Jacob Martin and Matt Lambert, with their Outboxx project, have managed to seep into the consciousness of clued-up UK house heads without really making a song and dance about it. Partly because, until now, their music hasn't encouraged people to do exactly that — not literally anyway.
2012's 'Aporia EP', for Chris Farrell's Idle Hands imprint, was the one that really captured attention, more by fizzing people's frontal lobes than moving pelvises with two equally warm, breezy downbeat house cuts. Dense and luscious as these two elegant piano-led cuts proved — barely making it past the soundsystems of afternoon beach bars or the privileged ears of club bar staff stocking shelves while warm-up DJs got it going — both were definitely dainty, but hardly stone-cold dancefloor fodder. Even their funk/jazz/garage hybrids on 'Blueberry Lemon EP' for Well Rounded, while forward-thinking, were difficult to place by a jockey challenged to blow the roof off.
With their latest EP (out now), however, the duo are guaranteed to get some rush hour party love from today's bargain bin DJs mining old skool classics whilst propping up the new wave.
'Jaded' might still cruise through the similarly airy, halcyon landscapes of the aforementioned, but this time with a cavernous underbelly of bass, throwing back to their Bristolian alignment with a producer such as Julio Bashmore. Adorned with wiry frequencies, crystalline synths and a chopped-up female vocal sample throughout, it hardly reinvents the wheel, though sure knows what it wants to be, doing so with impeccable skill and exquisite grace.
The real bombshell, however — the track really destined to become a plentiful feature of pumped-up podcasts and peak-time sets — is 'Sunshine Mills'. Built over a chunky 4/4 seemingly borrowed from a lost New Jersey '90s classic has an elated grand piano riff to match and a soulful vocal round to rival them all. This alone might not sound all that special, but wait until two minutes in; the bridge, build and breakdown that coils and winds into an infectiously bulbous wiggle, followed with a melodious xylophone hook fit for the Jungle Book, makes this guaranteed dancefloor dynamite. Eagerly we await the duo's debut LP in March.
Words: Adam Saville