The true test of a good record is that it’s popular as all hell and you still want to hear the DJ play it again & again. Marquis Hawkes makes records that sound great and they’ll keep sounding great tomorrow, next week and on through the years. I’d offer up as evidence his two releases as “Juxta Position” on DVS1‘s Mistress Records, his monster track “I’m So Glad” with Jocelyn Brown from earlier this year or any of the four records he’s released on Aus Music – and this one.
The Basement Is Burning allegedly references an actual electrical fire in Hawkes’ building (though the references to fire and the B-side title of “Towerblock Boogie” draws attention to an uncomfortable coincidence with this record and London’s Grenfell Tower fire, which occurred within a couple of weeks of The Basement Is Burning’s release). The title track features lively drums and takes a surprisingly uplifting tone given the subject matter – rolling chords give away to heavenly synths and they just build and build, rising and rising in a way that classic House records used to but a preoccupation with cool and ketamine has rendered all-too-rare. A word like “anthem” usually implies big crowds, big rooms and big light shows and that whole kind of nonsense. But this is an anthem: seemingly deeply personal made universal through brilliant, brilliant music.
Marquis Hawkes: The Basement Is Burning (Aus Music)
1. Marquis Hawkes: The Basement Is Burning (Original Mix) (8:55)
2. Marquis Hawkes: Towerblock Boogie (Original Mix) (6:13)