- With releases on Plan B and Machining Dreams, Amir Alexander's been kicking around the American underground for a minute now with an uptempo, vaguely technoid but undeniably Chicago house sound. But with Gutter Flex on Argot, Alexander gave DJs an EP as tough to extract from a record bag as chewing gum from a ponytail (though rinsing its four burners is obviously a far more pleasant experience). The jump to Hypercolour, a label of the month that's home to hotshots like Maya Jane Coles and even Groove Armada, is likely to get even more house fans on board, even if the Everybody's Beautiful EP isn't as crispy-fresh as his Gutter Flex sides.
"Everybody's Beautiful," in both its original and acid mixes, definitely reveals its subtle pleasures with each listen: what's at first a straightforward Marshall Jefferson homage a la "Mushrooms," straight down to an ecstatically grimacing exaltation of "I feel so good right now!", bears more of Alexander's production eccentricities—unexpected percussive flourishes, trippy chirps lurking in the back of the soundstage—as it reverberates in your ear canals. Where the original mix floats a few feet off the ground, the harder-edged, drama-intensified acid mix draws your feet to the floor. But "Dazed & Amazed"—a walkabout through ghostly vocal samples, Fred P-ish ambience and intricately knotted-up bass and drums—really finds Alexander at his all-original best.
A Dazed & Amazed
B1 Everybody's Beautiful
B2 Everybody's Beautiful (Acid mix)