With its mix of classic house tropes, primeval bass and elegant downtempo, The Fade EP is Outboxx's recent debut album in microcosm. But that's no bad thing—Matt Lambert and Jake "Hodge" Martin have talent to burn.
On "The Fade," the Bristol duo builds layers of skipping garage percussion, quaking synth stabs, cut-up vocals and a bassline that loops between the lot. "Need You" finds Outboxx favouring subtle old school signifiers—cotton-soft pads and increasingly intricate bass are joined by synth horns in a contemporary, bass-driven twist on MAW-style emotional house.
If the squelchy analogue keys at the start of "Rikki's Groove" suggest we're about to wander down a similar path, it's a notion soon exploded by an attack of jazz-funk synths, nu-disco trills and fattened beats. Yet what sets Outboxx apart from their peers is their songcraft, evinced by "Letting Go." It's electronic soul—albeit informed by house—with twinkling Rhodes, congas, pitched-down grooves and Naomi Jeremy's treacly voice. Right back to the days of The Wild Bunch, Bristol has been synonymous with music that pursues an underground, urban-leaning agenda. This EP confirms Outboxx as fully-formed members of that lineage.
Buy Outboxx - The Fade EP at
Tracklist: Outboxx - The Fade EPA1 The Fade
A2 Need You
B1 Letting Go
B2 Rikkis Groove