Kyle Hall, Worx of Art EP 1

[Wild Oats]

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The Martinez Brothers may get all the press, but house music’s real boy wonder is 17-year-old Detroiter Kyle Hall. Last year’s “The Water is Fine EP” on Moods & Grooves already showcased a producer capable of crafting distinctive, affecting deep house in the tradition of Theo Parrish, Omar S, Rick Wilhite, and Hall’s mentor Mike Huckaby. “Worx of Art EP 1,” the inaugural release on Hall’s own Wild Oats label, makes it clear the previous record was no fluke and that his is a career worth following.

Even before noticing the music on this record, you might be struck by how imaginative even the titles are. “I <3 Dr. Girl Friend” is probably the best, and the corresponding track does not disappoint. Hall weaves a vocal R&B sample through a drowsy groove, wafting from hip-hop to house and back again. “Slow Dancesteppn On Toes” makes you feel like you’re doing it, its beat a slow shuffle that might fall over if pushed. The piano and strings have a dramatic, soundtrack feel that is kept from sentimentality by trippy synth work and surreal bird noises. “Fuse N Me” is evocative of the mid-seventies work of one of Detroit’s best-known jazz musicians, Donald Byrd, whose “Stepping Into Tomorrow” Hall sampled on the previous EP’s standout “Create Your Own Existence.” This time, the hypnotic bass line, insistent piano and jazzy improvisations are Hall’s own.

If “I <3 Dr Girl Friend” is the most awesome title, “A World of New Old” is the most profound. The track is based on a piano vamp that sounds like it came straight from the fingers of McCoy Tyner or Herbie Hancock, augmented by a rumbling 303 and the sort of melody you might expect an alien to sing to its children. Like the rest of the record, its “New Old” approach combines a futuristic, inventive production style with a sensitive understanding of African-American music from before and after the advent of house. That it comes from someone so young is as encouraging a sign about the state of dance music as you could ask for.

Nadir  on March 15, 2009 at 11:50 PM

wow, 17, thats some good old soul searchin’ right there

peder  on March 16, 2009 at 8:20 AM

nice review shuja. i didn’t realise he’d put out a record on moods and grooves either, i’ll have to go digging for that.

ghood  on March 16, 2009 at 8:34 AM

really great record! looking forward to the second one out soon…. he is real talent! i like his tracks. for me it’s THE jazz record of the year !!! :)

kuri  on March 16, 2009 at 10:35 AM

outstanding release for Kyle, he’s pushing boundaries. plus that Moods and Grooves release was one of my favorites from last year. if you want to learn more about Mr. Hall you can check out an interview I did with him recently here:

Will C.  on March 16, 2009 at 11:19 AM

This is definitely one I’ll be looking out for.

shuja x  on March 16, 2009 at 12:01 PM

peder, i think that the moods and grooves ep might actually be digital only, at least according to discogs. does anyone know if there was a vinyl release? it’s a fantastic ep.

hutlock  on March 16, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I’ve tried to get it on vinyl too, Shuja, but was told that it wasn’t available. Maybe something’s changed since then, but I think you’re right that it was digital only.

adamv  on March 17, 2009 at 10:33 PM

yeah, kyle hall is definitely someone i’m keeping an eye on.

peder  on March 18, 2009 at 6:20 AM

aw shucks. i’m amazed that a detroit label like moods and grooves would do a digital only release. hopefully the increased interest in young kyle will mean there’ll be a vinyl release too at some point… mike grant, are you reading this?!

johnvigo  on March 19, 2009 at 5:44 AM

on the topic of digital woes… has anyone downloaded this release from Juno? I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it sounds like there’s some (unintentional?) digital dirt on tracks like Fuse N Me (at 5:46) and Slow Dancesteppn (at 4:48)… anyone else get that feeling? I dunno, maybe it’s intentional. I just want to know if I should be accentuate that in the mix…

johnvigo  on March 19, 2009 at 5:49 AM

oh! and at 1:46 in A World of New, as well…

adtone  on April 1, 2009 at 4:58 PM

New kind of music, great, someone know if we can find track called “Sticky RipZ”, sound !

bigbernardo  on April 15, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Just picked up the 12” at turntable lab here in nyc…sick record! Definitely excited to hear more!


Aangenaam. Kyle Hall, de 17-jarige belofte uit Detroit | Eclectro  on April 12, 2009 at 8:36 AM

[…] z’n goed ontvangen, melodieuze ‘Worx of Art EP’ zijn hieronder te beluisteren. (Little White Earbuds bijvoorbeeld steekt ook de loftrompet over deze […]

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