Borrowed Identity: Je T’Aime

Borrowed Identity is a new name to me, and given the implications of his or her alias I’m not entirely sure this isn’t a hoax. Apparently this young fella has released a handful of records on vinyl with a few more in the queue, so let’s take this one at face value and consider this one be a handshake introduction to one of the most incredible producers I’ve come across this year.

Clearly influenced by the likes of Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier, Ron Trent & Co, the sheer inventiveness and listenability defies writing Je T’Aime off as run-off from the (at this point, somewhat irritating) nostalgia craze for classic Deep House sweeping Europe. Yeah, you could drop this in a set of ’90s tracks and blend it seamlessly – but don’t let that overshadow some clever arrangements, sterling production and hooks addictive enough to spawn a strong chemical dependency.

The title track is quite simply perfect: handclaps where there should be, fat bass, dreamy keys and ready right out of the box for the dancefloor. Tracks with this sound always bring to mind the atmospherics of the Sound Factory Bar in New York: it’s got that “secret underground” formula down pat.

And that would be enough for the double-digit rating attached, but all four tracks are superb, like a single side from a Greatest Hits compilation rather than one of the thousand of Extended Play records that will be released this month in the smouldering crater that once housed the recorded music industry. Both “1989 (Summer of Love)” and “Living With You” lay on some acid while still remaining eminently dancefloor-friendly – the acid/funk hybrid of “Living With You” in particular got my attention and it demands yours as well. The more emotional “Connection” had me seeing stars: think of Jeff Mills at his most introspective, toss in some of Chez’s percussion brilliance and then pick up your jaw from the floor and move. It’s the weakest link on this EP – and still better than 99% of what we’ve heard this year.

If this is a disguised producer giving us a throwback in the form of a prank – I’ll still take it, because nobody else other than perhaps Nicholas is making Deep House this outstanding today. Je T’Aime is out now on vinyl, with digital coming in 2013.