Various Artists, Earth Tones 2

[Soul People Music]

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One thing the nominally New York house scene does better than most is various artists 12″s. Often you will find Jus-Ed sharing a side with another kindred spirit on UQ, or the whole crew assembled for a remix project. DJ Qu’s Strength Music imprint issues various artists comps with aplomb, and Fred P’s Soul People Music jumped in the game with the Earth Tones series. Last year’s Earth Tones could have been one of the biggest records of the year, with quality cuts from Black Jazz Consortium, newcomer Steve Oh and a killer from Move D. The line-up for Earth Tones 2 is equally stacked, with the aforementioned BJC and DJ Qu, as well as the return of Levon Vincent, who spent most of 2010 DJing around the world.

Vincent is predominantly known for his dusty warehouse jackers, but “Tyner” is most certainly not one of them. Its sluggish, cut time feel lends the track a pensive mood, and its strong melodies and a sense of instability make it one of his more experimental moments, which, in case you were wondering, is a good thing. The flip side will likely be more useful by DJs with two dark and deadly cuts: “Everybody’s Dark” from DJ Qu and “Stay” by Black Jazz Consortium. The former creates a heads down, pitch-black groove while the latter tempers the darkness with some bright pads. As a whole, Earth Tones 2 works precisely because it mixes lights and darks — the smart and refined with dusty grit. Released at major points in all three artists’ careers — with Vincent about to make his 2011 comeback, Qu about to drop his first album, Gymnastics, and Fred having just released his third CD — this EP is a combined reminder of the high caliber at which they operate, one that seems to get higher with each release.

Joseph Hallam  on March 9, 2011 at 8:49 PM

I’m really enjoying this EP. Levon’s track is different from his usual output, almost deep house territory but equally as essential. All three tracks have the ability to light up a set and a dance floor. Great record.

Lerato  on March 10, 2011 at 11:52 AM

great stuff from the east coast crew ! great start to 2011 and much more to come .exciting ! congrats guys !!

A Radovski  on March 10, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Go Fred! WooWoo! Go Fred! WooWoo!

Aybee  on March 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM


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