Joe Morris // Yello Haze [3am Recordings]
People seem to forget that there was a quality Deep House scene before the rubber stamp of Visionquest and Soul Clap came along. Harkening back to the quality years when names like Paper Recordings, Pagan and Nuphonic were the most sought after releases of the day, Joe Morris’ Yello Haze straddles that fence between all things Disco and House. Rising strings – not too dissimilar to the intro of Pet Shop Boy’s West End Girls – accompany soulful adlibs and acidic twinkles, showing that to be deep you don’t necessarily have to reduce your elements to a sour residue.
This pitfall is the exact one that the Alcatraz Harry and Ali Scott remix falls into. At first deliciously gritty and direct, it announces itself well with moody synth tolls that fill the soundstage. We then drop into a raw and funky bass guitar loop which sets you up perfectly for whatever is to follow. Except nothing really follows this shift, leaving you feeling like you have suddenly found yourself inside the Mighty Boosh Jazz Funk sketch.
The Didier Morris and 2 Billion Beats remixes are much more successful, both using the original as a foundation to expressively expand upon rather than to discard. Didier, no relation to Joe himself, chooses to amplify the haziness of the original. Sidechained compression bears down upon you like mid-afternoon Sun, along with a big resonating bassline that punches through the atmosphere. The pick of the bunch award goes to 2 Billion Beats, however, with a low tempo Disco reworking that drifts between cosmic and dub, the very sort of sound that could happily punctuate a DJ Harvey or Andrew Weatherall set.
With this in mind, you’d do well to ignore your DJ instincts to head for the higher tempo, the friendly intro and stick to the deep paths.
Release Date: Out Now