Various Artists | Black Key EP (Vol.1)

Tracks A1. BLM – My Sound Tool - Original Mix

B1. Flori – Red Rectangle - Original Mix


B2. James Johnston – Lights Off - Original Mix

Genre Deep House



12" Vinyl

Cat No.


Release Date

Vinyl - 3rd September 2012

Mastered By

Full Range Mastering


V/A Link

Black Key Records




Newbie Label, Black Key Records has had a very successful string of releases since its beginning in late 2011. With a roster of artists that should belong to a long established label, Black Key has worked hard to concrete itself as the next big imprint in all things Deep House.

The Black Key EP (Vol. 1) has three varying artists who have produced sounds that range across what we would class as Deep House. It’s this scope within the label and the decision to bring three such artists together that impresses most, especially when many labels are pigeonholing themselves into only a few sub genres. Deep House is a beautiful genre because of the multiple directions that it can take and Black Key seems happy to champion the sound.

First up is BLM with My Sound Tool, a lovely chugging number with a meaty baseline that plods along with a trusty vibe and creating a damn fine groove. Excellent use of an Underworld-esque vocal “When you come closer” wards off any danger of the track becoming repetitive. Then sharp key stabs echo off into what feels like the far distance creating a beautifully imaged soundscape for this track which would suit those intimate 100 capacity venues perfectly. This simple head nodder is the stand-out on the EP with a simple groove that screams out to be blended and interwoven between other sonic spheres.

Flori is on fire right now with the epic Lucy release on Secretsundaze and another forthcoming on Leicester-based City Fly, he has showcased a real talent for creating darker moods in his work. His offering in this EP, Red Rectangle, is a dreamy proto rave piece. Grumpy bassline notes offer a rave sound which are nicely contradicted by delayed percussive hits alongside the pitched-down pads. Red Rectangle is a late-night heads-down track - serious and thumping although lacking a hook or something to lift it from its comfortably simmering state.

Finally, we have James Johnston, co-big dog at No Matter What and remix master of the moment with his track titled Lights Off. James’ remixes of late exhibit his uncanny ability to draw out the deeper elements of any piece and this is a skill he shows in his own work. Lights Off is a super late night slo-mo House track, the moody synth line and synchronised bassline feel naughty and raw whilst humungous echoing chord stabs give a great depth to the track. This is a welcome change to Johnston’s usual peak time sounds and one that would play a key mood changer in most sets. James Johnston for President!

Overall a very rounded EP and, as described earlier, it shows the true breadth of Deep House and offers listeners the opportunity to sample some of the producers that are making waves in the scene.

Top Pick: BLM – My Sound Tool
EP Rating 4/5

Reviewed by: Franklin

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