It’s always been about pushing boundaries for Circus Recordings boss Yousef. The Liverpool-based multi-threat has blurred the lines of house and techno for years, via a seasoned mix of classic and futuristic sounds that’s elevated him into the upper echelons of dance. He’s used his label and parties as means to showcase some of the industry’s most revered influencers, reinvigorating the likes of house vet Harry Romero while forecasting the ascendance of talents like Eats Everything. Never one to rest on his laurels, Yousef continues to forge ahead—recent months have yielded an acclaimed EP for Ellen Allien’s BPitch Control, a debut on Kerri Chandler’s Madtech imprint, and reworks for the likes of John Digweed and Nick Muir. To close out 2015, the label boss has come back to Circus imprint with three bumping cuts ripe with old-school influences.
The strength of this EP resides in Yousef’s dynamic use of old and new, tastefully pairing golden-age samples with atmospheric tech-house swells to create modern dancefloor burners. The title track sets off the venture with a bouncing two-bar–boogie riff that repeats throughout, setting a mantra for squelching acid crescendos that dive in and out of a funky groove. “Touch Me” dials back the tempo while maintaining the intensity, kicking off with a pumping percussive section before a chopped vocal unravels and chants for a thunderous pulse. The final track, “Wannabe,” quickens the pace with techy '90s-style programming that breaks to an authoritative analog drum blast. It’s another quality result from Yousef, who delivers his latest with a nod to the past.