Jace Syntax & BlackJack: Syntax
Soiree Records International

A fabulous four-tracker from Glasgow-based producers Jason MacCreadie and John Morrison who operate under the aliases Jace Syntax and BlackJack, respectively. Their specialty is artful house music of the purest denomination, and their first vinyl collaboration, Syntax, showcases their talents splendidly.

Jace Syntax's “Give Up”original sneaks in surreptitiously until the female vocal part enters, chirping the title mantra incessantly while the funky house pulse and tangy bass line lock in with ferocity. Synthetic details pepper the atmosphere with dabs of radiant colour as MacCreadie creates an ever more complex vocal weave. Hard-driving and scenic in the best way possible, Drivetrain's smooth remix goes for a late-night cruise of the Detroit and Chicago cityscapes where acoustic piano accents and vocal accents warm the tune's raw, acid-inflected groove.

The EP's second half proceeds with BlackJack's “Time Traveller,” an irresistibly swinging slice of high-energy house with an exuberant vibe complemented by iridescent keyboard flourishes and subliminal vocal sweetener. 2yLite then climbs aboard for a slightly stripped-down treatment of “Time Traveller” that, if anything, proves to be even funkier than the original when it digs into the track's minimal beat thrust and leaves lots of room for the bass line and reverberant melodies to shine.

December 2010