UK producer Rubberlips aka Robert Burbidge pushes things in a new direction for New York label NightChild Records with a trio of jazz infused and pitched down tracks which are part Crazy P, part Incognito and part classic house.
"Swirl" kicks off with a 100 bpm-ish druggy groove of layered synth keys, saxophone licks and an arrangement which spends more time developing the musical elements than the 4/4. It keeps the percussive elements low in the scheme of things, rolling in a dreamy way which brings images to mind of seedy New York basement bars in the 1980s.
"The Bigger Picture" sounds exactly like what Wave Music artist Abstract Truth was up to back in the 90s - fusing live jazz with house music. It's more percussive and house-tempo than the opening track with a floating set of pads and keys which create an effortless groove until after the main break where the track jumps back at you in a broken-beat 'jazz interlude'. It lasts just long enough before you're whipped back into the house groove and, finally, into a broken-beat outro.
The title track, "Jersey Blue", is the real gem on the pack. It's a beautiful, modern jazz track featuring the vocals of Jess Smethurst and a host of inspiring elements including a flute sequence, a house groove middle section and a jazzy, live element feel of a quality which is a rarely heard these days in dance music. The whole EP is a class act.
Title: Jersey Blue EP
Label: NightChild Records
TracklistSwirlThe Bigger PictureJersey Blue featuring Jess Smethurst
Our Rating: 8.5/10