I miss Recloose. He hasn't gone anywhere, of course—he's still making music, although most of his output of the last few years seems to be in the form of remixes. But ever since he relocated to New Zealand nine years ago, the former Detroit artist has moved farther and farther away from house and techno, focusing more on funk and soul. Not that there's anything wrong with it, as Seinfeld might say: he's clearly great at what he does. But records like 2000's "Can't Take It," for Planet E, and his 2002 album Cardiology were masterpieces of soulful, idiosyncratic house, and the 4/4 world is a less interesting place since Recloose departed it for jazzier climes.
At the very least, we've got this collection of four older tracks from Rush Hour, whose last Recloose release was 2008's "Maui's Lament." Three of the tracks here—"Get There Tonight," "Insomnia in Dub" and "Soul Clap 2000"—come from Recloose's Spelunking EP, originally released on Planet E in 1999. It was only his second record, and it has the rough edges to show for it, but his unique style is immediately evident. "Get There Tonight" begins with the rolling congas of New York house, but it quickly distinguishes itself with its sloppily energetic drum programming, fusing drum machine hits with chopped-up drum breaks, an unusual combination of electro and jazz; a liquid bass solo helps reinforce the sense that Recloose was interested in far more than tracky house.
The more restrained "Soul Clap 2000" thrives on the tension between an easygoing house groove and perky, funk-fueled synth leads, and Recloose lends his style in the layers upon layers he builds up—backing flutes, delayed guitar licks, crowd noise, even a touch of hip-hop scratching. "Insomnia in Dub" is a fine, moody dub collage, far rougher—and, frankly, far more interesting—than the glossy stuff contemporaries like Kruder & Dorfmeister were turning out at the time.
"Land of the Lost Dance" is the only unreleased cut here—there are more on a companion 12-inch and the CD release—and it doesn't disappoint. Like "Soul Clap 2000," it combines a rolling house groove with bright chord leads, smooth pads and squirrely, legato bass, with sampled grunts and rhythms fleshing out the funk. With Dâm-Funk reviving similar lush synthesizer sonics, it's the perfect time to pluck this one from the vaults.
Buy Recloose - Early Works Part 1 at
Tracklist: Recloose - Early Works Part 1 A1 Soul Clap 2000
A2 Get There Tonight
B1 Land of the Lost Dance
B2 Insomnia in Dub
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