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Album of the Week: 1Trax Three mixed by Huxley

Those hunting for solid beats infused with proper house (or should that be garage) soul can call off the search.

Artist: Huxley
Album: 1trax: Three
Label: 1trax
Release Date: 13/08/2012

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Unarguably talented, England's rising star of domestically categorised beats has melded some music for one of his homeland's most en vogue compilation series, making for quite the package deal.

Following on from previous instalments, which came from Matt Tolfrey and Subb-An, 1Trax's cunningly titled third mix, Three, certainly shows the bosses are keen for artists to allow their personality to shine through. Here Huxley's penchant for choppy cymbals, and booty shaking kicks, amongst other accents, is clear, crafting a rough and ready, raw album befitting the British four four world circa 2012.

Take Nyra's Best Of, and it's slamming drums, droning analogue melody and stripped aural aesthetic. Recent experiences in darkened rooms and sweaty basement parties come to mind. Tech but not really techy, groovy but not ‘funky', it's a repetitive take on the traditional UK house sound that hones in on the best aspects of the micro-canon. There's energy here, not monotony, despite the fact the tune does very little.

And nor should it, given the fact we then fall into the sizeable bomb that is Get Loose from Gavin Herlihy. If nothing else, this transition alone reveals a DJ who understands stepping up, or more accurately the importance of doing it at least once in an hour. It would be nice to say that kind of thing regularly, but in truth there aren't many faces within this particular niche that appreciate seamless difference is the only way to make repetition work properly.

That we then emerge into the soaring lyrics of Huxley's own Let It Go, wherein things take on more progressive tones, only accentuates this notion. Before all this we have sun-kissed, blissed out bouncy numbers (opener Don't Understand from Sam Russo and Huxley), not to mention broken, Classic-style punchiness (coming, logically, from Luke Solomon via his remix of It Iz What It Iz by Joshua Iz & Diz). And then afterwards we're offered more complex beat structures (Julio Bashmore's cut of Mosca's Square One, for example). Even without the last references the point should be clear though. A cross section of a scene in its current state on CD, Three is also a great advert for a chap who clearly knows what to do with records. A fine effort.

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