Toronto’s Austin Bascom is known under a few different monikers, but it’s his recordings under his legendary “Abacus” alias that have resonated most around the deep house world.

Having released classic tracks for indelible labels such as Prescription and Guidance, he returns to the studio to release his second Abacus record for main man Kai Alcé‘s NDATL label entitled The Lower End Theory.

Despite Austin’s legendary status among those that came up during the ’90s, his name sometimes still flies under the radar to younger ears. This record will definitely enlighten those new to Abacus’ releases as to why his name is so revered among many in the deep house community.

Things get started with the title track “The Lower End Theory,” complete with grooving bottom rhythms offset by classic Abacus textures and synths. Snippets of 303 weave in and out of the groove, sure to keep dancefloors and DJ sets moving. Next up is “Atlanta Deep,” a definitive late night groover, perfect for long drives or smoke filled dancefloors.

Things round out with the 10 minute ode entitled “Mortise & Tenon,” falling in line with other classic, long Abacus passes. A deep, moody journey up the 401 from Detroit straight into Austin’s hometown of Toronto, it finishes the EP off with an inward looking journey, perfectly capping off a remarkable set of music.

To say I’m a fan of Austin’s music is an understatement (full disclosure as I’ve released two of his Abacus tracks on my own label) so it’s always a welcome sight to see a new Abacus record. A producer of impeccable proportions, this new release falls easily inline with his past catalog of top shelf titles and is also a fitting introduction to those maybe new to Austin’s musical world.

As we say, this one goes straight into the bag.

Abacus: The Lower End Theory EP (NDATL / 12″ Vinyl / February 2023)
A1. Abacus: “Mortise & Tenon” (7:24)
A2. Abacus: “The Lower End Theory” (6:10)
B1. Abacus: “Atlanta Deep” (10:07)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.


Previous Coverage:
Basic Amounts Marks a Return for Deep House Legend Abacus (2018)
Abacus Presents iDrum: iDrum This Djembe (This Is Not a Bongo) (2012)
Joey Negro’s Z Records Prepares ’90s House & Garage Vol 2 Comp (2020)


Originally published in 5 Mag issue 203 featuring Beyond Heaven: reconstructing Chicago house music history through Mario “Liv It Up” Luna’s flyer collection, plus Milton Jackson, Damian Rausch, the DJ King of Donetsk & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.

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