‘Stella’s Way’ follows on from previous EP ‘Regrets We Have No Use For‘. Maxxi Soundsystem eschews the classic deep house template and replaces syncopated, staccato bass lines with flowing melodies and great swathes of low end. A snaking melody coils around a 4/4 beat as snippets of vocal hint at the oncoming refrain. Subtle sub movement keeps the energy building whilst a shuddering low end analogue synth forcefully thrusts itself to the fore. It’s another ambitious track that does enough to set it apart from it’s peers without re-inventing the genre.
Huxley takes the original for a nostalgic romp through the 90s in homage to early Garage and Bassline. Here, skipping percussion supports cleverly selected vocal cuts and a descending, all encompassing bass pattern which is occasionally beset with classic Rhodes stabs. Also on remix duties is relative newcomer Shall Ocin, he dials in the funk with a disco beat and a wandering Chromeo-style electro-bass patch. His interpretation injects just enough punch to lift it from the half-hearted nu-disco bar set to the throb of serious dance floors.
‘Stella’s Way’ makes for an excellent all round package, each version suitably different from the next to give them equal appeal in a set. Our preference goes to the title track for its originality but it’s a close call.