Wbeeza – Void (Third Ear Recordings)

Wbeeza is 25-year-old Warren Brown from Peckham, South London. His debut long player will surface on the back of three highly rated EPs. Heavystuff, his first release, stole the hearts of many house music traditionalists, with underground successes such as Disco Dayz concreting the reputation of the young producer. New Skank and City Shuffle followed, with the latter receiving a generous dose of club exposure, mainly thanks to stripped-back beat workout A116. Following suit with the likes of Floating Points, Wbeeza has become one of few producers to be firmly embraced by UK bass and house music heads alike.

Void is a fresh twist of jazz-tinged house and techno, soaked in Detroit atmospherics. Day by Day presents an underground resonance: a gliding jazz induced bass part meets haunting, progressive atmospherics. These parts sit nicely with an idle, cantering house rhythm. Delicate electric keyboard stabs introduce Shang ri la; it builds with a fluttering hi-hat pattern, accompanied with a deeply grooving bass line. The drums are ablaze with brilliance; the beat pops right out of the mix, yet still sits tight with the rest of elements. Tru My Veins is dripping in latin, afro and jazz vibes. The young producer demonstrates some very technical, yet blissfully organic drum programming on this track. Super smooth keys greet a loose and sailing brass part. Southern Girl enters techno territory: upfront drums, squelchy bass, deep bleeps and a solid Detroit aura – exceptional.

Wbeeza has absorbed his house and techno heritage and squeezed it back out with a London edge. His productions have a striking marriage of deep basement vibes and swinging acid jazz. He refuses to pin his sound to specific names or influences, but it’s plain to see that Detroit techno legends Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson are up there. ‘Void’ is closely aligned to the classic Detroit and Chicago sound, and infused with a deep, soulful US house essence, but pivots on more than that. The album lends roots from anything acid, funk and techno to latin, hip-hop and freeform jazz.

Void will be available on CD and digital 22nd November on Third Ear Recordings.

Words // Josh Thomas