What is there to say when potentially the best thing on a compilation EP featuring Move D and Black Jazz Consortium, AKA Fred P, is a track from a relative unknown producer named Steve Oh? Perhaps that the Move D and Black Jazz Consortium tracks aren't that bad at all. In fact, they're pretty great. For those who enjoy deeper-than-deep house, that is.
But it seems like the reach of Earth Tones might be longer than just genre purists. Move D's "Aspiration 2010" has an acidic line that peeks its head out from underneath the submerged beat and dank atmosphere. And that's before elegant chords wash away nearly everything in their measured moodiness. It's D at his house-y finest, finding enough new elements to surprise the listener throughout its seven-plus minute length. Fred, meanwhile, gets spiritual for his contribution, with what sound like droning monks finding their way underneath jazzy keys on "The Om."
Fred's contribution here is a bit of a floater, flighty in all the right ways. That's in contrast to the aforementioned "Aspiration 2010" and Steve Oh's masterful "Work Dat Shit." Like Move D, Oh's piece here is an understated burner that doesn't announce itself immediately. That titular repeated phrase, though, takes on resonance as the track unfolds. The percussion gets a little busier. The rising synth intensifies things gently. The bass hit gets unfathomably deep at three minutes in. It's an expertly constructed bit of mood music that fits neatly among some top-shelf material from deep house's most talented producers.
Buy Various Artists - Earth Tones at
Tracklist: Various Artists - Earth Tones A Move D - Aspiration 2010
B1 Steve Oh - Work Dat Shit
B2 Black Jazz Consortium - The Om