It has been a while since I've last checked out anything on Classic but this new EP from Grand Corporation grabbed me almost instantly.
Grand Corporation is a collaboration between Stevie Kotey of Bearfunk and Andy Meecham of both Chicken Lips and Emperor Machine. 'Wonder & Amazement' is one of those records that treads a really fine line between classic (lower-c) and contemporary. And you can clearly hear Meecham's hands all over this.
The vocal, from Jeremy Glen, feels like that of the kind of quintessential house you don't hear all too often these days - soulful, uplifting but not over-done. The music slots itself in amongst the vocal-work without drowning it out too much and the result has some vintage house elements - much of the percussion has a distinctly old skool vibe, big rim-shots and rolling drums together with classic 808 sounding beats. The warm melody, devoid of any treble, feels very contemporary however and yet it still fits the track perfectly. The result is sophisticated without being pretentious.
There are a number of mixes across the physical twelve and the digital release. Deetron gives the original a pretty big boost, throwing in a tweaked version of the melody that builds in layers, adding a gnarly acid kick. The vocal still gets plenty of room in the main version of the mix though and it is a pretty faultless revision (there is a dub on the vinyl release).
Crooked Man is a pseudonym of Sheffield's DJ Parrot, of The All Seeing Eye fame, and he delivers a couple more mixes. Both are considerably deeper than the original and there are similarities between the two but it is the percussive 'Crooked Sky Mix' on the digital release that is the more essential.
The digital release also gets a cymbal heavy mix by Japan's Yosa and whilst it is pretty far abstracted from the original it isn't without charm, a warm, analogue sounding techno joint.
Given the break down of the mixes the digital version is definitely the better value here - whilst none of the mixes are without merit the digital release gets every one of the essential ones. It is like thought that this is one record that would sound beautiful on vinyl.
Wonder & Amazement is released through Classic next week on 12" and digital release, available for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk on MP3 [affiliate link].