‘Thee’ is the vital duo’s fifth LP release and the first on Acid Jazz. They have already dropped two singles from the album and now unveil another nine fresh cuts that continue their creative purple patch, following recent remixes for Gabriels and David Holmes. It comes after years of defining the sound of the underground with a mix of powerhouse club tracks and catchy songs, most famously their Ivor Novello Award-winning ‘Lazy ft David Byrne’. Whether crafting for the club, the radio, or the catwalk and brands like Givenchy, Rocky & Diesel continue to showcase the pioneering spirit that has been with them since the early 90s. ‘Thee’ is beefy, fad-free house music stripped back but full of flavour, emotional nuance and well-used vocal fragments.
Say Rocky & Diesel of this latest musical chapter – “We’re so excited to be releasing ‘Thee‘ with Acid Jazz. It’s been a long time coming, and some of the tracks have been with us for around ten years now. So it’s fantastic to finally get them finished and pulled together with a bunch of new tunes to form an entirely new album. “
The excellent ‘Moov‘ kicks off this comprehensive sonic statement with a deep, pared-back house rhythm underpinned by signature fat bass. Deft vocal coos, subtle strings, and distant FX bring the detail that keeps you locked, while the new single ‘Zeven‘ plays with a funky disco loop that teases throughout. It never resolves and will ensure natural dance floor rapture. ‘Phasing You Out‘ then offers sweaty and steamy basement grooves with a tender vocal over powerful dusty drums.
Check out ‘Moov’ here:
The second single, ‘Muse‘, is a more introverted and heartbroken sound and ‘Can I See The Love‘ picks things up with supersized drums and smoke-filled dance floor intensity. ‘The Rain‘ veers into techno with twisted acid lines spraying about amongst church-like chords and dense percussion. After the stomping tribal energy of the first single ‘You Know (Everybody)‘ comes the zoned-out, post-rush house of ‘Reach For Me‘ and more elastic rhythms of ‘Cope‘. ‘Bloom‘ has freewheeling melodies that allow the floor to cut loose, and ‘Werq‘ layers up undulating synths and earworm leads into expressive and storytelling house for the back room.
Verdict: “About f**king time…” would be a rather strongly-worded opener for a review. So instead, let me start by saying the wait is finally over (and yes, I’m well aware of the tasty offerings we’ve had until now, but we’re talking albums). A solid release from start to finish, Rocky & Diesel lay down a selection of infectious house grooves in such a way only they know how. X-Press 2 has always been a name you could depend on for some quality tunage, and I’m glad to say (but not surprised) this is no exception. With lush production throughout, blending that classic house percussive sound with cool uplifting melodies and rich bass work, the duo definitely know how to bring together the right ingredients to hit that sweet spot every time.
Moov/Zeven/Phasing You Out/Muse/Can I See The Love/The Rain/You Know (Everybody)/Reach For Me/Cope/Bloom/Werq
Available now on Double Vinyl and CD, ‘Thee‘ proves that X-Press 2 once again shun the legacy act status and continue innovating at electronic underground’s sharp end.
Pick up a copy here: https://www.acidjazz.co.uk & https://acidjazz.bandcamp.com/album/thee