Behind The Rhythm 002 | Maxwell
Manchester-based Tom Maxwell is the latest talent coming out on the Music Is Love label making his first foray into the EP world with Spun, complete with a remix from Gerd. His first track featured on Jamie Trench’s excellent debut EP and his most recent second release came on the equally successful MIL Lovebox VA, two finely pieced productions that served to showcase Maxwells unique take on the deeper side of house.
The coolly considered Spun EP underpins Maxwells musical perspective further, freshly inspired by the passages of UK and US garage with heavy 90s house influences. First track Feel Yourself delves straight into deeper territorium, a solid opening introduction of melodic intent that steadily builds with swirling synths and wood-block drumming underneath crisp hi-hats, a groove-heavy bassline and reverberant, deep chords. The utilisation of classic 90s piano rhythms grow in presence over a gospel-like vocal, handclaps and quick, shuffling rim shots at the breakdown kicking powerfully back into a head-nodding groove that really takes the track to greater depths.
Talk About’s snare groove and infectious rolling bassline form the forefront of the second track. The execution of teasing Aliyah vocal flourishes are used perfectly as a glue for the beat with the RnB melodies sparsely bouncing around each other in free-flowing fashion. The combination of spacey-synths patterns the build up with the intuitive match of chords combining with an alluring bassline oozing motion.
The tile track is remixed by Dutch heavyweight Gerd, quickening the tempo in typical fashion with a more garage-fused take on the original, laying down hard-hitting drums, heavy basskicks and New Jersey hi-hats underneath chopped-up, filtered vocals and big 90s stabs which dominate and guide the track throughout. Maxwells version is a more smooth vibe that swings intricately along with deep house chords against the timeless Happy Clappers vocal snippet. Quick arrays of garage-chimes flirt with ticking hi-hats while filtered synths swirl around the bassline giving a hypnotic spun-like grove that rhythmically dips in and out.
The overall oeuvre of deep textures, warm chords and well-cut vocal samples characterises a highly listenable EP, one that demonstrates a fresh musical insight of a producer well worth following. Here for us bringing the second Mi Casa installment, Maxwell has kindly recorded a podcast inspired by his current listening habits, marked prominently by vinyl-cuts. From the opening deep realms of the the mix including tracks from Andres and Soulphication, Maxwell continues on an inspired musical journey with classy elements of varied styles and tempos from jazz, soul and funk enveloping into groovin house excursions from the likes of Burnski, Kerri Chandler and DJ Deep. An expressive and engaging 1 hour 50 minutes, this is a mix that effortlessly flows with melody and is characterised by a constant undertone of deep soul. His musical taste on show here is a reflective reminder of his contemporary disposition as an artist and its clear to hear those soulful and groove inspired influences transcend within in his sound. Enjoy the mix as much as we did.