The comp trades easily on the label's established territory, running the gamut from fairly brisk, uptempo house to sexed-up disco and funk jams, further extrapolating the Hot Creations sound palette by logical progression. A lewd sensibility pervades—foreshadowed, it seems, by Richy Ahmed's demurely titled "Suck It," and later embodied by Marc Ashken's "Freaky Naughty." '80s funkateers like Rick James and Prince are pretty standard style icons for house labels these days. Everything from the booty-slapping beats to the outfits: At the Hot Natured party in Miami, Lee and Jamie appeared dressed like leaders of a sex cult from Mars, and I can't help but think that Mr. Superfreak himself would have approved.
As you might expect from the Hot camp, the groove stays crisp, locked-in, occasionally deeply tripped-out and hits a few k-holes along with the way—like on "Ability," the three-way groover between Clive Henry, Jones and Alex Arnout. Maceo Plex, Crosstown's latest breakout, offers a slice of Larry Heard-ish deep house whose uplifting spirit is matched by Jenkyn's "Superstar," the album's closer and easily one of its standouts. What's most fascinating here, though, is that the newbies really hold their own against the vets. It's proof that Hot Creations, which only saw the light of day last year, has been steadily gathering steam, coming into its own with an abundance of new material and a thickening talent roster. If I was another label owner I would find the fact that this comp is supposed to drop four times a year almost daunting. Really, you guys have that much stuff ready to come out?