Take, for instance, "The Fear," a collaboration with nü-disco's own femme fatale Kathy Diamond. It's a gorgeously sultry song, as Miss Diamond has accustomed us to, but from the title down to the breathy vocal delivery and the evasive mention of vaguely fearful emotions, it sounds exactly like the work she's recorded in the past two years with Toby Tobias ("The Feeling"), Aeroplane ("Whispers") and The Permanent Vacation dudes ("Tic Toc"). The same can be said for "Turning and Tossing," a track that resembles Lindstrøm at his most restrained, and "Jambong Express," which is evidently touted, from its 10-minute length, as the album's pièce de résistance and whose uplifting piano can't help but recall Aeroplane's own "Caramellas." Impressive references for sure, but Chacona doesn't do enough to make these anything more than reverential.
That said, current single, "Be Like Olive," is ornamented with an unexpected yet subtle acidic bass line—the kind of welcomed attention to detail you also find on "Especial," with its soft yet stabbing bassline and arpeggiated synths, or on album closer "Hipstar" and its circumvallating samples. This is where Chacona's decade-long studio experience is showcased to staggering effect.
Indulging the tech-house side of his sound palette, the producer also graces us with "Eskayelator" and the Beg To Differ remix of "The Fear," which is included as a bonus on the CD. These are the kinds of old-school house cuts that wouldn't sound out of place on the last DJ T. album or in a Solomun DJ set. Indeed, if you exclude the dub, almost reggae-like "Eskayelato," Love in the Middle has a consistency and a homogenous beach-y, breezy and serene house feel. Compared to recent Moodmusic albums, it also seems to gracefully ride the middle ground between the dance floor experience and the home listening one. All that's left to do for Chacona is to indulge his more typically personal distinctive traits… and not wait another ten years to do so.