As another year draws to a close, Kris and I are frantically trying to compile a list of our favorite tracks of the year. Quite the mountain to climb so to speak, with so many great records coming out over the past 12 months. The re-edit/slo-mo craze seems to have blown over a little bit and has given way to an exciting branch of moody warehousish deephouse that's a little rough around the edges but a little easier on the jugular than the stuff that came out in the 90s (I honestly can't handle 126 BPM house tracks anymore). More on that later though! (we now have a list of about 50 tunes we're trying to narrow down to our 10 absolute favorites. All we need is a few more bitchfights and we'll be ready to post it up before the end of the year).
Before we get to that, we want to turn the spotlight on two records that got shortlisted right away: Pools EP1 and EP2 on US imprint Spills. Two brilliant slices of deep, dubby and moody midtempo house-not-house/disco-not-disco reminiscent of Moodymann, Andres, Theo Parrish and the likes. This doublepack saw the light of day a few months ago and we snapped them up over at Rush Hour immediately, expecting the records to sell out in a flash. The hype we anticipated never really followed though, so we figured we'd keep them to ourselves and shelve them in the 'secret weapons' section. Since Christmas is all about sharing and caring though, we figured we'd cover them anyway and let you in on the fun.
We know little to nothing about Pools. They're from LA. That's about it. The records came out on Spills (who put out one record before these puppies came out, a bunch of wonky reworks of MJ), which we know nothing about either. Back to the music then. EP 1 is a four track affair, which starts out with "Water's Fine", a midtempo nugget with a hip-hop feel that wouldn't be out of place on one of Farina's Mushroom Jazz mixes. "The End of Summer" comes with a similar vibe, but with a steady 4/4 kick, dusty loops, filtered chants etc. "Skate" on the flip is another chuggy bomb with a vintage hiphop feel. The Pools crew upped the pace a little on the fourth and final track "Blue Dream" and spinkled some magic disco dust to keep everyone happy. Have a listen to Blue Dream below:
Pools - Blue Dream by spls
EP2 largely follows the same recipe. The record starts off with "Chlorine Cologne", a moody and haunting number which sits rather nicely alongside the downtempo and dreamy 'Tubbin'. On the B, "The Oaks" takes us back to some fine Detroity drums and muted guitar action. The closing track is another mellow beatdown affair. Have a listen to Chlorine Cologne below:
Pools - Chlorine Cologne by spls
Without a doubt two of the finest 12"s we came accross this year. Impossible to pick a favorite, so just buy them both and give them the rinsing they deserve. We'll make sure to keep a close eye on Pools and Spills in the coming years.
Buy EP1 here / Buy EP2 here
And to stick with the sharing and caring theme, we also stumbled upon this ace free edit the Pools boys are giving away on their soundcloud page.
She - Easy Money (Pools Edit) by Pools Sound