The Spectrum EP
A timely reissue of UK house maestro Charles Webster’s heavily sought-after Spectrum EP, originally released under his Presence alias back in ’96 from Glasgow’s TDSR.
A timely reissue of UK house maestro Charles Webster’s heavily sought-after Spectrum EP, originally released under his Presence alias back in ’96. ‘Gotta Be Paid’ sets the tone, a huge deep house number reminiscent of the Prescription/Murk/Shelter Mix camps with shuffling drums, sweet low end and a looping vocal sample. Across the rest of the tracks Webster nods to various strains of US dance music that inspired the British club scene of the era but shows why he is regarded as one of the best in the business. A2 ‘Partyboy’ continues on with the well-swung, punchy attitude, underlying keys seemingly harking back to the bleep days prior to the hardcore continuum. The sound is classier and more refined though, mostly due to the improvement the mid 90s saw in production opportunities and Webster’s clear affinity to the New York scene across the pond. The EP is an exercise in the classic house template of addition and subtraction, yet with all of Webster’s chosen elements oozing quality and nothing ever sounding out of place. ‘Work on Me’ opens the B-side with a big room diva mantra imploring all the dancers to get to work. Simple and totally effective. ‘I Believe’ grooves along ever more subtly, an after-hours burner rounding the 12” off in a wide-eyed romantic fashion.