First, a little history – Holic Trax is the brainchild of Tomoki Tamura, the London-based Japanese DJ whose Holic parties have been bringing a proper house music vibe to both his adopted hometown and Tokyo for the last five years. In that time he’s become a producer who gets serious underground props and his party goes from strength to strength, so we’re not surprised to see that he’s decided to start his own label. It might be financially foolish at best, but Tomoki and the Holic crew are in this for the love, anyone who’s ever heard him mix can tell you that.
But this first release on Holic Trax isn’t from Tomoki. No, it’s from the musical mind of a bigger name; the kind of UK music hero that’s hard to forget. Mr G (or Colin McBean to him mates) is someone you might know as one half of techno act The Advent, but after that partnership stopped being viable (the pressure of constantly touring being the main factor here) Colin came back as Mr G, making house music and utilising his love of analogue sounds in a whole new way.
And that’s just what he’s doing here, on these well-made, very playable house tracks. First off there’s Don’t Ever Give Up, a smooth slice of warm house that’s got quality written all over it. Proper terrace party vibes… but things get better from there, with Guidance providing a tougher, looped deep number that’s got more bounce than a bit of 90s King Street. They’ll be working this one to the bone from Dalston to Ibiza, which can’t be a bad thing. The heavy kick-drum keeps it tight while the strings add a bit of lightness… very nice indeed.
Now comes Danceaholic’s, a well-named number that’s going to get the tech-house heads in a spin, with its soaring bass and stern drum beats. But finally you have to give it to the tribal-drum-shaking bass ride that is the Don’t Ever Dub, which sees Mr G take the first track out for a spin with a view to creating a cracking 4-minute plus dub groover. Needless to say, he succeeds.
2. Guidance (T2 Edit)
4. Don’t Ever dub (digital version only)