Fibbing about being a member of a successful, but non-existent Scandinavian group to get his foot in the door, Dublin-born London-based producer and performer James Wolf took a cheeky gamble that has steered him to the release of his debut EP Oxytocin. A titillating concoction of soulful house production, luminous pop and the tropical vivacity of disco, Oxytocin is a collection of infectious tracks, which will be more than comfortable on the dancefloors of clubs across the globe.
Strong opener Hercules kicks off the EP with a short, subdued introduction before launching headstrong into the banging, spirited fun of 90s club anthems. Produced by Tom Neville (Ellie Goulding), the track’s buoyant bass drives adrenaline-pumping dance, supporting that club-inspired euphoria piloted by Wolf’s impressive vocals. Produced by Troika and co-written with The Nexus, the team behind Lana Del Ray, Into You then delivers undulating highs and lows topped with sun-kissed elements of nu-disco that remain arresting throughout.
Deeper takes a more introspective turn, navigating lost memories with strangers in the middle of a crowd. Darker house guides us deeper into sensual, pulsating rhythms with brooding seduction. As the blissed-out companion to the smoky Deeper, Heart & Soul closes Oxytocin on Wolf’s intoxicating combination of dreamy house awash with shimmering disco.
Wolf serves up an effortless cocktail of bottomless house and nu-disco tropics with his debut EP, an on trend but distinct sound sewn together by his skilful pop melodies. The result is contagious tracks born from and for the dancefloor and its accompanying late night exultation. More harmonic experimentation could generate an even fresher and more exciting sound, but to be honest, if anyone’s stuck on the harmonic content of a club-banger then it’s probably them who isn’t quite at home there, and not the music.