Cottam - Deep Deep Down (Aus Music, 07 November)
Having eagerly followed Cottam's rise to prominence, we welcome his new 12" with open arms - his four 12"s on his own imprint were superlative peices of work, but with very limited pressings and no digital release, superstardom was never going to come easily. Though he's snuck out various remixes and soundcloud giveaways, this is Cottam's only release not on his own imprint since the 12" for Use of Weapons, and with the critically acclaimed Aus Music backing him up, it aught to garner him the recognition deserved. Moving away from his signature slow-groove house, Cottam's begun to channel a more acidic, technoid sound, without losing the funk and soul that make him stand out. With metallic percussion and an acidic synth line, Deep Deep Down channels hints of Jus-Ed and Levon Vincent, peppering the robotic with fluid afrobeat percussion and a wailing saxophone. Like Cottam's previous works, it's a well-crafted long-runner that manages to work a limited pallette of sounds without growing repetitive. Whilst filling an appropriately weird niche with it's reconstructed rhythms and tape screeches, the Vakula remix leaves me somewhat cold in comparison - it's a fun addition nonetheless.
The B-side, Twang returns to Cottam's signature pitched down groove, with funk-inflected guitars and wailing vocal snippets peppering a languid bassline. Contrasted with Cottam's self-titled releases however, both tracks on this 12" are leaning more towards recognisable house and techno rhythms with a definite focus. However, Cottam manages to avoid the stylistic neutering that broadening appeal often equates to (Daft Punk, Wiley, Skream, this means you) and it genuinely feels like Cottam has improved by moving from languid sketches of confused beauty, to fully-realised masterpeices. Quality work from one of the most interesting house producers at the moment.