- The past few years have seen a slew of R&B-based house tunes hit the shops, and after the initial "ah, something a little new and different" rush, opinion on the sound seems to have become divided. That split, generally speaking, isn't so much over the music itself: These tracks, often pristinely produced, tend to be of the deep and mellow variety, with loping rhythms, rounded bass tones, bittersweet melodies and a generally creamy vibe. No, it's those vocals that get under some people's skin, almost as if by sampling from commercially-oriented source material like a Brian McKnight or Jamie Foxx tune, producers are turning their back on—or worse, mocking—all that is underground. (Some of them probably are. So what?) But really, this kind of mainstream-biting is what house has always been about—is Soul Clap lifting R. Kelly's vocals for that version of "Sex in the Kitchen" so different than some late '80s producer borrowing a MFSB bassline and a bunch of Loleatta Holloway vocal snippets?
Of course, it's best to judge a release by its own merits, rather than by one's opinion on general trends. And by that measure, this new four-tracker from Lee Foss is pure pleasure. Smooth and funky basslines, spare-yet-glossy instrumentation (familiar three- and four-chord electric-piano patterns figure predominantly)—and yes, lots of R&B/soul vocal snippets—are the backbone of this EP, much as they are for his work with Jamie Jones as Hot Natured. But whereas Hot Nature tracks tend to be on the slightly psychedelic and weird end of the spectrum, these cuts are fairly linear, sultry (in a subdued way) and charmingly old-fashioned, as reminiscent of a '90s DiY Discs or Guidance Recordings release and they are of the new-school sound. This isn't hit-you-over-the-head music, nor is it likely to win converts from anybody who's predisposed to not liking the R&B-goes-house sound. But it's a groovy little EP, one that'll go far on getting the girls out onto the world's dance floors.
A1 Your Turn Girl
A2 Pyramid Scheme
B1 Cabin Party