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Hotel Motel – Paying The Price review

Clearly age hasn’t dampened Bill Brewster’s passion for dance music. In recent times, the veteran journalist, author, DJ and online entrepreneur has stepped up his production efforts, first with re-edit fiends Fat Camp and now as one half of Hotel Motel.

Following a handful of remixes and a wickedly old skool single for Home Taping Is Killing Music, Brewster and production partner Alex Tepper have transferred to the ever-excellent Under The Shade imprint. The result is a worthy four-tracker featuring both bumpin’ house and deliciously dubbed-out synth disco cuts.

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s the latter that particularly impress. The original version of “Paying The Price”, featuring the distinctive tones of Brighton-based Sheffield born chanteuse Kathy Diamond, is the real killer. Diamond’s immaculate vocal, boosted with just the right amount of reverb and delay, sits atop a sparse, sparkling groove that’s judged to perfection. That cowbell heavy beat – not dissimilar to the Universal Robot Band’s “Barely Breaking Even” but given an electrofunk sheen – work perfectly with the nagging electro bassline and simple synth and guitar melodies, all dubbed to within an inch of their lives.

You can bask in the loveliness of the groove thanks to the inclusion of “Novak”, basically a reworked instrumental dub of the vocal original. The package is completed by vocal and instrumental house takes. While these lack the simple sparkle of the disco versions, they offer solid alternatives for DJs of a more house inclined persuasion. The vocal version, in particular, is worth a look, if only for the addition of a backing male vocal that adds an extra dimension to the mix.

Matt Anniss