Octo Octa – Where Did You Go/Through the Haze (Argot) + Royer – Tough Questions EP (Tasteful Nudes)
Argot and Tasteful Nudes, the brother/sister label combo out of Chicago, are very well established as a “go-to” for me. Over the past couple of years they have been responsible some of my favorite releases and have graced these pages more than once. Now it seems they’re gearing up for a bumper 2014, having just dropped the fantastic EP from Octo Octa of deep, sumptuous house music on Argot and the Tough Questions EP from Royer is coming up soon on Tasteful Nudes. As there was such a flurry of activity from these guys I thought I’d roll both of them together into a dual review.
Brooklyn based Octo Octa is a regular of the quality 100% Silk imprint and this is first outing with Argot. It’s a two tracker of mid paced, thick textured, beautiful sounding house music and it’s right up my street. “Where Did You Go” is all about one, heavy, repetitive chord that seems to take up all your brain’s bandwidth, it’s all encompassing. The whole thing is heavily compressed so that the drums and bass seem to squeeze the whole of the track, and your head with it. “Through The Haze” is less of a full-bore affair, much more low key but still very effective. It’s sparser with big reverbs going off left right and centre, a mid set chugger. It’s out now and I strongly recommend it.
Royer’s offering on Tasteful Nudes includes four tracks of open, expertly put together house music. We start off with the title track, which is based around a pleasantly wistful disco loop; its simple, warm, loving. Next up “Us” has a chunky feel, with a winding square wave bassline and some friendly but melancholic organ chords. “Morning Thea” has a lovely, bouncy rhythm section underpinning the track and some lazy piano licks and it’s very infectious. Finally “Grid Like” melds samples together in a slightly chaotic but essentially very pleasing manner. Again there’s a lazy feel to it, with a meandering bass and lovely groove. Octo Octa’s release is out now on wax and digital while Royer’s EP is coming in mid May. Buy them both!!
Marco Bernardi – Emotional Wreck EP (Brokntoys)
Ok so if you read this column regularly you’ll know I’m a big fan of Marco’s work and so I was very happy to hear he’d teamed up with the new London Based electro imprint Brokntoys for a release. I reviewed these guys first release a while back and now they’re ready for their third outing, which is quite possibly their best yet. It’s raw, mangled, machine driven electro and it messes with your head something rotten. For me the first two tracks, “Emotional Wreck” and “Catman’s Going to Get You” are the strongest because they cover slightly less well trodden ground but basically, they’re all absolute corkers. Out 19th May – wax only
Facta – Loveless/Tungsten (Idle Hands)
Facta is an up and coming, young Bristol artist and so it’s great to see him linking up with one of the city’s most well established institutions – Idle Hands. I know it’s not often that you’ll see me delving into the realms of bass music on these pages but this really stood out for me (and I need to prove that I can be eclectic every once in a while). Both tracks carve out a sparse, broken, heavily swung rhythm (am I supposed to say riddim?) with loads of atmosphere and seriously deep bass. Out 5th May on wax
And finally, a quick word from Mike Boorman -
Dave Seaman et al - The Selador Showcase
First thing you need to know about this, is that the first track is called "Justified Replacement of Lulu".
Next thing you need to know is that Selador stands for of-its-time-Deep-House-bass lines combined with intense melody - and it is the melody that makes it relevant. Rychard - Acidic Bum and Chaty, Tamez, Gabriel I - Armanus are the beasts in amongst this mega sampler, but it's all pretty good. For once in my life I am going to praise the programming of the promo as well - it feels like an epic DJ set. It can be heard here:
And all the tracks from it have just come out on Beatport: