Brixton’s Cooly G has, with her Hold Me EP, produced a delectable slab of deep house. Hold Me isn’t just the suggestive flirt on the other side of the bar – it is a demand, the fulfillment of an inner urge that needs to be satisfied. Hold Me, right now. In times of struggle, this is just what music does. It doesn’t have to be the physical touch of another; despite the higher BPM and the intense rhythmic rush, the music can continue to be a source of comfort, consoling the heart and relieving the craving with its metronomic reliability.
The constant rhythms drag you deeper into the music. The deeper bass sequences and the chopped beats stick tightly to the body of the music as if it were trying to score. They play cool, and from the sounds of it the beats get lucky. It fast becomes a temptation to play the EP again and again, proving that the music has perfected the art of seduction.
It has been said that dance music is all about sex, but this is a (mostly) stereotypical view that is probably down to the incessant beat and the high tempo that pumps roughly in time with the heartbeat (at around 120 BPM). It’s like saying that heavy metal is intrinsically linked to black magic. Saying that, the driving rhythms have a naughty side, youthful and clouded in party passion, but it comes across as musical liberation rather than the sexualization of music. Hold Me doesn’t try to conceal its connotations when they do appear, as in “Oi Dirty”, or try to disprove them, but they are only quick, darting glances in the playful sparring of eye contact.
Two years have passed since her debut Playin‘ Me, and Cooly G’s music is still as fresh as ever. Her music is proud of its heritage and is particularly fond of early house. Her three tracks, with their swaying rhythms and hypnotic beats, leave the listener drooling on the dancefloor, underneath a slippery rhythm that could have been a spilled drink. You can lean back on the beat and know that there’ll be another one to come; you can rely on the beat. There is no let up and the pace never slackens. Her fiery rhythms blaze, but the casual atmosphere is ice cool and does just enough to prevent burn-out. Her sensual vocals float in and out underneath some cloudy sky reverb and, with Scratcha DVA by her side, the music provides more than enough power.
Whether as innovative Hyperdub producer or as DJ, Cooly G knows what she’s doing. She has gone for a more club specific sound, but you’d hear these spun on the iPod as well as your local nightclub. On the title track, minor synth lines perfume the track and the beat pounds with a confident enough attitude as to border on invincibility. Concrete beats and loose hooks are catchy enough to reel you in and have you coming back for a second bite.
On “Oi Dirty”, the rhythm steams up like the backseat of a car, and a harder bass transforms the track. Cheeky behaviour is as far as it gets, though. The classic house rhythm of “Molly” drips with a juicy, chunky beat – just like the grilled steak that it is. Staccato rhythms break into the track and glitch it up, mangling it but never doing enough to derail the music. As the beats sidle up to one another, and after the flirtatious glances are exchanged, you’re left wondering who’s playin’ who. (James Catchpole)