Mike Monday, Yoppul

[Get Digital Music]

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For the past decade the oft underrated U.K. producer Mike Monday has been busy dropping inspired remixes and tracks which range from understated to bleeding obvious. For those who know his style, the phrase “house music with a splash of humour” tends to ring pretty true. His tracks are all wonk and weirdness twinned with rudely competent production which befits an Oxford music production graduate. And as he’s found his releases on a number of labels of note, from Freerange, Simple, Buzzin Fly and even Om, it’s apparent that label owners are rather partial to his idiosyncratic take on house. This time it’s the Get Physical crew who buy into the Mike Monday experience with Yoppul on their Get Digital imprint. Once again it’s rather impressive, if not as memorable as his releases on Playtime.

The title track begins with a Notting Hill Carnival nod to percussion in the mold of old Africanism tracks such as “Block Party,” albeit a more contemporary version thickened with additional steel drums and a sly wavering guitar refrain. On the flip, “Touch” has sprinkles of the wonk that made his 2006 debut album, Smorgasbord, so interesting. On first listening it sounds like a straight up deep house cut, panning Detroit-esque warm pads over subdued hi-hats and snippets of augmented vocals. Further spins bring out the sting of the late string stabs and heighten the strong hooks in its body moving groove. It’s timelessness appeal is a double-edged sword: Sounding like it could’ve been produced anytime in the last decade gives the record a “lost gem” feel, yet its details are not enough to overshadow the sense you’ve heard this track a hundred times before. Whether Yoppul makes dancers tick may depend on their appetite for a subtle, broken-in sound from a much stranger producer.

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