VA: Aqua Marine
Soiree Records International

Every five months or so, Soiree Records International announces the release of a new EP, and each one ends up turning out to be as tasty as the one before. This time around, the Detroit-based label serves up twenty-seven choice minutes of deep house cuts by Drivetrain, Rubba J, Country Gents, and Professor Inc under the suitably oceanic Aqua Marine title.

Detroit's own Drivetrain (Soiree Records head Derrick Thompson) gets things solidly moving in the right direction with “Together,” a luscious house jam that's got classic written all over it. A repeating voice sample adds a trippy quality to its endless ebbs and flows, while a crisp groove locks into position, its infectious attack especially sweet during a mid-track breakdown that moves the hi-hats and kick drums to the forefront. Electric piano sprinkles and synth stabs fill out the scene, but it's the joyously jacking pulse that recommends the track most. Rubba J (Jan Costermans) makes his Soiree debut with “Reflection,” a vibrant display whose syncopated showers of hi-hats and cymbals the Brussels-based producer embellishes with snaps, synths, and, yep, cowbell. On the flip, Paris-based Professor Inc (Frédéric Poix) gets seriously funky with a bit of help from electronically altered vocalist Kris Magnetik on the bass-powered body-shaker “Luvin.” The EP's biggest blazer, however, comes from UK-based Country Gents (John Blanchard and Lee Jones) who roll out “Need Me,” a no-holds-barred deep house plunge whose slamming groove comes equipped with the earthy wail of a female diva and, the cherry on top, synth stabs straight out of an early-‘80s Prince track. Can't argue with that.

December 2012