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Album of the Week: Him_Self_Her 'Toolroom Selector 25'

The house-led series ushers in a techno revival...

Artist: Various (selected and mixed by Him_Self_Her
Album: Toolroom Selector Series 25
Label: Toolroom Records
Released: 08/12/14

The first time I became acquainted with the Toolroom brand was walking past a wall plastered with Toolroom Knights promotional posters in Playa d'en Bossa, last August. Hosted at BoOom Ibiza, the club night's most prominent feature was Mark Knight, who in my eyes, is the kingpin of underground house, blasting out bassy rolling drum beats and exquisitely long winded intros that are so repetitive you start to feel like you might just be losing your mind.

Of course Mark Knight features on the Toolroom Selector Series 25th edition, delivered by Him_Self_Her, a house duo from Leicester who first made extraordinary waves with their track Gone Too Long, released on Cream Couture. Listening through the fifteen tracks for the first time, I'm almost overwhelmed by the heavy techno undertones.

As the album progresses, the tracks flit between the creeping techno minimal synth patterns in Him_Self_Her's Want You and the haunting whispers and throbbing basslines of Hauswerks and Tapesh's Shadow Boxing (Him_Self_Her Drug re-edit), a track that would not be out of place in the dark depths of the Sankeys Basement. Leisure Club's Beautiful Chaos' dreamy progression reminds us that the majority of these tracks are Toolroom classics, dating back seven or eight years. The eclectic mix of underground styles encompasses Him_Self_Her's mantra of ‘house music with a feeling'. The album further shows off the duo's ability to re-work vintage tunes and freshen them up for today's house fans.

I don't generally listen to much techno outside of clubs, instead I find myself drawn more to entrancing vocal samples and heavy drops of deep house. But with distinct similarities, I do appreciate the slow progression of beats and layers of sounds in many of the tracks, and with a prominent Mark Knight influence in Colombian Soul, the mix has earned itself a place in my iTunes library.


01. Him_Self_Her - Repetitions
02. D. Ramirez + Mark Knight - Colombian Soul
03. Tiger Stripes + Cevin Fisher - It All Comes Back (Him_Self_Her rework)
04. Koolwah + Andi Fraggs - Fashion (Luca Bacchetti remix)
05. Him_Self_Her - Want You
06. DJ Anna + Beverley Ely - Secret (Raxon remix)
07. Kaliber + Elodie - Is This For Love (Nic Fanciulli Reverse remix)
08. Kate Lawler - Screw You (Him_Self_Her) Bleep re-edit)
09. Him_Self_Her - In The Dark
10. The Factory - Couldn't Love You More (Shlomi Aber remix)
11. Hauswerks + Tapesh - Shadow Boxing (Him_Self_Her Drug re-edit)
12. Mihalis Safras - Goudi
13. Mécanique - We're All Freaks
14. Leisure Club - Beautiful Chaos
15. Matt Samuels - Much Love

WORDS | Nicole Macedo

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