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Burnt Island Casuals – Scotch Hop review

We are used to hearing a plethora of monikers for one artist in today’s climate of edit and collaboration-friendly production where one can slip in and out of styles and genres accordingly. Burnt Island Casuals is yet another one for two producers who already operate under a number such alias’ individually. Graeme Clark, best known under his The Revenge pseudonym (but also as 6th Borough Project, Deportivo Street Team, OOFT Music, The Hong Kong Micros, Grizzle and Cronk Family Enterprises) teams up with Harri, who himself works under a host of different names, to deliver two dazzling tracks of contemporary disco meets house for Under The Shade.

The pair have worked together since 2004, most recently when Clark mastered Harri’s 20 Years Underground compilation for Glasgow’s Sub Club, for whom he is a long standing resident. This release, however, marks their most accomplished work yet. “Scotch Hop” – a play on words that no doubt had these two Scotsman giggling into their single malt – is a typically grooving, slo-mo disco builder. The duo merge disco, house, early 80s boogie and hip-hop into just under eight minutes of groove fuelled, dancing joy. Forged using a sample from Larry Levan’s mix of Gwen Guthrie’s “Hop Scotch,” the pair set off on a gradual build up that leads on to a wonderfully uplifting ending. “Truth & Temptation” on the flip, is a more upbeat offering, running at 118bpm. Again using another killer sample, this time from The Temptation’s “Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite the World)” Clark and Harri load the uplifting track with bags of soul and fix it to a driving disco-house rhythm to create a real dancefloor bomb. Infused with an early seventies psychedelic soul craze, much like The Revenge’s “Planets” on Jisco Music, this brings classic disco vibes to modern club music. A fruitful return from a pair who seemingly never leave the studio, “Scotch Hop” looks set to fuse BBQs, outdoor terraces and pool sides not to mention various festivals and clubs all summer long. If it was up to me, I would never let them out – but where’s the fun in that?

Review: Tom Jones