Various Artists, Mo 2 Meaux 2

[Soiree International Recordings]

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The majority of Soiree International Recordings’ roster has always been Detroit-based, but founder Derrick Thompson has long harbored aspirations to take the imprint worldwide. In 1995, he started Soiree, a short-lived sub-label based in the UK; recently he’s fostered relationships with producers from the French city of Meaux. Unlike Thompson’s previous international foray, which was almost entirely produced by himself (like the majority of the label’s catalog in its first decade), the Mo 2 Meaux series focuses on burgeoning French talents. CloudMasterWeed, whose appearance on the first EP spawned an excellent solo single for Soiree INTL, returns for the second alongside Drivetrain, Professor Inc and J. Garcia.

Thompson leads off with “Lift Me High,” a track whose rich, reclining synth lines and coaxing vocals build upon a subtly catchy bass line. Perky enough to bring draw a bead of sweat to dancers’ brows yet comfortably low-key, it’s the record’s clear highlight. Newcomer J. Garcia’s “One Day” is similarly laid-back, its shifting pads sighing familiar progressions as lower register synths show more dexterity above gulping sub-bass. The track takes a hackneyed turn when Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech suddenly rings out, quoting whole passages and repeating the titular phrase with little regard for how cliched it is.

For “Wicked System,” Meaux-Town’s rising star CloudMasterWeed opts for the rougher, loop-laden style of “Com’On’N’Join’Us” from his Soiree INTL solo release, constantly turning over a ear-worming female vocal that admits, “Sometimes I feel like a victim of this wicked system.” A tightly looped funk sample threaded throughout heightens the hypnotic appeal, yet some of that is drained by the producer’s overzealous filtering. Professor Inc’s “Sizzle” meets a similar fate when its soft focus synth progression is gradually eroded by an endless stream of atonal blips, glitches and gurgled vocals that add texture but little to the overall appeal. While considerably uneven, Mo 2 Meaux 2 contains two valuable tunes that reaffirm the talents of Thompson and his A&R find, CloudMasterWeed.

Blaktony  on March 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM

I dig that name (Cloudmasterweed)& the track….do your thang, Soiree. (i’m a victim 2)

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