Reform Club is house music that wants to be there for you, whatever your mood, from the Manchester UK groove masseur Mark Stewart. It plays as some kind of health spa meets convalescence home for house sufferers, mixing up aromas, some tough love and slow motion remedies. There’s the relaxant with strong bass undertones on the opening “Reformed,” letting you know how he’ll be laying his healing hands on your psyche. Then comes the rising “Blind Side” that’s definitely for your benefit, confusing your senses by being a sedative cocktail of cosmic disco, deep house and sludgy funker all in one. Extra care sees “Still Here” bewitch in its own time, before letting the bliss roams free.
Whatever the technique, the instruction is to keep the beats moving and the only way to find comfort is to dance. Four years on from Metanarrative, Watson does deep and ambient house as an advocate of meditation but not to the point where dancing feet feel they’re left out. Angelic brush strokes, sometimes sweeping, sometimes reprogrammed into a criss-crossing daze (“Control”), arch across an at times surprisingly rugged base as a means of shock therapy (“It’s Getting Late”, “Second Blood” and its tantalizing trick of a tempo). For such settings Reform Club knows not to drone on and on, as both a lover and a fighter. A club you should want membership for.
File Under: Carl Taylor, Scope, Terry Lee Brown, Jr.