Various Artists, Peculiar/3 Züge

[Sei Es Drum]

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Sei Es Drum releases don’t tend to come out very often, but whether or not you agree with label boss Ricardo Villalobos’ statement that they all “come out because they have to come out” there is no doubting that each release carries something special about it. The latest offering from the label is a two tracker that will likely prove to be the most popular to date, even if only for the spellbinding A-side, which itself will hugely divide opinions.

Villalobos teams up with Argenis Brito and two unknowns, O. Weidenthaler and M. Messelis, to deliver “Peculiar,” an incredible minimal workout that liberally samples Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t It Peculiar.” Where so many deep house and disco tracks sample the great, late soul singer, most do so by lifting a short vocal phrase or velvet sigh. “Peculiar” takes the entire vocal of the early Gaye hit and laces it over the top of the writhing, punchy track. It’s a fit that feels uneasy at first, with the honeyed soul of Gaye’s phenomenal voice seeming worlds away from the spacey, synthesized surge of the music. But by the end of the track I found myself won over by the disparity of the two ingredients, the unlikely bedfellows making for a weird but wonderful treat. I’m guessing though that many will feel otherwise, grave robbing issues aside.

On the flip side Ricardo teams up with old hand 3 Phase for a decidedly less controversial and less interesting track, “3 Züg.” Stretched out over sixteen minutes, it’s a fairly stock-standard Villalobian meander injected with some audible peculiarities of its own. The slowly building track incorporates spooked out pads and industrial background noises, together with some ambient nature sounds, but in the end feels like it is almost a purist rebuttal to the somewhat sacrilegious use of Marvin Gaye on the A-side. Sei Es Drum’s latest may be a matter of picking your particular poison, but I’m not about to argue with the labels mission statement just yet.

edthecurse  on January 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Great review, although I wasn’t that shocked by the meeting of Villalobos’ beats and Marvin Gaye’s singing. I doubt this will be more controversial than Trompetta.

Joseph Hallam  on January 19, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I like it. I dont think its anywhere in the same league as “Trompeta”! This is much more refined & has that classic slow building Villalobos feel that will no doubt be a highlight of his sets.

Anton  on January 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I think the most divisive part of “Peculiar” is how humdrum the beat is. Obviously it’s difficult to compete with Marvin Gaye, but everything besides him seems to lack sizzle. Maybe this works better in the context of a DJ set, but just looping his vocals over a standard issue Villalobos beat feels rather insultingly rudimentary.

I’d wager if this had some random new Italian producer’s name on it instead of RV we’d be castigating it without mercy.

ML  on January 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

“Peculiar” does not sound like the work of 4 producers. I’m not really sure if that’s a good or a bad thing in this case.

suaimh  on January 21, 2011 at 10:49 AM

my slabs on the way, but yo writeup spurred me a lil,, spurred me til i didn kno jus whato do, til that slab arrive,,,then yo lemme listen it,, so i bust out audacity so my foundpod can sho ito me tilth physicarriv

sobe proud- sold withou sale to someone who already sold

whatta jam

Anton Lang  on January 23, 2011 at 11:27 PM

i agree with the other anton here. lacklustre beats propelled solely by a wonderful sample, lifted directly not creatively, and a generous smattering of ‘villalobos has sampled marvin!’ hype. you can do better ricardo! admittedly i’d like to hear it as it’s meant to be heard first but not impressed.

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