Under the floorboards of House :: Hakim Murphy & Amir Alexander

Amir Alexander and Hakim Murphy have a passion for House and Techno, a zeal coupled with a deep-seated knowledge of the genesis of both sounds. Explore the mechanics of the past with an eye on the future.

Often the most interesting artists fly under the radar. Amir Alexander and Hakim Murphy are talented producers whose modesty belies his musical quality. This humility has continued to run into Murphy’s latest. This time the Chicago man turns his tunes to Sound Black Recordings and a split EP with Amir Alexander on Finale Sessions.

Darkness comes from the musical traditions of Murphy’s hometown. Under the iconic buildings of the Illinois capital Murphy dishes up three tracks. “Mad” opens with gentle chords and snaps before opening into a warm and warbling work. The track is deep, rich and generously dipped in the sounds of Techno. An excellent piece of cerebral Chitown. A powerful beat breaks “Dark Peace.” This second instalment develops slowly, percussion arrives amidst bass and lush harmonies. Murphy weaves a dreamlike melody amongst the punctuated machine drum pillars to produce a quality piece. The cuddly titled “Muffintop Dreams” is arguably the toughest of the trio. A bass lovingly opens before 606 and 707’s land to cut and dice. Beats judder and shake to suppress a bulging synth line.

On the split EP, a 4/4 beat opens Amir Alexander’s “Eyes Open Mouth Shut.” An ashen backdrop forms behind the steady rhythm but soon a warming melody develops. A well-structured and soulfully arranged piece of Techno. “Bittersweet Memories” follows. The track runs along recognisable lines, beats building and the like. The melody swerves, dropping out into a counter arrangement to add another layer to what could be too easily familiar. A thumping beat introduces Hakim Murphy. “Hazey Plains in Times” hesitates briefly to introduce a superb sci-fi melody. 707 snares flex and pound as this warbling harmony rises and falls in a terrific piece of Techno. “Chill” comes from the same shelf as its predecessor. Cascading melodies meet gentle movements in this sublime finale.

Amir Alexander and Hakim Murphy have a passion for House and Techno, a zeal coupled with a deep-seated knowledge of the genesis of both sounds. Explore the mechanics of the past with an eye on the future.

Both Darkness and New Roots are available on Sound Black and Finale Sessions, respectively.



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