Way Out West
Both members of the Bristol, England, duo Way Out West — Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren — have become international star DJs in their own right. But it's as this twosome when they really sparkle as creators of warm, expansive dance music that knows few genre bounds. At Way Out West's inception in the mid-to-late-'90s, progressive house had just completed an ascent to the top of the electronic pile. As a result, the early tracks featured many of that genre's hallmarks: slowly building and then crescendoing rhythms; enveloping, persistent synths; and, often, soulful female vocals. But Wisternoff and Warren were always creative on the low end, mixing in slightly harder beats than usually found on a typical prog-house track. Their first bona fide UK chart hit, "The Gift," was a work of atmospheric breakbeats whose drums owed more than a little to the early days of jungle.
In the ensuing years, Way Out West reined in its more airy, out-there tendencies in favor of almost-pop structures, landing the duo soundtrack spots on TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy and The O.C. Still, the dance floor — or at least the chill-out room — is where these guys belong, as evidenced on their new single, "Only Love." It's a big-room tune with a bit of a tribal swagger, is a hit with longtime Way Out West fans, and is the lead single from the pair's forthcoming album, We Love Machine. Take note: Saturday's gig at Shine is a live performance, not a DJ set, so it's a rare treat.
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