With every batch of CDs to review there’s generally one that makes you think it’s likely to be as pleasurable to listen to as a dentist’s drill and in this batch, Deep Thrills Volume 1 was that CD.
The thought of a double album of “UK Garage, broken 2-step, deep house and dubstep” was enough to make this househead’s heart sink, and call me a snob, but the very idea that deep house could be thrown into such an unappetising mix had me reaching for my Larry Levan crucifix.
Things start out at the twitchier, more 2-step end of the scale with one of two C.R.S.T tracks on the CD, followed by Baxta’s Keep You: spare, dark and old school ravey. Unsurprisingly, it’s the housier tracks that won me over. In particular, Heavy Hearts Deeper was the first track that stood out on this unmixed CD with its deep, almost tribal house energy. Always Love You by Drop Dead is similarly impressive, again possessing depth and a raw, back to basics feel, though on repeated listening those cheesy speeded up “Garage vocals” do the track no favours. Heavy Hearts score a second winner with House Was The One. Trevor Lovey’s Strange Paradise and Earthbound are also both standouts.
Given how unmoved I was by C.R.S.T’s two tracks on the first unmixed CD, the chances of me being a fan of their mixing style seemed slim, but I have to admit that their pacing here was spot on. So whilst this second mixed disc didn’t change my opinion of many of the tracks I’d heard unmixed, I can’t fault how they’re put together here, bracketed by Trevor Lovey’s spacey Earthbound and Strange Paradise. There’s a fat Heavy Hearts double drop midway and Klifton Manner’s Broken Love is one of the few tracks that actually sounds better in the mix and more like the ‘leftfield’ sounds the accompanying notes promised. Overall, this is a very patchy release, probably not aimed at me given the precise mix of genres. But it definitely has its moments and any label that aims to “explore more leftfield releases” deserves at least a listen and certain artists: Trevor Loveys, Baxta, Klifton Manner and Heavy Hearts especially, really impressing.
Words – Colin Chapman