The Graze collaboration between New Kanada label owner Adam Marshall and fellow Canadian producer Christian Andersen have been in rare form this year, delivering three completed works, and now a fourth before the year's end. The Edges album is one of the better LPs we've heard in 2013 that combines elements of deep techno and lo-fi house - with the slightest flecks of footwork and dubstep-influenced elements. For a lighter combination of all three, "Skip/Crush", the album's opener, is a perfect example of this, while "Cold Drop" is more bass inclined with warbles of grimey low end. For something decidedly techno, "Stack Away" delivers the goods, and for something leaning towards house music there's the euphoric "Airror" and urban sounding "Ripley".
Sheer (Too Much Going On Neurotic mix) - (6:27) 120 BPM
For this latest Mr Jones EP by Nina Kraviz, she withdraws any sentiments of ghetto house heard on last year's debut album and turns in something house and techno inspired for Rekids. Her sultry, accented vocals still play a large role in her music however, best heard in the dark house of "Desire", the first track of this double EP. "Mr Jones" begins much the same was as "Desire", but when the beat does drop, it's not as tough, but twice as haunting - complementing the EPs cover art. Kraviz teams up with Luke Hess for the Detroit techno drum track that is "Remember", while "Black White" offers the some respite from the previous productions gloominess with something more festive and tropical. From here Kraviz provides some classic, minimal, and percussive deep house in "So Wrong", which leads perfectly into the club drumming of "Sheer". A superb follow up by Kraviz.
If 2013 was the year that classic house made a comeback, it could also be viewed as the time when artists like Scuba drew on this source to drive their own creativity. That's not to suggest that Update - a "story so far" compilation from Scuba's back catalogue aimed at newcomers - is all about Kerri Chandler grooves or Larry Heard's drums. Indeed, tracks like "The Hope" and "Never" see the UK producer head in a decidely commerical direction and on "So You Think You're Special" and "Before" he turns his hand to slowburn ambient pop. But there is an underlying element from yesteryear on Update, be that on the soulful vocals of "Adrenalin" or the sweeping keys and dramatic break down of "You Got Me". 2013 belonged to classic house, but Scuba's ability to adapt was never far behind.