The steady ascent of Matt Lambert and Jacob Martin, AKA Outboxx, is one of the success stories of Bristol's new house generation. Sure, the duo's productions may lack the rush of newness found in some of their peers' (or, for that matter, in Martin's solo productions as Hodge). But house music has a storied history of refreshing its heritage, and Lambert and Martin take up the baton with aplomb. After a steady run of singles over the past two years, the pair will shortly release their debut album through Idle Hands. Based on Sunshine Mills / Jaded, we can expect a natural progression from past efforts—namely, tracks that are minded of the past without tipping over into pastiche.
"Sunshine Mills" is the fractionally stronger of the two, a blissed-out deep house anthem that manages to nod to New Jersey without flagrantly ripping off Kerri Chandler (a difficult thing to do, going on recent evidence). Unusually, Lambert's keys-work is pushed into the background, with a sampled vocal taking centre stage. The whole thing displays a newfound discipline, a keener awareness that less can be more. "Jaded," meanwhile, gives the keys more space to breathe, letting wafts of powdery synth drift across its sun-kissed surface, though a vocal still takes precedent. The bassline alternates between a full-fat, Bashmore-esque affair and something more far dexterous. As ever, it's the subtle touches that make for compulsive listening.
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Tracklist: Outboxx - Sunshine Mills / Jaded A Sunshine Mills