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Essential Listening: Knee Deep In Sound

Essential Listening: Knee Deep In Sound

In its relatively short existence, Knee Deep In Sound has quickly established itself as one of the up and coming labels for all things tech house. As well as applying its signature to a number of releases, Knee Deep In Sound has been behind a number of huge parties which have helped showcase the talent on the label. Next up in the Knee Deep series is London’s Great Suffolk Street Warehouse, which will see Knee Deep teamed up with Hedi. Ahead of the event on the 9th April, Josh Plews takes a look at some of the key releases across the label’s history.

Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound imprint launched in 2014, with the music label and concert tour now covering international ground and topping the digital music charts.

Over the course of any labels life, it’s interesting to look into how their sound may have changed, how their approach to remixes is tackled and who is being chosen to release music on the label. Here we've attempted to pick 5 key releases from the Knee Deep In Sound back catalogue that will shine a light on the labels earl success

Hot Since 82 – Don’t Touch The Alarm
I’ve chosen this as the first to pick apart as it was the debut release on the label itself. The staple sound of Hot Since 82 and Knee Deep In Sound was immediately set here as bass and drums lead the way. As sirens start to edge toward to front of the mix a 909-snare roll brings the track to a climax, which drops back into the simple kick, hi-hat and clap drum groove with a deep bassline laden over it. Further in we get some other nice noises as the bass is filtered out, which is built again to drop back into the aforementioned groove, with a snare to round it off. Although this has become the MO of so many producers over the past couple of years, it has to be said that Hot Since 82, and to a similar extent Patrick Topping were the ones who coined this sound known as 'filter house'.

Hot Since 82 – Don’t Touch The Alarm (Booka Shade Remix)
The highlight of the debut EP release for me is the Booka Shade remix. Taking a number of synth sounds from the original the remix puts these with a similar bass pattern, however with a drumbeat that’s slightly more interesting. Bongos and little electronic noises give it a slightly glitchy sound. The breakdown brings in the recognisable Booka Shake Moog line, which turns the deep into something a little more atmospheric. All in all for me, having Booka Shade on remix duties for the debut EP does set the standard high, with this following choice surpassing that standard.

Okain, Cuartero – Cameleon (Paul Ritch Remix)
The remix that for me stands out from the rest is the Paul Ritch remix of Cameleon, which is another fairly early release from the label, the second infact. Adopting Paul’s capacity for techno, this remix is one that is different from all the others on the label, in that it almost completely reinvents the original. Although this original does not see production from Hot Since 82, the siren sounds and driving atmosphere surrounding it are still there, making it fit in with the label’s sound to a tee. The remix however takes things on a harder tip making more use of percussion and adding new synth sounds from Paul Ritch who puts them on top of those from the original. It creates an evil feel and offers a diversity that I don’t think is found in any other remix in the entire back catalogue.

Roxan – Leonardo Gonnelli
Roxan is taken from the labels Mexico Sampler, which hit the shelves ahead of BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen. The staple kick, clap and hi-hat beat is back, with snare rolls and sirens to finish it off. I chose this to demonstrate how much the initial releases sound in comparison to the more recent ones.

Barrage (Secondcity Remix) – Mihalis Safras
Filter house is back here as the bassline and drums build as a high pass filter is turned on and off. Secondcity have been brought back to do two remixes, with this one being the most recent. All the elements are there for a Knee Deep In Sound hit: sirens, rolling snares and echoing vocals that add an atmosphere to the breakdown. Filter off, drop the synths and cue the beat and bass. What intrigues me about this one however is the 4 beat sample of MK’s Burnin that lingers in the background.  

Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Knee Deep In Sound

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Essential Listening: Knee Deep In Sound

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