Bringing Tokyo to Frankfurt, Guchon arrives on the much-revered Chiwax label run by Robert Drewek, with the energetically bouncing Pistachio Party EP, sounding like it could have been unearthed from 1991 or recorded just this week, such is the penchant for 90s-sounding EPs right now. It’s almost impossible to know if this is a collection of old tracks which are just being released, or brand new tracks referencing that period.
The title track of the release Pistachio Party Theme, which opens the EP, is very much a throwback to early 90s House, with its shimmering key stabs and unashamedly uplifting groove, piano riffs and clipped rave drums also adding to the hands-in-the-air style here. A track that makes one reminisce on the (good) ol’ days and additionally giving one those feel-good vibes from back then – or a much needed emotional uplift in those rather negative perceived times.
Retro action is again to the fore on the A2, Feel Like Spring, sounding like it’s stolen the opening stabs from Crystal Waters Gypsy Woman and rearranged the order of the keys. Multi-layered chords build through the track adding a fizzing energy, with offbeat percussion and little hints of vox and FX creating a vibe which, like the title track of the EP, leans heavily on old-school house influences, with its roots firmly in 90s flavours.
Kicking the tempo up and moving swiftly into breakbeat/rave territory is the B1 track, Hot Rod, coming off like a long-lost Altern8 release, dusted down from a lost DAT tape. Classic Belgian new-beat stabs and bleepy elements ride along a low-flowing bassline and cut-up breaks, giving this an incredibly authentic rave sound. Anyone old enough to have been out clubbing any time between around 1989 and 1993 could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a white label from R&S Records at that time.
Rounding off the 12″ is King Slime for the B2, bringing the BPM back down a little, but keeping the raw rave elements fully intact and raising it one step higher, with hoover bass clips, chopped HipHop vocals and tiny horn hits, yet again creating a “is this new or old?” feeling, a question that is not answerable.
As a digital-only bonus, there is also the thumping, bass-heavy Extra Class, which perhaps allows the question of “is this new or old?” question to be answered. While it still utilises some old-style ideas, the vox clips repeating and using some very neatly placed drum loops, albeit sat much further back in the track, the overall flow of this number keeps it on the more recent side of the 90s, using a very powerful and chunky kick drum, underpinning some rolling acid sounds. Or maybe it’s old after all? Aaargh! Either way, this is a very solid club outing, worth digging out if you are a digi-DJ.
It’s safe to say that Guchon isn’t remotely concerned about using well-known drum loops, vocal samples and familiar stabs, both House and rave-based, but the aim here is evidently to create what is, ultimately, a no-nonsense club EP, and Guchon has done his job well.
Guchon’s Pistachio Party EP is available now via Chiwax on vinyl and digital.
Words by Al Bradley