It?s always a treat here at Circus Company to be able to shed the light on a lesser known talent. After all, it?s a philosophy we have built the label on, but there?s no denying we need to have that personal connection with the artists whose music we release. In the case of San Francisco act Moniker, our own dear Dave Aju has a previous history with Kenneth Scott from the duo, having remixed his 2009 jam “What Do I Do?” So it is that we come to release this, the first fully fledged vinyl offering from Scott and his studio partner Emilio Orlandi after years spent treating Californian crowds to their live, hardware-driven sound.
The machines definitely rule the roost in the world of Moniker, but unlike so much of the current obsession with analogue noise and the lo-fi aesthetic, Scott and Orlandi instead coax heartfelt emotion and hand-crafted grooves from an array of beat boxes and synthesisers without making any self-conscious moves to demonstrate how ?undigital? they are. Instead, the music takes priority, coming forth in soothing waves of harmonious chords, captivating leads and understated drums that speak volumes for simplicity and soul within deep house. The live aspect of Moniker?s mission undoubtedly shines through, manifesting itself in smart switch-ups and breakdowns, impulsive edits and subtle variations that can only result from an on-the-fly jam. Mainly though, this is an exercise in satisfaction, speaking to the same pleasure neurons that would have been tickled the first time you heard Metro Area.
In keeping with the warm tones of the original material, Patrice Scott makes for a thoroughly welcome addition to the fold. The Detroit deep house legend has forged his own elegant path through his releases and his excellent Sistrum imprint, always able to conjure up an otherworldly atmosphere by capitalising on the hypnotic qualities that are possible with 4/4. Here he takes A side track “Billy D” and runs it a hot bath of shimmering pads and submerged acid, while the beat snaps forth with an urgency that offsets the ambient elements perfectly. It?s as refined a slice of house music as you could ever wish for, and as such it couldn?t be amongst better company than Moniker.