Ben Hauke – Club Cute

A playful blend of club styles...

“Be very clear what your intentions are and what type of DJ you are hoping to be…” a voice murmurs on brief track ‘Who Are Ya’. Is this monologue aimed at us or a timely reminder for Ben Hauke himself? It would be understandable if it’s the latter; after all, the south London stalwart has bounded between danceable styles his entire career, often to gripping effect and highlighted as one of his strengths. His acclaimed productions have been a rollercoaster ride of techno, garage and UK funky, and he adopts a similarly freewheeling spirit for his club forays.

But ‘Club Cute’ resembles something more cohesive. By his own admission, Ben felt like he had been “experimenting” up to this point, but ‘Club Cute’s collaborative streak made him realise “how versatile I can be as a producer and I think it’s opened up doors into new worlds.”

Guest spots by the likes of Katy B and Goya Gumbani are welcome changes of pace, with the latter’s effortless delivery melding well with ‘What Tha Meanin’s slinky groove.

For those seeking a little more urgency, Ben serves up percussive bangers galore. Whether it’s the placid keys of ‘Bridge City’, white-knuckle groove of ‘Moooood’ or the dizzy breaks unleashed on ‘Another Ghost’, each track reveals a vibrant thread of Ben’s genre-spanning history, except this time they
are delicately entwined.

By the time it’s kicking out time for ‘Club Cute’, it’s less about the type of DJ Ben is hoping to be, and more so about the artist he has become. Evidently, Ben is now a DJ of remarkable focus without sacrificing his party playfulness.

7/10

Words: Lee Wakefield

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