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White Noise: Dusky – Lost Highway

Monday, 20 February 2012

Dusky – Lost Highway

Label: Anjunadeep

Lost Highway

Three Colours

Someone Like You

Deep House is not a genre that the UK dance scene is particularly famous for, but given the strength of the releases by duo Dusky, aka Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, this might be set to change. Since their debut long player Stick By This emerged the pair have been one to watch, and this EP proves they have so much more to give. This giving occurs not only under the Dusky moniker as the pair also record more upbeat House jams as Solarity, but under both guises there is an impressive show of skill alongside a killer sense for mood.

The EP kicks off with an extended mix of Lost Highway, a standout cut from their LP which is already on the way to becoming a Deep House classic. A stripped beat with more than a little swing introduces deep, melancholic chords and an echoing vocal line. The groove is firmly established by a simple 4/4, and these dance chops are twinned with an extraordinarily emotive tone; sweeping strings and a moving ‘you’ looping across the soundfield and producing that powerful melancholy that only the deeper end of House music can conjure. You have to hear it to get what’s so extraordinary about this track, but there’s no doubt that it’s something special, not to mention it has the potential to be a 4am club anthem.

But this EP is more than just a rehash of old material. Three Colours takes a harder approach with a firm bass pulse driving a meaty bassline that gives way to twinkling synths and a plaintive vocal refrain. All the compositions here are fairly simple but this really works to the pair’s advantage, as it’s impressive how they produce both a strong groove and a deep atmosphere with so few elements. Final original cut Someone Like You does one better, slowing things down with soft, moody chords and spare production laying the base for a powerful vocal sample and fleeting synth accents. Hugga Thugg remixes Lost In You to close off the digital release, offering a more upbeat affair with sharp beats, skittering synths and a well applied selection of vocal slices, providing a nice but ultimately unremarkable end to the release. Whether you ignore it or not, the strength of the three original Dusky tracks here should be more than obvious; and the abundance of late-night atmospherics and clear danceability should make this an essential for DJs and Deep House fans alike.


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