deleted-jerome[xrr rating=3.25/5]As the co-founder of LA’s Body High label, Jerome Potter (aka Jerome LOL) has made his intentions clear: “inserting integrity back into a sphere that’s lacked such in recent years“. Although the imprint, which he formed alongside fellow stripped-down club producer Samo Sound Boy, is still in its infancy, Potter has been a bubbling force within LA’s underground club scene for a decade. As one-half of the LOL Boys, Potter became fluent in deep house-kissed R&B. The duo dropped their final EP, Changes, in 2012 via Friends of Friends before going on an indefinite hiatus. With that hiatus now over a year old, Potter has once again turned to Friends of Friends to release his four-track debut EP Deleted/Fool. While that deep house aesthetic is currently trending across club land, Potter continues to discover his own path through outsider-house music.

Although only four tracks long, Deleted/Fool showcases Potter’s broad production palette. The EP commences with the drunk minimal-house shuffle of “Deleted” (feat. Sara Z). Sarah Z then tosses her silky vocals atop “Always”, which borrows the percussive pulse of Golden-era jazz and an organ from the Sims series. Potter truly leaves no sample behind when rediscovering the integrity of dance music. However, the success of the tracks is not that of Potter alone; Sarah Z’s simple lyricism can evoke deep reflection over the roomy instrumental. “Got deep inside a lost cause/ Heavy like a pregnant pause/ Still steady like a long stare / You were never all there/ We’re offline, no course of action/ Deleted, hope you got what you needed,” she reflects in the lead-track, sharing the collective struggle of young love. The phrasing, like Potter’s production tactics, is light yet viscerally effective.

Angelina Lucero provides vocals for the latter two tracks, “Fool” and “True”. Each track inhabits that dark indie-electro bubble that artists like Data Romance, Björk and Imogen Heap have all cultivated throughout their careers. Slightly too “poppy” to be considered trip hop, I personally wonder what would happen if Potter, Tricky and Bloodshy & Avant were all thrown into a room together and forced to collaborate.

The experimentation and burgeoning success of Jerome LOL and the rest of the Friends of Friends and Body High imprints, plus that of Soul Clap Records, WeDidIt and French Express, all show signs that the groove is slowing finding its way back into EDM. As hardstyle, progressive house kick and bass distortion continue to dominate much of the big room sound, artists like Jerome LOL, Purple, Shlohmo, Samo Sound Boy and Moon Boots are proving that the new generation of EDM can actually dance when not just waiting around for the drop.

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