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Braille – The Year 3000 review

In recent times, Rush Hour’s Direct Current offshoot has been a constant source of inspirational, dancefloor baiting material. Seemingly designed to offer a retro-futurist take on house from producers perhaps better known for their more experimental material – most recently seen on the thrilling, head-warping releases from Cosmin TRG and BNJMN – the imprint has rarely put a foot wrong to date.

This two-tracker fits neatly into the RH DC template. Braille is a new pseudonym for Praveen, one half of post-dubstep visionaries Sepalcure (whose recent Hotflush EP Fleur was one of that label’s most interesting and forward-thinking releases yet). In true RH DC style, the tracks presented here offer a cutting-edge take on house music that gives classic Chicago jack and the melodic futurism of Detroit a fresh new twist.

“The Year 3000” opens with a delay-laden vocal snippet from Sterling Void’s Chicago classic “It’s Alright”, before sprinting off on a woozy journey into 21st century Euro-jack – all dub-laden percussion, heavyweight 808 thumps, hissing jazz cymbals, spiralling vocal cut-ups and heavy, off key chords. The bassheads currently making their first forays into house will love it.

“Leavin’ Without You” treads a similar path, but offers more basic, straightforward thrills. A heartfelt vocal sample nimbly dances round a ricocheting rhythm of off-beat 4/4 percussion, densely layered chords and mind-altering FX. By the time the organs drop after two minutes, you’ll be lost in the pulsing, ever-evolving groove. Like its impressive A-Side, “Leavin’ Without You” is off-kilter late night house music of the highest order.

Matt Anniss