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The next release on Matthias Tanzmann’s Moon Harbour will be a first appearance on the label for Steve Lawler with only his second EP of the year. The VIVa Music boss has long been a cornerstone of the underground tech house scene, not only with his own raw productions, but so too because of the talent he nurtures at the label, and the parties he headlines and hosts around the world from Ministry of Sound to Sankeys Ibiza.
The first track is ‘Silk Roads’, a purposeful house track that shows Lawler’s knack for crafting slightly tribal, always engaging grooves with rolling sub bass holding it all together. The production is meticulous, with plenty of contrasting surfaces rubbing against each other, folding in over and over and taking you with them each time. There’s as much for the head as the heel though, with a loft melody floating up top to finish off a classy bit of work.
‘Hoffman’s Potion’ doesn’t mess about and immediately settles into another of Lawler’s trademark grooves. Precision cut claps and hi hats bring height to the low down kicks, whilst muted but slightly ravey stabs add a mischievous edge to the track. Just as you get settled, the final third comes alive again with another lingering melody: it’s a simple yet effective touch that will bring reactions from the floor and keep people locked right until the end.
Refreshingly modern and typically well designed from someone with Lawler’s credentials, Moon Harbour have secured something a rare but deserved outing from the VIVA boss.