Leigh Morgan sends his greetings. The founder of what had been one of my favorite labels, Urban Torque, has reappeared with a new release on a new label, Fancy Human. That hiatus was always puzzling to me, and quite a loss – there are likely less than a dozen labels important enough that by their absence they create a “void,” and Urban Torque was one of those.
If there’s anything to draw from the first release of Leigh’s new project with label partners Rob King and Tom Coulling, it’s that he’s come back with a bit of levity – the tracks on Fancy Human are as deep and as melodic as you could want, but also quite fun. “Jupiter Calls” (and the record as a whole) might be dismissed by the title as another clammy “tribute” to Detroit’s godfathers; this would be quite wrong, consisting of four superb slabs of Deep House with basslines erupting out of a thicket of claps and stick drums and synths crashing out of the sky.
I’m not sure what the fixation on Jupiter is, but Leigh invokes the Jovian system in both “Jupiter Calls” and in his B Side track “Planet Five,” which comes out sounding almost like a quirky Jackin House track fed through the mothballed machines of Octave One.
“Lucatwana” is the alias used by King and Coulling; their “What Made You” flips the table over and challenges the rest of the EP and any track around it to arm wrestle. I’m not sure where the pieces are from but that progressive bassline is wickedly addictive, as are the little accented guitar licks over the pickups. “Garleen’s Attic” is straight up funk, like someone brought the Supremes down to P-Funk headquarters and smoked them up.