Even if you didn't know that Mr Raoul K had an African background, it'd be pretty easy to guess it by the A-side on his newest 12-inch, his debut for Mule Musiq. "Wind of Goree" mines the sound of the balafon—an African instrument that sounds a little bit like the xylophone—for almost the entirety of its melodic output. The effect is haunting, as K's interest here isn't so much in building a melody as it is in building a mood. As a result, the balafon simmers, a reaction to the synth pulse that simply will not quit. Some commentators have pointed out that it's a perfect bridge from deep house into minimal. Or the other way around. They're exactly right.
"Abuja," on the other hand, is for the deep house heads exclusively. A flute pops in almost immediately, a sax drops by later on and voices arrive to provide weight to the winding bassline. There's a strand of deep house that often veers dangerously close to politeness. And this is very much it. But K's talent lies in the fact that the groove is pretty much undeniable. As the flute reappears near track's end, it's more than likely you're dancing too hard to care.
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Tracklist: Mr Raoul K - Wind Of Goree A Wind Of Goree