Julius Steinhoff, Out In the Woods EP

[Geography Records]

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Until recently, nearly all of Julius Steinhoff’s valuable contributions to the world of house music were collaborations. His Hamburg-based record shop-cum-label, Smallville Records, is a joint venture with Peter Kersten (aka Lawrence) that’s delighted listeners with artfully crafted house tracks by everyone from Christopher Rau and STL to Move D. Steinhoff’s initial forays into production were collaborative as well, first with with Abdeslam Hammouda (as Steinhoff & Hammouda) and later with Hammouda and Just von Ahlefeld (as Smallpeople). After testing the waters with a solo track on a Smallville split 12″, the serial collaborator strikes out on his own with the Out In the Woods EP for Geography Records.

Although underpinned by the soothing pads that have been Steinhoff staples, what sets this EP apart from his past work is the introduction of vocal samples throughout. They’re tools he utilizes masterfully, choosing curiously effective spoken samples and arranging them to foster tension in relatively placid instrumentals. For “Mischief Of One Kind and Another,” he takes snippets of Vinia Mojica pronouncing Talib Kweli’s name from his track “The Blast,” letting her syllables pierce tranquil grooves. Stuttering, grainy vocals act as percussive elements next to the vintage claps and hi-hats of the title track while gradually building melodies envelop listeners. And on “Zealand,” a simple statement provides gentle support for swelling tones and the ridged progressions winding along their contours. The Out In the Woods EP is a triumph, an immaculately produced record that swiftly establishes Steinhoff as a force to be reckoned with by himself.

Adam Lundberg / Geography  on May 3, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Thanks for the review! Means a lot.
/Geography Records

Pierre-Nicolas  on May 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM

“Triumph” is maybe too strong for this record. But I really like it (especially Out in the woods, melancholic, deep, yes more music like this please ;-). I bought it at Hard Wax as a promo copy, with no infos on it (just Geography 02, but didn’t know about it yet), and I was really happy when I’ve learned who was behind… We need more personal records like this.

Anton  on May 3, 2011 at 10:01 AM

I think anytime a relatively untested solo artist puts out a record with three great tunes it’s a triumph. This one firmly establishes both Steinhoff and Geography in one fell swoop. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Blaktony  on May 3, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Nice & cool.


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