Hot Natured, h.e.a.d.s


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One thing about the whole general Crosstown/Wolf + Lamb tech-housey sound, on display here in the Jamie Jones and Lee Foss duo Hot Natured, is that it’s often at its best when it’s got balls. I don’t mean balls like courage, I mean balls, like stanky, swaggering balls. The way that Prince and Rick James and all those other synth-funk deities whose influence you can feel in Jamie’s poppier productions, the way those guys have balls. When it comes to Jamie, Lee and their extended LA/Detroit/Brooklyn buds, Prince is all over the place, most notably through the effects of his club classic “Erotic City,” which you can for example feel shining through in JJ’s omnipresent “Summertime.” The name “Nikki Norris” even sounds like a Prince B-side, or maybe a forgotten member of his extended lace & leather-draped harem.

Rowdy house grooves and pelvic-pushing beats abound on the three tunes of “h.e.a.d.s,” more than enough for a pole dance and a few minutes in the back room. “Heads” is lead by a vocal sample that evokes the sound you’d blurt if someone rudely grabbed your junk and twisted. Like the tracks that follow it, “Heads” works by way of dynamic interplay between a hypnotic buoyancy and straight-ahead 4/4 groove. Hot Natured’s see-saw bounce is the secret passkey to a world of woofer funk, not only Prince and Rick but anything sleazy that sounds good in full trunk-rattle bass blasts. “Nikki Norris” is sparer, deriving its energy from cut-up samples and plonky synth splinters. A cluster of girl vocals, perhaps a minor multitude of Nikki herself, stay lurking underneath — guess this time it’s not girls on top. Jamie & Lee close out with a bang: “Turning Tricks” takes an 80s funk jam and wrings it into sweaty piston-thrusts and guitar-scratch loops, punctuating them with echoey exclamations of “nasty freak (freak freak freak freak…)!” The kicks ebb and flow with force, utilizing the sea-saw bounce/house groove dynamic to maximum effect: it’s serious Rick James cocaine-house. Small wonder the title invokes the world’s oldest profession, because its relentless grooves are doggystyle rowdy. “Turning Tricks” almost makes the other tracks here look tame by comparison, which is no small feat, as it’s clear that Jamie and Lee aren’t wasting any of the steam they’ve been building over the past couple of years.

vandaler  on August 13, 2009 at 5:31 AM

h.e.a.d.s. is amazing
the spanish mixolydian progression at the end makes it for me

Sam  on August 13, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Killer track, and the review pegs it 100%!

“the sound you’d blurt if someone rudely grabbed your junk and twisted” – I actually laughed out loud. I love a bit of humor in my dance-music-journalism. great review…

Geoff Wichmann  on August 13, 2009 at 2:44 PM

No comment! Just play again!;-)


justagigolo  on August 18, 2009 at 4:55 AM

great review. spot on.


Twitted by imahousegroupie  on August 14, 2009 at 4:21 AM

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