Long Island's Greco and Leeds-based Californian Mad Villains pay homage to Strictly's illustrious heritage
Two of 2017's hottest - Greco (NYC), whose releases have graced the likes of MadTech, Lost, Toolroom, Simma Black and many more, and Mad Villains, the California-born producer who's now resident in Leeds, West Yorkshire - team up here for a three-track EP on Strictly Rhythm, and the results are truly exceptional.
Now, obviously I have no idea what was going through the pair's minds when they made this record. But if you told me they'd said to each other, "You know what? We should do some proper early 90s slammin' NYC house just like Strictly's glory days... only with a slightly more contemporary, techier sound palette so the youngers will dig it too," I wouldn't be even the tiniest bit surprised.
So, Lil' Bit opens with simple, driving 4/4s and a bassline that follows the beat closely, then in classic Strictly style counters that tuffness with more musical elements - garage-y keys and, in the breakdown, bliss-y synth washes - and tops the lot with cut-up hip-house vox. Slay operates in similar musical territory and sports two different half-spoken male vocals ("I love the way you slay" from Chicago's KE and a camp, sampled "the way you work that body"). And then finally there's The Music itself, which marries Aisha Zoe's sweet female vocal to a chunky bass house backdrop that's again sweetened with some classic garage-y sounds.
Lil' Bit takes the gold for me, but this is quality stuff all round that'll appeal to older and younger heads alike. Go seek!
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 17 November
Review Score: 9