Compilation Review: ‘DJ Schwa – Lay It Down’ (Shades of Gray)

DJ Schwa - Lay It Down


Should your body argue with Michal Ruzicka’s titular command, it could be reacting to the notion that this is a mix that would’ve been big business in the mid ’90s. Schwa collects trip-hop, lounge and acid jazz (?), deep house with a hip-hop lineage (Sarp Yilmaz flipping his brim the other way around), beats full of air kisses and music to talk over and go about your day to day to.

While the music itself doesn’t sound totally dated — Maddslinky’s bass-drenched urban ballad “Further Away” shows what the compilation can do, far and away the most enterprising cut to savage the easy listening ethos — there’s barely a wheel being reinvented in its sphere of the electronically organic. A lot of sloping pianos and pushes of placid bass file through windows wide open, siding with feather-edged keys shading from the sun as means of demonstrating a pseudo-sophistication. Eddie C’s groggy deep houser for Elina Monova lumbers off the couch to do a warm shoe shuffle, and a wee dram of dub from Soul Science makes a partial shift.

With only a smidgen of acoustica that normally pins this sort of collection toward the wallpaper of a hotel lobby, Ruzicka obviously has an out of hours session in mind, or maybe an al fresco dinner party — something to casually throw on as a go-to for when guests are en route, not something you’ll be throwing on at every turn.

File under: Jon Kennedy, Positive Flow, Superloaded