It seems like 2014 has been – well maybe this is every year, but it’s been a back-and-forth mix of horrible and beautiful. Take your pick of events. Losing Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams. Sam Simon spending the last of his days giving his fortune away to charity. On the music tip, I’ve had months where I struggled to find anything decent to write about and others where I can’t even find the words to do some of it justice.
I came home ready to write about the beauty of this record and sat down while the earliest reactions to the Michael Brown case were developing. I’ve been feeling a little down about the underground culture and community in Texas and then I get a record that’s assembled some of the best we have to offer and everyone is operating at a high level.
Adam Pickrell is a gifted jazz keyboard player from Dallas and has played on a number of great House records throughout the years. On most of those you’ll hear a very funky and upbeat performance. Daniel Hardaway is a skilled vocalist in his own right and can do a number of styles seamlessly. Both of them have really reigned in their abilities here and opted for slow, calculated and thoughtful renditions.
Here’s a small illustration of how cinematic and gorgeous the opening to Pezzner’s remix is. My wife and I are in bed and I’m firing up an episode of Homeland on the laptop. I’m trying to sync my phone at the same time and this track starts playing as they run through the “last week” intro. We had no idea it wasn’t part of the episode! I love how you have Hardaway the vocalist using his instrument and then Pezzner taking that and running it through HIS instruments to bring it to a new place. It’s great! Pezzner may be the only non-Texan on this record but he’s never been a stranger here.
The final two remixers are what I would call undercover badasses. Both Henry Chow and John Walker have been staples in their respective cities of Houston and Dallas for decades. I don’t know either one of them personally but I could probably throw a rock amongst our 100+ mutual facebook friends and find someone I know really well who knows them really well. Both represent properly for the mature techno and deep house sounds.
The world has had a rough year. It really doesn’t seem like things are going to get any peachier any time soon. My only sage advice is to keep an eye out for those beautiful moments along the way and enjoy them as best you can.