Album Only

Inner City Records, Vol. 2

Various Artists

Inner City Records
ICR002 | 2013-12-09  
Much is to be said about the recent revival of house music, but Inner City Record's latest is a potent reminder that - when done right - house music very much remains a sound-force to be reckoned with. Indeed, if ever there was a V/A package that evoked the message that was laid bare on Mr Fingers' 'Can You Feel It', then this is it... Following on from the success of Inner City Records Vol.1 (a V/A pack that was endorsed by everyone from Maya Jane Coles to Hector Moralez no less), the label is back with, you guessed it, Inner City Records Vol.2; a 4-track EP that emphatically builds on their auspicious start to life.

First up on the bumper-filled package is Leigh D Oliver, the one returning party from the aforementioned Vol.1 EP. 'Reductio Ad Absurdum' sees the the British producer carve out a sultry, sophisticated wedge of fat house music. Enveloped in sweltering hues and deep, bellowing synths, it moves at a meandering, lackadaisical manner, but still knows exactly when to up the pace. It's a frenetic, mystical start to a package that ultimately never lets its guard down throughout.

James Johnston is another man who's been on a bit of a purple patch of late - not least thanks to his work on another fledgling label, Nathaniel Jay's The Love Revolution. On 'Dance With U', he opts for a straight-up, unashamed house palette, and one that calls on both vintage and contemporary approaches. The spliced, echoing vocal lend it an extra momentum, but it's the simmering snares and the groove-laden bassline that help drag it in the direction of the floor.

Corbeau's Addicted sounds lifted straight out of early 90s warehouses, with its whaling female vocal sure to prompt many a 'what the?' moment wherever it's unleashed. If you've already exhausted your Strictly Rhythm, Yoshitoshi and King Street Sounds back catalogues, you might want to consider this as a more than worthy alternative to sounds elsewhere. And even if you haven't, it's sure to do a job either way.

Closing out the package is 4 Beat Club, who inject another dose of, eh, groove back to the table thanks to 'Basement Groove'. Canny piano keys mingle throughout, the vocal is polished and refined and the smattering of claps wrap it all up with some precision. In all, this is an EP of considerable excellence – and one that house music aficionados are sure to revel in.

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