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Waze & Odyssey – Ways Of The Underground EP

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WEBST008---Ways-fo-the-UndergroundLabel: W&O Street Tracks
Score: 8/10

Hot on the heals of their Essential Mix the house duo Waze & Odyssey return to their own W&O Street Tracks with a chunky EP of bumping big room grooves and remixes from two heavyweight veterans John Tejada and Jacques Renault. The birth of W&O Street Tracks with their inaugural release ‘Love That Burns (Hot Enough)’ and the monster ‘Night Rays’ from Ejeca set the scene for Waze & Odyssey to not so much as find a niche but dynamite a chasm for their quality house sound. With a nod to the past but facing firmly in a contemporary direction W&O Street Tracks has found success by walking the fine line of providing credible yet danceable music. The Ways Of The Underground EP does exactly, with its title track of the same name diving head first into a pool of classic house; big kick and tight percussion with shades of Todd Terry, subby driving bass and Detroit strings building with vocal snippets “This Is The Waze Of The Underground”. A catchy riff and a vocal sample give it that retro feel, but still pushing boundaries on the retro revolution that house is going through. We’re talking straight up club fodder the way it was back in the day, fuelled with energy and elements to make the punters jump without reverting to big breakdowns and unnecessary EDM tactics.

Despite not being the lead track ‘Feel On Fire’ is the most successful in terms of a DJ weapon with its long build up, undulating melodies and  (when it gets there) big W&O groove. The kick drum alone is enough to make your windows rattle, and that groove is pretty relentless, but when the pads, simple repetitive synth melody and vocal snippets build layer on layer it’s more than enough to keep your attention and, of course, your floor grooving. There’s always the sense that there’s more to come, and there is, but you’ll have to wait for it. However the bumping, grinding, shaking groove is well worth it. If this doesn’t get the bass bin rattling and the punters moving, something out there isn’t working right.

House veteran John Tejada takes on ‘Waze Of The Underground’ with a smooth tech-house workout retaining that bass led groove but sounding a little classic Chicago, perhaps a little Ron Trent or Larry Heard.

Another super experienced producer Jacques Renault squares up to ‘Feel On Fire’ with an uncompromising romp of house goodness, underpinning the groove with some huge sounding bass and drums and keeping many of the elements in the original to give another dance floor option with a more immediate feel and a snappy arrangement.

Another solid package from W&O Street Tracks, a very reliable label that is more than worthy of following and certainly picking up on vinyl as a future investment. Some quality remixes are featured too but the originals are hard to beat, especially ‘Feel On Fire’ with its unrushed arrangement and big bouncing groove. Hot.

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