- A sensible offering from Quintessentials to celebrate their tenth release, this double pack features some wonderful deep house talent, many of whom have already contributed tracks to previous releases on the label. All tracks are infinitely useable and versatile within the template of analogue warmth, but some of course shine more than others.
The BPMs are slowed right down on EP number one, with "Stuttgart Nights" by Motor City Drum Ensemble being perhaps the most generic sounding of the four. Anton Zap's "Pastilla" is my pick, even though it probably has the least going on of any track here. It's a languid dubby groover that never fully evolves but nevertheless is soaked in emotion. Simple and undeniably effective. "You Never Know" by Knarf Simpson is a grinding loop under which disembodied voices struggle to be heard. It's an attritional sounding track where the vocals just about end up on top. Kasper's "Hooked On You," meanwhile, pitches things up a bit as the EP ends on a peak of subdued disco energy.
Part two starts with a spoken word lesson in foreplay on Jagged's "Hollywood" which surfaces throughout the track. It does nothing for me I'm afraid, and I can't imagine it'll do anything other than invoke embarrassed laughter from the listener. More solid is The Zohar's "Getting Down in My Car" and the spiky disco licks therein, but Stephan Laubner, aka STL, wins here with "Myxmassong" which features all of his trademark analogue pitch changes and rattling rimshots. The release finishes on a sensual note with the accomplished "Half" by Vakula which gently drives the listener into the sunset.
Along with Anton Zap, STL dislocates the listener the most on this double-header which is, as far as I'm concerned, what the listener should be searching for when listening to a genre that has its fair share of detractors, but is still capable of springing the occasional surprise.
Stuttgart Nights - Motor City Drum Ensemble
Pastilla - Anton Zap
You Never Know - Knarf Skipson
Hooked On You - Kasper
Hollywood - Jagged
Getting Down In My Car - The Zohar
Myxmassong - STL
Half - Vakula