The anonymous Berlin-based producer Marquis Hawkes is primarily known for his releases on Glasgow’s Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, relatively straightforward affairs that tend to reference the sounds of classic Chicago house while also incorporating well-chosen vocal samples. He’s now arrived on DVS1’s nascent Mistress Recordings with his new Juxta Position project, presenting us with a trio of of compelling tracks that feel darker and more polished than his previous work.
The two initial standouts are “Mercy” and “The Darkness”, showcasing Hawkes’ song-crafting abilities by doing a lot with very little. “Mercy” opens up the record at a languid 118 BPM, transforming a simple and efficient drum pattern into something much greater with the addition of a captivating vocal and a duet of synthesizers. “The Darkness” employs a similar strategy – the sounds in the lower frequencies of the track march steadily along, showcasing a mesmerizing clap and hi-hat. With a smooth electro-esque drum line and acidic synths that wobble across the track, “Mazury” sounds like it would have been right at home on one of Hawkes’ previous releases. It’s an intriguing addition to the record, but ultimately feels a bit chaotic and unfocused when placed alongside the other two tracks.