Mystery producer HotKey serves up a four-tracker that blends old skool sounds with 21st Century production
This four-track vocal house EP from the publicity-shy HotKey has a retro feel with its female vocals and pianos, but is produced to the highest modern studio standards so you have the best of both worlds.
The first cut, I’ll Be Good, starts with a 4/4 drum beat with deep bleeps and brings in the chorus of the vocal with a healthy amount of echo. Then the bassline is added and the verse kicks in, along with a snappy piano riff which instantly gives it that old school vibe. It's a full song, which is nicely executed with a healthy dose of soulful wailing, and a definite floor-filler. Next up is Don’t You Think, which has a percussive intro and more soulful vocals by a different singer. There's also a muted trumpet and another piano lick, but this time it's been highly processed and has an electric feel which sounds great with the multi-tracked vocal.
Then we have Lies, which builds through layers of piano and percussion to a snare roll and a jangly piano lick as one of the main hooks. There are female vocals again but no no song this time, just samples from a famous track of yesteryear which are joined by a deep bassline and on it rolls. Finally we come to Rising, which has a long percussive intro before a quiet synth riff slowly emerges. Then a female vocal line comes in, which when married to the hypnotic synth riff, again has a real old school feel.
The first two tracks are my favourites but the second two have a simplistic charm about them, too, making this EP well worth a listen if you like old school piano house done in a new school way.
Words: Danny Slade
Release date: 27 August
Review Score: 8