The square-wave is fully functional—acid-house is still alive. Danny Ashenden, a Londoner who goes by the apt moniker of Earl Grey, will soon be demonstrating as much with a bang-for-your-buck EP on HAKT Recordings.
Arabian Nights comes through with two original tracks heavy in deep, squelchy goodness and two remixes by Scissor & Thread associate Black Light Smoke which clarify and compress the hysterical thump and syncopations of their source. Following an EP with French label La Belle, a collaborative single with PJU on German label Exploited, and numerous remixes for a range of artists, this is another fine demonstration of Ashenden’s versatility as a producer.
Earl Grey doesn’t quite deal in the raw, metallic sound you might expect in a contemporary take on acid-house. Rather, these tracks are warm, full productions rich in intelligent percussive arrangements and, thank goodness, humour.
The lead track “Anytime” launches with a wide, in-your-face kick and skittering hi-hat triplets before the the bass line comes wiggling into the negative space, accenting at just the right moments for a strong, body-high groove. A devious vocal refrain claiming its ability to get you what you need “anytime” just works too well for the vibe of the track.
Following is “Arabian Nights” with a punchy, condensed kick and raw, splashy hats building tension and deepening the mood. This one actually comes with two acid-lines—a top and bottom—that intertwine to irresistible effect. Again, the vocal refrain of “hot damn” just outdoes itself in party-readying the track.
Black Light Smoke’s two mixes of “Arabian Nights“ do their job as functional alternatives, but in no way want for creativity. The first begins as a mere clarification of the original’s trance-ier elements, but flips halfway through into a brilliantly melancholy reimagining with reverberating minor chords and heady kick side-chaining. The second, a “Naked” mix, is an 100% minimal scorcher that just begs for peak-time.
Buy digital release…
Black Light Smoke
Have A Killer Time