My introduction to Russ Yallop was through one song, but I have the feeling that will be a case for a lot of other people too. Apparently a friend of Jamie Jones et al, he has released music on Leftroom and Mothership as Rustie James but it is his latest record – on Damian Lazuras’ bastion of underground house Crosstown Rebels – that looks set to bring him out of the shadows.
‘I Can’t Wait’ is the kind of club track I thought wasn’t made anymore. Big room filter house that doesn’t suck, using a sample that would 99 times out of 100 sound like the laziest sampling ever – The Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’. It’s just been done to death. However, taught percussion and a relentless beat topped (bottomed?) with a monstrous bass line make this piece of 21st century dance-pop as effective as it was unexpected. A neat use of contemporary sounds, aggressive bass and crowd pleasing filtering mark out ‘I Can’t Wait’ from the rock solid discography of Crosstown Rebels. A block of sunshine yellow amongst the Rebel’s black and neon.
I don’t however think that Yallop will be a one hit flavour of the month. Not only does ‘I Can’t Wait’ stand out from much of his new label’s output, it’s stands out from much of his own too. Dark and brooding tracks like ‘Stop Lying’ and ‘Harlem’ are of a distinctly darker tone. They are also deep and very enjoyable – ‘Wired’ will appeal to fans of Ark and Jazzanova alike, which would not be the first thing to spring to mind when hearing ‘I Can’t Wait’. However, there are hints of colour and what’s to come on tracks such ‘Everybody’s Talking’ (as Rusty James) hidden amongst Yallop’s discography
The undoubtedly massive success of ‘I Can’t Wai’t, and a move closer to the cutting edge (though not too far) on his new label, marks a significant progression for a clearly gifted producer who has reached his ‘moment’ by doing his own thing and slowly finding his sound. Perhaps he has not quite got their yet – ‘I Can’t Wait’ is markedly different to a lot of the deep and grooving house he has released so far and it still maybe too cheesy for some.
Whether this marks a new direction or an interesting diversion remains to be seen but either way, Russ Yallop is definitely someone worth watching if you are in any way interested in house music. Perhaps not one for the strictly purists, but then again who knows? Let’s keep watching and find out.