I think it's probably fair to say that Kevin Griffith's Tsuba Records fully deserves its high ranking among RA's most-charted labels. Since its launch in 2006, it has been banging out relentlessly solid house EPs and singles, and this latest offering on its Tsuba Colours offshoot will do their reputation for reliability absolutely no harm whatsoever.
Here, Australia's Mic Newman contributes a lime green vinyl for the label's ever-growing rainbow of one-off colours. The first of a trio of original tracks, "Knickerbocker" is clinical in its delivery of everything required to create a modern-day deep house banger. From the wobbly pads to the huge, dubby bass drop by way of its pitched-down and highly repetitive "What I thought was happiness" mantra, it could all come across as a bit clichéd if it wasn't so considerately handled and overwhelmingly effective. On the remix, Mark E smooths off the sharp edges and covers everything in a hazy, grey wash.
"It's Time" goes for tension ahead of the big drops of its predecessor, frantically peddling through rolling acid hills and a single looped vocal refrain before achingly beautiful pads soothe tired muscles towards the end of its running time. The wonderfully named "Forever in My Chart" finishes things off. Easily the grooviest of the three, there's a lot to contend with as Newman throws a load of paint at the canvas. Thankfully what's left is a well-balanced tapestry of synthy distraction, rather than the unsightly mess it could so easily have been.
Buy Mic Newman - Knickerbocker at
Tracklist: Mic Newman - Knickerbocker A1 Knickerbocker
A2 Knickerbocker (Mark E Remix)
B1 Forever In My Chart
B2 It's Time