Here’s a bit of a dark horse album that I’ve given more than a few spins lately.
By now it probably sounds trite to say that one of the most interesting musical trends of the last few years has been a large part of the Bristol scene moving away from the rude, Jamaican inflected, bass-heavy sounds that have traditionally marked the city’s music to explore the 4/4 landscapes of classic house and techno.
The first (and so far only) print edition of Tape Echo magazine was a kind of milestone in this trend, and the Idle Hands label one of the key imprints in documenting it. Meanwhile it was a session by Bristol DJ and producer Hodge on Tape Echo radio at the start of 2012 which alerted me that interesting things were afoot.
So one year on, here we are with the first album proper on Idle Hands, the debut by Outboxx – a deep house duo one-half of which is the aforementioned Hodge. Unlike some of Hodge’s more abstract excursions, this is mostly a straightforward deep house album – but a masterfully executed one. You could easily believe that most of the tracks on here were produced by 40-something guys in New Jersey or Chicago, not early 20s guys from Bristol.
There’s been a lot of talk about how young bass producers are somehow brining the tools or methodology of bass music/dubstep into House, but sometimes I feel that’s a bit of hype. It’s only the last two tracks on here which approach the kind of abstraction of Hodge’s solo excursions. But the whole thing is a damn good house album, which will be getting a lot more plays on my iphone this coming summer.
Posted by Gunter Sacks