German imprint Quintessentials' mission statement is to keep underground house music on the map. It claims to hold a candle to those old house records: they love that raw yet soulful vibe. For their 56th (!) release they have tapped Mexican producer 4004, who has had releases also of late on FACES, Poetry In Motion and Late Night Jackin'. Smoky late night groove "No Dreams" gets things off to a good start with its smooth Rhodes, bumpy bassline and hypnotic bongo action. We particularly enjoyed the pumping NYC basement vibe of "Fanta Club" while "Black Alley Shuffle" gets back to the program in sexy and dusky fashion complete with some dusty rhythms, diva vocals and further mood lighting with the impressive use of filter sweeps.
Despite dating back to 2011, it was only a matter of time before Nick Harris was enticed to allow his A Sagittariun project leave the Elastic Dreams fold. Of course, decamping to Idle Hands makes perfect sense, as the Bristol label shares the same open minded approach as A Sagittariun. This finds expression on "Pseudo Science", where swung rhythms, a rave-fuelled sense of wonder and building chords all come together to create a wonderfully playful track. "Heavy Manners" is much straighter and less nuanced; Harris focuses on delivering a rolling, bass-heavy groove that features warbling acid, bizarre vocal samples and sensuous textures unravelling in kaleidoscopic unison.