Downbeat is a brand new label from the Spanish capital of Madrid and has been formed by a trio of DJs and party organizers (F-on, Urtzi and Jose Rico) who have a real penchant for all things Detroit. Guests at the Downbeat parties at Weekend Club have included the staple produce of the Modern Detroit house scene; Mike Huckaby, Rick Wade and Keith Worthy to name but a few. The label's ethos is simple, a re-creation of the party's sound straight onto limited hand labelled vinyl 12"s. This first release comes from a chap called Specter, who's previously put out music on Deep Explorer and Tetrode.
The record has a double theme to it with two sets of tracks with a distinctive sound and pace. "Bustin' A Step" kicks the EP off with that notable Detroit sound of light sampled percussion, layered drums and delicate rhythmic highs. Airy chords are balanced over the beat which seems to get even more loose as more elements are added into the mix. A haunting sampled vocal is introduced at the breakdown and the warm bass drives the slow slung groove towards it's climax. "Lost World" changes the theme and gives a nod to those seminal Fingers Inc productions of the late 80's. 105 bpm territory here with spacey acid arpeggiators tip toeing over a sparse 808 beat. A chunky square bass bounces around from the 2 minute mark and smooth pads round out the melody nicely.
The flip features the same theme as before and "Body Fusion" sits in that slow deep house territory occupied by messrs Dubbyman and Wade. The beats are nicely loose and slow paced, the chords are lightly phased and are accompanied by catchy vocal that adds to the overall melody. Simple house goodness for late nights and sore heads."Time Bandit" completes the EP and the bpm heads back to sub 110bpm land. A big fat square lead is prominent amongst swinging hi hats, delicate percussion and a simple piano stab. The melody matures with some strings and additional spacey chords.
Overall this EP won't get many number one spots in the DJ charts but then it's not meant to. This is proper deep house music for those who know and I love it. Next up on Downbeat is Juju & Jordash. Having heard their stuff on Still Music, I anticipate it being one to grab on sight before all those lovely copies of limited heavy weight vinyl disappear.