Craig Hamilton: Hotbox Sessions Volume 1

Nu Disco and boompty House Music. That combo to me must be similar to the emotion that swells through a kid that’s just stumbled on his dad’s stash of dirty magazines, not quite believing the luck and the “Oh wow!” excitement at what’s just been found. Back with his follow-up to last years Crank Dat EP, Craig Hamilton has dropped a steamer of 6 clean, well-produced tracks that do two of two things: 1. Get you up, and 2. finds you putting your arms in the air (whether it’s in sexiness or grittyness) during at least one point of 4 out of the 6 tracks.

Let’s review this like a mix, opening with “Talk To Me”: a sexy Nu Disco/almost Down-tempo number that gets your body groove warmed up. The dreamy strings laid over structured hard kicks makes it a head-nodder; and the woman crooning atcha’ takes it up a score to sexy. It made me feel sexy … all you downtempo leftfield DJs take note: some of us ladies like it when you play stuff that makes us feel sexy. “Let Go” starts to build the EP with its head-nodding, shoulder dipping vibe. Sensual keys, a bassline that enfolds, and a soft vocal that seduces and grabs your attention.

But then, somewhere from the right of your swerve comes a smack of that return-of-the-mack feeling, and that’s when you’ve been hit with “Down With It”. A sleazy, funky, hefty beat, spiked with a dirty guitar loop, complete with some dude shoutin’ out “ooooweeee!” from the back of the room. The track will put a dip in your movements as you cross the bridge of the EP.

Here we wander through “The Inside”, where we’re welcomed with crunchy highs, deep kicks, and minimal keys. By the time the thumpy bassline drops your ready to get your party started; making it easily great for those DJs sets building up the night. If you’re looking for the beater of the EP, this is the part where you stumble into “Smokey In Here” – it’s become my secret weapon of my sets for the mere fact that it does the job, period. For starters, it creeps up with an unsuspecting build of deep punchy kicks, wet and crunchy highs, and a plugging groove that makes it an automatic head-swinger. For this Freak, it’s the two swells buried in the track that make it the big stick when you’re looking to cane a mix; its perfect for those DJs that love gliding through long blends. The dancers will love it for the sheer reason it makes them get their grit on.

Nevertheless, out of the 3 House cuts on the EP, “On The Job” is the buttah’ in my opinion. Settling itself somewhere between 124-126 bpms, this track stirs twisting disco, a thumping 4 on the floor kick, and funky guitar that just don’t quit. Favourite morsel: he’s sampled a roller-skate jam that we all know and love. This tune wraps up a rock-solid EP and brings you to the conclusion that it positively stinks of a fucking goodtime.