Steven Julien & Kyle Hall


Apron • 2023

The opening track »Page 1« sets the tone: On their joint EP »Crown«, Steven Julien and Kyle Hall unflinchingly go their own way, making it clear from the outset that it will take them precisely where they want to go. Using James Massiah’s divine spoken word parts over retro-futuristic eighties-style swirling synths and echoing kicks that only briefly call for your attention, the pair claim ownership of their music and never falter. Julien and Hall can rightly be called true keepers of house and related forms of electronic music, one in London, the other in Detroit. What unites them is their disdain for musical sterility, the consistent affirmation of the idea of techno and house as man-made machine music.  

»Page 2« is the blueprint for this soulful sound with its jazzy rather than clubby beat sequences and synth chords that Hall used to great effect on breakthrough tracks like »Ghosten«. »Page 3« rumbles like Theo Parrish, but at the same time there is so much melody going on that it feels like there are three of them on one track. »Page 4«, on the other hand, is the clubbiest of the bunch and shows what deep house should sound like, and it really deserves the title. And while we’re on the topic: The whole EP is practically the complete musical antipode of what disreputable people upload to YouTube under the genre heading, along with suggestive beach photos of scantily clad women.