Baia 2012 by James Priestley & Marco Antonio – Secretsundaze
The start of the summer in London signals the beginning of one of the capital’s best-loved daytime parties, now striding into its second decade. While Secretsundaze has made the day of rest its own over the course of the last eleven years, it seems faintly incredible that it only spawned a label in anger last year. But what’s taken time for James Priestley and Giles Smith has been worth the wait, as alongside a trio of superlative compilations has come three EPs of richly-crafted house music that works the entire spectrum of the pair’s collections. Their fourth marks the start of a new studio partnership between James and Marco Antonio (or continues, depending how well a recent secret is kept) and from this evidence there’s much to look forward to.
The original, confounding the expectation of some of the long-term fans of Secretsundaze’s music, is far from a summery low-120s groove, but mines many aspects of their treasured influences, from the punchy, analogue b-line and grumbled male vox to the rasping, vintage percs and the dreamy sax, that carefully takes some of the edge and lets the melody flow through its layered patterns, each element taking turns for a time centre stage. A serious contender for late-night dancefloors, its pace never lets up, and neither does its interest. Two remixes reside alongside the original, both from Aybee, and his switch from the drive and momentum to spacey depths, the vocal hanging over the track like mist as the elements fuse in reverb-laden echoes. It’s a satisfying counterpoint to the A-side, and much promise from Priestley’s first production in three years, and a fresh studio partnership.