Unconventional Detroit house music.
The fledgling Sound Signature affiliate Thomas Xu has doubled-down on that desire in his records, which thus far consist of a split with Julion D'Angelo and two EPs on his own label, Steady Flight Circle. The four tracks on his latest 12-inch, Places in Time, are mind-bending in both structure and approach. The record kicks off with "Let's Go See Roy" and "Promise 2," two tracks that hinge on both Xu's keyboard skills and his willingness to color outside the lines. There's no master clock here. The key is minor. The beats come and go as they please, hand-played, 75 BPM, whatever. This "free house" attitude continues on "Tired Of Being Tired," which nearly goes off the rails during its cacophonous climax, and "Easin," which begins with a hair-raising two-minute synth prelude. This is questing music. Xu has internalized the fearless approach of his mentor, Theo Parrish, and ventured into a bizarre, rewarding territory.