Maybe it’s the fresh air or maybe there’s nothing else to do. Whatever the reason, New Zealand has some serious talent if Grass Green Recordings’ growing roster is anything to go by. After number one Juno releases from Monkey Boots and Shallow Taxi Club, Darren Clark’s debut for the label is another statement of intent. With previous releases on the likes of Them On The Hill, Omi Tutu, and Grooveadelica, Darren has proven himself to be a trusted proponent quality, after hours DJ action. On the Suzy EP one will find three tracks occupying a space of their own between deep house, disco, and Balearic sounds with arrangements built on rock-solid foundations allowing deceptively complex arrangements. Three flavors characterized by judicious layering of sounds and subtle tweaks.
“Suzy”: Like an architect wearing an iPod, this one builds and grooves. With a hypnotic two-note bass line and multiple complementary drum loops, “Suzy” is the track for a floor locked in tighter than a fat man’s belt. Fluttering stabs and washes of sound herald a vocal refrain used so well it never outstays its welcome. And after a pause for breath there’s welcome wonkiness with some woozy synth action. There’s also an instrumental version available in this package for further DJ dalliance.
“Memory Lane”: Balearic bubble bath, this. Like being soothed at sunrise by the seashore after a hard night on the dance floor. All burbling synth lines, groovy effects, and snatches of string, underpinned by shuffling drums full of bongos and cowbells. The trump card is the looped choir vocal, drenched in reverb and drifting in and out of the arrangement from halfway through. Smooth as.
“Shape”: From the sun-kissed to the subterranean, shape is a low-slung head-nodder with more than a hint of Detroit about it. It’s driven by a pulsing, filtered chord, percussive male vocal line, and clever clap programming before crisp 909 hats and a fractured drum loop lift things at midpoint. Clever use of loops, filters, and effects ensure things nod but never plod.
Peter Kruder (Kruder & Dorfmeister) - “‘Suzy’ is hot … I will play this. ‘Memory Lane’ and ‘Shape’ are great as well.”
Nick Warren - “A really lovely release … very cool indeed.”
Tensnake - “Beautiful disco and deep housey vibes.”
CJ Mackintosh - “‘Suzy’ is working!”
Sunshine Jones (Dubtribe) - “Nice to hear a more atmospheric sound with solid rhythms.”
Inland Knights - “Cool EP … ‘Memory Lane’ is my pick.”
Mousse T. - “Very nice.”
Erik Rug - “Cool … will play this ‘Suzy’ track!”
Giom - “Nicely done.”
Rocco (Real Tone / Freerange) - “Nice EP … ‘Memory Lane’ is the kind of music I want to listen to all the time.”
Sarah Favouritizm - “This is wicked!”
Tom Lown - “This is totally lush. ‘Suzy’ and ‘Memory Lane’ are absolute quality … they both build in really nice ways.”
Q-Burns Abstract Message - “How I love this release, let me count the ways. Right up my alley.”
Richie Hartness (untitledmusic) - “Epic, buildng, swirling intense mellowness!”
Hippie Torrales - “Nice package. ‘Memory Lane’ is my flavor.”
Sumsuch (Colour and Pitch) - “‘Suzy’ is utterly gorgeous, as is ‘Memory Lane’ … totally up my street. Impressive stuff.”
Vincent Kwok - “Nice deep tracks. ‘Memory Lane’ is great.”
Christos Kedras (Kapa Music) - “Great package … groovy, balearic, and dreamy.”
Velanche (Velanche’s Playtime Radio Show) - “Pretty dope EP; like a slow burn! Really good.”
Michael Fossati (Spirit of House) - “What an awe-inspiring deep’n’moody late night house gem.”
Ornette (Radial Blur Radio Show) - “Three minutes into the first cut and this is already the best release I’ve heard all week … gorgeous!”