Hot City – the London-based duo of DJ Haus and Benz – have been around for a while now.

It was rave-garage party-starter ‘Yeah!’ on Highpoint Lowlife that launched the pair back in 2008; we asked them for a mix a year later, and they duly delivered the goods. Back then we described Hot City’s reference points as populist hardcore, garage at its commercial peak, and the New York house of Todd Edwards – a heady mix of hands-in-the-air signifiers which is simultaneously difficult to place and naggingly familiar.

To an extent, the same can be said of the duo’s latest effort for Moshi Moshi. ‘Buggin’ Out’ is bumpy, hyperactive garage whose sugary vocal cutups are neatly balanced with a subtly skrewfaced bassline; DJ Haus’ solo production ‘You & Me 4 Eva’ is ravey breakbeat hardcore updated for the 21st century.

‘Hand Clap’, though, is a slightly different beast. Its chief touchstone seems to be the rough-cut groove of ghetto house – there’s not much more than drums here, which makes it bang all the harder – though the pair can’t resist dropping some trademark rave stabs over the breakdown. You can stream the track, featuring a guest spot from Jon-E (“a hard ass rapper from Tokyo”, according to the duo), below.

Buggin’ Out is out now on Moshi Moshi.



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