When Clone announced that six specialist imprints were going to replace the mothership operation it had just called time on, there was a palatable sense of relief that the Dutch operator was back for more. However, the most impressive part of the plan—that each label would represent a distinct style or sound—could well be its downfall. Will people support labels that offered carbon copies of classic New York or Chicago house (in the case of the Drexciya-inspired Aqualung imprint the argument is so far irrelevant because "Heinrich Mueller" formerly one half of the Detroit group, has provided the first two releases)—or will these specialist operations become as popular as the Classics offshoot?
The debut release on Jack for Daze, Clone's sub-label dedicated to Chicago house, doesn't deviate from that particular script. Penned by UK house veteran Neville Watson—last seen in action for Rush Hour offshoot Hour House is Your Rush—its adherence to the timeless sound probably won't appeal to those in search of innovation.
Is that such a bad thing, though? The title track leads on an eerie, Heard-style synth, underpinned by a prowling, rumbling bass. Watson's arrangement is laid back and the tempo unhurried, with the unmistakable doubled up claps only appearing mid-way through. Similarly, "Up Yours" remains at the deep end of the spectrum, based on a warm yet melancholic synth riff and a snippet of a vocal sample looped over a resonating bassline.
The remix of "Up Yours," by Gerd and label boss Serge, ups the ante and makes a nod to modern production techniques; the beats are harder, the bass more distorted and the percussion harsher. It's a concession of sorts to current tastes and a tacit admission that the sound Watson has so skilfully copied will live on for years and not daze.
Buy Neville Watson - Bleeding Through at
Tracklist: Neville Watson - Bleeding Through A1 Bleeding Through
A2 Up Yours
B Up Yours (Like This? Remix)