Label: Hotflush RecoringsScore: 8/10
Young Belgian producer Locked Groove, aka Tim Van de Meutter, has become a key member of the Hotflush family over the last 12 months, releasing two impressive EPs – Keep It Simple and Rooted – on the label in 2012. His latest offering, the Heritage EP is his most substantial output to date, featuring six tracks spread across two 12” coming in at 40 minutes. Van De Meutter delicately attempts to bridge the gap between house and techno, combining elements of the big room, the deep, and moody four to the floor to great effect.
The release is split into two parts, each comprised of three tracks. Part one kicks off with the excellent Do It Anyway, a sublime piece of house music, continually evolving through different melodic phases, all tied together by a lovely bassline and a simple repetitive vocal extract that perfectly pierces the elegant pads. Wear It Well is a tougher, more peak-time take on classic house music, which builds indifferently until the two minute mark when it grabs you by the scruff of the neck and thrusts you to the middle of the dancefloor. Driving low end takes over, combining well with a catchy trumpet riff to create an effective club jam. Firefall begins with a nu-disco-esque bassline which is soon met head on by crisp hats, which are not a great match, and the failure of the low end thuds to develop a real groove mark this as perhaps the only mis-step of the release.
Having dealt with the housier side of things in the first 12”, the second 12” kicks off with ‘Night Time At The Garage’, a meandering journey towards techno, which again highlights Van de Meutter’s brilliant approach to track progression. Slowly getting under your skin with weird little high pitched sounds and a wandering bassline, the track flourishes the longer it goes on, with gently pulsing pads combining well with a subtly seductive bassline. Dream Within A Dream begins with Vangelis style synths, which segue beautifully into a deep all-encompassing bassline, which is eventually joined by percussion which, as the track continues to develop, shuffle into acid territory. Whilst not the strongest track on the release, Dream Within A Dream once again showcases Locked Groove’s versatility. Rounding off the EP is Lost, a strange, mesmerising piece of late night music, set to the back drop of a restrained rhythm, with odd vocals drifting in and out. The rising melody is accompanied well by pitter-patter percussion as it swells to an understated crescendo. It’s the kind of music that keeps you from leaving a club towards the end of a night.
All in all Locked Groove has provided us with an EP impressive for its creativity and breadth, showcasing his appreciation for progression and originality.
Out: 25th February 2013 / 2 x 12” & Digital