Various - House Invaderz EP 1/5

Rumour has it that executive producers David Duriez and Fafa Monteco travelled extensively across the virtual landscapes of the 80's video games galaxy to source the inspiration for their latest project - The House Invaderz. To help with their arcade mission they enlisted some of the best tech house producers in current circulation who in turn boarded the good ship HY:BR (a special combination label from French stables Hypnotic and Brique Rouge) to deliver their original constructions made up of vintage Nintendo console sounds. With the second in the series already available from some digital downloads site (featuring Fafa Monteco, Rob In and the Soul Monkey, A Jackin' Phreak) this is definitely a series to watch out for if you like your house quirky and original.

'AfterBlaster' kicks off the EP in fine style. Minimal and abrasive percussion coupled with industrial effects make for a rather uncomfortable affair in the beginning. The introduction of a modified vocal sample, alongside an effective if not rather crude bass arrangement help to increase the groove factor as the track evolves. The reintroduction of the percussion and sample suggest a rather rigid structure although this impression is quickly removed thanks to some nice vintage touches that increase the atmosphere, hinting at something menacing to follow. And we are not disappointed. The breakdown slows everything down with just the droning sample almost coming to a complete stand still. For maximum dancefloor reaction the French producers Alexkid and Chloe then speed up the selected components, applying additional effects along the way and as the titan bassline drops dancefloor destruction is a certainty. This fresh bassline is reminiscent of Agoria's classic 'La 11 Eme Marche' and is the one reason why 'AfterBlaster' should become a highlight of many sets in the months to come.

The talents of Catwash round off the A-side. Chris Carrier ditches his usual smooth tech house jack components, and alongside DJ Wild, provides an inventive arcade house record. Tribal drums and percussion are evident alongside reversed game loading sound effects. As both producers opt for a classic driving tech bassline 'Tendo's beat structure becomes indicative of the sort of late 90's tech house records that came out on labels like End Recordings. The arcade influences are used sparingly and do not over-dominate the proceedings. In fact the most notable and enjoyable feature is the free flowing bassline that develops throughout the central section. It is interesting observing the relationship between this bass and the tribal drum patterns - and how this combination produces moments of unique funkiness. The flowing 303 bassline expands towards the end, assisted by some sick acid licks and spooky Nintendo keys. Catwash's arcade experiment should prove rewarding for fans of slick tech house with touches of originality and experimentation.

Sam Karlson and Gaffy (both of whom are key players in the Hypnotic Music roster) introduce their track 'Invader's Crazy Funk' on the B-side. Their analogue interpretation is a warm and funky electro house track that cleverly uses retro computer sounds alongside a dominating and effective bassline. Various mini builds are programmed in and these are defined further by a nice cut up rave sample at regular junctions. To finish their groove a subtle but contagious freestyle melody enters the arrangement in the final third, with notable success.

Mazi closes the EP with the retro acid grooves of 'Protons for Toddlers'. Tight 303's sliced by Atari bleeps and evil interference merge with jacking US beats as the track forms a dark and rather moody persona. A sinister riff takes proceedings darker still making it a perfect record for grimy, underground late night avenues. Clearly not the best work from Mazi but a good addition to the EP as a whole. As with all Mazi's tracks the production is of a high standard and after several plays it becomes strangely addictive. Approach with caution.

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Various - House Invaderz EP 1/5
VERDICT
3.5

LABEL

HY:BR

CATALOG NO

HYBR 1201

RELEASE DATE

December 19 2005

PUBLISHED

January 22, 2006 at 9:22 PM CET

WORDS

Paul Pritchard

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