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San Soda – Immers & Daarentegen review

Red D’s We Play House label has put itself on the map in 2010 largely thanks to a steady flow of immaculate retro house 12”s primed for club play. However, San Soda’s debut opus Immers & Daarentegen showcases musical passions and influences that reach far beyond the sweaty confines of a dancefloor.

San Soda (aka Nicolas Geysens) and WPH boss Red D (real name Bart Van Neste) became friends while playing for amateur Belgian football side FC Leiejongens, and when Geysens handed his team mate a CD containing some early demos, Van Neste was suitably enthralled to put into action previously unrealised plans to form a label: and so We Play House was born.

Immers & Daarentegen showcases the full breadth of the 23-year-old’s talent, and, like any good electronic album, there are a range of tempos and styles on offer. Opening track “Juno Love” makes slow and stately progress into “Milieutechnologie 1”, the first of a sprinkling of instrumental hip-hop interludes, while breakthrough club hit “Let’s Go” – initially recorded with Red D under their FCL moniker – sits happily alongside more melodic, introspective deep house moments.

“Kousevoetjes” betrays a fondness for smoky, late night jazz and a knack for clever sampling, while “Hypocrisy”, six tracks in, is the first offering in which a house beat truly comes to fore. “Doorsnee” is submerged deep beneath oven warm pads, clipped soul vocals and all round Detroit goodness, while the well written melodies on “Cocomo” and “Shouts In Peace” remind the listener that this is an album with a healthy mix of ‘real’ songs (in terms of arrangement and rhythm) and rough musical sketches.

The album also comes with a bonus mix by Red D containing a selection of WPH tracks past, present and future – all recorded in one take with two turntables and one CDJ. It’s a nice little bonus to a superb album, and one that points to a bright future for both label and artist.

Aaron Coultate