Sometimes collaborations can take years of nurturing to come into fruition and hit the record store shelves. Such was the case for the latest High Hoops EP release Tokyo Horoki Part 2. Having graduated from Red Music Academy in 2013, Nic “Pleasure Cruiser” Liu found himself proofreading artist interviews for Tokyo Digital Music Syndicates‘ now defunct Wasabeat digital download music store. Amongst those many interviews two stood out; one was with Soichi Terada and the other with Keita Sano. After being told by fellow office colleagues that it would be ‘muzukashii’ to meet up with Keita (let alone book him for a gig), Cruiser persisted to message the Okayama-hailed producer regularly on Facebook and receiving the odd response.
Eventually, summer came and gave Cruiser the chance to see Keita play at Oppa La, a high-rise venue in Fujisawa just south of Tokyo that has hosted respected names such as DJ Nobu, KZA & Force of Nature. The day involved drinking beers, munching on the club’s Japanese curry and dancing to Ray Mang‘s effortless weave of house, disco and techno. With the sun beginning to set things turned psychedelic. As Cruiser watched the sea peacefully lap the shore with his friend Raul, he spotted a fellow foreigner. Jokingly trying to work out why the ‘English language tutor’ would be hanging out here, on closer inspection it became clear that this was none other than the Prins Thomas. The Norwegian space-disco wizard was standing next to Kenji Takimi who was about to sign Keita to his label Rett I Fletta. Continue reading →
UK Garage was born out in the early 90s and had a heavy presence in the early 00s. DJ EZ, Artful Dodger and So Solid Crew all became British household names, as the genre’s 2-step, feel-good and palatable sound topped the charts. It is a sound that is still regularly peppered on top of sets by Dan Ghenacia, Shonky & Dyed Soundsystem‘s group Apollonia as well as Seth Troxler. With such substantial exposure, it would make any music nerd keen to trace down its roots, which originate from the East Coast of the US. And its influence features heavily in Lee Webster’s sound, with similarly delectable smatterings of soulful vocals. Tracks like ‘All Night Vibe‘ and ‘I’ll Be Your Toy‘ beseech one to call back to the era. ‘I guess my first introduction to underground dance music would have been the UK garage and US house scene in England.’ he tells Music Is 4 Lovers. It certainly seeps into his music. And it’s all unashamedly ostentatious. Much can be said of ‘Freaky Bitches’, with less of an influence of the aforementioned soul, but with just as much swing.
Released on the renowned Glasgow Underground label in 2012, the track was the A1 to a four pack that contained two banging Garage-inspired Deep House tracks. The EP also featured a timeless disco cut, showcasing Lee’s production prowess. ‘Freaky Bitches’, however is a no-hold-barred party cut that is akin to putting the pedal to the medal in a Lamborghini on the German Autobahn. Constantly rotating pitter-patter drums are mixed in with single note tribal drums & knocks. This masks the cheeky shenanigans which proceed to take place. In cue with the sub-bass, a manipulated vocal taken from Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Nasty Boy’, too naughty to repeat in this review, set a raunchy premonition. The track breaks down with delectable Deep House synth stabs. An acidic bassline, more deep and dirty than a Paradise DC10 party at 7am, kicks in and obliterates all that goes before it. A true party masterpiece. Continue reading →
When the real Dubstep was in it’s heydey, boy oh boy did it come off well. Melting other styles like 2 Step, Jungle and Garage it was a blank canvas for creativity. Released in 2011, Youandewan uses a nostalgic nod to the 2 Step days with this cut and its brilliance still can be shined through to this day.
Dubstep hats kick in over a smooth sub bass that has real baritone like character. It’s only one note, but the chords played give the track that 7pm Summer in south London feel. Beautiful Rhodes piano chords looped over the top make it sound pretty, akin to something played by Moomin, Christopher Rau or Pantha Du Prince. It helps make the track ‘Deep’, helping a DJ to mix it in with more function deep or tech house. Continue reading →