Compilation Review: ‘Art Department Social Experiment 003’ (No.19 Music)

art department social experiment 003


The usual deep house majesty from the Art Department and No.19, but this time there’s a pressure pushing down on Experiment number three, a feeling that all connected are trying to keep their cool and enjoying the challenge of keeping the flustered at bay. A little tetchiness here and irritability there, a reoccurring state-of-the-union address, and in some cases, seeing if the warpath is clear for takeoff, it keeps moving forward the ethos of Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow. Darkly sophisticated, bass loaded (Brigante’s mix of Ali Love’s “The Jungle” forcefully using the feel-by-sound model), and anything but casual as it puts slashes into the session’s urbane upholstery, joints and muscles are rarely given a chance to loosen throughout.

Robert Owens takes over AD’s mix of “Tomorrow Can Wait,” dulcet tones reflecting ghostly-like upon Luca C & Brigante’s iced waters across nine minutes of back to ‘88 instruction that baby may want to ride — an illusion repeated on Jakkin Rabbit’s tech-enforced “Full of Dreams.” Jamie Jones’ “Doctor Blue” attempts to outrun a flickering synth cell, and Bryan Ferry’s suaveness becomes cautionary on Carl Craig’s testing, bubbling remix of DJ Hell’s “U Can Dance,” while the doldrums are most mined on AD’s authoritative “Robot Heart”. All told it’s a fairly unrelenting mix, building on its own brand of persuasion and only easing off a touch come its finale. Style and sweat in perfect harmony.

File under: Gregorythyme, Catz n Dogz, My Favorite Robot

Album review: Kenny Glasgow / ‘Taste For The Low Life’ (No.19)


Twenty years into his career, Kenny Glasgow releases his debut album.

Working in the industry since the ‘90s, first with illegal warehouse events, DJ sets, and then into the studio, this installation has been years into the making. Crafted along the lines of heavyweight Detroit players such as Derrick May, Carl Craig and the UR crew, these tracks dive deep into interlaced melodic structures while still retaining an underground edge. Seamless yet endlessly loopy, the lead track “System Overload” blends throwback synth samples with analog drum patches, string pads and delicate keys. The big theme throughout this album is melody, melody, and melody. Each track is carefully crafted to encompass rich chord structures, suspense and tension, and an overall mood designed more to lift the soul than to destroy the floor. Truly up there with some of the great installations of ‘90s Detroit and Chicago, this cleanly assembled works is worthy of top jock play.

File under: Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter