"I like every kind of house," a friend declared during a recent conversation about the relative merits of various subgenres of house music. "I just can't stand flute house," she revealed. "If anything with a flute solo plays, I'm outta there. There's something so house-hippie about it." Obviously, this woodwind hater is no fan of parties like Body & Soul, but even she might appreciate the new EP from Tanner Ross. Both "bSide" and "4 U" are drenched with floating, swooping aerophones (or at least synthesized versions thereof), but thankfully, there's nary a whiff of patchouli to be had.
Ross has never been one to shy away from atmospherics—last year's "Man of Wisdom" (produced with the Soul Clap), with its rich horns and general snake-charmer vibe, possessed more than its share of deep, dreamy texture. But his new EP goes much further. The midtempo "bSide" kicks off with a bare-bones disco groove and a few toots of the flute, drenched in reverb yet front-and-center in the mix. Once the minor-key, stripped-down synth-bass kicks in, that flute (along with plenty of dubbed-out filigree) takes off. It's a bit noodley, but in the context of the groove, bassline and slightly melancholy vibe of the cut, it most definitely works, as does b-side "4 U."
Almost a dub of "bSide" rather than a stand-along track, it mines a similar vein—it's another twilight-time groover possessing a blue-funk bassline, with the addition of some spare vocal samples—but it lays the dub on hotter and heavier, with a swirling eddy of instrumentation (including that flute) riding high above the rhythm. If anything, it's even stronger than "bSide"—but the real winner is the Deniz Kurtel version of "4 U." This would be the mix for the anti-noodle purists, as she warbles and etherealizes the flute's tone almost beyond recognition; she also adds skittering hi-hats and some catchy bass, at the same time creating a gorgeous sense of spaciousness. It's a lovely tune, and a fitting capper to a fine EP.
Buy Tanner Ross - bSide at
Tracklist: Tanner Ross - bSide A bSide
B2 4U (Deniz Kurtel Remix)
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