Above Smoke: The Fix EP

Javier Alvarez , a Madrid-based producer and proprietor (along with his younger brother José Manuel Alvarez aka Dubbyman) of the underground label Deep Explorer Music, brings his relaxed Above Smoke sound to Andy Vaz's Yore imprint. In the first of four warm and atmospheric mood pieces, “Awfully” drapes dense synthetic winds over a deliciously grooving, bass-prodded deep house pulse. “Get Down” does exactly that with five funky minutes of Rhodes chords, disco hi-hats, and synth swirls; a percolating bass line lends the track a propulsive charge, while crowd voices give the cut a party vibe. On the B side's “The Fix,” Javier scatters chopped fragments of the spoken line, “I've got a lot of shit to say and I can't say it all in one day, I can't say it all on one piece of tape,” over a funk-house groove, after which Dubbyman offers variations on the theme in his remix of the track; José's version digs deeper into the cut's bass science and warms the tune's slinky pulse with hand percussion and claps. Old-school in its embrace of classic house sounds, Above Smoke's EP is tailor-made for those who like their material laid-back, groove-centered, and funky.

October 2009