Jori Hulkkonen Different

Jori Hulkkonen is one of the better house producers, having produced superb tracks under the moniker Step Time Orchestra and exemplary tracks that are the summit of achievement in deep house, like "Flavatanssit." Different is a collection of material previously released as twelve-inches where Hulkkonen showcases deep and soulful house tunes. The material on this CD isn't just thrown together with the usual DJ tools, such as loops and samples, as is often the case with most house tracks, rather they are fully composed songs. Hulkkonen's influences by the likes Pet Shop Boys and the Beloved are evident; the tunes are catchy and skilfully produced, with elements of soul, various percussion styles besides the usual 4/4 kick drums, and a variety of vocalists. Though Hulkkonen is a producer from Finland, he manages to capture a strong South American and inner city American sensibility to his music, emulating strong Afro and Latin American styles. The gem track on this CD is "Four Seasons Four Loves," which features deep funk/soulful house with a chorus of vocalists, clapping, Latin percussion and well-crafted beats; a fine release from a truly inspired dance music maker. (F Communications)