We don't know how lucky we are, I reckon.
There are a myriad of reasons we should be thankful to live in NZ. The one relevant to this music review is that Detroit, Michigan-born producer & DJ Recloose aka Matthew Chicoine also lives in NZ.
Perhaps, though, we don't fully appreciate the regard with which Recloose is held outside of NZ.
This is a man whose recorded output began on Carl Craig's ground breaking techno label Planet E alongside the likes of legends Kevin Saunderson, Moodymann & Kenny Larkin. Much of the label's output twisted techno into exciting new territories, blending elements of many different genres into the kind of futuristic funk for which Planet E is now famous.
Recloose Early Works is a collection of just that: six tracks released on Planet E, one on Omoa Music (as Dapp) & seven never before available, all dating from the late '90s & early '00s. Assembled by Holland's esteemed Rush Hour label, the compilation showcases Recloose's burgeoning abilities to blend funk, soul, jazz & even downbeat into a brew which still saw 4/4 as its main ingredient.
Highlights of Early Works include the opening one-two punch of Get There Tonight & Soul Clap 2000, as well as Insomnia In Dub. All three are from the critically acclaimed Spelunking EP from 1999, which arguably "broke" Recloose internationally. The sexy sounding Absence Of One (which out-Kruder & Dorfmeister's the famed Austrians with one spliff tied behind its back) & the unreleased Maui's Lament & Land Of The Lost Dance are also standouts to these ears.
Many of the tracks here have that special Detroit sumthin' sumthin' that is not so obvious in much of Recloose's NZ-based output; and while I highly rate both Hiatus On The Horizon & Perfect Timing, Early Works serves as an excellent primer to his musical beginnings & also stands as testament to why he is still described by those in the know as The Don.
Check out the Radio Ponsonby Record Review with 90 every Wenerei morning on Murry Sweetpants' Breakfast Show around 8.30am. 107.7FM on your dial, or click here!