Jean Frank Cochois is a name which will be familiar to anyone who has developed an appreciation for the deeper strands of house music. From his excellent solo studio effort ‘Diary Of A Lonely Sailor’ to the delicately poised ambient albums released under his birth name to his exquisite, much coveted contributions to his co-owned ‘Dwiftwood’ label, JFC is a producer with an unsurpassable reputation.
Deep house is many things to many people – but we won’t go there today… Suffice to say, the strain that JFC hones on his excellent ‘Deep Train’ series tends more towards tech-house – hard, rolling basslines and crisp, very clean percussion prominent in the mix. Combine that with tender vocals drenched in reverb and subtle, trippy synths and samples and you have a good approximation of his style, equally effective on the dancefloor or in your headphones. Although your ears will be craving to hear these gorgeous basslines on a half-decent sound system. JFC proves here he is as adroit at selecting and mixing his own and others’ productions as he is at crafting his own.
What happened to ‘Deep Train 1?’ Already listened to it a while back – it’s probably slightly better than ‘Deep Train 2.’ But sure, this is the one on the iPod at the moment and it is a worthy successor so I thought why not go for this one…
There’s no messing about from the very beginning – straight in there with the bass drum and hi-hats from the off. And the first track is MASSIVE! One of JFC’s own productions and one of his best: ‘Life Is Just A Timeless Motion.’ A pristinely produced track with a hypnotic, full-bodied bassline. Mighty stuff.
* The full mix is available here:
The second track keeps the tempo high and contains one of the greatest drum solos I’ve heard on a house track. The percussion is killer with a really trippy, swirling synth melding itself to the bassline – you almost get the sense that the bass is breathing.
Afterwards, JFC turns the heat down a notch with Andy Caldwell’s ‘Live Your Life’ – an easy-going, breezy tune with a nice, funky bassline and carefree conga drums. ‘Downtown’ boats a hypnotic, pummelling bass before the smooth ‘A Better Day’ drifts in, the hi-hats not allowing the pace to slip though. ‘G-Spot (Asad’s Silverlining Remix)’ is a pure groover. We’re hit with two absolutely walloping drops over the course of the four-and-a-bit minutes it stomps out its beat.
* Timestamped video:
After riding the crest of that wave, things get a bit freakier courtesy of some Car A. Finlow electro. Then we’re treated to another silky JFC roller in the form of ‘So Free:’ a cool, lush, dreamy cut, the bass coming across as lively yet its overall effect is pleasantly sedate.
Distinguished minimal duo Soul Capsule’s brooding, lurching remix of ‘Elastobabe’ is a claustrophobic tension-builder, providing a worthy foil to ‘A Shady Place’ which is more upbeat and light. There’s a nifty drop towards the end where the bassline morphs into a funkier variety.
The next three tracks represent the mix’s peak – a sort of heavy, transcendental phase where your senses are fairly pummelled by waves of undulating basslines. Swayzak’s ‘Make Up Your Mind (Slight Return)’ oozes an intangible melancholy, otherworldly synths buzzing in and out, ahead of the climactic groove of euphoria-inducing ‘Sunsetpeople (Es Vedra Mix)’ – an underrated track that JFC shines a canny light on in this mix.
* Timestamped video:
Blu Mar Ten’s ‘Numbers’ rounds of this trio of knee-tremblers with its cavernous bass and intangible, ethereal voices. The BlakDoktor Mix of ‘Children Of Israel’ brings us back above the surface with its chugging tempo and dubby effects. There’s a lovely, soothing 303 in the second half of the track to boot. Closer ‘Magic Of Dusk’ is majestic – a gentle, misty piece that glides the mix out to a wispy, elegant finish. A fittingly luxuriant finale to a stunning expedition.
Stepping aboard ‘Deep Train 2’ is an undertaking you will not regret. Simply put, it’s a beautiful, alluring, panoramic ride through a finely calibrated, polished expanse of deep house that suits itself to a wide palette of moods – as soothing on a late night road trip as it is revitalising on a morning commute to work.