Album Review: Dave Aju / ‘Heirlooms’ (Circus Company)


This would be tarred with the sleazy brush if it wasn’t so cheerily hard to resist and more than just a series of Frisco smut peddles. Dave Aju’s freaky funk has all the traits of a lounge lizard putting his best moves on you. “Ms Reposado” and “Caller #7” slink around the mic stand with flossy showmanship taking the stage, creating back orders on key-tars (falsetto on the latter, naturally) and party flavors made to last all night long.

It does help that tight deep housers compliment the song-and-dances. “All Together Now” is a tour de force, contested by “To Be Free” and its woozy groove cycles and provocative vocal slogans. Though following formula on “Away Away” and “Until Then” (the latter is a little more slo-mo disco, but the rules remain the same), Aju’s drowse with added mind/soul/body freestyling will become top priority for summer nights as he looks after you rather than tries to get into you head (or anywhere else). Starry, but not spangled, continued by the Parliament-ary “You Gotta Know” and Latin-swirled “Brown & Blue.”

Mixing up the Detroit Grand Pubahs recipe without oozing across the R&B intersections and resisting rash dancefloor temptations, if you’re after a free-spirited one-stop party album that knows when to both work and play, Heirlooms is heir to the throne.
File under: Detroit Grand Pubahs, Soul Clap, Nicolas Jaar