I've been following Eric Estornel, AKA Maetrik AKA Maceo Plex AKA Mariel Ito for a while now, but his recent album Life Index is the point at which he really got my—and a few others, it seems—attention. "Vibe Your Love" is probably the most ardent soul on an album packed with the stuff, and it has hit the charts hard as a result since its release a few months ago. Part of that might be the fact that it was around in strength last summer. So the question now becomes—and perhaps this is the plan behind its winter release (see also "Coma Cat")—will it have the legs for summer 2011 as well? I certainly hope so.
The real salubrity of the tune, though, isn't in its lilting piano chords, laidback shuffle, or glowing yet calm pads that spread out through the cracks in between. It isn't the beautifully heartfelt rendition of Stevie Wonder's original, or the way rippling harps amplify the powerful romance of the choruses. All of these would amount to a gorgeous but less remarkable track. No, Estornel's way (in this case) of hitting both emotiveness and uniqueness with force is the simple addition of those little rising sounds in the intro and bridge. They sound equal part human, equal part machine, with smooth, moderated psychedelia that could make people feel connected with each other as much as it made them feel free and ecstatic. Maybe the main argument for the staying power conjecture is the way that despite their simplicity—just two sounds—they're untiringly interesting. Not just in their texture or the way they seem to converse with each other, but even in the theoretical details (it's five against four stretched over five bars).
Zev turns it into a tracky groover with weightier drums and a restrained, muted acid bassline, along the lines you'd expect from the Wolf + Lamb man. Wisely, it doesn't attempt to steal the limelight, instead channelling the energy from the parts into being as laidback as possible, and it does well as a result.
Buy Maceo Plex - Vibe Your Love at
Tracklist: Maceo Plex - Vibe Your Love A Vibe Your Love
B Vibe Your Love (Zev's Southern Sunrise Rework)