Terry Francis was an innovator on the UK tech house scene in the mid-90s. Having heard him dj here in San Francisco — a sunrise set on a Sunday morning at City Nights on Folsom — I can attest to the man’s skills on the decks. Francis is a serious dj who could swing from techy tunes to deep house and garage yet still maintain his signature style. His eclectic approach created the magical tension and release that you rarely find in sub-generic sets and was an example of the work of a dj who doesn’t play a genre, but plays a sound, a style, all of his own.
Architecture Vol. 2
Mr. Francis returns to the world of flawless of tech house (or houseno) mix CDs with this 14 track sojourn into atmospheric, groovy, abstract, tech-leaning house. Many of the UK big players are represented, Pure Science, Ambrose, Swayzak and Presence. Francis takes their abstract slabs and pieces them together with the consummate skill of a dj who has championed this fusion for over ten years. Francis’ sound is deep, but has a bassy groove that certainly makes for an interesting dance floor experience.
Check “The Tribe” by Kate and Joan for a percussive, bassy trip into tribal dynamics, followed by the bassline supremacy of Aubrey’s Minfunk release “Groove X.” Here the bassline really takes control to startling effect. Over the space of the 14 tracks on offer Francis works a smooth and surreal groove with minimal but effective keyboard touches, dropping into deep caverns of lush sound or building the tension by locking one rocking track into the next and really creating the potential for dance floor response. Top mix, investigate. Chris Orr