Review: Braille – The Year 3000

Rush Hour simply doesn’t let you catch your breath for too long. After a particularly strong 2010, the Dutch imprint has already blessed us with two magnificent long players courtesy of Tom Trago and newcomer BNJMN, as well as beefy 12” by Shake, Cosmin TRG and Policy during the first quarter of 2011. Whether acid-tinged techno workouts a la Ricardo Miranda’s Floorwax or Recloose’s jazz-infused house experimentalism are your cup of tea, RH’s recent catalogue offers something for everyone. Enter Braille with his 2 track EP, The Year 3000. The New York producer who usually forms one half of Hotflush’s Sepalcure debuts under his new moniker, and serves us a solid slice of house music bearing the odd hint to his bass music roots.

While title track The Year 3000 remains within the 4-to-the-floor constraints, a certain funkiness is felt throughout. Pairing underlying percussive work with looped, Chicago-reminiscent soul vocals and swelling snyths, the track achieves a dynamic that is equally epic and understated, and thus nods at Braille’s day job as dubstepper while exploring classic house tropes. Not dissimilar to Julio Bashmore’s Batty Knee Dance, we’re presented with a constant build up that never quite drops, which is one of Braille’s genius moves here as it ensures an urgent melancholic vibe without ever sounding cheesy.

B-side Leavin Without You is less straight-faced peak time stuff, but equally impressive. Again, forceful synths rub with a soul-infused vocal, though to airier effects, and while the percussion is less subtle than on Year 3000, its UK funky pattern certainly works in the track’s favour by lending it momentum.

It is almost impossible to pick a favourite on this EP, especially since both, The Year 3000 and Leavin Without You complement each other so nicely. Thus, the diversity of the 12” lies within the depth of the music itself, rather than its scope, so that one theme is being explored to successful extents. One might argue that Rush Hour never strays too far from its retro-futurist path, yet who would blame the Amsterdam crew for simultaneously staying true to a successful sonic formula and breaking new talent of such calibre. Music from outer space at its finest.

The Year 3000 is out now on Rush Hour.

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