9West - Velvet EP (Dessous, Out now)
Dessous continue to turn out more subterranean house, with a four track EP from Greek duo 9west, who's debut EP for the label dropped last year. I recently praised Steve Bug and Cle's new EP as a return to form for Poker Flat, and now Bug's pulled the same trick with Dessous; this is the kind of rich, late-night house music that the label's famous for. Good shit.
Opening with Chasing Demons, 9west summon up a lush palette of bongo-laden percussion, whispered vocals and loping synth riffs, building a long-running deep house epic from a vast array of elements; hardly devastating, but definitely one to build up with. There's much of the same on the other three tracks, with Moments leaning heavily toward Detroit, ratcheting up the tension via swelling synths and percussive drop outs, whilst the second half of the EP showcases a more dub-friendly palette of delay and comfort-reverb. It's with the latter that 9west shine; their sound's so heavily layered that the more straight-forward 4/4 material can feel a little too complex, whereas when they draw out a single idea over the course of one track, it's far more effective. Velvet's definitely the stand-out number, reminiscent of Trentemoller's Moan with it's recurrent two-note lament and ethereal vocals, whilst The Big Picture is perfect after-hours music that slowly draws the EP to a close.