Oscar G

Made in Miami (Star 69)

Considering Oscar G hails from a town as exfoliated as Miami, it's odd that the DJ/producer chooses to kick off his Made in Miami two-disc mix with a crepuscular track as introverted as Shani featuring Razor Cain's "Adrenalin (Kut Mix)." Indeed, it takes five tracks of pointillist beats and bass before the mirrorball synth streamers of Paul Harris's "Guitar 1" possessively reach out for a dance partner. But since the early Nineties, Oscar Gaetan and his production partner Ralph Falcon — who together form Murk — have always had a fascination with the "Dark Beat."

Drawing from the detached bliss of UK acid house, the Chicago house of Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, and the garage of Inner City, Murk scuffed up tribal undulation. These influences can be heard on Made in Miami's Disc One in the transition from Peace Division's elliptical "Groove Me" to the insistent Blaze featuring Barbara Tucker's "Most Precious Love." Oscar G seems to be championing an almost militaristic mesmerism by marrying the heady, aboriginal unfurling of European microhouse sensibilities with the body-on-body beat of bare-chested, sweat-beaded American soul.

The grooves of Disc Two are equally forged in parts curvilinear chrome and pastel stucco, tech and tinny and deep, nubby and dubby. There are string sweeps, filter washes, and just as many bathhouse steamers (Big Black Boot's "Vibrate 2005," Dirt Crew's "Rok Da House [D. Costello Mix]") as there are big-room screamers (Divided Souls' "The Walk," Emjae's "Vanity"). Vocal refrains become just another facet of the rarely relenting beat, and Miami maintains a crisp clip of gummy beats and twisted synth bleats — offering gradients of a sunrise couch-surfing session in counterpoint to more banging crescendos. With two adamant discs, you get to select the concentration of house music as you would an SPF. It's Oscar G's way of saying that part of what makes Miami special (italics optional) is the people.

 
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