Few can hold as in-depth a knowledge and understanding of ’90s US house as Harry Romero. Most commonly known by his Choo-Choo nickname, the artist has recently split from Erick Morillo’s Subliminal Records, ending a ten-year relationship with the label. As a result, Romero is now able to expand his musical horizons, with The Butcher, a three-track EP on Yousef’s Circus Recordings, the New York native’s latest offering.
Inspired from watching Luciano man the main room at Pacha Ibiza, the title track is a trademark cut of driving, big room house from Romero. Plump kicks support a framework of erratic snares and the record’s lead distorted jazz-line. Forceful though it is, the central feature is ultimately a little grating on the ears. Solo man fares better, running a base of classic house stabs and quirky synth licks through several filters to give a washy, ’90s effect. Warm and pumping, it’s much more the Harry Romero that we know and love.
Seeing us out is Keep Pushing On, the EP’s strongest track. Taking its cues from Chez Damier classic Can You Feel It?, Romero pitches down the vocals and straps them to a set of thumping kicks and a funky, beefed-up bassline. Oddball metallic licks drift intermittently into the action, giving this dance floor monster a glitchy edge. With releases on Ovum (under his Vaggio alias) and DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster imprint already in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see how Romero’s second wind develops.