This music review was written for Kruger magazine in July 2008. I loved Recloose’s early stuff and was disappointed by the Perfect Timing album. I wanted to communicate this in a way that didn’t sound too snarky. In hindsight I think I failed…
Album: Perfect Timing
Label: Sonar Kollektiv
Close your eyes and imagine you’re an underground dance music producer. You are a master in the studio and can play it like it’s your instrument. You also do pretty mean jazz saxophone, thanks very much. You’ve been honing your craft for years, and after meeting digital soul legend Carl Craig for lunch in Detroit circa 1997, you get hooked up with Planet E records and become the toast of the underground. Later, Gilles Peterson and other “heads” rush up to shake your hand at tastemaker club gigs as you notch up sweet little records like Cardiology (hey, nice one on that Isolee version!). Later still you truly arrive – in a strictly underground sense – with the dancefloor-conquering deep house anthem Dust. BUT! After years of performing and DJing in trendsetter clubs, mere low level success is getting a bit… trying. For instance you dearly love Prince and long to make classic hit albums like him. As you’ve no doubt twigged by now, you are Recloose. Full marks if you read this far with your eyes still closed. Anyway, your career. You’ve reached the same crossroads as many talented people before you. It’s almost textbook stuff! What to do to get wider acclaim? You know, take it to the next level? Just get some nagging pop hooks, in this case scat soul vocals. Form an 8-piece band who are impossibly tight live. Rid yourself of anything resembling DEEPNESS – in other words, lose the subtle quirks and dark little innovations (that made you so special in the first place). It’s the way of the world – as one promising artist moves on, we can look for another to spring up in the gap. Recloose is making a serious play for the coffee table market here. We can only wish him all the best.
More Kruger stuff on this blog.