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Strong Souls – Remember When


ssouls.jpgLabel: Vibes & PepperRelease: 8/10 

For those in the know, Vibes and Pepper has long been a canny source for house music of a seriously genuine and quality-strewn persuasion. Remixes and originals by some of the scene’s most worthy and celebrated names (not least Claude Young, Norm Talley and Terrence Parker) emphatically underline the point. The label head’s most recent endeavour sees him turn his hand to a new label, with the recently established D3 Elements starting, it would appear, where Vibes and Pepper last signed off.

Much of that is down to Strong Souls, an admittedly little known proposition but a man who quite clearly knows how to knock out a refined and raw sounding house jam. Having worked alongside Larry Heard and released on Dance Mania, it’s safe to say he’s got previous too, and he brings such expected effervescent tones to the table with some distinction on the Remember When EP: a 3-track affair that yearns for a time when house music was all about soul.

Even so, this isn’t an EP that’s attempting to stir up any sort of faux-nostalgia. Instead, I’m sure the producer would rather we focus on the tracks at hand, a beautiful collection of music that’s bursting with warm, stifling analogue grooves and moments of sheer brilliance aplenty. It all kicks off with ”The Beast”, a muscular, provocative ahem, beast that features shades of Mike Banks et al at their best.

”Remember When” adopts a more curious guise, with its bongo percussion acting as a wonderful underlay to its shining and ubiquitous chords; the most thrilling and evocative of all that’s on show here. Lastly, ”Don’t You Know” allows time for reflection, with a lighthearted, spirited sound that begs obvious parallels with the aforementioned Mr Heard. Seriously ace stuff. 

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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