Paul Ritch, “Back To the Time” [Fumakilla] (buy)
I was first introduced to the music of Paul Ritch during Luciano’s consciousness-expanding set at DEMF. But because his track was woven so tightly into Lucien’s performance, I had only a rough picture of what Ritch was all aurally all about. Luckily he’s provided many chances to clear things up with seven releases so far in 2007. Approaching tech-house with a minimal lens, he’s dappled his rhythmically-focused tracks with hints of melodic color — or at least just enough to for Get Physical to put out his records. While many of Ritch’s tracks tend to be stripped back and well suited for a DJ’s toolkit (a noteworthy distinction, methinks), his “Back To the Time” on Fumakilla is more a tune in it’s own right. Its warm, funky bass line invites listeners into an organ-laden place of worship (any dance floor will do) where chunky, old-school chords say mass as they clang against each other. The sudden dropout nearly kills the momentum until Ritch comes back full force and pounds out an ending. And hey, it’s flipside, “Vatican’s Bells,” is no slouch either, especially if you dig on reverberating plucked strings.