June 16, 2006

The Dan Bensons Project - So Lovely

It took awhile for “Six Million Dollar Dan” Paluska to earn my forgiveness. Just imagine “Lazy Sunday” rapper Adam Sandberg mimicking James Murphy on the karaoke mic after his fifth Pabst. On the Dan Bensons’ single, “So Lovely,” Paluska yelps, “Girl, heh, I know you don’t love meh / But you’re so lovelah / No one above meh / I need some bubbleh!” However, collaborator Ben Recht saves his soul. His groove locks a Solid Gold-era Gang of Four clang into an infectious, minimal-techno pulse. Better yet, the sound avoids the dilettante toe-dips in the “disco-punk” pool. The stronger and tauter B-side, “Ladies Get on the Flo’” is an ace late-era disco groove. Witness Romeo Paluska sing falsetto to cross-armed lasses staring at their drinks on the dancefloor, and enjoy that cowbell stolen from the DFA studio. It’s entertaining enough to make me pretend I didn’t read that word, “Flo.’”

Unlocked Groove / UG 003EP
[Cameron Macdonald]

March 10, 2006

Scorchio - En Fuego

The Unlocked Groove label is in the unfortunate (so I’ve heard) business of trying to make it as a tech-house label in Boston. It’s certainly not for lack of bringing the goods musically. Scorchio’s first solo release for the label features a slickly melodic cut-up (“Hate Me Not,”) the attendant deep(er) rework (by Fred Giannelli), a minimal funk B-side that you forget upon hearing (“Inverted Burning People”), and the shuffle-in-the-style-of-Orb (“Nervous.”) In fact, it’s like they took a page right out of Kompakt’s playbook. Which is to say, grab the A-side and the shuffle. Lose the rest.

Unlocked Groove / 002
[Todd Burns]

November 17, 2005

Various Artists - The Appliance of Science, Volume 1

Considering it’s the debut track of the Unlocked Groove label, Rainbow Bright’s “The Rollah” is the type of thing that makes you sigh in the knowledge that you just might have to buy everything they put out. And while the rest of the debut 12” doesn’t quite reach the heights of this minimal “Bolero,” you can rest assured that the restless dedication to melodicism might just herald a new great American house label. We’ll see.

Unlocked Groove / UG001
[Todd Burns]