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The name Sublevel is hallowed amongst house music aficionados, not only as Doc Martin’s long-running record label and Los Angeles-based party series, but also as a pseudonym he adopts only occasionally, but always memorably. Two long-term collaborators join him for ‘Promise’, a deeper-than-deep excursion into timeless house sounds. Blakdoktor, aka Mark Bell, is renowned for his Blakkat alias and label, and credited with mentoring both DJ Sneak and Felix Da Housecat early in their careers, whilst singer/songwriter Lillia has joined Doc Martin on a number of releases and live performances.
A heavy-bottomed, reverb-soaked bassline recalls the heyday of New York’s Sound Factory Bar, but mellow keys and Lillia’s laidback vocal delivery shine some bright California sunshine onto ‘Promise’, all underpinned by Doc Martin’s unparalleled propensity for holding down a tight groove. Another bona fide house stalwart, Atjazz, brings some swing to the table, delivering a bumping remix with a dusty, intimate feel. An Atjazz Floor Dub completes the EP, giving DJs the full range of tools to express their creativity, and making the return of the Doc’s Sublevel moniker very welcome indeed.