There are plenty of new vinyl-only labels right now, many of which release lo-fi house. They're easy to spot: a monochrome sleeve, a trippy, understated logo and a cheeky name that's either a play on words or a short saying. The artists probably don't have a ton of followers on SoundCloud, where, along with YouTube, you may have come across their tracks. In New York City, one of the latest to join the mix is Brooklyn's 13th Hour Records. Distributed by Lobster Distribution, who work with many of these lo-fi labels, 13th Hour Vol.1 is a split four-track EP by the emerging producers Subjoi and Rick Razu.
Australia's Subjoi opens the EP with the driving "Make Me," a heavier accompaniment to his speedier "Doin' Fine," which is all hi-hats, wiggly 303s, a rubbery bassline and a cheery vocal sample. Belgium's Ricky Razu holds down the record's B-side with a pair of charming lo-fi anthems, "Reaching Out" and "Moonlight Jam." Both cuts encapsulate why many fell in love with the sound, with bright chords, muffled bass and warm and bubbly melodies. The tracks won't necessarily leave you pondering the meaning of life, but they highlight the simple joy of house music—in all its forms.
TracklistA1 Subjoi - Make Me
A2 Subjoi - Doin' Fine
B1 Ricky Razu - Reaching Out
B2 Ricky Razu - Moonlight Jam