GLENN A$TRO & MAX GRA€F – Money $ex 001 EP

If, like me, you’ve been infatuated with the eighteen-minute preview mix promoting Max Graef, Delfonic and Glenn Astro’s new record label, Money $ex Records, then the forthcoming debut EP will not disappoint.

The music off the first release is produced by Astro and Graef, which, when you think about it, is a perfect marriage. Both being friends, it isn’t hard to imagine that they share many musical influences. It’s also not hard to culminate in one’s mind Graef’s 2013 ‘Sensation‘ with Astro’s ‘Feelin’ Me‘ of the same year. Both were tastefully made with house parties in mind, while neither strayed too far from the deep side of house.

The Dilla influence can hardly be ignored throughout the forthcoming EP. Slightly off-time bass drums, pitch modulation, gritty hats, thick swirling organs and bells/dings/chimes floating in and out of Roots-style chord progressions. Listening to Dilla tunes like ‘Think Twice‘, it’s hard not to push his original tracks up a few bpm until you reach house music with a blend of hip-hop and jazz; something Graef and Astro are no stranger to. Their eclecticism is displayed clearly in their releases and especially in Graef’s criminally under-viewed Boiler Room.

The ‘Cool Garageband Intro’ (yes) that starts off the EP is straight up jazz. The drums are high in the mix a la Questlove and the instrumentation is of the same nature as Graef and Astro’s house blend. The piano towards the end of the track reminds me of something off of The Roots’ 2010 album How I Got Over, and the application of the almost-whispering saxophone comes and goes all too quickly just in time for the second track.

From this moment onwards, the EP is of the same style but not in a bad way. Each track has its defining features, but come together to form as one when looking at the EP as a whole. ‘Guwno Na Patetschuko‘, ‘Caribean Screwdriver’ and ‘Titel 08’ are all held down by a rich, velvety organ-sounding synth, giving groove and a smoky feel throughout.

My favourite track off the EP, ‘Echoed Gehenna’ owes its huge playability to a thick and wide envelope filter whilst letting the rest of the track stay spacious enough to allow the vinyl crackle reinforce its character. The track closes the EP with more sax and house jazz, and possibly the foray into more stellar releases from this exciting new label. Don’t miss picking this EP up, and certainly don’t sleep on any other releases from Money $ex Records, who have provided an excellent musical start to 2015.

Money $ex 001 is forthcoming on Money $ex Records. You can pre-order the 12″ at Piccadilly Records.

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