Audio Asia: Japan's First Floor & Kez YM supply killer house moves
The pair join Simon Hinter on the essential EP
Relatively little is
known about upcoming deep house act First Floor. The Japanese
artist burst onto the scene in 2018 with his 'You Don't Know'
release on landmark label Local Talk, which included the
hyper-infectious synth jam of 'Delight'. He arrives on go-to
German label Quintessentials with a pair of original tracks alongside
remixes from compatriot Kez YM, and recent Freerange Records alumnus
Kez YM (pictured) has an impressive catalogue spanning the last 12 years – on labels including Eureka, 4 Lux and City Fly – and it's his remix of title track 'Unrequited Feelings' that opens the EP. A solid house groove with a pervading minor feel, its murky bass underpins glassy chords and relentless vocal chops, as ethereal synths and subtle acid rise in the perimeters. Though the sum of its parts is approximately the same – and equally effective as a dance-floor tool – First Floor's original mix is a funkier affair. The summery bass rolls under uplifting chords and jazzy piano licks, galvanised by dusty house beats and warm pads.
On the flip-side jazzy keys take to the fore on the aptly titled 'Rhodes'. With a now-familiar sound palette, First Floor turns out another deep house groove with a vintage US feel. Established German producer Simon Hinter retains the essence of the original, beefing-up the beats just a touch and adding a catchy vocal sample from SOS Band classic 'The Finest' to provide extra hook.
Four highly effective deep house cuts that are sure to please the heads. This well-curated release flies the flag for the Japanese underground while adding to First Floor's growing reputation.
First Floor 'Unrequited Feelings' is out now on Quintessentials. You can buy it here.