Peoples Potential Unlimited
Some reviewers have stated that all Legowelt records sound the same. Mr. Wolfers proves them wrong on this one. Sure, this release bears his trademark analog retrofuturism, but this is very much his "PPU" record. This EP explores lower tempos, noirish melodies and even vocals on "Videophone to Space". The title track has the gated 80s snare and plodding synth progression of a lost-to-VHS low-budget crime flick.
New 50 Weapons from a guy who knows a thing or two about producing for the club. The Parisian legend is in fine-form here, delivering dark, peak-time bangers. The highlight may well be "H.E." the record's most minimal, lurid track. A driving and hypnotic bassline bump up against an looped male vocal that eventually utters an explicit come-on through the break. The other two tracks are fine hardware techno.
The NYC producer continues his prolific run with this excellent two-tracker for Steve Mizek's Argot label. "Where Did You Go" continues OO's penchant for hazy, psychedelic house. A pulsing pad foregrounds a distant melodic lead, building into a classic hands-in-the-air break. The overall sound could be likened to a more floor-friendly SFV Acid. "Through the Haze" is more minimal and unique. OO reigns in his wandering basslines to a bubbling two notes and a triumphant skyward progression. Some slight jack moves and static strings up top make this feel like a wild update on classic Chicago sounds.
Reissue of the raw, sensual oddity from the early Chicago underground. This track is amazing, so much so that a cover version became a massive hit last year. The whisper sing vocals, rolling bassline and string synth chords work everytime. The classic Roland percussion makes this work on the dancefloor, but at its core, this is a deeply personal composition.
Mysterious, sasquatch-stamped white label from the LIES camp. Whoever NGLY is, he has a unique, corroded take on house music. "Speechless Tape" has Galcher style sedate-rapping over a brooding, Chicago-style instrumental. "I Don't Have a Soul" places playful, new age style synth over a tight, banging rhythm track. There is a rather aimless trip-hop excursion, but overall, this record is great and will fly off the shelves.
Modern update on classic house sounds. These are pristine productions by producers who possess an uncommon level of musical prowess. For example, "Flow Theory", starts with an insistent bassline and far off piano before an exuberant, tasteful organ solo steals the show. When's the last time you heard a good organ solo on a current house record? "Intrinsic" is ace Larry Heard appreciation with some nice hand drumming to boot.
Live at Robert Johnson
Philip Lauer has shown he's a formidable producer on his own and in collaboration with Gerd Janson as Tuff City Kids. Here, he gets together with his brother Jacob. "QD" starts out sounding like staid modern house but gets weird with a group of haphazard and charming arpeggios. "Smend" is an acid jam that retains a similar jammy quality, just two brothers having fun.
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