Skylevel Vol. 7 (Skylevel)

If you're partial to original, off-kilter reworks, a new Skylevel record is always something to look forward to. Ever since we got sent a copy of the first installment for reviewing purposes by the guys behind the imprint in 2011 we've been snapping up everything to have come out of the Skylevel camp. They're one of the few gangs out there that continually prove there's life left yet in the tired and saturated edit industry. The seventh edition of the series reared its lovely head at the tail-end of 2014 over at Oye in Berlin (who seem to have a firm finger in all discerning disco-pies these days) and saw a general release a few weeks later, but as with a few other records we covered on these pages recently, our copies got stuck in a parcel that got lost in the Canadian woods (screw you mounties) so it took an eternity to find its way to Amsterdam. But it's here at last in all its shiny 12" glory, and a repress just hit the shops, so let's dig in shall we?

Skylevel's own 'Give A Little Help' on the A-side is a Krauty uptempo stomper with wonky robotvoices, wailing guitars, a bassline that is as dirty as they come and horns for added dramatic effect. It sounds like it could have been the theme song of a 70s German Blaxploitation series with serious mullet-action (if such an aberration would have existed, that is, obvioudly). Great peak-time fodder for the more ballsy DJs among you.

Flip over for Ben Aksar's edit of Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes 'Don't Leave Me This Way' which takes things straight to Theo-territory. If you liked the choppy Ugly Edits series you'll be all over this chunky cut-up monster like a donkey on a waffle. As much as I like Aksar's belter, it's closing track 'Meet me tonight' that stole my heart. It's the kind of dreamy, driving midtempo sample-heavy deepness only few in the game know how to squeeze iut of their machines. We're sworn to secrecy as to who's behind the Skylevel business but if you listen to this track carefully, figuring out which masters are at work here really shouldn't be that hard.

Absolutely essential, go get it pronto. Only on 12" vinyl and in a highly collectable sleeve, in case you were wondering.