The good news: for anyone who's moaned in the past 18 months about the cookie-cutter quality of the deep house revival, here's a record for you. These four tracks are so bursting with wit and slightly zany cheer, there's no way they could be mistaken for any of the current crop of anemically nonchalant grooves slouching their way across dance floors. The bad news: its cure-all qualities aren't for everyone. They've responded to the current vogue for sample-heavy house (think Cadenza, Riva Starr or even Yolanda Be Cool) by pushing that shtick to its breaking point.
Axel Boman, Pedrodollar, Kornel Kovacs and Gino Bomino seem to have collectively decided that if samples are what the people want, samples are what they'll get. On their respective tracks, they make the most of juicy slabs of full band material, cutting and chopping beats from jazz or R&B into finely whittled slivers of funk. The results land somewhere between disco edit and Smith & Hack, choppy and frenetic and bursting with vintage aura.
Boman's "Modern Fluids" feels particularly unhinged, with a strummy, major key hoedown vibe crosscut with rapid-fire dub chords, like some strange cross between Guillaume & the Coutu Dumonts, Soul Center and trance. (How Boman got from "Purple Drank" to this, I have no idea.) Pedrodollar puts what is credited in the press release as "a Swedish '60s pop song" through its paces, slicing and dicing horn phrases and vocal snippets into a dizzying carousel ride—shades of Terry Riley's "You're No Good," but eight times goofier. (That might look bad in print, but it's actually kind of awesome, in a sugar-high, ice-cream headache kind of way.)
Gino Bomino's "For Sharon" is a stonkingly uptempo disco-funk workout again in the vein of Soul Center, with an ostinato bass groove periodically giving way to bright horn stabs and vocal eruptions. Where the Bomino and Pedrodollar tracks edge out "Modern Fluid" is in their singular focus, making the very most of a limited palette. Boman's excess feels slightly labored, but these come off like larks, something pulled off in a single (stoned/inspired) afternoon and never necessarily intended to be heard beyond a circle of friends in someone's basement party. But it's that devil-may-care attitude that makes them work.
Kornel Kovacs' "Baby Step" is the lone outlier here, pulling from more sources (out-of-time drum machines, breathy R&B vocals, cotton-candy keys) to create a foggier sort of composite, one where the sources disappear into a druggy haze. It's not so far off from what Lee Foss or Soul Clap are doing, but it's less overtly sexy and, somehow, more bewildering—in a good way.
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Tracklist: Various Artists - Good Children Make Bad Grown Ups A1 Axel Boman - Modern Fluids
A2 Pedrodollar - Ner I Brunnen
B1 Kornel Kovacs - Baby Step
B2 Gino Bomino - For Sharon
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