Since its birth two years ago, Claptrap has released a handful of records from some lesser-known names, gathering speed and increased notoriety along the way. With artists like Donald Dust and Vanity Project on their fledgling books, they have exhibited a clear penchant for finding fresh, downtempo deep house music, sprinkled with atmospheric elements and dipped in balearic and italo inspiration.
Going the inevitable same way as many other labels have in recent times (they’d previously only released records and cassettes), Claptrap are releasing their first digital EP entitled ‘Gimme My Money’; courtesy of the fresh-faced Jacky Pound. JP is a new alias from Liam Baker, a born and bred Londoner whose productions are unequivocally rooted in the depths of classic Acid and Chicago House. Liam has been collecting records in this vein for a number of years, taking inspiration from them and inseminating his hardware driven tracks with their singular personalities. His love for hardware and proficiency in using it has accentuated his popularity, leading to releases on a myriad of labels under various aliases. Liam cut his teeth playing in venues across London and Bristol, supporting artists like The Black Madonna and Wes Baggaley, and he also co-founded the cult London based event ‘Meeting Points’ as well as the ‘Elektrobeast’ brand.
JP’s spicy debut release is packed full of acid house goodness, delineating his love for hardware and the raw sound it epitomises. The powerful EP has been supported by the gargantuan likes of Perel, Dave Harvey and Chris Fortier to a name but a few. All titles are based on dollar dollar bills, potentially a poignant reminder that cash rules everything, everything around us...
The opener entitled ‘Cash In Hand’, is a punchy percussive workout underpinned by its gritty bassline. All basslines in this EP were made using Behringer’s famed MS101, and in this case it instils a Paranoid London vibe into the track’s crassness. The pitched down vocal is certainly a categoric mainstay in the stylings that continually influence Liam, and this one gives the track a subtle but sexy edge.
‘Want Some Pounds’ is a steppy head nodder, complete with a weird, bent cowbell and muddy bassline. JP’s ability to infuse multiple trippy elements at random intervals is key to the idiosyncrasies of acid house, and he does so with a neat, effortless ease. He maintains a distinct rawness throughout despite also having a rife cleanliness present in the percussion, a skill many find hard to obtain.
‘Big Dosh’ is probably the EP’s best track. Liam has absolutely nailed his nods to classic/Chicago House, creating a track totally reminiscent of the time he idolises. The execution is so good that it honestly sounds like it could have been created in the 90s. The original, melodic chords permeate the track explicitly, generating an ethereally nostalgic air. Palpable Boo Williams vibes inside.
Finally we have ‘Killa Pound’. Treading the same general path as the rest of the EP, the track is another dynamic dancefloor tool consisting of the aforementioned classic/acid house anatomy. It’s crunchy snares and alarm-like tones make it likely to be the most damaging track of the EP, in terms of conventional stomp-ability.
All in all, the debut Jacky Pound EP is a raw 4x4 package of punchiness. Liam has maturely sequenced his plethora of hardware, in doing so cultivating a succinct ability to create prime-time heaters that are guaranteed to make heads move.