- Owner of the newly opened Outer Time Inner Space Records shop in Sydney, Australia—as well as a locally renowned DJ, producer and record collector—Hubert Clarke Jr. knows his way around classic house. His debut 12-inch, for 100% Silk, proves as much, with its attention to loose rhythms, funky basslines and light, soulful energy. What's more, Al Dente offers a solid range within that style, from the hard-jacking "Berry," to "For You"'s deeper shades, to the broken grooves of "Vry Distant Lands." Clarke Jr. combines vintage ideals with a freeform modernist approach, tossing in a psychedelic undercurrent to make it all his own.
Al Dente is at its best when it's just Clarke Jr. He's joined by Black Tree on A-side cut "In Us All," and their collaboration, while groovy and invigorating at first, grows stale as the singer coos and mutters to no end over an otherwise bubbly production. Australian duo MBM (AKA Babicka and Mic Mills) scale back the vocals in their dreamy, dubby remix, which better suits both "In Us All" and the EP as a whole. Al Dente has a nuanced way with house and loads of dance floor charisma—cramming in vocals and collaborators is maybe too many cooks in the kitchen.
A2 In Us All feat. Black Tree
A3 In Us All (MBM's 100% Gilk Mix)
B1 4 U Intro
B2 For You
B3 Vry Distant Lands