Bvdub/Shifty Science, Same Boat, Different Sea/Love’s Not Fading

[Love’s Label]

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So here’s the long and short of it: nearly 20 years ago, two best friends from Chicago, Chris Ike and John Kardaras, fell deep into the city’s house scene through club nights and dubs of WNUR shows. They got busy with some analog gear, christened themselves Shifty Science, released a couple of tracks to some acclaim, and then quickly fell into obscurity, even going so far as to quit releasing their music. Fast-forward to 2009, when a couple of next-generation Chicago house heads (one of whom, full disclosure, is the editor-in-chief of this site) decide to throw a joint birthday party and invite one of Shifty Science’s biggest fans from back in the day, former DJ and current heart-on-sleeve ambient wunderkind bvdub, to headline. Everyone hit it off famously; and when one of the birthday boys, James Cardis, started Love’s Label the next year, he hit up Shifty Science and bvdub for contributions. And now, as 2010 winds down, 300 copies of what resulted are fluttering around the world.

Love’s Label’s first release met cute, so to speak. But Shifty Science and bvdub’s long-overdue collaborative revisiting of unreleased material packs far more heft than adorability might imply. Same Boat, Different Sea / Love’s Not Fading merges the old-school, strictly underground sensibility you’d expect from the back story with the sort of epic, bathtub-full-of-feelings soundscapes you’d look for in bvdub. We get more of the latter on “Same Boat, Different Sea,” a bvdub composition remixed by Shifty Science. While Brock Van Wey’s music has never been short on warmth, the size of its heart is occasionally overwhelming and ungainly. Whether due to Shifty Science’s spot-on beats or ability to let this creation rise slowly, bvdub here is anything but downtrodden; rather, the track sounds damn near ready to run smiling into battle. Van Wey’s B-side, his personal favorite Shifty Science track “Love’s Not Fading” remixed under his new Earth House Hold guise, reveals a richly internalized understanding of the scene that got Shifty Science making records. Rainy-day keys and a steady, circa-1992 pulse hold down the foreground, but that diva lurking just below “Love’s Not Fading”‘s surface — crying out unintelligibly from an old but still gripping and immediate memory — is pure bvdub. If you’re like me, you’ll be on the fence for weeks about which side is your favorite; different as they are, I’ve found it really comes down to what sort of warm embrace you’re in the mood for.

In a scene where so many microscopic record labels shroud themselves in an obscurity of their own making, it’s a welcome change of pace to see some names on the label and get some really nice words from the artists about how something inherently obscure came together. Regardless of whether Love’s Label can keep putting together 12″s this steeped in obscure house music history and sheer camaraderie, the imprint undoubtedly has its heart in the right place. Whatever’s next for LL, Van Wey’s nascent Earth House Hold project, and (fingers crossed) Shifty Science will certainly be worthy of our collective bear hug.

todd  on November 2, 2010 at 12:24 AM

insider trading !

Blaktony  on November 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

This is seriously a beautiful record,the vibes embrace the vocals so on “Love not fading” i repeated the play button here @ lease 4x’s (while typing/and i can’t type).

Per Bojsen-Moller  on November 2, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Really glad I nabbed one of these, a great debut for the label


LL#01: Reviewed at LWE « Love's Label  on November 2, 2010 at 12:23 AM

[…] at LWE By LL, on November 1st, 2010 Some very kind words on our inaugural release can be found at LittleWhiteEarbuds. Uncategorized    LL#01 BLOWS UP YOUR SPOT […]

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