Friday, December 30, 2005

Funky Friday - Hiatus On The Horizon

Matt Chicoine, AKA Recloose has finally released a new LP called Hiatus On The Horizon. It's the long awaited follow up to 2002's Cardiology. Originally from Detroit, famously discovered by Carl Craig (Matt worked in the deli where Carl got lunch and slipped his demo into his lunch bag) he is now living and working in New Zealand. His music is electronica - techy, house-y, leftfield, all of it infused with some major jazz chops - sampled horns and piano and bass lines everywhere. The new album picks up that thread, and spins it into some deep, soulful music. It's also largely vocal - songs with real singers, not instrumentals with samples. There's a lush feel to everything, a combination of smooth Detroit house, Philly soul vibes and even some of that old school Sly & Robbie & Gwen Guthrie disco vibe from the early '80s. Some of the more leftfield electronics have been dropped in favor of a smoother flow, but I don't mind. The jazz factor has been amped up too. There are boatloads of snazzy, snappy horn charts, all live and not sampled, including sax as played by Coleman Squakinz - great name. It's a beauty of a record. Still Beyond Me reminds me a lot of Padlock, the '80s disco project put together by Sly & Robbie & Gwen Guthrie. An uptempo disco jam, it's got a tight beat, smooth vocals by Hollie Smith. warm Rhodes awash in reverb and some smokin' horn riffs, not to mention the jangly guitar. Mana's Bounce is the tune that made me run to the stereo when this was in the 5 disc shuffler. It's a fantastically skanking jazz-ska-house hybrid - reminds me a bit of some old Lionrock tunes - that also features some cool, wiggy scratching. I love it. The album is out now as an import on Peacefrog Records, and it's totally worth dropping import dollars on if you're a fan of good, inventive, modern dance music. A sweet choice for the final Funky Friday of 2005!

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