Alex Israel, Walking To Guntersville

[W.T. Records]

Buy Vinyl

For what is Alex Israel’s first physical 12″, a confident versatility is displayed which compliments the already heterogeneous back catalog of W.T. Records. It will most likely be classified in the deep house bins, but Walking To Guntersville covers so much more ground that labeling it something so banal is insulting. While the two B-side tracks with a quick needle flip could pass for house, closer inspection draws more nuanced and vibrant appraisals as Israel feels comfortable drawing from all parts of the globe and beyond. “Nkisi” uses organ, dusty horn and rhythm guitar samples to lay the groundwork before unveiling an African vocal and subtle acid and synth filigree. He continues the use of acid in “Bindlestiff” but keeps it as accompanying element, letting it bubble away without becoming overpowering. The rest of the track carries on by introducing soulful male vocals that impart a blues-y feel among tight bass work, hand drum percussion, and a vibraphone-like melody. At times it seems like the entire kitchen sink is in play but it’s tastefully done to create richness rather than cloyingness.

The title track moves at a slow, ambling pace with heavy reverb and delayed 808 percussion, giving the impression of a slow-mo jack track, but instead it goes all smooth using velvety pads and shimmering synth lines. It’s got deep Detroit techno written all over it, but at its slowed tempo it may find favor with a wider audience. The story behind “GAZ 13″ is an interesting one that began as an unfinished track by Etiku Dancer. He passed it to Israel who took the hi-hats and a synth sound and re-fashioned it to his liking (oddly though, there is no credit given on the actual 12”). The result is a gorgeous piece of funky techno replete with finger snaps, walking-talking bass line, piano flourishes, haunting strings and a lovely spiraling keyboard arpeggio. Israel isn’t afraid to show his diverse taste in music and if that means using the whole enchilada, so be it.

Kevin Reynolds  on August 3, 2011 at 7:55 AM

I love this record.

Chris M  on August 4, 2011 at 2:01 PM

I also love this record.

looseit  on October 24, 2011 at 7:25 AM

this will be long living release


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