Distraction by Anthea – One Records
Subb-an and Adam Shelton’s One Records has become a byword for warm, organic house that nods respectfully to some of the genre’s classic sounds, and in its two and a half year journey it’s established itself as a go-to location to find the UK’s best burgeoning production talent. To wit, Anthea is a perfect fit for the imprint, her time in London vinyl den Phonica having given her the perfect grounding to go alone, and now moved to Berlin, she helms Brouqade, and has released on a clutch of essential labels, from Cecille and Desolat to Air London and Tuning Spork. For One’s sixteenth release she bring Distraction, but it’s a track that is hard not to be gripped by.
While its beginnings may be insubstantial, with handclaps, grumbling vox and eerie sonics inhabiting the first two minutes, it comes to life as it progresses, adding female vocals, rasping synths and pads as it opens like a flower to the sun, carefully showing its attractions with no fuss or fanfare. By its peak it’s a beguiling cut of deep and sensuous house, brimming with vigour, and showcasing the talents of a producer that is evidently comfortable in their own skin. Enlisting remixes from Subb-an and Frenchman Dan Ghenacia adds two equally pleasing angles, with the former Freak’n’Chic man urging it towards peak-time territory with a revolving chord structure and choppy percs that adds punch, while the One Records man adds his own distinctive style, with raw percussion, echoed notes and wobbling sub in a remix that’s designed for the sweaty, early morning dancefloor.
Standard Rising EP by Jozif – Culprit
London boy done good Jozif lands on West-coast imprint Culprit in fine form with another EP that brims with character and style. The musical chameleon has forged directions across the electronic music spectrum over the last five years, going from fan to fully-fledged artist playing everywhere from Fabric to We Love. Following up Lady B in Easter of this year, Standard Rising finds the producer and DJ making a stab at one man band status, with a dizzying selection of instruments and a release that’s centred on organic, throwback disco-led house from an era of session musicians and velvet-lined studios rather than mixing desks and lone knob-twiddlers.
Making an early statement of intent on the title track, sunny guitar licks blend with analogue stabs and plump bassline, wrapped up in crisp, live percs, a world away from sterilised, cold electronica that it’ll sit alongside in the shelves. It’s hard not to grin when there’s such unbridled passion and joy in seven minutes. The Guitar Player needs no explanation, making use of a spoken vocal to support the instrument as the chords punctuate the strings and wandering piano. It’s a labour of love to the days of disco bands from an artist that never sits still. Benny Benjamin plays similarly on spoken vox, musing on the jazz greats against a shuffling snare and wah-wah strums and strings in a glorious, revolving cut that thrives on spades of funk. It’s an effortless demonstration of Jozif’s appreciation of the old, sprinkled with modern flair. As a bonus, the final track gets a rework from Djebali, going down a loose, deep house route that adds subtle percussive layers and fx.