Saturday, 28 January 2012

ALBUM Shades Of Grey - Soul Machine

In contrast to the Dominic Martin LP reviewed below, Soul Machine from Shades Of Grey is an album that will perhaps have slightly broader appeal in the current climate, its techier approach to deep house being a little more in keeping with current musical trends.

That said, they've called it Soul Machine for a reason, and while a little techier than Family Affair it's certainly no ketamine-addled exercise in proggy post-minimalism. Highlights for this reviewer include the big room tech-soul of Midnight Lover (featuring a male vocal from Beckford), the pleasingly Chicago-ish First Kontakt, the throbbing, Balearically-inclined No Interruptions with its sampled Celeda vocal (yeah, you know… the one about the London Tube network, tee hee) and the appropriately old skool Lost In The Past.

S'cool… but wait, there's more! Because on CD2 you get the same 11 tracks remixed, with Peter Horrevorts, Soul Minority and The Timewriter probably the best known of the names taking care of business. And to these ears it's here that some of the deal-makers can be found. The more downtempo opener (and title track, obviously) Soul Machine really comes into its own when given a serious injection of low-end squelch by Eric Volta, while Horrevorts' rub of Back To The Future brings the funky party vibes as well as what may or may not be a Brass Construction sample. But the absolute killer is the Soul Minority Remix of Lost In The Past, which makes excellent, smile-inducing use of a vocal sample made famous by one J. Vasquez.

You do have to dig about a little bit, but there are enough gems here to make this worth checking for sure.

Out: Last week but the CD got mixed up with a pile of paperwork in the other room y'see and… well, I'm a bit rubbish, what can I say?

About: This comes on Beef Records, which is Shades Of Grey's own label… here's their website, MySpace and Facebook pages. You can also check out their podcast. Shades Of Grey themselves, I should probably also tell you, are an Australian-based duo consisting of Oz native Nick West and Czech national Michel Schwa.

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