The Central Executives, A Walk in the Dark

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[Golf Channel Recordings]


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The Central Executives aren’t advertising their real names or anything but I want to bet they have something to do with Whatever We Want Records and the No Ordinary Monkey party. A Walk in the Dark is as successfully anarchic as those projects, referencing all sorts of strange proto-house and disco offshoots. The actual lede here is that I apparently listened to A1, “High Roads,” 22 times before I made it to the second track. It’s like Dinosaur L’s “Clean On Your Bean” crossed with La Perversita’s “I Love You S…,” or maybe something by Love of Life Orchestra, with a lady seductively talking about roads on top. Its groove is gentle, suave, narcotized, and I want to say timeless, or at least out-of-time.

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While this track feels like it could have arrived in the early 80s, there are moments where modern touches are more apparent, as on the rigidly funky “Shut Ya Face,” or “Power Point,” with its typing clap sound; both remind of DC Recordings or Maurice Fulton in their playfulness. Others are more subtle, with their age primarily distinguished by the fatness of their kickdrums. I’m not sure if this album is actually top-heavy, but it’s very easy to get stuck on the first few tracks. “Loveray 79” interpolates a little Harry Nilsson (“people keep talking to me…”) atop a busily strutting arrangement, and then “Waveform Reform” has a guy scatting and a vibraphone solo. Perhaps the best way to describe the album is to say that if you spend too much time listening to deep house, there are a lot of potentially ugly parts. There’s such a spectrum of instruments here, but, possibly because of how great the first track is, this madcap energy feels excusable, if not totally natural. More often than not, elements like the scatting or lounge jazz vocals work seamlessly with the more “tasteful” bits, like the rigid electro bass line that makes sultry closer “Take You Home” boom. A Walk in the Dark may inhabit an offbeat, not-very-salable zone, but its eclecticism, apart from “High Roads,” is also its strongest asset.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds April Charts 2014 – Little White Earbuds  on May 2, 2014 at 10:31 AM

[…] Envy” [Third Ear Recordings] (buy) 09. Todd Terje, “Oh Joy” [Olsen] (buy) 10. The Central Executives, “High Roads” [Golf Channel Recordings] […]

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