Relative newcomers Fades & Rice impress greatly with their debut album
Fred Fades is a name that may be familiar to some: his star as a DJ spinning jazz, disco and boogie has been steadily rising for a few years now, leading to shows for the likes of Rinse FM, Motor City Drum Ensemble and NTS Radio. Jawn Rice, meanwhile, is a newcomer to the house scene, having previously worked in hip-hop.
Together, they've come up with one of the best debut deep house long-players this reviewer has heard in a long time.
Let's be a bit more specific: if you're looking for deep house of the funked-up, club-rockin' variety, Jacuzzi Boyz won't be much help. Instead, Fades & Rice plough a far mellower furrow: this is an album that's made for post-club chilling or laidback afternoon sessions, but in such settings it'll be nigh-on perfect. From opener Just Chill, which channels Heard-esque Chicago deepness with added scratch sounds, to languid, soulful late-night closer I Believe feat Stimulator Jones, the pace rarely lifts above midtempo, but the more horizontally (or herbally) inclined will find much to enjoy, from the squelchy Zapp-isms of Bright Tomorrow to the bassy Mutual Love, one of the album's more floor-friendly cuts.
With few concessions to current vogue sounds, it's sadly all too likely that Jacuzzi Boyz will fly under a lot of people's radar. But that's a shame, because whatever it's likely to do, what it definitely does is herald the arrival of a new production duo lovers of all things deep would do well to keep an ear out for.
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 18 January
Review Score: 8