Label: Deeply Rooted
Release Date: 02/09/13
Having been founded in 2003, DJ Deep’s legendary Deeply Rooted House imprint has recently undergone a rebranding, losing the word house from the title, to fit in with DJ Deep’s own diversifying personal tastes, and support the steady rise in talented new techno producers. The first of these burgeoning artists to cement Deeply Rooted’s newly vamped manifesto, is Ear To Ground co-founder Dax J, contributing a four track EP traversing a plethora of his own key influences.
Whilst the word ‘house’ may have outstayed it’s welcome in the label’s title, deep still remains an extremely relevant adjective, especially given the smokey, dub-tinged stabs of Dax J’s opening gambit, ‘D1’. Rhythmically, ‘D1’ calls to mind Jonas Kopp’s often skeletal approach to drums, as punchy, mid-range kicks are offset by tinny hats, and coarse claps and snares.
Delving several shades darker, second track ‘Something In The Woods’, centres around a crooked, 90s style acid riff, snaking between pummelling rhythms and unsettling synthetic textures. Whilst the track may take a fairly conventional approach, it still remains a clever exercise in seeing what can be done with a specific array of classic techno tools.
Thudding kicks and hazy, disorientating chords make up the basis of third track ‘Stolen Glory’, a peak-time offering to big scale warehouse techno.
Given that the previous tracks adopt fairly classic approaches to the techno format, ‘Angel Dust’ is something of a curveball. Whilst the opening half remains a relatively straight-edged floor filler, the second portion is interlaced with choppy jungle breaks (along with Lyn Collins’ omnipresent ‘Woo, Yeah’ sample), perhaps a consequence of Dax J’s formative years spent mixing jungle and D&B as a DJ on London’s pirate radio stations.
It’s somewhat gratifying to see a label head as established as DJ Deep delving into new territory after ten successful years of Deeply Rooted, and off the back of Dax J’s immaculately produced EP we’re more than looking forward to seeing where his sonic voyages take the label next.