2step? GarageStep? JazzStep? As silly as the anal retentive dance music obsession with pigeonholing music and creating new genres to fit it in tidy can be, this one kind of fits. Phonetix has released several albums before, but Jazz Step FM feels like the culmination of something — as the first track with Final Cutt Collective has it, “Something Special.” Garage beats with that familiar, intuitive shuffle are the undercarriage for reverb’d voices, electronic whistles and shimmering brass. It’s located on an uncharted island between UK Garage and — I don’t know, Esquivel? Dave Koz? — and as a fan of both, I like it a lot.
“Something Special” and “Benito Miguel” both have a sunny, almost spritely disposition. I wouldn’t say it gets “darker” from there, but certain tracks have a dizzying complexity that is more mental. “Benchmark” is an underrated comer, as is “Blue Step” which features denser production and a sound similar to an early Mondo Grosso.
There’s a slew of featured performers here, including a few MCs, but overall I get the vibe of a bedroom engineer who has become an absolute savant when it comes to studying the ins-and-outs of one-person music production.
Phonetix: Jazz Step FM (Riddler Records / March 2021 / Digital)
1. Phonetix: Something Special (ft. Final Cutt Collective) (04:05)
2. Phonetix: Benito Miguel (03:25)
3. Phonetix: Roll The Dice Again (ft. MC Cobra) (04:02)
4. Phonetix: Waiting (03:59)
5. Phonetix: Benchmark (04:28)
6. Phonetix: Late Night Pirate Sessions (ft. MC Cobra) [Interlude] (01:23)
7. Phonetix: Blue Step (ft. Brendan Mills) [Alternate Take] (03:30)
8. Phonetix: Think About You (04:23)
9. Phonetix: Done Crying (ft. MC Cobra) (04:23)
10. Phonetix: The Mac (04:07)
11. Phonetix: Morning After Show (ft. Laura Alice) [Interlude] (00:28)
12. Phonetix: Passing Us By (ft. Harsh) (03:46)
13. Phonetix: What You Won’t Do For Love (ft. Harsh & MC Cobra) (03:35)
14. Phonetix: Me, Myself & I (04:05)
15. Phonetix: Got The Tea Towel (03:58)
16. Phonetix: Giveaway (ft. Laura Alice & Brainz) [Outro] (00:37)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo on behalf of the artist.