UK tech-house legend Affie Yusuf joins the Real Deal Records roster under his ‘The Parkwalker’ alias.
Affie Yusuf’s work is fundamental to the golden era of the tech-house genre. Pivotal in the development of key labels like Surreal and Swag, his extensive catalogue dates back to the early 90s and has maintained momentum up until this day.
The majority of his most elderly EP’s are now saught after items on Discogs, selling for way over the asking price. More recent work has landed on Chiwax and I Love Acid, as well as a healthy Bandcamp output.
Affie Yusuf marking the milestone 10th release for Real Deal Records feels like a match made in heaven. Despite the label’s few years of existence, their impact on reviving tech-house sound and carving the contemporary generation’s taste has been almost equally as powerful.
Every release is now a sought-after item being spun all across the globe, digging out old DAT tapes from veteran producers in the likes of Adam Collins, Andy Panayi and Dexter. Their ear for scoping out no-frills club music loaded with character has placed them as a high priority for many music lovers within the vinyl community.
Founders Jake Hodgkinson and Marlon Clark are both devoted diggers perusing a refreshing label vision which is matched by their energetic sets both alone and back-to-back at the likes of London’s Lion and Lamb and further across Europe.
Delving into the B2 track ‘V2’, the no messing track title sum up the vibe to a tee. Simple, straight forward grooves frothing with feeling. Subtle chord stabs set an innocent vibe to open the track, slowing building above a shuffling groove straight from a dusty 909 drum machine.
The imperfect, analogue charm can be heard from the off in these older jams. All tracks were recorded at Affie’s home studio back in the early 2000’s using the likes of Yamaha’s 02R, the classic Roland TR-909 and 808 and Juno’s 106. Grooves are simple and warm, allowing moods to build over stripped back rhythms and glossy melodies growing with a subtle and hypnotising presence.
Quirky vocal samples glide into the mix adding a trippy layer, whilst the real action is in the bassline. For the first few minutes, the brooding sub bass adopts a mild, progressive presence in the mix, slotting between a couple of notes as tension builds at a gracious pace.
It’s only after four and a half minutes that a brief breakdown brings the bottom end into the foreground, dropping a few percussive elements from the mix and switching the bassline into a sleazy melody that is destined to bring smiles to the dance floor.
These simplistic jams from the tech-house era really capture the hedonistic vibe of the time. You can picture a sweaty basement getting down to this raw, groovy sound pushed by Yusuf and the extended collective between Swag Records, Wiggle and the countless other off-shoot labels contributing to this timeless movement.
‘V1’ is another cheeky weapon opening proceeding on the A side. Sleek percussion cuts through the mix like a knife. Leaving a few refined elements to do the talking, this dance floor frother is ready for just about any up-for-it crowd.
Stretching out into lazy, after-hour vibes on the closing ‘V1’, Yusuf’s ‘The Parkwalker’ alias wanders through a state of bliss in this unique cut. The satisfying, jazz-like chord that slices through the mix every four bars captures the essence of this subtle roller.
Sounds gloss over one another with an effortless flow, leaving plenty of space in the mix for those tripped out moments deep into a listening session both at the club or back in your living room.
Real Deal Records round off ten excellent taste making releases with yet another diverse and characterful record. No doubt this will soon be a desired item in the world of Discogs and being spun across dance floors far and wide.
Buy the record direct from the label’s Bandcamp.