It's been a long time between drinks for AFMB AKA German nu-jazz pioneer turned deep house producer Bernard Kunz. His last - and previously only - studio album, Mellowdramatic, dropped way back in 1997. Whereas that was full of jazzy downtempo moodscapes - trip-hop with jazz rhythms - A Forest Mighty Black oozes electronic warmth. While each of the 12 tracks is built in some way around a core deep house sound - think enveloping chords, toasty basslines and intricate melodies - there's plenty of variety to keep things fresh. Contrast, for example, the twinkling deep house-soul of "Jade Knights", the horizontal dub-house goodness of "Circumstances" and the head-nodding downtempo shuffle of "It's All Inside", a conscious nod to his '90s trip-hop past.
For their most anthemic outing yet, Drumpoet Community have turned to the most unlikely of sources: former Compost Records nu-jazzer Bernd Kunz, better known as A Forest Mighty Black. When Compost boss Michael Reinboth decided to launch his Munich-based downtempo/nu-jazz imprint in 1994, it was Kunz who provided the first release - the decidedly trip-hoppish "Do-Ba-Ye". While the boffins among you will point out that he moved on to Detroit-influenced deep house sometime ago (he was part of the Lost Men, who released a trio of releases on Drumpoet Community in the late noughties) it's still a surprise to hear him laying down such an unashamedly 'big' slab of uplifting, piano-centric late night jack. With liberal use of cut-up vocal samples, soaring strings and dense percussion, it has a real classic New York house feel - albeit with a big dose of Underground Resistance thrown in. It's undoubtedly the best thing Kunz has done yet. The more hypnotic "Nasty Imposition" continues in this vein, building a pleasingly trippy groove around dubbed-out electronic riffage, dense drums and delay-laden vocal snippets.