- Chances caps off a strong 2015 for Berlin-based Londoner Marquis Hawkes. The year saw him grace Radio 1 with a mix, remix Aus artists like Youandewan and Timothy Blake, raise his profile on numerous festival bills and release two eclectic Houndstooth EPs. But Hawkes downplays his momentum with these three unassuming house tracks, all of which find him making the most of simple arrangements and soulful sample fare.
You might expect more risks from a record called Chances, but it's sturdy and straightforward throughout. Where Houndstooth releases Raw Materials and Sweet featured a range of ideas—from jacking drum machines to cheeky boogie-house to deeper grooves—this EP sticks to a bright disco bent in the vicinity of 123 BPM. The focus serves Hawkes well, even if it limits the amount of use DJs could get from his record.
With its hands-in-the-air exuberance, garagey shuffle and dynamic filtering, "Chances" will likely catch the most attention. That one and the funky bounce of "A Very Deep Groove" both owe a fair amount to classic Todd Edwards, so the lack of sample cut-ups in "Free Of Sin" is a nice divergence. Hawkes keeps the mood light, and adds no more than a sprightly synth pattern and disco strings to the drum-centric mix. It comes off like a modest DJ tool next to its warm, celebratory counterparts.
B1 A Very Deep Groove
B2 Free Of Sin