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State of Play - February: House

State of Play – February: House
Jack Smith

Let’s dive straight in eh?

On a personal crusade to unearth all those rare grooves you’re never likely to find tucked away underneath the ladies jeans’ rack at your local charity shop is everyone’s favourite distributor Rush Hour Music. Their latest project is a lovely double-vinyl collection of previously unreleased or unavailable beats from Japan via Soichi Terada and Shinichiro Yokota entitled Sounds From The Far East. With another re-release via Utopia/Phonica of the seminal ‘Low Tension’ expected to hit their store mid-February, now is a fantastic time to discover or become reacquainted with Japanese house music. This sound doesn’t seem to have aged a day since the early nineties. A rare feat indeed.


South London’s very own Henry Wu is about to release a brand new EP on Alex Nuts HoTep imprint and it’s one classy affair indeed. Negotiate shepherds live recordings of sultry, soulful jazz into loose hip-hop and house arrangements with an organic immediacy and elegance all too lacking in a scene that tends to play fast and loose with its archetypal samples. And it features Mo Kolours. Need I say more.


Having first heard of K15 via his fantastic rework of Zhane’s ‘Crush’ a while back – then offered as a free download via his Bandcamp page – I’m absolutely delighted to see it given the wax treatment a good three years down the line. A 7″ release on Wild Oats‘ brand new sister label No Room For Air is no more than the tune deserves, and with another pair of stripped back jams on the flip, MIST is another glowing feather to the London-based producer’s cap after his excellent Insecurities EP back in November. (For all you purists yes this technically isn’t ‘house’ but K15’s affiliation with the sound is strong at the moment and hey, I’m a child of divorce gimme a break…)


Last but not least is another debut label with a wonderfully diverse four-track EP from Omar Santis. Take a bow Karakul – talk about hit the ground running! The Stockholm-based Chilean weaves a hypnotic and almost reflective sentimentality into discerning 4-4 drumwork with all the class of Andres’ bounce or Moodymann’s eccentricity. Superb.


For more February State of Play goodness check Matt’s latest piece on the mystical, fantastically indefinable landscape that is 170 electronica.