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Album Review

Steve Porter's reputation was already well established on the dancefloors before his debut album, Homegrown, arrived. However, the set will surely help lift his growing international reputation. This is progressive house with real attitude, equally fueled by both lethally contagious, bass-driven rhythms and astounding melodies. Homegrown is a record to reckon with. The opening number, "Fluffer Nutter," deliberately takes a while to get going, as the wafting atmospheres slowly coalesce, the rhythm gradually builds, and the melody thickens, until it finally emerges in all its glory. Porter begins to harden the sound and toughen up the rhythm with "Between 9 & 10," a sharp-edged number that sets the stage for the swaggering "Swanky." One of a handful of numbers on the set that have appeared elsewhere, this strutting piece, equally indebted to Depeche Mode's "Master & Servant" and '60s-styled spy themes, is killer. "Swanky" is a toughie of a piece; "Bobble Daze" is even more muscular with its massive, blurping bassline and solid house-ish synth melody. "Beat n Potatoes" scythes off in another direction, the edgy rhythm perfectly counterpointing the jazzy keyboards overhead. Porter then slides back toward the center, with the hands-in-the-air, handbags-by-your-feet "Vodka Cranberries," a classic house-styled number with plenty of soul. And where's the soul without the funk? Hang on, he's getting there, whipping up a funky froth for the kick-your-heels-up "Rage in the Cage." And Porter's genius can be heard right here, as he agilely shifts into new wave for "Sandbox," whose insistent rhythm is further ground up on "Definite Form." It isn't quite four on the floor; there are a couple of catches and half beats thrown in, but it has the same effect, creating a slamming number with a dark, hypnotic atmosphere. Porter gradually smoothes it out and lightens it up on "Electric Jelly," a swooping, grandiose piece that deftly shifts the entire texture and mood of the album. The melody is even more heightened on "Lady Elaine," pealing out like church bells, until Porter slyly switches the sound into the arabesque. Then the tempo and energy kick up a few more degrees for the knees-up "Square Dancing," the melody reeling round and round until one's almost dizzy with it, and the arrival of "Purina"'s sweeping synth comes almost as a relief. The set gets out as it started, on a high, with the rhythm so urgent, the melody so seductive, you'll quickly find your third wind and dance the CD out. It's a sensational set, never flagging in energy, never at a loss for inspiration, the flow phenomenal, sweeping like a mighty river to the ocean. But even among all the exhilarating rhythms, there's much musical and melodic subtlety to enjoy, as one loses oneself in Porter's irrepressible beats.

Homegrown, Steve Porter
View in iTunes
  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Dance, Music, Trance
  • Released: 15 January 2005

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