- Radio Slave and James Masters' Rekids label is well known for relatively straightforward, driving 4/4 with character and quality, but their success can also be attributed to the variety of flavours they do it in. Bringing the partnership of Matt Tolfrey and Christopher Sylvester in was a smart move, then, because their often deep and weird take on tech house gets upped a few notches with Almost There. So: "Almost There" is based around a wordless vocal loop and has gloopy bass in the same way as last year's successful "I Just Can't Take It," but adds heavier percussion, particularly congas in the midrange which make it roll more, and rushing hi-hats which break in with force every so often. Heavy piano chords help too, and combine with the vocals to complete the mood. It's the type of thing you could have seen coming, given the teaming of label and artists.
The flip, "Touch the Toes," is a bit more surprising. It's still loop-based, but has enough to keep you interested in its first few seconds for the nigh-on ten minutes of its length. More congas: but more eccentrically accented, bobbling and syncopated, and a slinky "come with me" vocal swinging smoothly around them. A very funky mix indeed, and the way they're toned together to give a lush Amazonian vibe conjures images of firelit ceremonial dances in jungle clearings.
A Almost There
B Touch the Toes