Mario Weise's Marlow project, a mainstay of Leipzig's Moon Harbour Recordings, was mining deepness European-style long before it was cool, and one suspects he'll be sticking with it long after its moment passes. Plenty of Rhodes-bearing, crackly-record-sampling producers owe a whole lot to his sound, whether they know it or not. But as deep house gained more acolytes, its sound palate expanded accordingly. Room With A View, an outlet for folks like André Lodemann and Andreas Saag, is representative of that expansion, which makes a new EP from Marlow on the label an exciting prospect. But though it may be ripe with ideas, the This Is It EP doesn't always feel like it's full of the freshest ones.
After a quick statement of purpose, "Keep On" saunters in. Though it boasts some very good production, it ends up feeling a bit like a pressure-washed Red Rack'Em: hazed and loose in mood, it nevertheless steps to a grid. "This Is It," featuring an assist from longtime partner-in-crime ComiXx and up-and-comer Knixx, feels much stronger: placing Innervisions-ready vocals over DFA-style backup, the track makes for the sort of earworm you'll have a difficult time dislodging. "Need U" pairs subgenre staples like vamping pianos and anthemic vocals with just enough subtle detailing—wandering bass, curiously warped secondary melodies, a distant tambourine on the backbeat—to differentiate it. As lovely as the track is, though, Marlow probably could have reeled in the eight-minute-plus runtime a hair. Luckily, a lovely downtempo outro finds the curtain drawing on a positive note.
Tracklist 01. Intro
02. Keep On
03. This Is It feat. Comixxx & Knixx
04. Need U