Like them or not, it's hard to deny that Hot Creations have a lot going for them. Their music is direct, unpretentious and goes down a treat at parties. Their name has become synonymous with a certain kind of house, one loaded with playful basslines and sexy, pop-friendly vocals. It's a style that's entirely their own, and one that countless people love—much more than you can say for most record labels.
One thing they don't always have, though, is quality control, especially when it comes to Hot Waves, their sub-label for new talent. With the two imprints combined, label heads Lee Foss and Jamie Jones have put their seal of approval on well over 100 productions in the last three years, which begs the question: how much can that seal of approval really mean? Not quite enough, if Hot Waves 4 is any indication. Clocking in at just under two hours and available only digitally (in its full form), the latest edition of the compilation series makes it seem like Foss and Jones have forgotten the all-important maxim of quality over quantity. And that's after scaling Hot Waves back to an annual series—it was originally meant to be quarterly.
The most striking thing about Hot Waves 4 is how similar it all sounds. The lack of individuality is really kind of stunning: everyone imitates the label's established style, no one puts their personal spin on it. Naturally this makes for a pretty dry listen—it's hard to imagine something as deeply generic as Filthy Rich's "Do It Again" or Carlo Gambino's "Body 2 Body" (refrain: "body to body, soul to soul, united by house music") really getting you going. The collection's best moments, such as "City Lights" by HNQO or Jones's edit of "Rave" by Alexis Raphael, are effective and well-produced, but still basically forgettable. In the end, this just doesn't sound like inspired music.
Buy Various - Hot Waves Vol. 4 at
Tracklist: Various - Hot Waves Vol. 401. Buckley feat Ives St. Ange - Back The Tower
02. HNQO feat. Bip - City Lights
03. Simon Baker & Robert James feat. England Brooks - Get Up High
04. Lil Mark - Fat & Destiny
05. Alexis Raphael - Rave (Jamie Jones Edit)
06. Human Life & Anabel Englund - Falling
07. Filthy Rich - Do It Again
08. Tom Ruijg - S For Sticky
09. Denney - Shake The Club
10. Julien Sandre & Dast - Reality
11. Blond;ish, Balcazar & Sordo feat. Bastard Love - Island Eyes
12. Carlo Gambino - Body 2 Body
13. Kameleon - Fuel To The Fire
14. Mike Gill - Furious
15. Mykel Haze & Marco Darko - Computer Love
16. Metrika & Bastard Love - Not My Lady