Moody, Det.riot ’67


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Kenny Dixon Jr., or Moodymann, has earned his capital A Detroit Auteur title. He’s been essential to the scene and sound for the past fifteen years. If deep-house fetish was the biggest meme of European techno in 2008, then it was appropriate that Moodymann exported his own crackle, providing necessary remixes for Jose James and Sascha Dive. Not willing to waste the attention, Moodymann finished out the year with a record of his own material. Det.Riot. ’67 is more uncompromising than his last two singles — “I’d Rather Be Lonely” and “Technologystolemyvinyle” –- which are both initially pleasant, but when they find their loops, they blossom. For his latest, Moodymann pushes his eccentricities further outward and inward.

As a platform for his long awaited (a la “after all these years”) simmering anthem “Freeki Mutha F cker” and littered with a garden variety of blaxploitation samples, Det.Riot ’67 has checked off a couple requisites for a concept EP. For “Freeki Mutha F cker,” Moodymann gets as dirty and raw as he wants. It’s a call-and-response track, if you consider the only worthy response as “oh daddy.” It’s also deeply minimal, held together by a mere schizoid bass line and stoned monologue. “Freeki MF” is tracky but never feels that way -– only when Moodymann sardonically jokes about the track’s hook do I realize it doesn’t really have one. The track is also demented enough to find Moodymann diving head-first into a strange avant-soul-electronic realm inhabited in equal parts by Erykah Badu and Theo Parrish.

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And there’s no small amount of soul signifiers on Det.Riot ’67. Some hit harder than others –- the cooing and acid guitars on “Heaven” sound as bloated and flat as you could imagine. But give me the lo-fi pop of drums and skittering hook on “Hello 2morrow” and I’ll take all odes to astrology and block party chants that go along with it. It’s just unfortunate Moodymann tries so hard to build the record into a concept. All of the blaxploitation and stock audio samples on “Det.Riot ’67” are pretty heavily wrought, and in the end, feel trite. But they’re a small price to pay for a record that’s more than Moodymann’s de facto one sided single.

harpomarx42  on January 27, 2009 at 9:18 AM

I find this to be a bit of a letdown. It’s all been done before. Is this really the same chap who made ‘I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits?’

hutlock  on January 27, 2009 at 9:36 AM

I don’t LOVE this record or anything, but I do respect that he’s branching out a bit. The samples though…ugh. I got tired of those while they were playing first time through. Repeat listens don’t bode well.

andrew  on January 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

“Is this really the same chap who made ‘I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits?’”

a bit of an unfair comparison… it’s the same guy who made ‘i’d rather be lonely’ & ‘black mahogany 2’. while this record isn’t great, it’s the best he’s put out for a good four years.

hutlock  on January 28, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Outside of his “Deepest America” remix, I might agree with that.

tom/pipecock  on January 28, 2009 at 11:12 AM

i love moodymann’s new style. as much as i love his old sample loop records, his new shit is much more distinctive and very dope. it’s just much more soul music than techno. for m, that works out well.

Sic  on January 28, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Love the new Moodymann e.p.! Love that he sing & love his voice. That man has balls cause he has the courage to do his thang over all the years & not that what people expect.
Also he does the next step on the way to be a serious Artist:
He sing!!!
That will be the little piece difference to all the producers outthere they create house-music which sounds like black-mahagony part 23694.

ferrispark  on February 4, 2009 at 12:37 AM

the best part about Kenny is he doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks bad or good about what he does, he just does it because its who he is. Review this dude all you want, praise his productions or wipe your ass with them, it makes no difference, and that my friends it was really makes him what he is…Detroit and Black. SOLID!

G  on February 4, 2009 at 11:50 AM

if that bassline isn’t a hook, i don’t know what is!

Jim Little  on March 8, 2009 at 8:34 AM

To me KDJ is about the foreplay, not the f–k. Listen to “Shades of Jae”…is the best part the end, where he lets you have it, or is it the beginning where he teases you and builds up your expectations? If one reviews the recent releases by the standard of whether they are 4×4 floorfillers or not, they might be found wanting. But to me they fit perfectly in the context of this important artist. Kenny’s an innovator, and most others just follow in his wake.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds January Charts  on February 5, 2009 at 8:36 PM

[…] Patrice Scott, “Far Away” [Sistrum Recordings] 02. Moody, “Hello 2morrow” [KDJ] 03. Scott Grooves, “Coco Brown” [Clone] 04. Delano Smith, “Cosmos […]

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