Let's go deep! Germany's foremost Chicagophiles Chiwax come through with the second half of the Virgo Four "E Series", and it's every bit as essential as the first half. Back in the day, the duo of Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders were the true pioneers of deep house and their 1989 LP still stands up as one of the best in the genre. Well, the clock's rolled on and Merwyn's pursued a different musical path, but Eric and new recruit Terry Ivy are continuing the legacy without missing a step. EP opener, "I've Loved You Before", is a truly beautiful house love song which rolls along at ocean floor depths. The whispered heartfelt vocals and sublime synths are in perfect harmony as you let the music take you. But what comes after love? Envy. Eric and Terry underpin some plaintiff strings with a nagging bassline and needling acid lines as they take us to the darker parts of our psyche. "Concrete Free" continues to play on our paranoia, bugging us out with an unsettling bassline, queasy leadlines and some of those creepy Chicago vocals perfect for sending the dancefloor west. If the EP started with love, then it finishes with lust in the form of the super sleazy "What You Do To ME". Opening with a stripped back bassline and some muffled moans, the track instantly transports you from the cruising gallery to the sweat of the dark room. A buzzing sequence enters the fray to add some extra midrange punch before the lead triumvirate of Eric's whispered vocals, jazzy rhodes licks and the rarely spotted house melodica! As sleazy as any conversation with Martin, this is the winner for me.
A1. I've Loved You Before A2. With Envy B1. Concrete Free B2. What You Do To ME
Virgo Four – E-Series Part One 12″ – Chiwax
Even without original member Meryn Saunders, Virgo Four continues to produce excellent Chicago flavored House Music. Therefore, its fitting that the first cut, titled “Just Let Me,” seeks to take the listener on a journey back to the 80s heyday of Chicago house culture. With the same knack they had back in the day for creating music full of slinking synths, laid back atmospheres and sultry vocals this first track really sets the tone for this EP.
The aptly named “Superbass” follows a similar formula, but features a running staccato baseline with just the right amount of acid tinge to keep it from falling into the increasingly cliche modern deep house sound. Probably the standout track on the EP is “1986”. This is that classic house sound done to perfection, which is easy for Eric Lewis and Terry Ivy since they were two of the people who helped define it. Closing up the EP is “Let Me Touch Your Soul” which is a bit more hypnotic and driving than the other tracks and features some solid drum programming and synth textures. This EP is destined to be a modern classic in House Music with its classic sound but modern polish, marking it as a must-have.POSTED BY
... "This is not (just) self-indulgence – it’s highly relevant to whatVirgo is. The majority of fans of the album probably were in a similar position to me, either not cool enough or not old enough (or not even born) when it came out, yet it remains relevant to this day. Not as a “retro” record, not as a signifier of dance music past, but as a perfect encapsulation of the geometries of house. It’s a metaphor I’ve used before, but when you hear something as perfectly designed as this, it’s like getting an amazing chair – one that is comfortable, beautiful, refined and usable every day. When you get something like that, regardless of its age, do you then abandon it or declare it obsolete or decide to attach a fifth leg to it just because your neighbours get a different chair made of some new construction material?" Joe Muggs
One of the positive aspects of living in a reissue culture is that people who didn’t get their props first time round do so on the rebound. M. and E. are two such guys. They released only three records in their short-lived career, but those first two (under the names M.E. and Virgo Four, released on Chicago’s legendary Trax label), were compiled into their eponymous album Virgo. ... the album is regularly described as “the greatest house album you’ve never heard.” You can, however, knock the “n” off that description ....