- A classy blend of UK garage and minimal.
- On the face of it, 2-step UK garage and European minimal have little in common. One is bolshy, angular and prone to interruptions. The other is narcotic, hypnotic and primed for continuity. Around a decade after garage succumbed to mainstream saturation and a fractured underground, European DJs were increasingly peppering their sets with 2-step productions, mostly of the stripped-back variety. Younger producers eventually caught on—artists around Hardworksoftdrink, Traffic and Pager began dabbling with UK garage tropes a couple years ago—blending 2-step's bubbly effervescence and rude-boy steeze with a trippy economy inherited from the Perlon and Playhouse school. Alec Falconer veers closer to the purist 2-step approach than some of his contemporaries, and while the sound set is heavy on 1999-2001-era simulation, the sensibility behind the arrangement and structure is clearly geared for modern DJs seeking a more tracky experience.
The rhythmic programming and sound set of "Cab Sauve" sits in the vintage El-B pocket, which is certainly no bad thing, and the sparse arrangement gives the drums space to flex. Falconer's bass work is also straight from the original playbook, but his emphasis on growling harmonics has attitude. Harry Wills, another noteworthy proponent of 2019 garage, adds extra garnish in his remix while staying within the confines of the original, providing a slightly more crowd-pleasing edge with vocal cuts and extra organ motifs.
Thanks to the introduction of smudged, dark blue pads, the B-side skews closer to the hybrid stylings coming out of Offenbach and elsewhere around Europe. "Seven Below Groove" has as much screwface swerve as the A-side, but the simple inclusion of those pads makes things feel horizontal in a way that original garage rarely did. It's a similar deal on the moodier "Where It Happens," whose chord progression is more reflective and melancholy than your average 2-step production. While Entity 005 flirts with revivalism, there's enough character to warrant the indulgence, and there's no arguing with how fun it is to both play and dance to these rhythms and basslines.
A1 Cab Sauve
A2 Cab Sauve (Harry's Sour Grapes Mix)
B1 Seven Below Groove
B2 Where It Happens