2020 Aug 31     
2 Bit Thugs

Rising local star DJ Oakland impresses muchly with this five-track EP

What we have here is only the fifth release from Alumni Records Glasgow, the label set up by the city's subSine Academy of Electronic Music to showcase the work of its students. Which makes the high calibre of the five tracks on offer all the more impressive!

XDSX itself is up first, a deep house instrumental centred around repeating piano chords that could find favour, too, on more prog/melodic-leaning floors. That's followed by the surging, pulsing Keep It Smart, a track that'll drag you to your feet before you know what's hit you, after which comes Soul Shaking, another lively lil' hip-shaker with an organ line to die for and some killer space disco stabs to boot. I Need then recalls the deepest, dreamiest US garage of the early 90s (if you'd told me it came out on Strobe Records in 1992, I've have totally believed you), before the EP's completed by Most Of All, wherein Oakland gets out the six-string and lays down a guitar line that complements the general laidback, west coast-y feel perfectly.

DJ Oakland himself says the EP was "inspired by the music of the Shall Not Fade label, Kerri Chandler, DJ Boring and Mac Miller," and who am I to argue? Another way of describing it, though, would be "just ridiculously good, to say it's the work of a relative newcomer" – so let's go with that. 

Words: Russell Deeks

Release date: 24 August



Review Score: 8




Tags: DJ Oakland, Alumni Records Glasgow, subSine Academy of Electronic Music, house, deep house, US garage