2021 Oct 24     
2 Bit Thugs

Rising New York star Tonis impresses with a two-tracker for fledgling Lebanese house label Paille Records

What we have here is only the third release from Paille Records, a new house label based in Beirut, Lebanon. They've picked rising New York house producer Tonis do the honours for #3, and suffice to say it was a fine choice.

The EP's a simple two-track affair, opening with It's All About. By his own admission, Tonis is "obsessed" with the house n' garage sound of 90s New York – the milieu into which he was born – and no-one hearing It's All About is gonna doubt the veracity of that statement, put it that way! Dismiss it as mere homage/pastiche if you will, but for me there's not enough of this stuff being made these days and besides, the lyrical message – "it's all about house music, it's all about love" – is one that really can't be reiterated enough...

But as good as It's All About is, the real reason this is featuring here today is the title track, Island Time, an unhurried deep house groover whose title reflects the somewhat unusual (for a house track) use of a lap steel guitar. It's not an unprecedented move, admittedly – see for instance Aleem's Why Hawaii? (Concrete, 1995) – but it's uncommon enough to make Island Time a proper attention-getter – and a must for your box.

Words: Russell Deeks

Release date: 22 October




Review Score: 8




Tags: Tonis, Paille Records, deep house, NYC, Lebanon, Beirut