Greenbowl Packers EP
(12-inch, Aquarius Recordings)
From the depths of South Texas, a pairing of up-and-coming producer/DJs, Sifter and DJ Spettro, release an EP featuring two cuts and a remix. The duo's production of "Varig" features the bass stylings of Dwavehed and hot Latin percussion by T-Bow Gonzalez, both local musicians. Opening with the delayed rhythms of Gonzalez, the track slowly builds itself, incorporating crisp highs and circulating vocals over a Latin piano riff. As the track breaks, the full bassline gains control. Central to the track are Spanish vocal samples and piano riffs that lead to a percussion section that comes straight out of your abuela's pot of spicy arroz con pollo.
Second in rotation is "M-Brasilia," with DJ Spettro and Dwavehed. The track features Gonzalez on congas, Jeff Grauzer on bass, and Eddie Hernandez on guitar; it begins with a shaker, a kick, and what sounds like seagulls flying through a lonely cavern. Slick and complex percussion leads to a bass and guitar pairing that goes deep. At the break, a guitar/percussion solo rebuilds the track until it thins itself out.
Somewhat disappointing is the final track, a remix of "Varig" that sounds more like an original track for the hardhouse heads. Matlok's remix seems out of place on this EP.
The EP is available through special order at House of Wax, Underground Sound, and several online record stores. — Abe Novy
Revenge Has Never Been Sweeter EP
(12-inch, Low Budget Recordings)
From DJ and producer Josh Stone comes one of the first self-pressed and self-promoted dance records to come out of San Antonio. Released last year on Low Budget Recordings, the EP's main track, "J-Z's Revenge," is a mid-tempo house track great for those late-night sweat sessions on the dancefloor. A deep kick opens into tricky percussion to set the mood, and a pulsing bassline quickly develops into a funk-tinged bass guitar that leads the track. Delayed vocals echoing the chant of "J-Z's Revenge" become the focal point until the break, when spacey bells take over and lead to some playful beat and vocal arrangements.
The "Reverse Revenge" remix on the inside cut features similar kick and percussion sounds, but takes a turn in a new direction with its reversed bassline and bells. The backward samples give the track a bouncier feel, and the lack of vocals make for a dub effect.
On the reverse side, "It's a Wonderful Night" starts with crisp highs, a well-defined beat, and tight conga sounds. As the opening bars break down, melodic keys reminiscent of an old-skool music box lead the track alongside filtered vocals. The track is simple and fun dancefloor material.
Finally, a small tidbit dedicated to Stone's son, is "Monkey Man," added for the lighthearted folks who appreciate a father's love. Twenty-four seconds of Stone serenading his son demonstrates that no matter how serious we take dance music, it's all about showing some love.
The EP is available at House of Wax, Underground Sound, and Crackerbox Palace. — Abe Novy