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CHURCH

Seb Wildblood

Jazz, Vol. 1 (inc. Christopher Rau Remix)

Church Records continue to cut above the usual club muck, bringing us more sensual and sophisticated dance floor tackle. Here they revisit Seb Wildblood's 2016 cut "Jazz Vol. 1", providing a much needed reish of the blue-tinged mood-mover with a new remix from Smallville fam Christopher Rau. Deep pads, sultry rhythms and slinky horns combine into the kind of magical deep house jam you'd expect to hear Larry Heard drop at 2 a.m. On remix duties, Rau toughs it up (a bit) with a little percussive heft then adds a plethora of spectral fx to trip things out a little. Surely a future Naturist classic?


Nicholas returns to Church with a six track mini LP. Starting with the funky "Lonnie's Reprise", rich with rolling congas and piano trills and further embellished by soulful sax work, there's an almost Sacred Rhythm feel to this opening number. "Dahilia" is more subdued, somewhere between Jose Rico's Downbeat label and the deep house of Ron Trent. "Rara Lake" flips the mood for pure mellowed out introspection, dreamy piano chords inviting us into its bosom. Side B opens with "The Answer" which return to bouncy and jubilant tribal house antics. "Resolution" features Paul Cut and sees pure beatdown jazz house explored with aplomb while final track, "Black Juniper" keeps Paul on board for a sumptuous saxophone-led jam which is redolent of sun-scorched days skipping around Peckham or Lisbon. Top stuff.

Really strong debut LP here from Laurence Guy, a producer who's been turning heads in the shop due to some brilliant 12" releases and manages to make the difficult transition into album territory - enlisting a cameo appearance from no other than Manchester's Contours in the process! Across ten tracks we get a variety of moods and feels; from the spectral, hi-fi sounds previously purveyed on cincin, to the more organic, loosely percussive vibe that aligns itself more with Peckham strong and collaborator Contours; there's also richly textured pools of sound, demonstrated perfectly on "Claudi" and showing a fine-tuned craftsmanship to this skilled producer. The amazing "WLYB" from the sold-out "Kojak EP" makes a welcome reappearance while Steve Spacek appears in sullen, shadowy form, uttering some poetic passages over a suspended, ethereal soundscape on "Orchard Road" - reminding me a little of Kode9 and The Space Ape. Sequenced perfectly and offering a lavish aray of sounds across its duration, this is a truly great statement from Guy.

Chris Watson and Chris Coupe, two of the nicest and most talented guys in Peckham right now drop a doozy for the Church label. I've personally become an absolute sucker for their sexy, trickski and totally understated sound. House music that makes (no, forces) you to listen to all the intricacies and nuances hidden within. "Home Alone" strikes home this message immediately, focusing a meandering horn line over skitty, sparse beats that unconsciously make your hips shuffle in a suggestive manner. "House Dog" follows suit and flips the vibe. Making for a reduced sunshine house anthem that all the best low-key DJs'll be playing out this Summer. Fuck the main stage and get to the backrooms where you'll find tracks by FYI Chris having more cultural impact than Kanye West's twitter account. "Courtyard" rolls out a bubbling, shimmering, ethereal kinda track that sounds like bursts of sunshine breaking through the curtains of a long but euphoric after party. Top stuff indeed! 

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Big release for the pleasantly under-hyped FYI Chris. Detailed and classy but avoiding any self indulgent chin-stroking, this is party music of the highest order.

After D*** P*** became the biggest band in the universe, the house sound we all loved France for had nowhere left to go but deep underground, only now is it beginning to reemerge with the help of a new wave of young producers.

First up we have Paris's Folamour, real name Bruno Boumendi.

If you're hoping for a soulless rehash then you're looking in the wrong place, this ep has more in common with the dance floor jazz workings of Rythym International and Brownswood than it does with the filter house sounds of Roule.

'Jazz Session' is the one for the dancefloor, I'm not sure if the jazz hooks are live or sampled but, when a track kicks like this, who cares?!

'Melophrenia' is a deep, Detroit inspired, head nodder that both Theo and Kenny would be happy to have put their name to

Last up we have 'Janvier', a laid back, slow burner based around a great repetitive key loop.

Church are on fire at the moment, with a FYI Chris ep and a Laurence Guy album on the way, so why not take time to worship at their altar before I think up any more crap religious puns...

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Grooving and soulful, frenetically percussive and liberally scattered with glitzy keys and dusty vocal cuts. Sure to get the body moving and the dancefloor pumping.

Next up for Church is Berlin via Manchester based James Booth. One of the early pioneers of that 100% Silky, synthetic house sound circa 2011; taking cues from Legowelt and other hardware veterans and adding a dreamy, metropolitan vibe. "Silver Blaze" kicks things off with a serene hue, a simple chord progression elevating plenty of synthy goodness as Booth's drum machines purr away in the background. "Soup" opens the floodgates of glacial backwash, glistening sonics raining down an icy slope peppered with percussion artefacts and reflecting crystals. "Vanish" ups the energy for a late night club excursion with tough kicks and massaging licks, Booth's hypnotic flow in full effect has he soundtrack's some deep space exploration. Finally, "Why Would You Not" concludes with a great piece of post-peak relaxation, a gentle 4/4 holding us tight as we drift off into cosmic abandon. Great stuff as always from this staple of the hardware scene.


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