NACEY AND STARKS EP – Hot DJ Collabo from the Capital City!
by Marcus K. Dowling
Nacey (l.) and Steve Starks. The most potent DC connection since Doug Williams to Ricky Sanders. Photo by Sexy Fitsum/iLLIMETER – http://illimeter.com
Nacey – Lose Your Love
What DC has known for awhile now is that Columbia, MD natives and friends since high school Nacey and Steve Starks, two-thirds of the Nouveau Riche triumvirate with Gavin Holland, are two of the most underrated DJs and producers in the country. The reason why the rest of the country didn’t know, is, well, Nacey and Steve Starks are also two of the most humble DJs and producers in the country, opting to let their mixing and skill speak louder than their marketing and voice. However, with a less than inspiring Winter Music Confernence spurring on the talented duo to replace thir humility with quiet confidence, Starks and Nacey have rolled out the most consistently solid remixes of the year, Nacey gaining the big prizes from Mad Decent and Discobelle, along with tracks rapped over by former Yo Majesty! rapper Shunda K, and Starks quietly honing his craft, a musical viper waiting for the right time to attack. Amd that right time was this past Tuesday, as the duo released their debut EP, a six song compilation of completely original tracks and reworkings of popular tunes as well, a clear shot to DJs everywhere that the duo are forces to be reckoned with.
Nacey’s three songs reflect his diverse interests, with a particular investment n his love of Southern bass and appreciation of an upbringing saturated in Bmore club. The EP kicks off with “Lose Your Love,” where Nacey deftly handles one of the most emphatic disco breaks of all time from the extended mix of The Emotions’ “Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love,” where the sisters sing the title as chorus over horn stabs, and with the aid of the break from “Doo Dew Brown,” and ambient noise, creates a perfect track that doubles as the perfect breakdown at the height of a Bmore club specific set, or to jazz up any disco mix. It’s a hit for sure, and I FULLY expect to see it showing up all over the place this summer. “Money on the Dressa” turns a sample of Bun B’s iconic voice from “International Playa’s Anthem” into a gangstafied house banger, replete with samples of a shotgun loading and shooting, squealing car tires and violin strings over a futuristic and hollow breakbeat, creating the perfect soundtrack if Major Lazer wasn’t a Jamaican freedom fighter but a Dolemite clone. “Work For This” may be the most sonically lush and mentally stimulating of the three tracks he delivers on the EP, taking what sounds like a sexed out Trina sample and creating a classic house jam, lush Arabian horns mixing with jazz horns over a syncopated bassline to create a sexy, sexy, sexy club heater that is certain to get the ladies moving seductively on the dancefloor.
Steve Starks on the other hand is similar, but with his deep house and funk explorations is a different DJ entirely. “So Sexy,” his first EP track, plays as an homage to Green Velvet (i.e. Cajmere of “Percolator” fame’s later project), all distinct spoken word vocals, deep synthy basslines and tinny hi hats with congo drums, it’s a classic deep house track, a retro fit for these most interesting times. “You Don’t Want None” follows next, a far more bass heavy and big sounding Bmore club exploration than Nacey’s smooth as silk “Lose Your Love,” it sounds like a Brick Bandits type club cut, the enormous filling sound mirroring what Philly has done with the early 2000s work of Debonair Samir and others. He closes his section and the EP itself with his most accessible for the current sonic atmosphere track, “Don’t Let Me Go” (Dub Mix f/ Manulita) featuring samples of heavy and orgasmic breathing, it’s a very dubbed out mix of a classic sexy club jam, and certain to be a necessity in the Serato boxes of any DJ looking to create the perfect mood as nightcapper to a night of playing nerve pounding wobbly basslines.
The EP is clearly aimed at creating noise and being relevant to the current set of producers and DJs presently making noise in the mainstream. At the same time though, neither Nacey nor Steve abandon what stylistically brought them to the forefront, instead weaving it into a set of tracks that are certain to continue the trend of DC infiltrating the club music mainstream.