The Inflated EP by Mr Ho – Klasse Recordings
With the avalanche of polished, pristine house music that has come with the digital age, it’s quite reassuring hearing a record that sounds like it was pressed on thick, musty vinyl and bought from a smoke-filled backstreet record shop. In this case, Mr Ho’s latest on Klasse Recordings fits the bill. The Berlin label’s had a heady few years, and this, its twenty-fourth release is a duo of tracks from an artist whose two previous EPs on the imprint, back in 2010, have shown he’s a talent with one ear definitively in the early decades of the genre.
The title track opens with rich swathes of cascaded chords, ushering in percussive layers that build character and momentum. Decidedly early-90s influenced, there’s an escalation of pressure until the mid-track drop, centreing fantastically on a rasping single note before the elements flow back in. No Explanation employs a crackle and hiss audibly, as if emphasising its solid house chops, and the growling b-line, delayed stabs and strings blend with the spoken vox ‘I ain’t gonna explain nothing’ to give a second slice of backward-leaning, forward-thinking house music. NRK’s Nick Harris weighs in with a remix of No Explanation, upping the ante with muscular percs and a bumpy low end before a wandering synth note closes out in style.