Julian Smith

Deep & Dirty

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German DJ Julian Smith wisely chooses some of his countrymen's best cuts off of identifiable labels like Perlon, Grow!, and Playhouse, many of which walk the fine line between house strut and minimal click-step. With little more than lightly bumping drums and some clicking highs, these tracks lock into one effective groove from beginning to end. Narcotic Syntax's opener, "Merenguerilla," fragments house elements into an unlikely digital stew, while Ricardo Villalobos' "Spritzcussion" rides its flanged-out bongo effect to breath-stealing heights. Smith allows the more lavished spirit of disco-house to appear on tracks by Matias del Campo and Ed Zimmerman, but it only serves to highlight how much more fruitful the minimal tracks around them can be. C/Rock takes a healthy lesson from the original Jamaican dub artist, producing a cut that is so thick and chewy that it is almost upsetting when the funk guitar sample of Hi-Lo's "Feverish" comes in and disturbs the groove. This is a well-done house mix that could have actually done with a little less house.

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