Marquis Hawkes bringing the throwback vibes to the present with his new release on Houndstooth
Things traditionally slow down a little at the height of summer as everyone focusses on playing as many festivals and Ibiza dates as they can. But if you dig, there are still plenty of key releases slipping out week on week. Don’t have time? Don’t sweat it, we do, and here come the best hits and worst misses of the last week.
Marquis Hawkes feat Jamie Lidell - We Should Be Free on Houndstooth
Marquis Hawkes is a real throwback producer: his tracks really bristle with the joy and energy that made early house music so emotional. This new one with Jamie Lidell off his forthcoming album on Houndstooth is a case in point. The joyous pianos, the yelping vocal, the tough, kicking drums—everything about it is designed to get hands in the air and the dance floor full.
Luciano - Quarion on Drumma
There’s no doubting Luciano’s contribution to techno over the years, but you can certainly doubt whether he’s still got anything worth saying. On the evidence, he’s repeating his same old trick but now they sound tired and predictable, his grooves are uninspiring and in the case of ‘Be Bop Bap,’ quite annoyingly fractured and filtered. It’s actually label boss Felipe Venegas who serves up the best track with his remix of ‘Barriere De Lumiere.’ In his hands it becomes a sonorous, soulful affair with a kinetic sense of groove and summery air.
Charm Sneak - Untitled on Reach Recordz
This unknown artist must be a veteran because all four tracks are hugely accomplished. They sit somewhere between electro, minimal and micro house and are riddled with fluid little synth modulations, knocking hits and dry drums. It’s infectious body music made of liquid metal that comes from some freaky alien world.
Pirate Copy - Piano Track on Sola
Solardo have grown into one of the biggest duos in main room house, and their Sola label is where they serve up the sort of dynamite they detonate in clubs. The look to fellow Manchester artist Pirate Copy for the next release and it’s the most cold and rigid piano house track you could hear. It loops over and over with no resolve and rather than getting you in raptures it just becomes hostile. There’s a slightly better acid track on the b-side, but by then the damage is already done.
Derek Carr - Alpha Base on Ferox
We’ve written about Derek Carr a few times before on these pages. The comeback producer is in a fine run of form that’s seen new material and archival releases all sell out in quick time. Now he finds a perfect home on Russ Gabriel’s Ferox label with four more futuristic, Detroit tinged techno cuts that go deep. There’s real space in his tracks, space where mournful synths linger and your mind wanders, and it makes for timeless material that’s as good for the soul as it is the sole.
Pat Ca$h - B8 EP on Off You Fuck
Absolutely full points for this label for its name, though as strong as Off You Fuck is, there artist name of Pat Ca$h is less so. All that aside, though, the music’s worth hearing. The a-side features two slow and sludgy deep house tracks that are buried under layers of dirt and dust, while the b-side picks things up with rinsing old lo-fi breakbeat tune before finishing on another heavyweight beatdown cut that trudges away until you submit to its slowly hypnotic charms.
Kaz James - Twisted on Saved Records
If Depeche Mode were awful and relied on all the presets in Ableton, this is maybe what they would sound like in 2018. What’s also terrible is how Kaz James’s ’Twisted’ track is mixed: the teenage emo vocals are obscured by walls of fuzz and fizz, plastic synths and over compressed drums, so the whole thing lacks any definition or dynamism.
Some more great music to get your weekend started: