It used to be a point of pride for a Chicago DJ to have their own records in their bag — things nobody else had, and things that set them apart from their peers in a hypercompetitive environment that would make 2021 look like child’s play.

The debut record from City Road Records reminds me of one of those private homegrown records, made for no reason other than to spin at the best time of night at the best parties in the neighborhood (i.e., your own). This “secret weapon” quality is probably enhanced based on who issued it: City Road Records is a label managed by Idle Hands, a record store based in Bristol, UK (located on “City Road”). They say this one is “new label is aimed squarely at DJs and the dancefloor,” with “the type of music we like to hear in the rave, dance, pub or wherever we can turn it up in this post-pandemic world.”

The debut release from SPEKTRALSOUND falls firmly in the realm of UKG with Big Up. The A side mix is smooth as glass, rippling with short vocal clips and deep chords. It’s one of those records that has just infinite possibilities for mixing: you can imagine dropping it for a minute or for five, returning a few minutes or an hour later before moving into something heavier or more eclectic. The B side features a “VIP mix” and this is what I’m here for: at five minutes in swings through 30 years of rave history, and that’s as close to an epic as you can get.

SPEKTRALSOUND: Big Up (City Road Records / 12″ Vinyl / December 2022)
A1. SPEKTRALSOUND: “Big Up” (4:58)
B1. SPEKTRALSOUND: “Big Up” (VIP) (4:57)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was not submitted as a promo.



This was originally published in #Praise: 5 Mag Issue #194 with Norm Talley and Upstairs Asylum, Lea Lisa, Cratan/Decoder and more. Support 5 Mag by becoming a member for as little as $1 per issue.



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