- As a DJ, Jamie Jones is one of the most reliable players on the circuit; his groove-led, deep house sets which offer a clear tip-of-the-cap to the Detroit sounds of yesteryear are among the most well-constructed and thought provoking around, while Simon Baker, although not quite up there with Jones in depth and breadth is certainly another jock I make every effort to see spin. In terms of production too, both have some serious calibre behind them—Jones's "Amazon" and Baker's "The Fly" prove just how emotional modern house music can be. So it was not with a little excitement I approached this, their first collaboration picked up by the newly launched Get Digital label.
There's no messing about with this track, just straight in with the hook—a deep, squelchy bass, upon which the other percussive layers are steadily built. Heavily filtered industrial crashes give "Kaskazi" an eerie quality from the off, while the haunting pads of the first break only add to the "graveyard at midnight" atmosphere. Despite this, the track retains a warm quality, due to the highly melodic qualities of the tools employed, with the notable and somewhat disappointing exception of a fairly uninspired snare. It's deep, chugging, relentless stuff, but just when you think the track's dragging you into the depths of a Berlin warehouse, the vocal drops with the mystique of an Arabian temptress and whisks you off to a moonlit sand dune under the stars. Credit to the boys for using it sparingly, as its fleeting appearance makes it all the more powerful and evocative.
The Swahili Dub retains the hooky bass of the original albeit with a slightly hyped-up, Game Boy edge, but adds a big kick drum, a few cymbals and a fairly irritating hi-hat; basically housing the whole affair up and losing much of its identity along the way. The Emotional Mix stays truer to the original, simply adding another layer of synth, lending a touch of progressive to the proceedings, but it's the Original Mix in the deliciously deep sets favoured by Mr. Jones et al. that this track will make its nicely understated mark. Let's hope they stay friends for a while.
02 Kaskazi (Swahili Dub)
03 Kaskazi (Emotional Mix)