Social Housing suggests that the influence of public housing still looms large for Hawkins. Indeed, he grew up on a council estate in London, and now lives on one in Berlin. As he's said in interviews, he's thankful for the government support, and reckons that without it he wouldn't be able to make music. And that's where the issues all but disappear. No doubt, the Marquis Hawkes sound is beholden to vintage US house music—not to mention UK labels like Classic and DiY Discs—but he's so adept in the field that it's hard not to get on board.
Hawkins is among the most consistent producers of jacking dance floor jams in the last five years. Social Housing follows the trend, and is stuffed with DJ weapons. There are, however, a couple of awkward tracks. The disco frenzy of "Ode To A Broken Heart" is a wild and loopy affair that might work well mid-set but is jarring as an album opener. "The Landsberger Funk" gets bogged down by its nagging, grubby bassline. Nearly every other track features a key ingredient that elevates the music, whether it's a slamming kick, a slinky hi-hat or the sort of bristling energy that makes classic house so hard to accurately replicate.
Social Housing builds to the raved up peak of "I'm So Glad (Satisfied Mix)," where Hawkins chops Jocelyn Brown's vocals into pained stabs rather than simply slapping her soulful croon over the beat. The mood then retreats to the subdued groove of "Summer Memory," before ramping things back up with the Dance Mania-esque hustle of "Six Sixty Groove" and the gliding acid funk of "Feel The Music." On "Tim's Keys" and "Apple Of My Eye," Aus artist Timothy Blake adds some gorgeous smeared chords and breezy keys. From the bubbly cuts to the tender moments to the artwork from Underground Resistance affiliate DJ T-1000, Social Housing feels nothing short of authentic and fun.
Thu / 16 Jun 2016
01. Ode To A Broken Heart
02. The Landsberger Funk
04. Tim's Keys feat. Timothy Blake
05. I'm So Glad feat. Jocelyn Brown (Satisfied Mix)
06. Summer Memory
07. Six Sixty Groove
08. Locked Out
09. Feel The Music
10. Wake Up, Baby!
11. Something In Yr Head
12. Apple Of My Eye feat. Timothy Blake