Linkwood Family, Miles Away (Intrusion Dubs)

Photo by Marc Shandro

[Firecracker Recordings]

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When used as an adjective to describe music, “deep” means different things to different people. While the exact definition has proven to be elusive and subject to some contentious discussions in the dance community, most agree you know a record is “deep” when you hear it. Case in point: the original version of Linkwood Family’s “Miles Away” is deep. The debut release on the Firecracker imprint that found its way into the crates of everyone from Derrick May to Moodymann started with a mournful Miles Davis-esque trumpet solo over some lonesome keys and moved into a late-night house bounce and a vocal line bordering on torch song territory. Soulful, jazzy, warm, and melancholy, “Miles Away” featured all the hallmarks of a “deep house” record and then some.

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Now, some five years after the original release comes a limited edition white vinyl remix single from Intrusion (aka Stephen Hitchell of Echospace fame) that brings things to a whole new level of deepness while taking an entirely different route to get there. Maintaining the haunted trumpet and bits of the vocal melody from the original, Intrusion’s “Sunrise Dub” drapes these distorted elements over a loving made bed of ambient keys and an active, yet entirely laid back bubbling percussion and scratched guitar line. If the original conjured up images of 3 a.m. at an underground jazz club at the end of Lonely Street, Hitchell takes us up to street level on a billowing cloud of bliss with just enough spring in our steps to see the sun coming up on a new day, full of optimism and a bit less heartbreak. On the flip, the “Sunset Dub” is a bit more traditionally dubbed out: echoic, skeletal, and percussive, but no less effective and all-encompassing, losing much of the ambient wash and swapping it for pure space. Both Intrusion dubs deftly manage to turn the original on its head while still maintaining a definite vibe, a common thread of, well, you know.

All this just goes to show that “deep” is nothing more than a feeling, really, a feeling obviously shared between Linkwood Family and Hitchell, and now, thankfully all of us. Debate all you like about the labels and adjectives, but if you don’t feel it after hearing these records, you might want to check for a pulse while you’re at it.

Per Silverbeat  on June 8, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I love the original of this but Intrusion just takes it to a whole new place. Fantastic record. Great review Todd

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