- What is it about good house music that evokes a sense that summer isn't too far away? It's still only spring but already our thoughts are already months ahead, tripping out on sunshine and dope beats. It's in this spirit that I've been giving the latest Freerange Colour Series comp repeated plays on my new Wharfedales.
Like previous episodes, 'Green 04' is bumpy bassline action in an urban house vernacular. Solid Groove get things started with a remix of Black Joy’s 'Untitled'. Don’t let the girly wail fool you, this track is tough, the polar opposite of Black Joy's solo offering 'The Bears', an introspective cut that seems to have wandered in off the street onto the tracklist. Freerange boss Jimpster himself features twice, getting some bounce off his ounce as Audiomontage with a Detroit-influenced cut so deep I almost drowned in its tones, before flipping the coin with a dancefloor muscle-flexing remix for Mowgly.
San Francisco's Justin Martin drops a dirty bomb with 'Square One', while fellow yank Brett Johnson's 'Hot Potato' bugs along like something from a Derrick Carter set. Elsewhere there's an exclusive new hottie from Shimiko, dubby sounds from Milton Jackson as well as more tried and tested deep house from Fred Everything & JT Donaldson, the closest thing to funky house of yore on this CD.
All of the above amounts to something worth parting with your hard-earned for, but it's the inclusion of two tracks that really makes this a keeper. Belgian outfit Spirit Catcher turn in a magnificent, acid-tinged and sun-soaked version of Kirk Degiorgio's 'Starchaser' that truly captures a summer day spent watching jets streaming across the sky. The icing on the cake is the beautiful 'Spectra' from Carl Finlow, which reminds us that feeling blue also deserves an appropriate soundtrack.
'Green 04' points to why Jimpster and his label have become part of the staple diet of many house afficionados. Along with Buzzin' Fly, Freerange is spearheading the fresh house sound coming out of London and the UK. Dedicated followers know that good house music never dies and that talk of revivals are idle gossip blowing around the yard like loose leaves. Those who like it deep should beg, steal, borrow – or even better – buy this.
1. Black Joy – Untitled (Solid Groove Mix)
2. Audiomontage – Bounce 2 The ounce
3. Shimiko – Push
4. Square One – Vesuvius (Justin Martin Remix)
5. Brett Johnson – Hot Potato
6. Kirk Degiorgio pres. Esoterik – Starwaves (Spirit Catcher Mix)
7. Mowgly – Bright (Bonus Bounce Jimpster Edit)
8. Fred Everything & JT Donaldson - Stop
9. Shur-I-kan - Fantasy
10. Milton Jackson – Rogue Element (Jimpster Remix)
11. Black Joy – The Bears
12. Random Factor – Spectra