Alfabet – A/B review

There’s no doubt that 2010 has been Rush Hour’s year. The Amsterdam-based label has long been home to high quality electronic music, but there’s little argument that the last 12 months have been their most successful yet. While even the best house and techno labels will release the odd duffer from time to time, it’s hard to recall a poor release from Rush Hour for the best part of two years.

As 2010 draws to a close, the Dutch super-label has come up with the goods again with this first release from Alfabet, a collaboration between the ludicrously talented Tom Trago and Awanto3 of Kindred Spirits’ Rednose Distrikt. Over the course of the next 13 months, the duo will release 13 two-track 12s/digital singles, making up 26 tracks in total – one for each letter of the alphabet. If they’re all as good as the two tracks here, deep house fans are going to be in for a treat.

Lead cut “Roundabout” is the killer. An 11-minute exercise in Detroit style beatdown – albeit with a Dutch deep house twist – it rises and falls impressively on the back on dense, bongo-laden beats, killer chords and the simplest of echo-laden vocal samples. It’s long, loping and unfeasibly simple – just like the best house music. The faster “Lap The Music” takes a similar approach, utilising similarly long chords and hooky vocal samples to devastating effect. On this evidence, 2011 could be Alfabet’s year.

Matt Anniss