- DJ Deep has spent the past 20 years focussing on the bare essentials: kick drums, hi-hats, snares and claps, arranged as propulsively as possible. What sets him apart is his style of rhythm—tough and linear but somehow alluring—and his subtle sense of mood, which finds rich shades between techno's usual modes of angst and euphoria. In the past few years, the Cuts series on his label, Deeply Rooted, has marked a high point in a catalog that stretches back to 2000. His latest, Cuts Volume 3: New Horizons, is surely one of his best records yet.
It's telling that DJ Deep once had the word "House" at the end of his label's name, before removing it in 2013. Like most of the Parisian artist's music, Volume 3 occupies a perfect middle ground between techno and house, sometimes weaving between the two from one bar to the next—for instance, on "MKS1 Dub," where strobing toms and urgent hi-hats are occasionally offset by claps on the two and four. Something similar happens with the overall tone of the record. On "New Horizon Dub," nervous pads compete with mellow ones, while disembodied shouts could be celebratory or sinister. "New Horizons Main" has an aura of cosmic awe, while "MSK1 Main" is more of a party-rocker, with fat dub chords slathered over a heaving house rhythm. As usual with DJ Deep, these tracks are functional, but they're also colorful and expressive—in other words, they do more than get the job done.
A1 MKS1 Main
A2 MKS1 Dub
B1 New Horizons Main
B2 New Horizons Dub