Grown Ups Grown Ups

EPs

Donga & Blake Donga & BlakeGrown Ups

7 / 10

Donga & Blake Grown Ups WELL ROUNDED RECORDS (WRND005, 12”)

James Blake does not have exclusive use of his name - that is something that was long ago demonstrated by an elite tennis player - so it must be assumed that this Blake, of Well Rounded Records' fifth release, is not the same James Blake who makes dubstep cry. In fact, it's not him: it's another whose name is similar, but who also gives slow rhythm a foppish touch. On the other hand, we know who Donga is: Ashley Marlowe, intelligent English techno veteran, ex-member of Conemelt, almost always in the orbit of Andrew Weatherall, a man with a special passion for house for whom life's twists have ended up putting him in line behind young talents like Deadboy and Joy Orbison, who maintains a very prudent equidistance between American deep house, dripping ambient textures and modern infiltrations of dub in English club music. The first track on the 12", " Grown Ups", is that which most features Todd Edwards and other American producers of luxurious, passionate house diverting attention from the sounds of central London to a transnational periphery in which dubstep is not the main ingredient. The two pieces (including " Detroitus") sound like deep house with timid voices pointing to garage/2-step - to which we must add a jazz touch and rhythmic base, which is here much more broken, more urban and of course completely contemporary - and you don't get a real whiff of London until you flip the vinyl and hear the Geiom remix for " Small Hours", UK Garage with shiny textures that bring us back to the beginning of this story, when Horsepower Productions were synonymous with avant-garde. 2-step revival? Another reason to think so. Claude T. Hill

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