Archive for the ‘Arto Mwambé’ Category
I, for one, will redouble my efforts.
01. Stimming, “Funkworm” [Diynamic Music] (buy)
Have another look.
02. Len Faki, “Odyssee I” [Podium] (buy)
An offshoot of Faki’s own Len Series label, the fourth Podium continues to deliver absolute quality in the form of “Odyssee I.” Swimming in an analog sci-fi flavor, the tune’s warm launch is propelled by Detroitish arpeggios and a downright pretty motif at its core. Intense without being overblown, this track is for the cusp of peaktime, when you want to make sure all are aboard.
03. Lucy, “Glass Computer” [Perspectiv] (buy)
I love it when a song inspires visualizations which match the sound and the title; “Glass Computer” is no exception. Its tuneful beeps light up the circuitry inside the reverberating atmosphere, shooting sparks in the final minute or so. Backed with two impressive remixes from Mark August and Masaya, Lucy’s debut is nothing short of impressive. Another fine signing from Perspectiv. (Runner up for this spot was another Perspectiv: Ripperton’s delicate remix of Laurine Frost’s “Papillion.”)
04. Al Usher, “Here Today” [Misericord] (buy)
Like his Partial Arts partner, Al Usher is known largely for his remix work. But on his solo debut, “Here Today” shows he’s no slouch in originating tunes. The tune morphs several times in its length and sounds as organic as it does brilliant. The pitter-patter strings and ringing percussion boil over as a gigantic bass line throws the whole thing into a new swaying rhythm. The other tunes on the release (the one and only Misericord) aren’t quite as stunning, but “Here Today” alone makes it worth picking up.
05. Arto Mwambe, “Mudhutma!” [Brontosaurus] (buy) (buy) (buy)
Have another look.
06. Kevin Saunderson, “Till We Meet Again” (Carl Craig remix) [Planet E] (buy)
Have another look.
07. DJ Gregory, “Elle” (Âme Piano Mix) [Defected] (buy) (buy)
I must profess ignorance of the original “Elle,” but I know Âme’s revision is a large departure from the classic tune (thanks to the magic of online shops’ samples). Very much in the vein of their rated “Baladine” single, their mix is superbly constructed and loaded with sound. Rendered tense with persistent scratching, tingly guitar(?) touches and gaseous tones, the tune really hits its stride at the introduction of a vaguely arabesque synth motif which wriggles like a snake possessed. Leave it to the Âme boys to take on a classic and come away with the superior take.
08. Manuel Tur & Dplay, “Black Label #23″ [Compost Records] (buy)
Compost Records has long been one of my favorite labels, and its Black Label series efficiently highlights otherwise passed over or rising artists. This is Manuel Tur & Dplay’s first effort together (though two more have soon followed it) and it’s a fine study in contemporary deep house. Sounding a bit like a stripped back Âme, Tur & Dplay grab for simplistic chord stabs and a light string haze on “Move” and just let them roll. “Clock Work” is a bit more refined by still Âme-esque, concocted with a bobbing chord pattern flecked with claves, and is kept moving by synth builds and plucked string releases.
09. Tadeo, “Fractal” [Cray1 LabWorks] (buy) (buy)
This quick-paced track is delightfully percussive and emotive at once, its plumes of string-led anxiety suppressed only by even more restless percussion. I credit “Fractal” with spurring my greater interest in Tadeo; no mean feat with all the great releases vying for listeners’ attention this month.
10. Jamie Lloyd, “What We Have” (Is A Zwicker remix) [Future Classic] (buy)
On first listen it’s a bit indie rock in tone for most dance floors, but additional spins unwind the merits of Jamie Lloyd’s smoothed over vocal swells and Zwicker’s deep housed additional production. A nod in Phil Sherburne’s direction for turning me (and hopefully many others) on to this tune.
A sign of influence
As much as I love Beatport, I rarely find myself trusting the playlists they hype or the people who binge on them. But sometimes you’re really bored at work and Beatport slips you an email of staff recommendations; you just have to look. Among other things, label manager Dave suggested “Ombala Mbembo” by Arto Mwambé. According to his Myspace, Mwambé is from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and his latest release, “Mudhutma!” (on Munich-centered Brontosaurus Records) is perfect for someone coming off a Moodymann bender. He starts right in with tension-laden string melodies, plucky whistles and a relentless female vocal loop. Highly recommended for those who pine for soul to overtake minimalism in modern deep house.
On the flipside is “Noh Ngamebo,” which expands Mwambé’s palate and gets my rating. Wrapping a cowbell jangle around a dark and meaty bassline and simple piano chords, the tune starts off rather low to the Earth. But it soon finds its feet at the arrival of zealous pads which attack and then mellow out. In other words, it’s a potential monster on the dancefloor. If you enjoy these tunes, make sure to get yourself a copy and check out Mwambé’s other tunes, which can be purchased here and here. Keep on eye on Brontosaurus (who were kind enough to lend me the track exclusively for one week only) as well, they’ve got a unique ear for talent.