In the reviewing stakes I’ve had something of a mixed musical journey of late, whether it be the surprise return of Proms dominating Dame Shirley Bassey, or a quick left turn into the world of futurist disco before making the round trip courtesy of the likes of Fake Blood’s chop cut and paste mix in the Wax:On disc and Christoph Berg’s cinematic electronica. We finish off the week with DJ Zinc’s scalding hot blend of house (nu house?) which takes the form of his ‘Crackhouse’ EP.

For starters as EP’s go this is generous, ten tracks to get your heads around starting with the dark and urgent ‘Blunt Edge’. Armed with one of those insistent house basslines but given a bit of a scowl for good measure. Zinc is here to give you his take on house and in order to do so he’s having a wander around all and every neighbouring genre just to see what he can get away with.

‘Pimp My Ride’ mixes a decidedly fat and filthy bassline which wobbles all over the bottom end with dry and skittish drum patterns to flesh things out in the middle. There’s no gimmicks or cheap thrills to be found here, its all serious dancefloor action,all about getting your head down and getting on with it. The same applies when he brings Angela Hunte in on the vocals for ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ stripped back and minimal this track alternates between super clean lines and vicious bassline spills, all the while held in check by Hunte’s vocal. He achieves similar results with Benga and Sweetie Irie on ‘Number One Girls’ taking a dancehall template and infusing it with bubbling synths and house undercurrents that could be made to mix and match in any set. ‘Watch Dis’ and ‘Nu Sound’ return to more familiar 4/4 territory but with a much more fluid growl to them, in another life these could have been Chicago basslines of old but they show up here with added filth.

‘Horrible’ brings back the looser dry beats which have probably already caused many of those flailing type dance related injuries while ‘Because’ reminds me of one of those really really old Jack Traxx cuts with, the slow building dark tension you used to get before acid house turned everyone into daft fuckers (in a good way of course). The theme continues with the penultimate track ‘Killa Sound’, blending a certain old skool sensibility with breaks and the filtered chat of No Lay to superb effect. The EP checks out with a reinterpretation of his garage tune ‘138 Trek’ this time taken down a notch to become ‘128 Trek’.

What you have on offer here is an artist who has resisted the traditional labeling that is so common in dance music. He might already be known for making tracks with a drum & bass flavour but in this instance he has shown that he understands the house genre implicitly but rather than rehash or retread what has gone before he has shown serious levels of creativity by inventively remodeling so many different influences to work with an existing house template.

First rate, must have. Available now.