Vin Sol It's House EP
With its spare, white sleeve and vintage-looking label stamp, the artwork of San Francisco DJ/producer Vin Sol's newest 12" seems designed to evoke the look of classic Chicago house records from labels like DJ International and Trax. It's House—which is being released via Vin Sol's and Matrixxman's own Soo Wavey imprint—also features a collaboration with Chicago hip-house pioneer Tyree Cooper as its titular a-side, suggesting that this similarity is far from a coincidence.
Aforementioned a-side is a piece of slow and brooding deep house, and pairs atmospheric drums and pads with Cooper's unmistakable voice. It's elegantly conceived, albeit not much of an evolution on a style that's now some 25 years old. Also on the EP's a-side is Vin Sol's "Zanzibar Mix" of the title track, which adds a heftier beat and a bit of garage swing, waking the tune up in the right way with its Kerri Chandler-esque organ stabs. On the flipside, "Real Fresh" is a collaboration with Matrixxman, which showcases the latter producer's wonky, techno-influenced sensibility and is and probably the EP's highlight. The track features plenty of cowbell and claps, as well as stuttering vocal samples, and boasts a subtly off-kilter beat that's seemingly always on the verge of building up to something that never arrives or is about to fall apart. "Out of the Box" is It's House's final tune, and the only track on the EP to present Vin Sol solo. It's a rigid, tracky number with some nice synth and drum interplay, but in the end, it's not especially memorable. It's House is a solid enough effort, and it's certainly nice to hear Tyree Cooper on some new tracks that play to his strengths, but the release doesn't do enough to build upon the classic sounds it's playing tribute to.
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