Locked Groove – ‘Rooted’ EP (Hotflush Recordings)

If 2012 was a baby, then it’d be one that, at this stage in its development, has barely even started to walk. However, although we may only be in the very formative months of the New Year, there’s been no need to scrabble around searching for exciting sounds just yet. There’s already an ever-growing glut of quality electronic tackle for the more discerning audiophile to get their ears around.

Belgium’s Locked Groove aka Tim Van de Muetter is one of the newest faces to cause a kerfuffle in 2012. His electronica is one embroiled in deep, mechanical skirmishes round the frayed edges of the ever shifting post-dubstep and bass scene. And it’s captured perfectly on the three slabs of heat he serves up on debut EP ‘Rooted’.

Locked Groove first started pricking people’s interest with ‘Drowning’, via Scuba’s DJ Kicks mix of last year. That deep, shutter-rattling monster, which features here, may be warm blooded, yet still packs enough propulsive piston work to give even the most well-built of dance floors a thorough shaking. Like some of the best slices of dance, it’s bold, hard and cuts deep – and thankfully, the rest of the EP doesn’t let the pressure drop. Title track ‘Rooted’ is a nine minute plus work out which builds beautifully from ambient field-recordings to teeth grinding techno.

‘Changes’ rounds off the release and is another piece of fresh, yet classic sounding dance – plus the refrain, supposedly culled from an interview with techno pioneer Derrick May, nails Locked Groove’s aesthetic beautifully – “I never did it for the trend of it / I never did this because it was something fun / I do this because this is what I do.” The quality of ‘Rooted’ points towards a bright future for the 23 year-old. And could herald another ace 12 months for Scuba and Hotflush. Only time will tell…

Jim Ottewill

The ‘Rooted’ EP is released via Hotflush Recordings on January 16.

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