Matt Tolfrey – “The Untitled”
Matt Tolfrey has thrived for the better part of a decade in the deep purple middle ground of UK house. The bruised hues of his releases suggest a shiftiness, a side-eyed glance at goings-on more interesting than his offhand 4/4 drum patterns and backseat synths that a less competent producer wouldn’t dare alter. That’s what makes his music so engaging: he produces straight-up house tracks that are skeptical of straight-up house tracks.
Take his newest track, “The Untitled,“ as an example. The title alone acknowledges the dispensability of many club tracks, yet in doing so embraces the absolute power of a generic dancefloor workout. Now I don’t mean to use that word, “generic,” negatively. Instead, I mean Tolfrey employs many house cliches–vocal wail samples, yelping crowd, a sparkling synth build–but mixes them flawlessly and unexpectedly throughout. His sense of timing is impeccable, with alternating drum patterns and samples deployed at just the right moment to create a massive yet, if not listened to carefully, somewhat unremarkable groove. For body music that also insinuates itself into your head, this is excellent stuff.