FCL, Vocals For Everyone

[We Play House]

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East Flanders was a veritable gold mine of house fundamentals in 2009, thanks to the underestimated work of the young We Play House Recordings. With an aesthetic as direct and to-the-point as the label’s chosen name, the line has typically favored retro synthetic palettes and low-slung earworm grooves. And though all of their records have been worth a look, when you start tallying last year’s out-and-out stunners — San Soda’s “Dorsnee,” Dynamodyse’s “Gare du Nord,” Reggie Dokes’ “Dancefloor Spectacle,” Russ Gabriel’s “Le Voyeur,” Ramon Tapia & Maxim Lany’s “Highway,” to name names — you can’t help but wonder how they’ve kept such a modest profile. WPH starts the new year with an in-house affair, a quartet of 90’s throwbacks from the team-up of label founder Red D and the producer behind roughly half the label’s output, San Soda. And yes, as the title suggests, you may sing along to them.

On opener “Let’s Go,” the promised vocals play in achy, gospel-tinged clips and, with added help from some synth strings, flesh out a lean, arid arrangement of handclaps and keyboard stabs. Low-key and gently sultry, it’s something of a contrast to the flip’s “More Than Seven,” a slick, smiling call to the dance floor cooly voiced by Lady Linn. Though its basic, amiably dated instrumentation prowls and punches capably, it’s the exuberant confidence of the vocal that best relays the track’s particular sensibility. Devoid of ennui or brooding, “More Than Seven” is so unabashedly a “good times” club track that you almost blush. Well, almost. I actually wish Linn cut loose a bit, maybe sacrificed a little poised sass in the heat of the moment. Even and still, it’s genuinely refreshing to hear vocal house in 2010 that smiles as easily as it sighs. Also included on the record are a taut instrumental version of “More Than Seven,” and “Let’s Go Seven,” which pairs Linn’s “More Than Seven” vocals and a sweated-up take on the instrumental from “Let’s Go.” None of it quite hits me like the WPH standouts I mentioned earlier, but this record certainly won’t harm the label’s reputation with house DJs and mavens.

kuri  on March 9, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I’m really feeling this release. WPH is on a major roll.

Chris: no mention of Chi-town house classic Hercules “7 Ways?”

Chris Burkhalter  on March 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM

The “7 Ways” connection is mainly through the lyrics (“my ways to jack are more than seven”), but you’re quite right, Kuri, that was an oversight.

Joe H  on March 10, 2010 at 8:17 AM

Just got this & I like it a lot, some nice, clean, deep house going on, perfect for the warm up session!

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