Moodymann - Moodymann (Mahogani Music)
Moodymann is a sprawling, psychic journey through KDJ's Detroit State of Mind with the protagonist revealing more about his setting and personality than ever. Like good writing, the length of Moody's tracks (or sentences) fluctuate wildly. The constant sing-speak narrative from KDJ and divergence of styles and tempos makes the record feel like a trip down the dial of a liminal radio. Moody gets an assist from Andres on future classic "Lyk U Used 2," a track that has Kenny ably playing a slightly woozy frontman over upbeat modern soul. The radio effect is amplified by likely and unlikely samples. Jeremy Greenspan appears first on "Have You Ever Been Lonely." Elsewhere, Lana Del Rey and Carl Craig's epic remix of "Delia and Gavin" is used to bear out the album's distinct, schizoid voice. Moody's serpentine 2011 hit "Freeki MF" acts as a recurring riddim before appearing in unadulterated form. KDJ's female counterparts match his idiosyncracies ("Watching U") and he even dabbles in Dennis Coffey-informed guitar psychedelia on "Sloppy Cosmic." The album, as a whole, is a lovesick ode to an unfairly maligned city, seen through the dark glasses of experience.
The latest album from the Detroit iconoclast. You're pretty much going to buy it or not, the sticker price ensures that, but for those who need a description: American Intelligence, like Moodyman's 2014 effort, attempts to lay out the psychic space of Detroit for a worldwide audience. Parrish's city is far more introspective, often restrained to the fascinating rhythms of his mind. Much of the album is interesting drum + bass (but not drum 'n bass) workouts, similar to Footwork and his 12" for Trilogy Tapes. Highlights include Welcome Home, which has Parrish subjected to racial profiling on his way home from the airport and Ah (feat. M. Pittman, Ideeyah & Duminie Deporres), a King Crimson-style slow burn evocative of a bar with red leather booths in some forgotten neighborhood in Detroit.
Junk Yard Connections
So the story goes like this -- Mr. Tophat was shopping at Tokyo's vaunted vinyl output Diskunion and sees a fellow shopper carrying his record. He strikes up a conversation and eventually receives these excellent tracks, excellent house from an island that's still mysterious to many. The real highlight here is Butagoya an ace Detroit beatdown style roller with an odd jazz break in the middle. The final track, Kauboihatto by Okita Takamori is a cool martial post-punk bit.
Let's Play House
The New York producer and DJ comes out swinging on this one, with the help of analog guru Andy Meecham (Emperor Machine). I Like It is a warm yet alarmist house track, with a big fat analog bassline and detuned piano break. "Make Up's" got a totally convincing italo-arpeggio, which Renault bones out as the track does on -- equally pretty and functional. "M.A.N.'s" more in a '90s, Nu Groove style way, Burrell style catchy deepness.
Throne Of Blood
The sometime DFA-affiliated Pixelife, have a very subtle, jacking and psychedelic sound. "Waves Of Titan" sounds a bit like fellow Brooklynites Invisible Conga People mixed with some lost Chicago classic. The B-side, "DC To Daylight" starts with 707 clatter, eventually introducing some cosmic pads for an amazing krauthouse conconction which works a lengthy, swinging jam into its epic 10-minute run. Druzzi of The Rapture takes the idea further, introducing some beautiful Kosmische piano waterfalls for his version of the track. On the A, Pittsburgh Track Authority? strips things down a bit, demonstrating their hardware house prowess.
Inspired pairing of the French producer Life Recorder and Simoncino . Great source material. The title track is a deep, dubby Chicago track that works in just a bit of skewed Detroit sci-fi futurism. For fans of Nicuri, Joey Anderson, etc. The Italian producer's remixes are a real treat. The "Spirit Mix" is all new age drift. The "pressure mix" sounds like a refracted Model 500 endurojam, and the morning mix explores the uplifting nature of the source material, sounding like Ron and Chez or Joe Smooth hands in the air house. Excellent and diverse DJ record, highly recommended.