Drivetrain/Rennie Foster: Empress Enigma 12″ EP (Soiree Records International, 2023)

April 11, 2023 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Drivetrain/Rennie Foster: Empress Enigma 12″ EP

Drivetrain (Derrick Thompson) is an unsung legend of the Detroit house scene who’s been releasing music through his own Soiree Records International since 1990. His side of this new split EP contains two versions of “It Can Never Be the Same”, the first being a reflective, slowly growing house track, and the second being a stripped-down, almost acoustic downtempo version with jazzy bass guitar soloing. Canada’s Rennie Foster, another house lifer who’s been at it since the ’90s and put out music on several Detroit labels, provides both tracks on the second side. “Guiding Light” is a propulsive deep house roller with percolating basslines and cymbals pitched up and down, giving a feeling of acceleration. “I Haven’t Forgotten” is a surprisingly sentimental tune with an echoing vocal sample, stirring string melodies, and acidic synths for a bit of an edge, and I think it’s actually the best song on the record.


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