French DJ and Producer Laroye’s second Freerange EP give you four tracks of melodic underground house. The lead track “First Sight” features a drifty vocal from Detroit houser Javonntte and also comes in a highly usable instrumental version. In fact, although the vocal is pretty cool, to my ears the instrumental works a little better, simply because with its slightly outré chord changes played on keys, synths and eventually piano too, a full-fat Moogy bassline and hefty conga percussive groove it’s a pretty busy track that already rolls along very effectively with no need of a vocal — but as ever with these things, it’s a question of taste and the slinky low-key vocal certainly doesn’t take anything away from the track.

The other two tunes are two versions of “UKU Dance,” a sophisticated soulful sci-fi house jam with layers of Afro percussion, some smooth pads, a few chopped vocal samples and a sound in the breakdown that sounds very much like a siren, a technique I’m always a fan of. Finally, “UKU” also comes in a Percussive Dub version which, unsurprisingly, is a highly usable drum track/DJ tool.

Excellent drums and percussion on all tracks and what is house music without excellent drums and percussion? Solid work from Laroye and Freerange.

⚪️ First Sight Tracklisting

Laroye feat. Javonntte: First Sight EP (Freerange Records / 12" Vinyl + Digital)
1. First Sight (feat. Javonntte) (05:41)
2. Uku Dub (05:33)
3. Uku Dance (06:08)
4. First Sight (feat. Javonntte) (Instrumental) (05:39)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement

This record was submitted as a promo.

⚪️ Previous Coverage

⚪️   Feature: Jimpster: Live At Last (2022)
⚪️   New Music: Detroit’s MotorCity Wine drops Javonntte’s elegant “Abstract Love” (2022)
⚪️   New Music: Spain’s Mate Prepares New Split EP with Javonntte & Blaxploited Orchestra (2020)
⚪️   New Music: Javonntte & DJ Romain Release Drumz of Africa on Innermoods (2019)
⚪️   Mixes: Jimpster – A 5 Mag Mix vol 84 (2019)


5 Mag Issue 209
Out September 2023

SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #209 featuring Alinka, Laseech, Being, Marco Lenzi, the sordid story of the Goldman Sachs CEO’s DJ career and more. Help keep our vibe alive by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!

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