Black Girl / White Girl are a production duo from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Their debut EP, Don’t Stop/Got To Release, was released in 2015, and they’ve recently released their current EP, No Time, earlier this month. It is described as “a seriously infectious double A-sided groover”. Their brand of house music aims for a fresh take on a now long established sound.
The opening track, “No Time (2 Jack)”, begins with a pounding beat and incessant hi-hat. This is set alongside chopped vocals of someone, you assume, is a very animated man cut down in his prime, about to tell you something very excitedly. There are strains of, what appears, “what is it, Jack?”, too.
A cacophony of keyboard heralds quite a groovy moment, bass heavy and keeping the head nodding. The guy calling out “Jack” reappears. Maybe he, himself, is trying to tell Jack something important, but, like the excitable guy before, maybe he’s been cut down in his prime, too? The closing minute is quite busy, vocal samples sounding like someone throwing a punch or kung-fu kick; rather than someone, necessarily, throwing shapes.
The EP closes with “Lolo’s Dub”. It starts much like the previous track, maybe just a bit lower in pitch. This, of course, suits that pounding bass drum, filling out all the low end. Then you have the, almost sensual, sound of a female intake of breath. This, in turn, becomes a chorus of some rather R&B inflected women with soulful histrionics. There appears to be a bit of space bass going on, the shot of a laser gun in some intergalactic war.
However, despite all this, the backdrop is quite grounded and deep, rather than shooting to the stars. There are flourishes of keyboard hinting that feet may leave the ground, but this is merely people, like in the previous track, throwing shapes and jumping up and down in excitement.
Maybe they do so, having maybe heard, again, the excited exclamations of that animated man from the aforementioned track. The closing moments have the female intake of breath and, given the marathon of sounds going on, maybe these utterances are, now, more sexual than sensual. The foreplay now over, kind of thing. Given the ecstasy associated with the genre, this shouldn’t, and isn’t, surprising.
Don’t be fooled by the fact this EP is only two tracks long. It’s easily the same size as your typical four, five track EP. Each song is at least the length of two, making it, in a way, a very progressive sequence of music. Also, although the tracks are easily worth double their digits, themes don’t feel tagged on and separate, each flows quite seamlessly despite the wandering nature of the music. It’s all chopped up brilliantly, sometimes shocking, veering off in different directions within a heartbeat.
In particular, it’s not just how things segue within the tracks themselves, but also how those two tracks link to eachother. In fact, this is primarily why this reviewer has attained so much satisfaction from this release. The aforementioned “animated man”, first cropping up in “No Time (2 Jack)”, and how this listener thought he’d been cut down in the first track, realising he’s potentially back in the second, was akin to something quite profound.
To be just a tad dramatic, maybe it’s akin to thinking someone, dearly loved, is dead, and then the elation of finding out they’re in fact still alive. Also, to be more specific and pick maybe one track, it would be the aforementioned “female intake of breath” and “Lolo’s Dub”, and how it goes from sensual at the start, building with metaphorical foreplay in the form of the ensuing soundscape, and, then, more sexual at the end.
Black Girl / White Girl, with this ambitious slab of progressive yet simple, at heart, head nodding music, has achieved something that people with a variety of different tastes can enjoy. That, arguably, could include those with next to no interest in house or dance music. It certainly appeals, to put it bluntly, to ecstasy seeking pill poppers and all round general ravers. However, yet also to those who sit peacefully listening in their own bedrooms, too.
Black Girl / White Girl’s No Time is out now via Hustler Trax, and can be purchased on Beatport here.
Words by Andrew Watson