Slowhouse, Three

[Slowhouse Recordings]

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If house is a feeling, then Slowhouse’s “Three” is a little too pristine and controlled to fit in completely. This is not a criticism; the project has taken the vogue pared-down house of Cassy, et al., and stripped it to the warm essentials. Bridging house vibe and techno precision, the series has hit a sweet spot where contradictions are even welcomed. One instance: you could argue that Slowhouse hasn’t reached far outside its aesthetic muse, but that’s also helped the series sound simultaneously humble and slick. But let’s not forget that the Slowhouse project is (mostly) a faceless affair. Releases are named sequentially, tracks are untitled, and although the releases are attributed to the relatively small city of Zurich (and specifically the Drumpoet Community), the producers get to stay as anonymous as Internet rumors allow. The latest one is the wildly conceivable tag-team of Quarion and Agnès.

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Truthfully, I could care less about the pseudonym sweepstakes. What matters is that “Three” is the latest success for Slowhouse. From the just-right vocal trill on the first untitled track to the sponge synthpad that soaks up the fourth, the single is consistent, gentle, unassuming. “Three” is also noticeably laid-back — the unwavering strings of the second track make a nice bed for a fuzzy 303 to get thrown around like a cat’s toy. All in all, I might still be most enamored with the first track; each refrain sounds necessary without ever being urgent. There’s a crack and fizz throughout the track that lets it gently expand while a submerged clipped chime never lets anything get too far away. It’s perfectly measured, but when fine-tuning sounds this good why settle for anything else?

Elly  on August 6, 2008 at 9:14 AM

I love this record! It was at the top of my chart for July, and will be in the rotation for some time–to me, it definitely has a timeless quality.

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