LocalEyes: Your eyes on Western Canadian music

We keep our eyes on the scene so you can get hot tips and takes on what’s happening and who’s doing it. This month, we preview a new release by Calgary house mainstay Jon Delerious as he puts cruisy, good vibes house on the radar for Colour & Pitch.

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Jon Delerious
I Feel This EP
Colour & Pitch - 2019
Beatport Exclusive Pre Release April 12th
Beatport Exclusive Official Release May 3rd
All stores May 17th

I Feel This (Original Mix)
Alright (Original Mix)
I Feel This (Finest Wear Remix)

 

Foundational dance music in Calgary comes with relatively few names attached, thanks to our relatively isolated Western locale. As the revolution of house music and DJing took over the world in the mid-80s and into the 1990s, a few DJs popped into the underground music consciousness via storied venues like the Night Gallery and Cherry Lounge, among others. As still active veterans like Lotus Queen, DJ Reece, DJ Rice, Smalltown DJs and Cary Chang defined some of our city’s initial understanding of the movement, Jon Delerious joined among the early wave of musicians expressing positive, uplifting, community minded house music and events.

With his upcoming EP on Colour & Pitch, Jon Delerious remains as relevant and current to the Western Canadian dance scene as ever. The three tracks inhabit a detailed and textural sonic space, where keyboard licks, precise percussive elements and vocal snippets create detailed contrast above grinding, relentless bass chords and four-to-the-floor beats.

I Feel This marries an authoritative, slightly dissonant bass progression with spacious, reverberated harmonic content. Though the bass and synth chord movements challenge the ear at times, that tonal tension is resolved with pleasant splashes and echoes that create a resonant cocoon for the listener. The result is a highly serviceable dance tune that feels as thoughtful as it does driving, and could sustain any dance floor ready to hear rolling, melodic jams in a warm and inviting context.

Alright exchanges some of the pensive, soothing tone of I Feel This for a more sparse, definitive and driving aesthetic. The formula doesn’t vary too greatly, in that both tunes tastefully blend vibey high frequency detail and vocal splashes with marching beats, but Alright’s bassline walks with authority in a cyclical, hypnotic pattern that perfectly complements a sonic backdrop with a rotating cast of rhythmic percussion pads, synth echoes, and the vaguely affirmative title statement: “Alright!”

The remix for I Feel This is a trancier take on Delerious’ two chord formula, and though it sounds different it doesn’t hit the mark in the same way. Its sound is distinctive enough to give credit to Finest Wear’s production chops overall, but unlike the original, the remix feels fairly one note.

Rob Sawchuk