Everyone likes Hot City, and the group undoubtedly have their moments, but they can also be… well, just a bit too silly sometimes, in a back-slappy, “hey, it’s the geezer from ‘Do You Really Like It’, and here’s a girl’s bum” way. It’s all gone a little bit Live and Kicking for me, and it’s no coincidence that their best tracks came before they started making music videos.
Unknown to the Unknown however, a new project by Hot City’s DJ Haus, is silly in all the right places. Few genres endure more po-faced mythologizing than classic techno and electro, and when injected with a little humour (crucially here, courtesy of somebody who really knows their onions about the source material) the results can be pretty priceless. Whereas the last Unknown to the Unknown single, ‘Assassin’ was a little too stuttery for the dancefloor, the drums on ‘Mystery Dragon’ are unquantized to that perfect point where they knock into each other without ever distracting from the track’s bumpy flow. ‘Rudolf Klorzeiger’s Cave’ is like Becoming Real’s ‘Closer’ eating itself from its swinging tail of 808 toms up, while Slackk jumps in the submarine and sets destination to you-know-where on his remix.
Underwater cities and futures never lived – you’ve heard all the reference points before, but Unknown to the Unknown is starting to find its (webbed) feet as a project with much more to it than just another tribute act.