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White Noise: Si’Ke DJs – Safe House

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Si’Ke DJs – Safe House

Label: Say Ahh!

Some people might not know too much about Scottie Deep (aka Scott Kinchen) and his brother MK, but back in the 90s New York House scene the pair were practically legendary, putting on events and parties as well as releasing a series of strong EPs on the hottest labels of the time such as Strictly Rhythm and Henry Street Music. They faded from the limelight in the last ten years or so, but apparently in 2012 they’re back, setting up the Say Ahh! label for a pure love of music and because they “missed the smell of new vinyl”. However on the first Say Ahh! release it’s not Scottie or MK at the helm but Manchester newcomers Si’Ke Dj’s (aka Si Jones and Mike Morgan) who do an admirable job of catapulting us back in time to the very height of New Jersey House. This EP doesn’t do anything particularly new but it contains four tracks of excellent dance music, and if that’s not enough for the House-heads then I don’t know what it is.

EP Minimix

The pair leap straight in on A-side Safe House, with powerful drums and classic keys setting up a heavy groove instantly. The hardware used sounds more vintage than cutting edge but with such a great knack for structure it hardly needs to be modern, with stuttering vocals and a shifting bassline layered expertly onto the track. As the tune continues the simple but catchy keys come to the fore along with an elongated version of the vocal sample, cementing the strength of the opener. Say What! is on the flipside, a different take on a similar sound that adds light organs and a nagging vocal line to the potent drums. The track really comes into its own with the addition of a great bass loop deep in the mix, introduced on its own with a singular kick drum. Again, each layer is stripped away and re-introduced to give maximum satisfaction to the listener, with both tracks sounding like the products of real House legends.

Although the sound on display here won’t be particularly new or surprising to anyone, the impressive inclusion of two very accomplished Dubs might just be. Normally a Dub adds little to a song or strips down a few layers to make it ‘deeper’, but the alternate versions of these two tracks are significantly different from the originals, and clearly aimed at being incorporated at different stages of a mix. On Safe House (Deep Dub), the addition of some emotive piano chords and searing synth strings makes a world of difference, resulting in a track that is lighter while remaining just as catchy and inviting. The Dub of Say What! goes really deep, transforming the tune completely into a heady House workout replete with piano, extended vocal line and a rolling synthline that holds it all together over the simple percussion. The House sound on display here still works because it’s essentially timeless, and on the two original tracks here (and the surprisingly worthy Dubs) we’re treated a collection of tight and perfectly produced dance music that is guaranteed to make anyone move.


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