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Brawther – Do It Yourself review

If you’re going to re-launch a label, it always helps if your comeback release is a bit good. And in Do It Yourself by Parisian deep houser Sammy Brawther, Secretsundaze has found a peach. Those with a discerning ear for high calibre deep house have long held him in high regard and his track record is impressive, with releases on Chicago imprint Balance, an offshoot of the great Prescription Records, already under the belt. His recent admission that he was the man behind the Paris Underground Trax alias that caused such a stir last year with a 12″ on My Love Is Underground (turned out he co-runs the label too) filled the small gap in his discography like a jigsaw piece. But even taking into account his work for MLIU, the two original tracks on this EP are undoubtedly a step up.

Secretsundaze dons Giles Smith and James Priestly are known admirers of Brawther, having snapped him up to their DJ booking agency some time ago. It should perhaps also be noted at this juncture that the Frenchman is something of a protégé of Chez Damier. It’s no surprise, then, that the title track bears some of the hallmarks of Damier’s early 90s productions – and that of the aforementioned Prescription imprint that Damier launched with Ron Trent in 1993. To these ears, “Do It Yourself” sounds like it was inspired by a combination of Chuggles “Thank You” (a Prescription Records classic) and Chez & Trent’s “Morning Factory”. Certainly, it has a similar aesthetic – all bumpin’ low end, echo-laden vocal samples, dubby Chicagoan percussion and hypnotic 90s organ riffage. It sounds irresistibly fresh, despite the classic elements on show – a reflection of Brawther’s developing production skills.

“Spaceman Funk” is almost as impressive, and sounds like “Can You Feel It” remade for the 21st century. It’s a touch more jackin’ in the beat department, but the bassline is just as bumpin’ as the A. The addition of Mr Fingers-ish chords lifts it to a whole new level. The package is completed by a superb re-rub of “Spaceman Funk” by George FitzGerald, a young producer who looks destined to fulfill the promise shown on early singles “The Let Down” and “Don’t You”. Rolling on broken house beats, stunning vocal edits, sinewy strings and positive melodies, it rounds off an unmissable EP.

Matt Anniss