Meanwhile, Back at the Disco

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Proponents of the highest quality house, British producer/DJ Luke Solomon and partner Justin Harris make music that falls somewhere in between the proletarian clubby house of Solomon's other label, Classic (which he runs with Derrick Carter), and the more quirky house of Matthew Herbert. There is no lack of funk on any of these eight tracks, although funk is easy to come by in today's sample-crazed culture. What really puts these selections into the upper echelon is an eager willingness to mess with established formats the duo display on nearly every track. The opener, "Electric Imbalance," runs a bit typical, with a jazzy shuffle underpinned by a '70s jazz-funk synth melody. But from there, a far more bare-boned animal appears. Raw, sparse beats on "We Feel for You" are tricked out with incoherent chipmunk vocodering, while "Doobiedoo (Woohoo)" cuts apart a Latin riff until it gradually morphs into a mechanical loop that has little to do with the smooth house origins. Freaks demonstrate a creative edge missing in most cookie-cutter house. More discos need to be playing this stuff.

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