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artworks-000037845161-p85p5f-crop.jpgLabel: Hot WavesScore: 9/10 

Hot Waves, the sub-label of Hot Creations, are not in the business of disappointing and they stay true to this by sticking to their musical philosophy. Hot Waves Volume 4 is a compilation with an air of timelessness about it. There is no fussyness here, no perceived need to push the boundaries or appear to be innovative, nor to encompass all genres imaginable. The Hot Creations crew have stuck to tracks that you feel they themselves would want to dance to, a simple philosophy.

The LP gets the ball rolling from a somewhat unexpected source, Leeds based DJ/producer Buckley ‘s “Back To The Tower” kicks off the groove with Ives St. Ange spitting venomous lyrics over the beat. Were it not for the northern tinge to his vocals this could easily blend into the realm of funky old school hip-hop. Up next HNQO firmly lays down the house sound you would expect from the compilation, with the lazy vocals of Bip weaving in and out around a relentless snare for the first four minutes or so until the elements fuse together perfectly for a chunky drop that has you shaking your hips! Vocals seemingly forming a foundation already to this compilation, track three continues in a similar vein, introducing a slightly more bouncy, deeper house sound. Taking the mood again in an altogether different direction Lil’ Mark’s “Fate & Destiny” returns the beat to an up-tempo classic house vibe. A real gem of a track! Mr Jamie Jones himself lends a hand to the edit of Alexis Raphael’s “Rave”, a moody, techy monstrosity that is contrasted immediately after by a fat, deep bass and the beautifully uplifting vocals of Anabel Englund over Human Life’s “Falling”. The transition from moody, tech house to lush vocal house gives this track an intensity of freshness that perhaps wouldn’t be so pronounced otherwise. “Do It Again” by Filthy Rich doesn’t allow the rolling meadows and buttercups feel of “Falling” to linger for too long with snares and hi-hats aplenty, returning to a classic house sound. Shining through the track in abundance is the producer’s experience in the game, the balance of all the elements is absolutely spot on.

Retro-synths, cowbells and bouncy basslines form the basis of track 9, Denney’s “Shake The Club”. A great peak-time track for the dancefloor, “Shake The Club” has an infectiously cool groove to it and is testament to why Denney has reappeared on this revered imprint. Pursuing the dancefloor theme Julien Sandre & Dast’s “Reality” is a darker, more driving track that is followed up by a more retro upbeat groove in the way of Blondish’s “Island Eyes”. Vocals continuing to take centre-stage in the compilation.

Hot Waves is a label that you associate with effortless cool, though track 12 really embodies this. The bubbly minimalist beat and whispery vocals of Carlo Gambino’s “Body 2 Body” make for something so chilled yet so danceable. Kameleon then follow up with their debut Hot Waves release, this quartet hail from North London and keep with their bouncy, energetic house philosophy. The final three tracks of the compilation provide closure, smoothly winding down the compilation. Whilst there has been some real ingenuity in the way in which not only the tracks themselves sound but also the order in which they are presented, with contrasts and moving back and forth through different sounds, the compilation finishes with a soft, melodic, uplifting feel to it. Overall a really good listen, packed full of variety for all moods and situations.

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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