Masters of analog weirdo-house Crème Organization seem to release artists almost exclusively from either the Netherlands or the States, which makes sense, as the dialogue between those two countries is well documented when it comes to the jackin’ stuff. The music of Detroit native Alex Israel, debuting on last year’s fabulous Walking to Guntersville EP, is the kind of taut, bustling body music that led so many to catch the house bug in the first place, and his new Front Butt record on Crème is even better. “Mongo Raw” is a serene slice of trippy Roland bass lines and careening melodies, all twisted up into a hazy whole. It’s one of the more lovely and memorable house cuts I’ve come across so far this year, building to a measured climax and then coming down with the control and temperance of a producer who has put out many more records than Israel has.
The cheeky humor Crème is known for bleeds into the next cut, “Habitation Micturation,” which jacks with the best Trax cuts while Kevin Reynolds begs the listener to stop peeing on his house: a bit crude, a bit silly, but a strong cut for the dancers. The B-side contains more melancholy songs in line with “Mongo Raw,” as “Front Butt” and “White Monkey Holding Peach” are propulsive jams that are at times pretty and others more upbeat. Alex Israel doesn’t ever really repeat himself, as each cut here has an undeniable personality all its own, but they’re all coming from a similar place, whether it be a nostalgic one or something more current. If many producers at the moment ape older sounds for a sense of authenticity, then Alex Israel does it, seemingly, purely out of love. Not only are his songs packed with melodies and ideas, but they’re packed with emotions that are hard to fake, ones speaking not to how cool analog gear is, but to the memories tied up in each knob-covered circuit board. Crème is on quite a roll right now, and Front Butt has a lot to do with that. So while this may be only his second vinyl release, it seems that the future looks to be a very bright one for Mr. Israel.