Glasgow based label Dixon Avenue Basement Jams have revealed a taster of their next release, from another unknown name in the form of VernoN.
The Scottish axis of labels that is Firecracker, Unthank and Shevchenko have a lot of talent to call on, so expect their newly established FIRECMIXX series to maintain the standards set on the inaugural mix from ƒƒ aka Gavin ‘Fudge Fingas’ Sutherland.
Basement soul merchant Fudge Fingas – also known as Gavin Sutherland – has offered a peak into his forthcoming EP for the mighty Rush Hour imprint.
Gavin Sutherland isn’t the most prolific producer in the Prime Numbers/Firecracker canon. Since making his debut in 2002, the Scottish producer has released just four solo singles – the most recent being last year’s well-received About Time 12” – and contributed a handful of tracks to various Firecracker and Prime Numbers collaborative EPs. For those of us who dig his atmospheric and at times heady sound, it’s been a frustrating experience. Perhaps he was saving himself for this debut full-length; Now About How largely explores his previous themes, showcasing a densely layered, occasionally downtempo take on dance music that’s never less than intoxicating.
Like the work of contemporaries Trus’me and Linkwood, the Fudge Fingas sound is rooted in a long-held love affair with what local heroes the Unabombers dubbed “basement soul” – a rich, jazz-flecked take on electronic music that promotes an eclectic approach to music-making. The basement soul ideal has always been more about a musical aesthetic than a particular style or genre. Anything can be basement soul – it just has to boast that ethos. In that regard, Now About How is a true basement soul album.
While firmly rooted in deep house (check the swampy Detroitian vibes of “Shake Out”), it never settles into one comfortable, predictable groove. Its emotion-rich grooves include warm, melodic two-step and future garage flavas (“Polo”, the jazzual “Silent Statues”), languid Balearica (“Mind Swamp”), dubwise slo-mo grooves (“If We’re Gonna Go”) and dewy-eyed downtempo beatscapes (“It’s The Music”). It’s eclectic, no doubt, but thanks to Sutherland’s delicious production and strangely distant vocals, Now About How hangs together marvelously.
Title: About Time
Label: Prime Numbers
Genre: Deep House
Original material from Fudge Fingas has so far been restricted to an appearance on a Prime Numbers EP here, a track on a Firecracker 10 inch there as well tinkling the ivories on tracks for his more celebrated buddies Linkwood and Trus’ me. The fact his music has been included on mixes by artists as varied as Ame and Joy Orbison should hint at the broad range of his musical abilties.
Prime Numbers obviously know a talent when they spot one and ahead of a Fudge Fingas long player on the imprint, slated for April, the northern deep haus merchants unleash “About Time” this three track EP that covers a variety of styles and acts as a neat musical hors d’erve of what to expect.
EP opener “It’s About Time” could easily be miscast as chill wave/glo fi/whatever with a pensive mid tempo bump combined with melancholy soaked vocals. Thankfully proceeding take a step away from Pitchfork pigeon holing and a gleeful step towards vintage chi-town house with some deep synth action hitting around the three minute mark.
Demonstrating a knowledge of electronic music that transcends the disco edit cowboys, Fudge Fingas switches things up on “Me & U” has a mid 90s soulful garage bump that comes replete with a looped up diva vocal refrain and the requisite ponderings on lost love.
The sprawling space jazz techno tribute that is “MmmmmHmmmm” is further example of Fudge Fingaz production nous, as not many contemporary producers of the four to the floor boompty boomp would attempt a time signature change to 3/4 let alone pull it off with such aplomb as the Fudge Fingered one.
Review: Tony Poland