Review: ‘Winter Essentials Vol. 1’ (Vicey Loops)

Various Artists - Winter Essentials Vol.1


It’s the time of year right now when all roads lead to Miami, with both the globally renowned Winter Music Conference and the Ultra Festival taking place only a few weeks ago. While both events are now in the history book, Winter Essentials Volume 1, a hefty package from the team at the fledgling Vicey Loops imprint, is on hand to remind us of the city’s unquestionable dance music pedigree.

A watertight wedge of sultry and uptempo house music, the package sees a raft of emerging producers join the fray, with no less than nine tracks on offer. More a collection of club-ready tracks than an album per se, that’s all good in the hood here as each one basks in a glow that’s hard to jettison. While the agenda is firmly house, it’s also house in its many stylings and guises too, with everything from celestial hues to heaving jams getting in on the action.

If you’re in need of something different to pepper your set with, then Jimmy Luna’s “U Move” ought to do the trick, while Lefty Gunz’s “7014” sounds like Daryl Pandy jamming at the controls with Mr. Fingers, with a smidgen of hip-house capabilities thrown into the equation for good measure. Yamil Bandi’s musical nous really shines through on the effortlessly cool “Beats of Love,” a track that features a mound of beautiful piano chords and a heavy sprinkling of magic to boot.

Matteo Floris’ “Flip Da Trip” is unashamedly dance floor driven, while Tuff Dub & Eargasm’s “In Deep” is cut from a similar cloth in that regard. Watch out for the claps on the latter mind you, as they’re sure to prompt consternation when let out of the bag. Nick Safado culminates and sees us out the door thanks to the stunning pop-influenced number that is “What’s Up.” What’s up here, then, is a gorgeous, almost lackadaisical gem with shades of ’80s gusto and camp all intact. Of everything on show here, it’s by a distance the most striking — and a contender for my own track of the month too. Releasing Winter Essential Volume 1 with summer just around the corner might be something of an unusual move, but titles aside, this is most definitely an outing that’s worth dedicating some time too.

Ian Fleming

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