"What kind of stuff are you gonna be playing tonight?" a voice asks at the beginning of Don Froth's new EP. "A... a broad... range?" comes the sheepish reply. Froth's output is doggedly eclectic, chopping up all manner of styles to create idiosyncratic, party-ready new forms. If there's one unifying factor, it's geography: the LA-based producer grew up in the vicinity of London, and he repeatedly looks to UK styles for cues, whether classic hardcore or the hybrids of more recent years.
The Acid House Handshake makes this tendency particularly explicit, sometimes in several ways at once. "Cosmo"'s rollicking broken-beat techno looks to the early '90s, but its rhythmic sophistication and slick execution are closer to UK bass circa 2010. Swamp81 looms even larger on "Dip Dive," with its diced vocal sample and crisp snare drums. The track's use of a siren is telling: it's clearly there to convey ravey intensity, but it feels too prim and perfect to really get the blood pumping. Froth fares better when he ratchets up the intensity—for the rugged choppage of "Tools," and on "Body X JD," a broken-beat number that's swung almost to the point of dislocation. And just in case that range wasn't broad enough, he throws in "Live Notes," a hip-wiggling conga love-in that could smuggle itself into a deep house set without so much as a raised eyebrow.
TracklistA1 A Broad Range
A3 Dip Dive
B2 Live Notes
B3 Body X JD