Saturday, 7 June 2014

Ashworth - Farrell EP - Native City

Love it when a plan comes together. And in common with many of the best ones, it was hatched over a beer or two and a chance encounter, on this occasion with London-based label Native City.

The imprint promises groove-based beats designed for jacking and with the rather terrific Farrell EP from one-to-watch Ashworth, they sure don‘t disappoint. No sir-ree.

Title cut Farrell is muscular and precise, a well-honed hunk of a track that really gains momentum the further you wade in yet with the addition of some deft touches and neat vocal snatches is far from formulaic. The re-shape from the criminally-underrated Dudley Strangeways (Leftback/Deso) is somewhat looser in the nicest possible way. It’s groovy too for sure and is a fitting introduction to those that don’t know him yet of a producer that is really coming into form. Recommended? You bet.

Chopper is a cheeky little number too; infectious, funky, hypnotic. Mike Starr’s re-work is something of, ahem, a star turn. Mesmerising, garage flavoured and beautifully bumpin’ to boot, the cut also makes splendid use of The Wild Angels sample made famous by Andrew Weatherall on Primal Scream’s Loaded.

Rai Scott - Inner Shift EP - Ornate Music

If the British house and techno movement were electing a first lady then Rai Scott would certainly be in with a shout. Because over the last few years whether as part of 2DeepSoul or owner of Inner Shift Music, both in collaboration with partner Brad Peterson, or indeed as a solo artist, Scott has built and been instrumental in constructing a body of work to be proud of.

Now the story goes from strength to strength with Scott’s first solo release on vinyl for a UK label, the essential Inner Shift EP Volume 1 for consistently-excellent London-based imprint Ornate Music.

The opening track Forgotten Sleep is far from soporific despite its title and arguably one of Scott’s more punchy productions. It’s a bit tasty too. The Edinburgh-based producer does a fine job in balancing the dance-floor potential of the track with her own ambient-toned tendencies and in doing so fashions a cut that works splendidly on so many levels.

With a rolling bassline that is hypnotic with a capital H, trademark sterling percussion work and an intentionally-muffled vocal that for once adds to rather than detracts from the piece, Here & Now is Scott in fine fettle and for my money one of her most accomplished productions to date. Tune, as they say.

Do We Really Know is Scott letting loose a little, deep house with impact for sure but with a smile, a summery vibe and her own angelic tones sprinkled all over it. A delight.

If all this wasn’t already enough, the Ornate crew have really pulled out all the stops by enlisting Spain’s very own don of the deep Dubbyman to do the business on Do We Really Know. And he does. Taking an already quality track, his Break The Beat Mix opts for a less direct kick and approach yet still manages to beef up the cut and add a little Madrilenian magic that hints at time spent listening to old jazz records.

Scott for first lady? She gets my vote.