’s own way, seems to sum up the experience of Selectadisc, only from the outside (it’s also definitive proof of the well known playground wisdom that ‘girls can’t make gun noises’).

So, to summarise (in case you haven’t been paying attention or have skipped to the end); buy this album. We guarantee it’ll either be your favourite record of the year, or in your top five. Ronika can write classic Pop songs with the best of them, but she’s so steeped in Disco, Italo and Boogie that every second of Selectadisc oozes compelling robotic Funk. That’s a combination that many try, but very very few ever master, and Ronika pulls it off better than anyone we can think of. Even Chromeo. So there.

Your summer starts right here.

–Edit– Apparently Mixtape isn’t on the final release of the album, so the world will be deprived of Ronika’s gun noises. Sadface.

♫ Ronika – Shell Shocked

♫ Ronika – Rough ‘N’ Soothe (Single Version)

♫ Ronika – In The City (Single Version)

♫ Ronika – Wiyoo (Single Version)

Ronika’s Selectadisc is due out 2nd June and can be pre-order on vinyl from the Record Shop shop here.

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