Bristol imprint Banoffee Pies has been in operation since 2013, positioning itself as a “platform for music with no signature sound—for the lovers and listeners.”Besides a solitary LP from Mark Nicholas, its entire discography has consisted of various artist compilations, featuring artists such as Christian Jay, Ruf Dug, Cuisine Dub, and Admin. In terms of genre, if you dig through the imprint's back catalog, you'll find gritty deep house, jazz-like beats, off-kilter hip-hop, and everything in between—and, although it positions itself as a label with no signature sound, two thing runs through all the Banoffee Pies releases: quality and vibe.
The next release to drop on the label is yet another VA—this time kicking off the new Black Label series—which further extends the label’s wide reaching sound with a focus on minimal and sounds that sit at the deeper end of the club spectrum.
From the first few bars of Christian Jay’s opening cut, “Rhotic,” it’s clear that the quality and vibe of the label has continued over to the new series. There’s an understated beauty that immediately presents itself on the track, before a barrage of micro-house glitches and sharp percussion locks you into the rolling groove. From there, the release buries itself deeper with Larry De Kat’s “Starry Nite Life,” a chunky bass-led cut that gallops along with minimalistic synth flourishes and well-placed vocal chops.
More of the same continues on the flip with Florist’s “Blacky,” the EP’s most energetic and dense cut. It’s a trippy outing that excels in its arrangement, with enough buried in the mix to keep even the most discerning of dancers intrigued and bewildered. Christian Jay steps up again with “GG3” to close proceedings, this time with Crump in tow, with a seven-minute dub-infused workout that, like the previous three cuts, lets the groove do the talking.
Black Label 001 is yet another notch on the belt for Banoffee Pies, and one that firmly places the imprint as one of the most consistent labels of recent times.
The EP will drop on June 13 as a limited-press vinyl-only release.