Review: Sklyax House Explosion – Under the Loft

DJ Sprinkles and Hardrock Striker have teamed up to form Skylax House Explosion, releasing their second EP in the Skylax series, ‘Under the Loft’. The Waveform Transmitter’s Alasdair McAlley takes a listen to five genre-flitting tracks.

The Loft and David Mancuso. Iconic names that conjure up pictures and stories we’ve seen and read about and for some, experienced for real. The music played at those parties covered many styles of music, from classic 4/4 disco to new wave, prog-rock and everything in-between.

Under the Loft, the second of three EP releases from Skylex House Explosion, contains five previously unreleased tracks Hardrock Striker and DJ Sprinkles have pulled together to accompany the 20 year anniversary CD mix celebrating Skylax Records. With such a strong title expectations for a quality release are naturally high. The reality is a tale of two sides.

The opener What’s Mine is Mine by Sinan Kaya is as polished and clean a house track you’ll hear all year. With a paint-by-numbers Get Your Hands Off My Man feel, it builds with solid use of the house piano. It plods along merrily but with no big finish it may disappoint a sweaty crowd.

The sanitised feel continues with Flabaire and Riders In the Sun. Starting comfortably the synth patterns begin to distort and shift to a more wobbly sound before the return of the classic house piano freehand.

Side A ends with a slice of 90s happy house. The Afterhour mix of Love Connection sounds like Love Island made it on an Atari ST then washed at 60 degrees. It features the classic yelp sample, last heard on Magic Carpet Ride. Jeremy Healy would be proud. Like the name sake TV show, this is a track that will divide opinion on the floor so use with caution.

Things get much more interesting on the flip with two body-shaking dirty party disco bangers.

Don’t Play Around by Slowdawn has a brooding, harder underlying thud with great layering and texture. A more subtle female vocal fits snuggly into a repeatable “you know what I’m talking about” phrase that intensifies and builds nicely. Positioned as an early morning burner (leave that to Smokebelch), this feels much more at home as a transitional late evening to early morning all-to-the-floor track.

On See My Thang On You, Sameed has created a straight-out filthy, woozy disco winner (think white label NY Edits). With a subtle rhythm stutter, infectious guitar licks, a small but beautifully formed breakdown and vocals that sound like they were recorded next door to the party, it’s the sort of track that Mancuso would extend into a 15 minute trip, bringing the party to its knees.

Skylax House Explosion release Under the Loft on June 22nd, via the Skylax imprint. You can check out What’s Mine is Mine, below.

Author: Ste Knight

Editor at The Waveform Transmitter. Lover of acid basslines, cavernous kick drums, and dark rooms. Cut his teeth to Surgeon's blistering techno assault at T-Funkshun in Liverpool and hasn't stopped for breath since.

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