- If the praise being hurled toward the UQ crew is starting to sound a bit like a broken record, blame the guys making them. DJ Qu has come into his own in 2010, Fred P has continued his remarkable run and Jus-Ed...well...he's just Jus-Ed. You know? The trio unite on Semesters II, and it's business as usual, with each producer offering a distinct take on the deep house that they love so much.
Jus-Ed's simple and effective "Maryland Jam" beats anything on his underwhelming Next Level. He keeps thing shorter and sweeter than almost anything there, and layers on repeated snares and lovely bells over the usual synth washes. Fred P switches up the beat on "It Is What It Is," syncopating the normal 4/4 thump to give the track a driving momentum that contrasts perfectly with irresistibly slow synths that only complete their lengthy loops until you're completely locked in. Fred's a master at this, which is why despite knowing exactly where it's going, you can't wait to hear it anyway.
Finishing off things is yet another DJ Qu funhouse mirror masterpiece. Everything in it seems slightly off: The tentative piano playing that echoes awkwardly, the vocal sample that seems to say "fire in the hole" at random moments, the bleeps that just won't go away. And yet it works wonderfully. "Ahead" sounds like Hieroglyphic Being, if the Mathematics boss had spent more time listening to DJ Duke instead of Ron Hardy. "Ahead" indeed.
A DJ Jus-Ed - Maryland Jam
B1 Fred P - It Is What It Is
B2 DJ Qu - Ahead