Kim Ann Foxman – Creature
Release Date: 15/06/2015
Sometimes I think Kim Ann Foxman is the music world’s best kept secret. The modern day queen of acid house (formerly of Hercules & Love Affair) who has a keen eye for fashion, a voice that would charm a badger from a set and an impeccable taste in good quality music. What else could you wish for? She runs the wonderful Firehouse label and produces great house music. What! I know. Which is why, despite top jock and Radio 1 support on the original release of Creature (on Andy Butler’s Mr. Intl) it has again, thankfully, seen the light of day with a wonderful set of new remixes from Richy Ahmed, a/jus/ted, Nick Simoncino and Foxman herself. The original, a deep vocal, old-skool landscape of wonderful wobbly synths, classic drum-set, big round bass and simple well defined melodies sounds as beautifully produced now as it did when it was first released. Typically of Foxman, the remix artists are an inspired choice with the emphasis, perhaps, on quality rather than variety of genres but the results are as you would expect from such a worthy group.
Foxman shows us how her sound has developed with a slick acid house (it’s about the bassline) version, full of soul and working the vocal in a very different way from the original. Lush pads, almost tribal drums, arpeggios underpinned by a typically solid bassline drives whole thing into a soaring, emotional piece of New York house. Beautifully balanced on every layer, this is a great testament both to the original and the artist herself.
I’ve always been a fan of a/jus/ted’s straight-up chunky house music approach and their remix yet again proves there is no substitute for experience. Big delayed synths, barking acid, analogue bass, great use of the vocal and a masterful arrangement slowly building and teasing. This is a head down and work it, mid-set stomper. The dub is equally useable, perhaps even more so than the original as it retains many of the crucial elements of the track without sacrificing too much, but keeping it very danceable and letting the bottom end breathe.
Nick Simoncino turns on the Chicago strings and serves up a classic sounding techno offering for those late night moments. Tough and straight forward, this Detroit inspired sound will certainly find favour with the purists.
The real gem of this package is Richy Ahmed’s late night, monster from the deep with its infectious bass, huge drums and hypnotic driving groove. The devil is in the detail and what appears a fairly simple deep tech workout is actually a masterclass in production with a smooth mix down to shake the bug from the bass bin and rattle the windows. The lush breakdown with its extra layer of bass and gentle strings and ambient sounds takes the track in another direction before firing back into that super solid groove. This is club business best played loud on a big rig.
Something a little bit special from Kim Ann Foxman’s excellent Firehouse. If you’re not on it, get on it.