When Rene LaVice played Smooth's "All Over the World" four weeks running on his Radio 1 show, we all sat up and took notice. The feel-good anthem lit up summer 2018 and means that Smooth's return to Technique Recordings is a very exciting prospect indeed.
Darkly powerful chords introduce "Escape", but Smooth quickly switches into uplifting mode, building towards euphoria with beautifully warm harmonies and the intriguing twist of that vocoder line. Guided by the authoritative presence of Coppa, we're delivered into a sultry, soulful roll-out, with little touches of vocal timbre keeping the heartfelt vibe alive. With an instrumental version included as part of the release too, this is perfect for bringing heat to the dance, even in the midst of winter.
And then he goes a few notches grittier with "Guess Who's Back". The evolving chords that take us through the broodingly moody intro combine touches of both acid-synth and distorted guitar. All the signs point to the fact that this is going to drop hard, and Smooth delivers in spades. Stomping drums, the mid-range stabs counter-punching with organ-rupturing bass, and perfectly calculated builds and fills all combine to make this a savage dancefloor weapon. Essential.
So, in one release, we're seeing both sides of the coin. Smooth lives up to his name with the velvet comfort of "Escape", and then, without warning, attacks with an iron fist in "Guess Who's Back". Looks like it's going to be another big year for Smooth and for Technique Recordings.