Friday, 2 July 2010

Donga & Blake - 'Grown Ups/Detroitus'

The latest release on the Brighton based label Well Rounded is a collaboration between label head Donga (aka Ultrasound) and Blake. The label is home to some of the best and most exciting up-coming artists in the world of UK garage and funky, with some really strong releases recently from the likes of Deadboy, Hackman and C.R.S.T. The label has many new exciting releases forthcoming as well, and later this month the label will be hosting its first club night in Brighton to display the talent it has on offer.

This 5th release on Well Rounded is quite a departure from what has gone before, with a more refined and forward thinking sound developed in these records rather than the slightly more colourful and exaggerated house and garage that someone like Deadboy had specialised in creating. The EP is great in the way it balances a number of directions and influences, with an really strong balance between soulful house, deep techno, funky and also garage rhythms. The first track 'Grown Ups' is very much of the tech-house sound, whilst still incorporating that old school garage feel and sound. Arrangements on the track are subtle and refined, rather different from the more explicit and bass heavy garage produced by C.R.S.T and Deadboy. The second track 'Detroitus' is my favourite of the EP, a track which was sold to me in Joy Orbison's Sonar set. This track has a real UK funky sound to it, with a strong rhythm complemented by the nicely arranged house chords that trickle in the background. The presence of the vocals are hypnotising as well, with the words "Can't Stop. Won't Stop" playing the perfect foil to the tracks well produced beat and chords.

On the flip side of the EP, Geoim provides a remix of 'Small Hours'. This is also a really great track, with meticulously arranged chords and synths which constantly twist and turn working well with a garage/funky rhythm that is accompanied by heavier sub-bass than we are provided with on the first two tracks. The EP has had a lot of support from well known DJ's and artists including Martyn, xxxy, Jamie XX, Doc Daneeka and Joy Orbison. You can listen to these tracks now at, and the EP has been released on 12" vinyl and is available from Chemical Records, Juno and Boomkat. The EP should also be seeing an MP3 release within the next couple of weeks, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for this and other releases on the great Well Rounded label.

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