The Once Over EP marks the first solo offering on Substation Recordings from Calgary house pioneer and Nordic Trax protege Jon Delerious, and his first appearance on the label since last year’s remix of Matt Caine’s Crime Boss.
When Delerious first started DJing in Calgary in the early 90’s there were no house music residencies in downtown nightclubs. You got a flyer with a phone number, the number led to a spot, and if the person at the spot approved, you got the directions to the party.
Once Over captures the unhinged experimental energy of this era, and fuses it with the dance floor feelings of the long-running late night residencies that Delerious has held since then. Futuristic computerized sounds align with the organic soulful vibes that give his rooms a sense of communal reverie.
“Cutty” begins with dominating squelchy synths reminiscent of acid house, then gradually rolls into smooth soulful house marked by atmospheric organs and rising melodies.
On “Finding The Wild,” Delerious heads in a more minimal direction, with synth stabs dotting a booming four to the floor kick drum. The ambiance is smoky yet charged, just like the small venues around the city where Delerious is known to hold court.
“My A.M.” is a mosaic of the past three decades of dance music crafted by someone who witnessed each step firsthand. The eccentric digital instrumentation of early 90’s techno is set to a peak-time jacking beat, while horns and subdued bells provide additional flair.
“Once Over” is house music that lies in a category of its own. Marked by off-kilter instrumentation, vocal samples, and melodic chords that fade in and out, this track contains all the ingredients to mesmerize a dance floor while still keeping it moving.
Jon Delerious has helped give a platform to many of Substation’s current artists, and now he adds his own mark to the catalogue by blending old and new, experimental and familiar, and soulful with unhinged. The result is something that only an artist who carries the title of true pioneer could conceive of.