Orlando B.: Beneath the Surface EP

Orlando B. favours the kind of funky and raw-sounding techno that flourished during the late-‘90s and early-‘00s and so naturally invests his maiden voyage on the Yore imprint with the same kind of classic soul that renders that earlier era's sound so appealing. Though the UK producer established Eastbound Recordings to showcase his own tough tech-house and deep techno tracks, Beneath the Surface largely focuses on warm house grooves.

Worth the EP purchase all by its lonesome, “A Feeling” dishes out eight minutes of classic deep house that's also as funky as hell. A subtle Latin percussion vibe sneaks in at the beginning but quickly enough the tune rolls out a warm house strut that dominates thereafter; piano sprinkles, lush strings, and a crisp, hi-hat-spun groove give the tune added style and flair, as does the insistence of the titular vocal sample. “Esoteric” digs into a steamy, bass-driven house beat that's both raw and funky, then slathers it with a synth solo that squeals with delight, while “New York Tale” smoothens its techno core with warm chords and delicious house swing. “MJ12” is the coolest and least engaging cut of the four, with Orlando B. sprinkling billowing dub chords and a spoken voice sample over a rock-solid tech-house base—a decent enough track but no match for its buttery smooth brethren. No matter: the other three are tasty indeed and more than make up for it.

May 2010