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Lost Grooves: Rhythm&Soul

Lost Grooves: Rhythm&Soul
Alex Rennie

Joaquin Diaz, better known as Rhythm&Soul, clearly leans towards the more soulful rudiments of house music. Having spent a few years traversing Europe with a series of other projects, the Spaniard eventually rooted in Paris, where he started Slow Town Records back in 2012. With a strict vinyl-only policy, Slow Town began to chalk up a solid roster of artists with close ties to the underground, including Detroit legend Norm Talley, Le Loup, Junktion and Khalil. The imprint’s first release, Rhythm&Soul 01, featuring Damian Schwarz, was an elegant entrée into the sort of funk-doused beats they’ve been putting out ever since.

Through the label, Rhythm&Soul’s involvement in the Parisian scene blossomed, as did his friendship with one of the city’s original house-heroes, Jef K. After being adopted by the Silver Network family, Rhythm&Soul started cutting it with some of the biggest acts on the continent, whilst bringing his own mellow style to the turntables. 2014 saw him launch On A Mission Records alongside Jef K as a portal to showcase the sonic fruits of their joint venture, The Groove Brothers. Oh, and he also kicked off this year by taking part in Madrid’s Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp.

On the back of a pretty hefty schedule, we caught up with the man himself ahead of his latest EP, Slow Town X, which lands on June 8th. The EP is a classy blend of old school cuts and swish melodies. Alluringly mesmeric, the record opens with ‘Lost Grooves’, a slow burner that bubbles with timeless 90s percussion and laissez-fair keys. ‘Cookies’ is an upfront club-oriented number that reveals Diaz’s love affair with the 909, while ‘When He Goes Deep’ injects a more atmospheric texture into the mix. Dreamlike pads and a contagious vocal sample ride seamlessly over a wholesome bassline. The product is truly hypnotic.

Before that’s out, check out some of Rhythm&Soul’s other ‘Lost Grooves’ right here.

Formule express – Main Course – Adult Only 019
This record is a gem produced by Jef K, Chris Carrier and G. La Tortue 13 years ago on Chris Carrier’s imprint Adult only. It’s quite a rare and special record plus the groove of the tracks is unique. It was a gift from Chris the first time I visited his studios with Jef a couple of years ago and I’ve been playing it a lot since then. A masterpiece from two of the actual best house music artists in my humble opinion.

Cheek – Venus (Sunshine people) (Pépé Bradock remix) – Versatile 013
The original track from Gilb’R or Dj Gregory’s remix are quite known, but this Pépé Bradock remix is also kind of a lost groove for me. Versatile is one of the most inspiring French labels ever. I have two copies of the original record (Versatile 002), another masterpiece. All the tracks are dope, the original and Dj Gregory and I:Cube remixes, but I found that Pépe Bradock remix on a second hand record store and it blew my mind. An essential track by another heavy weight of French House that I had the honor to meet last year.

QX1 – A Black Girl Named Sally – Slow Town records 007
This track from Mike Dunn was originally released on Rhythm Beat in 1992. For me it was really a lost groove since my Parisian friend Jef K played that record on a recorded mix. I literary fell in love with that track and bought it through Discogs. I played that record a lot! As it was almost impossible to find the track on internet even on youtube to have a listen. I decided to repress the record on my own label Slow Town records.

Soha – Foulchette – Basic Recordings 015
Another essential lost groove for me is this record produced by Julien Jabre and Dj Gregory, which I also found in a second hand store few years ago. I really like the hypnotic vibe on this track. It was made 12 years ago but still sounds so fresh. I also really like the edit of the track, I guess it was kind of the start of this kind of hypnotic deep vibe in House music and is the perfect match between groovy beats, loopy melodies and samples. I’m a massive fan of both producers.

Childhood ’87 – Caught up – Aux Rec 02
And the last one maybe not lost but a rare groove. This track is from the greatest homy Le Loup with Funkalicious James on Aux Rec. It was released when i was living in Paris and is a rework of the classic “I’m Caught up” from Jocelyn Brown. It reminds me a lot of special moments in my life. The beats are just so tight and the sampling rework just perfect. Funky and hot as hell man!

Slow Town X is out on Slow Town Records on June 8th.