- Dublin's First Second Label got started in 2011 as a web-only outlet focused on local producers, but over the years it's evolved to include physical releases and non-Irish artists. Its latest 12-inch features two tracks each by two German duos, DJ OK and DJ bwin, who both work with a breaks-influenced house sound. They have a few of their own stylistic wrinkles—DJ OK's textural field recordings and bubblier disposition, DJ bwin's thicker distortion and crunchy percussion—but for the most part these four tracks sound cut from the same cloth. Maybe that's because of Leipzig artist Leibniz, who's a part of both duos, and his love for blown-out pads, slapping drum machines and oversized low-end. But if Untitled only offers slight variations on a specific kind of grungy house music, at least it has some fun sticking to its guns.
DJ OK's "Oh Oh" and DJ bwin's "Cash Out" are the best of the bunch, if only for their unique samples and loose arrangements. The latter track has a deep, dubwise feel to its gummy bassline, shuffling breakbeats and light melodic touches, while the former is far more playful and accented by cartoonish FX. Those tunes also have a sharpness that will keep dance floors moving, whereas the overcrowded mixdowns of DJ OK's "Moving East" and DJ bwin's "Mit Bonus Ins Casino" muddle the bassy grooves. That's not to say either one is charmless—"Moving East" has an ear-catching wistfulness, and the grit caked onto "Mit Bonus Ins Casino" is oddly satisfying—they're just hard to distinguish from countless other lo-fi house projects.
A1 DJ OK - Oh Oh
A2 DJ OK - Moving East
B1 DJ bwin - Mit Bonus Ins Casino
B2 DJ bwin - Cash Out