Some years ago I remember making some monumental effort to try to introduce my digital DJs to all the amazing music being dropped on vinyl. Today it’s the reverse: a plethora of gorgeous tracks being released with minimal promotion by people that might make a couple of records under vaguely identifiable aliases before sinking back into the scenery. It’s the same sort of Everyman’s Underground ethic that makes Italo so fascinating – that these people made a few brilliant records, often wrote them off as a passing fancy and then went on to whatever else there was to do in the heady days of 1984.
Not all of that applies to Alex Agore, except that the guy (at least I think he’s a guy – no firsthand evidence here!) who makes some of the most ecstatic achy-breaky garagey Deep House tracks is pretty much just doing his thing in some underground bunker in Germany while a bunch of Frat House DJs with stupid fucking names but boyband looks soak up the cash by crashing the festival circuit. It isn’t fair, but if he minds, it isn’t poisoning the well: Alex Agore’s tracks are better than ever. And still better than theirs.
Alex is basically hammering monthly releases on Closer To Truth right now. Any of the four original tracks on What U Need could have anchored an EP on its own. I’ve tried to sit down and figure out why Alex’s shit seems to grab you by the scruff and shake you silly whereas hundreds (or these days more likely thousands) of tracks with identical inspiration and elements just fall away – the kind of shit you forget as instantaneously as you’ve heard it. I have no answers, but Alex’s tracks get under your skin, and if I haven’t done something regrettable while “Groove Me” was playing in the past, I’m sure I will soon. They evoke an era without ripping it off; they use a certain language we know from the past, like the keys in “Knock It Off,” without sounding cheesy or too cute. It’s the real deal, whatever that means to you and however you want to put it. It’s the essence that the Frat House kids can’t get at no matter how hard Thump wants to pretend they do.
So yeah, go out and buy it. Buy “Groove Me.” Buy all four tracks and play them in the same set. People won’t mind.
Originally published inside 5 Magazine Issue #134 featuring Lay-Far, Inaya Day, Danism, Minneapolis Exchange and more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full access to everything House Music – on sale for just $1 an issue!