A stalwart of German deep house returns with his first solo EP in years.
Julius Steinhoff - Along The Coast
Between 2006 and the early '10s, the Hamburg-based Smallville label helped spearhead a deep house revival. Julius Steinhoff, a longhaired, snapback-wearing artist who looks more skater than producer, was at the heart of it, corunning the label with Just Von Ahlefeld while putting out tracks of his own. The hype around Smallville and other labels in its orbit has since dried up, and so too have the releases. Smallville put out three records in 2017, compared with five in 2016 and eight in 2015. Along The Coast, released five years after Steinhoff's last solo record, is the label's first of 2018, finding a sweet spot between Smallville new and old.
"Along The Coast," which takes up the full A-side, is golden era Smallville. It chugs with a steady pump while piano chords, classic deep house synths and hi-hats swarm the mix. It's the sort of driving house tune—a blend of classic house and the techy drive of modern German productions—that was everywhere in Berlin up until a few years ago.
The same streamlined groove is heard in "Moondowner," only this time the sounds are more synthetic, free of the other track's piano and diva wails. "Be Myself" is the hypnotic option, assembling shakers, bleeps and a bass synth into a shuffling rhythm track. It's a more mature side to Steinhoff, and the most exciting moment on this otherwise familiar-sounding EP.
Tue / 31
A1 Along The Coast
B2 Be Myself