In the wake of Freak n Chic folding a couple of years ago, Franck Roger has helmed his Real Tone Records imprint to the top of the pile in France. Releasing an on-point blend of house and tech from himself and a cosmopolitan selection of others like Burnski, M A N I K and Maya Jane Coles. For the second biggest artistic statement of his career to date, though, Roger opts for fellow French label Circus Company for the release of his next album, Extensions of Yesterday.
After a debut LP, Word of Mouth, that offered some great moments, Matt Tolfrey here serves up its second single, complete with two rather unpredicted remixes in the form of Marco Bernadi and the inimitable DJ Sprinkles. The single in original form, ‘Encarta’, is a blissed-out, end of night house affair doused in warm chords, circled by thin pads and propelled by some nice loose limbed drum work.
Although they have a very close family of artists, Circus Company aren’t afraid to reach out and bring a new talent into the fold every so often. One such case is Andrey Pushkarev who here makes his debut despite years spent DJing and working as a distributor in Moscow. On this evidence woozy deep house is his preferred sound, offering up as he does three cuts of the stuff with a cultured edge.
Things kick off with the title track, a subtly bouncy, warming house track enriched with plenty of humid synth lines that melt away and reappear in an intoxicating way. Far off bird sounds add some detail to the rhythm and dub seems to be as much an influence as does modern, European deep house. Next, ‘Picea Abies’ is a thoroughly smooth and down lo groove with gentle beats swaying to and fro beneath rolling dub techno chords. The odd percussive edges point through to keep you moving forward and it’s testament to Andrey’s skill that he coaxes such feeling from such familiar elements.
It doesn’t seem like it, but two years have passed since Aquarius Heaven bust onto the scene in 2011. The man known as Brian Brewster came from a hip hop background, and it showed: with his tightly delivered and (atypically for the underground house scene) witty lyrical content he bought a certain freshness to the sexy electro-funk sound the likes of Wolf & Lamb champion so well. Here it appears on Circus Company alongside his original beat making partners, Damien and Clement of dOP fame.