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Soma Recordings wisely give H-Foundation plenty of room to explore on their full-length debut, Environments, a slick and sophisticated house-based triumph. Already respected for their past singles and remixes, Hipp-E and Halo get a chance to display a depth not possible before. The title track is a surprising jazzy slow-burner that namechecks Tony Williams Lifetime, another unpredictable soulful collective. It's a signal that H-Foundation won't be confined to the dancefloor as shots of reggae and jazz add to the duo's top-notch house grooves. The obvious standout is the thick "New Funk Theory," more Brothers Johnson than Chemical Brothers, and the addition of live instrumentation throughout the album adds to the music's rich and organic feel. Having conquered the DJ booth and 12" already, Environments establishes H-Foundation as one of house music's best album artists.

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