Still Here (Get On Down)
Today DJs are very close to the session players of yore. Mr. G works under a number of different names, mixing house, hip hop, and whatever minor sub-genre of tuneage that strikes his fancy and keeps a low profile. In this release, he takes on the sparse, deep house sound — stable drum machines, looped samples with long splices of air in them, and subtle dream-like vocals. The mood is chilled, the dancing theoretical, and the mix needs to be set at just the right volume to find that ground between overwhelming and annoying. In “Firewater,” a single electric chord punctuates the rhythm loop, a voice repeats “Touch your body… Burn like flames.” The excitement builds on “Darktown Orchestra” with its long lead in and additive samples that must have all existed at the beginning of the universe, or at least the beginning of the recording session. A synthesized bird call/Tarzan yodel appears, only to succumb to a reverbed bass E-string. An almost Pet Shop Boys line opens the mysterious “Platonic Solids No. 5.” I’m not sure where he hid the icosohedron, but he reports “Darkness Is Calling Me” and a structural theme appears. You could write it as “Sum the following: drum line, bass accent, a touch of top hat, and sound that never appears in nature. Convolve it with a disconnected vocal loop and differentiate.” Your head has to be in the right space for Mr. G’s, and a few night school math credits wouldn’t hurt either.