With the almost defensively-titled Don't Put Me in Your Box we get to catch up with all sides of Maya, and they all seem like they're in pretty good shape. There's her gently throbbing, thick-throated tech house with "Cutting It Fine," where free-floating snare rolls and drum fills coast across the intricate melody. There's the percolating yet viscous groove of "Dub Child," which Coles eventually nails down with multiplying layers of percussion and her trademark melodic interplay. She reprises the downbeat diva of "Nobody Else" with the afterhours pitter-patter of "Something in the Air," sensually cooing catchphrases with her own unadulterated voice.
But it's the track that sounds most quintessentially, most anthemically Coles that wins the spot—"Parallel Worlds" is a perfectly conceived house record that rubs up against both pop and big-room sensibilities without giving into the temptations of either. Like her best tracks since "What They Say," it's dangerously tense, constantly threatening to boil over. Instead, though, it recedes into irresistible melodies and little percussive flourishes. Just listen to the way the vocal sample gracefully rolls off the drums: it's hard to quantify exactly what makes Maya Jane Coles one of the best new house producers of the last few years, but it's got to be located somewhere in the impossible smoothness of moves like that.
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Tracklist: Maya Jane Coles - Don't Put Me In Your Box 01. Parallel Worlds
02. Something in the Air
03. Dub Child
04. Cutting It Fine