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Miracles Club

I've been away for a while, I know. So in the hopes of returning to blogging with slightly more regularity, here's the first post in what's meant to be a series highlighting favorite new releases and other sonic infatuations.

Miracles Club, Light of Love EP (iTunes)

When I first heard that Portland, OR's Honey Owens (Valet, Nudge, Jackie O Motherfucker) had a new house-music project, I was intrigued but skeptical. I love Owens' music, but something like this seemed potentially risky, especially given the current vogue for old-school piano house and acid house. Between House of House and Gavin Russom (first with Black Meteoric Star and now, the Crystal Ark), faithful revivalism and respectfully deviant revisionism are, for the moment, pretty well covered. Plus, it's probably unfair of me, but I always tend to be suspicious when musicians coming from the "indie" sphere first engage with dance music; there have been enough weak-ass crossover attempts to confirm that two very different skillsets are required.

Well, clearly my wariness was all for nought. However much the 909s and chiming piano chords may anchor Miracles Club's forthcoming 12" in tradition, there's so much more here than mere pastiche. It's definitely inspired by acid house (even though there's not much 303 to be found, if any), but the duo's own copious ideas easily carry the day. I can hear a lot of familiar inspirations in here—everything from Together's great acid-house remixes of the Durutti Column to a Seefeel-style jones for shoegazing drones. But the way they finesse all the elements together, with ostinato synths bleeding into drum-machine lines and psychedelic guitar, it gels into something way more than the sum of its parts. ("Chango" sounds almost like Emeralds might, if they signed to Rush Hour.) In the two days since I received the files, this has shot towards the top of my favorites so far this year. It's the kind of record I want to construct a setlist around.

Between this and Carlos Giffoni's No Fun Acid, it looks like "outsider" acid house might prove very fruitful in 2010.

Check out Miracles Club's blog (helpfully titled The Ecstasy Blog, just in case you weren't sure where to file the music) for streaming audio, tech geekery and more. They've also got some videos up on their Vimeo channel, but they don't begin to capture the depth of the recordings. It is pretty cool to see some live knob-twiddling, though. On their MySpace, check out "Light of Love."

JACKING HOUSE from Miracles Club on Vimeo.


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