On his first record for Retreat, Iron Curtis issues a caveat that we had all better come up with some alternative to the usual "classic but contemporary" cajolery normally reserved for his work. The b-side tracks "Creeps" and "All My Friends" are loose forays into hip-hop and dubstep-implied sounds respectively, and neither can be said to imitate. They're short sketches that aren't fully-rounded, but they cover enough atypical ground (the Gamelan-sounding bell breakdown on "Creeps" is a particularly nice touch) to suggest that house could eventually become an unnecessarily limiting style-bracket for the German producer.
For now, though, it's still his wormhole transit to Chicago and back again that sets him apart. "Cover Me" is quintessential deep house. The bass sounds as if it's pumped from the gills of some deep-sea creature while vocals chopped-up at chipmunk-pitch carbon date the track to the post-whatever era of people like Joy Orbison and James Blake. It's smooth and suave unlike the spasmodic body-rock of "Stumbled Across" where 808 hits and keyboard stabs seem to hold your hips in a split-second state of anticipation. An ensemble of snares, hats and claps aren't quite in time with one another, and that's the treat: it feels live. Classic and contemporary it might well be, but it's also surprising and satisfying, qualities that Iron Curtis seems to convey more and more with each release.
TracklistA1 Cover Me
B1 Stumbled Across
B3 All My Friends