Defected'sHouse Masters series has been a reliable avenue for exploring the huge contributions made to this beautiful genre by several leading exponents. Masters at Work, Farley & Heller, Osunlade and MK have all been previous incumbents, but the latest sees them turning to a man who deserves every accolade going - Todd Terry.
Terry's imprint on modern dance music is huge. His early career took in the epochal 'Can you feel it' as CLS and a pivotal remix of Jungle Brothers' 'I'll house you', with the 90s witnessing chart dominating collaborations with Everything but the Girl and Jocelyn Brown. And that inspiration has run deep; disco don Todd Terje is actually monikered in tribute, Terje Norwegian for Terry.
This comp offers a compelling argument as to why he is so feted. The aforementioned are all here, showing his undeniable renown as a hitmaker of sheer pedigree. But so too is his craft in making club bangers, the 187 Lockdown inspiring Rah Freeze version of Dred Stock 'Pump' still, quite literally, bangs. Also check the way his Urban dance mix of Bizzare Inc's 'Im gonna get you' cuts up Jocelyn Brown's saccharine vocal atop a dark drum led workout for maximum effect.
It's also evident on some of his less celebrated moments. His rework of Playgroup and KC Flight's mid 00s hip-house homage 'Front 2 Back' is a classic shuffling groove, one that still sounds fresh a decade on. And there isn't a single use of a drum machine that could be bettered, that heavy kick owing as much influenced by the boom bap of hip hop than anything else.
All in all there's 35 brilliantly crafted tracks here, taking in, among others, his Hardhouse, House of Gypsies and Black Riot aliases for a reminder of why few, if any, can stand tall with him. Essential stuff.