This Week in House Music: Eris Drew, Octo Octa, DJ Fucci, Soul II Soul & Caron Wheeler
I was just thinking about how I typically write This Week in House Music on Friday—that magical day when a ton of new music drops and the weekend is in sight—but it gets published on Monday. Totally different vibe. But I hope that reading these and listening to the music brings some of that Friday energy to you. It's been really hot in Los Angeles—across California, but hopefully by the time you read this, we're all feeling a little cooler. And this last week of music was super hot, fittingly. Hope you've been finding some great new tunes lately! Here's some more for ya!
Best New Track: Eris Drew – Day After A Night With U / Octo Octa – Stars & Water [fabric Originals, Sept. 6]
Eris Drew and Octo Octa are a bonafide house music power couple. Witnessing them DJ is 1. so fun and 2. so cute, because they play killer rave tunes on wax, and vibe out together. Beloved London nightclub fabric recently launched a new imprint called fabric Originals, with the debut release a two-tracker from Drew and Octa. Side A, "Day After A Night With U." from Drew, is a groovy, vibey feel-good gem. Octa's track, "Stars & Water," keeps things groovy and ups the tempo a bit. The excellent, versatile tracks complement each other well, like their creators, and would sound great on the dance floor or the ride to or from the club.
Best New Mix: Lobster Theremin with DJ Fucci - 09 September 2022
This two-hour mix is a wild one. For left-field London electronic label Lobster Theremin's latest Rinse FM show, Mexico City's DJ Fucci brings the high-energy rave to wherever you and your speakers are. It's loud, it's bassy, it's breaky, and it’s a big energy vibe. If you wanna get hype, and hear some crazy sounds, Fucci's got you.
A lot of it is unShazamable, but the track IDs I did grab are "Stad" from Antele Prox. and "Odium" from Amorte.
Best Classic Track: Soul II Soul & Caron Wheeler – Back To Life [1989, Virgin Records]
"Back to lifeee, back to reality!" This one goes out to everyone that is still recovering from Burning Man and struggling to adjust back to life in the "default world." 1989 U.K. house classic "Back To Life" from Soul II Soul is absolute perfection and pure vibes, the music video included. London collective Soul II Soul, led by Jazzie B, was an important part of the emerging British rave scene—even helping popularize the smiley face imagery—in the late '80s, hosting parties at Africa Centre in London and The Fridge Nightclub that with dance music mixed with British, Caribbean, African, and Black American sounds.
In March 1989, they released another house classic, "Keep On Movin'," a vibey, groovy, inspiring slow jam. This track also featured member Caron Wheeler's rich lead vocals, topped the charts in the U.K. and the U.S. It was swiftly followed by their debut album, the aptly titled Club Classics Vol. One, and another hit single, "Back To Life." This track reached even higher on even more charts, including No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Dance Club charts, and No. 4 on the Hot 100, as well as No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart. It also earned them a GRAMMY, and placement on many dance mix CDs and greatest dance track lists.