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I Was In New York / A Prayer For Maya Angelou

Payfone bring a double header of NYC styled heat for the inaugural release on their newly launched Otis Records. Marrying modern boogie and classic R&B, with cosmic leanings and Balearic touches, Payfone manage to keep all the essence of the early days whilst bringing a contemporary swagger to the floor.

Each element in "I Was In New York" gets the space it deserves. Palm muted guitars and sashaying synth echoes flutter over the top of a strutting slap bass courtesy of Giulio Granchelli. A simplicity that sings - simultaneously giving your mind the space it needs to drift off into a daydream of sunsets over cityscapes. Introspective, meditative and innocent, Dayna Talley’s spoken word vocals lull listeners into memories of tranquil times. Set to be one of 2019’s standout songs, its refreshingly original and sure to cut through the noise.

The B side, "A Prayer For Maya Angelou" takes a Balearic boat out across calming seas. Gravitating around a metallic, pulsating synth, modulated to bounce at points and brood at others, mystic flurries drift in the distance, as pads wash across the horizon. Len Xiang’s melancholic tale reverberates throughout, with those sweet sax sounds from Billy Brooks Paul and a spring reverbed guitar riffing off into the ocean - elevating this into pure paradise.

As the climate cools down in Australia, temperatures are rising in Europe and one of Italy's finest selectors has taken charge of People Must Jam's eighth record. A long time in the making, "Deja Vu" is well worth the wait. Digging into his well stocked crates, Riccio picks out a killer funk groove for the title track, stretching it out to Mark E proportions while incorporating all the tastiest bits of melody from the original to keep things moving and grooving. Next up "Dyson Jam" is an original cut which channels the Italian's inner KDJ through a rolling bassline, syncopated percussion and a sequinned synth line - heads down, lights down, fader up - "we used to rollerskate to this shit". Showing a certain amount of A&R expertise the label enlist Golf Channel act Payfone to remix this disco burner, and the London outfit duly oblige, stipping the cut back and adding a bunch of extra synth sparkle to heat the club to a simmer. Closing the set in textbook fashion, "Mystical Stretcher" sees Riccio drop the pace for a loose and limber journey into cosmic jazz. Limited and lovely.

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