2018 Mar 01     
2 Bit Thugs

The Hague DJ crew return to the veteran Amsterdam house label

First set up in 1990, Tomorrow Is Now, Kid! (or TINK! Records) was one of the first Dutch labels to release US house and garage music. In 2011 the label was revived by the original owners' sons, and in 2015 they recruited The Hague DJ collective Times Are Ruff for the Times Are Ruff EP. Well, now the boys are back in town with, logically enough, the The TINK! Project EP, and what a treat it is for lovers of US-style house and garage.

Wingman opens the EP, a smoothly rolling, jazz-tinged affair that's tailormade for lounging by Miami and Ibiza poolsides. Treehouse is in a similar vein but has a little more heft in its bottom end, making this one a safer bet for club play. The EP then hits its first home run, which comes in the form of the bumping, deep New Jersey vibes of Funky Town. As we approach the halfway mark, In-Between then drops the pace right down, operating in post-club, near-ambient territory. At just 3:25 long, and given the title, you could argue it's really more of an interlude...

The sunny, Latin-y, Soulfuric-y What About Samira then kicks off the second half, followed by Seven, a blissed-out concoction of gentle breakbeats and long, lazy synth sweeps. Then it's back to Jersey for Behind The Curtain, which - with its tuff, raw drums and delicate topline - has a distinctly 'Tony at Zanzibar' kinda feel, before Nero Verde plays us out with a throbbing, stuttering but quite understated bassline and some off-killter little keyboard squiggles.

It's rare for an EP of eight instrumentals to hold my attention from start to finish, but this one did  - and it's packing two proper garage slammers to boot! 

Words: Russell Deeks

Release date: 23 February



Review Score: 9




Tags: Times Are Ruff, Tomorrow Is Now Kid, TINK! Records